14 December 2016

KUWAIT: Bahrain-based Bank Alkhair, a leading Islamic wholesale bank, announced yesterday that the bank has obtained approval from the State Bank of Pakistan to sell its stake in Pakistan’s Burj Bank to Al Baraka Pakistan Limited (ABPL), a subsidiary of Al Baraka Banking Group. Prior to the transaction, Bank Alkhair was Burj Bank’s major shareholder, followed by Jeddah-based Islamic Corporation for Development of the Private Sector with 33.9 per cent of shares.

This transaction follows the announcement on 5 September 2016 of the approval of shareholders to the merger of Pakistan’s Burj Bank and ABPL, creating an institution with assets totaling more than $1.1 billion. The amalgamation was approved by the State Bank of Pakistan and has become effective since 31 October 2016. Burj Bank is a Pakistani Islamic bank, headquartered in Karachi. It currently operates a total of 74 branches and provides a full range of Shariah-compliant banking services.

Bank Alkhair acquired a 22.2 per cent equity stake in Pakistan’s Burj Bank (formerly Dawood Islamic Bank), a Shariah-compliant commercial bank, in June 2006. In March 2009, Bank Alkhair increased its equity stake in the bank to 37.9 per cent. Commenting on the announcement, Ayman Sejiny, Group CEO of Bank Alkhair said: “At Bank Alkhair, we actively manage our investment portfolio to ensure that our investments support the company’s strategic direction.

In keeping with this we are pleased to sell our stake in Pakistan’s Burj Bank to Al Baraka Pakistan Limited, a subsidiary of Al Baraka Banking Group, a leading Islamic bank in Bahrain.” Bank Alkhair is an Islamic wholesale bank licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain with an international presence in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Malaysia and Turkey. Bank Alkhair has completed several landmark transactions since its inception, including the establishment of t’azur, a regional Takaful company and the acquisition of Bahrain Financing Company, the oldest and one of the leading foreign exchange and remittance houses in the GCC.

Subsidiaries of Bank Alkhair include: Alkhair Capital Turkey’s operations which continue to complement Bahrain’s investment banking business. In Saudi Arabia, Alkhair Capital Saudi Arabia continues to revolve around the three core business lines: Asset Management; Investment Banking and Brokerage. In Malaysia, Alkhair International Islamic Bank, the bank’s Capital Markets division continues to focus its strategy on maintaining an optimal asset mix and generating income from fee-based transactions.

© Kuwait Times 2016