(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Umnia Bank, which is a joint venture involving QIIB, represents further strengthening of the solid partnership between Qatar and Morocco, said QIIB chairman Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani.
He was speaking after formally opening the headquarters of Umnia Bank in Casablanca in Morocco.
The bank, he said, would serve as an additional bridge that can make new economic partnerships that benefit the economies of both the countries.
Umnia Bank is a joint venture of QIIB, Moroccan lender Credit Immobilier et Hotelier (CIH Bank) and CDG, a Moroccan financial institution.
Sheikh Dr Khalid said, 'We are indebted for the success and prosperity of our business inside and outside Qatar to the great support and guidance of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who is patronising various sectors of the Qatari economy.
'The official opening today comes shortly after the launching of the operations of the Umnia bank, which now has 12 branches and will have 20 branches by the year-end. The plans of the bank include more branches and services in various Moroccan cities, and offer participatory banking services to citizens in the Kingdom of Morocco. '
At the opening ceremony, QIIB chief executive officer Dr Abdulbasit Ahmad al-Shaibei, said, 'The official opening of the Umnia Bank has economic, social and banking importance. The long lasting fraternal, cooperation and friendship between the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Morocco are based on a solid foundation.
'Our decision to enter and invest in the Moroccan market is based on our strong belief in this country, which is rich with its capabilities, capacities and the creativity of its people, as well as the incentives provided by the Moroccan government in order to encourage investments, safeguard the interests of investors and facilitate the implementation of various projects.
Al-Shaibei said, 'All indicators point to the fact that the demand for participatory banks in the Kingdom of Morocco will be huge.
It will also pave the way for new forms of financing to the various sectors of the economy. These banks have been recognised internationally, so much so the G20 Summit held in Turkey in November 2016 adopted 'participatory financing as a global financing model for achieving sustainable development. Al-Shaibei said, 'Our plans are ambitious and our hopes high, and we will work accordingly to make Umnia an icon for participatory banks, not only in Morocco, but also in the entire Africa. We believe Morocco will become our gateway to elsewhere in Africa.
The opening ceremony was attended by senior officials and representatives of the business sector in Morocco as well as the director general of the CDG, the president and director general of the Mortgage and Tourism Bank, the deputy chairman of the Board of Trustees of Umnia Bank, the general manager of Bank Al Maghrib and a delegation from the Higher Scientific Council of the Kingdom of Morocco. Sheikh Turki bin Khalid bin Thani al-Thani, member, QIIB Board of Directors and senior officials of the Qatari embassy Morocco were also present.