Best Islamic Financial Institution | Samba
Samba Financial Group, with assets of $63 billion, is a highly regarded financial institution regionally and internationally. It offers a wide range of shariah-compliant products and services and is renowned for its risk management. It also offers well-received Islamic products and services across consumer, corporate, institutional, treasury, private banking, capital markets, investment banking and asset management. In 2015, Samba was involved in complex shariah-compliant real estate transactions exceeding $3.6 billion in overall transaction value. It has very good structuring expertise of specialized real estate products.
Best Sukuk Bank | Maybank Islamic
The largest Islamic bank in Asean and one of the biggest in the world, Maybank Islamic continues to build its position in Islamic finance. It has consistently remained as one of the top underwriters in the sukuk market. In 2015, Maybank captured 8.6% of the global market share for sukuk issuance, amounting to over $2.9 billion through 106 issuances. In the Malaysian ringgit sukuk market, it has a 17.9% share.
Best Bank for Islamic IPOs | J.P. Morgan
The global investment banking powerhouse J.P. Morgan is increasingly leveraging the firm’s strong structuring platform and market franchise to win more Islamic IPO mandates. It has growing involvement in key markets in the Middle East, including the large and important Saudi market, but its Islamic IPO activity extends to all markets.
Best Islamic Retail Bank | Qatar Islamic Bank
The largest Islamic bank in Qatar, QIB has a 41% share of the Islamic domestic market. It has an increasing global presence with affiliates in the UK, Lebanon, Malaysia and Sudan. QIB has a strong retail operation with a wide range of products supported by high-quality service. It launched a number of new retail products in 2015. Its financial performance last year was very good, with a relevant increase in assets (+32%) and net profit (+22%).
Best Islamic Investment Bank | Jadwa Investment
Jadwa Investment Bank, the Riyadh-based institution, has business lines of asset management, private equity, investment banking advisory, research and brokerage. Asset management and investment banking revenues continued to grow in 2015, achieved through a 39% growth in core client business. The growth came in part from raising $533 million in net additional assets under management from existing and new clients, bringing the total to $5.3 billion across various asset classes (21% compound annual growth rate since 2007). Its three flagship equity funds have performed well, and in 2015 Jadwa introduced three new private equity and real estate funds, launched its investment management advisory practice and signed landmark advisory mandates with major institutional clients.
Best Islamic Custodian | Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank, through its Global Transaction Banking operations, provides custodial services to both Islamic and conventional assets. Deutsche has been a strong player in the Islamic finance industry for many years, and its presence in key Islamic markets provides it and its potential clients with good access to assets. Its expertise, technology and experience allow it to administer any custodial need.
Best Provider of Shariah-Compliant Funds | Al Rajhi Capital
Al Rajhi Capital, the fully-owned investment banking subsidiary of Saudi-based Al Rajhi Bank—the world’s largest Islamic bank by assets and net profit—is a leading financial services company that provides clients with a range of diverse, innovative and shariah-compliant financial products and services. It has a number of leading shariah-compliant funds across domestic, regional and international equity and commodity markets. A key differentiator is the firm’s reputation as one of the leading research houses in Saudi Arabia.
Best Provider of Shariah-Compliant Short-Term Investments | Maybank Islamic
Maybank Islamic has led on many innovative shariah investment solutions that have been well received by the market. The launch of Maybank Islamic’s Mudarabah Investment Account in July 2015 provided customers the opportunity to invest in a new asset class (banking assets) and earn potentially higher returns. Placing Maybank Islamic further ahead of its peers was the introduction of the world’s first shariah-compliant bank payment obligation. This alternative innovative trade settlement instrument bridges the gap between a letter of credit and open-account trade, providing customers an effective and quick payment process.
Best Islamic Financial Institution for SMEs | Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
With assets of over $32 billion at end 2015, ADIB is a leading Islamic financial institution with an excellent reputation. Although its main activities are in the UAE, it now has a presence in Egypt, KSA, Sudan, Iraq, Qatar and the UK. It has a particular strength and noted market franchise in SME banking through its ADIB business division. It has extensive range of products and services for businesses, including cash management and transactional banking as well as working capital, asset, card, trade, commercial vehicle and POS financing.
