Ithmaar Holding shareholders approve plans to voluntarily delist from Boursa Kuwait

Ithmaar Holding shareholders approve plans to voluntarily delist from Boursa Kuwait

Company to maintain listings on Bahrain Bourse and Dubai Financial Market

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 29 August 2019 – Shareholders of Ithmaar Holding, a Bahrain-based holding company that is licenced and regulated as a Category 1 Investment Firm by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and listed on the Bahrain Bourse, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Boursa Kuwait, approved today (ed note: 29/08/19) plans to voluntarily delist the Company from Boursa Kuwait, while maintaining its listing on the Bahrain Bourse and DFM.

The approval follows a General Meeting that was hosted in Bahrain and chaired by Ithmaar Holding Non-Executive Board Member, Elham Hassan, who is also Chairwoman of the Audit, Governance and Risk Management Committee of the Board. The meeting was attended by Ithmaar Holding shareholders and members of the Company’s Board of Directors and its Sharia Supervisory Board, as well as representatives from the CBB, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the Bahrain Bourse, and statutory auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ithmaar Holding’s plans to voluntarily delist from Boursa Kuwait will have no effect whatsoever on its subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank or any of its customers or investors. Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, is a separate legal entity from its parent company, Ithmaar Holding. The Bank is not listed on any stock exchanges.

This step, which was announced earlier this month (ed note: 04/08/19) is subject to the approval of relevant authorities in the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

In August (ed note: 07/08/19), Ithmaar Holding reported a net profit of US$13.03 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019, a 20.4 percent increase compared to the net profit of US$10.82 million reported for the same period in 2018.  The net profit attributable to equity holders for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019 was US$8.37 million, a 72.5 percent increase compared to the net profit of US$4.85 million reported for the same period in 2018. Total income for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019 was US$246.66 million, a 7.5 percent increase compared to US$229.34 million reported for the same period in 2018.  Earnings per share (EPS) for the six-month period increased to US Cents 0.29 compared to US Cents 0.17 for the same period in 2018.

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Ithmaar Holding and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank, report half-year profits

Ithmaar Bank was recently named “Best Bank for Personal Finance in Bahrain” by the World Union of Arab Bankers

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 7 August 2019 – Ithmaar Holding B.S.C., a Bahrain-based holding company, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (closed), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, each announced their financial results for the first half of 2019 with both reporting increased profits for the period.

The announcement by the Ithmaar Holding Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chairman, follows the review and approval of both Boards of Directors of the consolidated financial results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019.

Ithmaar Holding reported a net profit of US$13.03 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019, a 20.4 percent increase compared to the net profit of US$10.82 million reported for the same period in 2018.  The net profit attributable to equity holders for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019 was US$8.37 million, a 72.5 percent increase compared to the net profit of US$4.85 million reported for the same period in 2018. Total income for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019 was US$246.66 million, a 7.5 percent increase compared to US$229.34 million reported for the same period in 2018.  Operating income for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019 was US$143.98 million, a 3.2 percent decrease compared to US$ 148.68 million reported for the same period in 2018. Earnings per share (EPS) for the six-month period increased to US Cents 0.29 compared to US Cents 0.17 for the same period in 2018.

The half-year results included a net profit of US$4.41 million for the three-month period ended 30 June 2019, as compared to a net profit of US$6.01 million for the same period in 2018. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30 June 2019 was US$1.26 million, a 60.6 percent decrease as compared to the net profit of US$3.20 million reported for the same period in 2018. EPS for the three-month period decreased to USD Cents 0.04 compared to US Cents 0.11 for the same period in 2018.

Total income for the three-month period ended 30 June 2019 was US$120.69 million, a 4.8 percent increase compared to total income of US$ 115.19 million reported for the same period in 2018. Operating income for the three-month period ended 30 June 2019 was US$67.90 million, an 11.3 percent decrease compared to  US$76.53 million reported for the same period in 2018.

“On behalf of the Ithmaar Holding Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the 2019 half-year results show continued profits, with significant increases compared to the profits reported in the same period last year,” said HRH Prince Amr. “The Company’s improved financial results reconfirms that effort to turn the group around are clearly paying off,” he said.

Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, said the half-year results were very encouraging, with both the Company and the Bank reporting increased profits.  “Ithmaar Bank’s subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy and has increased its number of branches from 455 in December 2018 to 475 as on 30 June 2019. This has reflected positively on the FBL’s financial performance during the first half of 2019 but the devaluation of the Pakistan Rupee against the US Dollar has negatively impacted the Group. Pakistan Rupee has weakened by approximately 16 percent to 163 at 30 June 2019 as against 140 at 31 December 2018, contributing mainly in reduction of Ithmaar Holding’s total assets to US$7.70 billion as at 30 June 2019, a 9.3 percent decrease compared to US$8.49 billion as at 31 December 2018. This also impacted the total owners’ equity of the Company, which stood at US$93.85 million as at 30 June 2019, a 19.3 percent reduction compared to US$116.36 million as 31 December 2018,” he said.

“Ithmaar Bank’s financial results show a net profit of BD4.10 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019, an increase of 13.4 percent compared to a net profit of BD3.61 million for the same period in 2018,” said Abdul Rahim. “Net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019 was BD2.11 million, an increase of 53.4 percent compared to BD1.37 million net profit reported for the same period in 2018. Total income for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019 was BD79.19 million, a 7.0 percent increase compared to BD74.01 million reported for the same period in 2018. Operating income for the six-month period ended 30 June 2019 was BD40.36 million, a 4.4 percent decrease compared to BD42.20 million reported for the same period in 2018,” he said.

“The half-year results of Ithmaar Bank included a net profit of BD1.29 million for the three-month period ended 30 June 2019, a decrease of 18.4 percent compared to a net profit of BD1.58 million for the same period in 2018,” said Abdul Rahim.  “Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30 June 2019 was BD0.45 million, a 17.7 percent decrease compared to BD0.54 million profit reported for the same period in 2018,” he said.

“Total income for the three-month period ended 30 June 2019 was BD38.59 million, a 3.5 percent increase compared to total income of BD37.27 million reported for the same period in 2018. Operating income for the three-month period ended 30 June 2019 was BD18.94 million, a 12.5 percent decrease compared to Operating income of BD21.63 million reported for the same period in 2018,” he said.

“Ithmaar Bank’s balance sheet has reduced by 9.4 percent with total assets at BD2.83 billion as at 30 June 2019, compared to BD3.13 billion as at 31 December 2018,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total owners’ equity stood at BD76.20 million as at 30 June 2019, compared to BD85.39 million as 31 December 2018, resulting mainly from the devaluation of Pakistan Rupee. ” he said.

“Despite challenging market conditions, the Bank increased its liquid assets by 21.6 percent to BD368.69 million as at 30 June 2019, compared to BD303.19 million as at 31 December 2018,” said Abdul Rahim. “This improved liquidity reflects the Bank’s prudent financial policies and its ability to adapt to market conditions,” he said.

Recently, Ithmaar Bank was named “Best Bank for Personal Finance in Bahrain” by the World Union of Arab Bankers (WUAB) at a high-profile ceremony hosted in Beirut, Lebanon, and attended by senior bankers from across the Middle East. Ithmaar Bank earned the prestigious award following a comprehensive selection and review process that was conducted by a committee of high-level economists and banking professionals, as well the research department of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) and the WUAB.

Ithmaar Holding to voluntarily delist from Boursa Kuwait

Company to maintain listings on Bahrain Bourse and Dubai Financial Market

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 04 August 2019 – Ithmaar Holding, a Bahrain-based holding company that is licenced and regulated as a Category 1 Investment Firm by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and listed on the Bahrain Bourse, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Boursa Kuwait, announced today (ed note: 04/08/19) plans to voluntarily delist from Boursa Kuwait, while maintaining its listing on the Bahrain Bourse and DFM.

The announcement, by the Ithmaar Holding Chairman, His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the Board of Directors’ review and approval of the plan, which will be presented to the Company’s shareholders for approval at a general meeting later this month. The plans are subject to the approval of relevant authorities in the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Ithmaar Holding’s plans to voluntarily delist from Boursa Kuwait will have no effect whatsoever on its subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank or any of its customers or investors. Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, is a separate legal entity from its parent company, Ithmaar Holding. The Bank is not listed on any stock exchanges.

In May 2019, Ithmaar Holding reported a net profit of US$8.62 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019, an increase of 79 percent compared to the net profit of US$4.81 million reported for the same period in 2018. The net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019 was US$7.10 million, an increase of 329 percent compared to the US$1.66 million net profit reported for the same period in 2018. Earning per share (EPS) increased to US cents 0.24 compared to US cents 0.06 for the three-month period ended 31 March 2018. Total owners’ equity increased to US$120.52 million as at 31 March 2019, compared to US$116.36 million as at 31 December 2018.

Ithmaar Holding and Ithmaar Bank, both report first quarter profits

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 12 May 2019 – Ithmaar Holding B.S.C., a Bahrain-based financial institution, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (closed), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, each announced their financial results for the first quarter of 2019 with both entities reporting profits for the period.

The announcement by the Ithmaar Holding Chairman, His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chairman, follows the review and approval of both Boards of Directors of the consolidated financial results of the two entities for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019.

Ithmaar Holding, which is licenced and regulated as a Category 1 Investment Firm by the Central Bank of Bahrain and listed on the Bahrain Bourse, Boursa Kuwait and Dubai Financial Market, reported a net profit of US$8.62 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019, an increase of 79 percent compared to the net profit of US$4.81 million reported for the same period in 2018. The net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019 was US$7.10 million, an increase of 329 percent compared to the US$1.66 million net profit reported for the same period in 2018. Earning per share (EPS) increased to US cents 0.24 compared to US cents 0.06 for the three-month period ended 31 March 2018. Total owners’ equity increased to US$120.52 million as at 31 March 2019, compared to US$116.36 million as at 31 December 2018.

“On behalf of the Ithmaar Holding Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the Ithmaar Holding’s financial results show significant improvements in profit, and reconfirm that our strategic focus on our core retail banking business is paying off,” said HRH Prince Amr.

“Ithmaar Holding’s income before overseas taxation for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019 increased to US$17.55 million, a 45 percent increase from the US$12.09 million reported for the same period last year. Operating income for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019 increased to US$76.08 million, a 5.4 percent increase from the US$72.16 million reported for the same period last year ,” he said.

Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, said the results of both the Investment Firm (Ithmaar Holding) and the Islamic Retail Bank (Ithmaar Bank) clearly demonstrate that efforts to turn the Group around are paying off, with both entities reporting increased profits.

“Ithmaar Holding’s total assets stood at US$8.02 billion as at 31 March 2019, compared to US$8.49 billion as at 31 December 2018, and US$8.29 billion as at 31 March 2018,” said Abdul Rahim.

“I am pleased, also, to report that Ithmaar Bank’s financial results continue to show stable growth,” said Abdul Rahim. “The Bank’s latest financial results show that the Bank continues to perform well, with increased profits for the first quarter of the year,” he said.

Ithmaar Bank is licensed and regulated by the CBB as an Islamic Retail Bank and is a distinct legal entity from its parent, Ithmaar Holding. Since the implementation of the new Group structure in January 2017, Ithmaar Bank has reported profits for 2017 and 2018, and continues to report stable, consistent improvements to its financial performance.

“I am pleased to report that Ithmaar Bank’s financial results show a net profit of BD2.80 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019, compared to a net profit of BD2.03 million for the same period in 2018. The net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019 was BD1.67 million, compared to the BD0.83 million net profit reported for the same period in 2018,” said Abdul Rahim.

“Ithmaar Bank’s income before overseas taxation for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019 grew to BD6.29 million, an increase of 34 percent compared to the BD4.69 million reported for the same period last year,” said Abdul Rahim. “The Bank’s operating income for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019 grew to BD21.42 million, a 4.2 percent increase compared to the BD20.57 million reported for the same period last year,” he said. “The Bank’s total income for the three-month period ended 31 March 2019 grew to BD40.60 million, a 10.5 percent increase compared to the BD36.75 million reported for the same period last year mainly due to growth in core income,” he said.

“Ithmaar Bank’s total assets stood at BD2.94 billion as at 31 March 2019, compared to BD3.13 billion as at 31 December 2018 and BD3.11 billion as at 31 March 2018,” said Abdul Rahim. “Meanwhile, despite challenging market conditions, the equity of unrestricted investment account holders stood at BD0.997 billion as at 31 March 2019, compared to BD0.995 billion as at 31 December 2018 and BD1.063 billion as at 31 March 2018. Total owners’ equity stood at BD86.89 million as at 31 March 2019, compared to BD85.38 million as 31 December 2018 and BD101.16 million as at 31 March 2018,” he said.

In March 2019, His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa inaugurated the first biometric payment network in the region by becoming the first to register and use the Ithmaar Bank offering.

This marked an important milestone in Ithmaar Bank’s implementation of a path-breaking initiative that will see it become the first biometric bank in the region. The initiative was first announced in September 2018 when Ithmaar Bank and Eazy Financial Services unveiled plans to launch the region’s first biometric payment network, supported by the Labour Fund “Tamkeen”, to provide a new and more efficient alternative for customers to conduct many of their financial transactions.

 

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Ithmaar Holding hosts annual shareholder meeting

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 25 March 2019 – Ithmaar Holding (Ithmaar or the Group) hosted today (ed note: 25/03/19) its Annual General Meeting (AGM) where the consolidated financial statements for 2018 were approved.

The annual shareholder meeting was attended by members of the Ithmaar Board of Directors, its executive management team and its Sharia Supervisory Board, as well as representatives from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the Bahrain Bourse, and statutory auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“On behalf of the Chairman, His Royal Highness, Prince Amr Al Faisal and Members of the Board of Directors, we are pleased to announce that efforts to significantly transform the Group’s operations in line with the strategic decisions taken by shareholders in 2016 have paid off in 2018, with Ithmaar Holding reporting profits for the year,” said Abdulellah Ebrahim Al-Qassimi, an Independent Member of the Ithmaar Board of Directors who chaired the meeting. “In particular, we are pleased to announce that Ithmaar Holding reported a total net profit of US$10.06 million for the year ended 31 December 2018, compared to a net loss of US$72.40 million for 2017, with net loss attributable to shareholders of US$24 million compared to a net loss of US$84.7 million for 2017. The improvement in results compared to last year is, in a large part, a result of the persistent efforts over the past two years which paved the way for the Group’s gradual transformation and set the stage for a return to sustainable profitability,” he said.

Al-Qassimi clarified that trading of Ithmaar Holding’s shares continues on both the Bahrain Bourse and Dubai Financial Market, but was recently suspended on Boursa Kuwait in accordance with Article 9.8.2 of the Kuwait Stock Exchange’s rules relating to companies whose accumulated losses exceed 75 percent of the share capital. He reconfirmed that the accumulated losses, as of 31 December 2018, represent mainly impairment provisions resulting from non-core investments and due to FAS 30 impact.  The shareholder equity as at 31 December 2018 stood at US$116 million.

“The Board of Directors are in discussions to recapitalize Ithmaar Holding during 2019 including restructuring the existing share capital by setting off the accumulated losses against the share capital,” said Al-Qassimi. “In addition, the major shareholder has stated its intention to inject new capital of up to US$300 million during the second half of 2019. The capital plans are being reviewed and will be announced in due course, following necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals,” he said.

“Ithmaar Holding’s audited 2018 financial results show that net income before provision for impairment and overseas taxation for the year increased to US$43.42 million, a 96.8 percent increase from the US$22.10 million reported for the same period last year,” said Al-Qassimi.  “As a result, our operating income for the year increased to US$259.82 million, a 12.7 percent increase from the US$230.56 million reported for 2017,” he said.

“These achievements, which are made all the more significant by the challenging market conditions that continue to prevail both in our region and beyond, are only part of the ongoing success story,” said Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “The Group continued its planned transformation in 2018, and concluded the year with remarkable achievements, both at the Group and subsidiary levels, that included improved financial performance as well as the realisation of key growth initiatives,” he said.

“Ithmaar Holding started the year, for example, with the successful listing of its shares on the Dubai Financial Market on 29 January 2018. The additional listing, which added a new key market alongside our listing on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait, opened trading on Ithmaar Holding’s shares to new, exciting markets. This, in turn, created new investment opportunities for investors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) markets,” said Abdul Rahim. “Similarly, Ithmaar Holding’s key subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank, began the year by completing the implementation of major enhancements to its Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. These enhancements were implemented to help support future business growth, improve operational efficiency, improve internal controls and enhance customer experience, included a major project of upgrading the Bank’s core banking system as well as the implementation of a new eBanking system. The new system provides a strong foundation to support growth, allowing for the flexibility of quickly launching new, customer centric products and services and further enhance the management information system,” he said.

“This, and other key customer-focused initiatives, helped Ithmaar Bank report improved financial performance in 2018, with net profit for the year increasing to US$37.5 million, a more than 127 percent increase over the net profit of US$16.5 million reported in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “This significant improvement is clear testimony to the fact that the Bank’s renewed focus on its core retail banking business is paying off. Meanwhile, Ithmaar Bank’s flagship retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited, maintained its growth momentum in 2018 and the Bank’s footprint now extends to 455 branches in more than 100 cities across Pakistan, after having added 50 branches during the year,” he said.

“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming one of the region’s leading Islamic retail banks, and the Board of Directors continues towards realising that same, shared goal,” said Abdul Rahim. “To do so, the Bank will continue to invest heavily in its infrastructure to provide better products and services, and further enhance its’ customers banking experience,” he said.

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Press Statement- Ithmaar Holding

Press Statement

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 14 March 2019 – Ithmaar Holding, a Bahrain-based holding company that is licenced and regulated as a Category 1 Investment Firm by the Central Bank of Bahrain and listed on the Bahrain Bourse, Boursa Kuwait and Dubai Financial Market, said that trading of its shares on Boursa Kuwait was suspended this morning (ed note 14/03/19) in accordance with Article 9.8.2 of the Kuwait Stock Exchange’s rules relating to companies whose accumulated losses exceed 75 percent of the share capital.
Ithmaar Holding clarified that the accumulated losses, as of 31 December 2018, represent mainly impairment provisions resulting from non-core investments.
The Board of Directors are in discussions to recapitalize Ithmaar Holding during 2019 and are reviewing plans that include restructuring the existing share capital by setting off the accumulated losses against the share capital. In addition, the major shareholder has informed the Board that it is considering injection of new capital of up to USD 300 million during the second half of 2019.
The capital plans are being reviewed and will be announced in due course, following necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals.
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Press Statement- Ithmaar Bank

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 14 March 2019 – The Board of Directors of Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail Bank that is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), issued today (ed note: 14/03/19) a statement clarifying that the shares of its parent company, Ithmaar Holding, have been suspended today from trading in Boursa Kuwait.
The Bank is a subsidiary of Ithmaar Holding and is a distinct legal entity from its parent and, since the implementation of the new Group structure on 2 January 2017, Ithmaar Bank has reported profits for 2017 and 2018, and continues to report stable, consistent improvements to its financial performance.
The Board of Directors of Ithmaar Bank assures all customers that the Bank is committed to remaining one of the leading retail banks in Bahrain and to growing closer to its customers.
The Bank will continue to invest heavily in its infrastructure to provide better products and services, and further enhance its’ customers banking experience.

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Ithmaar Holding & Ithmaar Bank report 2018 financial results

Ithmaar Holding and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank, report 2018 financial results

  • Ithmaar Holding’s wholly-owned subsidiary, IB Capital, acquired an additional stake in Solidarity Group Holding, and becomes a subsidiary of IB Capital
  • As part of its Digital Strategy, Ithmaar Bank completed a major upgrade during 2018 to its IT infrastructure and systems

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 February 2019 – Ithmaar Holding B.S.C., a Bahrain-based financial institution, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (closed), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, both reported profits as they each announced their financial results for 2018.

The announcement by the Ithmaar Holding Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chairman, follows the review and approval of both Board of Directors of the consolidated financial results for the year ended 31 December 2018.

Ithmaar Holding reported a net profit of US$10.06 million for the year ended 31 December 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$72.40 million for 2017. This included a net loss attributable to equity holders for the year ended 31 December 2018 of US$23.98 million, as compared to the US$84.71 million net loss reported for the same period in 2017. EPS for the year has improved to negative US Cents 0.82 compared from negative US Cents 2.91 for the same period in 2017.

The results included a net loss of US$1.28 million for the three-month period ended 31 December 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$56.2 million for 2017. Net loss attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 31 December 2018 was US$26.71 million, a decrease of 53.7 percent as compared to a net loss of US$57.67 million reported for the same period in 2017. EPS for the three-month period ended 31 December 2018 decreased by US Cents 0.92 compared to negative US Cents 1.98 for the same period in 2017.

Also in December 2018, Ithmaar Holding’s other wholly-owned subsidiary, IB Capital, acquired,  an additional stake in Solidarity Group Holding, one of the largest Takaful Group companies in Bahrain. As a result, Solidarity Group Holding became a subsidiary of IB Capital. During December 2018, Dilmunia Development Fund I L.P, a fund which is managed by Ithmaar’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank, became subsidiary of Ithmaar Bank after the Bank’s shareholding in the company increased to more than 50 percent.

“On behalf of the Ithmaar Holding Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that, despite increasingly challenging market conditions, the Group is continuing its planned transformation in 2018 and concluded the year with remarkable achievements,” said HRH Prince Amr. “These included improved financial performance, as well as the realisation of key growth initiatives,” he said.

“The 2018 results show that net income before provision for impairment and overseas taxation for the year ended 31 December 2018 increased to US$43.42 million, a 96.8 percent increase from the US$22.10 million reported for the same period last year,” said HRH Prince Amr. This was mainly due to higher share of profit after tax from associates resulting from reclassification from held-for-sale to associate during the period,” he said.

“As a result, our operating income for the year ended 31 December 2018 increased to US$259.82 million, a 12.7 percent increase from the US$230.56 million reported for 2017. Operating income for the three-month period ended 31 December 2018 was US$48.34 million, a 2.3 percent decrease from the US$49.48 million reported for the same period in 2017,” said HRH Prince Amr.

“Ithmaar’s balance sheet decreased marginally by 1.4% with total assets at US$8.49 billion as at 31 December 2018, compared to US$8.61 billion as at 31 December 2017,” said HRH Prince Amr. Total owners’ equity stood at US$116.36 million as at 31 December 2018, a 67.3 percent decrease compared to US$355.33 million as 31 December 2017, mainly due to the Accounting standard, FAS 30 impact of previous year recognized in equity and the foreign exchange impact of devaluation of Pak rupee during the year recognized in equity,” he said.

“On behalf of both Boards of Directors, I take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to our shareholders for their confidence, and to the relevant regulators and other authorities for their guidance and support,” said HRH Prince Amr. “In particular, we are grateful to the Central Bank of Bahrain, to the Bahrain Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the Bahrain Bourse, Boursa Kuwait and the Dubai Financial Market for their continuous guidance and support,” he said.

“I am pleased to inform you that as part of its Digital Strategy, Ithmaar Bank completed a major upgrade during 2018 to its IT infrastructure and systems. The upgrade, which was implemented to help support business growth, improve operational efficiency, improve internal controls and enhance customer experience, included a major project of upgrading the Bank’s core banking system and implementation of new eBanking system. The new system provides a strong foundation to support growth, allowing for the flexibility of quickly launching new products and services with focus on customer centricity,” said HRH Prince Amr.

Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, said that performance of both institutions against the challenging market conditions of 2018 further reconfirm that sustained efforts to turn the Group around are indeed paying off.

“Ithmaar Bank’s financial results show a net profit of BD14.14 million for the year ended 31 December 2018, an increase of 126.7 percent compared to the net profit of BD6.24 million reported in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Net profit attributable to equity holders for the year ended 31 December 2018 was BD1.41 million, a decrease of 10.9 percent compared to the net profit of BD1.58 million reported in 2017,” he said.

“The results included a net profit of BD9.38 million of the three-month period ended 31 December 2018, compared to a net loss of BD0.44 million reported in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Net loss attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended remains unchanged at $0.15 million compared to same period previous year,” he said.

“Net income before provision for impairment and overseas taxation for the year ended 31 December 2018 was BD13.70 million, a 28 percent decrease compared to the BD19.03 million reported for 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total income remained stable in 2018, with the Bank reporting BD151.7 million for the year ended 31 December 2018,” he said.

“Ithmaar Bank’s balance sheet decreased marginally by 3.5% with total assets at BD3.13 billion as at 31 December 2018, compared to BD3.24 billion as at 31 December 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Meanwhile, due to market conditions, the equity of unrestricted investment account holders stood at BD1 billion as at 31 December 2018, a decrease of 6.6% as compared to BD1.06 billion as at 31 December 2017. Total owners’ equity stood at BD85.39 million as at 31 December 2018, a 44.8 percent decrease compared to BD154.60 million as 31 December 2017, mainly due to the Accounting standard, FAS 30 impact of previous year recognized in equity and the foreign exchange impact of devaluation of Pak rupee during the year recognized in equity,” he said.

“I am also delighted to inform you that Ithmaar Bank’s retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited, has maintained growth momentum and the Bank’s footprint now extends to 455 branches in more than 100 cities across Pakistan, after having added 50 branches during 2018. The Bank aims to have expanded its retail banking network by 100 during 2019 to reach 555 branches by the end of 2019,” he said.

Early in 2018, the Bank launched the Ithmaar eQ app, which is a smartphone electronic queuing app designed to significantly reduce and potentially even eliminate customer waiting time altogether. The Ithmaar eQ app allows customers to directly book appointments or issue virtual eTickets for the nearest or most convenient branch, timings and directions, and notifies customers when their turn approaches. The app also provides significant MIS on customer behaviour. Ithmaar Bank operates one of the largest retail banking networks in Bahrain with 16 branches and 45 ATMs in strategic locations around the Kingdom.

Later in the year, Ithmaar Bank announced plans to launch the region’s first biometric payment network. The Bahrain-created solution by Eazy Financial Services will provide consumers with a safer, more convenient and more secure way to bank, and will bring a revolutionary improvement in customers’ experience with banks. When implemented, Ithmaar Bank customers will no longer be required to use their bank cards at Ithmaar ATMs. Instead, they will simply be able to use their fingerprint along with their PIN to process financial transactions. This provides a simpler, more secure way to process financial transactions than ever before.

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Ithmaar Holding report profit for the third quarter of 2018

 

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 November 2018 – Ithmaar Holding B.S.C., a Bahrain-based financial institution, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (closed), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, each announced their financial results for the third quarter of 2018 with both reporting profits.

The announcement by the Ithmaar Holding Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chairman, follows the review and approval of both Board of Directors of the consolidated financial results for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018.

Ithmaar Holding reported a net profit of US$11.34 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$16.25 million for the same period in 2017. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018 was US$2.73 million, as compared to the US$27.04 million net loss reported for the same period in 2017. The increase net profit is mainly due to higher impairment provision in the previous period resulting from classification of an associate to held-for-sale. This has been reclassified as an associate during 2018. Earnings per share (EPS) for the nine month period increased to US Cents 0.09 compared to negative US Cents 0.93 for the same period in 2017.

The results included a net profit of US$0.51 million for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$14.66 million for the same period in 2017, and a net loss of US$2.12 million attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$17.80 million reported for the same period in 2017. EPS for the three-month period increased to negative US Cents 0.07 compared to negative US Cents 0.61 for the same period in 2017.

“On behalf of the Ithmaar Holding Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that our 2018 results continue to highlight the turnaround in our financial performance,” said HRH Prince Amr. “This achievement, which is made all the more significant by the challenging market conditions that characterised much of 2018, is testimony to the strength of the Group’s core retail banking business,” he said.

“The 2018 results show that total income for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018 increased to US$334.52 million, a 10.6 percent increase from the US$302.34 million reported for the same period last year. This included total income of US$109.09 million for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, a 15.7 percent increase compared to US$94.27 million reported for the same period last year. This was mainly due to higher share of profit after tax from associates resulting from reclassification from held-for-sale to associate during the period,” said HRH Prince Amr. “As a result, our operating income for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018 increased to US$211.47 million, a 16.8 percent increase from the US$181.08 million reported for the same period last year. This included an operating income of US$62.79 million for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, a 16.6 percent increase compared to US$53.87 million for the same period last year,” said HRH Prince Amr.

Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, said the financial performance of both institutions demonstrate that efforts to turn the Group around are paying off.

“Ithmaar Holding’s balance sheet remained stable with total assets at US$7.99 billion as at 30 September 2018, compared to US$8.61 billion as at 31 December 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total owners’ equity stood at US$187.29 million as at 30 September 2018, a 47.3% decrease compared to US$355.33 million as 31 December 2017, and the decrease is mainly due to the early adoption of the new Financial Accounting Standard (FAS 30) “Impairment, credit losses and onerous commitments” that was issued by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI),” he said.

“Meanwhile, Ithmaar Bank’s financial results show a net profit of BD4.76 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018, a decrease of 17.8 percent compared to a net profit of BD5.79 million for the same period in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Net profit attributable to equity holders for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018 was BD1.56 million, a decrease of 9.9 percent compared to the BD1.73 million net profit reported for the same period in 2017,” he said.

“The results included a net profit of BD1.15 million of the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, a decrease of 18.3 percent compared to a net profit of BD1.41 million for the same period in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018 was BD0.19 million, a decrease of 0.5 percent compared to the BD0.19 million profit reported for the same period in 2017,” he said.

“Core income continued to grow in 2018, with Group’s share of income from unrestricted investment accounts increasing BD20.86 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018, a 6.6 percent increase from the BD19.56 million reported for the same period last year. Income from murabaha and other financings also increased to BD50.11 million, a 7.9 percent increase from the BD46.45 million reported for the same period last year,” said Abdul Rahim. “These significant increases reflect growing customer confidence in the Bank,” he said.

“The Bank’s financial results include an operating income of BD62.79 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018, a 4.7 percent decrease as compared to the BD65.87 million reported for the same period last year,” said Abdul Rahim. “This included an operating income of BD20.59 million for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, a 2.4 percent increase compared to BD20.11 million reported for the same period last year,” he said.

“Ithmaar Bank’s balance sheet remained stable with total assets at BD3.02 billion as at 30 September 2018, compared to BD3.24 billion as at 31 December 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Meanwhile, despite market conditions, the equity of unrestricted investment account holders stood at BD1.01 billion as at 30 September 2018, as compared to BD1.06 billion as at 31 December 2017, and as compared to BD1.06 billion as at 30 September 2017. Total owners’ equity stood at BD96.14 million as at 30 September 2018, a 37.8 percent decrease compared to BD154.60 million as 31 December 2017, mainly due to the FAS 30 impact of previous period recognized in equity,” he said.

-ENDS-

TEN ITHMAAR BANK CUSTOMERS WIN PERSONAL FINANCE INSTALMENTS

26 Dec 2018

Manama, Bahrain– 26 December 2018: Ten Ithmaar Bank customers will each pay only half of their instalments for one year as their remaining instalments for that year will be paid by the Bank for a year as part of the recent “Win six instalments per year” promotion.

The promotion was valid until 31 October, and the draw was held at the Ithmaar Bank headquarters in Seef on 3 December under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, internal auditors and external supervisors BDO (Bahrain).

The winners, Ahmed Saad Ahmed Saad Burshaid, Mahmood Mohammed Akbar Al Thahabi, Nayla Mohamed Jasim Al Ahmed, Isa Ali Abdulla Mohammed Danesh, Abdulla Ebrahim Hasan Mohamed Ali, Saud Abdulaziz Mohamed Isa Al Romaihi, Feras Mohamed Kadhem Taha, Lulwa Mubarak A.Aziz Al Azmi, Mohammed Saleh Mohammed Saleh, Amnah Abdulkarim Abdulla Hussain were formally informed about their prizes by Ithmaar Bank Executive Senior Manager- Head of Branch Network, Yasser Hamza. Hamza congratulated the winners and wished them continued luck and good fortune.

“It is a pleasure to be able to contribute in improving our customers’ lives,” said Hamza. “This latest Personal Finance promotion is one of the many ways we try to continuously improve our products and services by listening to our customers’ needs and developing products that meet their specific demands,” he said.

Following the draw, Ithmaar Bank will, for each of the ten winners, deposit their instalment amount every alternative month for one year, after which each customer will continue paying all remaining instalments due until the full repayment of their financing facility. In addition to the chance to win the instalments, all Ithmaar Bank customers who participated in the personal finance promotion also enjoyed many benefits such as optional three-month grace period, and tenor periods of up to 84 months with competitive profit rates.
-ENDS-

BAHRAINI WINS US$250,000 CASH IN ITHMAAR BANK’S THIRD GRAND PRIZE THIMAAR DRAW

18 Nov 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 18 November 2018 – Khalifa Mohamed Khalifa, a retired Bahraini, took home a US$250,000 cash prize after becoming the third grand prize winner of a Thimaar draw this year from Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank.
Thimaar, a prize-based savings account, rewards Ithmaar Bank customers who save using the account with a chance to win up to 4,015 prizes totalling US$3,170,000 throughout the year.
The US$250,000 cash prize was presented by Ithmaar Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Banking Group, Abdulhakeem Al Mutawa, at a ceremony held at the Seef Mall and attended by other Thimaar winners, as well as Ithmaar Bank Assistant General Manager – Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi, and other members of the Ithmaar Bank management team.
“We are delighted to win the grand prize of Thimaar,” said Ahmed Khalifa- the winner’s son. “I have received a call from the Bank on behalf of my father stating that he has won the grand prize. At first, I thought it was a joke as I have a good relation with the Bank’s employees. Then the branch manager confirmed it’s true,” he said. “I would like to thank the Bank for offering its customers such a high chance of winning these valuable prizes. We will continue to save with Thimaar savings accounts as they offer many cash prizes and also encourage people to get into the habit of saving.”
“On behalf of Ithmaar Bank, I would like to congratulate Khalifa and his family, and all the other Thimaar winners,” said Al Mutawa. “We are pleased to be able to bring so much joy and prosperity to so many families in Bahrain. The Thimaar scheme, now in its eighth year, offers the highest chances of winning of any comparable product in Bahrain, which is an extremely attractive prospect for savers,” he said.
In 2018, Thimaar offers its Thimaar account holders 4,015 prizes – one of the highest by any bank in Bahrain. Ithmaar Bank also increased the total prize purse to US$3,170,000, including three grand prizes of US$250,000 each, making it one of the largest to be won in the Kingdom.
Every BD30 maintained as an average monthly balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD30, the more opportunities they have to win.

