The shareholders of the AlBaraka Banking Group re-elected Saleh Abdullah Kamel as the group’s chairman of the for another three year term during a meeting held at Sheraton Hotel on Wednesday. The shareholders’s meeting was attended by 91% of the group’s total shareholding.
The meeting also approved the payment of the dividend of $118.57 million for the year 2010 and shareholders discussed at the ordinary meeting the report submitted by the board of directors on the group’s activities during the financial year.
The new board includes Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Abdullah A. Saudi, Abdullah Saleh Kamel, Saleh Mohammed Al Yousef, Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Anwar Ibrahim, Abdul Ellah Sabbahi, Ebrahim Fayez Al Shamsi, Yousif Ali Fadil bin Fadil, Jamal bin Ghalaita, Bassem I. Awadallah , Mohyedin Saleh Kamel, Fahad Abdullah Al-Rajhi.
The meeting approved the cash dividends at the rate of five cents per share, amounting to a total of $39.52 million and the issue of bonus shares at the rate of one share for every 10 paid shares (amounting to $79.05 million) to the shareholders registered on the date of the meeting, subject to the approval of the concerned authorities.
The meeting also approved the issuance of investment sukuk amounting to $300 million. The sukuk is likely to be between three to five years term and will help financing of the expansion plans in 2011 and beyond.
“The group has been on the right path of growth with completing the acquisition in Pakistan. ABG intends to enter Indonesia and Indian markets and hopes that these markets and if the things move in the right direction both markets will be part of the operations by the year-end,” Adnan explained.
After the meeting, the new Board of Directors of the Groups held its first meeting, at which it re-elected Saleh Abdullah Kamel as chairman of the Board of Directors of the group for a new term and Abdulla Ammar Saudi as deputy chairman and Abdullah Saleh Kamel as deputy chairman of the Board of Directors.
“We consider the outstanding results achieved during year 2010 as a clear embodiment of the success of the business model that we followed since the inception of the group, a model that reflects the true values of Islamic banking and insightful business strategies coupled to the excellent managerial expertise available to the group that enabled it to translate these values and strategies to facts on the ground in a creative way,” said Sheikh Saleh Kamel, chairman of ABG.
“The economic and financial developments witnessed by year 2010 further compounded the adverse conditions arising from the global crisis. Because of this crisis, financial institutions all over the world were forced to adopt conservative and cautious business strategies. In view of these developments and conditions, the financial results achieved by the Group in 2010 can be viewed as excellent by all standards,” said Abdulla Ammar Al Saudi, deputy chairman of ABG.
“The cash dividends and bonus shares distributed to the shareholders reflect the outstanding results that we achieved in 2010,” said Adnan Ahmed Yousif, member of the Board of Directors and president and chief executive of ABG.
“These results were the outcome of a number of initiatives that we had launched during the past year including continually improving the quality of our products and services, introducing more innovative products, expanding the branch network of ABG subsidiary units which has now reached approximately 400 branches in thirteen countries,” he added.
Responding to the question about the ongoing unrest in the MENA region and its impact on the group including its Bahrain operations, he said that overall situation was coming back to normal.
“In the first two months of 2011 ABG has seen 10% increase compared with the first two months of the last year, which shows the strong levels of growth prospects,” he added.
About Bahrain he said that whatever Bahrain earned in the past 40 years had been affected by the uncalled for protests in the Kingdom. “There is hardly any issue which you can’t discuss on the table unlike in Bahrain some other dictatorships in the world,” Adnan explained.