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THE REPORT: ABU DHABI 2015 TO MAP OUT NBAD’S AMBITIOUS EXPANSION PLANS

THE REPORT: ABU DHABI 2015 TO MAP OUT NBAD’S AMBITIOUS EXPANSION PLANS

Oxford Business Group’s publication provides detailed analysis of banking

sector’s performance

3177Abu Dhabi, 28 January 2015: The key part that Abu Dhabi’s financial institutions are

playing in driving the emirate’s long-term economic development plans will be explored in a forthcoming report to be produced by the global publishing firm, Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: Abu Dhabi 2015 will provide detailed analysis of the sector’s performance, with a particular focus on the ‘big five’ lenders, who all recorded net profits and increased lending last year. There will

be in-depth coverage of the contribution that Abu Dhabi’s banks are making to the emirate’s major

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borders, with the growing economies of West Africa and East Asia proving to be choice destinations.

The big lenders’ expansion strategies are also a focal point of OBG’s latest Economic Update on the emirate. The update, which can be found on the Group’s website, mulls the potential that the established cities and expanding hubs in the West-East corridor hold for Abu Dhabi. It also considers how the emirate’s lenders performed in the first half of 2014.

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has once again signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on research with OBG for its

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latest report on the emirate’s economy. Under the MOU, OBG will have access to the bank’s resources to compile the Banking Chapter of The Report: Abu Dhabi 2015.

NBAD’s Group CEO Alex Thursby said the bank’s renewed partnership with OBG came at a time of significant activity across Abu Dhabi’s economy, and the emirate’s banking

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sector in particular. “The banks are playing a pivotal role in supporting Abu Dhabi’s efforts to develop key sectors identified as ripe for growth under the government’s economic diversification strategy,” he said. “We look forward to exploring the latest developments in the sector with Oxford Business Group and contributing once again to its research.”

OBG’s Managing Editor Oliver Cornock agreed that Abu Dhabi’s banking sector was proving to be a key

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facilitator of the emirate’s bid to broaden its coupon for cialis economic base.

“While competition is fierce across Abu Dhabi’s banking industry, especially in the retail segment, the UAE’s strong fundamentals and strategic location have enabled the emirate’s lenders to identify innovative ways of expanding, which make for interesting analysis,” he said. “Our longstanding partnership with NBAD, which is now in its

seventh year, will highlight the significance of these and other developments, while considering how they dovetail with Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030’s objectives.”

The Report: Abu Dhabi 2015 will be a vital guide to the many facets of the emirate, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and

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interviews with a broad range of leading personalities.

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The report will be available in print or online. The Report: Abu Dhabi 2015 will be published in early 2015 and will be available for pre-order.


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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon to go green

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon to go green

4156In its efforts to go green, the 2015 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon - held under the auspices of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council - has teamed up with Dulsco as its official recycling partner.

During the marathon, Dulsco aims to inculcate a behavioural change in the participants, visitors and spectators on reducing and recycling of waste especially plastic water bottles and cans by putting it inside the green bin. Dulsco will be placing more than 80 green bins for collecting recyclables and 30 black bins for general waste.

The Green Team from Dulsco, including staff volunteers and workers, will be present at the event to ensure that the recyclables are segregated at source meticulously and later recycled.

“We are more than happy to have the Dulsco team working with us to make sure everyone has a great day and that we leave the city of Dubai in the same way we found it when we started building for the event itself - we would like to encourage every runner, supporter and spectator to help us by using the bins provided to keep the race site clean and tidy” said Peter Connerton, Event Director of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

S. Madhumohan, Director, Waste Management, Dulsco, said: “We are delighted to be part of this prestigious event as the recycling partner. Our volunteers will be present at all the key areas of the marathon from start to finish and ensure that the plastic water bottles, cans and other general waste is not left lying around. Our request to the people participating and visiting the marathon is to look for the Dulsco’s green recycling bins and drop the water bottles and other recyclables like cans and bottles in it. Black bins can be used for all other general waste.  Our aim is to make it a green and clean event,”

“The leaders of the Nation and Government bodies are working tirelessly towards the Nation’s Green Vision. Educating the masses through such global events can help instill and reiterate the environmental awareness and positively contribute to the Nation’s green journey.”