ITHMAAR HOLDING AND ITS WHOLLY-OWNED SUBSIDIARY, ITHMAAR BANK, REPORT PROFIT

13 Nov 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 November 2018 – Ithmaar Holding B.S.C., a Bahrain-based financial institution, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (closed), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, each announced their financial results for the third quarter of 2018 with both reporting profits.
The announcement by the Ithmaar Holding Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chairman, follows the review and approval of both Board of Directors of the consolidated financial results for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018.
Ithmaar Holding reported a net profit of US$11.34 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$16.25 million for the same period in 2017. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018 was US$2.73 million, as compared to the US$27.04 million net loss reported for the same period in 2017. The increase net profit is mainly due to higher impairment provision in the previous period resulting from classification of an associate to held-for-sale. This has been reclassified as an associate during 2018. Earnings per share (EPS) for the nine month period increased to US Cents 0.09 compared to negative US Cents 0.93 for the same period in 2017.
The results included a net profit of US$0.51 million for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$14.66 million for the same period in 2017, and a net loss of US$2.12 million attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$17.80 million reported for the same period in 2017. EPS for the three-month period increased to negative US Cents 0.07 compared to negative US Cents 0.61 for the same period in 2017.
“On behalf of the Ithmaar Holding Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that our 2018 results continue to highlight the turnaround in our financial performance,” said HRH Prince Amr. “This achievement, which is made all the more significant by the challenging market conditions that characterised much of 2018, is testimony to the strength of the Group’s core retail banking business,” he said.
“The 2018 results show that total income for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018 increased to US$334.52 million, a 10.6 percent increase from the US$302.34 million reported for the same period last year. This included total income of US$109.09 million for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, a 15.7 percent increase compared to US$94.27 million reported for the same period last year. This was mainly due to higher share of profit after tax from associates resulting from reclassification from held-for-sale to associate during the period,” said HRH Prince Amr. “As a result, our operating income for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018 increased to US$211.47 million, a 16.8 percent increase from the US$181.08 million reported for the same period last year. This included an operating income of US$62.79 million for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, a 16.6 percent increase compared to US$53.87 million for the same period last year,” said HRH Prince Amr.
Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, said the financial performance of both institutions demonstrate that efforts to turn the Group around are paying off.
“Ithmaar Holding’s balance sheet remained stable with total assets at US$7.99 billion as at 30 September 2018, compared to US$8.61 billion as at 31 December 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total owners’ equity stood at US$187.29 million as at 30 September 2018, a 47.3% decrease compared to US$355.33 million as 31 December 2017, and the decrease is mainly due to the early adoption of the new Financial Accounting Standard (FAS 30) “Impairment, credit losses and onerous commitments” that was issued by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI),” he said.
“Meanwhile, Ithmaar Bank’s financial results show a net profit of BD4.76 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018, a decrease of 17.8 percent compared to a net profit of BD5.79 million for the same period in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Net profit attributable to equity holders for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018 was BD1.56 million, a decrease of 9.9 percent compared to the BD1.73 million net profit reported for the same period in 2017,” he said.
“The results included a net profit of BD1.15 million of the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, a decrease of 18.3 percent compared to a net profit of BD1.41 million for the same period in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018 was BD0.19 million, a decrease of 0.5 percent compared to the BD0.19 million profit reported for the same period in 2017,” he said.
“Core income continued to grow in 2018, with Group’s share of income from unrestricted investment accounts increasing BD20.86 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018, a 6.6 percent increase from the BD19.56 million reported for the same period last year. Income from murabaha and other financings also increased to BD50.11 million, a 7.9 percent increase from the BD46.45 million reported for the same period last year,” said Abdul Rahim. “These significant increases reflect growing customer confidence in the Bank,” he said.
“The Bank’s financial results include an operating income of BD62.79 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2018, a 4.7 percent decrease as compared to the BD65.87 million reported for the same period last year,” said Abdul Rahim. “This included an operating income of BD20.59 million for the three-month period ended 30 September 2018, a 2.4 percent increase compared to BD20.11 million reported for the same period last year,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank’s balance sheet remained stable with total assets at BD3.02 billion as at 30 September 2018, compared to BD3.24 billion as at 31 December 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Meanwhile, despite market conditions, the equity of unrestricted investment account holders stood at BD1.01 billion as at 30 September 2018, as compared to BD1.06 billion as at 31 December 2017, and as compared to BD1.06 billion as at 30 September 2017. Total owners’ equity stood at BD96.14 million as at 30 September 2018, a 37.8 percent decrease compared to BD154.60 million as 31 December 2017, mainly due to the FAS 30 impact of previous period recognized in equity,” he said.

ITHMAAR BANK CELEBRATES EMPLOYEES’ SUCCESS, HIGHLIGHTS THE IMPORTANCE AND COMMITMENT TO TEAM SPIRIT

04 Nov 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 4 November 2018 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, stressed the importance of team work, both at the bank and at the national and regional levels, as it celebrated some of its employees’ many achievements and pledged to continue its long-standing focus on inspiring, encouraging and continuously promoting teamwork at all levels.
Speaking at the Ithmaar Bank Annual Staff gathering, which was this year hosted at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Abdul Rahim, paid rich tribute to employees thanking them for their contributions both to the Bank and, by extension, to the national economy.
“Together, we are each contributing directly and in an important way to Bahrain’s success as a regional banking and financial services hub,” said Abdul Rahim. “It is something we all take great pride in,” he said.
At event, which was attended by over 350 people, including Bank employees as well as third party contractors and outsourced staff, Abdul Rahim honoured long-serving employees, thanking them in particular for their dedication over the years.
“At Ithmaar Bank, we have long maintained that, ultimately, it is the quality of our people that drives our continued success,” said Abdul Rahim. “Our collective success, both as a financial institution and as a nation, is a direct result of our individual achievements. Today, we celebrate some of these many achievements, and we commit to continuing to work together, as a team, towards an even better, brighter future,” he said.
“This year has been a very successful year for us, with some very significant achievements,” said Abdul Rahim. “As part of our digital transformation strategy, for example, we launched a new state-of-the-art eBanking service earlier this year to offer customers a faster, friendlier and more secure online banking experience. We are now building on this major milestone, and working on continuously enhancing our customers’ experience,” he said.
“Most recently, we partnered with a Bahrain Fintech start-up, Eazy Financial Services, and announced plans to become the region’s first biometric enabled bank,” said Abdul Rahim. “The plans, which potentially brings revolutionary improvements in customers’ experience with banks, will provide consumers a safer, more convenient and more secure way to bank. The announcement also helped showcase Bahrain as a hub for innovation, specifically in the financial services industry,” he said.

The Annual Staff Gathering was organised by the Ithmaar Bank’s Human Resources, Administration, Information Technology and Marketing and Corporate Communications Departments.
“At Ithmaar Bank, we have long maintained that our employees are our most valued assets,” said Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources, Enas Mohamed Rahimi, who also heads the Bank’s Social Committee.
“The Annual Staff Gathering is an opportunity to celebrate our joint achievements and reinforce our shared commitments. It is also an opportunity to celebrate our long-serving employees – especially those who have completed 30, 25, 15 and ten years – as well as our long-serving office attendants and security guards who have served five years. The fact that so many of us have been with the Bank for so long is a reflection of the shared, mutual commitment between the employees and the Bank,” she said.
-Ends –

CITYVIEW PROJECT FORMALLY INAUGURATED, APARTMENT HANDOVER BEGINS

23 Oct 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 23 October 2018 – Cityview Real Estate Development Company (Cityview), a Bahrain-based real estate development company, announced today (ed note: 23/10/18) the formal inauguration of the Company’s Cityview building and said it had started handover apartments to their owners.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Cityview Chairman, Abdulhakeem Al Mutawa, said he is pleased that, despite the many complex challenges, the project was successfully completed.
The Cityview project, a residential tower in the Seef District near Dana Mall, was put on hold in 2011 due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control. The Project’s completion makes it the only project of its kind in Bahrain to be resolved internally, without external intervention after Ithmaar Bank, one of the shareholders, provided the necessary financing. Ithmaar Holding, an investment firm listed on the Bahrain Bourse, Boursa Kuwait and Dubai Financial Market, owns through its subsidiary 51 percent shareholding in Cityview.
Present at the inauguration ceremony were representatives of Ithmaar Bank and Cityview as well as Ithmaar Development Company (IDC), which represents Ithmaar Group, Dheya Tawfiqi Engineering Consultancy Bureau W.L.L. (DTEB) as the Project Consultant, Poullaides Construction Company (PCC) as the main contractor of the Project and Ithmaar Bank’s Home Finance team.
When announcing the completion of the Cityview project in August, Al Mutawa had said the achievement, which remains unique in Bahrain, was made possible by Ithmaar Bank’s determination to see the project through, and a demonstration of the potential that can be realised when everyone pulls in the same direction.
“The building is now fully operational with all utilities functional after having received all municipal and authority approvals,” said Al Mutawa. “In fact, with the de-snagging works completed, and the testing and commissioning successful, we are handing over the building to Olive V.F.M (a wholly owned subsidiary of Ithmaar Holding), the appointed facility management team who will be welcoming the first residents,” he said.
The Cityview building comprises a total of 88 apartments offering amenities such as a gym, health club, and swimming pool dedicated to the residents.
Al Mutawa thanked the buyers of the project’s apartments for their support during the previous period, which ended with completing construction works of the building.
Al Mutawa also thanked the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Urbanisation and Infrastructure, His Excellency Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, for his continuous efforts and support for helping drive the Project towards its completion.
– Ends –

ITHMAAR GROUP HOSTS CORPORATE GOVERNANCE TRAINING FOR ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

07 Oct 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 7 October 2018 – Ithmaar Group, which includes Ithmaar Holding and its two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail Bank, and IB Capital, a Bahrain-based Islamic Investment firm, hosted a Board Evaluation training session for members of its Board of Directors and its Executive Management team.
The training session, which was delivered by a trainer from the Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance (BIBF), focused on the assessment of the Board’s efficiency and aimed to identify and address any performance gaps. This will help in making high-quality decisions, achieve objectives, manage risks, and safeguard the Bank’s reputation.
“Board evaluations have become one of the most important innovations in governance thinking and has become best practice within the industry,” said Ithmaar Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “The returns from our investment in this training session will be reflected on the Group’s performance and will help improve our capabilities to grow and build on our continued success,” he said.
“An effective Board of Directors helps building trust and confidence among investors, regulators, customers, employees and all stakeholders,” said Abdul Rahim. “These specialized training courses, which we host on a regular basis, help ensure we remain abreast with the latest developments and current best practice applications,” he said.
“Ithmaar Group has long maintained that, ultimately, our success is dependent on our people,” said Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources, Enas Rahimi. “To do so, we invest heavily in continuous training and development across the Group. This is a true for our members of our Board of Directors as it is for members of the Executive Management team and the entire workforce,” she said.
-Ends –

ITHMAAR BANK NURTURES FUTURE LEADERS IN BANKING AND FINANCE THROUGH ITS SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME

25 Sep 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 25 September 2018 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, concluded its annual summer internship programme with thirty-two undergraduate students from various local and international universities participating in this year’s programme.
The two-month programme included an induction session that covered various training sessions, such as information security, anti-money laundering, and the basics of Islamic banking and finance in addition to on-the-job training. The trainees also took part in the “Head Start” programme, an InJaz initiative targeted at university students in their senior years and designed to help them develop their CV and prepare for job interviews.
“As leaders in Islamic banking, Ithmaar Bank recognises its responsibility not just to the community in which it operates, but also towards nurturing the national banking and finance industry,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “Our internship programme helps university students kick-start their preparation for careers by developing their knowledge and offering them the experience they need to enter the work environment. It also contributes to the development of the next generation of banking and finance leaders, who will support the contribution of the banking industry to the national economy. The Kingdom of Bahrain enjoys a reputation as a key regional banking hub, particularly for Islamic banking, and we view it as our responsibility to help maintain this position,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources, Enas Rahimi said: “Ithmaar Bank’s summer internship programme is developed annually according to market requirements, complementing the theoretical studies taught at universities with practical, on-the-job training.”
In line with the Bank’s commitment to helping develop the next generation of banking professionals, the internship offers trainees first-hand insight into the Bank’s organisational structure, as well as the key functional areas of Islamic retail banks and an understanding of day-to-day operations.
-Ends –

ITHMAAR BANK AND EAZY FINANCIAL SERVICES ANNOUNCE PLANS TO LAUNCH THE REGION’S FIRST BIOMETRIC PAYMENT NETWORK

17 Sep 2018

Ithmaar Bank and Eazy Financial Services announce plans to launch the region’s first biometric payment network, and it will bring a revolutionary improvement in customers’ experience with banks

The Bahraini-created solution will provide consumers with a safer, more convenient and more secure way to bank

Bahrain, 17th September 2018: Ithmaar Bank and Eazy Financial Services today announced plans to launch the region’s first biometric payment network, supported by the Labour Fund “Tamkeen”, providing new and more efficient alternative for customers to conduct many of their financial transactions.

When implemented, Ithmaar Bank customers will no longer be required to use their bank cards at ATMs. Instead, they will simply be able to use their fingerprint along with their PIN to process financial transactions. This provides a simpler, more secure way to process financial transactions than ever before. In future, this may also include points of sale.

Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) Chief Executive, Khalid Al Rumaihi, commented: “With this announcement Ithmaar Bank and Eazy Financial Services are truly showcasing Bahrain as a hub for innovation, specifically in the financial services industry. This partnership comes in line with our strategy to encourage innovation that supports high value job creation in the Kingdom. Bahrain’s forward -thinking regulatory approach provides an attractive environment for FinTech – particularly in areas such as Islamic finance and payments. We look forward to welcoming more home-grown initiatives such as this.”

Praising the initiative, Tamkeen Chief Executive Dr. Ebrahim Janahi said: “Tamkeen’s support for the FinTech industry comes as part of our efforts to support enterprises across stages of development and making the private sector a key driver of economic growth. We believe Ithmaar Bank and Eazy are both well ahead of the curve, and this strategic initiative will result in a major positive change in the Kingdom’s economy and capital market.”

Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Executive Director, Khalid Hamad, said: “This very forward-looking partnership is proof that FinTech initiatives are delivering tangible, real-world results – ahead of similar initiatives across the region – while maintaining the overall safety and soundness of the financial system in Bahrain.”

The platform, developed by Eazy Financial Services, is built on a powerful Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) one of the most reliable and trusted biometric engines which is deployed and implemented in many countries around the world for both civil and forensic applications. Eazy Financial Services adopts a rigorous “Identification Algorithm” which has earned the highest honours by several standards organizations and authorities.

Praising the initiative, Tamkeen CEO Dr. Ebrahim Janahi said: “Tamkeen’s support for the FinTech industry comes as part of our efforts to support enterprises across stages of development and making the private sector a key driver of economic growth. We believe Ithmaar Bank and Eazy are both well ahead of the curve, and this strategic initiative will result in a major positive change in the Kingdom’s economy and capital market.”

Ithmaar Bank CEO, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said: “As part of our Digital Strategy, we continue to invest heavily in technology that provides our customers a more convenient, simpler and more secure way to conduct their financial transactions. Our customers are tech-savvy and expect friction-less access to banking services – and the introduction of biometrics is another major step that direction. We are leading the financial industry with this new, tangible solution which is a real-time example of how we put innovation and our customers at the forefront of everything we do.”

Eazy Financial Services CEO, Khaled Al Ahli, said: “Payments stand out as the single largest driver for the biometrics market. We are driving biometric verification in the region, which is the future of the financial industry.

“As a local Bahraini start-up, we are extremely proud to bring a regional first solution from Bahrain, in partnership with a renowned local bank. Going forward, biometrics for financial products and services are expected to represent one third of the total market for biometric solutions in 2020,” he continued.

The agreement is a result of the financial support of Tamkeen, with the support of the EDB and CBB, and will see the new Biometric Payment Network available in phases for Ithmaar Bank customers as early as Q1 2019.

– ENDS –

Ithmaar Holding and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank, report half-year profits

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 August2018 –Ithmaar Holding B.S.C., a Bahrain-based financial institution, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (closed), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, each announced their financial results for the first half of 2018 with both reporting profits for the period.

The announcement by the Ithmaar Holding Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chairman, follows the review and approvalof both Board of Directors of the consolidated financial results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018.

Ithmaar Holding reported a net profit of US$10.82million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$1.59 million for the same period in 2017.  Net profit attributable to equity holders for the six-month period ended 30June 2018 was US$4.85million, ascompared to the US$9.25 million net loss reported for the same period in 2017.Earnings per share (EPS) for the six month period increased to US Cents 0.17 compared to negative US Cents 0.32 for the sameperiod in 2017.

The half-year results included a net profit of US$6.01 million for the three-month period ended 30 June 2018,  as compared to a net loss of US$7.38 million for the same period in 2017. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30June 2018 was US$3.20million, as compared to the US$9.82 million net loss reported for the same period in 2017. EPS for the three-month period increased to USD Cents 0.11 compared to negative US Cents 0.34 for the same period in 2017.

“On behalf of the Ithmaar Holding Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the 2018 half-year results show a turnaround in our financial performance,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Total income for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018increased to US$225.43 million, a8.3 percent increase from the US$208.07 million reported for the same period last year.This was mainly due to higher share of profit after tax from associates,” he said.

“As a result, our operating income for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018increased to US$148.68 million, a 16.9 percent increase from the US$127.21 million reported for the same period last year,” said HRH Prince Amr.

Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, said the half-year result of both institutions reflect the strength of the Group’s core retail banking business.

“Ithmaar Holding’s total assets stood at US$8.62billion as at 30June 2018, compared to US$8.61 billion as at 31 December 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total owners’ equity stood at US$185.19million as at 30June 2018, a 47.9percent reduction compared to US$355.33 million as 31 December 2017, mainly due tothe early adoption of the new Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) “Impairment, credit losses and onerous commitments” that was issued by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI),” he said.

“Also, Ithmaar Bank’s financial results show a net profit of BD3.61 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018,a decrease of 17.6 percent compared to a net profit of BD4.38 million for the same period in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Net profit attributable to equity holders for the six-month period ended 30June 2018 was BD1.37 million, a decrease of 11.0 percent compared to the BD1.54 million net profit reported for the same period in 2017,” he said.

“The half-year results of Ithmaar Bank included a net profit of BD1.58 million of the three-month period ended 30 June 2018, an increase of 22.0 percent compared to a net profit of BD1.30 million for the same period in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim.  “Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30June 2018 was BD0.54 million, an increase of 35.2 percent compared to the BD0.40 million profit reported for the same period in 2017. Although core income continued to grow during the period as evidenced by increase of 6.3% and 2.5% in income from murabaha and other financings and share of income from unrestricted investment accounts respectively, operating income was lower by 7.8 percent mainly because the2017 results include realised gains from the sale of certain investment assets by the Bank’s subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited,” he said.

“Ithmaar Bank’s balance sheet remained stable with total assets at BD3.25 billion as at 30June 2018, compared to BD3.24 billion as at 31 December 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Core income continued to grow with total financings increasing by 3.8 percent to BD2.16 billion as at 30 June 2018 compared to BD2.08 billion as at 31 December 2017 and increase of 5.0 percent from BD2.06 billion as at 30 June 2017. Meanwhile, despite market conditions, the equity of unrestricted investment account holders stood at BD1.03 billion as at 30 June 2018, as compared to BD1.06 billion as at 31 December2017, and as compared to BD1.05 billion as at 30 June 2017.”

“Total owners’ equity stood at BD97.05million as at 30 June 2018, a 37.2 percent decrease  compared to BD154.60 million as 31 December 2017, mainly due to the FAS 30 impact of previous period recognized in equity,” he said.

ITHMAAR HOLDING AND ITHMAAR BANK REPORT HALF-YEAR PROFITS

13 Aug 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 August 2018 – Ithmaar Holding B.S.C., a Bahrain-based financial institution, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (closed), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, each announced their financial results for the first half of 2018 with both reporting profits for the period.
The announcement by the Ithmaar Holding Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chairman, follows the review and approval of both Board of Directors of the consolidated financial results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018.
Ithmaar Holding reported a net profit of US$10.82 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$1.59 million for the same period in 2017. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018 was US$4.85 million, as compared to the US$9.25 million net loss reported for the same period in 2017. Earnings per share (EPS) for the six month period increased to US Cents 0.17 compared to negative US Cents 0.32 for the same period in 2017.
The half-year results included a net profit of US$6.01 million for the three-month period ended 30 June 2018, as compared to a net loss of US$7.38 million for the same period in 2017. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30 June 2018 was US$3.20 million, as compared to the US$9.82 million net loss reported for the same period in 2017. EPS for the three-month period increased to USD Cents 0.11 compared to negative US Cents 0.34 for the same period in 2017.
“On behalf of the Ithmaar Holding Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the 2018 half-year results show a turnaround in our financial performance,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Total income for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018 increased to US$225.43 million, a 8.3 percent increase from the US$208.07 million reported for the same period last year. This was mainly due to higher share of profit after tax from associates,” he said.
“As a result, our operating income for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018 increased to US$148.68 million, a 16.9 percent increase from the US$127.21 million reported for the same period last year,” said HRH Prince Amr.
Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, said the half-year result of both institutions reflect the strength of the Group’s core retail banking business.
“Ithmaar Holding’s total assets stood at US$8.62 billion as at 30 June 2018, compared to US$8.61 billion as at 31 December 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total owners’ equity stood at US$185.19 million as at 30 June 2018, a 47.9 percent reduction compared to US$355.33 million as 31 December 2017, mainly due to the early adoption of the new Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) “Impairment, credit losses and onerous commitments” that was issued by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI),” he said.
“Also, Ithmaar Bank’s financial results show a net profit of BD3.61 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018, a decrease of 17.6 percent compared to a net profit of BD4.38 million for the same period in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Net profit attributable to equity holders for the six-month period ended 30 June 2018 was BD1.37 million, a decrease of 11.0 percent compared to the BD1.54 million net profit reported for the same period in 2017,” he said.
“The half-year results of Ithmaar Bank included a net profit of BD1.58 million of the three-month period ended 30 June 2018, an increase of 22.0 percent compared to a net profit of BD1.30 million for the same period in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30 June 2018 was BD0.54 million, an increase of 35.2 percent compared to the BD0.40 million profit reported for the same period in 2017. Although core income continued to grow during the period as evidenced by increase of 6.3% and 2.5% in income from murabaha and other financings and share of income from unrestricted investment accounts respectively, operating income was lower by 7.8 percent mainly because the 2017 results include realised gains from the sale of certain investment assets by the Bank’s subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank’s balance sheet remained stable with total assets at BD3.25 billion as at 30 June 2018, compared to BD3.24 billion as at 31 December 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Core income continued to grow with total financings increasing by 3.8 percent to BD2.16 billion as at 30 June 2018 compared to BD2.08 billion as at 31 December 2017 and increase of 5.0 percent from BD2.06 billion as at 30 June 2017. Meanwhile, despite market conditions, the equity of unrestricted investment account holders stood at BD1.03 billion as at 30 June 2018, as compared to BD1.06 billion as at 31 December 2017, and as compared to BD1.05 billion as at 30 June 2017.”
“Total owners’ equity stood at BD97.05 million as at 30 June 2018, a 37.2 percent decrease compared to BD154.60 million as 31 December 2017, mainly due to the FAS 30 impact of previous period recognized in equity,” he said.
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ITHMAAR BANK OFFERS CARDHOLDERS DISCOUNTED RATES ON GULF AIR FLIGHTS

22 Jul 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN– 22 July 2018: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, has renewed an agreement with the Kingdom’s national carrier, Gulf Air, granting the Bank’s credit card and debit cardholders exclusive discounts on flights purchased on the official Gulf Air website, gulfair.com until 31 March 2019.
The offer is applicable to all Gulf Air’s online fares for both Falcon Gold (business class) and economy class tickets. A discount code will be distributed to all Ithmaar Bank cardholders.

“In line with our customer-centric approach, we aim to give our customers the greatest value possible,” said Ithmaar Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Banking Group, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa. “Card holders today expect a range of value added benefits to come along with their cards. This is our way of providing them with preferential rates on Gulf Air’s entire network, which is being enhanced to include new routes to places such as Baku, Azerbaijan, Alexandria and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and Casablanca, Morocco, and more frequent flights to popular neighbouring destinations across the GCC and MENA region,” he said.
“We are pleased to be continuing this activity with one of the Kingdom’s premier banking institutions for the third consecutive year, giving their customers the chance to experience Gulf Air’s hallmark Arabian hospitality and award-winning services at exclusive rates,” said Gulf Air Deputy Chief Executive Officer Captain Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alawi. “Gulf Air is in the process of upgrading its services across its network. The addition of new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft to our fleet will transform the passenger experience even more, offering the quietest and most comfortable long haul flights available. This, in turn, translates to a better offering, with better value, for Ithmaar Bank customers,” he concluded.
Ithmaar Bank customers earn points with every purchase using credit cards and eCards. Points can be redeemed online with the easy-to-use Ithmaar Rewards portal, which offers a choice of 700 airlines, 150,000 hotels, car rental services, cash back or the opportunity to donate directly to the Royal Charity Organisation.
World and Platinum credit card holders also enjoy free of charge access to more than 900 key airport lounges in more than 415 cities in over 135 countries worldwide.
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ITHMAAR BANK CUSTOMER WINS US$250,000

17 Jul 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 17 July 2018 – Jaber Shamsaldin, a Bahraini father of three, took home a US$250,000 cash prize after becoming the latest winner of a Thimaar grand prize from Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank.
Thimar, a prize-based savings account, rewards Ithmaar Bank customers who save using the account with a chance to win up to 4,015 prizes totalling US$3,170,000 throughout the year.
The US$250,000 cash prize was presented by Ithmaar Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Banking Group, Abdulhakeem Al Mutawa, at a ceremony held at the Seef Mall and attended by other Thimaar winners, as well as Ithmaar Bank Assistant General Manager – Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi, and other members of the Ithmaar Bank management team.
“I am very happy to win the grand prize of Thimaar,” said Shamsaldin. “I have been banking at Ithmaar Bank for many years because of the fast, friendly service, along with its online offerings and large number of branches across the Kingdom which make it convenient for me to carry out my banking transactions,” he said.
“I have also been saving with the Thimaar saving account for a long time, and this prize money comes at the perfect time for me,” said Shamsaldin. “I am glad that, finally, my wish to win a top prize came true this year,” he said.
“On behalf of Ithmaar Bank, I would like to congratulate Jaber and his family, as well as all the other Thimaar winners,” said Al Mutawa. “In line with the Bank’s customer-centric commitment to delivering a superior banking service, we work hard to improve the Thimaar savings account as part of the Bank’s commitment to listening closely to its customers’ requirements and actively responding to their feedback. We are pleased to be able to bring so much joy and prosperity to so many families in Bahrain,” he said.
In 2018, Thimaar offers its Thimaar account holders 4,015 prizes – one of the highest by any bank in Bahrain. Ithmaar Bank also increased the total prize purse to US$3,170,000, including three grand prizes of US$250,000 each, making it one of the largest to be won in the Kingdom.
Every BD30 maintained as an average monthly balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD30, the more opportunities they have to win.
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DFM WELCOMES THE LISTING OF BAHRAIN’S ITHMAAR HOLDING

30 Jan 2018

• HE/ Essa Kazim: “The fifth of its kind dual listing underlines the strong ties between the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain”
• Ithmaar Holding: “The DFM listing, alongside Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait, opens trading on Ithmaar Holding’s shares to a new and exciting market”

Dubai, 29 January 2018: Dubai Financial Market (DFM) today announced the listing of Bahrain’s Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar), one of the leading investment institutions in the Kingdom of Bahrain, as trading commenced on the bank’s shares under the trading symbol (ITHMR), which appears on DFM screens, trading system and publications within the Banking Sector.

This listing further strengthens the prominent position of DFM as the most favored listing venue for leading local and regional companies and lifts the total number of listed companies to 66. It also lifts number of Dual listings to 16 including five Bahraini companies.

Ithmaar Holding Board Member, Abdulelah Ebrahim Al-Qassimi, rang the market-opening bell in the presence of His Excellency Essa Kazim, Chairman of DFM and senior representatives from both sides.

Commenting on this development, H.E. Essa Kazim said: “We are delighted to welcome the listing of Ithmaar Holding on DFM. This is the fifth of its kind dual listing from Bahrain, which underlines the strong ties between the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain and represents a strong addition to the Banking sector on our market, providing investors with new investment opportunities. The listing also reinforces DFM’s position as the market of choice for companies seeking Dual listing in a clear indication on businesses’ high level of confidence in our exchange due its world-class infrastructure, enormous and diversified investor base and innovative issuer services. These factors further strengthened DFM’s leading position as most favoured listing venue for companies from the UAE and across the region and fortifies Dubai’s position as an international financial hub. DFM is constantly endeavours to diversify the range of investment opportunities offered to its enormous investor base by encouraging and partnering with companies from various sectors across the region to benefit from listing on the region’s leading stock exchange.”
Ithmaar Holding Board Member, Abdulelah Ebrahim Al-Qassimi, said: “We are pleased with listing on the DFM, adding a new key market alongside our current listing on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait. The listing is testimony to the important role that Dubai, alongside the Kingdom of Bahrain, plays as a key banking and financial services hub in the region with its reputation for excellence”.

Ahmed Abdul Rahim, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ithmaar Holding, said: “Ithmaar Holding is a widely diversified financial services company that is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) DFM listing adds further diversity for our shareholders and opens trading on Ithmaar Holding’s shares to a new and exciting market, and will create new investment opportunities for investors in the GCC markets. The listing concludes preparation under the guidance of the CBB, the Bahrain Bourse, the United Arab Emirate’s Securities and Commodities Authority, and the DFM, and we are deeply grateful for the advice and support we received.”

Ithmaar Holding owns two wholly-owned subsidiaries: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, and IB Capital, an investment subsidiary. Ithmaar Bank and IB Capital are both licensed and regulated by the CBB. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.6 percent of Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), a retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan that is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking activities.

ITHMAAR BANK’S RETAIL BANKING SUBSIDIARY IN PAKISTAN, FAYSAL BANK LIMITED, REPORTS CONTINUED PROFITS

11 Jun 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 11 June 2018 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 11/06/18) that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL) has made steady progress over the years and is now recognised as a major player in the financial industry of Pakistan.
Ithmaar Bank owns 66.6 percent of FBL which is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking activities.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer and FBL Vice Chairman, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows the review and approval by the FBL Board of Directors of the financial results for the quarter ended 31 March 2018.
“I am pleased to announce that FBL registered a profit after tax of US$10.6 million (PKR 1.22 billion) during the first quarter of 2018, compared to a profit of US$16.2 million (PKR 1.87 billion) during the corresponding period in 2017. The decrease in profit is mainly due to one- off capital gain earned on government securities amounting to US$8.3 million (PKR 960 million) in the first quarter of 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “The economic landscape in Pakistan is changing and, as a result, bench mark profit rates have started to improve and the Bank has decided to increase its lending books in selective segments to improve margins and profitability. The Bank shall also continue to build core and low cost deposit base, as well as pursue recoveries from delinquent clients,” he said.
“The Bank is formulating a digital strategy to provide secure, state of the art and user-friendly banking services to our customers at a rationalized cost,” said Abdul Rahim. “It is also working to add new products and services that cater to the financial need of its customers,” he said.
FBL’s footprint now spreads to 124 cities with 404 branches and 404 ATM’s across the Pakistan, and the Bank intends to increase its branch network by 50 branches in 2018, in continuation to a total of 125 branches opened during 2016 and 2017. The Bank’s deposits have reached US$3.3 billion and assets have crossed the US$4.2 billion mark with a capital base of more than US$350 million.
FBL’s financial performance has earned the Bank “AA” and “A1+” ratings for the long and short terms respectively, with stable outlook from JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited and Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited.

