President of Sudan Omar Al Bashir has officially inaugurated Emirates and Sudan Bank (ESB) at a ceremony held on Thursday (February 23, 2006) in Sudan.
Dr. Mohammed Khalfan Bin Kharbash, UAE Minister of State for Finance and Industry and Chairman of Emirates and Sudan Bank, Dr. Sabir Hassan, Governor of Sudan Central Bank, Al Zubair Ahmed Al Hassan, Minister of Finance, Sudan, and top officials from Sudan and the UAE, were also present at the opening ceremony.
At the occasion, Mr. Al Zubair delivered a speech hailing the efforts of UAE investors and their interest in supporting the economy in Sudan. He said: “The UAE is considered the largest investor in Sudan and its investments have resulted in improving the quality and standards of banking services in Sudan.”
Dr. Sabir Hassan stressed that Emirates and Sudan Bank will contribute to enhance the economy in Sudan by channeling investments into various sectors including the real estate sector.
Dr. Kharbash delivered a speech praising the support extended by the President to establish Emirates and Sudan Bank in Sudan. He said: “We are delighted today to announce the opening of Emirates and Sudan Bank, a venture launched by top banks, leading Islamic financial institutions, and several other investors.”
“The establishment of Emirates and Sudan Bank resembles the strong economic interaction between the UAE and Sudan. It is anticipated that Sudan will see an economic upswing during the next few year. The UAE’s economy is also expected to continue growth on all levels. Both countries share a common vision for development and they shall achieve economic prosperity in the future,” he added.
Dr. Kharbash described the expected development in Sudan as a real challenge. He said: “This has made us raise many critical questions on how to contribute in this development? What are the sectors that could really enhance the economic performance? How can Sudan attract foreign investments and what can be done to speed up the development process?”
“These challenges and questions have made us realise the importance of contributing to this economic development. From this came the idea of launching Emirates and Sudan Bank (ESB), the biggest of the new Islamic financial institutions to be inaugurated in Sudan with a paid-up capital of US$113.5 million and an authorised capital of $200 million,” he said.
Dr. Kharbash noted: “The bank had completed its private placement at US$85 million with strong response from investors in Sudan and the UAE, while its US$28.5 million Initial Public Offering (IPO) was oversubscribed by eight times.”
He added: ”ESB will offer a variety of financial solutions which are expected to meet some of the urgent funding requirements faced by Sudan in the medium and long term. The bank will also play a major role in promoting and financing projects in Sudan through the financial markets and other investment tools.”
He concluded: “ESB is expected to finance large organisations and companies that work in the import and export industry in Sudan, in addition to supporting various infrastructure projects in real estate, industry, sewerage and road network projects. The bank will also contribute to rebuilding the Southern areas in Sudan and other areas affected by the war.”