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Doha Bank achieves sustainable performance with best performing ratios

Doha Bank achieves sustainable performance with best performing ratios

4143His Excellency Sheikh Fahad Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Doha Bank, the leading private commercial bank in Qatar, announced Doha Bank’s financial results for the year 2014. Net profit for the year 2014 recorded an impressive QAR 1,354 million which represents a growth of 3.1 per cent as compared to QAR 1,313 million for the year 2013. H.E. Sheikh Fahad said “This is another outstanding result and is clear demonstration that Doha Bank continues to perform consistently.”

The Bank increased its net operating income by 12.5 per cent to reach QAR 2.9 billion. Fees and commission income for the year 2014 showed an impressive growth of 27.3 per cent reaching QAR 516 million as compared to QAR 405 million for the last year 2013. Total assets increased by QAR 8.5 billion, a growth of 12.8 per cent, from QAR 67.0 billion as at 31 December 2013 to QAR 75.5 billion as at 31 December 2014. Net Loans & Advances increased to QAR 48.6 billion in 2014 from QAR 41.1 billion in 2013, registering a growth of 18.1 per cent. Deposits showed a year on year increase of 8.1 per cent from QAR 42.5 billion in 2013 to QAR 45.9 billion as at 31 December 2014 which is evidence of the strong liquidity position of the Bank.

H.E. Sheikh Abdul Rehman Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Managing Director of Doha Bank said “The Bank continues to perform well with total equity, as at December 2014, at QAR 11.3 billion, registering a marginal increase of 0.2 per cent during the last year. Through the efficient asset allocation model the return on average Shareholders’ equity is 16.4 per cent as at December 2014 one of the best in the industry. The Bank has achieved a very high return on average assets of 1.93 per cent as at December 2014, which is a clear demonstration of the effective utilization of shareholder’s funds. Further, H.E. Sheikh Abdul Rehman said “The Bank’s core revenue streams have shown strong growth over the prior year period reflecting on the Bank’s intrinsic strength towards recurring earning capacity and also on the Bank’s productive operational performance.”

Doha Bank continues to maximize shareholder value which is clearly evident from the successful results displayed. This is largely due to the Bank’s strategy to innovate, diversify and capitalize on market synergies. Dr. R. Seetharaman, Chief Executive Officer of Doha Bank, highlighted that the Extra Ordinary General Assembly meeting of the shareholders of Doha Bank held on 30th Nov 2014, had unanimously approved the Scheme of Amalgamation to take over the India operations business of HSBC Bank Oman S.A.O.G by Doha Bank Q.S.C, India on a going concern basis, subject to necessary regulatory approvals, in line with the Bank’s International expansion strategy.

Highlighting the key innovations, achievements and initiatives by Doha Bank in 2014, Dr. R. Seetharaman, said “Doha Bank inaugurated its first electronic branch in Dubai besides introducing various products and services such as acquisition financing, deal underwriting, factoring, M&A advisory, JV arranging, project financing, aircraft financing, online money transfer through credit card (which is a first in Qatar), mobile e-remittance for payroll card holders, deposit cards and mobile banking for corporate customers, CMS for UAE & Kuwait customers to name a few. Additionally, the working hours of 12 branches were extended to facilitate customer convenience. Through its highly skilled Corporate Finance team, Doha Bank closed notable large ticket deals in the region. Doha Bank tied up with Q-Tickets to power their online payment portal. In order to reinforce the Bank’s network security as well as enhance customer experience, Doha Bank entered into an agreement with Ooredoo to upgrade network infrastructure.”

