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


11/01/16  ABA welcomes new board members

News The Arab Bankers Association has welcomed five new directors to its board and has begun building a network of "overseas" directors based in Middle Eastern countries. The new directors who have come onto the Board with effect from January 2016 are: Neel Patel, KPMG becomes the new Treasurer, replacing Samer Hijazi, formerly of KPMG who moved to Abu Dhabi in November 2015 to lead Grant Thornton's pracice in Abu Dhabi. (Samer remains on the ABA board: see below.) Stephen Blyth, Acting General Manager of Arab National Bank, London. Arab National Bank is a Saudi bank in which Jordan's Arab Ba...


04/01/16  North African Banks Remain Among Biggest in Africa

News The biggest four banks in Africa are South African, when ranked according to Tier 1 capital, according to The Banker magazine. Attijariwafa Bank and Groupe Banques Populaires, both Moroccan, are the fifith and sixth biggest banks, and National Bank of Egypt, the tenth. The ranking was published in the January 2016 edition of The Banker magazine. Thirty seven of the largest 100 are based in North Africa. Egyptian banks account for 15 of the largest 100, Nigerian banks account for 14, Kenyan banks for 10, and Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Angolan, Mauritian and South Afirican banks for sev...


04/01/16  Saudi Budget for 2016: the figures

News Saudi Arabia is projecting expenditure of $224bn in 2016, and revenues of $137bn, to leave a deficit of $87bn. This compares with (preliminary) actual figures of $260bn expenditure in 2015, revenues of $162bn and a deficit of $98bn. Expenditure is therefore expected to be 14% lower in 2016 than in 2015, while revenues are expected to be 15% lower. Budgeted expenditure for 2016 looks achievable because spending in 2015 showed two large items that may not be repeated (at least on such a large scale) during 2016. Additional spending on government salaries, social security payments and pensio...


04/01/16  GCC Stock Markets 2015 Performance Reflects Emerging Markets Decline

News All GCC stock markets ended 2015 lower than where they started it, in most cases by 14-17%, according to a Market Watch report published on 29 December by SICO, the Bahrain-based investment bank. According to SICO the Year-to-Date change in the indices on 29 December was as follows: Bahrain (BAX) -15.7% Kuwait (KWSE) -14.6% Oman (MSI) -14.4% Qatar (DSMI) -15.4% Saudi Arabia (TASI) -16.8% UAE (DFM) -16.9 UAE (ADSM) -5.1 With the exception of the ADSM, the declines are in line with broader trends in emerging market stock indices during 2015. For example, the MSCI Emerging Market inde...


23/12/15  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !