222 year old Swiss Bank Lombard Odier looks to grow Islamic assets in the Gulf

The bank plans to open an office in Abu Dhabi as well as in Saudi Arabia
222 year old Swiss Bank Lombard Odier looks to grow Islamic assets in the Gulf
By Shayan Shakeel
Thu 07 Jun 2018 11:54 AM

Swiss Bank Lombard Odier is looking to grow its share of customers in the GCC with a range of new Shariah compliant products. It is also in talks to expand its presence in the UAE and partner with a bank in Saudi Arabia to set up shop in the country.

The 222 year old bank had more than $281 billion in assets in last year has an office in Dubai where it made the announcements yesterday. With a few hundred million dollars in Islamic assets already, it now plans to invest up to $1 billion in the sector over the next few years, according to a Reuters report.

Lombard Odier began offering its Shariah compliant products, the first in its history, in 2012 before being further certified to market products by Amanie Shariah Supervisory Board in February 2018. It now plans to begin offering sukuks, and direct equity investments through Islamic indices.

The Geneva-based with offices in 23 countries has most of its customers in the Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where it plans to open an additional office in Abu Dhabi, the the company’s partner and group managing director, Arnaud Leclercq, told Reuters in an interview yesterday.

Without disclosing the bank it is in conversation with, Lombard Odier’s plans in Saudi Arabia will involve, “a partnership with one of the best local banks so clients don’t have to transfer assets to Switzerland to us.

“The money stays in the country, in the book of the bank, but we would have this partnership to manage the assets internationally,” he added.

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