During the year, Doha Bank came up with various schemes, promotions and campaigns, such as pre-approved, pre-screened loan campaign, offering up to 100% finance option for Messaeid Petrochemical Holding Company IPO subscribers, ‘win your loan back’ campaign, extension of personal loan offer as well as an increase in ATM cash withdrawal limit. In its continued effort to support Entrepreneurs and SMEs, Doha Bank entered into a partnership agreement with Enterprise Qatar, an SME development company. Doha Bank’s annual summer credit card campaign provided eligible cardholders with attractive cash back on all international spend as well as on local spends. Also, one of the best rewarding savings program - Doha Bank’s Al Dana Savings Program distributed prizes to select customers in its draws conducted with select customers receiving QAR 1 Million each. In its continued effort to address online security issues on cards faced by the customers, VBV / MCSC were implemented to secure online card transactions. It also simplified the online banking password reset process, instant Debit Card & Credit Card printing in one of the flagship branches as well as facilitates payment of worker’s wages through Bank accounts in line with Qatar’s ‘Wage Protection System’.

Doha Bank hosted bullion related business customers on a dhow cruise with a unique theme titled ‘Sailing with Gold’. Doha Bank also hosted a conference on ‘Digitization in Retail’ discussing the fundamental challenges faced by retailers against the backdrop of rapid digitization. Recognizing the importance and benefits of knowledge sharing, Doha Bank hosted knowledge sharing sessions on various topics encompassing various challenges and opportunities in the industry as well as sustainability, in locations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Turkey, Kuwait, India and Qatar. Doha Bank and the Embassy of India co-hosted a business meeting on ‘Vibrant Gujarat 2015 Middle East Delegation’.

Doha Bank was adjudged as the ‘Best Bank in Qatar’ by IAIR as well as ‘Best Commercial Bank in the Middle East 2014’ by Global Banking & Finance, in testament to the Bank’s commitment to being a one-stop-shop financial services provider. Additionally, Doha Bank claimed various other awards such as ‘The Bizz 2014 – Beyond Success’ award by the WORLDCOB, ‘Retail Bank of the Year’ at Enterprise Agility Awards, ‘Best Regional Commercial Bank’ at The Banker Middle East Industry Awards, ‘Best Retail Bank in Qatar’ by The Asian Banker, ‘Excellence in EUR Straight Through Processing‘ by Deutsche Bank, ‘Best Domestic Retail Bank in Qatar’ and ‘Best Domestic Trade Finance Bank in Qatar’ by The Asian Banking and Finance.

Being a pioneer in Corporate Social Responsibility in Qatar, Doha Bank continued its various initiatives such as its flagship ‘Al Dana Green Run’, providing donation support to humanitarian efforts in Gaza through QCB as well as to Qatar Red Crescent. These efforts were preceded by Doha Bank signing a partnership agreement with Qatar Charity in support of its ‘Ademha’ Program, supporting Qatar Paralympic Committee (QPC), as well as its beach clean-up activities, setting up gardens at Dukhan and Messaeid in Qatar, and ongoing ECO-Schools Program recognizing six schools in Qatar. Doha Bank continued its efforts on Qatarisation by holding career fairs, staff welfare and training initiatives throughout the year. In recognition of the above mentioned initiatives, Doha Bank received the ‘Golden Peacock Global Award for CSR’, ‘Golden Peacock Global Award for Sustainability’ as well as ‘Environmental Award’ from The Arab Organization for Social Responsibility.




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al khaliji appoints Rana Ahmad Al Asaad as Acting Head of Personal Banking

al khaliji appoints Rana Ahmad Al Asaad as Acting Head of Personal Banking

457Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji) Q.S.C., next generation bank, has appointed Ms. Rana Ahmad Al Asaad as Acting Head of Personal Banking. This step comes in line with the bank’s Qatarization strategy and commitment to Qatar’s National Vision 2030 and to increasing the reliance on talented and qualified Qataris to take on leadership roles in the Banking Sector.

In her capacity as Acting Head of Personal Banking, Ms. Al Assad will be directing and managing al khaliji’s Personal Banking business in line with the Bank’s overall vision, mission and strategy.

