As business activity picks up after the summer, we offer a summary of some of the stories we're following at the Arab Bankers Association.
New CEOs at First Abu Dhabi Bank and British Arab Commercial Bank
Paul Hartwell has been appointed as CEO of First Abu Dhabi Bank’s London branch, subject to regulatory approvals. He is replacing Farid Barakat, who retired after leading National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s operations in London for many years and heading First Abu Dhabi Bank for a few months after it was created from the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank.
Paul Hartwell was previously CEO of British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB) a London-based bank with a big focus on trade finance in emerging markets, and in particular Africa. Before that, he was the CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, and he held Chief Risk Officer and Chief Operating Officer positions at Standard Bank, Barclays and West LB.
Subject to regulatory approval, Hartwell has been replaced by Suzie Aliker, who was previously BACB’s Chief Financial Officer. Aliker joined BACB in 2014 after a long career with Credit Suisse during which she held several global management roles was responsible for new business for all divisions of credit Suisse across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She has particular experience of East Africa.
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Fitch downgraded the Republic of Lebanon to CCC on 23 August, the same day that S&P affirmed its B- rating and negative outlook. The ABA's Editor, Andrew Cunningham, considers the different views on Lebanon's financial health. The views are his own, not necessarily those of the ABA.
This is an important report, and one of its findings is that those who use Islamic finance say that they have a good experience.
A change in Jersey's tax legislation has clarified that commodity murabaha contracts that are used to strcuture Shari'ah-compliant transactions will not be subject to Jersey tax.
The Directors and staff of the Arab Bankers Association send best wishes to members and their families on the occassion of Eid el-Adha. The holiday was due to begin in most countries on 12 August and will last for four days.