April 23, 2024

New Leaders emerge in Bahrain’s Financial history


Bahrain’s Islamic Bank is looking for development in 2022-2023, after strong momentum in 2021. The sector needs to address the rising public demands for Islamic products and also expects improvement in the operating environment. This follows higher oil prices, higher real GDP growth, the easing of Covid-19-related restrictions, and an expected increase in interest rates or earnings.

Islamic banking remains important in Bahrain, with its market share increasing to 38.8 percent of domestic banking system assets and 17.8 percent of total banking system assets by end-2021. In 2021, Islamic banks’ total assets increased by 8.1 percent, outpacing conventional banks’ total asset growth of 4.2 percent. The total assets of the Islamic banking sector reached USD 38.6 billion because of the most used relevance of Islamic products, rising residential mortgage financing, a broad branch, digital banking network, a supportive Islamic finance ecosystem, and the presence of Islamic liquidity-management tools.

The central bank of Bahrain is working with one of the infrastructure firms to check the Bitcoin payments and payout solutions in the country. Until now, Bitcoin payments did not exist in the Middle East region. There are many players who are offering this payment infrastructure to help Bahrain grow its economy. Bahrain’s market size is small which is an advantage for its ambitious development as it allows businesses to collaborate more closely with one another and with the government. According to a top executive of the kingdom’s economic planning body. Bahrain is focusing on the technology sector to drive its economy and it has evolved as one of the top destinations for start-up investments in the region.

Size does not matter for Economic Progress

An Islamic bank in Bahrain, BOK International is uniquely positioned to leverage its parent bank’s rich legacy of over 100 years, while also operating as an independent full-service branch in the Kingdom and offering a full range of innovative Sharia-compliant products and services. BOK International is the foreign arm of the Bank of Khartoum operating under a wholesale Islamic banking license granted by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

BOK International’s commitment to providing a wide range of banking products and services, including trade finance, deposit accounts, Islamic financing facilities, Treasury, and correspondent banking services, will define our endeavor to be a leading provider of Sharia-compliant banking services. It is operating with the utmost integrity, adhering to principles instilled in the bank since its inception to Maintain the values of Islamic banking practices to earn the complete trust of every client. It is creating a business environment of mutual respect and honesty, as well as a commitment to protect BOK International clients’ money and privacy and maintaining accountability for all business transactions in front of all clients and the community. It promotes sound financial principles to achieve continuous growth and financial stability. It is creating a promising and respectful work environment that encourages personal growth, encourages teamwork, fosters accountability, and rewards performance excellence. BOK International CEO, Mr. Ahmed Darwish is known for his excellent performance in the banking and investment sector.

Ahmed Darwish joined BOK International in March 2016 as Chief Financial Officer. He is credited for establishing the Finance Department at the bank’s second international branch in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In April 2019, he was appointed as the Bank’s acting Chief Executive Officer. He applied more than 15 years of experience in the banking and investments sectors. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy, a Certified Islamic Professional Accountant (CIPA) with the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). He has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Bahrain.

A Visionary Leader for Growing Islamic Assets

Prior to joining BOK International, Mr. Darwish was the Vice President – Head of Financial Services at Sage Capital, where he was an active member of the board of directors of several subsidiaries, representing and protecting the interests of shareholders. As Director of Finance and Operations, he was also in charge of establishing the Finance, Operations, Human Resources, and Administration departments at Tadhamon Capital. Mr. Darwish has also worked as an external auditor for leading banks and financial institutions in Bahrain for Ernst & Young.

International Business Magazine appreciates Mr. Ahmed Darwish for his excellent performance in the banking and investment sector, giving an award for his efficient work as CEO of BOK International. He was adjudged as ‘Bahraini Islamic Banking CEO of the Year’.

Islamic retail banks improved profitability and asset-quality metrics in 2021. The capitalization profiles of Islamic and conventional banks were suitable and were competing at similar levels. Even so, the capital ratios of Islamic banks benefit from a 30% alpha factor. To reduce the effects of the pandemic, the Central Bank of Bahrain continued to support the banking sector with policy measures in 2021. According to the Islamic Financial Services Board, Bahrain’s share of global Islamic banking assets remains small at 3.5 percent at the end of Q3 of 2020, owing to the country’s small size. It was, however, higher than Indonesia’s (2.1percent) and Turkey’s (3 percent), both of which have larger economies.

Blog By Kavitha N.D



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