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Saudi Arabia: Alinma Bank set for launch in 2nd quarter

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Points of Essence:

  • Saudi Arabia is ready to launch its biggest bank, Alinma Bank at the end of the 2Q of 2009. Once in operation, the Shariah compliant bank will serve the entire Kingdom and leverage on the latest banking technology to reach out to its customers. Zawya.com has the report.

RIYADH: Final preparations are being made by Alinma Bank for its launch by the end of the second quarter of 2009, Abdulaziz Al-Zamil, chairman of the board of directors of the bank told newsmen here yesterday .

“At launch, the bank will operate branches in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Jubail, Hofuf, Madinah, Taif and Khamis Mushayt. Branch distribution is expected to continue through 2009 and into the early part of 2010 with location opening in cities such as Makkah, Alkhobar, Unaizah, Buraidah, Hail, Hafr Al-Batin, Arrar, Tabuk, Al-Mubarraz, Kharj and Al-Najran,” Al-Zamil said at a press conference held at the bank’s headquarters here yesterday.

Abdulmohsen Al-Fares, chief executive officer of Alinma Bank and Mohammed Al-Awadh, its general manager of the Marketing Group also attended the conference.

“Although the bank’s first official financial year began on May 26, 2008 and will extend through Dec. 31, 2009, regulatory policies required Alinma to state results for the interim period extending from May 26, 2008 through Dec. 31, 2008, ” Al-Zamil said.

Describing Alinma as the largest Islamic bank in the Kingdom, Al-Zamil said that the bank has a board to ensure that all its transactions are Shariah compliant. “Our aim is to provide our partners with total Shariah-compliant financial solutions in order to sustainably grow and serve our community,” he said. The Shariah guidance committee members are Abdulrahman Ibn Saleh Al-Atram, president, Abdullah Ibn Wakeel Al-Shaikh and Suliman Ibn Turki Al-Turki, members of the board.

The bank, Al-Zamil said, will offer comprehensive electronic services such as phone banking, ebanking, point-of-sales (POS) and ATM services in coordination with related services offered by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). “Our services will cover individual and corporate clients and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”

To offer attractive returns for its shareholders, he said that the bank had diversified its investments to liquidity management and corporate financing.

Al-Fares said that for the interim period, the bank had declared a net income of SR390 million. This includes pre-operating income of SR274 million. Total assets stood at SR15.56 billion with total investments of SR14.97 billion, and shareholders’ equity SR15.39 billion. In addition to its 15 leased branch locations, Al-Fares said Alinma owns 21 independent properties in strategic locations where branches are being built. Moreover, he added that the bank had 66 locations designated for Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) Through recent phases of development, the chief executive officer said that the bank had passed a number of noteworthy milestones. “At present the bank has more than 500 male and female employees and enjoys a Saudization rate of over 80 percent of the existing staff. Training and development efforts have moved steadily forward with 284 staff members having attended 640 specialized conferences and seminars. The bank expects that some 600 employees will be trained in 2009 to meet needs at both branches and corporate headquarters.

Alinma Bank’s management is confident that with its vision, plans and capital base, it will be a valuable addition to the banking industry, which is an important pillar of the national economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Al-Awadh said.

Alinma Bank is a Saudi joint stock company and its founding shareholders include the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Public Pension Agency (PPA), and the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI). Together they represent 30 percent of the bank’s capital of SR4.5 billion, with equal shares. The remaining 70 percent of the bank’s capital is publicly held.

By Mohammed Rasooldeen

© Arab News 2009

Source: http://www.zawya.com

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

January 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm

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