ABC INTERNATIONAL BANK appoints new Head of Islamic Financial Services, Faisal Alshowaikh

Published May 8th, 2009 - 08:24 GMT

ABC International Bank plc ("ABCIB") has appointed Faisal Alshowaikh as Head of Islamic Financial Services, based in London, to grow and develop its Islamic finance business, which was first established in late 1999, and includes Real Estate, Leasing and Islamic home finance through its alburaq retail finance business.
Faisal comes to ABCIB from Ajman Bank, UAE, where he was Deputy CEO and Head of Business, responsible for retail, corporate, investments and treasury. Prior to that, he was CEO of Asian Finance Bank, which he established in Malaysia, and expanded into Indonesia. He also set up the first Islamic shipping fund (the $300mn "Safeena") in Malaysia and SE Asia.
Faisal comments: "The Arab Banking Corporation has been at the forefront of the growth of Islamic finance globally, so I am very pleased to be joining the Islamic Finance team in ABCIB at a time when both London and other European countries are looking to grow their Islamic banking activities. London is of course working to establish itself as the European hub for Islamic banking and finance and this is where ABCIB can continue to play a major role."
Faisal has a BA in Accounting & Finance from Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, and is also a Fellow of The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK. He has over 20 years experience in International Banking including senior positions at Gulf International Bank, Bahrain Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. He is also well known to Arab Banking Corporation BSC, having previously worked for ABC in Bahrain from 2000 to 2005.
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Notes to Editors
Arab Banking Corporation ("ABC") is a consortium bank owned by Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Libyan government agencies. It was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Manama in Bahrain. The Group has a well-established international network including offices in Paris, Milan, Frankfurt, London and, of course, the Arab world. ABC Group is one of the largest banks in the Arab world with assets totalling around US$26.8 billion at 31st March 2009. The Group announced first quarter net profits of US$32m in March 2009.
ABC International Bank plc ("ABCIB") is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ABC and is incorporated in the UK and regulated by the FSA. It was established in 1991, and is the main hub outside the Gulf for the Group's Islamic banking and finance activities.
ABCIB Islamic Asset Management Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of ABC International Bank plc, London and is staffed by employees dedicated solely to Islamic banking and finance. The primary responsibility of this team is the origination and management of transactions and assets which comply with Shariah and in this it works closely with ABC Islamic Bank, Bahrain.
alburaq is the brand name under which ABC International Bank plc offer Shariah Compliant products primarily to the Muslim community in the UK. Since its launch in 2004 alburaq has provided Halal Home Finance and is known for its innovative and flexible pricing plans. alburaq launched the first UK Shariah Compliant Capital Protected Savings plan in 2008, where for the first time potential returns on deposits were linked to the performance of equity shares selected from the Dow Jones Islamic Titans index. Meeting the needs and demands of the community, alburaq continues to work on Shariah Compliant solutions for the community and hopes to launch products such as Commercial Property Finance and Islamic Wills.
Islamic banking is a faith-based system of financial management, which derives its principles from the Shariah, which is the Islamic canon law being derived from three sources - the Quran (the revealed Muslim holy book); the Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed); and the Sunnah (the practices and traditions of the Prophet Mohammed). The Shariah proscribes Muslims from giving and receiving interest (riba in Arabic); using gharar (deception or ignorance in transactions through non-disclosure or non-availability of the full facts relevant to any part or the whole transaction); and investment in a range of prohibited activities including casinos, gambling, pornography, breweries, pork production and distribution.
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