BANK PROFILE: AAIB builds on domestic growth to expand regionally

Reem Nafie
5 Min Read

CAIRO: Capitalizing on its growth in the Egyptian market, Arab African International Bank (AAIB) is looking to act as the gateway for international investments into the regional market.

“AAIB is currently positioned to intensify its regional growth by building on its wide ranged contacts of international investors who see strong potential in the region, Hassan Abdalla, vice chairman and managing director of AAIB, told Daily News Egypt.

Since its establishment in 1964 by a special law as the first Arab multinational bank in Egypt, AAIB has been consolidating its presence in the Gulf region by expanding operations in the UAE market, which began in the 1970s.

As one of the most dynamic markets in the world, the Gulf is AAIB’s current target for expansion. Its branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi provide commercial and investment banking services to its corporate clients.

“The growth potential of these economies has unfolded well for the bank’s strategic growth vision . to provide innovative services [and act as] the gateway for international business in the region, he said.

This vision is supported by an evolving global economy and the increasing inflow of trade and investment into emerging economies.

In 2007, AAIB’s UAE branches witnessed 150 percent growth in the volume of its business with international companies in the fields of manufacturing and construction.

For five consecutive years, AAIB has been Egypt’s fastest growing bank in terms of size and profitability. In 2007, it witnessed a surge in assets and net profits reaching 63 percent and 72 percent, respectively, compared to 2006. The bank’s loan and deposit portfolio also witnessed an increase of 106 percent and 48 percent. Return on Equity (ROE) has also improved, surging 49 percent from 36 percent in 2006.

As an investment and commercial bank, AAIB’s has carved a solid niche for its line of customized bank products.

In the area of retail banking, innovation has given the bank an edge over the increasingly competitive market. AAIB was one of the pioneer banks issuing credit cards to the Egyptian market in the 1980s. It was one of the first to be licensed by Visa, Master Card and JCB to enter into acquiring contracts. In 2003, it introduced smart card technology as an acquirer and issuer, in addition to introducing Transparent and Visa Mini credit cards for the first time in Egypt.

Visa International awarded AAIB the Visa Innovation Award in 2006. Acquiring a 45 percent market share, the bank enabled its merchants’ points of sale to accept the new smart card technology.

For the second consecutive year, AAIB was named the “Best Bank in Egypt 2008 by Euromoney, an international finance magazine. It was also dubbed “Bank of the Year in Egypt 2006 by The Banker – an affiliate of the Financial Times – and most recently, the bank was granted the “Quality Recognition Award from J.P Morgan Chase.

AAIB’s spirit is also evident in its community service initiatives. In 2007, AAIB launched “We Owe it to Egypt, its foundation for social development aimed at mobilizing a nationwide initiative, bringing together players in the corporate sector to improve the fields of public health and education in Egypt.

“Our pledge to society is impact said Abdalla. “While I am confident that most corporations have their own Corporate Social Responsibility agendas with viable and successful projects, we cannot deny that the overall result when it comes to health and education falls short of what we aspire for Egypt.

“The foundation works on synchronizing and streamlining public and corporate efforts, resources and methodology to give a new dimension to Corporate Social Responsibility in Egypt.

AAIB is the only Egyptian bank who is a signatory to the UN Global Compact initiative.

To read the other stories in our monthly special focus on Egypt s banking sector, click here:

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