Commenting on the executive appointment, al khaliji’s Group Chief Executive Officer Fahad Al Khalifa said, “al khaliji aims to create a strongly qualified and professional Qatari workforce to support the Bank’s growth in the banking sector. We are pleased to see a healthy balance between our external recruitment strategy which brings fresh experience and internal human capital development strategy, both of which will contribute to the Bank’s overall evolution.”

al khaliji focuses on developing and growing Qatari nationals within the organization and has previously appointed a number of Qataris in senior management positions with a strong track record.

Strengthening its Qatarization program, al khaliji recently hosted an “Open Day” at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs with the aim of reaching out to qualified nationals and offering them excellent career opportunities in the banking sector.



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Bad symptom of a savings gap? Turkey leads Europe in credit card debt

Bad symptom of a savings gap? Turkey leads Europe in credit card debt

438Credit card debt accounts for 53 percent of all consumer debt in Turkey, the highest among European countries; the ratio of credit card debt is 25 percent in the UK, 21 percent in Poland, and just 5 percent in The Netherlands.

According to a report in the Bugün daily, Turkey currently leads European countries in terms of the ratio of credit card debt to total consumer debt. The report also highlights that one of Turkey’s biggest problems is a savings gap, which increases reliance on overseas borrowing or aid.

Parallel to the savings problem, Turkey has the highest figures in Europe in terms of the ratio of credit card debt to the gross domestic product (GDP), with 53 percent. Consumers in Turkey bear 37 percent of their debt in the way of personal loans, 11 percent as additional accounts and 20 percent as loans from family members or friends.

Turkey’s current savings stands at 13-14 percent of GDP, while this figure is 38 percent in Europe. According to the Dutch banking multinational firm ING report titled “International Survey on Savings,” the rate of those in the EU who do not have savings has increased from 35 to 38 percent over the last year, while in Turkey this figure increased from 40 to 44 percent in 2014.

The report noted that 62 percent of Turkish consumers are not able to routinely increase their savings. Also, the number of those in Turkey who say that the economic circumstances at large have adversely affected their financial status has increased from 31 percent to 39 percent, while the same ratio decreased in Europe from 41 to 26 percent over the course of 2014.


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Mizuho Bank becomes first Japanese bank to be approved to issue Letters of Credit for DME from Singapore

Mizuho Bank becomes first Japanese bank to be approved to issue Letters of Credit for DME from Singapore

433Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) announced that Tokyo-headquartered Mizuho Bank has been approved to issue Letters of Credit (LCs) for trading on DME directly from Singapore.

Mizuho Bank becomes the first Japanese banking entity to be authorized to issue DME Letters of Credit directly from Singapore and the latest international bank to join the list of entities with permission to issue LCs directly from Singapore to guarantee deliveries of Oman Blend crude oil through the DME.

“Delivering greater efficiencies for our clients and providing them opportunities to reliably and conveniently participate in the market is an ongoing priority for DME, and enhancing the financing environment is at the core of our efforts in this direction,” said Christopher Fix, Chief Executive Officer of DME. “The Asian market, which continues to drive global oil demand, remains central to DME’s strategic plans, and we are committed to creating new avenues that will allow our growing Asian customer base to take advantage of improved access to finance while effectively managing risk.”

Masahiro Goda, General Manager of Global Trade Finance Division Asia Oceania Department, Mizuho Bank, said, “We have been working closely with DME to make this financing arrangement a reality in order to provide our mutual customers a secure and uncomplicated way to trade on the Exchange, and we are delighted to see our joint efforts come to fruition. We look forward to working closely with DME to support the trading environment around DME’s flagship Oman crude which is gaining more and more traction as a benchmark and eliciting particularly strong interest from Asian players.”



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IBQ bags Best Private Banking Service Award in Qatar

IBQ bags Best Private Banking Service Award in Qatar

415International Bank of Qatar, (ibq), has been recognised by Banker Middle East with the prestigious ‘Best Private Banking Service’ accolade in its Banking Product Awards for 2014. This is in recognition of ibq’s unrivalled private banking services, as evidenced by ibq’s private clients’ loyalty to the brand across generations.