Best Islamic Financial Institution for Large Corporates | Dubai Islamic Bank
The largest Islamic bank in the UAE and fourth-largest globally, with assets of $41 billion at the end of 2015, Dubai Islamic Bank has a strong market position in large corporate banking, both in the UAE and regionally, leveraging its balance sheet size and equity base and providing innovative financing solutions. The bank had a particularly strong year, with net profit rising by 37%. It has a growing footprint internationally, with expansion in such markets as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, Sudan and Pakistan. Corporate lending grew by 40% in 2015 and represents 41% of the total financing book.
Best Islamic Asset Management Company | Al Rajhi Capital
Al Rajhi Capital is an experienced and leading Islamic asset management institution. Its asset management business maintained a strong performance in 2015, with total assets under management growing by 36%, to $9.7 billion. The company continued to diversify its fund portfolio with the launch of the Al Rajhi IPO Fund; successfully exited from the ARC Real Estate Income Fund, for a total transaction value of $360 million; and deployed its second Real Estate Income Fund, with a total investment of $236 million.
Best Shariah-Compliant Index Provider | MSCI Islamic Index Family
In 2015, MSCI launched the Islamic M-Series Indexes, providing an additional Islamic index screening methodology that gives investors the option to choose between the traditional approach of using total assets or the more widely used market-cap-based methodology. This move expanded the existing MSCI Islamic Index Family. Its indexes involve 23 developed markets and 23 emerging markets, with other indexes including Europe, North America and the Pacific. In June 2015, MSCI announced broader coverage of the Middle East equity universe with the launch of the MSCI Saudi Arabia Index and the MSCI GCC Countries International Index, the first indexes of their kind that represent the full investable opportunity set available in the GCC.
Best Islamic Trade Finance Provider | Dubai Islamic Bank
Dubai Islamic Bank’s gross financing was more than $27 billion at the end of 2015. Aided by its strong corporate segment business, DIB is a leading Islamic trade finance provider. Its physical presence in an increasing number of countries is also helping to grow its trade finance activities.
Best Islamic Project Finance Provider | Kuwait Finance House
The second-largest solely Islamic financial institution globally with assets of $54 billion, Kuwait Finance House has extensive expertise in Islamic project finance. It is one of the world’s biggest Islamic financiers. Its project finance expertise is augmented by a growing international footprint; it has operations in Turkey, Bahrain, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Germany and UAE, as well as a dominant position in Kuwait. KFH will issue more sukuk to governments and companies worldwide, going forward. Sukuk proceeds will help finance several projects, based on innovative mechanisms and methods, and reinforce the bank’s participation in major projects.
Best Islamic Commodities Provider | International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation
The ITFC is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank Group, created to advance trade and improve the economic condition of people across the Islamic world. The ITFC is increasingly involved in innovative financing, as exemplified by its structuring and arranging of a murabaha deal last year for Yayla Agro in Turkey through an Islamic Commodity Future Contract based on physical goods purchased during harvest from farmers. This was the first Islamic commodity future contract based on grains in licensed warehouses, and the first asset-backed murabaha deal of its kind. The purchase was done through electronic warehouse receipts issued in commodity exchanges.
Best Islamic Real Estate Finance Provider | Noor Bank
The fast-growing Dubai-based Islamic bank Noor Bank saw its assets grow by 36%, to $10.7 billion. The bank excels in providing real estate finance. Noor Bank’s Home Finance acquisition volumes have grown significantly over the past couple of years, and the bank has managed to secure a place among the leading home finance lenders in the UAE. It has increased its market share through expanding its distribution and focusing on customer experience and product innovation. Noor Bank also launched commercial property financing in 2015.
Best Up-and-Coming Islamic Financial Institution | Qatar First Bank
Qatar First Bank’s evolution from a boutique investment bank to a full-fledged shariah-compliant private bank remains its strategy, and it continues to capitalize on the growing demand for Islamic banking and the increase in wealth in the region. QFB’s total assets rose by 26% in 2015. The bank recently listed all its shares on the Qatar Stock Exchange in a new phase of growth.