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ITHMAAR BANK RENEWS ITS PCI-DSS CERTIFICATION

11 Jun 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 3 July 2018– Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced that SISA Information Security, the Middle East region’s leading security assessor, has renewed its certification of the Bank to confirm the highest payment security standard possible for any organisation dealing with payment card related information.
The announcement follows Ithmaar Bank’s successful completion of a comprehensive audit and its compliance to all requirements necessary for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard v3.2 (PCI-DSS)certification. The PCI-DSS is a data security standard for organizations that handle payment cards. It is mandated by the card brands and regulator, administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, and widely recognised as one of the most stringent and most coveted security standards in the world. SISA Information Security,an international authorised assessor for various payments standards, is a payment security specialist firmwitha presence in more than thirty-five countries.
“Ithmaar Bank had first earned the certification on 26April 2017, making us one of the first in Bahrain to be certified to the PCI-DSS standard,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “Maintaining this certification is testimony to the importance that we attach to our customers’ information security and underscores our commitment to ensuring their satisfaction and enhancing their Islamic banking experience,” he said.
“The purpose of the PCI-DSS is to protect card data from unauthorised users, including hackers and thieves, and by following this standard, banks can keep data confidential and secure, avoiding costly data breaches and protecting employees and customers, ” said SISA WorldwideCEO and Founder, DharshanShanthamurthy. “Ithmaar Bank’s certification shows their in-depth understanding of the security measures and precautions they are taking to keep their payment data safe – particularly as the PCI-DSS doesn’t remain as a static standard, but keeps on evolving with the changing threat landscape worldwide,” he said.
“This achievement reconfirms Ithmaar Bank as a pioneer among all other Bahrain financial organizations who adhere to the PCI security standards,” said Shanthamurthy. “We believe that Ithmaar Bank will maintain its leadership in being the top-of-the-line secure payment infrastructure in Bahrain,” he said.

BAHRAINI FAMILY WINS LIFE CHANGING $250,000 THIMAAR PRIZE

21 May 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 21 May 2018 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, presented US$250,000, the first Thimaar grand prize for the year 2018, to Nawal Yousif Abdulghani, a retired Bahraini national.
The prize was presented by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Abdul Rahim at a ceremony held at the Bank’s headquarters in the Seef District which was attended by the winner’s husband on her behalf and members of the Bank’s management team.
“I am thrilled to have won the first Thimaar grand prize of the year, which is sure to change our lives. I will be looking to use it for some investment opportunities in the near future,” said Nawal Abdulghani. “My family and I have been banking with Ithmaar Bank since its inception because of its quick and reliable customer service. There is a branch close to where we live, which makes it very convenient to carry out all our banking transactions,” she said.
“On behalf of Ithmaar Bank, I would like to congratulate Nawal and her family, as well as all the other Thimaar winners of this month,” said Abdul Rahim. “The Thimaar savings account incentivises saving and investing for the future and we are truly honoured to be part of this journey with our customers,” he said.
“In line with the Bank’s customer-centric commitment to delivering a superior banking service, we are continuously improving our Thimaar savings account,” said Abdul Rahim. “This year, to encourage people to adopt a more responsible saving pattern, we have added a further incentive by offering additional cash prizes while continuing to offer an expected profit rate” he said.
In 2018, Thimaar offers its Thimaar account holders 4,015 prizes – the highest by any bank in Bahrain. Ithmaar Bank also increased the total prize purse to US$3,170,000, including three grand prizes of US$250,000 each, making it one of the largest to be won in the Kingdom.
Every BD30 maintained as an average monthly balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD30, the more opportunities they have to win.
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ITHMAAR HOLDING AND ITHMAAR BANK REPORT FIRST QUARTER PROFITS

14 May 2018

Ithmaar Holding and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank, report first quarter profits

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 14 May 2018 – Ithmaar Holding B.S.C., a Bahrain-based financial institution, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (closed), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, each announced their financial results for the first quarter of 2018 with both reporting profits for the period.
The announcement by the Ithmaar Holding Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chairman, follows the review and approval of both Board of Directors of the consolidated financial results for the three-month period ended 31 March 2018.
The Ithmaar Holding reported a net profit of US$4.81 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2018, a decrease of 16.9 percent compared to a net profit of US$5.79 million for the same period in 2017. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 31 March 2018 was US$1.66 million, an increase of 187.8 percent compared to the US$0.58 million net profit reported for the same period in 2017. Earning per share (EPS) increased to US cents 0.06 compared to 0.02 for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017.
“On behalf of the Ithmaar Holding Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the financial results show that the unwavering focus on our core retail banking business continues to pay off,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Our total income for the three-month period ended 31 March 2018 increased to US$112.42 million, a 5.6 percent increase from the USS106.49 million reported for the same period last year, mainly due to income from investments. Consequently, our operating income for the three-month period ended 31 March 2018 increased to US$72.16 million, a 5.6 percent increase from the US$68.34 million reported for the same period last year ,” he said.
Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who is also the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, said the results of both the company and the Bank were encouraging and reconfirm that efforts to turn the Group around are paying off.
“Ithmaar Holding’s total assets stood at US$8.29 billion as at 31 March 2018, compared to US$8.61 billion as at 31 December 2017, and remaining stable compared to US$8.30 billion as at 31 March 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total owners’ equity stood at US$233.48 million as at 31 March 2018, a 34 percent reduction compared to US$355.33 million as 31 December 2017, mainly due to early adoption of the new Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) “Impairment, credit losses and onerous commitments” that was issued by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI),” he said.
“I am pleased, also, to report that Ithmaar Bank’s financial results show a net profit of BD2.03 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2018, compared to a net profit of BD3.08 million for the same period in 2017. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 31 March 2018 was BD0.832 million, compared to the BD1.14 million net profit reported for the same period in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Although core income continued to grow during the period, operating income was lower by 9.5 percent mainly because 2017 capital gains by the Bank’s subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited, during the previous period,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank’s total assets stood at BD3.11 billion as at 31 March 2018, compared to BD3.24 billion as at 31 December 2017 and are stable compared to BD3.11 billion as at 31 March 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “Meanwhile, despite market conditions, the equity of unrestricted investment account holders stood at BD1.063 billion as at 31 March 2018, increasing 6.4 percent compared to BD0.999 billion as at 31 March 2017 but are stable compared to BD1.064 as at 31 December 2017. Total owners’ equity stood at BD101.2 million as at 31 March 2018, a 34.6 percent reduction compared to BD154.6 million as 31 December 2017, mainly due to the FAS 30 impact of previous period recognized in equity,” he said.
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ITHMAAR BANK PAKISTAN SUBSIDIARY REPORTS INCREASED PROFITS OF US$40.8 MILLION

08 Apr 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 08 April 2018 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 08/04/18) that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), Annual General Meeting approved 2017 results with profits of US$ 40.8 million. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.6 percent of FBL, which is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking activities.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer and FBL Vice Chairman, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows the review and approval by the FBL Board of Directors of the financial results for the year ended 31 December 2017.
“I am pleased to announce that FBL registered a profit after tax of US$40.8 million (PKR 4.51 billion) during the year ended 31 December 2017, compared to a profit of US$38.9 million (PKR 4.30 billion) during the corresponding period in 2016,” said Abdul Rahim. “This performance is commendable as the Pakistan banking industry is witnessing a period of low interest rates which has affected banking spreads. The Bank’s performance is testimony to its ability to address the challenge by realigning its strategy,” he said.
“The Bank is now working to further build capacity in the key areas of Human Resources and Product development,” said Abdul Rahim. “It is also promoting Digital Banking as solution to providing secure, user-friendly banking services to customers. Meanwhile, the Bank continues to play an important role in contributing to the economic growth of the country by extending loans to all segment of industry including large corporates, Small and Medium Enterprises, and individual customers,” he said.
“In 2017, FBL added 50 new branches to its retail banking network, and plans further expansion of its branch network in 2018 as it continues to further consolidate its position in the financial sector,” said Abdul Rahim. “The Bank’s footprint now spreads over to 124 cities with 404 branches across country. The Bank’s deposits have reached US$3.4 billion and assets have crossed the US$4.4 billion mark with a capital base of more than US$355 million,” he said.
FBL’s financial performance has earned the Bank “AA” and “A1+” ratings for the long and short terms respectively, with stable outlook from JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited and Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited.
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ITHMAAR HOLDING HOSTS ANNUAL SHAREHOLDER MEETING

26 Mar 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 26 March 2018 – Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (formerly Ithmaar Bank BSC) [“Ithmaar”] [“the Group”] hosted today (ed note: 26/03/18) its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the consolidated financial statements for 2017 were approved.
The meeting was chaired by Ithmaar Chairman, His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, and attended by members of the Ithmaar Board of Directors, its executive management team and its Sharia Supervisory Board, as well as representatives from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the Bahrain Bourse, and statutory auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Speaking to shareholders, HRH Prince Amr said Ithmaar Holding’s 2017 achievements are paving the way for the Group’s continued transformation, and set the stage for a return to sustainable profitability.
“We are pleased to announce that, with the new group structure fully implemented at the start of 2017, Ithmaar Holding’s efforts during the year were directed at taking important steps towards significantly transforming operations in line with the strategic decisions taken by shareholders in 2016,” said HRH Prince Amr. “One important initiative was the successful listing of Ithmaar Holding shares on the Dubai Financial Market on 29 January 2018. This additional listing, which added a new key market alongside our listing on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait, opens trading on Ithmaar Holding’s shares to new, exciting markets. This, in turn, creates new investment opportunities for investors in the GCC markets. Ithmaar Holding is traded, on all three stock exchanges, under the ticker ITHMR,” he said.
“Ithmaar Holding’s two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Ithmaar Bank and IB Capital, and their various subsidiaries, associates and other investments, also took important steps throughout 2017 to support the Group’s transformation,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Ithmaar Bank, for example, embarked on multiple strategic initiatives designed to bring about transformational change to the Bank. The initiatives, some of which are in the process of implementation, include upgrading the core banking system and enhancing the e-Banking offering to make the Bank more customer centric as it embarks on its next growth phase, as well as introducing a new consolidation, budgeting and planning solution. A new application has been implemented to facilitate compliance with the new FAS 30 accounting and regulatory requirements,” he said.
Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said the Group is taking important steps in the right direction, including a greater focus on its core retail banking business. This has been evident in the positive results achieved by Ithmaar Bank during 2017.
“In 2017, Ithmaar Bank’s efforts to become closer to its customers earned the Bank local, regional and international awards as recognition both for its success as an Islamic retail bank
and, perhaps more importantly, for its role in, and support for, the community,” said Abdul Rahim. “Meanwhile, Ithmaar Bank’s flagship subsidiary, Faysal Bank Limited, already one of the most prominent retail banks in Pakistan, continued its remarkable growth in 2017, adding 50 new branches throughout the year to bring the total number to more than 400 branches,” he said.
HRH Prince Amr and Abdul Rahim both stressed that the Group’s 2017 achievements would not have been possible without the continued support of shareholders and the guidance of regulators.
“We take this opportunity to thank the Board and all our shareholders, as well as the CBB, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the Bahrain Bourse, Boursa Kuwait and the Dubai Financial Market,” they said.
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ITHMAAR BANK LAUNCHES ITS NEW STATE-OF-ART EBANKING SERVICE

13 May 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 May 2018 – As part of its digital transformation strategy, Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail Bank, launched its new state-of-the-art eBanking service today (ed note: 13/05/18), which offers customers a faster, friendlier and more secure online banking experience.
In line with the Bank’s customer-centric approach and commitment to continuously enhance its’ customer experience, the revamped Ithmaar Bank eBanking services offering includes new services and innovative solutions that are now available entirely online.
The user-friendly new eBanking service from Veripark provides Ithmaar Bank customers with a dynamic digital platform, which is accessible directly from tablets, mobile phones and computers at any time and from anywhere in the world. It also allows existing customers to seamlessly execute many of their regular banking transactions and services without ever having to visit a branch. They can, for example, immediately and in real-time, open various types of accounts, order new cheque books, issue eCards or transfer funds at the click of a button or the tap of a touchscreen. They can also apply for financing or credit cards or even supplementary credit cards for family members, pay multiple bills and manage their personal budgets. As an additional feature, Ithmaar Bank has also introduced the feature of secure image for login to the new eBanking service to provide customers with additional cyber security.
“Our new eBanking services brings the most sophisticated banking services to our customers’ fingertips,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “It is a reflection of our commitment to listen closely to our customers’ evolving digital requirements and work hard to ensure that we meet and exceed their expectations. This commitment, part of our customer-centric philosophy, drives our efforts to continuously enhance and upgrade our cutting-edge products and services to become the Islamic retail bank of choice in the Kingdom,” he said.
“This new service is launched as part of the Bank’s digital transformation initiative that will put us on par with some of the best in the world,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is complemented by the recently launched state of the art queuing system accessible from mobile devices and the upgrade of the Bank’s Core Banking System from legacy Oracle FLEXCUBE to the new FLEXCUBE, providing a strong foundation for future business growth, enabling automation of several processes for back office and risk, thereby improving operational control, efficiency and doing away with adhoc manual overheads. We have also implemented the latest FLEXCUBE origination for end-to-end tracking of finance from sales desk application for all our finance products. Oracle Hyperion solution has been implemented for consolidation, budgeting and planning,” he said.
“This strategic, technology-driven revamp sets the stage for Ithmaar Bank’s continued growth,” said Abdul Rahim. “Moving forward, it will allow us to respond faster and more efficiently to customer requirements, particularly in terms of our ability to quickly launch convenient and engaging new products and services,” he said.
“KPMG was engaged for the Project Management Office of this year long digital transformation initiative. This initiative also proved to be a great team-building exercise, bringing the entire bank together, with employees interacting amongst themselves towards a common goal,” said Abdul Rahim. “This has helped enhance our sense of togetherness and further reinforced the Ithmaar Bank family spirit,” he said.
“It has also been a valuable learning experience for employees who were earlier exclusively involved in their specific roles and responsibilities. By working on a diverse range of innovative new state-of-art initiatives, they are now exposed to different functions,” said Abdul Rahim. “This has led to a better overall understanding of our business by our employees which, in turn, has led to a significant improvement in their skillsets,” he said.
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ITHMAAR BANK REPORTS 2017 PROFITS

27 Feb 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 27 February 2018 – Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (c) [“Ithmaar Bank”] [“the Bank”], a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ithmaar Holding B.S.C, reported today (ed note: 27/02/18) a net profit of BHD6.24 million for the period ended 31 December 2017. The net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the period ended 31 December 2017 was BHD1.58 million.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of the Bank’s consolidated financial results for 2017. These are the Bank’s first period-end financial results since the successful completion of a planned reorganisation and the formal commencement of the new group structure in January 2017 and cover the period from date of incorporation of 12 May 2016 to 31 December 2017.As part of reorganization of erstwhile Ithmaar Bank B.S.C (now Ithmaar Holding B.S.C.), the identified assets & liabilities were transferred to the Bank on 2 January 2017.
“On behalf of the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the Bank reported profits throughout 2017, its first period as part of the new group structure,” said HRH Prince Amr. “In the three-month period ended 31 December 2017, Ithmaar Bank reported a net profit of BHD0.45 million, with the net loss attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the period being BHD0.15 million,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank’s 2017 financial results show continued profits and stable income for the period,” said HRH Prince Amr. “During the period, the Bank recorded an Operating Income of BHD89.2 million, including BHD23.3 million for the three-month period ended 31 December 2017. The Bank recorded a total income before provisions for impairment and overseas taxation for the period ended 31 December 2017, of BHD19.0 million, including BHD3.7 million for the three-month period ended 31 December 2017,” he said.
“We take this opportunity to express our thanks and gratitude to our customers and shareholders for their trust and confidence, to the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism for their continued guidance and support and to our employees for their dedications and efforts” said HRH Prince Amr.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said the Bank’s continued profitability is testimony to the Bank’s growing success as an Islamic retail bank.
“The focus on our core retail banking business is clearly beginning to pay off, and I am pleased to note that this is being reflected in the Bank’s encouraging financial results in 2017,” said Abdul Rahim. “The results show that the Bank’s total assets grew by 4.4 percent over the past nine months to stand at BHD3.24 billion as at 31 December 2017, up from BHD3.11 billion as at 31 March 2017 (the first reviewed financials released for Ithmaar Bank after the reorganization). Murabaha and other financing grew by 5.3 percent during the same period to stand at BHD2.08 billion as at 31 December 2017, up from BHD1.97 billion as at 31 March 2017. Equity of unrestricted investment accountholders grew by 6.5 percent during the same period to stand at BHD1.06 billion as at 31 December 2017, up from BHD1.00 billion as at 31 March 2017, and Customer current accounts grew by 12.2 percent during the same period to stand at BHD676.9 million as at 31 December 2017, up from BHD603.2 million as at 31 March 2017,” he said.
“The Bank’s financial results for 2017 reflect the tremendous achievements made during the period, and are a result of the commitment, dedication and expertise of our people as well as the confidence of our customers in the Bank,” said Abdul Rahim. “The remarkable 2017 achievements also set the stage for the Bank’s continuous growth, further enhancements and improved profitability,” he said.
“In 2017, the Bank has undertaken several initiatives to upgrade its IT infrastructure and systems to support business growth, improve operational efficiency and enhance customer experience and this includes major project of upgrading its core banking system. The project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2018, is already bringing about transformational change as employees from across the Bank work together with unprecedented levels of interaction,” said Abdul Rahim. “When completed, the upgrade will provide a strong foundation to support future business growth with the flexibility of quickly launching new products and services,” he said.
“Throughout the period, the Bank remained focused on realising its commitment to becoming one of the region’s premier Islamic retail bank by growing ever closer to our customers and by playing a real and meaningful role in the community,” said Abdul Rahim. “This focus was not gone unnoticed and, in 2017, the Bank earned local, regional and international praise and recognition both for its success as an Islamic retail bank and, perhaps more importantly, for its role in, and support for, the community,” he said.
In December 2017, Ithmaar Bank was presented the Arab Eagle Award for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the Tatweej Academy in recognition of its continuous efforts in support of the community. Ithmaar Bank was nominated by the Union of Arab Bank based on the prestigious international award it received in 2016 at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) in recognition of its CSR and Financial Disclosure. Earlier, in July, Ithmaar Bank was honoured at a regional conference for its continuous support of the community and presented with the CSR Award for an Islamic Bank 2017 in recognition of its various initiatives. The award was presented at the CSR Conference and Award for Islamic Banks which was held in Bahrain and attended by senior bankers, CSR experts and representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations as well as government and banking and finance officials from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, and the Republic of Djibouti. In 2017, Ithmaar Bank was also named Best Islamic Retail Bank in Bahrain and honoured at a ceremony attended by senior bankers from across the Middle East. Ithmaar Bank was presented the prestigious award following a comprehensive selection and review process conducted by a committee of high-level economists and banking professionals, as well the research department of the Union of Arab Banks and the World Union of Arab Bankers. Ithmaar Bank also won two prestigious awards – Best Innovation in Retail Banking Bahrain 2017, and Best Islamic Bank Bahrain 2017 – from the U.K. based “International Banker” magazine. The awards were established to identify the leading organisations within the banking industry that represent the benchmarks of achievement, corporate governance, technological development and customer service that help to drive economic growth in the countries in which they operate. The Banking Awards are open to all banking institutions regardless of size, market cap or number of employees, and the fact Ithmaar Bank has won these award categories is testimony to the significance of its achievements.
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ITHMAAR BANK URGES CUSTOMERS TO ADOPT BENEFITPAY APP

20 Jan 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 20 January 2018 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail Bank, said the Kingdom has taken a major leap towards transforming itself into a cashless society with the introduction of the National Electronic Wallet Payment System, BenefitPay, and urged its customers to try the easy, secure and revolutionary alternative to cash.
BenefitPay, a joint initiative of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the Benefit Company (Benefit), enables purchases via smart phones through a special application. The application enables customers to pay using registered debit cards, the features to be made available shortly include payment using credit cards, prepaid cards and bank accounts. The first of its kind solution, which was launched in July, is the latest milestone in the CBB-led charge to transform Bahrain into a cashless society with the involvement and support of local banks and financial institutions.
“Ithmaar Bank has long played a pioneering role in the establishment and subsequent development of Islamic banking in the region, and we are pleased to work together with the CBB, as well as banks and other financial institutions like Benefit, to reinforce Bahrain’s position as a key regional banking and finance hub,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “The BenefitPay solution is a perfect example of this very type of cooperation, and the pronounced effect it can have on our industry,” he said.
BenefitPay streamlines payments by allowing consumers and merchants to eliminate both cash and cards and instead use a smartphone application to pay for purchase electronically, securely, and immediately. BenefitPay is currently available at select stores and the participating merchant list is quickly growing. It enhances convenience for both the buyer and the seller.
“This revolutionary technology could go long way towards transforming Bahrain into an efficient, cashless economy,” said Abdul Rahim. “It is both safe and easy to use, and could well redefine the way we shop and even how we interact with cash. To fully realize this great potential however, customers will need to start using the app for themselves,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank, which operates one of the largest retail banking networks in Bahrain, has long played a key role in promoting the CBB-led vision for a cashless society. In January, for example, Ithmaar Bank formally launched Bahrain’s first ever mobile payment solution, EasyPay, in partnership with Batelco and Arab Financial Services. The solution, which was first announced in 2016, uses secure Near Field Communication (NFC) tags to eliminate the need for cash or cards by allowing customers to shop simply by tapping their mobile phones at Point of Sale (POS) machines.
In 2015, in line with CBB Directives, Ithmaar Bank introduced the Electronic Funds Transfer System (EFTS), a country-wide system that allows customers to move funds, electronically, between banks in Bahrain. The pioneering system, which consists of the Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer solutions, allows customers to make near real-time fund transfers easily and for free
or at a very low cost, as well as pay their telecom, utility and other bills. In 2015, Ithmaar Bank also announced that it is providing its award-winning card-less cash solution, MobiCash, to customers without a service charge. MobiCash, which was launched in 2012, is Bahrain’s first, and still only, card-less cash withdrawal system and allows customers access to Ithmaar Bank Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) using their mobile phones or computers.
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ITHMAAR BANK OFFERS OVER 4,000 THIMAAR ACCOUNT PRIZES – THE HIGHEST BY ANY BANK IN BAHRAIN

13 Jan 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 January 2018: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, re-launched its Thimaar savings account for a new year, offering its Thimaar account holders 4,015 prizes – the highest by any bank in Bahrain. Ithmaar Bank also increased the total prize purse to US$3,170,000, including three grand prizes of US$250,000 each, making it one of the largest to be won in the Kingdom – all for a BD30 deposit.
“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the Islamic retail bank of choice,” said Ithmaar Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Banking Group, Abdulhakeem Al Mutawa. “In line with that commitment, we are constantly working to enhance our customers’ Islamic banking experience,” he said.
“To do so, we work to continuously improve our products and services while growing closer to customers and, as result, our Thimaar offering is revised and improved every year,” said Al Mutawa. “We noticed increased customer interest in Thimaar savings with corresponding increase in business and decided the best way of rewarding these loyal customers is by increasing the number of prizes thereby increasing their chances to win – and we structured Thimaar accordingly, then worked to further enhance our offerings every year,” he said.
“The Thimaar account was designed to encourage people to adopt a more responsible saving pattern by offering cash prizes, along with an expected profit rate, as an additional incentive to save and invest for their future,” said Al Mutawa. “I am delighted to note that, over the years, our Thimaar account has been to be able to touch and change the lives of so many of our customers,” he said.
In 2018, Thimaar account will offer a total of US$3,170,000 in prizes- including US$1,320,000 monthly prizes, US$750,000 grand prizes that includes US$250,000 for each winner, US$600,000 Eid prizes, US$300,000 Thimaar junior and US$200,000 national day prizes- to a total of 4,015 winners.
Every BD30 maintained as an average monthly balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD30, the more opportunities they have to win.

BAHRAINI FAMILY WINS US$100,000 THIMAAR PRIZE

11 Jan 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 11 January 2018 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, presented a US$100,000 cash prize to Yusuf Abdulla Mohamed Al-Mahmood, a retired Bahraini who won the Thimaar semi-annual grand prize.
The prize was presented by Ithmaar Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Banking Group, Abdulhakeem Al Mutawa, at a ceremony held at the Bank’s headquarters in Seef district and attended by the winner, his son and members of the Ithmaar Bank management team.
“My family and I are very happy to win the second grand prize of Thimaar,” said Al-Mahmood. “I have been banking at Ithmaar for many years and continue to do so because of the fast, friendly service. I have also been saving with Thimaar for a long time, mainly because of the large number of prizes offered every year,” said. “This prize money comes at the perfect time for me, and will help better invest for the future,” said Al-Mahmood. “I am glad that, finally, my wish for a top prize came true this year,” he said.
“Congratulations to Yusuf and his family, as well as all the other Thimaar winners of this month,” said Al Mutawa. “We work hard to improve the Thimaar savings account in line with the Bank’s commitment to listening closely to its customers’ requirements and actively responding to their feedback. We are pleased to be able to bring so much joy and happiness to so many families in Bahrain, and to help improve the lives of our customers,” he said.
In 2017, Thimaar offered a total of US$3,055,000 in prizes – including US$1,020,000 monthly prizes, US$900,000 loyalty prizes, US$600,000 Eid prizes, US$200,000 semi-annual prizes, US$210,000 Junior prizes and US$125,000 national day prizes – to a total of 4,044 winners, including 840 Junior winners.
Every BD30 maintained as an average monthly balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD30, the more opportunities they have to win.
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CBB approves Ithmaar’s Dubai listing

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 10 January 2018 –Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar) received on Monday (ed note: 08/01/18) final approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to list on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). The CBB’s approval follows an earlier announcement that the United Arab Emirate’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) had approved the listing.

Ithmaar, which is licensed and regulated by the CBB and is currently listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait under the ticker [ITHMR], had announced plans in 2017 to list on additional stock exchange in the region.

The plans, which were presented by an Ithmaar shareholder as an additional agenda item at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March 2017, were approved by the shareholders who welcomed the initiative.

Ithmaar welcomed the CBB’s final approval, and said it is working on completing remaining requirements for the DFM listing and will announce a listing date in due course.

“We are pleased to announce that all required approvals are in place, and we are now finalising details with a view to complete the listing as soon as possible,” said Ithmaar Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “We are deeply grateful to the CBB, SCA and DFM for their guidance and support over the past year, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our regulators and other relevant authorities to further enhance shareholder value and contribute to our region’s economic growth,” he said.

Abdul Rahim had earlier stressed that the additional listing will open trading on Ithmaar’s shares to new, exciting markets, and said that this, in turn, will create new investment opportunities for investors in the GCC markets.

Ithmaar owns two wholly-owned subsidiaries: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, and IB Capital, an investment subsidiary. Ithmaar Bank and IB Capital are both licensed and regulated by the CBB. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.6 percent of Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), a retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan that is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking activities.

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CBB APPROVES ITHMAAR’S DUBAI LISTING

10 Jan 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 10 January 2018 –Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar) received on Monday (ed note: 08/01/18) final approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to list on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). The CBB’s approval follows an earlier announcement that the United Arab Emirate’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) had approved the listing.
Ithmaar, which is licensed and regulated by the CBB and is currently listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait under the ticker [ITHMR], had announced plans in 2017 to list on additional stock exchange in the region.
The plans, which were presented by an Ithmaar shareholder as an additional agenda item at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March 2017, were approved by the shareholders who welcomed the initiative.
Ithmaar welcomed the CBB’s final approval, and said it is working on completing remaining requirements for the DFM listing and will announce a listing date in due course.
“We are pleased to announce that all required approvals are in place, and we are now finalising details with a view to complete the listing as soon as possible,” said Ithmaar Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “We are deeply grateful to the CBB, SCA and DFM for their guidance and support over the past year, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our regulators and other relevant authorities to further enhance shareholder value and contribute to our region’s economic growth,” he said.
Abdul Rahim had earlier stressed that the additional listing will open trading on Ithmaar’s shares to new, exciting markets, and said that this, in turn, will create new investment opportunities for investors in the GCC markets.
Ithmaar owns two wholly-owned subsidiaries: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, and IB Capital, an investment subsidiary. Ithmaar Bank and IB Capital are both licensed and regulated by the CBB. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.6 percent of Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), a retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan that is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking activities.
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ITHMAAR BANK QUEUING APP SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES, AIMS TO ELIMINATE CUSTOMER WAITING TIME

07 Jan 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 7 January 2018 – Customers of Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, can now plan visits to the Bank’s branches in advance, significantly reducing and potentially even eliminating waiting time altogether. The announcement follows the successful launch of the Ithmaar eQ app, the Bank’s electronic queuing app.
The Ithmaar eQ app, a smart phone application available for free download on both the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Androids, allows Ithmaar Bank customers to view real time information on all branches, including how far away and how busy each is. The Ithmaar eQ app allows customers to directly book appointments or issue virtual eTickets for the nearest or most convenient branch, and notifies customers when their turn approaches. The app provides directions to each branch, as well as their specific timings.
Ithmaar Bank operates one of the largest retail banking networks in Bahrain with 16 branches and 44 ATMs in strategic locations around the Kingdom.
“Ithmaar Bank has played a pioneering role in the establishment and subsequent development of Islamic banking in the region,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “It is a role we take great pride in, and we remain as committed as ever to staying abreast with the latest technology,” he said.
“In particular, we remain committed to continuously enhancing our customers’ Islamic banking experience by deploying the latest, most efficient offerings,” said Abdul Rahim. “We listen closely and carefully to our customers, and we work to respond quickly and efficiently to meet or exceed their expectations,” he said.
“The launch of the eQ app, after an extensive period of detailed, exhaustive testing, is an example of this very commitment,” said Abdul Rahim. “The launch marks a significant milestone in our long history of innovation and we are pleased to be able to continue to make banking easier, more accessible and more convenient for our customers,” he said.
Recently, Ithmaar Bank announced the launch of a prestigious new Sharia-compliant contactless credit card with Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry. The pioneering new Ithmaar Bank World credit card is Bahrain’s first contactless offering.
Earlier, in 2017, Ithmaar Bank formally launched Bahrain’s first ever mobile payment solution, EasyPay, in partnership with Batelco and Arab Financial Services. The solution, which was first announced in 2016, uses secure Near Field Communication (NFC) tags to eliminate the need for cash or cards by allowing customers to shop simply by tapping their mobile phones at Point of Sale (POS) machines. Earlier, in 2015, Ithmaar Bank announced that it is providing its award-winning card-less cash solution, MobiCash, to customers without a service charge. MobiCash, which was launched in 2012, is Bahrain’s first, and still only, card-less cash withdrawal system and allows customers access to Ithmaar Bank ATMs using their mobile phones or computers.

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SPECIALISED TRAINING FOR ITHMAAR GROUP BOARD OF DIRECTORS

02 Jan 2018

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 2 January 2018 – Ithmaar Group, which includes Ithmaar Holding and its two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail Bank, and IB Capital, a Bahrain-based Islamic Investment firm, commissioned the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) to deliver an interactive training course for members of its Board of Directors.
The course was delivered in two parts: the first part, focused on IFRS9 regulations, anti-money laundering (AML) and compliance issues; while the second part, which was delivered by Mirza Baig, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of CTM360, a cyber-threat management company, focused on cyber security and the latest Information Technology (IT) trends.
“This training course, which was designed specifically for members of our Board of Directors, included diverse range of topics which, together, aim to further reinforce their understanding of IFRS9 regulations, AML and compliance issues,” said Ithmaar Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “The second part of the course focused on cyber security and the latest IT trends in banking, as well as on the various steps that can be taken to help protect online services. Cyber security and IT are both of growing importance as Bahrain, along with the global banking and finance industry, continues to further develop its online delivery channels,” he said.
“Such training courses, at all levels within the group, significantly contribute to our growth, as well as to improving our performance,” Abdul Rahim said. “To maintain our competitive advantage, we must keep up with developments within the banking industry and the subsequent change in market requirements,” he said.
“Ithmaar has long recognised that continuing human capital development is an important component in supporting the Group’s successful journey,” said Abdul Rahim. “Our efforts to strengthening the capabilities of our Board of Directors and all Group’s members will contribute to our growth and help ensure continued improvements in our performance,” he said.

