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Sun 22 Nov 2009 12:46 PM

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The Middle East’s 25 smartest banks-Ithmaar Bank

The Middle East’s 25 smartest banks-Ithmaar Bank

This has been a big year for
Ithmaar Bank

, Bahrain's third largest Islamic bank by market value, which has announced plans to integrate its fully owned unit Shamil Bank, an Islamic retail bank, in a bid to improve liquidity and lower its risks.

"The reorganisation will, in effect, turn Ithmaar Bank into an Islamic bank with a retail licence," the bank said of the bold move.

At an EGM on November 4, shareholders approved to increase the authorised capital to $2bn and also approved three capital raising initiatives that will, together, add up to $500m to the bank's capital, thereby increasing shareholder equity to about $1.4bn.

"The shareholder's overwhelming support for the Board's proposals has ushered in a new era for the bank," said
Ithmaar Bank

chairman Khalid Abdulla Janahi. "Our focus is now on ensuring that the reorganisation and capital raising plans are completed in the shortest time possible."

"When the reorganisation and capital raising initiatives are completed,
Ithmaar Bank

will have been transformed into one of the region's largest, most efficient retail-focused Islamic banks - and, with the additional capital, we will in a better than ever position to capitalise on the unique opportunities that are being created by the challenging financial climate," he added.

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