Ref No. 14/2008
THE ISLAMIC BANK OF ASIA - OVER HALF USD BILLION OF DEALS IN ITS FIRST YEAR
USD 200 million of deals in first quarter 2008
Opens Bahrain office as it celebrates first anniversary
BAHRAIN, 19 May 2008 - The Islamic Bank of Asia (IB Asia) announced the
signing of over 20 significant cross-border capital transactions worth more than half a
billion USD in its first year of business as the bank's board of directors convened for its
annual general meeting in Bahrain.
Established in May 2007 and headquartered in Singapore, IB Asia is a joint
venture between DBS Bank, one of the largest financial services groups in Asia, and 34
investors from prominent families and industrial groups based in the Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC) countries. The bank also has a Shariah board consisting of world-renowned
Islamic scholars Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari, Dr. Abdul Sattar Abu
Ghuddah, Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar and chaired by Sheikh Nizam Yaqouby, based in
IB Asia committed USD 200 million of deals (see ANNEX) in the first quarter of
2008. In conjunction with its first anniversary this month, the bank also opened its first
representative office in Bahrain at the Bahrain Financial Harbour, West Tower, Level 45
(Flat 4501, Building 1459, Road 4626, Block 346, Manama Sea Front, Kingdom of
Bahrain). It will give IB Asia easier access to shareholders and customers in the Gulf.
IB Asia Chairman His Excellency Abdulla Hasan Saif said, "IB Asia's rapid
progress is particularly encouraging because it underscores our progression from a
newcomer to an innovative financial services provider that became profitable within the
first 12 months."
His Excellency, who is also the Economics Affairs Advisor to His Highness, the
Prime Minister of Bahrain said, "Our strong performance reflects the robust foundation
and operational competencies that the bank has established. The combination of
Shariah expertise, banking capabilities and twin networks of clients in Asia and the
Middle East will enable us to play a prominent role in this fast-expanding market."
Wide Range of Structured Products in the Pipeline
In IB Asia's first year of operation, the bank focused on establishing itself in the
wholesale financing markets and developed a platform of financing structures including
trade finance and large-scale syndications. It also built a range of Treasury services from
the provision of foreign exchange to money market activities.
IB Asia CEO Vince Cook said, "The next phase is to launch more complex
treasury products, including a proprietary and efficient profit rate swap structure, FX
forwards, cross currency ideas and structured products. These structured products will
position IB Asia as one of the few standalone Islamic banks able to provide the type of
investment solutions coming from international investment banks. We will be able to offer investors greater exposures to underlying assets such as commodities, equities
and FX and where required, provide capital protection."
He said, "In the capital markets space, we are currently in discussions with a
number of Asian and GCC-based companies and international agencies on future Sukuk
issues. We intend to launch IB Asia's first Shariah-compliant Asian equities fund and are
in the process of establishing a real estate fund targeting special opportunities in the
His Excellency said, "We are heartened by IB Asia's progress and remain
committed to providing a comprehensive range of innovative products and solutions that
uphold Islamic values and serve our customers' needs."
About The Islamic Bank of Asia
Incorporated in May 2007 with DBS Bank and prominent investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as shareholders, The Islamic Bank of Asia (IB Asia) combines banking expertise and insights of Asia with strong Islamic banking credentials to tap into opportunities within Asia and the Middle East. Headquartered in Singapore, IB Asia focuses on commercial banking, corporate finance, capital market and private banking services. To find out more about IB Asia, log on to www.islamicbankasia.com.