Ithmaar Bank B.S.C., a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today that it has obtained final approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the Kingdom’s banking and financial services regulator on the completion of all requirements with respect to the reorganisation plan. This aims to further develop the growth achieved in Ithmaar Bank’s core retail banking business, the strategic focus of the Bank.
The new structure was proposed by the Bank’s Board of Directors and approved by shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in March 2016. This resulted in the conversion of the existing Commercial Registration into Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar Holding), which is licensed and regulated by the CBB and continues to be listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait. Ithmaar Holding retains 100 percent ownership of all assets owned by Ithmaar Bank, through its two wholly-owned subsidiaries: Ithmaar Bank B.S.C (closed) (Ithmaar Bank), an Islamic retail bank subsidiary which holds the core retail banking business, and IB Capital B.S.C. (closed) (IB Capital), an investment subsidiary, which holds investments and other non-core assets. The two subsidiaries are licensed and regulated by the CBB.
Following final regulatory and other necessary approvals and the required procedures, the shares will be traded in the name of Ithmaar Holding with the ticker ITHMR
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who expressed his thanks and appreciation to the CBB and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, as well as the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait for their continued guidance and support, said the new group structure will further consolidate Ithmaar Bank’s position as a strong retail-focussed premier Islamic retail bank under the Ithmaar brand, allowing the Bank to take advantage of new growth opportunities, and help to generate greater value to our shareholders.
“The reorganization is designed to assist in realising our long-term strategy for growth by providing greater insight into the strength of our core retail banking operations and further facilitating the focussed management of the Group’s investment assets,” said Abdul Rahim. “The new structure will help lower the risk profile of the new banking entity and enhance shareholder value through growth and improved performance in the core business,” he said.
”Ithmaar Bank’s mailing address, call centre number, main office telephone number and all other telephone numbers will remain unchanged,” said Abdul Rahim. “Customers can continue to use existing cheque books, debit cards, credit cards, and eCards that bear the trademark of Ithmaar Bank,” he said.
“The financial results consistently show that our efforts to significantly transform the Group’s operations and focus on developing our core business are paying off, and that we are on the right track,” said Abdul Rahim. “The decision to reorganise the Group is the logical step in this process, and underlines our commitment to become one of the region’s leading Islamic retail banks,” he said.
“By allocating our assets into separate subsidiaries, we will be able to better focus on our core retail banking businesses held in Ithmaar Bank, which includes Faysal Bank Limited, Pakistan, a retail and corporate banking subsidiary of Ithmaar Bank. At the same time, we will be able to facilitate dedicated and focussed management of investment and other assets held by IB Capital,” said Abdul Rahim.
Recently, Ithmaar Bank announced it was singled out among the world’s Islamic banks for a prestigious international award in recognition of its Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Disclosure. The independent award was presented at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) which was recently held in Bahrain in strategic partnership with the CBB. The WIBC is a high-profile event, which was attended by leading international banking experts, and is widely recognised as one of the most important events on the world Islamic banking calendar.