(MENAFN - Arab News) AlBaraka Banking Group (ABG) has paid 597 million to its shareholders as dividend since 2006, reflecting on the sustainable growth patterns as a group, a senior official at the bank said.
Adnan Ahmed Yousif, member of the board and president and chief executive of ABG, said in the past six years the group had paid 213 million in cash and 384 million in the form of bonus shares.
Adnan said that the start of the year was good, however if Europe managed the ongoing economic challenges by the middle of the year, the overall 2012 will be good for Islamic banking industry.
The overwhelming majority of 88 percent of ABG shareholders in its ordinary and extraordinary general meetings held on Wednesday discussed and approved the finances for 2011.
The meeting also approved the recommendations of the board to pay cash dividends to shareholders at the rate of 3.5 cents per share, amounting to a total of 30.43 million and the issue of bonus shares at the rate of one share for every 6 paid shares (amounting to 144.93 million) to the shareholders subject to the approval of the authorities.
In extraordinary general meeting the shareholders approved the increase in the issued and paid up capital by transferring 144.93 million to the capital and to issue against this amount bonus shares to the shareholders at the rate of one share for every six shares held.
"The cash dividends and bonus shares distributed to the shareholders reflect the outstanding results that we achieved in 2011. We prepared ourselves early for the repercussions of the crisis by developing balanced business strategies that enabled us maintain expansion in providing finance and investment services and products through our subsidiary units, and continue with the implementation of our investment spending programs in the areas of expanding our branch network and modernizing the IT infrastructure and human resources. Praise to Allah, we were able to implement these strategies successfully, and as a result we are now at the forefront of Islamic banking institutions that are able to continue achieve growth and profits," he added.
The outstanding financial results achieved by AlBaraka Banking Group in 2011 were the result of the implementation of carefully studied ambitious strategies that struck a balance between the adoption of prudent and conservative measures required by the prevailing regional and global economic and financial conditions on the one hand, and continuing our expansion in the different markets and in providing innovative Islamic products and services to our customers, on the other.
The group, as such and once more, reaffirms its commitment to the fulfillment of its religious and moral duty toward the development of the societies in which it operates, and at the same time maximizes value to the shareholders and owners of the group. It would not have been possible to successfully implement these strategies were it not for the strong capital resources and long experience of the group and its strict adherence to the Islamic banking model," Saleh Kamel, chairman of AlBaraka Banking Group and Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said.