UAE COMING BIG WAY IN PAKISTAN'S BANKING SECTOR
Dubai Islamic Bank has come to Pakistan with a commitment to provide world class banking in the Islamic way.
Oct 23 - Nov 05, 2006
Chairman Al Habtoor Group Sultan Al Habtoor, during his last visit to Pakistan, had recommended that the country is the place to do business as it offers best investment opportunities in the region.
Actually, such remarks and recommendations by a foreign investor are considered as a tonic for the investors of any sector in any country.
In fact, Saultan al Habtoor was not favouring Pakistan rather his assessment was based on the fact sheet about the performance of the banking sector in Pakistan and handsome earnings being shown in the financial results for the last three to four years. However, a positive remark about the investment or business climate by foreign investors sets the suit for others to follow. No doubt, the positive remarks by Sultan Al Habtoor about business climate in Pakistan were of high value for Pakistan.
The Chairman made these remarks while talking to leaders of the corporate world and financial sectors, gathered at a dinner hosted in his honor in Karachi by Saad Zaman, CEO Dubai Islamic Bank.
Al Habtoor Group, a known name in the UAE business community, has grown tremendously in the past 30 years, and besides being best known for construction, it is now internationally recognized through hotels, real estate, education, insurance, automobile dealership and publishing businesses. It is one of the UAE's most respected and successful business corporations that also operates in the Middle East and the UK.
Commenting on the investment scenario in Pakistan, Sultan Al Habtoor said: "Investment from abroad and even within the country can only progress and prosper if continuity of policies is guaranteed both at the micro and macro levels. Short term benefits offered by any economy today are the biggest impediment in the way of investments that are long-term oriented. It is only because of a visionary leadership and close cut policies that investment comes into a particular country."
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Executive of Dubai Islamic Bank Saad Zaman said; "Dubai Islamic Bank is proud to play the role of a catalyst with regard to business opportunities in Pakistan. In an exponentially growing and investment-friendly business environment, the future of Pakistan appears to be very bright." In this regard, he mentioned the names of industrial giants as Dubai Ports, Nakheel LLC and Emaar.
It is worth mentioning that Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has committed to invest US$100 million in its Pakistan operations, with a plan to substantially increase its branch network throughout the country.
"DIB will offer cutting edge financial solutions through a world class banking service in the Islamic way. This will include a full suit ranging from entire consumer banking products to wealth management solutions and corporate & investment banking products. Dubai Islamic Bank also plans to expand in private equity business," said the CEO.
Dubai Islamic Bank has been very active in attracting foreign direct investment in Pakistan and is working closely with Dubai World and other large business corporations in identifying opportunities and channelling hard flows into the country.
In addition, DIB is working closely with the Ministry of Finance, State Bank of Pakistan, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and other relevant agencies in developing & promoting Islamic Capital Market products in the country.
Dubai Islamic Bank emerged on the global banking scenario 30 years ago, with early thoughts for a Shariah-compliant institution, and has successfully pioneered translation of the principles of Islam into ethical, socially responsible and innovative products and services. The bank's primary objective is to provide a financial alternative that is fair, transparent and above all, a source of economic enlightenment for those in need.
Today, the bank has earned the cachet of the world leader in Islamic finance from among nearly 300 Islamic financial institutions now in existence. This has enabled it to attract attention not only within the Islamic world but also amongst multinational companies operating globally, as it has arranged or lead-managed landmark financing deals across many industries.
The most recent of its strategic alliances include partnership with Dubai World and the launch of the first of its kind, US$5 billion family of private equity funds to participate in strategic transactions on a global basis. The family of funds that will be launched in Dubai under this partnership over the next 18 months comprises seven specific private equity funds covering strategic sectors of Energy, Financial Institutions, Infrastructure, Real Estate, Health and Education, General Industrials and Technology, Media & Telecommunications.
Pursuing a well-considered strategy for furthering substantial growth, Dubai Islamic Bank has been directly involved in a variety of activities since the beginning of 2005. The bank has lead-managed financing deals in excess of AED30 billion (US$8.15 billion) between the end of June 2004 and the end of 2005.
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Dubai Islamic Bank lead-managed the world's largest Sukuk (Shariah-compliant bond) with Barclays Capital. The US$3.5 billion issue was part of a large financing package arranged for the expansion plans of Dubai Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation (PCFC). The unique and innovative structure of the Sukuk is also significant, as the transaction was the first convertible instrument in the Islamic finance market. The previous largest Sukuk was Dubai Civil Aviation's US$1 billion issue, which was also structured and lead-managed by the bank.
