International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) has sold its Islamic
banking retail operations to Qatar's Barwa Bank in the first sale of an Islamic
portfolio since Qatar's surprise edict banning conventional banks from offering
Islamic banking services.
The sale includes IBQ's Al Yusr retail loans and deposit
account portfolios, the two Al Yusr branches including ATMs as well as the
transfer of Al Yusr employees to Barwa Bank, IBQ said in a statement on Sunday.
The private and corporate banking portfolios are not part of
"While the ruling from the QCB necessitated the sale,
we feel Barwa Bank will be able to offer our retail customers the best Islamic
banking services in the market," IBQ managing director George Nasra said
in the statement.
In February Qatar's central bank ordered conventional banks
to stop offering Islamic banking services by year-end. Lenders have until
December 31 to comply.
IBQ is 30 percent owned by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)
, Kuwait's biggest lender. Barwa Bank is a unit of Barwa Real Estate Co.
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