Al Salam Bank has acquired the license to launch an Islamic bank in Algeria with a paid up capital of US$100 million. The bank will launch its operations soon in the country and start offering a wide range of Shari’ah compliant banking services.
Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Head of Al Salam Bank’s Founders Committee, said: “The opening in Algeria underscores the ambitious vision of the bank to expand into new markets that have great potential for growth. The bank is already functioning in Sudan and Bahrain, and will now play a premier role in Algeria’s banking sector too by offering an array of Shari’ah compliant banking services and solutions.”
Mr Alabbar added: “The expansion to Algeria complements the bank’s efforts to enhance its presence regionally, especially following the profits recorded during the first stage of its growth. Al Salam Bank will concentrate on the GCC market, with special focus on emerging markets as part of its second phase of expansion.”
Mr Alabbar said that the Algerian economy is poised for an impressive growth following the structural and economic reforms initiated by the government. The bank’s presence in Algeria will complement the needs of businesses in various sectors of the economy.
“The Algerian government has taken several steps to liberalize the economy and attract domestic and foreign investments. The new investment law would facilitate this and help channelize more investment to support the growth of the national economy,” said Mr Alabbar.
Mr Hussein Mohammed Al Meeza, Deputy Head of Al Salam Bank Founder’s Committee, said: “The bank’s expansion into Algeria is in line with our strategic plan to tap the potential of emerging markets in the region. Algeria is pursuing a very aggressive role in modernizing the economy and supports the initiatives of both the private sector and foreign investors. The bank has already finalized the procedures to set up operations and will have its headquarters in the capital city.”
Algeria recently unveiled a new plan aimed at channelizing US$80 million to support the economy. Several regional and international banks are expected to enter the Algerian market. For a population of 31 million, Algeria has about 1,200 bank branches – one for every 29,000 individuals. Currently, the country has 18 banks and five financial institutions.