ABG Launch Itqan Capital in Saudi Arabia
Manama, 15 January 2012:
Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C (ABG), announced the launch of Itqan Capital (formerly known as Altawfeek Financial Group) in Saudi Arabia, through its fully-owned subsidiary Al Baraka Islamic Bank (Bahrain), which owns the majority of shares of the Company, at a VIP reception attended by the firm's directors, management, clients, and associates.
Mr. Khaled Al Zayani, chairman of Al Baraka Islamic Bank announced that the firm's future focus will be on four areas: asset management, principal investment, investment banking, and custodial services â€“ all supported by centralized advisory, research and business development capabilities.
"We aspire to be Saudi Arabiaâ€™s pre-eminent provider of investment offerings to pension funds, foundations, charity organizations, endowments, private and public companies, high-net worth individuals, and family offices" he said.
"We have an extensive base of investors, both within the Kingdom and regionally, seeking specially tailored services and truly innovative Shariah-compliant investment products."
Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, vice chairman of Al Baraka Islamic Bank and President and Chief Executive of Al Baraka banking Group said "The launch of Itqan Capital is an excellent move that reflects our Groupâ€™s strategy to enter key regional markets, for Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab economy with strong fundamentals and a stable financial and investment environment, which presents us with significant business and investment opportunities."
Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif added, "We look to this step as a strategically vital initiative for the Group. Our founding shareholders have a strong base in the Saudi market so the launch of the Company will strengthen that presence. The Saudi market represents a key entre-point for us to access the extensive base of investors and provide them with a wide range of Sharia compliant products that have been developed by the Company and the Group for the past many years. The ABG Group has the unique advantage of a large and geographically diverse network in many countries, whose experience and track record we will draw upon to strengthen our business presence in the Saudi market".
Mr. Mohamed Isa Al Mutaweh, Board Member and Chief Executive Officer of Al Baraka Islamic Bank noted: "In time, Itqan will become a new force in the regional investments sector. We are acutely focused on serving the needs of a sophisticated clientele who we believe are somewhat under-served at present. We have moved away from standard services for the mass-affluent market, such as securities brokerage, towards differentiated and valued added offerings. We intend to create and manage a growing number and broad array of open-end and closed-end funds tailored to the requirements of institutional, corporate, and individual clients."
"As well as private and mutual funds, Itqan Capital will identify, develop, and co-invest in distinctive opportunities in sectors that offer genuine potential for growth and benefit from both a financial and social perspective. Examples are the education, healthcare, and food sectors that are all benefiting from heightened demand due to the regionâ€™s rapid population growth. Another example of our unique approach is offering custodial services â€“ a first in the Saudi market. Our menu of custody services for real estate, private equity, and portfolio and fund holdings will add outstanding value for our clients."
Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) is a Bahrain Joint Stock Company listed on Bahrain Bours and Nasdaq Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading international Islamic bank with Standard and Poors investment grade long term counterparty credit rating of BBB- / A-3 (Short Term) with a Negative Outlook. ABG offers retail, corporate and investment banking and treasury services strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shariâ€™a. The authorised capital of ABG is US$1.5 billion, while total shareholdersâ€™ 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 twelve 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; Banque Al Baraka Dâ€™Algerie, Al Baraka Bank Sudan; Al Baraka Bank Limited, South Africa; Al Baraka Bank Lebanon; Al Baraka Bank Tunisia; Al Baraka Bank Egypt; AlBaraka Turk Participation Bank, Al Baraka Bank Syria and representative offices in Indonesia and Libya (under formation).