Al Baraka to foray into India, Malaysia

DUBAI — Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG), a leading Bahrain-based international Islamic bank, will set up branches in India, Indonesia and Malaysia over the next one year. The bank already operates over 200 branches in 10 countries employing over 5,000 people.

By Manu Sharma

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Published: Tue 26 Sep 2006, 9:58 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:23 PM

Speaking to the Khaleej Times, Adnan Ahmed Yousif, CEO of ABG said, "As the bank grows, we need to expand our services to other countries as well. We had initially planned to enter India about 10 years ago but found banking was not very active then. However, it has since picked up and so we will now be setting up new branches in India besides also in Indonesia and Malaysia."

The banking major will set up about 20 branches in India through subsidiaries while it plans for 15 branches in Indonesia and 20 in Malaysia. The banking major already operates in Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Pakistan and UAE.

It is likely to start with retail banking and then expand to other areas like corporate and investment banking. Among its 200 branches, Yousif said that Algeria, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and Bahrain were among the major contributors to the bank's profits and hopes over time India also would be among them.

Earlier the bank became the first organisation from Bahrain and the first Islamic banking group from the GCC region to announce the listing of its shares on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX). The listing follows an initial public offering (IPO) by ABG, and is now simultaneously being traded on the Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE). ABG had announced that it would use the proceeds raised from its IPO to finance its aggressive international expansion plans in addition to strengthening its position in the domestic market and regional markets where it is present.

The IPO of ABG consisted of 188.9 million shares, of which 120 million shares represented an increase in capital of $370 million at the IPO issue price of $3.08 per share. The offering met with an overwhelming response from leading institutions and investors from across the region. ABG enjoys a prime position within the Islamic financial services industry, with total assets exceeding $6.3 billion.

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