ADIB opens branch in Baghdad

ABU DHABI — Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, or ADIB, has opened its first branch in Iraq, making Abu Dhabi’s biggest Islamic lender the first UAE-based financial institution to receive a full-operations banking licence from the Central Bank of Iraq and to start operations from Iraq.

By (Staff Report)

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Published: Thu 26 Jul 2012, 10:36 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:39 PM

ADIB is now poised to support and guide UAE and GCC investments in Iraq and its surrounding areas. It will also develop the Islamic finance industry in Iraq by bringing best-in-class Islamic banking products, the lender said in a Press release.

During the initial months of operations, ADIB’s market entry strategy will see it serve corporate and private banking customers.

“It will offer corporate finance, investment banking and treasury products to the Iraq market,” the bank said, adding that it “will offer traditional commercial banking services such as international trade finance solutions.”

Unveiling the bank’s Iraq expansion plans, ADIB chief executive officer Tirad Al Mahmoud said: “Iraq has been on our agenda for some time now and we believe that this is the opportune time to launch our presence there.”

He said that the country is on a comeback trail, and with business conditions improving considerably, “it’s the right time to get in”.

“Its vast oil reserves, a great rebuilding and infrastructure development effort and a growing population present great opportunities for growth. We aim to play a pivotal role in the development of its economy,” Al Mahmoud said. ADIB was also granted approval from Central Bank of Iraq to confirm Iraq oil export letters of credit issued by multinational oil corporations, multinational commodities and oil traders and financial institutions that issue letters of credit on behalf of their clients.

Tirad added: “Our challenges are clear. We aim to increase the private sector banks’ share of the Iraqi market from the current level of less than 20 per cent and to develop the Islamic banking industry there.”

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