Bank of Khartoum (BOK), the leading Islamic financial institution in Sudan, announced today that it is in the process of establishing its first overseas branch office in the Kingdom of Bahrain, to be known as Bank of Khartoum-International (BOK-I). The Central Bank of Bahrain issued BOK-I with an Islamic wholesale bank branch licence on 9 November 2015. Following subsequent compliance with local legal and regulatory requirements, the branch office is expected to commence operations during the first quarter of 2016.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Islamic Banking Conference, Mr. Fadi Salim Al Faqih, BOK Board Member and Group CEO, said: “The establishment of our first overseas branch in Bahrain is a highly significant milestone for Bank of Khartoum. It serves to illustrate our transformational strategy to expand our geographic footprint outside Sudan, and further strengthen ties with the GCC region. We chose the Kingdom of Bahrain due to its status as the Islamic hub of the GCC and MENA; and the pioneering reputation of the Central Bank of Bahrain for the highest standards of regulation and transparency in the region.”
Established in 1913, Bank of Khartoum (BOK) is the leading Islamic financial institution in Sudan and the country’s longest-established bank, with operations spanning more than 100 years. With its roots deeply integrated in the country, BOK has been a primary supporter and driver of the nation’s economic and social development over the past century. Today, BOK is the bank of choice in Sudan for local corporates, multinational corporations, the United Nations, non-governmental organisations, embassies and consumers. Its global correspondent banking partnership network comprises international and regional banks from the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
BOK has the distinction of being the only financial institution in Sudan that is not on the sanctions list of the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). It is also the first bank in Sudan to be rated by the Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA), which has conferred ‘AA-’ (long-term) and ‘A-1’ (short-term) ratings and a ‘Stable’ outlook. As of December 2014, the total equity of BOK was SDG 860 million (c. US$ 140 million). The Bank has over 1,400 employees, operating through 76 branches and the widest ATM/CDM network covering more than 200 locations.
As the largest banking group in Sudan in terms of capital and market share, BOK provides a full range of products and services covering corporate, retail and investment banking, treasury and microfinance. The Bank’s pioneering IRADA microfinance business was established in 2009 in partnership with Islamic Development Bank. Now a leader in its field, IRADA provides support for entrepreneurial low-income Sudanese nationals to undertake and expand income-generating activities that will create sustainable livelihoods and generate employment. BOK also owns six subsidiaries engaged in trade, foreign exchange, brokerage, consumer finance, commercial real estate, and cash and valuables transit.
Mr. Nabeel Ebrahim Al Tattan has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Khartoum-International. With over 26 years’ professional experience covering banking and real estate, he has held senior management positions with prominent regional Islamic financial institutions such as Arcapita, Al Salam Bank and Venture Capital Bank. He previously worked for Shuaa Capital and Securities & Investment Company (SICO), having started his career with Arab Insurance Group. Mr. Al Tattan is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and holds a BSc degree in Business Administration from Husson University, Maine, USA.
“BOK-I aims to become a prominent wholesale banking solutions provider in Bahrain, recognized for offering innovative Sharia-compliant products and services. The Branch will focus predominantly on trade finance, treasury, deposit generation, syndicated lending and correspondent banking, with a commitment to exceptional service quality,” explained Mr. Al Tattan.