Best Islamic Financial Center | Malaysia International Islamic Finance Centre (MIFC)
Malaysia remains at the forefront in the development of Islamic banking, capital markets and takaful (Islamic insurance). It has a strong and comprehensive Islamic financial system with a robust, business-driven regulatory regime and legal framework. Malaysia is one of the leading global hubs for Islamic finance. Its marketplace has a deep primary and active secondary sukuk market, diverse players and a talent base with global capabilities and the connectivity for facilitating business deals anywhere in the world. Product innovation is often led by the Malaysian Islamic markets, and its system allows for multicurrency clearing and settlement.
Best Stock Exchange for Shariah-Compliant Listings | Dubai Financial Market
The DFM is considered to be the leading market in the region and, indeed, globally for listing shariah-compliant companies and sukuk. The listing of both continues to grow, with DFM’s having had a good year despite a challenging operating environment. In fact, sukuk listed on Dubai’s two exchanges, Nasdaq Dubai and Dubai Financial Market, surpassed its main Islamic financial center rivals in 2015. DFM has an increasing number of shariah-compliant company listings.
Sukuk Deal of the Year | National Commercial Bank
2.7 billion Saudi Arabian riyals ($720 million) Tier 1 Perpetual Sukuk;
Lead Arranger: NCB Capital
This large additional Tier 1 capital sukuk was successfully achieved through a private placement offer in Saudi Arabia. The 2.7 billion Saudi Arabian riyal ($720 million) issue strengthened the bank’s capital base in accordance with Basel III and will sustain its growth while maintaining good capital adequacy levels. Additionally, the sukuk extended the maturity profile of NCB’s liabilities while diversifying its sources of funding. The sukuk are perpetual securities with no fixed redemption date. However, NCB has the right to call the sukuk on a predefined date.
IPO/Equity Deal of the Year | Saudi Ground Services
2.8 billion Saudi Arabian riyal ($752 million) IPO
Lead Manager: HSBC Saudi Arabia
Saudi Ground Services’ 2.8 billion Saudi Arabian riyal IPO was highly successful, with retail investor allocation more than three times oversubscribed, with 1.86 million subscribers. Institutional investors pledged orders nine times higher than the full amount of shares offered during the book building.
Real Estate Deal of the Year | Purple Boulevard
450 million Malaysian ringgit ($117 million) Asset-Backed Ijarah Program for the Ampang Point Shopping Centre
Lead Arranger: Hong Leong Investment Bank
Issuer Purple Boulevard’s asset-backed sukuk ijarah (rent-to-own) program of 450 million Malaysian ringgits was successfully completed. The issuer was a special-purpose vehicle sponsored by Nadin Holdings and Nadin Management to securitize Ampang Point Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Under the structure, Purple Boulevard acquired Ampang Point from the originators via the sukuk proceeds. The sukuk holders purchased their proportionate interest in the property from the issuer by way of subscribing to the Islamic medium-term notes under the sukuk ijarah program.
Gulf Cooperation Council | Kuwait Finance House
With operations in Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Germany and Turkey, KFH, which was the first Islamic bank established in Kuwait, is one of the more globally ambitious Islamic banks in the GCC. Its shareholders include such financial heavyweights as the Kuwait Investment Authority. The past year saw the bank’s net profits increase by 15%, to 145.8 million Kuwaiti dinars ($484 million). Net financing income increased by more than 8%, to 393 million dinars. KFH has participated in a number of landmark sukuk (Islamic bond) transactions, including the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation’s $1.8 billion sukuk to support the efficient functioning of Islamic financial markets.
Non-GCC Middle East/North Africa | Al Baraka Banking Group
Al Baraka Banking Group is a champion of Islamic banking in the MENA region with its vast network of operations in countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria and Tunis, as well as a representative office in Libya. The bank’s ambition is to have a presence in all Maghreb countries, which it should achieve once its application to open an office in Morocco is finalized. In 2015, the Group’s total operating income reached $1 billion for the first time, with growth in income generation recorded across all its business units. Total assets in 2015 for the group were $24.6 billion.