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ITHMAAR IN PROCESS OF COMPLETING DUBAI LISTING

25 Dec 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 25 December 2017 –Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar) received on Thursday (ed note: 14/12/17) approval from the United Arab Emirate’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) to list on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).
Ithmaar, which is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and is currently listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait, said the SCA’s approval marks an important milestone in its plans to list on additional stock exchange in the region. The plan, which was presented by an Ithmaar shareholder as an additional agenda item at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March 2017, was approved by the shareholders who welcomed the initiative. The listing requirements are subject to completion of remaining requirements of the DFM and subject to CBB’s final approval.
“We are pleased to note the SCA’s approval on plans to list at the DFM,” said Ithmaar Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “We are continuing to work closely with the CBB as well as the relevant authorities in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and we hope to have final approval to proceed with the additional listing as soon possible,” he said.
“The additional listing will open trading on Ithmaar’s shares to new, exciting markets,” said Abdul Rahim. “This, in turn, will create new investment opportunities for investors and Ithmaar shareholders in the GCC markets,” he said.
Ithmaar owns two wholly-owned subsidiaries: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, and IB Capital, an investment subsidiary. Ithmaar Bank and IB Capital are both licensed and regulated by the CBB. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.6 percent of Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), a retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan that is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking activities.
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ITHMAAR BANK WINS BEST INNOVATION IN RETAIL BANKING AND BEST ISLAMIC BANK OF THE YEAR AWARDS

19 Dec 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 18 December 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, received awards in two categories, Best Innovation in Retail Banking (Bahrain) and Best Islamic Bank of the Year (Bahrain) at UK-based International Banker’s 2017 Banking Awards. Standout institutions working within retail, commercial, investment and private banking in the Middle East and Africa compete for the prestigious annual prizes. The two awards were received on behalf of Ithmaar Bank by Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who said that this high level industry recognition is further evidence of the soundness of the Bank’s strong customer focus.
“In line with our vision to become the region’s premier Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar Bank’s business model is customer-centric with an ongoing objective to exceed expectations by offering innovation and a high level of efficiency,” said Abdul Rahim. “We have invested in new technologies that have reduced waiting times for customers and turnaround times for financing requests, while implementing state-of-the-art security systems that maintain the confidentiality of private information,” he said.
“Winning these awards is evidence that this strategy, which was spelled out by our Board of Directors, led by the Chairman, His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, are being translated into a tangible reality,” said Abdul Rahim. “Customers have also recognised these enhancements, rewarding us with continued growth in our core retail banking business,” he said.
The Banking Awards honour institutions that have set the bar for industry excellence by driving global economic commerce, creating capital and opportunities for economic growth, and setting benchmarks for technological advancement and customer service, while at the same time maintaining high levels of regulatory compliance and corporate governance.
Finance Publishing Editor-in-Chief, Simon Brown congratulated Ithmaar Bank on winning the award, wishing the Bank continued success in helping to raise regional banking standards.
“A review of Ithmaar Bank’s performance during 2017 is highlighted by the launch of many new and innovative banking products and services, as well as a clear enhancement in its speed of delivery. Ongoing improvements of processes and technology have reduced waiting periods, with customers being provided with a range of service delivery channels, including a 24-hour a day, 7 days a week call centre, eBanking and convenient payments solutions, such as EasyPay, Mobile banking and MobiCash. The turnaround time for approval of financing requests is ensured to be the shortest possible, albeit with comprehensive underwriting of risks,” he said.
International Banker is the flagship brand of Finance Publishing, one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative analysis on finance, international banking and world affairs.
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ITHMAAR BANK’S RETAIL BANKING SUBSIDIARY IN PAKISTAN, FAYSAL BANK LIMITED, REPORTS NET PROFIT OF US$36.3 MILLION

13 Dec 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 December 2017– Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 13/12/17) that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), has maintained growth momentum and reported increased net profits.
Ithmaar Bank owns 66.6 percent of FBL which is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking activities. Ithmaar Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ithmaar Holding (Ithmaar Group).
The announcement, by Ithmaar Group Chief Executive Officer and FBL Vice Chairman, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows the review and approval by the FBL Board of Directors of the financial results for the nine months ending September 30, 2017.
“I am pleased to announce that FBL registered a profit after tax of US$36.3 million (PKR 3.83 billion) during the first nine months of 2017, compared to a profit of US$35.5 million (PKR 3.75 billion) during the corresponding period in 2016,” said Abdul Rahim. “I am pleased, also, to note that in October, Ithmaar Bank through Faysal Bank Limited marked thirty years of operations in Pakistan. This is a significant milestone in our history,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank first commenced its operations in Pakistan in October 1987 under its initial predecessor, Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain.
“As a monetary measure, the Government of Pakistan has, for many years, deliberately kept benchmark rates at low levels. This has significantly affected returns on financing and investments, and restricted the earning capacity of banks due to margin compression. The Bank has realigned its strategy to these economic realities, and is focusing on mobilising low-cost deposits and rationalising administrative expenses,” he said.
“Strict credit monitoring and aggressive follow up on delinquent clients led to major recoveries,” said Abdul Rahim. “The Bank intends to maintain growth momentum through Human Resource development, enhancing products line and upgrading core banking software. FBL continues to increase its core deposit base and enhance its financing book with primary focus on SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) and Consumer Finance. The Bank is also actively pursuing syndicated financing and advisory business and has undertaken several major projects independently and jointly during the said period,” he said.
“FBL has been making steady growth for years and has now consolidated its position in the Pakistan’s banking sector,” said Abdul Rahim. “The Bank’s footprint now extends to 376 branches in more than 100 cities across Pakistan after having added almost 30 branches during the year. The Bank aims to have expanded its retail banking network by 50 during 2017 to reach 404 branches by the end of 2017. The Bank’s deposits have reached US$3.4 billion and assets have crossed the US$4.5 billion mark with a capital base of more than US$310 million,” he said.
FBL’s financial performance has earned the Bank “AA” and “A1+” ratings for the long and short terms respectively, with stable outlook from JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited and Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited.

ITHMAAR BANK AWARDED “BEST ISLAMIC RETAIL BANK IN BAHRAIN”

11 Dec 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 11 December 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, was honoured at a ceremony attended by senior bankers from across the Middle East after it was named Best Islamic Retail Bank in Bahrain.
Ithmaar Bank was presented the prestigious award following a comprehensive selection and review process conducted by a committee of high-level economists and banking professionals, as well the research department of the Union of Arab Banks and the World Union of Arab Bankers. The award was received on behalf of the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, by the Ithmaar Bank Head of Commercial and Financial Institutions, Abdulla Talib.
“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the region’s premier Islamic retail bank,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is a commitment we take very seriously, and I am pleased to note that our efforts in this direction are being noticed, recognised and celebrated at a regional level,” he said.
“Winning this award is testimony to the fact that the vision spelled out by the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors, led by the Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, is being translated into a tangible reality,” said Abdul Rahim. “It is significant achievement by any measure, and is a result of the commitment, dedication and expertise of our employees,” he said.
“Enhanced customer satisfaction, as well as the subsequent growth of our core retail banking business, is great reward in itself and I am confident that the recognition will help inspire us to even greater achievements,” said Abdul Rahim. “This, in turn, will help further reinforce Bahrain’s position as a key banking and finance hub in the region,” he said.
Wissam Fattouh, Secretary General, World Union of Arab Bankers (WUAB) and Union of Arab Banks (UAB) congratulated Ithmaar Bank on winning the award and wished the Bank continued success.
“The Arab Banking Awards celebrates achievements of excellence across the Arab Banking sector,” said Fattouh. “Winning the Best Islamic Retail Bank in the Bahrain category is testimony to Ithmaar Bank’s reputation for excellence, and we congratulate them on this major achievement,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank was selected as the Best Islamic Retail Bank in Bahrain by a high level committee of economists and bankers, as well as the WUAB and UAB research teams,” said Fattouh. “It is a great achievement and a powerful testimony to the Bank’s remarkable success,” he said.
The World Union of Arab Bankers (WUAB) is a prominent Arab Forum that is patronized by Arab leaders of economics and finance, as well as influential banking pioneers, top experts, successful businessmen, remarkable professionals and brilliant entrepreneurs. WUAB, a sister organization of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB), is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that enjoys the privileges, immunities and exemptions extended to regional and international organizations operating under the Arab League. The UAB enjoys full financial, administrative and organizational autonomy. It is considered the true representative of the Arab banking and financial community, and the major supporter to Arab banks and financial institutions as well as the Arab mutual banking institutions.

ITHMAAR BANK LAUNCHES BAHRAIN’S FIRST CONTACTLESS WORLD MASTERCARD CREDIT CARD

03 Dec 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 02 December 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 02/12/17) the launch of a prestigious new Sharia-compliant contactless credit card with Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry.
The pioneering new Ithmaar Bank World credit card, the country’s first contactless offering, is a result of the Bank’s continuous commitment to listening to, and delivering on, customer expectations.
“Ithmaar Bank is determined to become the region’s premier Islamic retail bank,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “To do so, we continue to invest heavily in developing our products and services while also working to be closer to our customers,” he said.
“We are pleased to have worked with our partners at Mastercard to introduce Bahrain’s first contactless World credit card, and we are delighted to now make it available to our customers,” said Abdul Rahim. “I am confident that the new card will go a long way towards making payments faster, easier and more convenient for our customers,” he said.
“The Ithmaar Bank World credit card allows customers to make quick, secure payments with just a tap of the card. The contactless feature currently works at regional and international points of sale, and will also be available in Bahrain shortly,” said Abdul Rahim. “The Ithmaar Bank World credit card also offers customers enhanced privileges, including for example, unlimited access to over 900 airport lounges in more than 450 cities across more than 135 countries worldwide – catering to the specific needs of the affluent traveller segment.”
“We are pleased to collaborate with Ithmaar Bank to launch Bahrain’s first contactless World Mastercard credit card. The card reflects our commitment to creating tailored payment solutions that address the evolving needs of our cardholders in the market,” said Pankaj Kathuria, Area Business Head, Northern Gulf, Mastercard. “At Mastercard, we have always been at the forefront of introducing bespoke products that provide frequent and discerning travellers convenient payment methods to make their journeys even more comfortable, and our World portfolio complements their lifestyle through a host of exclusive benefits and rewards.”
“The innovative card is powered by secure encryption technology that consists of an embedded computer chip with an antenna that sends the transaction signal wirelessly at a small distance without direct contact with the reader and the contactless device. Payments can be made anywhere a cardholder sees the contactless symbol on the terminal reader. This includes quick-service restaurants, convenience stores, movie theatres, and more,” he said.
The card also offers access to a unique collection of experiences and exclusive discounts through the Mastercard Buy 1 Get 1 application that includes dining, spas, entertainment and more offers, free Life Takaful insurance from Solidarity General Takaful, a minimum repayment of only five percent of the ending balance within 25 days from the statement date, immediate access to Mastercard- enabled Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) around the world. In addition, Ithmaar Bank will also provide free supplementary cards to immediately family members of the primary cardholder as well.
An additional layer of security is embedded in the new contactless Ithmaar World credit card with the SecureCode authentication feature that protects the card against fraud using One Time Password (OTP) for online payment transactions. The card also enables users to accumulate Ithmaar Rewards loyalty points with each transactions, which can be redeemed online on www.ithmaarbank.com/ithmaarrewards to 700 airlines, 150,000 hotels, car rental services, cash back or donations. Customers can look forward to earning one Ithmaar Rewards loyalty point for every BD0.750 spent on purchases while using their card.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE WORKSHOP FOR ITHMAAR GROUP BOARD

19 Nov 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 19 November 2017 – Ithmaar Group, which consists of Ithmaar Holding and its two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail Bank; and IB Capital, a Bahrain-based Islamic Investment firm, commissioned the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) to deliver an interactive workshop for members of the Group’s Board of Directors and Executive Management teams.
The workshop, which was designed to highlight the importance of good corporate governance while reinforcing Ithmaar’s principles of high-quality governance, aimed to help protect and further grow shareholder value. The workshop was delivered by Seamus Gillen, the founder and Director of Value Alpha Limited, a governance advisory service with significant experience in delivering such programmes.
Ithmaar Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who stressed the critical importance of corporate governance, thanked BIBF Director, Dr. Ahmed Al Shaikh and the BIBF team for their arrangement of such an engaging workshop.
“The workshop allows members of our Board of Directors and Executive Management teams the opportunity to further reinforce their understanding of corporate governance principles,” said Abdul Rahim. “We believe that establishing a proper corporate governance culture in today’s environment reflects emphasis on such organisational values leading to improved performance. Throughout the past decade, corporate governance has occupied further importance in the face of improved cross border regulations and the additional responsibility on financial institutions,” he said.
“At Ithmaar, we acknowledge the importance of continuing human capital development efforts at all levels within the Group,” said Abdul Rahim. “This workshop is a substantial step towards further strengthening the capabilities of our Board of Directors and Executive Management teams,” he said.
“Professional training across all organisational levels is a critical aspect for the growth of any business, most important of which is Board of Directors,” said Dr. Al Shaikh. “As part of this, the BIBF conducts such high-level training workshops to lay special impetus on the role of the Board of Directors in supporting excellent performance and laying down transparent set of rules and regulations in which shareholders, directors and officers have aligned incentives. It is crucial to the achievement of a new frontier of competitive advantage and profitability. Continuous training and development is an investment for any organisation that looks forward to enhancing its overall performance,” he said.
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ITHMAAR BANK REPORTS CONTINUED PROFITS FOR 2017

13 Nov 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 November 2017 – Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (c), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ithmaar Holding, reported today (ed note: 13/11/17) a net profit of BHD5.8 million for the first three quarters of 2017. The net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2017 was BHD1.7 million.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of the Bank’s consolidated financial results for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2017. These are the Bank’s first third-quarter results since the successful completion in January this year of a planned reorganisation and the formal commencement of the new group structure and hence there are no comparatives and alternatively the first quarter numbers are used as these are the first reported numbers post reorganisation.
“On behalf of the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the Bank continues to report profits in 2017,” said HRH Prince Amr. “In the three-month period ended 30 September 2017, Ithmaar Bank reported a net profit of BHD1.4 million, with the net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the period being BHD0.2 million,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank’s third-quarter financial results show that the Bank is reporting continued profits and stable income for the year,” said HRH Prince Amr. “In the first three quarters of 2017, the Bank recorded total income of BHD112.7 million, including BHD36.3 million for the three-month period ended 30 September 2017. The Bank recorded a total income for the first three quarters of the year a net income, before provisions for impairment and overseas taxation, of BHD15.3 million, including BHD2.6 million for the three-month period ended 30 September 2017,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said the Bank’s continued profitability is due, in a large part, to the unwavering focus on enhancing products and services while striving to grow closer to customers.
“Ithmaar Bank’s financial results show stable, consistent growth throughout the year,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is testimony to the Bank’s ongoing success as an Islamic retail bank and a reassuring indicator that we are, indeed, on the right track as we work towards our shared vision of becoming one of the region’s premier Islamic retail banks,” he said Abdul Rahim.
“The results show that the Bank’s total assets grew by 4.4 percent over the past six months and stand at BHD3.2 billion as at 30 September 2017, up from BHD3.1 billion as at 31 March 2017. Murabaha and other financing grew by 2.1 percent during the same period to stand at BHD1.80 billion as at 30 September 2017, up from BHD1.77billion as at 31 March 2017; Sukuk and other investment securities comprising mainly government securities grew by 2.2 percent during the same period to stand at BHD686 million as at 30 September 2017, up from BHD671 million as at 31 March 2017. Equity of unrestricted investment accountholders grew by 6.5 percent during the same period to stand at BHD1.1 billion as at 30 September 2017, up from BHD1 billion as at 31 March 2017; Customer current accounts grew by 6.6 percent during the same period to stand at BHD643 million as at 30 September 2017, up from BHD603 million as at 31 March 2017,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the Islamic retail bank of choice, we work hard to continuously enhance our customers’ Islamic banking experience,” said Abdul Rahim. “We do so by listening closely to our customer’s needs and responding quickly and efficiently, always aiming to exceed expectations,” he said.
“To help realise this vision, we invest heavily in training and development for our employees, who we have long regarded as our greatest asset,” said Abdul Rahim. “Recently, for example, Ithmaar Bank hosted an intensive two-day training session for all branch employees to help enhance their skills and provide improved customer-centric service,” he said.
With seventeen full-service branches in strategic locations across Bahrain, Ithmaar Bank operates one of the largest retail banking networks in the Kingdom. The training sessions were conducted in line with the Bank’s long standing commitment to growing continuously closer to its customers.
“To exceed customer expectations and to maintain our leadership position in the market, the Bank is currently embarking on several major technology related initiatives, by adopting the latest, state of the art banking systems,” added Abdul Rahim

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ITHMAAR BANK ANNOUNCES DEPUTY CEO APPOINTMENTS

07 Nov 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 07 November 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail Bank, announced today (ed note: 07/11/17) the promotion of its two most senior executives to the post of Deputy Chief Executive, and named Abdulhakeem Khalil Al Mutawa Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Banking Group, and Ravindra Anant Khot Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Support Group.
The announcement, by the Ithmaar Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, is in-line with the Bank’s long-standing commitments to reinforcing its merit-based culture, promoting from within and developing its entire workforce, including the leadership.
Abdul Rahim congratulated Al Mutawa and Khot and wished them both continued success in helping lead the Bank to further growth.
“This is an exciting time for Ithmaar as we work to turn the Bank around and prepare for future opportunities,” said Abdul Rahim. “Our continued success as an organization is determined, to a very large extent, by the quality of our people and I am pleased to note that we have such remarkable talents, at all levels, on board and helping lead the way forward,” he said.
“The promotions of both Abdulhakeem and Ravindra and their appointments to the key posts of Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Banking Group, and Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Support Group, respectively, reflect the tremendous contributions they have already made to Ithmaar’s success as well as to the increasingly important roles they will play in future,” said Abdul Rahim. “I am grateful for their support and valuable contributions over the years, and confident that their contributions will continue to increase in the execution of the Bank’s strategy,” he said.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Banking Group, Al Mutawa, who joined the group in 2003, was the Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Banking Group, since September 2013. He has more than 35 years of management and banking experience and has held other senior positions at Ithmaar Bank, including Assistant General Manager, Head of Private Banking. Al Mutawa holds an MBA from the University of Bahrain and a Bachelor degree in engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Support Group, Khot, who joined the Group in 2007, was the Ithmaar Bank Chief Operating Officer since September 2013. He has more than 31 years of banking and finance experience and has held other senior positions at Ithmaar Bank, including Chief Financial Officer. Khot is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce, (Financial Accounting) from the University of Mumbai, India.
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ITHMAAR BANK PROMOTES TWO BAHRAINI EXECUTIVES, APPOINTS ANOTHER

03 Oct 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 3 October 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail Bank, announced today (ed note: 03/10/17) the promotion of two key members of its management team and the appointment of a third.
Abdulla Abdulaziz Ali Taleb was promoted to Assistant General Manager, Head of the Commercial and Financial Institutions department; Ahmed Fareed Saud Buqais was promoted to Senior Manager and assigned Head of Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure and Operations in the IT department; and Rashed Ahmed Rashed Almuawada was appointed as a Manager Information Security and Compliance, Risk Management department.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, congratulated the employees and said the announcement is in-line with the Bank’s long-standing commitments to reinforcing its merit-based culture and to developing its national workforce.
“Ithmaar Bank recognises its employees as its greatest asset, and we have long maintained that, ultimately, it is our people who drive our growth and continued success,” said Abdul Rahim. “As a result, we work to continuously enhance our well established performance-focused culture of equal opportunity,” he said.
“These latest promotions and appointment underscore how seriously we take these commitments, and I wish Abdulla, Ahmed and Rashed continued success in the careers,” said Abdul Rahim. “I am confident that, with their contributions, the Bank will continue to grow towards our shared vision of becoming the region’s premier Islamic retail bank,” he said.
“As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar Bank has also long-recognised the important role we must play in contributing to the development of Bahrain’s Islamic banking industry,” said Abdul Rahim. “This includes continuously developing our own national workforce through various training opportunities,” he said.
Taleb, who was previously Executive Senior Manager, Head, of the Commercial and Financial Institutions department since March 2015, joined Ithmaar Bank as a Senior Manager in the Corporate Banking department in January 2014. He had previously work with BMI Bank, First Investment Bank, Shamil Bank, Khaleej Finance and Investments, the University of Bahrain and Standard Chartered Bank. Taleb holds a B.Sc. in Banking and Finance from Kingdom University in Bahrain, an Advanced Diploma in Islamic Banking from the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance and an Associate Diploma in Economics from the University of Bahrain.
Buqais, who was previously a Manager in the IT department since September 2014, joined Ithmaar Bank as a Senior Associate in the same department in October 2012. He had previously worked with Arcapita Bank, Durrat Al Bahrain Management, Exceed IT Services and Civil Aviation Affairs. Buqais holds certificate in management and leadership from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), is a Certified Information System Auditor, ISACA, and an Information Security Management Systems Auditor/Lead Auditor (Based on ISO/IEC 27001:2013), and hold a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University College of Bahrain.
Almuawada joined Ithmaar Bank in July 2017 from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) which he joined in May 2011 and served first as a Senior System Administrator and then as a Senior Analyst in the Information Security department. He had previously worked with Meinhardt Bahrain, Nue-Tel Communication and InfoCall. Almuawada is an Information Security Management Systems Auditor/Lead Auditor (Based on ISO/IEC 27001:2013) and holds a B.Sc. in Mobile and Network engineering from the Ahlia University.

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ITHMAAR BANK CONCLUDES FIRST OF ITS KIND SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMME

26 Sep 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 26 September 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, hosted a series of summer camps for children of various age groups in cooperation with INJAZ Bahrain, a non-profit organization that aims to empower young people to own their economic success. As part of the summer camp programme, a first of its kind for financial institutions in Bahrain, children of Ithmaar Bank employees spent a full day during summer at the Bank participating in various activities designed to help them gain practical financial knowledge.
The events, which were hosted by the Ithmaar Bank Human Resources Department at the Bank’s headquarters in Seef, were delivered by volunteers from Ithmaar Bank, including Eman Abdulwadood Al Awadhi, Eman Mahmood Abdulla, Muhja Abdulrazaq Fulath, Ammar Mohammed Abdulrahman, Sayed Ali Adel Salman and Ali Hassan Mahmood with the support of the Bank’s Human Resources team.
The first group consisted of 13 children from Grades 1 to 3 who participated in the “Our Selves” programme, a financial knowledge programme that demonstrates helping, working, earning and savings concepts by using compelling stories read by Ithmaar Bank volunteers as well as hands on activities. The second group consisted of 10 children from Grades 3 to 4 who participated in the “Our Families” programme, which was designed to emphasize the roles people play in the local economy and engaged students with activities about needs, wants, jobs, tools, skills and interdependence so that they discover that society and the economy depend on people working together. The third group consisted of 11 children from Grades 5 to 6 who participated in the “Our Nation” programme that provides practical information about businesses’ need for employees who can meet the demands of the job market. The programme also introduced the concept of globalization, as it relates to resources and careers, and the need for students to be entrepreneurial in their thinking to meet the requirements of business worldwide. The fourth and oldest group consisted of eight children from Grades 7 to 9 who participated in the “It’s My Business” programme that emphasized entrepreneurship skills while providing a strong focus on social studies, reading, and writing skills. Participants are encouraged to use critical thinking to learn entrepreneurial skills that support positive attitudes as they explore and enhance their career aspirations.
“As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, we recognise the important role we must play in supporting our community,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “It is a responsibility we take very seriously, and we are pleased to be able to continue our long-standing support for INJAZ Bahrain and its various youth-focused initiatives,” he said.
“This unique initiative, allowed us to open our doors for children to participate in an exciting new programme designed to help them learn real-world skills and experience, for themselves, the working environment,” said Abdul Rahim. “We are confident that these programmes will go long way towards nurturing Bahrain’s future banking and finance professionals which, in turn, will help further reinforce the Kingdom’s position as a key regional banking and finance hub,” he said.
“This first of it is kind initiative was designed especially to offer children the opportunity to experience the real-life working environment in the financial sector,” said Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources Enas Rahimi. “At Ithmaar Bank, we encourage our employees to participate in voluntary programmes such INJAZ Bahrain as it has positive impact both on the community and on the individuals,” she said.
“The Bank is proud to be associated with INJAZ Bahrain for more than ten years as part of its award-winning corporate social responsibility programme, and we are pleased to note that our efforts are paying off,” said Rahimi. “We are pleased to be the first financial institution to host the Summer Camp Programme in association with INJAZ Bahrain, and we look forward a continuing our long-standing relationship,” she said.
Ithmaar Bank employees volunteer every year in the INJAZ Bahrain school programme. This year the programme, which started in July and continued until the end of August, was organised at Ithmaar Bank.
INJAZ Bahrain is a non-profit organization that was established in 2005 as part of Junior Achievement Worldwide with the aim of empowering young people to own their economic success and be prepared for today’s business challenges. With the help of its partners and volunteers, INJAZ Bahrain impacts thousands of students every year bringing them closer to the real world and opening their minds to their own potential.
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ITHMAAR BANK BRANCH STAFF TRAIN FOR CUSTOMER EXCELLENCE

19 Sep 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 19 September 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, hosted an intensive two-day training session for all the Bank’s branch employees for enhancing their skills to provide customer-centric service.
With seventeen full-service branches in strategic locations across Bahrain, Ithmaar Bank operates one of the largest retail banking networks in the Kingdom. The training sessions were conducted in line with the Bank’s long standing commitment to growing continuously closer to its customers.
“Ithmaar Bank is determined to become one of the region’s premier Islamic retail banks,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “To do so, we invest heavily on continuously improving our products and services as well as, perhaps most importantly, our customer service offerings,” he said.
“We listen closely, and respond quickly, to customer demands and we recognise that the best way to do so is to ensure that our customer-facing employees are as customer-focused as possible,” said Abdul Rahim. “This intensive two-day course, which was attended by all branch employees, underscores just how seriously we take our commitment to exceeding customer expectations,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources Enas Rahimi said the course, entitled “Corporate Service Excellence” was organised to further enhance an already customer-centric culture at the Bank’s branches.
“Customer loyalty is nurtured through excellence in customer service and, at Ithmaar Bank, we recognise that this must be at the heart of our business if we are to continue to grow in a competitive market,” said Rahimi. “We also recognise that training is a key component in ensuring that our employees offer our customers the best possible Islamic banking experience. This particular course, for example, focuses on the effect of customer service on customer loyalty, and encourages branch employees to continuously exceed expectations,” she said.

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ITHMAAR BANK’S RETAIL BANKING SUBSIDIARY IN PAKISTAN, FAYSAL BANK LIMITED, REPORTS GROWING PROFITS

17 Sep 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 17 September 2017– Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 17/09/17) that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), has reported increased profits for the first half of 2017. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.6 percent of FBL which is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking activities.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer and FBL Vice Chairman, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows the review and approval by the FBL Board of Directors of the financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2017.
“I am pleased to announce that FBL registered a profit after tax of US$27.2 million (PKR 2.86 billion) during the first half of 2017, compared to a profit of US$26.8 million (PKR 2.82 billion) during the corresponding period in 2016,” said Abdul Rahim. “Despite increasingly challenging market conditions, with the Pakistan economy experiencing low interest rates as well as low exports, and foreign exchange reserves also declining and bringing the Karachi Interbank Offer Rate (KBOR) to record lows, the Bank has reported improved results,” he said.
“To address these harsh economic realities, FBL has repositioned its strategy by mobilizing low cost deposits, increasing recovery efforts from delinquent clients and enforcing strict control over administrative expenses,” said Abdul Rahim. “FBL has also successfully executed several investment and advisory deals with blue chip companies during the first half of 2017,” he said.
“Although the Government of Pakistan has imposed a one-time Super Tax in the annual budget which has affected the bottom line by US$2.4 million (PKR 259 million), the Bank’s Earnings per Share (EPS) for the first half of 2017 increased to PKR2.17 as compared to PKR2.14 for corresponding period last year,” said Abdul Rahim. “FBL has been making steady growth for years and has now consolidated its position in the banking sector. The Bank has not only expanded its network but also has enhanced its core customer base. The Bank now has a network of 365 branches in more than 100 cities across Pakistan,” he said.
The Bank’s deposits have reached US$ 3.4 billion, and assets have crossed the US$4.6 billion mark with a capital base of more than US$300 million. The Bank has achieved these milestones of business growth by upgrading its core banking software, developing staff, enhancing products and focusing on cost efficiency.
Earlier this year, FBL announced the appointment of Yousaf Hussain as President and Chief Executive Officer for a three-year term after all necessary regulatory approvals were received. “On behalf of the Ithmaar Bank management, as well as the FBL Board of Directors, I am pleased to congratulate Yousaf on his appointment, welcome him to his new role and wish him continued success,” said Abdul Rahim. “Yousaf is a seasoned banker with a wide range of experience, and I am confident that he will drive FBL’s continued growth and lead the Bank to greater success,” he said.
FBL’s financial performance has earned the Bank “AA” and “A1+” ratings for the long and short terms respectively, with stable outlook from JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited and Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited.
“I am pleased, also, to note that in October, Ithmaar Bank will mark thirty years of operations in Pakistan,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is a significant milestone in our history,” he said. Ithmaar Bank first commenced its operations in Pakistan in October 1987 under its initial predecessor, Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain.

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ITHMAAR BANK REPORTS CONTINUED PROFITS FOR 2017

13 Aug 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 August 2017 – Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (c), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ithmaar Holding, reported today (ed note: 13/08/17) a net profit of BHD4.38 million for the first half of 2017. The net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017 was BHD1.54 million.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of the Bank’s consolidated financial results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017. These are the Bank’s first half-year results since the successful completion in January this year of a planned reorganisation and the formal commencement of the new group structure and hence there are no comparatives.
“On behalf of the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the Bank continues to report profits in 2017,” said HRH Prince Amr. “In the three-month period ended 30 June 2017, Ithmaar Bank reported a net profit of BHD1.3 million, with the net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the period being BHD0.4 million,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank’s half-year financial results show that the Bank is reporting continued profits and stable income for the year,” said HRH Prince Amr. “In the first half of 2017, the Bank recorded a net income, before provisions for impairment and overseas taxation, of BHD12.71 million, including BHD6.22 million for the three-month period ended 30 June 2017. The Bank recorded a total income for the first half of the year of BD76.44 million, including BD39.23 million for the three-month period ended 30 June 2017,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said that efforts to continuously develop the Bank’s products and services, while also improving its customer service offerings and growing closer to its customers, were clearly paying off.
“Ithmaar Bank’s half-year financial results show that we are, indeed, on the right track as we work towards our shared vision of becoming one of the region’s premier Islamic retail banks,” said Abdul Rahim. “The results show that the Bank’s total assets grew by 5 percent over the past three months and stand at BHD3.26 billion as at 30 June 2017, up from BHD3.11 billion as at 31 March 2017. Accordingly, the equity of unrestricted investment accountholders grew by 4.8 percent during the same period to stand at BHD1.05 billion as at 30 June 2017, up from BHD0.99 billion as at 31 March 2017,” he said.
“This growth is, in a large part, a result of the unwavering focus on developing our core retail banking business,” said Abdul Rahim. “Ithmaar Bank operates one of the largest retail banking networks in Bahrain, and is widely recognised as one of the pioneer, most innovative Islamic banks in the region. We are confident that we will continue to build on this legacy by listening closely, and responding quickly, to our customers,” he said. “The Bank’s subsidiary, Faysal Bank Limited in Pakistan, opened 75 Islamic branches during 2016 as part of its branch expansion plan and has 50 Islamic branches planned for 2017, out of which 10 have been opened till 30 June 2017, making the number of total Islamic branches as 156 out of total of 364 branches,” he said
In May, for example, Ithmaar Bank introduced a new Sharia-compliant corporate credit card with Mastercard. The Card, which was tailored to meet the specific requirements of corporate customers, as well as business owners and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) customers, was developed a result of the Bank’s commitment to listening to, and delivering on, customer expectations. The corporate card allows for a one-stop payment solution which, ultimately, creates what could be the most convenient business payment solution for businesses.
In April, Ithmaar Bank became one of the first banks in Bahrain to be certified to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) v3.2, a prestigious, internationally-celebrated payment security certification that puts the Bank on par with some of the best in the world. The PCI-DSS is a data security standard for organizations that handle branded payment cards from the major card schemes. The PCI Standard is mandated by the card brands and administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. Ithmaar Bank earned the certification after successfully completing a comprehensive audit and demonstrating compliance to one of the most stringent and most coveted security standards in the world.
Earlier this month, Ithmaar Bank announced that it was honoured at a regional conference for its continuous support of the community and presented with the Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award for an Islamic Bank 2017 award in recognition of its various initiatives. The award was presented at the CSR Conference and Award for Islamic Banks which was held in Bahrain and attended by senior bankers, CSR experts and representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as well as government and banking and finance officials both from Bahrain, as well from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, and the Republic of Djibouti.

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ITHMAAR BANK REPORTS CONTINUED PROFITS FOR 2017

13 Aug 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 August 2017 – Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (c), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ithmaar Holding, reported today (ed note: 13/08/17) a net profit of BHD4.38 million for the first half of 2017. The net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017 was BHD1.54 million.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of the Bank’s consolidated financial results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017. These are the Bank’s first half-year results since the successful completion in January this year of a planned reorganisation and the formal commencement of the new group structure and hence there are no comparatives.
“On behalf of the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the Bank continues to report profits in 2017,” said HRH Prince Amr. “In the three-month period ended 30 June 2017, Ithmaar Bank reported a net profit of BHD1.3 million, with the net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the period being BHD0.4 million,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank’s half-year financial results show that the Bank is reporting continued profits and stable income for the year,” said HRH Prince Amr. “In the first half of 2017, the Bank recorded a net income, before provisions for impairment and overseas taxation, of BHD12.71 million, including BHD6.22 million for the three-month period ended 30 June 2017. The Bank recorded a total income for the first half of the year of BD76.44 million, including BD39.23 million for the three-month period ended 30 June 2017,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said that efforts to continuously develop the Bank’s products and services, while also improving its customer service offerings and growing closer to its customers, were clearly paying off.
“Ithmaar Bank’s half-year financial results show that we are, indeed, on the right track as we work towards our shared vision of becoming one of the region’s premier Islamic retail banks,” said Abdul Rahim. “The results show that the Bank’s total assets grew by 5 percent over the past three months and stand at BHD3.26 billion as at 30 June 2017, up from BHD3.11 billion as at 31 March 2017. Accordingly, the equity of unrestricted investment accountholders grew by 4.8 percent during the same period to stand at BHD1.05 billion as at 30 June 2017, up from BHD0.99 billion as at 31 March 2017,” he said.
“This growth is, in a large part, a result of the unwavering focus on developing our core retail banking business,” said Abdul Rahim. “Ithmaar Bank operates one of the largest retail banking networks in Bahrain, and is widely recognised as one of the pioneer, most innovative Islamic banks in the region. We are confident that we will continue to build on this legacy by listening closely, and responding quickly, to our customers,” he said. “The Bank’s subsidiary, Faysal Bank Limited in Pakistan, opened 75 Islamic branches during 2016 as part of its branch expansion plan and has 50 Islamic branches planned for 2017, out of which 10 have been opened till 30 June 2017, making the number of total Islamic branches as 156 out of total of 364 branches,” he said
In May, for example, Ithmaar Bank introduced a new Sharia-compliant corporate credit card with Mastercard. The Card, which was tailored to meet the specific requirements of corporate customers, as well as business owners and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) customers, was developed a result of the Bank’s commitment to listening to, and delivering on, customer expectations. The corporate card allows for a one-stop payment solution which, ultimately, creates what could be the most convenient business payment solution for businesses.
In April, Ithmaar Bank became one of the first banks in Bahrain to be certified to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) v3.2, a prestigious, internationally-celebrated payment security certification that puts the Bank on par with some of the best in the world. The PCI-DSS is a data security standard for organizations that handle branded payment cards from the major card schemes. The PCI Standard is mandated by the card brands and administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. Ithmaar Bank earned the certification after successfully completing a comprehensive audit and demonstrating compliance to one of the most stringent and most coveted security standards in the world.
Earlier this month, Ithmaar Bank announced that it was honoured at a regional conference for its continuous support of the community and presented with the Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award for an Islamic Bank 2017 award in recognition of its various initiatives. The award was presented at the CSR Conference and Award for Islamic Banks which was held in Bahrain and attended by senior bankers, CSR experts and representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as well as government and banking and finance officials both from Bahrain, as well from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, and the Republic of Djibouti.

