Emirates and Sudan Bank (ESB) held its first general assembly meeting yesterday (September 14, 2005) at Al Sadaqa Hall in Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan.
H.E Dr. Mohammed Khalfan Bin Khirbash, the UAE Minister of State for Finance and Industry and Chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), Dr. Sabir Hassan, Governor of Sudan Central Bank, and top officials from Sudan and the UAE, were also present at the meeting.
The General Board of ESB announced the appointment of Dr. Khirbash as Chairman of the Emirates and Sudan Bank. In addition, Abd Al Rahman Al Owais, Aref Ahmed Kooheji, Mamoun Ahmad Maqi, Sultan Khalfan Al Ghaith, Dr. Mohammed Al Habib Al Jaraya, and Ahmed Darwish bin Dagher Al Marar, were appointed as board members of the bank.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Khirbash hailed the support extended by the President of Sudan, highlighting that the President had instructed the authorities in Sudan to facilitate the establishment of ESB.
“We have witnessed the sincere support extended by His Excellency the President during a visit by the UAE delegation to Sudan in December 2004. The establishment of this bank also comes in line with the directives of the Late, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who encouraged and supported investment in Sudan with which we have close associations,” said Dr. Khirbash.
“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, will contribute greatly to the anticipated economic growth in the country,” said Dr. Khirbash. “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 exceeding all expectations by collecting more than US$224 million,” 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 said.
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, and services fields. The bank will also contribute to rebuilding the Southern areas in Sudan and other areas affected by the war.
He said: “ESB will not only depend on its capital. The bank will also leverage its strong relationships with its parent organisations, to launch investment funds that would provide financial resources expected to reach US$1 billion during the next few years. The bank will contribute to enhancing the performance of Sudan’s banking sector by offering a variety of advanced and innovative products. ESB will greatly benefit from the experiences of the parent banks which constitute Dubai Islamic Bank, the first Islamic Bank worldwide, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and Sharjah Islamic Bank.”
Dr. Khirbash thanked Islamic Development Bank for its support and for being one of the major contributors to ESB. He said: “Shares of Islamic Development Bank constitutes ten per cent of ESB’s paid-up capital. This major contribution will allow us to cooperate with more than 50 Islamic countries.” He concluded that Emirates and Sudan Bank will invest in developing local staff to service its imminent growth.