Asia-Pacific | CIMB Islamic
CIMB Islamic’s name is rarely out of the spotlight when it comes to innovation in Islamic finance. Some of the high-profile transactions it has participated in include sukuk issuances by the Indonesian and Malaysian governments, as well as that of Hong Kong, and it is a consistent leader in Asean league tables for sukuk issuance. CIMB is the second-largest Islamic bank in Malaysia. It boasts Islamic banking operations in Singapore via CIMB Islamic Singapore and in Indonesia via CIMB Niaga Syariah.
Europe | Al Rayan Bank
Formerly known as the Islamic Bank of Britain, Al Rayan pioneered Islamic banking in the UK, which is still the leading center in Europe when it comes to establishing a regulatory environment conducive to Islamic financing. Acquired by Qatar’s Masraf Al Rayan bank in 2014, in 2015 Al Rayan reported a record net profit of £10.3 million ($15 million). The bank largely focuses on providing retail banking services as well as financing to the small and midsize enterprise sector.
Afghanistan | Afghan United Bank
It is still early days for Islamic finance in this war-ravaged country. Afghanistan’s central bank—Da Afghanistan Bank—is reportedly finalizing the details of a new Islamic banking regulatory framework. Commercial bank Afghan United Bank has offered Islamic banking for individuals and businesses through an Islamic window since 2008. The new regulatory framework could see AUB either expand the activities of its Islamic window or apply to become a fully fledged Islamic bank.
Algeria | Banque Al Baraka D’Algérie
Established in 1991 as Algeria’s first Islamic bank, Banque Al Baraka D’Algérie has 30 branches spread across the country. The past year saw the bank grow its total assets to 192.4 billion Algerian dinars ($1.7 billion). The bank continues to diversify into new areas such as takaful (insurance), Internet banking for corporate and retail customers, electronic payment facilities and shariah-compliant credit cards.
Bahrain | Al Baraka Islamic Bank Bahrain
In 2015, Al Baraka continued to expand its retail portfolio in its home market. Growth in financings and investments saw the bank’s total assets reach $1.1 billion, an increase of 14%, as compared with 2014’s figure. New credit-card and wealth-management product launches are scheduled for this year, and as part of its network expansion strategy, the number of branches the bank maintains in Bahrain should increase from six to 15 by 2020.
Bangladesh | Shahjalal Islami Bank
Operating as an Islamic bank since 2001, Shahjalal Islami Bank has 93 branches throughout Bangladesh. Net profit for the first quarter of this year was 283 million taka ($3.6 million). Total property and assets were valued at 149.8 billion taka.
Brunei Darrussalam | Bank Islam Brunei Darrussalam
Shareholders in Brunei’s largest Islamic bank include the government and Fajr Capital, a sovereign-backed investment firm headquartered in the Dubai International Financial Center. At the end of 2014, total group assets for BIBD were 7.7 billion Brunei dollars ($5.7 billion). The bank offers a wide range of Islamic financial services to retail, corporate and institutional customers.
Egypt | Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank–Egypt
ADIB is one of the largest Islamic banks in Egypt. It entered the Egyptian market via the acquisition of the National Bank of Development in 2007. In the first nine months of 2015, total assets of the bank grew by 14%, to reach 23.1 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.6 billion). Total deposits grew by 16%, to 19.3 billion Egyptian pounds.
Indonesia | Bank Muamalat Indonesia
Muamalat is Indonesia’s second-largest Islamic bank by assets. The bank maintains more than 80 branches, as well as cash offices, and services the micro, consumer, retail and corporate customer segments. According to media reports, the Washington-based International Finance Corporation has expressed an interest in acquiring a stake in Muamalat, which is expected to launch a rights issue this year to raise capital. Rapid loan growth in recent years has put pressure on the bank’s capital profile, according to Fitch Ratings.