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ITHMAAR HOLDING REPORTS SECOND QUARTER RESULTS

10 Aug 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 10 August 2017 – Ithmaar Holding BSC (formerly Ithmaar Bank BSC) (Ithmaar) reported today (ed note: 10/08/17) a net loss of US$1.59 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017, compared to a net profit of US$11.96 million for the same period last year.
Net loss attributable to equity holders for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017 was US$9.25 million, compared to a net profit of US$4.4 million reported for the same period last year. This included a net loss of US$7.38 million for the three-month period ended 30 June 2017, compared to a net profit of US$7.14 million for the same period last year. Net loss attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30 June 2017 was US$9.82 million, compared to a net profit of US$3.19 million reported for the same period last year.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of Ithmaar’s consolidated financial results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Ithmaar’s half-year financial results show that the core business continued to grow in 2017,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Although net income, before provision for impairment and overseas taxation, dropped to US$29.83 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017, from US$36.67 million for the same period last year, this loss was mainly due to unrealized foreign exchange losses of US$12.5 million, overall income from our core business grew significantly during the same period. This is evident from the increased income from murabaha and other financing which grew by 7.7 percent to US$72.08 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017, compared to US$66.9 million for the same period last year, as well as the higher share on income from unrestricted investment accounts as a Mudarib which grew 60.8 percent during the first half of this year to US$34.39 million, compared to US$21.38 million for the same period last year. This is, mainly, a result of the 75 new Islamic retail branches that were opened by Faysal Bank Limited in Pakistan last year,” he said.
Ithmaar Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said the focus remains firmly on growing the core retail banking business.
“I am pleased to report that the balance sheet is stable and continues to grow,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total assets stood at US$8.72 billion as at 30 June 2017, a 4.5 percent increase compared to US$8.34 billion as at 31 December 2016, and a 2.9 percent increase compared to US$8.47 billion as at 30 June 2016,” he said.
“Customer current accounts also increased to US$1.73 billion as at 30 June 2017, a 9.6 percent

increase compared to US$1.58 billion as at 31 December 2016, and a 15.5 percent increase compared to US$1.5 billion as at 30 June 2016,” said Abdul Rahim. “The equity of unrestricted investment accountholders, at US$2.78 billion as at 30 June 2017, increased by 0.4 percent compared to US$2.77 billion as at 31 December 2016, and by a significant 7.2 percent compared to US$2.59 billion as 30 June 2016,” he said.
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ITHMAAR BANK EARNS CSR AWARD, CEO EARNS ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE IN CSR AWARD

06 Aug 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 7 August 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail Bank, was honoured at a regional conference for its continuous support of the community and presented with the Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award for an Islamic Bank 2017 in recognition of its various initiatives. Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, was also honoured at the event and presented with the Academic Excellence in CSR Award.
The awards were presented to Abdul Rahim by the Chairman of the Bahrain Association of Banks and the International Ambassador for CSR, Adnan Yousif, at the CSR Conference and Award for Islamic Banks, which was held in Bahrain. At the event, Abdul Rahim was thanked for his participation in the conference and his support, as the Ithmaar Bank CEO, for the Bank’s CSR initiatives. The event was attended by senior bankers, CSR experts and representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as well as government and banking and finance officials both from Bahrain, as well from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Sudan and the Republic of Djibouti.
Abdul Rahim thanked the organisers and attributed the Bank’s long-standing commitment to the community, as well as its growing success, to the Grace of God, then to the support and guidance of the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors, led by the Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, as well as to the contributions of the Executive Management team and all the Bank’s employees.
“As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar Bank has long recognised the important role we must play in supporting the community in which we operate,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is a responsibility we have always taken very seriously, and this has helped chart the Bank’s progress and growth over the years,” he said.
“Although we are, of course, deeply grateful for the recognition we receive through these prestigious awards, our support for the community is driven by infinitely more powerful motivation,” said Abdul Rahim. “It is, in fact, one of our key objectives as an Islamic retail bank: to play a real and meaningful role in developing our community, to help those in need and to contribute to our society’s growth and prosperity. It is about who we are as a corporate entity,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank fulfils its responsibility towards the community by focusing on economic growth, social development and environmental protection,” said Abdul Rahim. “Throughout, we remain committed to applying best practices in corporate governance through the adoption of principles such as integrity, transparency, accountability and a strict adherence to the principles of the Islamic Sharia principles,” he said.
“We set solid foundations based on predetermined criteria that are used in deciding which initiatives we support, and we conduct extensive studies to ensure that any funds we disburse

are used to achieve specific objectives that are in line with the Bank’s CSR strategy,” said Abdul Rahim. “The Bank’s CSR strategy aims to provide financial and moral support to a number of sectors, such as providing financial support for the needy and providing education and training opportunities for Bahrainis from all sectors, including empowering women to play bigger roles in the community and supporting people with special needs. The Bank also focuses on supporting sports and social activities as well as on supporting hospitals and medical centres,” he said.
“As an Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar Bank we did not overlook the significant role we must play in spreading Islam by supporting centres that aim to spread awareness of the Holy Quran through programmes that teach Islamic principles, print the Holy Qurans, and memorise it as a part of the nation-wide Quran reader programme,” said Abdul Rahim. “Over the past 10 years, Ithmaar has also sponsored a number of distinguished academics from all over the Islamic world to obtain postgraduate degrees from the United Kingdom,” he said.
“We also play an important role in providing ongoing training to a large number of undergraduate students in Bahrain to prepare them for entering the banking sector,” said Abdul Rahim. “Ithmaar does not neglect the important role women play in all areas, and the Bank continues to supports initiatives and programmes that help empower women,” he said.
“The Bank also supports the Bahraini community by offering innovative products such as the Qard Hassan, during the Holy month of Ramadan where customers are able to get financing with zero profit rate,” said Abdul Rahim. “We also conducted a recycling project which included educating our employees and the community on how to recycle paper and plastic,” he said.
In December 2016, Ithmaar Bank was singled out from among the world’s Islamic banks for a prestigious international award in recognition of its CSR initiatives and its Financial Disclosure. The independent award was presented at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) in Bahrain, a high-profile event that was attended by leading international banking experts and is widely recognised as one of the most important events on the world Islamic banking calendar.
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ITHMAAR BANK EARNS PRESTIGIOUS PAYMENT SECURITY CERTIFICATION

23 Jul 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 23 July 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, earned a prestigious, internationally-celebrated payment security certification that puts the Bank on par with some of the best in the world.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) certification was awarded to Ithmaar Bank by SISA Information Security WLL, the Middle East’s leading Qualified Security Assessor. The PCI-DSS is a data security standard for organizations that handle branded payment cards from the major card schemes. The PCI Standard is mandated by the card brands and administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. Ithmaar Bank earned the certification after successfully completing a comprehensive audit and demonstrating compliance to one of the most stringent and most coveted security standards in the world. The certification was awarded on 26 April 2017, making Ithmaar Bank one of the first in Bahrain to be certified in PCI DSS v3.2.
“Maintaining the safety of card data and banking systems should be one of the top priorities in card acquiring and issuing companies,” said SISA Worldwide CEO and Founder, Dharshan Shanthamurthy. “We are glad to know Ithmaar Bank holds the same belief and continues to work hard towards it,” he said.
SISA is confident that Ithmaar Bank will continue to play an important role in driving the Bahrain payment industry towards utilizing top-of-the-line secure payment infrastructure by implementing payment security regulatory and compliance requirements,” said Shanthamurthy. “This great achievement by Ithmaar Bank will set an example for all other Bahrain financial organizations who are currently in the process of implementing PCI security standards, as it is vital to their long-term success,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the region’s premier Islamic retail banks,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “To realise this vision, we invest heavily in continuously developing our products and services while also enhancing our customer service offerings. This, in turn, requires us to ensure we provide the highest levels of security to our customers,” he said.
“The importance of security cannot be overstated,” said Abdul Rahim. “It is a commitment we take very seriously, and I am pleased to note that Ithmaar Bank has earned this prestigious certification,” he said.
The PCI Security Standards Council, launched in September 2006 and formed by the major payment card brands like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB, is a global open body to develop, enhance, disseminate and assist with the understanding of security standards for payment account security and maintains, evolves and promotes the Payment Card Industry Security Standards. PCI-DSS is not a static standard, but an evolving one based on the ever-changing threat landscape worldwide.
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BAHRAINI WOMAN WINS USD100,000 THIMAAR PRIZE

16 Jul 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 15 July 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, presented a USD100,000 cash prize to Dalal Mohammed Abdulrahman Buali, a Bahraini mother who won the Thimaar semi-annual grand prize.
The prize, which was received by Dalal’s nephew Yaqoob Ahmed Alatawi on her behalf, was presented by Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Banking Group, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa at a ceremony which was held at the Seef Mall and attended by members of Dalal’s family and members of the Ithmaar Bank management team. The ceremony attracted an audience that included new Thimaar customers and mall shoppers.
“I am very happy that my aunt has won the grand prize,” said Alatawi. “She has been saving with Thimaar for a long time, mainly because of the large number of prizes and the many winners who have encouraged her to save with the Bank. She is particularly delighted to win the prize at this specific time, as the prize money will help her continue the house she had started to build,” he said.
“Congratulations to Dalal and her family, as well as all the other Thimaar winners of this month,” said Al Mutawa. “We work hard to improve the Thimaar savings account in line with the Bank’s commitment to listening closely to its customers’ requirements and actively responding to their feedback. As a result, the current Thimaar offering reduced the minimum deposit to BD30, while also increased the number of winners to 4,044, currently the highest in Bahrain,” he said.
In 2017, Thimaar is offering a total of USD3,055,000 in prizes – including USD1,020,000 monthly prizes, USD900,000 loyalty prizes, USD600,000 Eid prizes, USD200,000 semi-annual prizes and USD125,000 national day prizes – to a total of 4,044 winners, including 840 Junior winners.
Every BD30 maintained as an average daily balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD30, the more opportunities they have to win.
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ITHMAAR HOSTS SECURITY AWARENESS SESSIONS FOR OFFICE ASSISTANTS AND SECURITY GUARDS

19 Jun 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 19 June 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, hosted a series of security awareness sessions for office attendants and security guards to help reduce the risks of any gaps in the Bank’s security or the confidentiality of its documents.
The awareness sessions, which were delivered by Ahmed Buqais, Senior Manager at Ithmaar Bank’s Information Technology department, were organised by the Human Resources and the Administration departments and attended by approximately 80 office attendants and security guards. The sessions were organised in recognition of the important role that office attendants and security guards play in the Bank’s continued success.
“Security is everyone’s responsibility, and we can only ever be as strong as our weakest link,” said Buqais. “Every year, all employees, from the most junior to the most senior including the executive management, attend refresher courses to ensure we are all kept up to date with the latest developments. This, in turn, helps minimise risks by keeping us all alert and updated,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank is committed to the highest standards of excellence in everything we do,” said Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources, Enas Rahimi. “Training is one of the key ways in which we work towards achieving this shared objective. In addition to external training courses, we also arrange internal training courses where employees can share their expertise. This approach helps further develop our people, with both the trainer and the trainees developing their professional capabilities. Office attendants and security guards play an important a role in our continued success, as do all the other employees, and we treat them accordingly,” she said.

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ITHMAAR BANK SUPPORTS EMPLOYEES TO EARN PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATES IN ISLAMIC FINANCE

11 Jun 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 11 June 2017 – Ten employees at Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, who recently earned professional certificates in Islamic finance from the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) were honoured at a ceremony hosted by the BIBF and attended by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, Assistant General Manager, Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi, Executive Senior Manager, Head of Commercial and Financial Institutions, Abdulla Talib and employees from the Human Resources Department.
The employees, from various departments including Commercial and Financial Institutions, Retail Banking, Product Development and Management, and Compliance & Anti Money Laundering had successfully completed professional training programme at the BIBF and earned the Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance.
Abdul Rahim congratulated the employees on their achievements which, he said, helped contribute directly to developing the Islamic banking and finance industry both in Bahrain and abroad.
“Banking is all about people,” said Abdul Rahim. “At Ithmaar Bank, we have long recognised our people as our greatest asset and we have repeatedly stressed that our continued success is, ultimately, dependent on our people,” he said.
“As a pioneered Islamic Bank, Ithmaar is committed to playing a key role in the development of the Islamic banking industry,” said Abdul Rahim. “One way we try to do so is by focusing on improving the qualifications and skills of our employees. This, in return, will reflect on the Bank’s performance, particularly in terms of delivering on our customers’ expectations and will in turn enhance the skill set in Islamic banking sector in the Kingdom,” he said.
“At Ithmaar Bank, we are working continuously to develop our employees who are the pillars for our success,” said Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources, Enas Rahimi. “We always look for training programmes that will help our workforce gain new professional skills and knowledge in Islamic banking,” she said.
“We also try to encourage our employees to join professional training programmes such as the Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance,” said Rahimi. “These will help enhance their experience and add to their qualification which, in turn, will help their careers,” she said.
The following employees earned the Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance Certificate: Ali Abbas Faraj Abbas, Ali Yusuf Ali Abdulwahab Jamaan, Khalil Ebrahim Mohammed Qabeel, Mohammed Abdulaziz Salman Al-Hasan, Muhjah Abdulrazaq Abdulla Fulad, Mohammed Abdulla Mohamed
Al-Awadhi, Yousif Mohammed Abdulla Al-Qasim, Faisal Riyadh Yusuf Sater, Naser Abdulla Naser Al-Naqib and Mai Abdulhameed Mohammed Al-Thawadi.
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ITHMAAR BANK’S RETAIL BANKING SUBSIDIARY IN PAKISTAN, FAYSAL BANK LIMITED, REPORTS HIGHER PROFITS

29 May 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 29 May 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 29/05/17) that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), has reported remarkably improved profitability for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the corresponding period last year.
The announcement, by the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer and FBL Vice Chairman, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows the review and approval by the FBL Board of Directors of the financial results for the quarter ended 31 March 2017.
FBL, has upgraded its core banking system, and strengthened processes and increased its reach to preferred business sectors and customers through an improved product menu and increased branch network. FBL added 75 branches in 2016 and plans to add 50 more branches during 2017. These measures are expected to translate into better returns for shareholders of the Bank. FBL is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking activities. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.6 percent of FBL.
“I am pleased to announce that FBL registered a healthy profit, after tax, of US$ 17.8 million (PKR 1.9 billion) during the first quarter of 2017, compared to US$ 12.9 million (PKR 1.4 billion) during corresponding period of 2016,” said Abdul Rahim. “During the last two years, the banking industry in Pakistan experienced lower interest rates. These economic realities have restricted the profit earning capacity of banks. As a result, FBL repositioned its strategy by introducing low cost deposit mobilization initiatives to protect spreads,” he said.
“FBL has also made sizable recoveries from delinquent clients and administrative cost has been kept under strict control,” said Abdul Rahim. “FBL successfully executed large corporate deals and was lead arranger for a number of entities in the transport and energy sectors pertaining to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. These measures helped increasing Earnings per Share (EPS) of the Bank for the first quarter, from PKR 1.13 to PKR 1.56,” he said.
“FBL’s Balance Sheet stands at US$ 4.2 billion (PKR 444 billion) and deposits have reached US$ 3.2 billion (PKR 338 billion) as at 31 March 2017, with a focus on maintaining spreads,” said Abdul Rahim. “FBL’s financial performance has earned the Bank “AA” and “A1+” ratings for the long and short terms respectively, with stable outlook from JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited and Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited,” he said.
In May 2017, the Chairman of the FBL Board of Directors announced the appointment of Yousaf Hussain as acting Chief Executive of the Bank replacing the former Chief Executive who resigned in mid-May 2017. Abdul Rahim said, “Earlier during the year, the board has also inducted three independent directors, namely Fuad Azim Hashmi, Mian Mohammad Younis, and Ali Munir.” He also said the newly constituted board now comprises one-third independent directors with a rich blend of diverse local and international management and financial expertise. “We are confident that Faysal Bank will embark on the next phase of its ambitious journey under the guidance of the esteemed Board of Directors,” he added.
Abdul Rahim said that Hussain is an experienced professional banker with over 22 years of multifaceted local and international experience with leading institutions including ABN AMRO in the last eight years at FBL.

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ITHMAAR BANK LAUNCHES MASTERCARD CORPORATE CREDIT CARD

24 May 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 24 May 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 24/05/17) that it is introducing a new Sharia-compliant corporate credit card with Mastercard.
The new Ithmaar Bank Mastercard Corporate Credit Card is tailored to meet the specific requirements of corporate customers, as well as business owners and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) customers. Its development and subsequent introduction is a result of the Bank’s commitment to listening to, and delivering on, customer expectations.
The corporate credit card was unveiled during a launch event at the InterContinental Regency Hotel, during which Ithmaar Bank and Mastercard representatives outlined the extended features and benefits of the card to customers.
“Ithmaar Bank is determined to become the region’s premier Islamic retail bank,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “To do so, we continue to invest heavily in developing our products and services while also working to be closer to our customers – and this launch is another major step in that direction,” said Abdul Rahim.
“The introduction of the new corporate credit card solution, in cooperation with Mastercard, aims to meet the specific demands of our customers and addresses a pressing need identified by our corporate and SME customers,” said Abdul Rahim. “The corporate card allows for a one-stop payment solution which, ultimately, creates what could be the most convenient business payment solution for businesses,” he said.
“We are pleased to have worked with our partners at Mastercard to introduce this business payment solution, and we are delighted to now make it available to our customers,” said Abdul Rahim. “I am confident that the new card will go a long way towards making payments easier and more convenient for corporate customers,” he said.
“This launch reflects our commitment to creating tailored payment solutions that address the evolving needs of corporate cardholders,” said Mastercard Area Business Head, Northern Gulf, Pankaj Kathuria. “In addition to offering enhanced payment security and a host of exclusive benefits, the card will provide corporate customers with greater control over their payments and the flexibility to determine how, when and where their cards will be used. We are proud to team up with Ithmaar Bank to introduce this innovative payment solution that will further accelerate the displacement of cash in the Kingdom of Bahrain,” he said.
The new Ithmaar Bank card offers credit limits tailored to each specific customer, as well as other key features. An additional layer of security, for example, is embedded in the new corporate credit card with the Mastercard SecureCode authentication feature that protects the card against fraud.

Corporate liability waiver is enabled as well, and protects the company against unauthorised use of the card by its employees. Ithmaar Bank corporate credit card customers are also eligible for 20 percent discounts on daily business shipments with DHL shipping.

ITHMAAR HOLDING REPORTS FIRST QUARTER PROFITS

14 May 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 14 May 2017 – Ithmaar Holding BSC (formerly Ithmaar Bank BSC) (Ithmaar) reported today (ed note: 14/05/17) a net profit of US$5.79 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017, a 20 percent increase compared to the net profit of US$4.83 million reported for the same period last year. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017 was US$0.58 million, a 52.7 percent decrease compared to a net profit of US$1.22 million reported for the same period last year.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of Ithmaar’s consolidated financial results for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Ithmaar continues to show stable, consistent growth in its core retail banking business,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Net income, before provision for impairments and overseas taxation, increased 27.7 percent to US$20.25 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017, compared to US$15.86 million reported for the same period last year. This increase is mainly due to an increase in income from core retail banking business, with income from murabaha and other financing increasing 14.4 percent to US$42.66 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017, compared to US$37.29 million for the same period last year,” he said.
Ithmaar Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said that following the successful completion of the reorganisation at the beginning of the year and the formal commencement of the new group structure, Ithmaar remains firmly focused on growing its core retail banking business.
“I am pleased to report that the balance sheet continues to be stable,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total assets stood at US$8.30 billion as at 31 March 2017 compared with US$8.34 billion as at 31 December 2016, but a significant 6.7 percent increase from US$7.78 billion as at 31 March 2016. Total financings remained stable at US$3.93 billion at 31 March 2017 and 31 December 2016, but increased by 5.4 percent from US$3.73 billion at 31 March 2016, a testimony to growth in our core businesses. Similarly, investment securities increased by 7.2 percent from US$1.87 billion at 31 December 2016 to US$2.01 billion at 31 March 2017, and increased by 31 percent from US$1.53 billion at 31 March 2016,” he said.
“Customer current accounts and due to investors increased by 1.5 percent from US$3.48 billion at 31 December 2016 to US$3.54 billion at 31 March 2017, and increased significantly by 9.8 percent from US$3.22 billion at 31 March 2016,” said Abdul Rahim. “The equity of unrestricted investment account holders, at US$2.65 billion as at 31 March 2017, decreased by 4.2 percent compared to US$2.77 billion as at 31 December 2016, but increased by 5.6 percent compared to US$2.51 billion as 31 March 2016,” he said.
“Faysal Bank Limited (Pakistan), subsidiary of Ithmaar Bank B.S.C.(C) continues to report growth in business and will be adding 50 new branches throughout Pakistan as part of its branch expansion plan in 2017 to exceed 400 branches,” said Abdul Rahim
The new structure, which was proposed by the Bank’s Board of Directors and approved by shareholders in March 2016, resulted in the conversion of Ithmaar Bank B.S.C into Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar Holding), which is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and is listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait. Ithmaar Holding retains 100 percent ownership of all assets formerly owned by Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. through its two wholly-owned subsidiaries Ithmaar Bank B.S.C (closed) (Ithmaar Bank), an Islamic retail bank subsidiary, which holds the core retail banking business, and IB Capital B.S.C. (closed) (IB Capital), an investment subsidiary, which holds investments and other non-core assets. The two subsidiaries are licensed and regulated by the CBB.

Earlier this year, shareholders approved a proposal to list Ithmaar Holding on additional stock exchanges in the region. The proposal, which was presented by a shareholder as an additional agenda item at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March 2017 was approved unopposed by the shareholders who welcomed the initiative.
-ENDS-

ITHMAAR BANK REPORTS FIRST QUARTER PROFITS

14 May 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 14 May 2017 – Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (c), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ithmaar Holding, reported today (ed note: 14/05/17) a net profit of BHD3.1 million for the first quarter of 2017. The Net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the first quarter of 2017 was BHD1.14 million.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of the Bank’s consolidated financial results for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017. These are the Bank’s first published results since the successful completion in January this year of a planned reorganisation and the formal commencement of the new group structure and hence there are no comparatives.
“On behalf of the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the Bank reported profits in the first three months following the successful reorganisation,” said HRH Prince Amr. “In the three-month period ended 31 March 2017, Ithmaar Bank reported a net income, before provisions for impairment and overseas taxation, of BHD6.49 million. Total income during the period was BHD38.67 million,” he said.
“As at 31 March 2017, the Bank’s total assets stand at BHD3.11 billion, and the total owners’ equity at BHD158.60 million,” said HRH Prince Amr.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said that following the reorganisation, the Bank is focusing all its efforts on developing its core retail banking business by continuously developing its products and services, improving its customer service offerings and growing closer to its customers.
“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the region’s premier Islamic retail bank,” said Abdul Rahim. “The Bank’s financial performance during the first quarter of 2017 is testimony to the success of these efforts, and we are confident that, moving forward, we will continue to further build upon them,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank is one of the largest retail banking networks in Bahrain and enjoys a track record of genuine innovation and a reputation for excellence,” said Abdul Rahim.
“Faysal Bank Limited (Pakistan), subsidiary of the Ithmaar Bank continues to report growth in business and will be adding 50 new branches throughout Pakistan as part of its branch expansion plan in 2017 to exceed 400 branches,” said Abdul Rahim
In 2017, Ithmaar Bank updated and re-launched its prize-based saving account, Thimaar, to offer prizes totalling more than US$3 million to 4,000 winners who maintain a minimum deposit of only BHD30. In addition to the monthly draws and the special Thimaar Junior draws for minors, Ithmaar Bank introduced in 2017 additional draws, including loyalty, National Day, Eid, and Semi Annual draws.
Earlier this year, Ithmaar Bank, in partnership with Batelco and Arab Financial Services, also formally launched Bahrain’s first ever mobile payment solution, Easy Pay. The solution uses secure Near Field Communication (NFC) tags to eliminate the need for cash or cards by allowing customers to shop simply by tapping their mobile phones at Point of Sale (POS) machines. This marked a key milestone for the Bahrain retail market, potentially revolutionizing shopping experiences of the customers with secure, real-time payments now possible directly from their mobile phones.
Ithmaar Bank also launched a special promotional campaign in 2017 offering customers who applied for personal financing the chance to have their alternate instalments paid by the Bank for a full year. In line with its commitment to its customers, Ithmaar Bank renewed a joint promotion with Gulf Air that grants Ithmaar Bank cardholders discounted prices for tickets purchased on gulfair.com. Under this agreement, Ithmaar Bank Credit Card and eCard holders receive a 10 percent discount when purchasing Gulf Air tickets online.

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ITHMAAR BANK ANNOUNCES KEY APPOINTMENTS

07 May 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 07 May 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 07/05/2017) two key appointments to its executive management team, and assigned new responsibilities to another senior executive.
Yousif Alkhan, presently the Head of Information Technology, has been assigned additional responsibility of Administration and will now be the Head of Information Technology and Administration Department; Krishnan Hariharan was appointed Chief Risk Officer; and Khalil Ebrahim Al Asfoor was appointed Acting Head of Internal Audit.
The announcement, by the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Abdul Rahim, is in line with the Bank’s commitment to continuous improvement, and is part of ongoing efforts to develop Ithmaar into the region’s premier Islamic retail bank.
“I congratulate Yousif on the new responsibilities assigned to him, and am delighted to welcome Krishnan and Khalil to the executive management team,” said Abdul Rahim. “I am confident that each of these senior executives will play a key role in contributing to the Bank’s continued growth and success, and I wish them all the best,” he said.
“Ithmaar has long recognised that, ultimately, it is the quality of our people that will drive our continued success,” said Abdul Rahim. “As a result, we strive to recruit and retain only the very best people, and we invest heavily in training and development to ensure our people remain among the best in the industry,” he said.
“As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar has also long-recognised the important role we must play in contributing to the development of Bahrain’s Islamic banking industry,” said Abdul Rahim. “This includes continuously developing our own national workforce through various training opportunities and, when necessary, by bringing international expertise from abroad to share their experience and technical know-how,” he said.
AlKhan has been with the Bank since 1989, when it was then called Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain. Alkhan holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from AMA International University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Bahrain
Prior to his current Ithmaar appointment, Hariharan was the Alizz Islamic Bank Chief Risk Officer. He holds a Masters degree in Financial Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai University, India, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from Osmania University, India, and a Bachelor of Commerce, Mumbai University, India. It is his second professional assignment to Bahrain, where he had previously held senior executive positions including Eskan Bank Chief Risk Officer and Shamil Bank of Bahrain Chief Risk Officer.
Prior to his current Ithmaar appointment, Al Asfoor was Manager, Group Internal Control at Ahli United Bank. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Bahrain as well as an Associate Professional Risk Manager (APRM) certificate from, United States. He is an IRCA certified Information Security Management System (ISMS) Auditor, ISO27001, Bureau VERITAS; is a Certified Islamic Banker (CIB) from the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, Bahrain, and a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), United Kingdom.

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ITHMAAR BANK CONTINUES FOCUS ON CORE RETAIL BANKING BUSINESS UNDER THE NEW GROUP STRUCTURE

30 Apr 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 30 April 2017– Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (closed) (Ithmaar Bank), a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 30/04/17) that it is continuing operations as an Islamic retail bank that is licenced and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) as part of the new organisation structure that was successfully completed in January 2017.
The announcement, by the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows a CBB Resolution published in the Official Gazette last Thursday (ed note: 27/04/17) regarding the termination of the Islamic retail banking licence of the former Ithmaar Bank B.S.C as part of the planned reorganisation and the process of completing the legal procedures of the reorganisation.
“I am pleased to report that, following the successful reorganisation that was competed with the start of the current year, we are continuing to focus on our core retail banking business through Ithmaar Bank B.S.C (closed) licensed by the CBB,” said Abdul Rahim. “This, we believe, allows us to better focus on improving our products and services while growing closer to our customers,” he said.
The reorganisation, which was presented by the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors and approved by shareholders in March 2016, involved the conversion of the commercial registration of Ithmaar Bank B.S.C into Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar Holding). Ithmaar Holding is licensed and regulated by the CBB and listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait. Following the conversion, Ithmaar Holding retains 100 percent ownership of all assets formerly owned by Ithmaar Bank through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, the first being Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (closed) with an Islamic retail bank CBB license which holds the core retail banking business, and IB Capital B.S.C. (closed) (IB Capital), an investment subsidiary, which holds investments and other non-core assets. The two subsidiaries are licensed and regulated by the CBB.

-ENDS-

ITHMAAR HOLDING REPORTS FIRST QUARTER PROFITS

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 14 May 2017 – Ithmaar Holding BSC (formerly Ithmaar Bank BSC) (Ithmaar) reported today (ed note: 14/05/17) a net profit of US$5.79 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017, a 20 percent increase compared to the net profit of US$4.83 million reported for the same period last year. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017 was US$0.58 million, a 52.7 percent decrease compared to a net profit of US$1.22 million reported for the same period last year.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of Ithmaar’s consolidated financial results for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Ithmaar continues to show stable, consistent growth in its core retail banking business,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Net income, before provision for impairments and overseas taxation, increased 27.7 percent to US$20.25 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017, compared to US$15.86 million reported for the same period last year. This increase is mainly due to an increase in income from core retail banking business, with income from murabaha and other financing increasing 14.4 percent to US$42.66 million for the three-month period ended 31 March 2017, compared to US$37.29 million for the same period last year,” he said.
Ithmaar Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said that following the successful completion of the reorganisation at the beginning of the year and the formal commencement of the new group structure, Ithmaar remains firmly focused on growing its core retail banking business.
“I am pleased to report that the balance sheet continues to be stable,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total assets stood at US$8.30 billion as at 31 March 2017 compared with US$8.34 billion as at 31 December 2016, but a significant 6.7 percent increase from US$7.78 billion as at 31 March 2016. Total financings remained stable at US$3.93 billion at 31 March 2017 and 31 December 2016, but increased by 5.4 percent from US$3.73 billion at 31 March 2016, a testimony to growth in our core businesses. Similarly, investment securities increased by 7.2 percent from US$1.87 billion at 31 December 2016 to US$2.01 billion at 31 March 2017, and increased by 31 percent from US$1.53 billion at 31 March 2016,” he said.
“Customer current accounts and due to investors increased by 1.5 percent from US$3.48 billion at 31 December 2016 to US$3.54 billion at 31 March 2017, and increased significantly by 9.8 percent from US$3.22 billion at 31 March 2016,” said Abdul Rahim. “The equity of unrestricted investment account holders, at US$2.65 billion as at 31 March 2017, decreased by 4.2 percent compared to US$2.77 billion as at 31 December 2016, but increased by 5.6 percent compared to US$2.51 billion as 31 March 2016,” he said.
“Faysal Bank Limited (Pakistan), subsidiary of Ithmaar Bank B.S.C.(C) continues to report growth in business and will be adding 50 new branches throughout Pakistan as part of its branch expansion plan in 2017 to exceed 400 branches,” said Abdul Rahim
The new structure, which was proposed by the Bank’s Board of Directors and approved by shareholders in March 2016, resulted in the conversion of Ithmaar Bank B.S.C into Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar Holding), which is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and is listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait. Ithmaar Holding retains 100 percent ownership of all assets formerly owned by Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. through its two wholly-owned subsidiaries Ithmaar Bank B.S.C (closed) (Ithmaar Bank), an Islamic retail bank subsidiary, which holds the core retail banking business, and IB Capital B.S.C. (closed) (IB Capital), an investment subsidiary, which holds investments and other non-core assets. The two subsidiaries are licensed and regulated by the CBB.

