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|18 September, 2018

Egypt a top priority for Al Baraka Banking Group's expansions - CEO Interview

Bahraini group is also planning to enter new markets

Image used for illustrative purpose. An employee counts money at a bank in Cairo February 20, 2011.

Image used for illustrative purpose. An employee counts money at a bank in Cairo February 20, 2011.

REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Al Baraka Banking Group is planning to open the first digital Islamic bank in Berlin, which will be affiliated to Al Baraka Bank Turkey, the group’s CEO Adnan Ahmed Yusuf told Mubasher in an interview.

North African expansions

The Bahraini group is also planning to enter new markets including Indonesia, East Asia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, he added.

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The Egyptian market is a top priority to the group’s expansion strategy, Yusuf revealed, indicating that Al Baraka was planning to expand it footprint by increasing the number of its branches in the North African country to 50 by 2022.

Al Baraka will open two new major branches in Egypt's Fifth Settlement and the New Administrative Capital, Yusuf added.

In July, the top official said that the group was looking to boost its market share in the Egyptian private sector to 15% from 7% in the coming few years, raising its budget by EGP 39 billion to reach EGP 100 billion by 2020.

As for Morocco, Yusuf announced that the group intended to open 37 branches across the kingdom.

Merger

The Bahraini banking sector is relatively small, with only 29 retail banks, and – given the huge competition and rapid changes in the market – it is in need of mergers, Yusuf commented.

According to statistics conducted by Mubasher, the value of potential bank mergers in the GCC – which could take place next year – may reach around $303 billion.

Growth Forecast

Bahrain’s non-oil sector is expected to grow 4.3% in 2018, while the growth rate of country’s gross domestic product (GDP) may reach 3.4%, the CEO said.

The GCC economy, in general, is expected to see higher growth for the fall year of 2018 due to the recovery of oil prices and the increase in revenue, Yusuf stated.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expected that the GCC’s real GDP will grow by 1.9% this year and 2.6% in 2019.

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