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


22/05/14  Presentations from Expert Briefing on Immigration and Citizenship

Events , ABA Events Eighty ABA members and their friends attended the Association's expert briefing on options for residency and citizenship in the UK and other territories. The briefing addressed the investment conditions attached to various types of residency, the time taken to achieve permanent residency status and/or citizenship, and the tax implications of residency/citizenship. The event was sponsored by EdwinCoe, Henley & Partners and London & Capital.  Three slide presentations were given and these are attached below, along with some photographs of the event. Dhruti Thakrar, a partner w...

19/05/14  Prospects for the Iraqi banking system

News The political and security situation in Iraq has again been in the headlines in recent weeks, following the take-over by ISIS of substantial areas of northern Iraq, the change of Prime Minister, and western handwringing over how to intervene without repeating the mistakes made in 2004. Mowafaq Mahmood, a career banker who has held senior positions in Iraqi private banks and in the Central Bank of Iraq, spoke to the Arab Banker about the challenges faced by the Iraqi banking system at the present time and, more generally about the reasons why private banks have not been able to increase the...


18/05/14  ABA Hosts Technical Seminar on UK Immigration Rules and Policy

Events , ABA Events Presentations from the event, which included information about the tax implications of immigration as well as the rules and processes governing citizenship and residency, will be posted here in the next few days. We will also be publishing photos from the event. The picture above shows Hakan Cortelek, Managing Partner at Henley & Partners, the first of the four presenters. 


16/05/14  HSBC's Samir Assaf Appointed Chairman of GFMA

News The Board of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA) has appointed Samir Assaf as its Chairman, for a two year term. He succeeds Blythe Masters, Head of Global Commodities at JPMorgan Chase. The appointment was approved at the GFMA's Board of Directors meeting in London on 13 May and has immediate effect.  The GFMA represents the interests of global financial and capital market participants by bringing together three of the world's leading financial trade associations: the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME), in London and Brussels; the Asia Securities Industry...


13/05/14  New CEOs for National Bank of Oman and alizz Islamic Bank

News National Bank of Oman announced on 10 May that Ahmed Al Musalmi had been appointed as CEO, succeeding Salaam Al Shaksy, who had served in that role for the last four years. Mr. Musalmi had been Deputy CEO since 2011. Mr. Musalmi holds an MBA from the University of Luton in the United Kingdom and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Programme.  National Bank of Oman had equity of OR 328 mn ($854mn) at the end of 2013, assets of OR2,896 mn ($7,542) and net profits of OR41mn ($107mn). It is currently rated BBB+ by Fitch, Moody's and S&P. Commercial Bank o...