The Banker Middle East Awards are among the most important recognition for the financial services industry in the region. The Banker Middle East Qatar Product Awards 2014 are designed to identify and reward quality and excellence in financial products and services. With more than a decade of experience in running Awards programmes for the financial services industry, Banker Middle East understands the importance of best-in-class benchmarks that are growing a dynamic and successful regional finance industry.

Jabra Ghandour, Managing Director of ibq said: “We are very proud to have received this significant award. Being recognised by Banker Middle East serves to underline our private banking excellent offerings for private wealth management services. It also highlights how ibq is fully equipped and focused on providing the best banking customer service and financial expertise to HNWI and ultra HNWI in Qatar.”

With a tailor-made suite of banking and wealth management services, ibq’s Private Banking has maintained its position as a truly pioneering Qatari bank. Its long-standing legacy within the local high net worth and ultra-high net worth community dates back to the early beginnings of the Bank in 1956.

“Since inception, we, at ibq, have built a name for bringing to the market a unique combination of tradition, innovation and most importantly prudence in portfolio management. We have developed enduring and long lasting relationships with our clients for over 50 years. Offering them access to high-quality services from a trusted and reliable partner has meant we have been perfectly positioned to help them meet their financial and wealth management objectives. Last but not least, I would like to thank our team of experts for their valuable contribution to ibq winning such an important award.” added Ghandour.

Chaouki Daher, DGM and Head of Private Banking at ibq said: “This is a major milestone for ibq Private Banking. At ibq’s Private Banking division, we pride ourselves on our core values of privacy, confidentiality and integrity. Being one of the oldest banks in Qatar, we are able to offer unparalleled levels of know-how and experience to our valued clients whom we’ve been serving for generations.”

“ibq’s private banking experts are at the forefront of the industry providing some of the most in-depth knowledge of confidential and personalised banking services for high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals in Qatar”, added Daher.

ibq’s track record is borne out by the many recent awards it has received. For its exceptional Private Banking services and its focus on long-term client relationships ibq was earlier recognised as the “Private Bank of the Year 2014” in Qatar by the International Banker. For two years in a row, ibq also previously received the prestigious Euromoney’s award for the “Best Private Bank for Privacy and Security in Qatar 2013.” Then in 2012, ibq was also awarded by Euromoney for “Best Private Banking Services for HNWI and UHNWI” in Qatar.


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Seeking economic ‘blessings’? Jordan to likely to issue Islamic sukuk next month

Seeking economic ‘blessings’? Jordan to likely to issue Islamic sukuk next month

42The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) is likely to begin managing the first issue of Islamic sukuk (finance bonds) from next month in favour of the central government.

CBJ Deputy Governor Adel Sharkas indicated on Sunday that the amount would range between JD400 and JD500 million (500 to 600 USD).

“The decision to issue Islamic sukuk to finance part of the accumulated deficit in the government and independent public departments’ budgets was made after official institutions succeeded in endorsing the sukuk law and its related regulations,” Sharkas said in an address opening a training workshop.

He added that funding the financial gap through Islamic sukuk will benefit the government and Islamic banks operating in the Kingdom as they have a liquidity surplus of around JD1.4 billion.

Regarding the effects of lower oil prices on the state budget, he explained that if oil prices remain around $60 per barrel, the financing needs will go down and the government would save JD180 million if fuel subsidies are halted.

“Yet [the government] would lose JD76 million derived from sales tax on oil derivatives,” Sharkas indicated.

An Islamic scholar told the participants in the workshop that he expects the issuance of Islamic sukuk to increase “drastically” this year after recording an 8.2 per cent growth in the first half of 2014, reaching $66.2 billion.





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FGB and LIC International to launch ‘first’ insurance co-branded credit card in the region

FGB and LIC International to launch ‘first’ insurance co-branded credit card in the region

4135FGB, one of the leading banks in the UAE and LIC International, a JV company of LIC of India, announced their plans to introduce the first co- branded credit card of its kind for their customers in the United Arab Emirates. This is the first time that a leading insurance company has entered into a strategic alliance with a leading local bank to create a unified payment solution that is associated with a unique loyalty offering for its customers.

