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

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12/02/16   Business Implications of the New Iranian Sanctions Framework

News A new Briefing Note from Fieldfisher gives an overview of the changes to EU and US sanctions against Iran after Implementation Day on 16 January, and it provides some practical guidance on how buisnesses should approach the new sanctions framework day-to-day. The full report can be accessed here. It was written by Vivien Davies, a Partner, and Vanessa Wilkinson, a Solicitor, both of whom work in the firm's dispute resolution department. Many of the EU trade restictions have been lifted and these include several previous prohibilitions related to shipping and the provision of financial, ba...

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12/02/16  MENA fixed income issuance rises to $106 bn in 2015 on Saudi bonds

News Total fixed income issuance in the MENA region was $105.7 bn during 2015, of which Egypt accounted for $33.8 bn and Saudi Arabia $30.6 bn, according to a new report by Kamco, the Kuwaiti investment company. Egyptian issuance was up from $24 bn in 2014, while Saudi Arabia issued no fixed income debt in 2014. Other MENA issuers were the UAE ($9.2 bn in 2015), Jordan ($6.8 bn), Bahrain ($5.4 bn), Kuwait ($5.2 bn), Qatar ($4.3 bn), Lebanon ($3.3 bn), Oman ($3.1 bn), Morocco ($2.5 bn), Tunisia ($1.2 bn) and Algeria ($0.1 bn). Sovereign issuance accounted for 85% of total issuance, with corpor...

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03/02/16  Platinum: Medium Term Forecast and Market Trends

News The platinum market is likely to be in deficit for the next five years as production from mines and from recycling fail to meet demand. As a result, prices are likely to be driven higher over the medium term. Those are the broad conclusions of a new report written by David Jollie of Glaux Metal, and published by the World Platinum Investment Council. The report estimates that annual global supply of platinum was 7.8 million ounces in 2015, of which South Africa accounted for 58%, other countries (particularly Zimbabwe) 18%, and recycling 24%. As for demand, the automotive industry account...

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01/02/16  "Implementation Day" and Iranian Sanctions: a King & Spalding Report

News The International Atomic Energy Agency's announcement, on 16 January, that Iran had fully implemented its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) brought about "Implementation Day" of the agreement, which in turn led to the lifting of many of the economic sanctions imposed on Iran. However, as King & Spalding explains in a new report, trade with Iran remains subject to many restrictions. The full report is attached below. The impact of sanctions relief will be felt mainly in the European Union (EU) where many nuclear-related sanctions will be a...

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Fri January 29 2016 - Fri January 29 2016
Personal Liability for Senior Bank Managers: the New Rules

Events , ABA Events The new Senior Managers Regime (SMR) that comes into effect in the United Kingdom in March 2016, will make senior managers personally responsible for regulatory breaches in a way that they have never been personally responsible before. Under the new regime, not only will senior managers have clearer and more direct responsiblity for failures in the business lines, of by the staff that they supervise, but they will also be  personally responsible for reporting breaches to the regulator. These issues were the subject of the ABA's first Corporate Members' lunch of 2016, held at the ABA's...