By Peter Alagos/Business Reporter
QIIB is set to open three new branches in upcoming major malls to be opened in various parts of Qatar, chief executive officer Abdulbasit A al-Shaibei has told Gulf Times.
Al-Shaibei said as part of the bank’s plan to strengthen and expand its network in Qatar, QIIB will open new branches at the Doha Festival City and Mall of Qatar, which will also be the venue for an edutainment facility for young children as part of QIIB’s partnership with KidzMondo Doha.
As for overseas expansion, al-Shaibei said QIIB is looking forward to securing by the end of the year a licence to operate Morocco’s first Islamic bank.
“We are going to Morocco as part of QIIB’s overseas expansion plans. We have already set up a joint venture company with our Moroccan partner and hopefully before the end of this year, we can get the licence to operate the first Islamic bank there.
“So far, we only see Morocco as a promising overseas market; there are other markets but it is very premature to point them out,” al-Shaibei explained on the sidelines of QIIB’s third extraordinary general meeting chaired by Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani at the Diplomatic Club yesterday.
He also stressed that QIIB is expecting to issue QR1bn of its QR3bn Tier 1 sukuk by the end of April, aimed at improving the bank’s capital adequacy by 25%.
Earlier, al-Shaibei explained that while the bank has obtained the green light to issue sukuk up to QR3bn, it will go “only in stages” and may start with only QR1bn. QIIB “will go further” depending on the bank’s requirements, he noted.
“This is a Tier 1 sukuk; unlike the normal sukuk, the QR3bn that we plan to raise will support the bank’s equity to give us more strength to finance different projects. It also gives QIIB strength in terms of capital adequacy.
“We are expecting capital adequacy to improve from 17% to 25%. Actually, we haven’t started yet, but we are expecting to raise the QR1bn by the end of this month because this is not public but is aimed at targeting a single investor in Qatar,” al-Shaibei told Gulf Times.
Asked to comment on the failed talks to freeze oil production at meeting in Doha recently, al-Shaibei remained positive that Qatar’s economy will run even at current oil prices.
“The Qatari economy is very dynamic, and it can survive under the current oil prices…there is no cause for worry, but there are some challenges. However, as with some challenges, there are also a lot of opportunities that come out of them,” he said.
Al-Shaibei also said yesterday’s extraordinary general meeting approved the amendments to QIIB’s new Articles of Association template, according to the new Commercial Companies Law No 11 of 2015, which includes all amendments required as per the reference model adopted by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.
He added that the bank also disclosed QIIB’s first quarter results yesterday, but declined to provide further details.
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