A message from the Chief Executive Officer

Welcome to the Arab Bankers’ Association!

We are an association of bankers and finance professionals who work in Arab financial markets. Most of our members, both corporate and individual, are based in the U.K. but a significant proportion are based outside. Nearly all of us have spent much of our professional lives living and working in the Arab world.

Our aims are simple: to foster improved relations, information sharing and understanding between the private and public sectors in the Arab world and the U.K. We achieve this through our programme of evening seminars and social events, through tailored events for individual members and their clients, and through personal interaction and introductions that are based on decades of business experience.

You will find more information about our work on the various pages of this website. For example, elsewhere on this page you can download a copy of our Annual Magazine; on the “Events” page you can download presentations given at recent evening seminars; and soon we will be adding a new page to our website -- “Arab Banking News” – where you will see a brief round-up of recent events that are relevant to our membership.

The “Join” page also contains a full list of member benefits.

This is an exciting time for Arab banks and their subsidiaries and affiliates in London. Gulf banks are looking to expand their international operations, banks in Egypt and other north African countries are finding their footing after the uncertainties of the Arab Spring, and debt issuance across the region is increasing.

London hosts the largest and most important banking community in Europe, so its not surprising that it is in London that many of the innovative new financial structures that are shaping Arab finance are designed and sold.

The ABA has been serving and promoting Arab banking in London for more than 30 years and we are as enthusiastic and committed to our mission today as we were on the day we were founded. If you are a member, I look forward to working alongside you in the months ahead. If you are not a member, I hope you will consider joining us.

George E. Kanaan Chief Executive Officer


Mon May 11 2015 - Mon May 11 2015
Experts Brief ABA Members on Oil Market Developments

Events , ABA Events The ABA's latest technical seminar was held on 11 May, with five eminent oil market experts (three with PhDs and one former Cabinet Minister!) giving their perspectives on the prospects for oil prices, and the energy market as a whole. The seminar began with an introduction by Dr. Gavin Graham, the Executive Vice President of Petrofac, the global oil services firm. Dr. Graham was followed by Dr. Wim Thomas, the Chief Energy Advisor at Shell International who considered some of the commonly held views about the oil market ("growing global population will underpin increasing demand for oil",...

Wed May 27 2015 - Wed May 27 2015
Film Screening: "Golden Age – Lebanon"

Events , ABA Events The Arab Bankers Association is delighted to present a screening of "Golden Age - Lebanon", a film about Lebanon from 1950 to 1975, on Wednesday 27 May. The screening will be held at the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) , Jarvis Hall, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1HD. Doors will open at 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start. "Golden Age – Lebanon" describes the 25 years before the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war through the stories of some of the celebrities who defined that period of Lebanon’s history. The film contains rare scenes and photographs from the 1950s, 1960s a...


05/05/15  Central Bank of Bahrain Closes Future Bank

News The Central Bank of Bahrain announced on 30 April that it had placed Future Bank and Iran Insurance Company into administration with immediate effect. The Central Bank said that it would assume the role of the adminstrators of the two institutions "to safeguard and protect the rights of depositors and policyholders." Future Bank was established in 2004 and was majority owned by two Iranian banks, Bank Melli and Bank Saderat. Future Bank's website, accessed on 5 May, showed three shareholders, each with equal stakes: Bank Melli, Bank Saderat and "Al Ahli United Bank through its trustee arra...


Mon April 27 2015 - Mon April 27 2015
ABA Hosts Meeting of CEOs of Arab Banks in London

Events , ABA Events The meeting was convened by George Kanaan, the CEO of the Arab Bankers Association, at the suggestion of ABA members who have become concerned at the increased burden of regulation on senior management time and, in some cases, concerns over the proportionality and consistency of some regulatory initiatives. The 13 CEOs, who represent both branches and subsidiaries of Arab banks, agreed that there would be benefits to sharing their expertise, with the aim of helping each other respond efficiently and effectively to regulatory requests. It was agreed to hold further, quarterly meetings, but ...


21/04/15  Saudi Stock Market Will Open to Foreign Investors on 15 June

News The Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) will approve and publish on 4 May the final rules that will govern trading by qualified foreign investors on the Saudi stock exchange (Tadawul). The rules will become effective on 1 June, and qualified foreign investors will be permitted to invest in listed shares from Monday 15 June. The CMA announced in September 2014 that it would prepare rules to enable qualified foreign investors to trade on the Tadawul by the end of the first half of 2015, and the Authority has kept to that timetable. The Tadawul is by far the biggest stock market in the Midd...