Jordan | Jordan Islamic Bank
Part of the Al Baraka Banking Group, JIB has 92 branches spread across the country and aims to add another 25 branches in key locations. The bank continues to innovate, offering virtual cards for online transactions and an Islamic financing facility for the purchase of energy-efficient cars. Despite the challenging economic climate in Jordan, total financings and investments in 2015 increased by 17%. Total assets reached $5.4 billion. Net income for 2015 was $69 million, an increase of 8% compared with 2014’s results.
Kazakhstan | Al Hilal Islamic Bank
From a regulatory perspective, of all the CIS countries, Kazakhstan has the most conducive environment for Islamic finance to flourish. It passed its first Islamic finance law in 2009, but the industry is still very much in its infancy. Al Hilal is the country’s first and only fully fledged Islamic bank. Established in 2010, it is a fully owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank. Al Hilal Islamic Bank is licensed to provide a full range of Islamic banking services for retail and corporate customers. The bank has previously stated its interest in expanding into neighboring CIS countries as the regulatory frameworks in those markets evolve to accommodate the growth of Islamic finance.
Kuwait | Boubyan Bank
Boubyan, the Islamic banking arm of its majority shareholder, the National Bank of Kuwait, has undergone a major transformation since its inception in 2004. It has grown its loan book and continued to improve earnings. As part of its “Boubyan 2020” strategy, the bank’s ambition is to grow its retail and corporate banking operations and to achieve the best operational performance among its peers. In 2015, net profits grew by 25% to 35 million dinars ($116 million). The bank has made a huge dent in its corporate nonperforming loan ratio, which is down from more than 12% in 2009 to 1.2% in 2015. Its retail NPL ratio is 0.5%.
Lebanon | Al Baraka Bank Lebanon
Al Baraka entered the Lebanese market in 1992, becoming the country’s first Islamic bank. When the government passed an Islamic banking law in 2004, it became a full-fledged Islamic bank. It boasts seven branches, which it plans to increase to 12 by 2020, and offers banking services to retail and corporate customers. The past 12-month period has seen the bank launch new card and savings products. Last year saw total operating income increase by 21%, to $13 million. According to the Islamic International Rating Agency, Al Baraka’s ability to diversify its financing activities outside of Lebanon has helped it weather the country’s economic slowdown.
Malaysia | Maybank Islamic
Maybank is Malaysia’s largest Islamic bank, and the fifth-largest Islamic bank in the world, based on total assets, which reached $33 billion at the end of September 2015. It maintains a network of more than 400 branches in Malaysia and is a consistent innovator in the Islamic financing space, launching new products and services—including Islamic custody, shariah-compliant trade settlement and investment accounts. According to RAM Ratings, Maybank Islamic boasts a 34% market share of total Islamic banking-sector financing in Malaysia as of the end of September, 2015. Despite rapid growth in its financing portfolio, Maybank Islamic maintained a relatively low NPL ratio of 0.9%.
Nigeria | Jaiz Bank
Jaiz is Nigeria’s first fully fledged Islamic or “noninterest” bank. Shareholders include the Islamic Development Bank. Since commencing operations in 2012, the bank has expanded its branch network from three to 17. The bank currently operates in a third of the country but is updating its banking license and increasing its capital base so it can operate in all parts. Growth in total assets and income saw the bank break even in 2014. Total income increased by 220%, to 2.9 billion Nigerian naira ($14 million).
Oman | Alizz Islamic Bank
Alizz is one of Oman’s first fully fledged Islamic banks. Islamic banking has been permitted in the country only since 2012. In a short period of time, Alizz has performed remarkably. In 2015, customer deposits increased to 161.4 million Omani rials ($419 million). Net operating income grew by 210% to reach six million rials. The bank serves both retail and corporate customers.
