Mar 12 2009
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IIB eyes $500m Saudi housing project
"Though we have decided to remain liquid with 70 percent of the assets in liquid form during this year, the growth prospects for the realty sector in Saudi Arabia are very bright and IIB will definitely invest there. For most of 2009, as part of our strategy, we will remain cautious unless the markets are back to normal," he said.
" IIB will also offer 5.1 million shares for sale by the second or third quarter of 2009 subject to the regulatory approvals," he said.
"The bank generated 12.3 percent returns on paid up capital (RoC) and posted $13.5 million net income for 2008. The capital adequacy ratio at Dec. 31 of 86 percent is over seven times of 12 percent required by the Central Bank of Bahrain . The bank's asset position demonstrates core strength with 55 percent of total assets represented by cash and short dated murabaha placements with financially sound banks and a further 15 percent invested in regional listed equities, for a total 70 percent liquidity position," he said.
"During 2009, the bank will structure and place only very selective investment opportunities that meet IIB 's stringent and rigorous investing criteria, underscoring IIB 's heightened commitment to accord priority to protection of shareholders value over profitability, especially in a market environment continually deluged with adverse economic and market news," added Al-Zeera.
"Nevertheless our management team, will closely and actively monitor the market to identify attractive acquisitions targets with a balanced risk. Therefore, we will invest, but selectivity will be of fundamental significance."
IIB was incorporated in Bahrain in October 2003 as an Islamic investment bank, with an authorized capital of $200 million and a paid up capital of $43 million. In December 2007, IIB concluded a combined rights issue and private placement offering that has increased the issued share capital to $110 million and total shareholders' equity in excess of $200 million. It has been involved in investments worth more than $2.5 billion since its inception.
By Mahmood Rafique
© Arab News 2009
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