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Sat 13 Aug 2011 10:30 AM

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Al Baraka to launch 100m euro bank in France

Bahraini Islamic lender announces operations to start in European country by H1 2012

Al Baraka to launch 100m euro bank in France
DINAR DRIVE: Bahraini Islamic lender Al Baraka will expand to France next year

Bahraini Islamic lender Al Baraka will expand to France next year and expects to launch a bank with a capital of 100 million euros ($142 million) by the first half of 2012, the bank's top official told Reuters.

Al Baraka had announced in 2009 its plan to launch operations in France but had to postpone it due to the financial crisis.

"I think by the first or second quarter of 2012 you will see us operating in France ... The file was never closed. It was only postponed because of the problem in Europe," Al Baraka's chief executive said on the sidelines of an Islamic Finance event in Jeddah late on Wednesday.

"At this stage it is up to the French to start amending their laws concerning Islamic banking," he said.

Al Baraka is also in the final stages of issuance of a sukuk, or Islamic bond, from its largest unit, Albaraka Turk Participation Bank, the first bank in Turkey to operate on Islamic principles.

"We are finalising a syndicated facility for our subsidiary in Turkey. We started with $150 million and I think it will reach to about 350 million," Yousif said.

Managers for the issue are Standard Chartered Bank , Emirates Bank, Noor Islamic Bank, Deutsche Bank, and ABC Standard he said.

He said he expects the one-year sukuk to close within two days and the pricing to be about 4 percent.

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