Pakistan | Meezan Bank
Meezan is Pakistan’s first and largest Islamic bank, with a network of more than 500 branches spread throughout the country. The bank provides shariah-compliant retail and corporate banking services via a range of distribution channels, including branches, ATMs, mobile and Internet banking. Customer deposits increased by 24%, to 472 billion rupees ($4.5 billion) in 2015. Total assets grew by 22%, to 532 billion rupees. Meezan has expanded its domestic operations via a series of acquisitions. Last year it acquired the Pakistan operations of HSBC Bank Oman, having already integrated previous acquisitions, including the Pakistan banking operations of HSBC Bank Middle East and Societe Generale. The bank continues to innovate with the release of new Islamic banking financial products and services, including Islamic branchless banking via agents in Pakistan for unbanked members of the population. Meezan also played a role in structuring Jinnah International Airport’s sukuk, worth 300 billion rupees.
Palestine | Arab Islamic Bank
AIB is one of only two licensed Islamic banks in the country. It was the first Islamic bank to be established in 1995. Its shareholders include the Bank of Palestine and the Palestinian Investment Fund. The bank provides Islamic financial services to corporate, retail and small-and-midsize-enterprise customers. According to the bank’s 2014 annual report, total assets grew by more than $92 million, to $562 million. Customer deposits increased by $63 million, to $435 million. The bank achieved a net profit of $4.1 million—a remarkable performance, given that just four years earlier, it had reported a loss. AIB continues to grow its market share in terms of assets, direct financing and client deposits.
Qatar | Qatar Islamic Bank
According to Fitch Ratings, QIB’s franchise is more diversified than those of its peers. Its deposit base includes a strong retail component. QIB says it is the largest Islamic bank in Qatar, with a 41% share of the Islamic banking sector, based on assets, and an 11% market share of the overall sector. The bank’s ambitions extend beyond its domestic borders to operations in the UK, Lebanon, Malaysia and Sudan. Profitability remains solid, with net profits reaching $536.9 million in 2015, an annual increase of 22%, and the bank’s total assets increased by more than 30%, to $35 billion. QIB raised $2 billion in a sukuk offering last year, the proceeds of which will be used to boost its capital adequacy ratios. In 2015 the bank issued a number of new savings, financing and card products.
Saudi Arabia | Samba
Samba Financial Group’s Islamic banking division provides a full suite of banking services, encompassing retail, corporate, private and investment banking, and treasury and asset management. The bank says it has been involved in almost all Islamic syndicated financing transactions in Saudi Arabia in various capacities—as arranger, bookrunner, adviser or coordinator. It has a strong appetite for innovation, launching new products such as Islamic gold financing for local corporates, shariah-compliant liabilities and derivatives products, Islamic credit-linked notes and a shariah structure for the factoring and sale of receivables for corporates.
Singapore | CIMB Islamic Bank Singapore
The Malaysia-headquartered bank offers both conventional and Islamic financial services in the Singaporean market. According to the bank’s 2015 annual report, Islamic financing by the bank in Singapore increased by 77%. In the retail segment of its business, customer deposits increased by almost 200% over 2014 levels, to 292.6 million Singapore dollars ($215 million). In 2015, CIMB Islamic’s corporate banking business in Singapore reported approximately 362 million Singapore dollars’ worth of new Islamic financing. Noteworthy deals included a 184 million Singapore dollar Islamic financing transaction for a property fund, a deal CIMB Islamic says constituted the largest Singaporean dollar Islamic bilateral financing facility it had concluded in the market.
South Africa | Al Baraka Islamic Bank
Part of the Al Baraka Banking Group of Bahrain, Al Baraka Islamic Bank has operated in the South African market since 1989. It has a network of 12 branches. Against a backdrop of moderate growth in the South African economy, the bank’s total assets reached 5.1 billion rand ($343 million) in 2015, constituting growth of 5% on 2014. Financing and investments increased by 17%, and net operating income was 40% higher in 2015. In its 2015 annual report the bank stated that a shariah-compliant FX contract it introduced in 2014 had resulted in higher FX trading turnover. The bank is developing a mobile FX app for international payments. Other future product innovations include an Islamic credit card.