Earlier this year, shareholders approved a proposal to list Ithmaar Holding on additional stock exchanges in the region. The proposal, which was presented by a shareholder as an additional agenda item at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March 2017 was approved unopposed by the shareholders who welcomed the initiative.

ITHMAAR SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE ADDITIONAL LISTING ON REGIONAL STOCK EXCHANGES

02 Apr 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 02 April 2017 –Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (formerly Ithmaar Bank B.S.C.) (Ithmaar) shareholders approved a proposal on listing Ithmaar on additional stock exchanges in the region.
The proposal, which was presented by a shareholder as an additional agenda item at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Thursday (ed note: 30/03/17), was approved unopposed by the shareholders who welcomed the initiative.
Ithmaar Holding, which is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain, is currently listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait. At the Thursday meeting, shareholders authorised the Board of Directors and Ithmaar management to study additional listings in various stock exchanges in the region and to complete the additional exchange listing process.
The meeting was chaired by Ithmaar Holding Board member Sheikh Zamil Abdulla Al-Zamil and attended by Directors Dr. Amani Khaled Bouresli and Nabeel Khaled Mohamed Kanoo, as well as Ithmaar Holding Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, Ithmaar Bank Chief Operating Officer, Ravindra Khot, and Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Banking Group, Abdul Hakeem Khalil Al-Mutawa. Also present were members of the Ithmaar Bank Executive Management team, as well as representatives of the Ithmaar Holding Sharia Supervisory Board, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, statutory auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Bahrain Bourse.
At the meeting, shareholders praised the transformation witnessed in 2016 with the successful completion of a major reorganisation as well as a complete turnaround in Ithmaar’s financial performance. The reorganised Ithmaar became fully operational with the start of 2017, concluding the full implementation of plans for a new group structure that was designed to provide greater insight into the strength of the core retail banking operations and further facilitate the focused management of investment and non-core assets. As a result of its focus on core retail banking business, Ithmaar reported a net profit of US$13.80 million for 2016, compared to a US$46.40 million net loss reported for 2015. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the year ended 31 December 2016 was US$3.28 million, compared to a net loss US$60.80 million reported for 2015.
-ENDS-

ITHMAAR SHAREHOLDERS REVIEW 2016 PERFORMANCE WITH REPORTED PROFITS AND SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF REORGANISATION

30 Mar 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 30 March 2017 –Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (formerly Ithmaar Bank B.S.C.) (Ithmaar) shareholders praised the transformation witnessed in 2016 with the successful completion of a major reorganisation as well as a complete turnaround in Ithmaar’s financial performance.
This followed an announcement that the reorganised Ithmaar became fully operational with the start of 2017, concluding the full implementation of plans for a new group structure that was designed to provide greater insight into the strength of the core retail banking operations and further facilitate the focused management of investment and non-core assets. As a result of its focus on core retail banking business, Ithmaar earlier reported a net profit of US$13.80 million for 2016, compared to a US$46.40 million net loss reported for 2015. Net profit attributable to equity holders for the year ended 31 December 2016 was US$3.28 million, compared to a net loss US$60.80 million reported for 2015.
The announcements were made by Ithmaar Board Member, Sheikh Zamil Abdulla Al-Zamil, who chaired Ithmaar’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) which followed. Also present at the meetings, which were held at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel in Bahrain, were Directors and members of the Ithmaar Executive Management team, representatives of its Sharia Supervisory Board, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, statutory auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Bahrain Bourse.
The plans for a new group structure, which were discussed and approved at the last shareholders’ meeting on 28 March 2016, involved conversion of the commercial registration of Ithmaar Bank B.S.C into Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar Holding). Ithmaar Holding is licensed and regulated by the CBB and listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait. Following the conversion, Ithmaar Holding retains 100 percent ownership of all assets formerly owned by Ithmaar Bank through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (c), an Islamic retail bank subsidiary which holds the core retail banking business, and IB Capital B.S.C. (c) (IB Capital), an investment subsidiary, which holds investments and other non-core assets. The two subsidiaries are licensed and regulated by the CBB.
At the meeting, Sheikh Zamil extended, on behalf of the Board and the Executive Management team, sincere thanks and appreciation to the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait for their outstanding support which has led to the completion of the two-year long reorganisation project successfully and on time. During the EGM, shareholders also approved amendments to the Memorandum and Articles of Association of Ithmaar Holding.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that 2016 has been a year of remarkable transformation at Ithmaar,” said Sheikh Zamil. “Throughout the year, the focus remained on implementing the new group structure while continuously developing our core retail banking business. Ithmaar’s performance in 2016 is testimony to the success of these efforts, and we are confident that this growth will continue following the completion of the reorganisation and the formal commencement of the new group structure with the start of 2017,” he said.
Ithmaar Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said the financial results are a direct consequence of the clear focus on core retail banking business.
“In 2016, Ithmaar conducted certain process-reengineering initiatives to improve efficiency at the branches as well as enhance customer experiences at all possible touch points,” said Abdul Rahim. “As a result of Ithmaar’s consistent efforts in Bahrain to enhance its products, expand its network and introduce new services, retail banking customer current accounts, savings accounts, Thimaar and URIA deposits, increased by 10.9 percent in 2016, from US$1.72 billion at the end of 2015 to US$1.91 billion. Ithmaar’s financing business also increased by 7.2 percent, from US$1.18 billion at the end of 2015 to US$1.27 billion. The growth was driven mainly by home financing, which increased by 51 percent in 2016,” he said.
“Ithmaar’s success in 2016 is perhaps most clearly reflected in the growth in net income, before overseas taxation, which amounted to US$36.74 million for 2016, a complete turnaround from a net loss of US$17.07 million, before overseas taxation, reported for 2015. Total assets also increased to US$8.34 billion as at 31 December 2016, an increase of 2.5 percent from US$8.14 billion as at 31 December 2015,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is, in a large part, a result of continuously improving Ithmaar’s products and services while also keeping costs and expenses under control. Total expenses for 2016, for example, amounted to US$192.10 million, a marginal increase from the total expenses of US$190.41 million reported for 2015, despite the continuous expansion of Ithmaar’s retail banking operations both in Bahrain and in Pakistan,” he said.
“Our focus on business growth and enhanced customer satisfaction, however, did not distract us from our commitment to our social responsibilities and, in 2016, we continued to making real and meaningful contributions to the community in which we operate” said Abdul Rahim. “This, along with our clear commitment to transparency, has not gone unnoticed and, in 2016, the World Islamic Banking Conference singled Ithmaar out from among the world’s Islamic banks and presented it with a prestigious international award in recognition of its Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Disclosure,” he said.
“The achievements of 2016 are made all the more impressive by Ithmaar’s continuously improving financial performance,” said Abdul Rahim. “The balance sheet continues to be stable, and our customer deposits continue to grow as is evident from the equity of unrestricted investment account holders growing to US$2.77 billion as at 31 December 2016, a 15.5 percent increase compared to US$2.40 billion as at 31 December 2015,” he said.
“This increase reflects customer confidence in Ithmaar, and is further evidence that efforts to grow continuously closer to customers are paying off,” said Abdul Rahim. “Current accounts and due to investors, for example, grew to US$3.48 billion as at 31 December 2016, a 9.3 percent increase compared to US$3.19 billion as at 31 December 2015. Financings Murabaha, Musharaka and Ijarah also increased to US$3.93 billion as at 31 December 2016, a 5.7 percent increase from US$3.72 billion as at 31 December 2015,” he said.
In 2016, Ithmaar further expanded its retail banking network, both in Bahrain where it added a new full-service branch in Galali and two Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Hamad Town, as well as in Pakistan, where Faysal Bank Limited added 75 new, full-service Islamic branches.
In line with its commitment to continuously improving its products and services, Ithmaar partnered with Batelco and Arab Financial Services to launch Bahrain’s first ever mobile payment solution, EasyPay, in 2016. The solution uses secure Near Field Communication (NFC) tags to eliminate the need for cash or cards by allowing customers to shop simply by tapping their mobile phones at Point of Sale (POS) machines. The formal launch earlier this year marked a key milestone for the Bahrain retail market, potentially revolutionizing shopping experiences of the customers with secure, real-time payments now possible directly from their mobile phones.
At the end of the meetings, the Chairman thanked the attendees, as well as all shareholders, customers and investors for their continued support and confidence in Ithmaar.
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ITHMAAR BANK OFFERS GULF AIR DISCOUNTS FOR CARDHOLDERS

07 Mar 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN– 7 March 2017: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, has renewed a joint promotion with Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain that grants Ithmaar Bank cardholders discounted prices for tickets purchased on gulfair.com.
Under this agreement, Ithmaar Bank Credit Card and eCard holders receive a 10 percent discount when purchasing Gulf Air tickets online. The offer is applicable on all the national carrier’s online fares for both Falcon Gold (business) and economy class tickets purchased from the official Gulf Air website, www.gulfair.com, using a discount code that will be distributed to all Ithmaar Bank cardholders. The promotion is valid until 31 December 2017.

“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the region’s premier Islamic retail bank,” said Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Banking Group, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa. “In line with that commitment, we are continuously improving our products and services to ensure we remain the Islamic retail bank of choice among the people of Bahrain. This agreement with Gulf Air, for example, provides Ithmaar Bank customers preferential pricing, enabling them to travel to their favourite destinations at discounted prices on Bahrain’s national carrier,” he said.
“We are pleased to renew this promotion with Ithmaar Bank giving Ithmaar Bank cardholders the chance to continue experiencing Gulf Air’s hallmark Arabian hospitality and award-winning services at exclusive rates,” said Gulf Air Chief Commercial Officer, Ahmed Janahi.

To view the discount code, visit www.ithmaarbank.com/offers

ITHMAAR HOLDING (FORMERLY ITHMAAR BANK B.S.C.) ANNOUNCES 2016 PROFITS, REPORTS CONTINUED GROWTH IN CORE BUSINESS

27 Feb 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 27 February 2017 – Ithmaar Holding BSC (formerly Ithmaar Bank BSC) (Ithmaar) reported today (ed note: 27/02/17) a net profit of US$13.80 million for the year ended 31 December 2016, compared to a net loss of US$46.40 million reported for 2015. Net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the year ended 31 December 2016 was US$3.28 million, compared to a net loss US$60.80 million reported for 2015.
The 2016 financial results include a net loss for the three-month period ended 31 December 2016 of US$2.93 million compared to the net loss of US$57.79 million reported for the same period last year. Net loss attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the three-month period ended 31 December 2016 was US$3.23 million compared to the US$62.90 million net loss reported for the same period last year.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of Ithmaar’s consolidated financial results for the year ended 31 December 2016.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Ithmaar has returned to profitability for 2016 as it continues to show stable growth in its core retail banking business,” said HRH Prince Amr. “This is most clearly reflected in Ithmaar’s net income, before overseas taxation, which amounted to US$36.74 million, for the year ended 31 December 2016, a 315 percent increase and a complete turnaround from the US$17.07 million net loss, before overseas taxation, reported for 2015,” he said.
“This is, in a large part, a result of continuously improving Ithmaar’s products and services while also keeping costs and expenses under control,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Total expenses for the year ended 31 December 2016, for example, amounted to US$192.10 million, a marginal increase from the total expenses of US$190.41 million reported for 2015. This is despite the continuous expansions of Ithmaar’s retail banking operations both in Bahrain and in Pakistan, where 75 new branches were opened in 2016.” he said.
“Ithmaar’s financial performance in 2016 is testimony to the efforts invested in focusing on developing the Bank’s core retail banking business,” said HRH Prince Amr. “We are confident that, following the completion of the reorganisation and the formal commencement of the new group structure this year, we will further develop this growth,” he said.
The new structure, which was proposed by the Bank’s Board of Directors and approved by shareholders in March 2016, resulted in the conversion of Ithmaar Bank B.S.C into Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar Holding), which is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain
(CBB) and is listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait. Ithmaar Holding retains 100 percent ownership of all assets formerly owned by Ithmaar Bank B.S.C., through two wholly-owned subsidiaries Ithmaar Bank B.S.C (closed) (Ithmaar Bank), an Islamic retail bank subsidiary which holds the core retail banking business, and IB Capital B.S.C. (closed) (IB Capital), an investment subsidiary, which holds investments and other non-core assets. The two subsidiaries are licensed and regulated by the CBB.

“In this context, we extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism as well as the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait for their outstanding support which has led to the completion of the two-year long reorganisation project successfully on time,” said HRH Prince Amr.

Ithmaar Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, noted that the 2016 financial results demonstrate that Ithmaar’s efforts to grow its core retail banking business were paying off, and said the new structure will facilitate it taking advantage of new growth opportunities and help generate greater value to shareholders.
“I am pleased to report that Ithmaar’s financial performance in 2016 indicates that efforts to focus on our core retail banking business are clearly paying off,” said Abdul Rahim. “The core business areas of financing, customer deposits, and unrestricted investment account holders have achieved good growth, resulting in increasing total assets to US$8.34 billion as at 31 December 2016, an increase of 2.5 percent from US$8.14 billion as at 31 December 2015,” he said.
“I am pleased, also, to report that our customer deposits continue to grow,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is evident from the equity of unrestricted investment account holders growing to US$2.77 billion as at 31 December 2016, a 15.5 percent increase compared to US$2.40 billion as at 31 December 2015,” he said.
“This increase reflects customer confidence in Ithmaar, and is a further evidence that Ithmaar’s efforts to grow continuously closer to its customers are paying off,” said Abdul Rahim. “Current accounts and due to investors, for example, grew to US$3.48 billion as at 31 December 2016, a 9.3 percent increase compared to US$3.19 billion as at 31 December 2015. Total Financing (Murabaha, Musharaka and Ijarah) also increased to US$3.93 billion as at 31 December 2016, a 5.7 percent increase from US$3.72 billion as at 31 December 2015,” he said.
“The shareholders’ equity increased to US$427.4 million as at 31 December 2016, a 3.2 percent increase from US$414.2 million as at 31 December 2015,” said Abdul Rahim.
Abdul Rahim also thanked the CBB and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, as well as the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait for their continued guidance and support.

“The new group structure will assist the Bank’s long-term strategy for growth by providing greater insight into the strength of its core retail banking operations and further facilitating the focussed management of the Group’s investment assets,” said Abdul Rahim.
“The financial results consistently show that our efforts to significantly transform the Group’s operations and focus on developing our core business are paying off, and that we are on the right track,” said Abdul Rahim. “The new structure is the next logical step in this process, and underlines our commitment to become one of the region’s leading Islamic financial institution,” he said.
In 2016, Ithmaar further expanded its retail banking network, both in Bahrain where it added a new full-service branch in Galali and two Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Hamad Town, as well as in Pakistan, where Faysal Bank Limited added 75 new, full-service Islamic branches.
In line with its commitment to continuously improving its products and services, Ithmaar partnered with Batelco and Arab Financial Services to launch Bahrain’s first ever mobile payment solution, Easy Pay, in 2016. The solution uses secure Near Field Communication (NFC) tags to eliminate the need for cash or cards by allowing customers to shop simply by tapping their mobile phones at Point of Sale (POS) machines. The formal launch earlier this year marked a key milestone for the Bahrain retail market, potentially revolutionizing shopping experiences of the customers with secure, real-time payments now possible directly from their mobile phones.
Ithmaar was last year singled out among the world’s Islamic banks for a prestigious international award in recognition of its Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Disclosure. The independent award was presented at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) that was in Bahrain last year in strategic partnership with the CBB. The WIBC is a high-profile event, which was attended by leading international banking experts, and is widely recognised as one of the most important events on the world Islamic banking calendar.

ITHMAAR BANK ENHANCES SERVICE TO CUSTOMERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

19 Feb 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 19 February 2017: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, organised sign language training sessions for branch employees to help them better communicate with customers with hearing disabilities and improve their banking experience.
The training sessions were organised in line with the Bank’s long-standing commitments both to playing a real and meaningful role in the community and to continuously improving its customers’ Islamic banking experiences. The sessions, which were organised by the Ithmaar Bank Human Resources department in cooperation with the Bahrain Deaf Society, were delivered by a specialised instructor at the Bank’s headquarters in Seef.
“As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, we take our responsibilities towards our community very seriously,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “As a result, we have always tried to accommodate the requirements of customers with special needs,” he said.
“On the request of the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Kingdom’s banking and financial services regulator, we introduced a range of additional new services in 2016 specifically for customers with special needs,” said Abdul Rahim. “As part of that initiative, we arranged specialised training sessions for branch employees to allow them to communicate using sign language with hearing impaired customers. The training sessions concluded in December,” he said.
“We organised these specialised sign language training sessions to help our employees gaining new skills,” said Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources, Enas Rahimi. “This, in turn, contributes both to improving the quality of life for people with special needs in Bahrain and to developing the Kingdom’s banking and finance industry,” she said.
“The training sessions were developed by specialised experts specifically to meet the requirements of hearing disabled bank customers,” said Rahimi. “Ultimately, our goal is to develop qualified employees who can serve hearing impaired customers. This will help maintain customer confidentiality and improve their Islamic banking experience,” she said.

ITHMAAR BANK HOSTS ANNUAL STAFF GATHERING, HONOURS LONG-SERVING EMPLOYEES

12 Feb 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 12 February 2017: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, celebrated its employees’ achievements and honoured long-serving staff at the Bank’s Annual Staff Gathering.
The annual event, held in line with Ithmaar Bank’s long-standing tradition of recognising employee commitment and dedication, was attended by more than 330 employees from the Bank’s various departments, including outsourced staff, trainees, temporary contract employees, office attendants and security guards.
Speaking at the event, the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, thanked all the employees for their contributions, particularly the long-serving employees, and congratulated them on their achievements.
“The Annual Staff Gathering is an opportunity for all of us to get together in a less formal setting, away from our professional roles and responsibilities, and get to know one another on a more personal level,” said Abdul Rahim. “This reinforces our shared sense of purpose as we march together towards our common goals,” he said.
“At Ithmaar Bank, we have long maintained that, ultimately, it is the quality of our people that drives our continued success,” said Abdul Rahim. “Our collective success, as a financial institution, is a direct result of our individual achievements as employees,” he said.
“The past year has been as busy one for all of us, and we have much to be proud of,” said Abdul Rahim. “We continued expanding our retail banking network, adding a full-service branch in Galali and two Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Hamad Town, as well as enhancing our products and services. Our focus on business expansion did not distract us from our long-standing commitment to the community and, in the past year, we organized summer internships for 52 students from different universities across Bahrain,” he said.
“Our achievements have helped earn the Bank a prestigious WIBC award in recognition of our Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Disclosure,” said Abdul Rahim. “Meanwhile, our employees won first place at the Nations Category in the Bahrain SWS Endurance Championship and, although it was the first time we participated in the Annual Banking and Financial Institutions Futsal Tournament hosted by Al Najma Club, our team qualified for the semi-finals. Our employees also won second place in the “Project Convention Team Building Game” hosted by BIBF,” he said.
“Last year, we also launched the Bank’s Career Progression Plan, a new initiative designed to groom Bahrain’s future leaders by developing employees who demonstrate exceptional potential,” said Abdul Rahim.
The Annual Staff Gathering was organised by the Ithmaar Bank’s Social Committee and hosted at the Crowne Plaza.
“Our employees are our most valued assets, and the Annual Staff Gathering is an opportunity to celebrate our joint achievements and reinforce our shared commitments,” said Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources, Enas Rahimi, who also heads the Bank’s Social Committee. “In particular, it is also an opportunity to celebrate our long-serving employees – especially those who have completed 25, 15 and ten years – as well as our long-serving office attendants and security guards who have served 15, ten and five years. The fact that so many of us have been with the Bank for so long is a reflection of the shared, mutual commitment between the employees and the Bank,” she said.
The following Ithmaar Bank employees received Long Service Awards: Twenty-five Years: Ali Mohammed Ali Janahi; Fifteen Years: Abdulla Hussain Ebrahim Al-Mulla; Ten Years: Khalil Ebrahim Mohammed Qabeel, Alya Ghuloom Hasan Malalla, Najla Jassim Mohammed Hasan, Abdulla Yousif Abdulla Al-Najdi, Maryam Mohamed Abdulla Khonji, Abdulla Ali Abdulla Al-Jowder, Sami Abdulla Ahmed Bucheeri, Eman Ali Abdul Aziz Mohammed, Isa Mohammed Ahmed Al Rashid, Salman Ahmed Dawood Ahmed, Jamal Rashid Abdulla Al-Senan, Abdulrahman Aamer Abdulrahman Al-Aamer, Ebrahim Hussain Ebrahim Rostam, Abdulla Mustafa Husain Amer, Abdulla Nooraldin Mohammed Al-Khateeb, Syed Shahzad Bukhari, and Dana Aqeel Mahmood Raees.
The following outsourced office attendant and security guards received Long Service Awards: Fifteen Years: Jafar Ahmed Abdul Hashem; Ten Years: Muhammad Zohoor Bagh, Musthaffa cheethayil, Ashraf Parkkal, Bandacita Mathias and Rashid Kamal Uddin; Five Years: Kamal Omar, Shamal Kartick Chowdhury, Abdul Haleem Nuruzzaman, Mohammed Omar Faruq, Yousup Shamsul Huda, Monjur Mofizur Rahman, Shorab Khurshid Alam, Ebrahim Sale Ahmmed, Zahirul Islam Mohd, Kombo Isamil, Ameer Batcha Basheer Ahmed, Krishna Kumar Sherestha, Nasir Hassan, Abul Hashem Muzaffar Ali and Mohammed Hanif Abu Taher.

ITHMAAR BANK LAUNCHES ADDITIONAL NEW SERVICES FOR CUSTOMERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

24 Jan 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 24 January 2017: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 24/01/17) that it has introduced additional new services at its Main Branch for customers with special needs.
The new services, which were introduced before the end of last year on the request of the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Kingdom’s banking and financial services regulator, include adapting the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to offer voice-guided sessions for cash withdrawals, balance enquiries and Personal Identification (PIN) changes. The ATM height was also lowered to provide easier access from a wheel chair. Ithmaar Bank also assigned a dedicated, clearly-marked desk to serve customers with special needs on a priority basis; created new Braille forms for visually impaired customers; and adapted existing procedures to further improve their Islamic banking experience. The Bank also assigned employees to special training courses – including sign language for banking terms – so they may better serve customers with special needs.
“As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar Bank has long recognised the important role we must play in serving our local community,” said Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Banking Group, Abdulhakeem Al Mutawa. “Although we offer all our products and services to all customers without discrimination, we have always gone that extra mile in supporting those who require additional assistance,” he said.
“We have always, for example, had dedicated, clearly-marked parking facilities for customers with special needs at our Main Branch, and both the Branch and the ATM were designed to be wheelchair accessible,” said Al Mutawa. “Dedicated Ithmaar Bank employees with special training provide immediate service to customers with special needs, such as those with visual, hearing or other physical impairments. This is in addition, of course, to the fact that all Ithmaar Bank branches are designed to offer suitable waiting areas for all customers, including disabled and senior citizens.” he said.
“As a long-standing rule, all transactions of customers with visual impairments have always been conducted in the presence of the customer’s representative, as well as two Ithmaar Bank employees to ensure the customer’s security,” said Al Mutawa.
“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the Islamic bank of choice in Bahrain,” said Al Mutawa. “With the guidance and support of the CBB, we will continue to work towards improving our products and services so we can better serve all Bahrain’s people – including those with special needs,” he said.

ITHMAAR HOSTS POST GRADUATE STUDENTS FROM MOROCCO

21 Jun 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 21 June 2017 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, hosted a delegation of post graduate students from Morocco who were visiting the Kingdom as part of their university programme.
The delegation of Master’s Degree students from the Dauphine University in Casablanca, Morocco, was headed by the University’s Director of the Executive Master Principles and Practices of Islamic Finance, Kader Merbouh. The visit, which was organised by the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), included meetings with various leading organisation in Bahrain.
The delegation choose to visit Bahrain because of its significance as a regional key Islamic financial hub which helps contribute to their mission of establishing Morocco’s first Islamic financial institution. The students, who has specifically requested in-depth information about operational risk and compliance management application in an Islamic bank, attended a detailed presentation, delivered by the Ithmaar Bank Chief Risk Officer, Krishnan Hariharan, on their key area of study.
“As a pioneering Islamic retail Bank, we recognise the important role we must play both in contributing to the development of the region’s Islamic banking and finance industry, and in playing a real and meaningful role in our extended community,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “This visit, which was arranged by CIBAFI, is a great example and allowed us to share first hand insight with postgraduate students who are well on their way to becoming the next generation of leaders,” he said.
-Ends-

ITHMAAR BANK IMPROVES THIMAAR, REDUCING MINIMUM AMOUNT AND INCREASING TOTAL WINNERS

14 Jan 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 14 January 2017: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, re-launched its Thimaar savings account for a new year, reducing the minimum amount of savings required to win a prize and increasing both the total number of winners and the total prize purse.
The improvements to Ithmaar Bank’s Thimaar offering were made in line with the Bank’s commitment to listening closely to its customers’ requirements and using their feedback to continuously improve its products and services. As a result, the new Thimaar reduces the minimum deposit to BD30, currently the lowest offered by any prize-based savings account in Bahrain, while also increasing the number of winners to 4,044, currently the highest in Bahrain, as well as the total prize purse to USD3,000,000, one of the biggest in the Kingdom. The new Thimaar Account rolls out from Sunday (ed note 15/01/17).
“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the Islamic retail bank of choice,” said Ithmaar Bank Assistant General Manager, Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi. “In line with that commitment, we are constantly working to enhance our customers’ Islamic banking experience,” he said.
“Prize-based savings accounts have become an almost standard offering among both Islamic and conventional retail banks in Bahrain,” said Janahi. “However, having listened attentively to our customers’ feedback, we recognised a need to reduce the minimum saving required to be eligible for a prize. We also noticed a pronounced, perhaps obvious, customer demand for increased chances to win – and we restructured the new Thimaar accordingly,” he said.
In 2017, Thimaar will offer a total of USD3,055,000 in prizes – including USD1,020,000 monthly prizes, USD900,000 loyalty prizes, USD600,000 Eid prizes, USD200,000 semi-annual prizes and USD125,000 national day prizes – to a total of 4,044 winners, including 840 Junior winners.
Every BD30 maintained as an average daily balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD30, the more opportunities they have to win.

ITHMAAR BANK CUSTOMER WINS AUDI CAR AND US$25,000 CASH IN QUARTERLY THIMAAR DRAW

11 Jan 2017

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 11 January 2017: Ithmaar Bank customer who participated in Ithmaar Bank’s prize-based saving account Thimaar was presented with a luxury car and US$25,000 in prize money winning the latest quarterly prize.
Thimaar was introduced by Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, to encourage a more responsible saving pattern by offering prize-linked incentives alongside anticipated profits to the customers. Every year since its launch almost six years ago, Thimaar has been revised to include new prize schemes and, during 2016, Ithmaar Bank distributed 4,000 prizes totalling US$2.3 million.
The latest Thimaar prize, an Audi A6 and US$25,000 in prize money, was awarded to Rafiqul Islam Masum Habibur Rahman, a Bangladeshi national, who won the fourth quarterly Thimaar prize following a draw on 5 January that was supervised by representatives from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, external supervisors, Key Point, and the Bank’s own internal auditors.
The prize was presented at a ceremony held at Seef Mall and attended by Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Banking Group, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa and other senior officials from the Bank. Ithmaar Bank also announced 187 other Thimaar winners following the draw, including a US$10,000 monthly prize winner, 93 US$1,000 Thimaar winners, and 93 US$200 Thimaar Junior winners.
Thirty-two year old Rahman said this is the biggest prize he has ever won, and that becoming a Thimaar winner could significantly improve his life.
“Winning a luxury car as well as thousands of dollars at the same time is a really big deal for anyone, particularly me,” said Rahman. “Although this was, obviously, something I had always hoped for, it was not something I really expected and I am not sure what I will do with the prize yet,” he said.
“It is the first time I win a Thimaar prize and I feel really blessed to have won such a large one. I am sure will help me in many different ways,” said Rahman. “I would not have won if I had not participated, and I am really glad I decided to start saving with Ithmaar Bank. In fact, I will encourage my family and friends to save with Thimaar,” he said.
Al Mutawa congratulated Rahman and all Thimaar prize winners, and wished them all continued success.
“It is always such a delight to present Thimaar winners with their prizes,” said Al Mutawa. “The prizes, which reward responsible savings, often have significant effects on the winners’ lives and we are truly pleased to be part of that experience,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the Islamic retail bank of choice in Bahrain,” said Al Mutawa. “To do so, we work towards continuously enhancing our customers’ Islamic banking experience as well as on continuously developing our products and services,” he said.
In its current format, Thimaar provided US$3,600 in daily prizes, one US$10,000 monthly prize, four car and cash quarterly prizes totalling US$300,000, and US$600,000 in Eid prizes. Every BD50 maintained as an average daily balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD50, the more opportunities they have to win.
The full list of winners is available at www.ithmaarbank.com/thimaar

BAHRAIN INDUSTRY LEADERS PARTNER TO LAUNCH FIRST OF ITS KIND MOBILE PAYMENT SERVICE

08 Jan 2017

Manama, Bahrain: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Batelco, Bahrain’s leading telecom provider, and Arab Financial Services (AFS), one of the region’s leading electronic payments outsourcing service providers, to launch the Kingdom’s first ever mobile payment service.
The new service uses secure Near Field Communication (NFC) tags to eliminate the need for cash or cards by allowing customers to shop simply by tapping their mobile phones at the checkout counters of participating merchants. The launch marks a key milestone for the Bahrain retail market, potentially revolutionising customer shopping experiences with secure, real-time payments now possible directly from their mobile phone.
To use the new service, customers subscribe for an Ithmaar Bank prepaid eCard at their nearest Batelco shop or Ithmaar Bank branches and receive their NFC tags, which can then be used at participating merchants.
Batelco Bahrain CEO Eng. Muna Al Hashemi stressed on the new service translating Batelco’s drive to introduce the best-in-class digital solutions using cutting-edge technology.
“Batelco has continuously embedded innovation as a central to its strategy with the aim of delivering first class customer experience. This new service is a step forward towards this aim, opening exciting opportunities in the future as technology, digital banking and customers’ needs continue to evolve,” she added.
“Batelco and Ithmaar Bank customers can now enjoy a hassle-free transaction at the partnered retail outlets through this convenient and reliable service.” She added.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said the new service builds on the Bank’s history of innovation and its commitment to offering customers a premium Islamic banking experience.
“Ithmaar Bank played a pioneering role in the establishment and subsequent development of Islamic banking in the region,” said Abdul Rahim. “We developed this new service with AFS, the technology provider, in line with our long-standing commitment to continuously improving our products and services, and are pleased to be partnering with Batelco to help make this innovative service available to as many people as possible,” he said.
Arab Financial Services CEO B Chandrasekhar commented, “AFS has been a leader in providing innovative payment services in MENA region for over three decades. We are proud to launch the first of its kind NFC enabled mobile payments solution in Bahrain and are delighted to partner with Batelco and Ithmaar Bank for this service. We have plans to introduce more innovative products to create an enhanced customer experience.”

THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW WEBSITES OF ITHMAAR HOLDING B.S.C., ITHMAAR BANK B.S.C. (C), AND IB CAPITAL B.S.C. (C) TO REFLECT THE NEW ITHMAAR GROUP STRUCTURE IS UNDER PROGRESS.

02 Jan 2017

The development of new websites of Ithmaar Holding B.S.C., Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (c), and IB Capital B.S.C. (c) to reflect the new Ithmaar Group structure is under progress.
In the interim, the current website will continue to function without any changes until it is enhanced in due course without impacting our services.

Ithmaar Bank B.S.C., a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 020116) that it has obtained final approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the Kingdom’s banking and financial services regulator on the completion of all requirements with respect to the reorganisation plan. This aims to further develop the growth achieved in Ithmaar Bank’s core retail banking business, the strategic focus of the Bank.

The new structure was proposed by the Bank’s Board of Directors and approved by shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in March 2016. This resulted in the conversion of the existing Commercial Registration into Ithmaar Holding B.S.C. (Ithmaar Holding), which is licensed and regulated by the CBB and continues to be listed on the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait.

Ithmaar Holding retains 100 percent ownership of all assets owned by Ithmaar Bank, through its two wholly-owned subsidiaries: Ithmaar Bank B.S.C (closed) (Ithmaar Bank), an Islamic retail bank subsidiary which holds the core retail banking business, and IB Capital B.S.C. (closed), an investment subsidiary, which holds investments and other non-core assets. The two subsidiaries are licensed and regulated by the CBB.

Following final regulatory and other necessary approvals and the required procedures, the shares will be traded in the name of Ithmaar Holding with the ticker ITHMR

Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who expressed his thanks and appreciation to the CBB and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, as well as the Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait for their continued guidance and support, said the new group structure will further consolidate Ithmaar Bank’s position as a strong retail-focussed premier Islamic retail bank under the Ithmaar brand, allowing the Bank to take advantage of new growth opportunities, and help to generate greater value to our shareholders.

“The reorganization is designed to assist in realising our long-term strategy for growth by providing greater insight into the strength of our core retail banking operations and further facilitating the focussed management of the Group’s investment assets,” said Abdul Rahim. “The new structure will help lower the risk profile of the new banking entity and enhance shareholder value through growth and improved performance in the core business,” he said.
”Ithmaar Bank’s mailing address, call centre number, main office telephone number and all other telephone numbers will remain unchanged,” said Abdul Rahim. “Customers can continue to use existing cheque books, debit cards, credit cards, and eCards that bear the trademark of Ithmaar Bank,” he said.

