Bahrain will establish the world's biggest Islamic bank within the next 6 to 12 months.
The creation of a planned Islamic investment megabank is in "fairly advanced stages" and it will likely be launched in the next 6 to 12 months, an executive at a firm advising on the project said this week, Barcelona News wrote.
A plan to form the world's largest Sharia-compliant lender, which is being promoted by Chairman of Al Baraka Banking Group Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, has been in the works for some years.
Sheikh Saleh said last April the global financial crisis had delayed the project, but they hoped to launch it by the fourth quarter of 2009.
"The key shareholders are on board and we are looking for an imminent launch, within six months to a year," Sameer Abdi, head of Islamic finance at Ernst & Young, told the Reuters Islamic Banking and Finance Summit in Bahrain.
Sheikh Saleh said in April the new institution so far had about 10 shareholders, including the Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Investment bankSaudi Investment bank and the Kuwait Real Estate Bank.
Bigger Islamic banks are crucial for the industry to realize its growth potential and to compete with Islamic windows or subsidiaries of western conventional banks that have large market shares in wholesale banking services.
Abdi said the bank's "capital aspirations" were between $3 billion and $4 billion.
source : Iran Daily