Since the beginning of 2005, Dubai Islamic Bank has been regarded as one of the most dynamic financial institutions in the region. This is a well-deserved accolade, given the tremendous growth in the bank's activities in the recent past. The institution has shown geometric growth of more than 30% year on year, represented by significant growth in assets, profits and shareholders' equity. From 2003 to 2004, the bank's financial and investment activities grew by 73 % to AED 1.735 billion and a growth of 56% was witnessed in total assets, taking them to AED 30.6 billion. On the profitability side, total income grew by 67% to AED 1.470 billion and net profit attributed to shareholders substantially grew by 188% to AED 461 million. Moreover, shareholders' equity grew 103% to approximately AED 3 billion.
Dubai Islamic Bank has acquired 60% shares in the Bank of Khartoum, Sudan, and now exercises complete management control over the oldest bank in the Arab world, established in 1913. The bank has also been involved in raising US$28.5 million by way of an IPO for a new financial institution to be known as Emirates and Sudan Bank, which will also operate in Sudan.
As an integral part of its global expansion, Dubai Islamic Bank has increased its focus towards investment banking during the recent years. In this respect, a separate investment-banking arm is to be formed to establish a presence in the Dubai International Financial Centre from where it will offer a comprehensive range of services, which would include financial advisory.
The bank also has a vast experience of operating in a network through representative offices in Turkey and Iran. This experience combined with the high potential market and investment-friendly government policies of the country, lead to the launch of operations in March 2006, with the first branch in Karachi. The bank plans to open eight branches in six cities across the country by the end of 2006 and have four branches in operation by the end of first half of 2006.
Dubai Islamic Bank has come to Pakistan with a commitment to provide world class banking in the Islamic way. It aims to offer services in Consumer, Business and Corporate and Investment Banking at par with the international banking scenario. The bank would also introduce Shariah-compliant home mortgage financing, real estate development financing, and other innovative financing schemes. Furthermore, through product harmonization, all of DIB's Pakistani branches would be synchronized nationally as well as internationally to offer value additions such as online, mobile and phone banking.
This launch is not the first step taken by the bank in being part of Pakistan's growing economy. It was only recent that Dubai Islamic Bank played an active role in developing the market of Islamic commercial paper in Pakistan when the bank participated as a co-manager of the Sovereign Islamic Sukuk issue.
As part of its aggressive global expansion plans, Dubai Islamic Bank has entered Pakistan with a wealth of knowledge and experience of the specialised financial needs of the business world. The bank aims to offer state-of-the-art Islamic banking solutions and create a centre of excellence in Pakistan for products and professionals in the field of Islamic Banking, taking both on the global horizons.
Essential to the bank's success has clearly been its close compliance with the Islamic Shariah. Dubai Islamic Bank has a Shariah and Supervisory Board, comprising a number of well-respected and knowledgeable scholars who are an integral element in the future development of the bank.
Enhancing its reputation built on the guiding principles of ethical and responsible modes of banking and finance, Dubai Islamic Bank remains exceptionally well-placed to meet global banking challenges as it strives for excellence in the provision of Islamic Banking for today's world. With path-breaking vision and bold strategies, Dubai Islamic Bank aims to enhance its status as a world leader committed to the goal of providing a "Better Way of Banking".
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As part of its corporate investment plans, Dubai Islamic Bank intends to encourage foreign investments in Pakistan and act as a facilitator in the process.
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The top management has been quoted to believe in the economic growth and geographic eminence of Pakistan and takes pride to be a part of it. Dubai Islamic Bank and Dubai World recently announced the launch of the first of its kind US$5 billion family of private equity funds to participate in strategic transactions on a global basis. Dubai World is the holding company of Dubai Ports World, Free Zone Corporation, Nakheel, Istithmar and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre among others.
Dubai Ports World has recently been appointed as the operator of Gwadar Port. With an internationally experienced management; DP World has been maintaining 17 terminals in different countries since 1972.
Dubai Islamic Bank and Dubai World will be seed investors in each fund. Other investors will include blue chip institutions from the Middle East and beyond. Investors' initial contributions will represent approximately 30 per cent of total commitments in each fund. Future drawdowns from investors will be on need-basis.
The combined financial strength and influence of the funds' core investors will provide preferred access to highly visible transactions alongside leading international companies on a global basis. Initial investors will also have preferential rights to co-invest alongside the funds in these attractive transactions.