“The financial results consistently show that our efforts to significantly transform the Group’s operations and focus on developing our core business are paying off, and that we are on the right track,” said Abdul Rahim. “The decision to reorganise the Group is the logical step in this process, and underlines our commitment to become one of the region’s leading Islamic retail banks,” he said.
“By allocating our assets into separate subsidiaries, we will be able to better focus on our core retail banking businesses held in Ithmaar Bank, which includes Faysal Bank Limited, Pakistan, a retail and corporate banking subsidiary of Ithmaar Bank. At the same time, we will be able to facilitate dedicated and focussed management of investment and other assets held by IB Capital,” said Abdul Rahim.

Recently, Ithmaar Bank announced it was singled out among the world’s Islamic banks for a prestigious international award in recognition of its Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Disclosure. The independent award was presented at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) which was recently held in Bahrain in strategic partnership with the CBB. The WIBC is a high-profile event, which was attended by leading international banking experts, and is widely recognised as one of the most important events on the world Islamic banking calendar.

Contact Us:

Ithmaar Holding B.S.C.:
Telephone: +973 17584000, fax: +973 17584017, Email: info@ithmaarholding.com, P.O. Box: 2820, Seef Tower, Seef District, Kingdom of Bahrain

Shareholder Affairs:
Telephone: +973 17585094, fax: +973 17585133, Email: IR@ithmaarholding.com, P.O. Box: 2820, Seef Tower, Seef District, Kingdom of Bahrain

Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. (c):
Call Centre: +973 13303030, Telephone: +973 17585000, fax: +973 17585151, Email: info@ithmaarbank.com, P.O. Box: 2820, Seef Tower, Seef District, Kingdom of Bahrain

IB Capital B.S.C. (c):
Telephone: +973 17568777, fax: +973 17911707, Email: info@ibcapital.co,
P.O. Box: 2820, Seef Tower, Seef District, Kingdom of Bahrain

ITHMAAR BANK MOVES SALMABAD BRANCH TO NEW BIGGER PREMISES, BETTER LOCATION

25 Dec 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 25 December 2016 –Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced that it has moved its Salmabad branch to new, larger premises with better location including parking facilities. The move was made in line with the Bank’s commitment to continuously improve its customer service offerings.

The new full-service branch in Salmabad is located opposite the AMA International University of Bahrain campus and, in addition to serving the students, also serves the fast growing commercial and industrial area nearby. The branch maintains Ithmaar Bank’s network of 18 branches and 48 ATM machines, one of the largest retail banking networks in Bahrain.

Ithmaar Bank Assistant General Manager, Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi, said the Bank continues to work towards becoming one of the region’s premier Islamic retail banks, and remains focused on growing closer to its customers.
“The Salmabad branch was relocated to help meet growing customer demand in that area,” said Janahi. “For a very large segment of our customer base, proximity is an important part of the service, and we try our best to be as close to our customers as possible, especially in fast growing or densely populated areas,” he said.

The location of the new branch was selected following a detailed study that uncovered a growing need of the expanded customer base for the Bank’s services in Salmabad. The new branch is in close proximity to large and growing number of garages and workshops, the AMA International University of Bahrain campus and a large fuel station with multiple retail outlets.

The new branch’s timings are from 8:00 am to 1pm from Sunday to Thursday; and from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

ITHMAAR BANK WINS PRESTIGIOUS WIBC AWARD FOR WORLD’S TOP ISLAMIC BANK IN TERMS OF CSR AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

20 Dec 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 20 December 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, was singled out among the world’s Islamic banks for a prestigious international award in recognition of its Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Disclosure.
The independent award was presented at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) which was recently held in Bahrain in strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The high-profile event, which was attended by leading international banking experts, is widely recognised as one of the most important events on the world Islamic banking calendar.
The award was received by Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources, Enas Rahimi, from Sahar Kazranian, CEO of Middle East Global Advisors, WIBC’s conveners throughout its 23-year history, in the presence of Ithmaar Bank Chief Operating Officer, Ravindra Khot and General Manager Banking Group Abdulhakeem Al Mutawa.
“The Performance Awards are the WIBC’s flagship awards, and are granted to the top financial institutions based on their aggregate performance scores against multiple measures on a global, regional and country level,” said Sahar Kazranian. “This year, Ithmaar Bank topped the WIBC Leaderboard in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Disclosure when compared to Islamic banks across the world. Its ultimate win is a testament to its commitment to transparency and impact, and I hope their leadership will inspire other banks to follow suit,” she said.
“As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar recognises the important role we must play both in the community in which we operate, as well as in promoting high levels of transparency in the local banking and finance industry,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “This is a responsibility we have always taken very seriously, and I am pleased to note that our efforts, with the blessings of Allah, under the guidance of the Board of Directors and with the continuous support of the Central Bank of Bahrain, are paying off and earning the Bank international praise and recognition,” he said.

ITHMAAR BANK’S RETAIL BANKING SUBSIDIARY IN PAKISTAN, FAYSAL BANK LIMITED, SHOWS IMPROVED PROFITABILITY AND EXPANDS BRANCH NETWORK

23 Nov 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 20November 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 20/11/16) that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), is showing improved profitability and expanding its branch network.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer and FBL Vice Chairman, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows the review and approval by the FBL Board of Directors of the financial results for the nine months ended 30 September 2016. FBL whichhas a network of 323 branches across Pakistan, is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange Ltd, and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial and consumer banking activities. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.57 percent of FBL.
“I am pleased to announce that FBL reported a profit, after tax, of US$ 35 million (PKR 3.7 billion) during the first nine months of 2016, registering a 11.5 percent increase over the profit reported for the corresponding period of 2015 despite the imposition of the Super Tax by the Government of Pakistan which amounted to US$ 3.3 million (PKR 0.35 billion),” said Abdul Rahim. “FBL plans to increase its branch network to 355 by December 2016,” he said.
“Despite pressures on the profitability of the banks in Pakistan due to low spreads, FBL was able to improve its profitability by focusing on mobilisation of low cost deposits, prudent allocation of assets and cost efficiencies,” said Abdul Rahim. “These measures helped increase the Earnings Per Share (EPS) of the Bank from PKR 2.80 to PKR 3.12,” he said.
“Total deposits of the Bank have grown from US$ 2.81 billion (PKR 292 billion) as at 31 December 2015 to US$ 3.03 billion (PKR 315 billion) as at 30 September 2016, crossing the PKR 300 billion mark which is a milestone for the Bank,” said Abdul Rahim.
FBL planned to open 75 new Islamic branches in 2016, of which43 branches have already been opened.
FBL’s financial performance has earned the Bank “AA”and “A1+” ratings for the long andshort termsrespectively, with stable outlook, from the JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited and the Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited.

ITHMAAR BANK ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER RESULTS ACHIEVING NET PROFITS ATTRIBUTABLE TO EQUITY HOLDERS OF $6.50 MILLION AND CONTINUED GROWTH IN CUSTOMER LIABILITIES

09 Nov 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 9 November 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, reported today (ed note: 9/11/16) a net profit of US$16.73 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2016, compared to the US$11.39 million net profit reported for the same period last year. Net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2016 was US$6.50 million, compared to the US$2.11 million profit reported for the same period last year.
Net profit for the three-month period ended 30 September 2016 amounted to US$4.77 million compared to the net loss of US$1.65 million reported for the same period last year. Net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the three-month period ended 30 September 2016 was US$2.10 million compared to the US$3.55 million net loss reported for the same period last year.

The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of the Bank’s consolidated financial results for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2016.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Ithmaar Bank continues to report profits, that the Bank’s core retail business continues to perform well, and that Bank’s net income before overseas taxation continues to increase,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Ithmaar Bank’s continued focus on growing its core retail banking business is clearly delivering results. The financial results of the nine-month period ended September 2016 show that the Bank’s net income before overseas taxation grew to US$36.98 million, an increase of 5.9 percent compared to the US$34.92 million reported for the same period last year. The Bank’s net income before overseas taxation for the three-month period ended 30 September 2016 was US$9.42 million, an increase of 187.7 percent compared to US$3.27 million reported for the same period last year,” he said.

“I am also pleased to report that total expenses for the nine-month period September 2016 are under control and amounted to US$143.17 million, a marginal increase of 1.8 percent from the total expenses of US$140.59 million reported for the same period last year,” said HRH Prince Amr. “This is despite the continuous expansion of Ithmaar Bank’s retail banking operations both in Bahrain, where we added a new branch in Galali earlier this year, and in Pakistan, where we added 43 new branches to date,” he said.

Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said the financial results demonstrate that the Bank’s efforts to grow its core retail banking business were paying off.

“I am pleased to report that the balance sheet continues to be stable, and that our core business as well as our customer deposits continue to grow,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is evident from the equity of unrestricted investment account holders growing to US$2.45 billion as at 30 September 2016, an 11.6 percent increase compared to US$2.19 billion as at 30 September 2015, and an 11.5 percent increase compared to US$2.19 billion as at 31 December 2015,” he said.

“This increase reflects customer confidence in the Bank, and is a further evidence that the Bank’s efforts to grow continuously closer to its customers are paying off,” said Abdul Rahim. “Current accounts and due to investors, for example, grew to US$3.59 billion as at 30 September 2016, a 7.6 percent increase compared to US$3.34 billion as at 30 September 2015, and a 6.2 percent increase compared to US$3.39 billion as at 31 December 2015. Liquid assets now represent 12.7 percent of total assets compared to 10.6 percent as at 31 December 2015,” he said.

Earlier this year, Ithmaar Bank inaugurated its Qalali branch, the Bank’s fourth full-service branch in Muharraq and its eighteenth in Bahrain. Ithmaar Bank this year also installed two new Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Hamad Town, in response to customer demands.

In line with its commitment to continuously improve its customer service offerings, Ithmaar Bank also conduced various process-reengineering exercises. In line with this same commitment, Ithmaar Bank also offered its credit card holders the chance to win prizes worth over US$75,000 as part of the Bank’s unique credit card offer. Ithmaar Bank recently also signed a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) with Eskan Bank to provide government-subsided financing for the Danaat Al Riffa development.
Earlier this year, at the Bank’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), shareholders approved plans for a new group structure designed to further develop the growth achieved in the core retail banking business and the strategic focus of the Bank.

The plans involve the creation of a new holding company that will be listed on Bahrain Bourse and Boursa Kuwait and licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The new holding company will retain 100 percent ownership of all assets presently owned by Ithmaar Bank. These assets will be allocated into two wholly owned subsidiaries, an Islamic retail bank subsidiary, which will hold the core retail banking business, and an asset management subsidiary which will hold the investment assets. These two subsidiaries will also be licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The new group structure will further consolidate Ithmaar Bank’s position as a strong retail-focussed premier Islamic retail bank under the Ithmaar brand, better allowing the Bank to take advantage of new growth opportunities, and help to generate greater value to its shareholders.

The Bank is now working with regulators towards finalising necessary legal and other requirements ahead of anticipated implementation later this year. Ithmaar express its sincere thanks to the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism for their steadfast support and guidance on the implementation of the Reorganization Plan.

ITHMAAR BANK TO FINANCE “DANAT AL RIFFA” HOUSING PROJECT WITH ESKAN BANK

31 Oct 2016

Manama, Bahrain- 31 October 2016- Bahraini citizens will be offered government-subsidised financing through Ithmaar Bank to help them buy their first homes in a new development in Riffa, as part of a national scheme Mazaya (previously known as Social Housing Scheme) designed to address the Kingdom’s housing challenges.
The agreement is the second of its kind between the two institutions, as earlier this year, agreements were signed to finance the Danat Al Seef housing project.
The announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) between Ithmaar Bank and Eskan Bank to provide government-subsided financing for the Danaat Al Riffa development, a 3 building, 6-storey, 84 apartment housing project. The development offers four designs, various two, three and four-bedroom apartment options ranging in size from 113 to 195 square meters, as well as parking facilities for the apartments.
The MOU was signed by Eskan Bank General Manager, Dr. Khalid Abdulla and Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Banking Group, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa, .
The scheme allows eligible citizens to finance their first homes through Ithmaar Bank by paying 25percent of their monthly income towards the property’s monthly instalment with the rest being paid for by the Ministry of Housing through Eskan Bank.
“As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar recognises the important role it must play in the local community,” said Al Mutawa. “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and Eskan Bank to help realise this ambitious scheme and provide the necessary support to customers looking to buy their first homes,” he said.
“The scheme effectively allows housing applicants to purchase residential units immediately from the private sector without having to stay on the housing services waiting list,” said Al Mutawa. “It gives the applicant the choice of purchasing a housing unit developed by an accredited developer or any housing unit approved by the Ministry,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank is committed to playing a real and meaningful role in the community, and we are privileged to be able to participate in the scheme,” said Al Mutawa. “We are confident that, working in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and Eskan Bank, Ithmaar Bank will be able to help our customers overcome the challenges of purchasing their first home,” he said.

BAHRAINI WINS LEXUS CAR AND US$25,000 CASH IN ITHMAAR BANK’S QUARTERLY THIMAAR DRAW

24 Oct 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 24 October 2016 – A Bahraini mother of four was presented a luxury car and US$25,000 in prize money after winning the third quarterly Thimaar prize.
Thimaar, a prize-based saving account, was introduced by Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, to encourage a more responsible saving pattern by offering prize-linked incentives alongside anticipated profits to the customers. Every year since its launch almost six years ago, Thimaar has been revised to include new prize schemes. This year, Ithmaar Bank is distributing 4,000 prizes totalling US$2.3 million throughout the year as Thimaar prizes, including luxury cars and cash prizes each quarter.
The latest Thimaar prize, a Lexus GS 350 and US$25,000 in prize money, was awarded to Wajeeha Abdulla Salim Mohamed Altehmazi who won the third quarterly Thimaar prize following a draw that was supervised by representatives from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, external supervisors, Key Point, and the Bank’s own internal auditors.
The prize was presented at a ceremony held at Seef Mall and attended by Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Banking Group, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa, Assistant General Manager, Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi, and other senior officials from the Bank.
Ithmaar Bank also announced 181 other Thimaar winners for the September monthly draw, including a US$10,000 top monthly prize winner. Another 90 Thimaar account holders won US$1,000 each and 90 Thimaar Junior winners won US$200 each in the daily draws.
“My family and I were pleasantly surprised when we were told about winning a Lexus car as well as US$25,000,” said Altehmazi. “We are all, obviously, very delighted and feel truly blessed,” she said. “We’ve been long-term customers of Ithmaar Bank, and would like to thank the Bank for offering its customers high chances of winning so many valuable prizes,” said Altehmazi. “We will continue to save with Thimaar savings accounts for more chances to win more amazing prizes,” she said.
Al Mutawa congratulated Altehmazi and all Thimaar prize winners, and wished them all continued success.
“The Thimaar scheme makes a compelling case for responsible savings and is an extremely attractive prospect for our customers,” said Al Mutawa. “This is perhaps best illustrated when customers like Wajeeha win prizes like her new luxury car and US$25,000 in cash,” he said.
“We are pleased to be able to bring so much joy and happiness to our customers, and wish all of them the very best for future draws,” said Al Mutawa. “We will continue to work towards enhancing our customers’ Islamic banking experience, and we remain as committed as ever to becoming the Islamic retail bank of choice in Bahrain,” he said.

Thimaar provides US$3,600 in daily prizes, one US$10,000 monthly prize, four car and cash quarterly prizes totalling US$300,000, and US$600,000 in Eid prizes. Every BD50 maintained as an average daily balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD50, the more opportunities they have to win.
The full list of winners is available at www.ithmaarbank.com/thimaar

ITHMAAR BANK TREATS EMPLOYEES TO ICE CREAM

29 Sep 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 29 September 2016 – Employees at Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, were treated to ice cream as part a bank-wide employee appreciation initiative.

The initiative by the Ithmaar Bank Social Committee aimed at putting a mid-week smile on employees – and was particularly well received across the Bank.

“We can’t buy employees the smiles they deserve, so we decided to get them the next best thing – ice cream,” said Head of Ithmaar Bank Human Resources, Enas Rahimi. “The idea was to surprise employees with something we know everyone loves,” she said.

“It is a small, simple gesture to remind all our employees that we care,” said Rahimi. “We often stress that our employees are our greatest asset, but this a high-level statement that can sometimes be forgotten. Simple reminders like these can go a long way in reminding employees how valuable they are,” she said.

Rahimi thanked the Ithmaar Bank management for supporting the initiative, and the Bank’s Social Committee for arranging it.

ITHMAAR BANK’S RETAIL BANKING SUBSIDIARY IN PAKISTAN, FAYSAL BANK LIMITED, REPORTS IMPROVED PROFITABILITY

06 Sep 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 06 September 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 06/09/16) that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), has maintained growth momentum and improved profitability.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer and FBL Vice Chairman, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows the review and approval by the FBL Board of Directors of the financial results for the half year ended 30 June 2016. FBL has a network of 316 branches, is listed on the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad Stock Exchanges, and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial and consumer banking activities. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.57 percent of FBL.
“I am pleased to announce that FBL registered a healthy profit, after tax, of US$ 27 million (PKR 2.8 billion) during the first half of 2016, registering a 10 percent increase over the profit reported for the corresponding period of 2015 despite the imposition of the Super Tax by the Government of Pakistan which amounted to US$ 3.3 million (PKR 0.35 billion),” said Abdul Rahim. “The banking industry is witnessing a period of low spreads in Pakistan and, to maintain spreads, the Bank focused its efforts on the prudent allocation of assets as well as on aggressively pursuing delinquent clients, mobilizing low cost core deposits and achieving cost efficiency. During the year, the Bank successfully executed large corporate and investment banking deals, and was also the lead arranger for entities in the energy sector. These measures helped increasing Earnings Per Share (EPS) of the Bank PKR 2.14 to PKR 2.35,” he said.
“FBL’s Balance Sheet has also grown significantly with total assets increasing by six percent to US$ 4.4 billion (PKR 455 billion) as at 30 June 2016, compared to US$ 4.1 billion (PKR 430 billion) as at 31 December 2015,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total deposits have also grown from US$ 2.81 billion (PKR 292 billion) as at 31 December 2015 to US$ 3.02 billion (PKR 315 billion) as at 30 June 2016, crossing the PKR 300 billion mark which is a milestone for the Bank,” he said.
FBL plans to open 75 new Islamic branches in 2016, of which 34 branches have already been opened so far. The Bank is also planning to become one of the top tier banks in Pakistan in the coming years through further increasing its branch network and enhancing its delivery channels.
FBL’s financial performance has earned the Bank “AA” and “A1+” ratings for the long and short terms respectively, with stable outlook, from the JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited and the Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited.

ITHMAAR BANK’S RETAIL BANKING SUBSIDIARY IN PAKISTAN, FAYSAL BANK LIMITED, REPORTS IMPROVED PROFITABILITY

06 Sep 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 06 September 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 06/09/16) that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), has maintained growth momentum and improved profitability.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer and FBL Vice Chairman, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows the review and approval by the FBL Board of Directors of the financial results for the half year ended 30 June 2016. FBL has a network of 316 branches, is listed on the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad Stock Exchanges, and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial and consumer banking activities. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.57 percent of FBL.
“I am pleased to announce that FBL registered a healthy profit, after tax, of US$ 27 million (PKR 2.8 billion) during the first half of 2016, registering a 10 percent increase over the profit reported for the corresponding period of 2015 despite the imposition of the Super Tax by the Government of Pakistan which amounted to US$ 3.3 million (PKR 0.35 billion),” said Abdul Rahim. “The banking industry is witnessing a period of low spreads in Pakistan and, to maintain spreads, the Bank focused its efforts on the prudent allocation of assets as well as on aggressively pursuing delinquent clients, mobilizing low cost core deposits and achieving cost efficiency. During the year, the Bank successfully executed large corporate and investment banking deals, and was also the lead arranger for entities in the energy sector. These measures helped increasing Earnings Per Share (EPS) of the Bank PKR 2.14 to PKR 2.35,” he said.
“FBL’s Balance Sheet has also grown significantly with total assets increasing by six percent to US$ 4.4 billion (PKR 455 billion) as at 30 June 2016, compared to US$ 4.1 billion (PKR 430 billion) as at 31 December 2015,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total deposits have also grown from US$ 2.81 billion (PKR 292 billion) as at 31 December 2015 to US$ 3.02 billion (PKR 315 billion) as at 30 June 2016, crossing the PKR 300 billion mark which is a milestone for the Bank,” he said.
FBL plans to open 75 new Islamic branches in 2016, of which 34 branches have already been opened so far. The Bank is also planning to become one of the top tier banks in Pakistan in the coming years through further increasing its branch network and enhancing its delivery channels.
FBL’s financial performance has earned the Bank “AA” and “A1+” ratings for the long and short terms respectively, with stable outlook, from the JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited and the Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited.

ITHMAAR BANK HOLDS FAREWELL PARTY FOR ABDULRAHMAN AL SHAIKH

05 Jun 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 5 June 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, held an honouring ceremony and farewell dinner for its outgoing General Manager – Banking Operations, Information Technology and Administration, Abdulrahman Mohamed Ahmed Al-Shaikh, who retired after more than 42 years of service in the banking industry.
The event, which was hosted by the Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim at the Ritz Carlton, was attended by Chief Operating Officer, Ravindra Khot, General Manager, Banking Group, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa, Assistant General Manager, Information Technology, Yousif Al Khan and other management and staff.
During the ceremony, Abdul Rahim thanked Al Shaikh for his commitment, dedication and valuable contributions over the past 25 years to Ithmaar.
“Abdulrahman contributions have, over the years, played a major role in the continuous improvement of the Bank’s performance,” said Abdul Rahim. “Throughout his long career, he remained absolutely committed to excellence and his dedication translated to tangible results and high efficiency. In particular, Abdulrahman held himself to exceptionally high moral standards and, throughout his career, brought high levels of integrity to the various departments he managed,” he said.
Khot, Al Mutawa and Al Khan also delivered brief speeches thanking Al Shaikh for his contributions, sharing some of their memories working with him, and wishing him an enjoyable retirement.
For his part, Al Shaikh said he will miss working with his colleagues, and wishing them all continued success in their work.
“I joined the group in 1991 and, throughout these many years, the group became my second family,” said Al Shaikh. “It was a privilege and an honour, and I am grateful for the many fond memories I will be taking with me,” he said.

INJAZ STUDENTS VISIT ITHMAAR BANK

25 May 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 25 May 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, hosted seventeen students from Hidd Secondary Girls School as well as four students from Muharraq Secondary Boys School and provided them insight into the typical work environment within the financial sector.
“This is part of the Bank’s responsibilities to prepare future generation,” said Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources, Enas Mohammed Rahimi. “The Bank is proud to be associated with Injaz for more than ten years as part of its corporate social responsibility,” she said.
The visit, part of the Bank’s support for the Injaz Bahrain programme for school students, was organised by the Ithmaar Bank Human Resources Department in cooperation with Injaz officials. The students visited Ithmaar Bank’s headquarters in Seef where Zahra Al Basara, an Officer from the Sales Unit of the Business Development Department, gave them a brief about how branches work and how they serve customers.
Hala Abdulla Al Saqaabi, an Associate from the Human Resources Department, also gave the students a brief about the Bank and its departments. She also delivered a presentation with advice on how to build a professional resume, how to apply for a job, and how to act before, during and after a job interview.
“Bahrain is a major financial hub in the Middle East and Ithmaar Bank, as a regional Islamic banking pioneer, is proud to help encourage high school students to study Islamic banking,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “These visits allow Ithmaar Bank to show Injaz students how banks operate and what type of job opportunities exist. This, in turn, helps to ensure the continuing growth of skilled talent required for the financial sector,” he said.
“These visits help the students make decisions about their future, and what they want to study,” said Rahimi. “Therefore, we gave the students a brief about work in the financial sector and we introduced them to various departments in the Bank,” she said.

ITHMAAR BANK REPORTS NET PROFIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO EQUITY HOLDERS OF THE BANK OF US$ 1.22 MILLION FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2016

13 May 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 May 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, reported today (ed note: 13/05/16) a net profit of US$4.83 million for the first quarter of 2016, compared to the US$7.62 million net profit reported for the same period last year. Net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the first quarter of 2016 was US$1.22 million, which is lower by 54 percent compared to the US$2.64 million profit reported for the same period last year.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of the Bank’s consolidated financial results for the three-month period ended 31 March 2016.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Ithmaar Bank is continuing to work towards our shared vision of becoming the region’s premier Islamic retail bank, and that the Bank’s core retail business continues to perform well,” said HRH Prince Amr. “The financial results of the first quarter of 2016 include an operating income of US$61.48 million, compared to US$83.34 million for the same period last year which included a one-off gain realised on government securities by our Pakistan subsidiary, Faysal Bank Limited,” he said.
“Total expenses for the three-month period ended 31 March 2016 reduced to US$45.62 million, from US$48.94 million for the same period last year, despite the continued retail banking branch expansion,” said HRH Prince Amr. “This significant achievement is, in a large part, due to the ongoing cost control measures which started in 2014 both in Bahrain and Pakistan operations,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said the Bank continues to remain focused on enhancing its products and services while growing closer to its customers and that as a result, the Bank’s core retail banking business continues to grow.
“I am pleased to report that the balance sheet continues to be stable, and our core business continues to grow,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is evident from the equity of unrestricted investment account holders growing to US$2.29 billion as at 31 March 2016, a 10.0 percent increase compared to US$2.09 billion as at 31 March 2015, and a 4.3 percent increase compared to US$2.20 billion as at 31 December 2015,” he said.
“This increase is further evidence of customers’ continued confidence in Ithmaar Bank,” said Abdul Rahim. “Correspondingly, our total financing portfolio grew to US$3.73 billion as at 31 March 2016, a 7.5 percent increase compared to US$3.47 billion as at 31 March 2015 and a marginal increase as compared to US$3.72 billion as at 31 December 2015. Liquid assets now represent 11.6 percent of total assets compared to 10.6 percent as at 31 December 2015,” he said.
In April, Ithmaar Bank, which recently re-launched its popular prize-based saving account, Thimaar, to include one of the largest number of prizes in Bahrain, gave away the first luxurious car to a Thimaar customer. Ithmaar Bank also announced 185 other Thimaar winners for the March monthly draw, including a US$10,000 monthly prize winner, while another 92 Thimaar account holders won US$1,000 each and 92 Thimaar Junior winners won US$200 each in the daily draws. The Thimaar savings account was launched with a new scheme offering customers 4,000 prizes – one of the highest in Bahrain, totalling US$2.3 million throughout the year. The feature enhancements were introduced to further differentiate one of the Bank’s key products in the marketplace.
Meanwhile, Ithmaar Bank continues to expand its retail banking network, which is already considered one of the largest in Bahrain, and will shortly inaugurate a new, full-service branch in Galali – its eighteenth branch in the Kingdom. Ithmaar Bank is also in the process of adding two new ATMs, bringing the total number of ATMs to 48.
Earlier this year, at the Bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), shareholders approved plans for a new group structure designed to further develop the growth achieved in the core retail banking business and the strategic focus of the Bank.
The plans involve the creation of a new holding company that will be listed on Bahrain Bourse and Kuwait Stock Exchange and licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The new holding company will retain 100 percent ownership of all assets presently owned by Ithmaar Bank. These assets will be allocated into two wholly owned subsidiaries, an Islamic retail bank subsidiary which will hold the core retail banking business, and an asset management subsidiary which will hold the investment assets. These two subsidiaries will also be licensed and regulated by the CBB. This new group structure will further consolidate Ithmaar Bank’s position as a strong retail-focussed premier Islamic retail bank under the Ithmaar brand, better allowing the Bank to take advantage of new growth opportunities, and help to generate greater value to its shareholders.
Ithmaar Bank is now working with regulators towards finalising necessary legal and other requirements ahead of anticipated implementation later this year.

ITHMAAR BANK INAUGURATES NEW ATM IN HAMAD TOWN

19 Apr 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 19 April 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced that it has inaugurated a new Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at the second roundabout in Hamad Town, next to Kanoo Mosque. The new offsite ATM, said Ithmaar Bank Assistant General Manager, Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi, brings the total number of ATMs in Ithmaar Bank’s fast growing retail banking network to 47, including 17 at full service branches, at strategic locations across Bahrain.
The new ATM, the third one in Hamad Town, was installed in direct response to customer demands and underscores the Bank’s commitment to listening carefully, and responding quickly, to customer needs. The ATM features sophisticated technology that allows for both additional security features, as well as advanced services including card-less access to cash through Ithmaar Bank’s award winning MobiCash solution.
“Ithmaar Bank has long recognised the importance of growing continuously to its customers,” said Janahi. “This latest addition to our retail banking network is located in a residential area of growing importance, and we are confident that it will help improve our customer’s Islamic banking experience as well as, hopefully, contribute to making everyone’s lives a little easier,” he said.

BAHRAINI WINS LEXUS AUTOMOBILE AND US$25,000 CASH IN ITHMAAR BANK’S QUARTERLY THIMAAR DRAW

17 Apr 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 17 April 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, awarded its Thimaar savings account quarterly prize of a Lexus GS 350 plus US$25,000 to Bahraini national, Ebrahim Khalifa Ahmed Albinali. The Ithmaar Bank customer won the first ever Thimaar prize that combines a cash award with a luxury car. The Bank also announced 185 other Thimaar winners for the March monthly draw, including a US$10,000 monthly prize winner. Another 92 Thimaar account holders won US$1,000 each and 92 Thimaar Junior winners won US$200 each in the daily draws.
The Thimaar savings account was launched with a new scheme earlier this year, offering customers 4,000 prizes – the highest by any bank in Bahrain, totalling US$2.3 million throughout the year. The feature enhancements were introduced to further differentiate one of the Bank’s key products in the marketplace.
The prize was presented to Albinali by Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Banking Group, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa.
“I received a call from the Bank asking me to visit the headquarters. I came to the Bank with my family and we were very pleasantly surprised and delighted when we have been told that I won a Lexus car and US$25,000,” Albinali said. “I would like to thank the Bank for offering its customers such a high chance of winning these valuable prizes. We will continue to save via Thimaar savings accounts as they offer amazing prizes and also encourage people to get into the habit of saving.”
Al Mutawa said: “I am delighted to congratulate all the Thimaar winners. The Thimaar scheme, now in its sixth year, offers the highest chances of winning of any comparable product in the Kingdom, which is an extremely attractive prospect for savers. Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the region’s premier Islamic retail bank, continuously improving its products and services to ensure that it remains the Islamic retail bank of choice among the people of Bahrain.”
Thimaar provides US$3,600 in daily prizes, one US$10,000 monthly prize, four car and cash quarterly prizes totalling US$300,000, and US$600,000 in Eid prizes. Every BD50 maintained as an average daily balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD50, the more opportunities they have to win.
The draw was supervised by representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), external supervisors, Key Point, and the Bank’s own internal auditors at its Seef district headquarters. The full list of winners is available at www.ithmaarbank.com/thimaar.

SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE PLANS FOR NEW ITHMAAR GROUP STRUCTURE

28 Mar 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 28 March 2016 –Shareholders of Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, today approved (ed note: 28/03/16) plans for a new group structure designed to further develop the growth achieved in the core retail banking business, the strategic focus of the Bank.
The plans, which were proposed by the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors, and are subject to regulatory approvals, involve the creation of a new holding company that will be listed on the Bahrain Bourse and the Kuwait Stock Exchange and licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The new holding company will retain 100 percent ownership of all assets presently owned by Ithmaar Bank. These assets will be allocated into two wholly owned subsidiaries, an Islamic retail bank subsidiary which will hold the core retail banking business, and an investment subsidiary which will hold the investment assets. These two subsidiaries will also be licensed and regulated by the CBB.
The announcement was made by Ithmaar Bank Chairman, His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal following the Bank’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) with shareholders which followed the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Also present at the meetings, which were held at the Ramee Grand Hotel in Bahrain, were Directors and members of the Ithmaar Bank Executive Management team, representatives of the Bank’s Sharia Supervisory Board, the CBB, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, statutory auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Bahrain Bourse.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that the strategic decisions we took early in 2014, which were designed to significantly transform the Group’s operations, are continuing to deliver positive results, and the new group structure is the next key step in this transformation,” said HRH Prince Amr. “This new structure is designed to assist in realising our long-term strategy for growth by providing greater insight into the strength of our core retail banking operations and further facilitating the management of the Group’s investment assets,” he said.
“This new group structure follows extensive internal review and discussions, and is driven by our commitment to ensuring we are well positioned to benefit from new opportunities in the current market,” said HRH Prince Amr. “The new structure will help lower the risk profile of the new banking entity and enhance shareholder value by showing the growth and improved performance achieved in the core business. In the current structure, this growth is being adversely impacted by investment valuations and impairment provisions,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who delivered a detailed presentation to shareholders, said these plans build upon the significant improvements achieved due to the implementation of the key strategic decisions taken by the Board of Directors in 2014.
“The key decisions, which included initiatives for increased revenue, improved margins, the divestment of non-core assets, and cost reductions across the Ithmaar Group have, together with the continued growth of our core retail business, contributed in a big way to the Bank’s continuously improving financial performance,” said Abdul Rahim.
“The 2015 financial results, approved on 28 February 2016, reconfirm that our efforts to significantly transform the Group’s operations and focus on developing our core business are paying off, and that we are on the right track,” said Abdul Rahim. “Our decision to reorganise the Group represents a further stage in this process, and underlines our commitment to becoming one of the region’s leading Islamic retail banks,” he said.
“By allocating our assets into separate subsidiaries, we will be able to better focus on our core retail banking businesses held in the new banking entity, including Faysal Bank Limited, Pakistan, a retail and corporate banking subsidiary of Ithmaar Bank. At the same time, we will be able to facilitate independent and focussed disposal of investment assets held by the investment entity, when suitable opportunities arise,” said Abdul Rahim. “This new group structure will further consolidate Ithmaar Bank’s position as a strong retail-focussed premier Islamic retail bank under the Ithmaar brand, better allowing the Bank to take advantage of new growth opportunities, and help to generate greater value to our shareholders,” he said.
During 2015, Ithmaar Bank’s pioneering association with Eskan Bank continued to contribute to addressing the Kingdom’s housing challenges by offering Bahraini citizens government-subsidised financing through Ithmaar Bank to help them buy their first homes as part of a national scheme. Ithmaar Bank also signed an agreement with Tamkeen, a Bahrain semi-government organisation which works to make the private sector the key driver of sustainable economic development, and substantially increased its allocation to the joint Ithmaar-Tamkeen enterprise finance scheme portfolio. In 2015, to mark the Holy Month of Ramadan, Ithmaar Bank launched a first of its kind Qard Hasan (profit-free financing) for low income loyal customers and, later in the year, also introduced Bahrain’s most rewarding Credit Cards loyalty programme, Ithmaar Rewards.
During 2016, Ithmaar Bank continuing to expand its retail banking network, already one of the largest in Bahrain, and will shortly inaugurate a new, full-service branch in Galali – its eighteenth branch in the Kingdom. Ithmaar Bank is also in the process of adding two new ATMs, bringing the total number of ATMs to 48.