Insurance payments, persistency and ad hoc surcharge levied by many insurance companies on premium payments through cards have been a key concern among many policyholders in the UAE. Through this programme, the bank will provide a payment solution to these issues in addition to developing a loyalty platform for their common customers with unique benefits.

Girish Advani, Executive Vice President and Head of Mass Market, Consumer Banking Group, said: “This relationship represents more than a tie-up that produces unique services for customers in the region. It is about partnering with one of the most trusted brands globally and working together to offer significant value added services, protection and saving products along with a best-in-class loyalty platform to all UAE residents and joint customers.”

Rajesh Kandwal, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of LIC International said: “This cooperation will offer value added services to customers from two customer-focused organizations. In the coming weeks residents will see that FGB and LIC International are both continuing to work towards ‘Insuring Lives. Ensuring Happiness’. Our customers should look forward to receiving a range of important features and benefits with their co-branded credit card.”

Ever since their partnership begun in January 2013, both parties have aimed to deliver financial security, protection and peace of mind to UAE residents through providing innovative joint-solutions. Their cooperation has led to record sales worth USD 75 million (AED 272 million) for ‘Jeevan Aastha 3’ and to obtaining total premium worth USD 100 million (AED 367 million) in 8 weeks for LIC’s new insurance product ‘Jeevan Nivesh’. Customers have also benefited from a recent joint interactive Consumer Awareness Campaign on the importance of financial planning.

LIC (International) was established in Bahrain in 1989 by LIC of India to cater for the needs of residents in the GCC and elsewhere. LIC of India has over 350 million policyholders worldwide and is rated as India’s most trusted brand by The Brand Trust Report 2013.




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FGB secures runner-up position in the ‘Best Trade Finance Bank in MENA’ category of GTR’s ‘Leaders in Trade 2014’ Awards

FGB secures runner-up position in the ‘Best Trade Finance Bank in MENA’ category of GTR’s ‘Leaders in Trade 2014’ Awards

4114FGB, one of the leading banks in the UAE, has secured runner-up position in the ‘Best Trade Finance Bank in the Middle East & North Africa’ category of the Global Trade Review’s 2014 ‘Leaders in Trade Awards’. FGB scooped the title despite facing stiff competition from a host of banks operating across the MENA region, and is the top local bank for this category.

The Global Trade Review (GTR) magazine, one of the leading publications in international banking, bestows these annual awards to banks in the various regions, based on their readers’ votes in different categories. GTR magazine conducts the poll exclusively, without being involved with or influenced by any banks.

Simon Penney, Head of Wholesale and International Banking at FGB, said: “We’re very pleased to have been recognised by customers for our commitment to be the leading trade finance bank in the Middle East and Africa. Being the top local bank in this category reflects the incredible progress that we have made to date and we are continuing to invest in people and technology, to provide a world-class experience to our customers”.

He continued: “FGB has a vision to become a leading, “FirstChoice” trade finance bank for our customers. To achieve this vision, FGB has recently implemented a strategy which is focused on providing excellence in customer service and on supporting the global requirements of our clients by either opening international offices in key locations or via partner bank arrangements in regions where FGB customers do business. Another core focus of our strategy is to build a talented team of professionals who provide a consultative approach in meeting our customer’s needs. This strategy is already bearing fruit, which has been demonstrated through ratings of over 95% in internal customer service surveys.”

Manoj Menon, Head of Global Transaction Services & Financial Institutions, added: “Our journey and vision to become the “FirstChoice” bank for our customers and a leading transaction bank in the markets we operate in has just begun and we will continue to enhance our offerings to reach this goal. Our dedication to customer service and the way that we tailor our products to meet client needs has helped us to deliver service excellence and solutions that our customers want”.

Every year, GTR invites all companies that read the magazine, attend their events, and engage in cross-border trade activities to partake in the voting. Voters are asked to choose which financial institutions they view as the best for each category. However, all corporations and financial institutions can vote in the ‘Leaders in Trade’ awards.





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