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Al-Baraka converted into local bank

April 16, 2008


LAHORE, April 15 The Board of Directors has decided to convert the Al-Baraka Islamic Bank from a foreign bank to a locally registered bank in Pakistan.

“The State Bank of Pakistan has also approved, in principle, this conversion. The modalities and conversion plans are now being finalised and the whole process will be completed this year,” Chief Executive Officer Muhammad Isa AlMutaweh said at a news conference here on Tuesday.

By the yearend, the bank would be listed on the stock exchanges in Pakistan. “We'll float 40 per cent shares in the stock market,” Mr Isa said and added that within the next three years, over 80 branches would be opened in the country.

With its 18 branches in Pakistan and four in Bahrain besides banking units in 12 countries spread over Asia and the Middle East, the Al-Baraka Islamic Bank has been the pioneers of Islamic banking in Pakistan by opening its first branch in 1991.

Mr Isa, who has recently assumed the office of CEO, said the main purpose of his visit to Pakistan was to acquire first-hand knowledge about the economic and banking climate, besides economic opportunities and to explore avenues of further reinforcement.

“I am here to review Al-Baraka's expansion plans and to personally meet its customers in all the major cities of Pakistan. We are very excited about the enormous growth opportunities that will open up through the establishment of Al-Baraka as a locally incorporated bank in Pakistan.”