Oversubscribed 4.4 times and netting US$ 165 million, Al Baraka Bank Syria IPO was a great success

 The Bahrain based leading Islamic banking group Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C. announced that the IPO of Al Baraka Bank Syria was extremely successful as it was oversubscribed by more than four times. The response of the Syrian investors, individuals and public and private institutions alike, was very impressive to say the least.

The one-month long IPO of Al Baraka Bank Syria was closed on November 4, 2009. The number of shares on offer was 3.50 million shares with a total of value of (Syrian Lire) SYP 1.750 billion (US$ 35 million) at the value of SYP 500 per share, representing 35% of the Bank's share capital of US$ 100 million. The IPO netted total subscription proceeds of SYP 7.670 billion lire (US$ 165 million) or 4.4 times the amount offered for subscription. A large number of Syrian nationals as well as private and public institutions and companies took part in the IPO.

On this occasion, Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman of Al Baraka Banking Group, said he was very pleased with the great success of the IPO of Al Baraka Bank Syria, "We are very pleased with this great success which reflects the high status of Al Baraka Banking Group and the confidence it enjoys in the Arab and Islamic communities. The name of the Group has become to mean success, excellence, prudence, adherence to the highest banking and ethical standards and the offering of high quality Sharia-compliant banking products and services".

He added that "The success of the IPO, especially at this difficult, is an indication of the Group's ability to implement the growth plans it set for itself despite the non-conducive global economic circumstances. It is also an indication of the success of Syria in attracting Arab and Gulf capital thanks to the wise economic, financial and investment policies that it follows, and clearly reflects the confidence of individual and institutional investors in the future of the Syrian economy".

On his part, Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, President & Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group said that "The huge success of the IPO of Al Baraka Bank Syria means a lot to us. To start with, it is a success for the whole Group and for its expansion plans in the regional and Arab markets. Secondly, it is a continuation of the success and achievements of the Group and its subsidiary banking units in all markets and reflects the good reputation it enjoys and thirdly, it is an indication of the success of the sound economic and investment approach that the Syrian authorities adopts, especially that the Syrian market is rich of potential and promising opportunities".

Mr. Adnan Yousif added that "Al Baraka Bank Syria, which we hope will begin its operations early next year, will offer all Islamic banking products and services to both individuals and corporate customers through a network of branches that will cover all of the main cities in Syria".

The President & Chief Executive of ABG added that the Syrian market was witnessing significant growth as a result of the continuing economic reforms which resulted in the liberalization of the regulations governing investments by local private sector and foreign investors.  He also said that substantial amounts of money were flowing into many infrastructure, industrial, commercial and service sectors and projects and this would create good opportunities to banks and investors which in turn makes the Syrian market an attractive destination for investors including a number of foreign banking institutions. 

However, what will make Al Baraka Bank Syria different from other banks is that it is committed to provide services and products that comply fully with the principles of Sharia.  The Bank will also be strongly supported by the vast banking expertise of the Group as well as its strong financial resources and technical capabilities and the extensive network of subsidiary banking units that it has in 12 countries around the globe with more than 300 branches. 
Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel and Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif concluded their statements by extending their thanks to the Central Bank of Bahrain, Central Bank of Syria, the Syrian regulatory and monetary authorities and the banks that managed the IPO in the Arab Republic of Syria, for the continuing support and facilities that they extend to ABG and Al Baraka Bank Syria, which again highlights their commitment to supporting Arab banking institutions.  Sheikh Saleh and Mr. Yousif also thanked the executive management of Al Baraka Bank Syria for their strenuous efforts to make the IPO a success.

The capital of Al Baraka Bank Syria amounts to SYP 5 billion (US$ 100 million). Promoters have subscribed to 65% of the capital (6.50 million shares amounting SYP 3.25 billion) of which 50%, amounting to SYP 1.625 billion, has already been paid. The shares that had been offered for public subscription amounted to 3.50 million shares with a value of SYP 1.750 billion representing 35% of the bank's capital. The issue price was SYP 500 per share. The subscribing shareholders paid 50% of the nominal value of the share at the time of subscription and the remainder of the subscription amount will be paid within a period not exceeding 3 years from the date on which the bank commences its operations. The IPO was available to Syrian investors only.

Al Baraka Banking Group is a Bahrain Joint Stock Company listed on Bahrain and NASDAQ Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading international Islamic bank with Standard & Poor’s long and short-term credit ratings of BBB- and A-3 respectively. Al Baraka Banking Group offers retail, corporate and investment banking and treasury services strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari'a. The authorised capital of Al Baraka Banking Group is US$1.5 billion, while total equity amounts to about US$1.58 billion. The Group has a wide geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking Units and representative offices in twelve countries, which in turn provide their services through more than 300 branches. These banking Units are Jordan Islamic Bank, Jordan; Al Baraka Islamic Bank, Bahrain; Al Baraka Islamic Bank, Pakistan; Banque Al Baraka D'Algerie, Algeria; Al Baraka Bank Sudan, Sudan; Al Baraka Bank Limited, South Africa; Al Baraka Bank Lebanon, Lebanon; Bank Et-Tamweel Al-Tunisi Al-Saudi, Tunisia; the Egyptian Saudi Finance Bank, Egypt; Al Baraka Turk Participation Bank, Turkey; Al Baraka Bank Syria (under formation) and a representative office in Indonesia.
















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