A message from the Chief Executive Officer

Welcome to the Arab Bankers’ Association!

We are an association of bankers and finance professionals who work in Arab financial markets. Most of our members, both corporate and individual, are based in the U.K. but a significant proportion are based outside. Nearly all of us have spent much of our professional lives living and working in the Arab world.

Our aims are simple: to foster improved relations, information sharing and understanding between the private and public sectors in the Arab world and the U.K. We achieve this through our programme of evening seminars and social events, through tailored events for individual members and their clients, and through personal interaction and introductions that are based on decades of business experience.

You will find more information about our work on the various pages of this website. For example, elsewhere on this page you can download a copy of our Annual Magazine; on the “Events” page you can download presentations given at recent evening seminars; and soon we will be adding a new page to our website -- “Arab Banking News” – where you will see a brief round-up of recent events that are relevant to our membership.

The “Join” page also contains a full list of member benefits.

This is an exciting time for Arab banks and their subsidiaries and affiliates in London. Gulf banks are looking to expand their international operations, banks in Egypt and other north African countries are finding their footing after the uncertainties of the Arab Spring, and debt issuance across the region is increasing.

London hosts the largest and most important banking community in Europe, so its not surprising that it is in London that many of the innovative new financial structures that are shaping Arab finance are designed and sold.

The ABA has been serving and promoting Arab banking in London for more than 30 years and we are as enthusiastic and committed to our mission today as we were on the day we were founded. If you are a member, I look forward to working alongside you in the months ahead. If you are not a member, I hope you will consider joining us.

George E. Kanaan Chief Executive Officer


Thu October 27 2016 - Thu October 27 2016
Annual Gala Dinner Draws Nearly 300 Guests

Events , ABA Events Our Annual Gala Dinner brought together nearly 300 members of London's Arab banking community on 27 November. The evening included the presentation of the Association's annual award for Distinguished Service to Arab Banking, to HE Saddek el-Kaber, the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya and the Chairman of Bank ABC. The Keynote Speech was delivered by Tom Tugendhat, MP, who was preceded by Ambassador Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian representative in London. Welcoming the guests, the ABA's CEO noted that the Middle East is facing almost unprecedented challenges, both political and econ...

Tue November 1 2016 - Wed November 2 2016
Frontier Exchange: Islamic Enterprises Roadshow

Events , Partner Events Frontier Exchange will be hosting a two-day roadshow for Islamic enterprises in London on 1-2 November. The event will be heavily focussed on financial institutions but will also consider broader issues such as Islamic food, fintech and tourism. In addition to the plenary presentations there will be opportunities to arrange one-on-one meetings with participating Islamic enterprises. The roadshow will be held at The Hyatt Regency-Churchill Hotel, 30 Portman Square, London W1H 7HB. Full information on the roadshow, including details of how to register are available here.


17/10/16  GCC Bond Issuance Reaches Record Levels

News GCC governments and corporations borrowed $110bn in the first eight months of 2016 – a record amount – and more borrowing is expected in the final months of the year. The Arab Bankers Association spoke to Anita Yadav, the Head of Fixed Income Research at Emirates NBD bank, to find out what has been driving the GCC borrowing spree, who has been lending, and how the bonds and loans have been priced.   Arab Bankers Association: Why have GCC governments and corporations been borrowing so heavily in 2016?  Anita Yadav: High oil prices in the first decade of this century ...


17/10/16  Saudi Bond Road Show Shines Light on Saudi Economy

News Saudi Bond Prospectus Indicates Big Borrowing Plans in Years Ahead Saudi officials began their presentations to investors in London on 12 October and the morning of the 13th, and then continued in Los Angeles on Friday 14th. Road shows continued in Boston on the 17th and New York on the 18th. The Saudi team was led by H.E. Mohammed Al Sheikh, Minister of State; Salem al-Muhanna, Deputy Minister of Finance; Ayman al-Sayyari, Deputy Governor (Investments), Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency; Fahad al-Seif, Head of the Saudi Debt Management Office; and Walid al-Saif, Head of Corporate Finance and...


10/10/16  Stephen Blyth Appointed Managing Director of Arab National Bank London

News Arab National Bank has confirmed Stephen Blyth as the new General Manager of its London branch. He had previously been acting general manager and Deputy General Manager.  Arab National Bank is a Saudi bank in which Jordan's Arab Bank has a 40% stake. Stephen is a seasoned banker with more than 37 years experience. He has been with Arab National Bank (ANB) in various capacities since 1991 and between 1994 and 2004 was based in the bank's head office in Riyadh. He has held a variety of roles during the last 10 years much of which has been focussed on regulatory change.  Stephen s...