Bahrain-Based Islamic Bank Plans Expansion
A Bahrain-based Islamic bank is undertaking a major expansion of its retail and commercial banking activities, reported the Gulf Daily News on Sunday.
Shamil Bank of Bahrain is set to triple the number of its branches to nine over the next three years.
The bank will inaugurate its fourth branch at the Bahrain Mall in the first week of November, followed by a fifth branch in the Hoora area near Manama in December this year, said Shamil Bank's chief executive officer, Sa'ad Al Martan.
Two more branches are scheduled to open next year and another two for 2003.
Shamil Bank currently operates three branches, in Muharraq and Riffa, besides the main branch located in central Manama.
The bank is determined to expand significantly its retail network as well as commercial banking activities, focusing mainly on the domestic market, said Martan.
"The bank sees great prospects for growth and expansion in the future," he said.
There exists a great demand for Islamic banking products, especially in the area of consumer finance.
"The bank will offer to its customers a better product range and improved personalized service," he told the paper.
Shamil Bank was established last year, following a merger between Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain, which was established in 1982, and the Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf (Bahrain), both of which were subsidiaries of the Geneva-based Dar Al Maal Al Islami (DMI) Group.
With total managed assets of about $3 billion and shareholders' equity of $230 million, Shamil Bank bills itself as one of the largest commercial banks in Bahrain.
The bank is the main banking subsidiary of the DMI Group, which also includes investment companies, with operations throughout the world.
The total assets of the group are in excess of $4 billion -- Albawaba.com
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