Annual General Meeting of Al Baraka Banking Group Approves Cash Dividend Payouts and Bonus Shares to Shareholders of US$ 175.36 million
Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C (ABG) held its Ordinary and Extra-ordinary General Meetings on Wednesday 21st March 2012 in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. The Group's shareholders discussed at the ordinary meeting the report submitted by the Board of Directors on the Group's activities during the financial year ended 31 December, 2011, auditors report on the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011 and the report of the Unified Sharia Supervisory Board on financial year ended 31 December 2011. The final accounts of the Group for the financial year ended 31 December 2011 were approved. The meeting also approved the recommendations of the Board of Directors to pay cash dividends to shareholders at the rate of 3.5 cents per share, amounting to a total of US$ 30.43 million and the issue of bonus shares at the rate of one share for every 6 paid shares (amounting to US$ 144.93 million) to the shareholders registered on the date of the Annual General Meeting, after obtaining the approval of the authorities concerned.
The meeting also reviewed and approved the evaluation of ABGâ€™s board, members and committees (enclosed in the distributed Annual Report) as well as reviewing and approving the Group's report for implementing the corporate governance in accordance with the instructions of the Central Bank of Bahrain (enclosed in the distributed Annual Report).
After the Ordinary General Meeting, an Extraordinary General Meeting was convened that approved increasing the issued and paid up capital by transferring US$ 144.93 million to the capital and to issue against this amount bonus shares to the shareholders registered as at the date of the Meeting at the rate of one share for every 6 shares held.
Commenting on these results, HE Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman of Al Baraka Banking Group said: "The outstanding financial results achieved by Al Baraka Banking Group in 2011 were the result of the implementation of carefully studied ambitious strategies that struck a balance between the adoption of prudent and conservative measures required by the prevailing regional and global economic and financial conditions on the one hand, and continuing our expansion in the different markets and in providing innovative Islamic products and services to our customers, on the other. The Group, as such and once more, re-affirms its commitment to the fulfillment of its religious and moral duty towards the development of the societies in which it operates, and at the same time maximizes value to the shareholders and owners of the Group. It would not have been possible to successfully implement these strategies were it not for the strong capital resources and long experience of the Group and its strict adherence to the Islamic banking model".
For his part, Mr. Abdulla Ammar Saudi, Deputy Chairman of ABG, stressed that "The economic and financial developments witnessed by year 2011, either the sovereign debt crisis in Euro zone or Arab political developments, further compounded the adverse conditions. Because of this, financial institutions all over the world were forced to adopt conservative and cautious business strategies. In view of these developments and conditions, the financial results achieved by the Group in 2011 can be viewed as excellent by all standards. These results reflect the success of the business strategies that we at the Board of Directors of the Group have put in place based on the points of strength that we possess and the opportunities generated in the markets in which we operate".
Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, member of the Board of Directors and President & Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group, said that "The cash dividends and bonus shares distributed to the shareholders reflect the outstanding results that we achieved in 2011. These results confirm as amounts and key indicators our success in dealing with the current banking and financial situation. We prepared ourselves early for the repercussions of the crisis by developing balanced business strategies that enabled us maintain expansion in providing finance and investment services and products through our subsidiary units on the one hand, and continue with the implementation of our investment spending programs in the areas of expanding our branch network and modernizing the IT infrastructure and human resources on the other. Such strategies also required us take the necessary prudent measures to address the adverse developments arising from the financial crises by strengthening our liquid assets and the building up of reserves. Praise to Allah, we were able to implement these strategies successfully, and as a result we are now at the forefront of Islamic banking institutions that are able to continue achieve growth and profits".
The shareholders praised the performance of the Group in year 2011 and the excellent financial results that it achieved, especially that all units of the Group contributed to the results, which enhances the confidence in the future performance of the Group which is based on diversity, depth and commitment to the highest professional and ethical standards.
The Group's financial results for year 2011 showed a net profit of US$ 212 million reflecting an increase of 10% over the profit of 2010. Similarly, balance sheet items witnessed moderate increases. Total assets increased by 8%, total finance and investments by 4%, deposits including equity of investment accountholders by 8% and as at the end of December 2011 in comparison with the end of December 2010. The Group's results in year 2011 reflect the ability of the Group in maintaining its financial performance in a state of steady growth over the past few years, even during the global economic crisis that crippled many financial institutions. This in turn proves the soundness and robustness of the business strategies being implemented by the Group and which are based on strong commitment to the values of Islamic banking, supported by extensive experience in the markets in which the Group operates, high quality of the products and services it offers and extensive network of branches, as well strong capital resources that enabled it to continue invest in opportunities generated by the current conditions".
In concluding their statements, Shaikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman of Al Baraka Banking Group, Mr. Abdulla A. Saudi, Deputy Chairman, Mr. Abdullah Saleh Kamel, Deputy Chairman, Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, President & Chief Executive of the Group and all members of the Board of Directors expressed their sincere thanks to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Central Bank of Bahrain, Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai for the cooperation and assistance they extended to the Group since it was established. They also extended their thanks to all central banks in the countries in which Group banks operate and to all investors and customers for their continuing support and custom. They also thanked all the employees for their hard work, dedication and loyalty.
Al Baraka Banking Group is a Bahrain Joint Stock Company Licensed as an Islamic Wholesale Bank by Central Bank of Bahrain, listed on Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading international Islamic bank providing its unique services to around one billion people and with Standard and Poors investment grade long term counterparty credit rating of BBB- / A-3 (Short Term). Al Baraka offers retail, corporate, treasury and investment banking services, strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari'a. The authorized capital of Al Baraka 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 fifteen countries, which in turn provide their services through more than 400 branches. Al Baraka is currently having a strong presence in Jordan, Tunisia, Sudan, Turkey, Bahrain, Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Indonesia, Libya (under formation), Iraq and Saudi Arabia.