ITHMAAR INAUGURATES NEW ATM IN HAMAD TOWN

20 Mar 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 20 March 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced that it has inaugurated a new Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at the Al Rawdha fuel station in Hamad Town. The new offsite ATM, said Ithmaar Bank Assistant General Manager, Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi, brings the total number of ATMs in Ithmaar Bank’s fast growing retail banking network to 46, including 17 at full service branches, at strategic locations across Bahrain.
The new ATM, located at Roundabout Seven in Hamad Town, was installed in direct response to customer demands and underscores the Bank’s commitment to listening carefully, and responding quickly, to customer needs. The ATM features sophisticated technology that allows for both additional security features, as well as advanced services including card-less access to cash through Ithmaar Bank’s award winning MobiCash solution.
“Ithmaar Bank has long recognised the importance of growing continuously to its customers,” said Janahi. “This latest addition to our retail banking network is located in a residential area of growing importance, and we are confident that it will help improve our customer’s Islamic banking experience as well as, hopefully, contribute to making everyone’s lives a little easier,” he said.

ITHMAAR CONTINUES EXECUTIVE TRAINING ON COUNTERING MONEY LAUNDERING, TERRORIST FINANCING

15 Mar 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 15 March 2016: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, hosted a comprehensive in-house refresher training programme for its executive management team focusing on the latest international initiatives and global legislation that aim to counter money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism.
The annual training programme, which was conducted with a particular emphasis on the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CTF) regulations under the Financial Crime Module, aims to ensure Ithmaar Bank’s senior management completely understand and fully appreciate both the nature and the significance of Anti-Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing in the global financial industry.

In particular, the training programme aims to stress the importance of the executive management’s constant support to enforce compliance-related regulations to help effectively fight financial crimes.

The training programme, which was organised by the Ithmaar Bank Human Resources Department in-line with CBB directives, was delivered by Naeema Taheri, a programme facilitator with more than 23 years of both conventional and Islamic banking experience. The training programme was attended by more than twenty senior executives, including Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Abdul Rahim, Chief Operating Officer, Ravindra Knot, General Manager, Retail and Private Banking, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa, and General Manager, Banking Operations, Information Technology and Administration, Abdulrahman Al Shaikh.

“As one of the region’s pioneering Islamic retail banks, Ithmaar Bank recognises the important role we must play in contributing to the global fight against money laundering, financing of terrorism and other financial crimes,” said Abdul Rahim. “It is a responsibility we take very seriously and, working under the guidance of the CBB, the Kingdom’s banking and financial services regulator, we continue to do everything we can to help eliminate this global danger,” he said.
“The annual AML & CTF awareness training programme outlines the economic implications of Money Laundering and the various risks posed to Financial Institutions,” said Ithmaar Bank Head of Human Resources, Enas Rahimi. “The programme also highlights applicable sanctions and regulatory requirements, and reviews consequences of non-compliance by discussing specific case studies as well as other relevant supervision instructions and directives issued to financial institutions,” she said.

ITHMAAR BANK’S RETAIL BANKING SUBSIDIARY IN PAKISTAN, FAYSAL BANK LIMITED, REPORTS RECORD GROWTH IN 2015

12 Mar 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 12 March 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 12/03/16) that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited, has registered a record profit for 2015.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer and Faysal Bank Limited Vice Chairman, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows the review and approval by the Faysal Bank Limited Board of Directors of the Bank’s financial results for the year ended 31 December 2015. Faysal Bank Limited has a network of 279 branches as of 31 December 2015. The Bank is listed on the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad Stock Exchanges, and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial and consumer banking activities. Ithmaar Bank directly, and indirectly through its subsidiaries, owns 66.57 percent of Faysal Bank Limited. Faysal Bank Limited also announced a cash dividend of PKR 1 per share (10 percent of share par value) for 2015.
“I am pleased to announce that Faysal Bank Limited registered a record profit, after tax, of US$ 41mn (PKR 4.2bn) during 2015, a 70 percent increase over the profit reported for 2014,” said Abdul Rahim. “During the year, Faysal Bank Limited’s operating income increased by 95 percent, growing from US$ 35mn (PKR 3.5bn) in 2014 to US$ 67mn (PKR 6.9bn) in 2015. This increase was largely a result of focused efforts to strengthen the Bank’s position through prudent asset allocation, while improving cost efficiencies, enhancing operational excellence and reducing funding costs,” he said.
“The Bank’s Balance Sheet was also grown significantly with total assets increasing by 11 percent to US$ 4bn (PKR 430bn) as at 31 December 2015, compared to US$ 3.7bn (PKR 388bn) as at 31 December 2014,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total deposits have also grown from US$ 2.7bn (PKR 283bn) as at 31 December 2014 to US$ 2.8bn (PKR 292bn) as at 31 December 2015,” he said.
“In 2015, to protect its margins, Faysal Bank Limited re-profiled its savings book with a focus on market competitive pricing,” said Abdul Rahim. “During the year, the Bank successfully executed large corporate and investment banking deals and was also the lead arranger for entities in the energy sector,” he said.
“Faysal Bank Limited’s financial performance has earned the Bank “AA” and “A1+” ratings for the long and short terms respectively, with stable outlook, from the JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited and the Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited,” said Abdul Rahim.

ITHMAAR BANK HOLDS ONE-TIME LOYALTY DRAW FOR 50 THIMAAR ACCOUNT CUSTOMERS

06 Mar 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 05 March 2016: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, held a special, one-time ‘loyalty draw’ for holders of its Thimaar Account, giving them an extra chance to win cash rewards. The event was held for long-time customers who have held Thimaar savings for more than a year but have not yet won a prize.
The 50 winners who were presented with US$1,000 each, will also continue to be eligible for the current enhanced version of the product, Thimaar 6, which was launched at the beginning of the year. With more than 4,000 prizes worth a combined US$2.3 million being presented throughout 2016, it offers more opportunities than ever before.
“Despite providing the highest chances of winning compared to any other prize-based account in the Kingdom, there remains loyal Thimaar customers who have just not been lucky enough yet,” said Ithmaar Bank Assistant General Manager, Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi. “We introduced this one-time draw as a way of rewarding them for their loyalty over the years and to show our appreciation to all our long-term customers.”
Thimaar 6 will provide US$3,600 in total daily prizes, one US$10,000 monthly prize, four cars and cash quarterly prizes totalling US$300,000, and US$600,000 in Eid prizes. Every BD50 maintained as an average daily balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD50, the more opportunities they have to win.
The draw was supervised by representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), external supervisors, Key Point, and the Bank’s own internal auditors.
The winners of the Thimaar loyalty draw were: Rifah Abdulla Mabkhoot Aldoseri, Ahmed Ali Ahmed Ali A. Alrowaei, Ebrahim Mohammed Abdulkarim, Muneera Ahmed A. Rahman Alshaikh, Khalid Rashid Mohammed Alkaabi, Hamad Yusuf Abdulla Mohamed Manea Alkaabi, Dowla Rashed Ali Alghatam, Hasan Ahmed Mohamed Shaheen Aldoseri, Neaimeh Faisal Jabur Aldoseri, Wafa Yousif Ahmed Althawadi, Mariam Hamad Jaham Alkuwari, Fawziya Mohammed Ali Hassan, Ahmed Mutlaq Juma Althawadi, Saeed Ali Abdulla Ali Almawali, Sadeq Mohamed Salman Jasim Alsaegh, Mohamed Jaafar Mohamed Alaradi, Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Alkooheji, Sawsan Taimoor Aghayar Abdulrahman, Amal Mohammed Saeed Alsowaidi, Adnan Aamer Saad Alaamer, Ameer Abbas Mahdi Mohammed, Salem Juma Abdulla Juma Alromaihi, Rayadh Ahmed Abdulmohsen Ahmed Almahmeed, Widad Yousif Hasan Alhasan, Isa Ali Hassan Yousif Almulla, Narjes Adel Abdulla Hamad Alrowaiei, Nasreen A. Rahman Mohd Alladhi, Maryam Mohamed Salman Seyadi, Layla Khalil Ebrahim Sabah, Khalifa Ahmed Ali Mohamed Bushlaibi, Real Estate House, Nada Rashid Jassim Hamada, Hasan Abdulla Mohamed Bucheeri, Nasra Murtadha Mohd Alhashimi, Jasim Fahad Jasim Ahmed, Sabeeka Abdulrahman Jasim Alaamer, Abdo Mohsen Naji Ali Aljameel, Sayed Faisal Ebrahim Baqer Almeshqab, Juma Enad Wakka Ali, Hissa Ebrahim Khalifa Almansoor, Fatima Abdulla Hussain, Jamal Khalifa Abdulrahman Bumjaid, Noora Mohamed Harban, Jalal Khan Haji Muhammad Murad, Waleed A. Rahman Mohamed Abdulla Alsebaie, Husain Ali Hasan Shaikh Abdulla Alqasimi, Enas Isa Abdulla Buhamood, Hayat Abdulla Saad Alsherooqi, Osama Abdulla Ali Khamis Mubarak Alsaadoon, and Madina Jasim Ahmed Ali Akwaid.
The full list of names is also available at www.ithmaarbank.com/thimaar

ITHMAAR BANK REPORTS CONTINUED RETAIL GROWTH, FINALIZING PLANS FOR NEW GROUP STRUCTURE

28 Feb 2016
• Total income up 5.4 percent to US$478.4 million
• Net income before provisions and taxation up 169.2 percent to US$77.9 million
• Net loss of US$60.8 million attributable to equity holders of the Bank, largely due to investment related impairment provisions
• Proposed new group structure, designed to more clearly show the growth achieved in the core business, to be presented to shareholders

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 28 February 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, reported today (ed note: 28/02/16) an increase in total income and operating income from its core retail banking operations during 2015 but this improved performance was impacted by recognition of certain investment related impairment provisions.
Net income before provisions for impairment and overseas taxation increased 169.2 percent including a 18 percent increase in Operating Income. Overall, the Bank recorded a net loss of US$46.4 million in 2015. This compares to a net loss of US$8.8 million in 2014. This was mainly due to significant impairment provisions of US$95 million in 2015, compared to provisions of US$26.1 million in 2014. The net loss attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the year 2015 was US$60.8 million, compared to a net loss of US$15 million reported over the same period in the previous year. The financial results include a net loss for the quarter ended 31 December 2015 of US$57.8 million, compared to a net loss of US$13.7 million for the same period last year. The net loss attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the quarter amounted to US$62.9 million, compared to the net loss of US$16.2 million reported for the same period last year.
The Bank is finalizing plans, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, to create a new holding company which will be listed on Bahrain Bourse and Kuwait Stock Exchange. The new holding company will retain 100 percent ownership of all assets presently owned by Ithmaar Bank. These assets will be divided into two wholly owned subsidiaries, the Islamic retail bank subsidiary will hold the core retail banking business and the investment assets will be held by an investment subsidiary. The holding company and these two subsidiaries will be licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The proposed new structure is designed to assist the Bank in delivering its long term strategy for growth by making it easier for the Group to manage its investment assets and provide shareholders and analysts with greater insight into the strength of the Group’s core retail banking operations and the performance of its investment assets.
Commenting on the annual results for the year ended 31 December 2015, Ithmaar Bank Chairman, His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to report that Ithmaar Bank continues to report growing, sustainable income from its core retail banking operations. Net income, before provisions for impairment and overseas taxation, increased 169.2 percent to US$77.9 million in 2015, from US$28.9 million in 2014. This included a 17.8 percent increase in Operating Income to US$268.4 million in 2015, up from US$227.8 million in 2014. This was mainly due to sustainable revenue growth across most income streams,” he said.
“However, the recent significant decline in oil prices and the resultant new economic challenges in the region have impacted investment valuations, and consequently impacted Ithmaar Bank’s financial results,” said HRH Prince Amr. “To address this, the Bank has taken prudent investment impairment provisions, and the net loss for the year is due largely to the significantly higher provisions for impairment, which increased by US$68.9 million in 2015,” he said.
“Total expenses for the year ended 31 December 2015, at US$190.4 million, are 4.2 percent lower than 2014 expenses of US$198.8 million, despite the continued successful expansion of the Bank’s core retail banking operations.” said HRH Prince Amr. “This reduction is, largely, a result of the strategic decisions taken by the Bank in early 2014 that aimed at significantly transforming the Group’s operations,” he said.
“I am also pleased to report that the balance sheet remains stable and continues to grow,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Total assets increased by 3.5 percent to US$8.1 billion as at 31 December 2015, compared to US$7.9 billion as at 31 December 2014,” he said.
Speaking about the proposal to create a new group structure, HRH Prince Amr said: “Looking ahead, as part of the efforts we announced early in 2014 to significantly transform the Group’s operation, the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors is proposing the creation of a new group structure. The proposal, which follows extensive internal review and discussion, is driven by our commitment to ensuring that the new banking entity is well positioned to benefit from new opportunities in the current market. It will help lower the risk profile of the new banking entity and enhance shareholder value by showing the growth achieved in the core business which is currently being adversely impacted by investment valuations and impairment provisions.”
“Adoption of the new structure remains subject to necessary regulatory approvals and will be formally presented to the shareholders for their approval at an Extraordinary General Meeting,” he said.
As per the proposed new structure, the core retail banking operations of Ithmaar Bank, both in Bahrain and in Pakistan as Faysal Bank Limited, will be retained as assets under new banking entity, an Islamic retail bank, while strategic investments and other investment assets including real estate, will be transferred to the new investment firm. This proposed resructure will help to separate the core assets from any negative impact of the investment assets.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said that the Bank’s 2015 financial results illustrate the adverse impact that the Bank’s investment assets have on the Bank’s core retail banking business, and explained that the proposed new structure marks an important next step in efforts to significantly transform the Group’s operations.
“The stable, sustainable growth achieved in the Bank’s core retail business is evident with total income increasing 5.4 percent to US$478.4 million in 2015, when compared to US$453.9 million in 2014,” said Abdul Rahim. “This reconfirms that our efforts to significantly transform the Group’s operations and focus on developing our core business are paying off, and that we are on the right track. Our proposals to reorganise the group represent a further stage in this process and underlines our commitment to becoming one of the region’s leading Islamic retail banks,” he said.
“By dividing our assets into separate groups, we will be able to better focus on our core retail banking businesses held in new banking entity and at the same time facilitate independent and focussed disposal of investment assets held by the investment entity, when suitable opportunities arise,” said Abdul Rahim. “The proposed plan will further consolidate Ithmaar Bank’s position as a strong retail-focussed premier Islamic retail bank under the Ithmaar brand, better allowing the Bank to take advantage of new growth opportunities, and help to generate greater returns to our shareholders,” he said.
“The Bank’s 2015 financial results show that, during the year, the equity of unrestricted investment account holders grew by 10 percent to US$ 2.2 billion as at 31 December 2015, compared to US$2 billion as at 31 December 2014. Similarly, customers’ current accounts have increased by 4.6 percent to US$1.4 billion as at 31 December 2015, compared to US$1.37 billion as at 31 December 2014, due to the Bank’s focus on attracting and low cost deposits. Liquid assets, as at 31 December 2015, account for 10.6 percent of the balance sheet, compared to 9.3 percent as at 31 December 2014,” said Abdul Rahim. “The growth we have seen in the Bank’s core retail banking business is due largely to our continuous focus on improving products and services while also working to grow closer to our customers,” he said.
During 2015, Ithmaar Bank introduced a number of service improvements and new products for customers. These included commissioning a new Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at the Isa Town fuel station. This brings the total number of ATMs to 46, including 17 in full service branches, at strategic locations across Bahrain. In August, Ithmaar reopened its West Riffa branch after significantly enlarging the branch to accommodate additional tellers and customer service stations, as well as dedicated facilities for female customers.
A further successful program, pioneered in association with Eskan Bank, has been the social housing mortgage scheme, which has given thousands of Bahraini families the opportunity to achieve their dream of owning their own home.
In June 2015, on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Bank launched a first of its kind Qard Hasan (profit-free financing) for its low income loyal customers. In 2015, the Bank also introduced Bahrain’s most rewarding Credit Cards loyalty programme, Ithmaar Rewards, which is the most comprehensive of its kind in Bahrain. It also signed agreements with Gulf Air, as well as with a number of retailers and service providers, to provide exclusive discounts and other offers to card holders. In 2015, Ithmaar Bank also launched a new Sharia-compliant prepaid e-Card designed to provide customers a faster, safer and more convenient online shopping experience.

ITHMAAR BANK BECOMES THE FIRST BANK IN BAHRAIN TO GET TWITTER VERIFICATION

21 Feb 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 20 February 2016: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note 20/02/16) that it is the first bank in Bahrain to have its account on the popular micro-blogging site Twitter, formally verified.
The announcement, which follows official confirmation from the Bahrain Social Media Club, puts the Ithmaar Bank Twitter account – IthmaarBankBH – on par with some of most reliable and most credible accounts in the region.
“We are pleased to confirm that Ithmaar Bank is the first and only bank in Bahrain to have a verified Twitter account,” said Bahrain Social Media Club Director, Abdulla Al Dossary. “Effectively, this means that the Bank’s Twitter account is now similar, in terms of safety, reliability and credibility to, for example, an official national-level account,” he said.
According to the latest data available from the Bahrain Social Media Club, the Bank also has one of the largest social media presence on the key Twitter, Facebook and Instagram platforms in Bahrain, as well as by far the largest number of engagements with, as well as impressions on, social media users for any bank in the Kingdom.
“According to the data, Ithmaar Bank’s total social media channels community currently consists of more than 39,650 users,” said Al Dossary. “More importantly, total engagements – including comments, replies and reposts – with users on those various channels add up to more than 450,000 instances. With 2 million social media accounts in Bahrain, this means that Ithmaar Bank has effectively engaged directly with about 22.5 percent of Bahrain’s users,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank’s largest following on social media is on the popular image-sharing platform, Instagram with 20,100 followers, followed by Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with 9,623, 6,616 and 3314 followers respectively.
“Ithmaar Bank is determined to become the region’s premier Islamic retail bank,” said Ithmaar Bank Assistant General Manager, Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi. “We recognise that, to do so, we must listen closely to our customers and we must deliver on their expectations. This is a commitment we take very seriously – and our remarkable success on the leading social media platforms is clear testimony to that very commitment,” he said.
“Ithmaar Bank has long recognised the importance of continuously working to grow closer to our customer, and we invest heavily in doing so,” said Janahi. “In addition to continuously expanding our retail banking network which, with 17 full-service branches and 46 ATMS in strategic locations across Bahrain, is now one of the largest in the Kingdom, we are also continuously enhancing our online presence,” he said.

ITHMAAR BANK EMPLOYEE HONOURED FOR 10 YEARS OF VOLUNTEER WORK WITH INJAZ BAHRAIN

17 Feb 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 17 FEBRUARY 2016: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, honoured its Head of Human Resources, Enas Mohammed Rahimi, for having completed ten consecutive years of volunteer service with INJAZ Bahrain, as well as for her championship of youth empowerment, both personally and in her professional capacity at the Bank.
Rahimi is passionate about her volunteer work, especially with INJAZ Bahrain for which she has been a volunteer almost since its inception 11 years ago. She also actively encourages her colleagues at Ithmaar Bank to contribute to the organisation’s various youth leadership initiatives. Rahimi was congratulated by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, who praised her contributions both to the Bank and to the Kingdom of Bahrain’s youth. INJAZ had earlier hosted an honouring ceremony for Enas as well as other long-term volunteers.
“With over ten years of committed volunteer service behind her, Enas has established herself as a true champion of youth empowerment in Bahrain, and we at Ithmaar Bank are all extremely proud of her accomplishments,” said Abdul Rahim. “As a pioneering Bahraini Islamic bank, we have always been a major supporter of women and youth empowerment, and Enas’s efforts are firmly in line with these values. We are also grateful to her for setting such a great example for our other employees to follow,” he said.
Rahimi said she believes that efforts to help young people realise their full potential are vital to the continued development of Bahraini society.
“Initiatives like INJAZ Bahrain offer the right environment and tools to help inspire students and allow them to think creatively,” said Rahimi. “The training we provide prepares them to become society’s future leaders, and I am very happy to be able to play a small part in shaping their lives and future successes,” she said.
INJAZ Bahrain is a non-profit organisation that was established in 2005 as part of Junior Achievement Worldwide with the aim of empowering young people to own their economic successes and be prepared for today’s business challenges. With the help of its partners and volunteers, INJAZ Bahrain impacts thousands of students every year, bringing them closer to the real world and opening their minds to their own potential.

ITHMAAR BANK OFFERS $30,000 IN TRAVEL REWARDS TO CREDIT CARD HOLDERS

31 Jan 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 31 January 2016: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, will offer its credit card holders the chance to win US$30,000 in travel packages over the next three months as part of the Bank’s unique Win & Fly offer. Each BD50 spent on purchases will entitle card holders to an entry into a raffle draw for a chance to win.
The three-month offer starts on 1 February 2016 with US$5,000 in travel packages rewarded to two winners every month. Vouchers are valid until 31 August 2016 and can be redeemed at any time from the draw date until expiry through Kanoo Travel.
“This limited-time offer will give each of six lucky Ithmaar Bank credit card holders a US$5,000 travel package that they can tailor to their own specific requirements,” said Ithmaar Bank Assistant General Manager, Head of Retail Banking, Mohammed Janahi. “Depending, for example, on their choice of destination, the duration their holiday and the standard of accommodation they choose, winners will be able to tailor-build their prize to vary the length, location and luxury components. Any remaining amount from the US$5,000 prize will be credited to the winner’s credit card,” he said.
“With the Win & Fly offers’ specific focus on travel, together with Ithmaar Rewards, it is possible for our card holders to win as well as to book flights, hotel rooms and transportation just by using their Ithmaar Bank MasterCard credit cards,” said Janahi. “This means that Ithmaar Bank customers could literally earn a free holiday, or at least a heavily discounted one, just by going about their normal spending routines,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank credit card holders are also eligible for enrolment in the Bank’s credit card loyalty programme, Ithmaar Rewards, the only one of its kind in the Kingdom of Bahrain that is being held in collaboration with MasterCard and focuses specifically on travel. The rewards can be redeemed online for airline tickets from a choice of 700 airlines, accommodation from among 150,000 hotels, or worldwide car rental services, inclusive of all taxes and without restrictions or blackout dates. The accumulated points can also be used to book trips for cardholders’ friends or family members.
To redeem loyalty points, cardholders can log on to the Ithmaar Rewards page on Ithmaar Bank’s website at www.ithmaarbank.com/ithmaarrewards.

ITHMAAR BANK HOSTS BUSINESSWOMEN’S SOCIETY GALA DINNER

24 Jan 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 24 January, 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, sponsored the Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society’s annual gala dinner, held as part of the year-long Bahraini Women’s Day celebrations, which centre around the role of women in banking and finance.
The event honoured 20 women for their outstanding professional contributions to the sector over the years. They were presented with awards by Society President Ahlam Janahi in the presence of Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim; Chief Operating Officer, Ravindra Khot; Head of Private Banking, Rafed Al-Mannai; Head of Business Development Unit, Fayza Hasan; Head of Human Capital, Enas Rahimi; other bank employees, society members and guests.
Speaking at the event, Abdul Rahim paid tribute to the role women have played in the development of Bahrain’s business sector since its inception.
“Ithmaar Bank is delighted to have the opportunity to sponsor this event which honours women who have made substantial contributions to our industry,” said Abdul Rahim “We view working towards furthering the empowerment of women as one of our responsibilities as a pioneering Islamic bank, and, in line with this, are supporting this national project of the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB),” he said.
“Our institution has long valued the role of female employees, who we consider to be equal partners in our organization. Our merit-based policies give equal opportunities for growth to all our employees, regardless of gender or background, cultivating a culture that is focused on high performance,” said Abdul Rahim. “Women play important roles throughout our institution as members of staff and management, and even at the board of directors level. Our success would not be possible without their contributions,” he said.
“The Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society hosts such events to honour professional women working in important sectors such as banking and finance, and to encourage them to succeed and further contribute to the national economy,” said Janahi. “ Marking Bahraini Women’s Day, this event is also being held in support of the initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of His Majesty the King and President of the SCW, who is patronising the year-long celebration of the role of women the in banking and finance sector,” she said.
The Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society was established to promote business and networking opportunities among Bahrain’s businesswomen, as well as to support their commercial, economic, investment and development contributions to the Kingdom. It also works to encourage their continued participation in social programmes and other development initiatives.

ITHMAAR BANK OFFERS THIMAAR ACCOUNT HOLDERS 4,000 PRIZES WORTH TOTAL OF US$2.3M – AN INDUSTRY FIRST

10 Jan 2016

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 10 January 2016: Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, re-launched its Thimaar savings account for a new year, offering customers 4,000 prizes – the highest by any bank in Bahrain. The feature enhancements were introduced to further differentiate one of the Bank’s key products as it vies for a greater share of an increasingly competitive local banking market. Ithmaar Bank, which owns one of Bahrain’s largest retail banking networks, rolls out the new Thimaar Account from today (ed note: Monday 11/01/16), offering US$2.3 million throughout the year.

“Prize-based savings accounts are now almost a staple of the retail banking industry, so it has become increasingly challenging for banks to find new ways to differentiate their products from those of competitors,” said Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Head of Retail and Private Banking, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa. “Following a thorough study and analysis of the market, we decided that Thimaar should be restructured in its sixth year to offer the highest chances of winning in the Kingdom, which is an extremely attractive prospect for savers,” he said.

“Of the 4,000 prizes, more than half have been set aside for Thimaar Junior, our product for account holders under the age of 18, which offers additional prizes as an extra incentive,” said Al Mutawa. “This is another differentiator which helps us develop early relationships with our customers and encourages them to save from a young age,” he said.

Thimaar will provide US$3,600 in daily prizes, one US$10,000 monthly prize, four car and cash quarterly prizes totalling US$300,000, and US$600,000 in Eid prizes. Every BD50 maintained as an average daily balance qualifies a customer to enter the draws. The more customers save, and the longer they maintain balances in multiples of BD50, the more opportunities they have to win.

ITHMAAR HOLDING REPORTS SECOND QUARTER RESULTS

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 10 August 2017 – Ithmaar Holding BSC (formerly Ithmaar Bank BSC) (Ithmaar) reported today (ed note: 10/08/17) a net loss of US$1.59 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017, compared to a net profit of US$11.96 million for the same period last year.
Net loss attributable to equity holders for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017 was US$9.25 million, compared to a net profit of US$4.4 million reported for the same period last year. This included a net loss of US$7.38 million for the three-month period ended 30 June 2017, compared to a net profit of US$7.14 million for the same period last year. Net loss attributable to equity holders for the three-month period ended 30 June 2017 was US$9.82 million, compared to a net profit of US$3.19 million reported for the same period last year.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of Ithmaar’s consolidated financial results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Ithmaar’s half-year financial results show that the core business continued to grow in 2017,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Although net income, before provision for impairment and overseas taxation, dropped to US$29.83 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017, from US$36.67 million for the same period last year, this loss was mainly due to unrealized foreign exchange losses of US$12.5 million, overall income from our core business grew significantly during the same period. This is evident from the increased income from murabaha and other financing which grew by 7.7 percent to US$72.08 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2017, compared to US$66.9 million for the same period last year, as well as the higher share on income from unrestricted investment accounts as a Mudarib which grew 60.8 percent during the first half of this year to US$34.39 million, compared to US$21.38 million for the same period last year. This is, mainly, a result of the 75 new Islamic retail branches that were opened by Faysal Bank Limited in Pakistan last year,” he said.
Ithmaar Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said the focus remains firmly on growing the core retail banking business.
“I am pleased to report that the balance sheet is stable and continues to grow,” said Abdul Rahim. “Total assets stood at US$8.72 billion as at 30 June 2017, a 4.5 percent increase compared to US$8.34 billion as at 31 December 2016, and a 2.9 percent increase compared to US$8.47 billion as at 30 June 2016,” he said.
“Customer current accounts also increased to US$1.73 billion as at 30 June 2017, a 9.6 percent

increase compared to US$1.58 billion as at 31 December 2016, and a 15.5 percent increase compared to US$1.5 billion as at 30 June 2016,” said Abdul Rahim. “The equity of unrestricted investment accountholders, at US$2.78 billion as at 30 June 2017, increased by 0.4 percent compared to US$2.77 billion as at 31 December 2016, and by a significant 7.2 percent compared to US$2.59 billion as 30 June 2016,” he said.

MASTERCARD AWARD PRESENTED TO ITHMAAR BANK

MANAMA, BAHRAIN -22 June 2014 – MasterCard today presented an award to Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, in recognition of the Bank achieving the Kingdom’s fastest growing MasterCard debit card portfolio.

The Award was presented to Ithmaar Bank Chief ExecutiveOfficer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, by MasterCard Division President, Middle East and North Africa, Raghu Malhotra, at the Bank’s Seef headquarters. The ceremony was also attended by MasterCardVice President and Head of Business Development for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Somu Roy; Ithmaar Bank Chief Operating Officer,Ravindra Khot; Ithmaar BankGeneral Manager Retail and Private Banking, Abdul Hakeem Al Mutawa,Ithmaar BankAssistant General Manager and Head of Retail Banking,Mohammed Janahi, and members of the Bank’s management team.

“Ithmaar Bank is committed to becoming the Islamic bank of choice, and we are working to continuously improve our customers’ banking experience,” said Abdul Rahim. “Our partnership with MasterCard has been particularly effective in this regard, and has helped us offer Islamic banking solutions tailored specifically to our customers’ requirements,” he said.
“As a result, Ithmaar Bank now has the fastest growing MasterCard debit cards portfolio in the Kingdom,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is an achievement we can all be justifiably proud of,” he said.
Malhotra said: “This award recognises the exceptional growth of Ithmaar Bank’s MasterCard debit card portfolio and underscores the Bank’s growing success as an Islamic retail financial institution. We are very proud of our long-standing association with Ithmaar Bank, and I am pleased to be here to celebrate our ongoing success.”

Last year, Ithmaar Bank announced a collaboration with MasterCard to expand the Bank’s debit card offerings and launched two new debit cards from the MasterCard Premium Debit Card Collection. The cards – Ithmaar MasterCard Debit Plus, and Ithmaar MasterCard Premier Debit Card – were the first Islamic-segmented MasterCard Debit Cards in Bahrain.
Earlier this year, Ithmaar Bank introduced a full suite of new Sharia-compliant MasterCard Credit Cards. The new credit cards, which were tailored to meet the specific requirements of Ithmaar customers, were introduced as part of the Bank’s commitment to listening to, and delivering on, customer expectations.

A total of four new credit cards – MasterCard Gold, MasterCard Gold Plus, MasterCard Titanium and MasterCard Platinum, that offer a range of extended features and benefits have been unveiled.

The new credit cards offer Ithmaar Bank customers free worldwide Takaful travel insurance as well compelling terms including, for example, a minimum repayment of only 5 percent of the ending balance within 25 days from the statement date. The credit cards offer immediate access to more than 2.5 million Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), and are welcomed at more than 35.9 million outlets around the world. Ithmaar Bank also provides free supplementary cards to immediate family members of the primary cardholder, as well as exclusive discounts through MasterCard and free access to selected airport lounges for Titanium and Platinum credit card holders. The MasterCard Platinum Credit Card is available exclusively for Ithmaar Bank Premier Members.

Ithmaar Bank’s tailored credit and debit card solutions both underscore the Bank’s commitment to continuously develop its retail banking operations. MasterCard’s recent award, naming Ithmaar Bank as The Fastest Growing MasterCard Debit Card Portfolio in Bahrain, is another indicator of the Bank’s efforts to improve customer satisfaction.