DBS BANK AND PROMINENT MIDDLE EASTERN INVESTORS
New Islamic Bank Combines DBS’ Asia Banking Expertise with
SINGAPORE, 7 May 2007 – DBS Bank (DBS) today launched The Islamic Bank of Asia (IB Asia) after receiving official approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a full bank licence. IB Asia’s founding shareholders include majority stakeholder DBS and 22 Middle Eastern investors from prominent families and industrial groups from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
IB Asia will be incorporated with an initial paid-up capital of USD418 million with DBS contributing USD250 million and holding an initial stake of 60 percent. IB Asia’s second closing with other GCC investors in the coming weeks is expected to increase IB Asia’s capital to USD500 million. With the proposed capital injection, DBS will continue to hold a majority stake with no less than 50 percent plus one share.
IB Asia will be a subsidiary of DBS based in Singapore, and will commence operations this month from its separate ground floor offices in DBS’ headquarter facilities. IB Asia will focus on commercial banking, corporate finance, capital market and private banking services.
IB Asia will have a nine-member board of directors with His Excellency, Abdulla Hasan Saif, Advisor for Economic Affairs to the Prime Minister, Bahrain, as Chairman.
Mr. Jackson Tai, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DBS will serve as Vice Chairman. The other board members are:-
Mr. Tai said IB Asia will originate and distribute innovative wealth management and capital market instruments for corporate and private banking clients in the Middle East and Asia. He said: “Singapore is becoming a convenient stopover for GCC investors and capital flows bound for Asia. Against this backdrop, The Islamic Bank of Asia is strategically well-positioned not only at the financial crossroads of Asia, but also in Singapore, an Asian capital markets centre renowned for its effective regulatory and corporate governance framework.”
He added that the credibility of IB Asia stems in part from DBS’ partners in the Middle East, the majority of whom are prominent merchant families, as well as the stature of the Shariah Board. He noted the world-wide scarcity of Islamic scholars who are also experts on finance and banking, saying, “We have engaged four of the most respected Islamic scholars to guide our operations – Sh. Nizam Mohammad Saleh Yaqouby, Sh. Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari , Dr. Abdul Sattar Abdul Kareem Abu Ghuddah and Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar.”
His Excellency Abdulla Hasan Saif said that the diversity and strength of the Middle Eastern shareholders will provide opportunities for IB Asia to tap into the GCC network. His Excellency previously served as Bahrain’s Minister of Finance & National Economy and the Governor of the Bahrain Monetary Agency.
He said: “Middle Eastern investors are seeking new markets and innovative ways to protect and grow their wealth. With our strong Shariah credentials and good understanding of the cultural nuances in the Middle East, The Islamic Bank of Asia will be at the forefront of new market-based ideas to structure and introduce opportunities in Asia that uphold Islamic banking principles.”
Vince Cook, 45, a veteran banker with more than 20 years of banking experience in the Middle East, will be IB Asia’s Chief Executive Officer. He was formerly the General Manager of Qatar National Bank in Doha and prior to that, the Managing Director for Barclays Capital in Dubai covering the GCC market.
The launch of IB Asia follows DBS’ stepped-up participation in the Middle East markets. In the last two years, DBS has placed a significant portion of large, landmark equity IPOs and securitisations in the Middle East. Last April, DBS was among the first few Asia-based banks to receive a banking licence from the Dubai International Financial Centre.
Source : www.islamicbankasia.com/news