(MENAFN - Arab Times) Bank of Kuwait and Middle East (BKME) has achieved a growth of 13 percent in the last three years, and is now undergoing a change to become fully Sharia-compliant.
The bank's chairman Hamad Al Marzouq was speaking at the bank's 43rd general assembly meeting Sunday. The bank will formally go Islamic starting from the second quarter of 2010, he noted, and added that to mark the change towards Sharia compliance BKME will be renamed as Al Ahli Al Muttahad.
"By the resolution adopted at the forty first ordinary general assembly meeting convened in July, 2008, our shareholders have expressed their desire, for the conversion of the Bank's business to be exercised in compliance with the Islamic Shari'ah provisions.
"The bank management has been keen to achieve this goal and has adhered to it with all seriousness of purpose. Notwithstanding the inconvenient economic conditions and the difficulties recently witnessed, due to the extraordinary efforts and immense cooperation of the management and our colleagues, the bank's staff, supported by the Board of Directors, Shari'ah Advisory Board and the team of consultants, the bank realized impressive results.
"We have implemented the project for conversion into Islamic banking within the timeframe set by the Central Bank of Kuwait.
The chairman said that the conversion plan is underway will be achieved 100 percent in the set time.
Further he noted that the bank has state-of-the-art technologies compatible with the specific nature of Islamic financial products, and has provided intensive training to the Bank staff on the latest Islamic financial systems.
"We have also endeavored to recruit specialist personnel in support of the existing staff working at the Bank, and plans were setup to ensure that we offer the latest, contemporary Islamic finance products to satisfy the clients' needs.
"Along with this the development of business manuals and financial policies was also undertaken, so as to comply with Islamic banking and the latest international accounting standards. Apart from that measures were undertaken for arrangement of banking relations between the Bank and local, regional and international banks, in accordance with Islamic banking practices.
"All these achievements, along with numerous other milestones were realized and the sincere efforts expended by the bank staff and all those who took part in such salient accomplishments, thereby confirming the capability of the bank to continue to hold the pioneering role as the first bank established in Kuwait.
"We have achieved this by the resolution passed by the board of directors of the Central Bank of Kuwait last year, giving its final approval for conversion of the Bank's business and activities in compliance with the Islamic Shari'ah provisions."
The chairman said that the bank, under our present conservative management, enjoys distinguished financial position which will provide a platform for embarking upon Islamic banking business.
By: Valiya S. Sajjad