Assets of Al Baraka Bank Syria Grow by 103%.
Although it is only a few months since it started its operations, Al Baraka Bank Syria, a subsidiary banking unit of Al Baraka Banking Group BSC (ABG), was able to prove itself and consolidate its presence in the Syrian market.
The Banks started its operations on 1.6.2010 through its main branch at Seven Bahrat district of Damascus. From day one, the Bank began to establish strategic partnerships with all personal and corporate customers as evidenced by the growth seen in the balance sheet. In this regard, the total assets amounted to U.S. US$ 108 million as at the end of December 2010, a growth of 103% compared to the total assets started with at the beginning of operation. The total deposits, including unrestricted investment accounts, reached US$ 58 million, while the finance and investment portfolio amounted to US$ 55 million through the establishment of a high quality portfolio of Islamic financial products, and investments through Wakala agencies and Mudaraba reached US$ 32 million.
Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al Baraka Bank Syria and President & Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group said that Al Baraka Bank Syria was the first ABG bank to be established since the inception of the Group in 2002 through the merger of the individual banks established by Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel.
Mr. Adnan added that "In additions to furnishing and equipping its head office, the Bank had so far opened three branches, two in Damascus and one in Homs. Furthermore, another two branches one in Hama and one in Aleppo are expected to be opened during this month. The Bank will continue to implement its plan to expand its branch network to cover all Syrian governorates, initially to reach 10 branches by the end of 2011".
In this context, Mr. Adnan Yousif said that "Al Baraka Bank Syria convened its annual general meeting on 23rd April to discuss the directors report on the Bank's business in 2010 and approve the financial statements of the Bank for year 2010".
For his part, Mr. Mohammed Halabi, Chief Executive Officer of Al Baraka Bank Syria, said that the Bank had passed through two stages in 2010, the first stage involved taking several steps in preparation for launching the operations of the Bank including the selection and hiring of qualified staff from amongst the best bankers in Syria. The majority of the Bank's department heads were appointed during this stage and the number of employees reached 144 as at the end of 2010. The second stage began on 1.6.2010, the date on which the Bank commenced actual operation. During this stage, a number of steps were taken to ensure strong entry into the Syrian banking market.
Commenting on the Bank's results for this period, Mr. Halabi said that despite the short period since it started its operations and with only one branch amidst strong competition, the Bank was able to achieve reasonable results compared with the other banks, both conventional and Islamic, in the Syrian market.
Speaking about the Bank's strategic plan for the next three years, Mr. Halabi said that it included a wide range of "numerical and non-numerical" targets, which will have a significant impact on the results of the Bank for the current year 2011.
Mr. Halabi concluded his statement by stressing that Al Baraka Bank Syria had a major competitive advantage over the other banks operating in Syria, in being a subsidiary unit of Al Baraka Banking Group which has presence in more than 13 countries through 400 branches. This will enable the Bank to provide excellent services to its customers, especially in the area of international trade by signing cooperation agreements with other Group units, beginning with Al Baraka Bank Turkey with which we have already signed such cooperation agreement.
Al Baraka Bank Syria is one of the main subsidiary banking units of Al Baraka Banking, Al Baraka Banking Group is a Bahrain Joint Stock Company listed on Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai. It is a leading international Islamic bank with Standard and Poors long term and short-term credit ratings of BBB- stable and A3 respectively. ABG offers retail, corporate and investment banking and treasury services strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari'a. The authorized capital of ABG is US$1.5 billion, while total equity amounts to about US$1.8 billion.
The Group has a wide geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking Units and representative offices in thirteen countries, which in turn provide their services through more than 400 branches. These banking Units are Jordan Islamic Bank, Al Baraka Islamic Bank - Bahrain, Al Baraka Bank Pakistan Limited, Al Baraka Bank Algeria, Al Baraka Bank Sudan, Al Baraka Bank Ltd - South Africa, Al Baraka Bank Lebanon, Al Baraka Bank Tunis, Al Baraka Bank Egypt, Al Baraka Turk Participation Bank, Al Baraka Bank Syria, representative offices in Indonesia and in Libya (under formation).