Sri Lanka | Amãna Bank
Amãna is Sri Lanka’s first Islamic commercial bank—other Islamic banks in the market operate through windows. The bank’s shareholders include Bank Islam Malaysia, the Islamic Development Bank (based in Saudi Arabia) and AB Bank in Bangladesh. The bank only commenced operations in 2011, but since then has increased its network of branches from 14 to 25. Customer deposits in 2015 grew by more than 30% to 38.6 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($264 million). Client deposits in consumer banking grew by 33.8% in 2015. Business deposits increased by 12.5%. Amãna’s customer deposits and advances are largely concentrated in the capital, Colombo, and in surrounding suburbs. New product releases scheduled for this year include custody and loan services for gold, as well as investment accounts.
Tunisia | Al Baraka Bank Tunisia
A comprehensive regulatory framework for Islamic finance has yet to be finalized by the Tunisian government. Currently, there are only two fully fledged Islamic financial institutions in the country, including Al Baraka Bank, which has operated in the country since 1983. Despite sluggish growth in the Tunisian economy, 2015 saw Al Baraka Bank grow its total assets by 8%, and total financing and investments by 5%. New branches came online in 2015, bringing its network in the country to 22 branches. Future network expansion is expected to bring the number of branches in Tunisia to more than 60 by 2020. The bank has also extended Islamic financial services to SMEs and large corporates in Tunisia with the setting up of a business center to serve this market segment. Islamic insurance, or takaful, is also slated for development by Al Baraka Bank Tunisia in partnership with a takaful provider.
Turkey | Kuveyt Türk
Kuveyt Türk has the financial muscle of Kuwait Finance House behind it. As Turkey’s largest Islamic bank—Turkey prefers the term participation bank—it continues to report strong profitability, with 2015 net profits increasing by 20% on the previous year, to 445 million Turkish lira ($154 million). The bank’s total assets now stand at 42 billion lira. The bank is in expansionary mode, having opened Germany’s first participation bank, KT Bank. This year the bank will expand its distribution channels within Turkey, opening new branches and alternative distribution channels. It also opened a portfolio management business, KT Portföy, which will offer shariah-compliant asset management services to both domestic and foreign investors. In February this year, Kuveyt Türk issued the largest Tier 2 sukuk for a domestic participation bank. The sukuk, valued at $350 million, will help boost its capital adequacy ratio.
UAE | Noor Bank
The Dubai-based bank shored up its capital base last year with its debut $500 million global sukuk, which attracted a mixture of investors from Asia and Europe. The bank is a leading home finance lender in the UAE, and in 2015 it continued to grow its consumer banking business, expanding by 50% its number of customers and its consumer finance balances. The bank also boasts a successful private banking/wealth management business. For the nine months ended September 30, 2015, Noor Bank announced a net profit of 451 million dirhams ($123 million), an increase of 43% on the previous year. Net income from Islamic financing increased by 41%. In 2015 the bank showcased innovations in Islamic finance—prepaid cards and a mobile wallet—which came out of its partnership with Yvolv, a joint venture between Meraas, a Dubai-based investment holding company, and AliCloud (Alibaba’s Cloud computing subsidiary). Noor Bank will handle all wallet and fund transaction settlements for the YVO mobile app.
UK | Al Rayan Bank
Formerly known as Islamic Bank of Britain, Al Rayan was among the first Islamic banks to be established in the UK. Commencing operations in 2004, it provides a range of shariah-compliant retail banking services. The bank has more than 60,000 personal and business customers. The Qatari Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan acquired IBB in 2014. The following year was the bank’s most profitable, with net profits reaching £10.3 million ($15 million). Retail deposits in 2015 grew by 43%, to more than £731 million.
US | Devon Bank
A community bank based in the ethnically diverse neighborhood of Rogers Park, Chicago, Devon Bank took a somewhat unique approach to developing its “faith-based” financing products. According to the bank’s website, its murabaha (otherwise known as markup, or cost-plus, financing) and ijarah (rent to own) products were developed by an employee who earned a diploma from the Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance in London. The products were reviewed by an independent shariah scholar and changes made to accommodate shariah jurisprudence. Devon Bank’s Islamic finance products are now offered throughout the country.