Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- The National Commercial Bank (NCB) recently achieved a new milestone in Islamic Banking when it was awarded the “IREF ME 2006 Best Islamic Finance House in Saudi Arabia” by the Islamic Convention Group (ICG) at the Fourth Convention on Islamic Finance in Real Estate Sector held in Dubai. The ICG states that the award was based on the decision made by a group of experts led by policy makers from various Gulf nations.
The ICG also stated that the most significant reasons for winning this award was due to the bank’s innovation of financial solutions that comply with Islamic Principles and meet the changing needs of clients.
Mr. Abdulkareem Abu AlNasr, the NCB Chief Executive Officer considered winning such award as new confirmation of the bank’s capabilities and its distinguished position in managing and offering financial programs that comply with Islamic Law and Principles.
He stated that the award affirms the bank’s advanced position in the field of launching and managing various Islamic financial products and services as well as asserts the bank’s reputation with economic and financial authorities on the regional and international scale.
Mr. Abu AlNasr stated that the award reflects group effort focused on the bank’s creativity in organized Islamic work which is conducted with utmost professionalism in accordance to the bank senior management’s vision. In participation with a team comprised of the best national resources. He added that an award presented by such a prominent and reputable institution such as the ICG reflects objectively the distinguished position occupied by the bank in relation to other Saudi banks.
Mr. Abu AlNasr added that the real estate sector in the kingdom is being graced with investments reflecting a great surge occurring in this sector’s market. He added that Islamic financing has played a pivotal role in enhancing this surge. This was accomplished by flexible and innovative tools that are compliant with Islamic principles and especially designed for the financial service sector. The objective of these tools was to find investment opportunities for Islamic funds characterized for their high liquidity.
Mr. Abdulrazak Alkhereiji, the NCB Head of Islamic Banking Division, accepted the award during a ceremony held for the occasion at the Burj Al-Arab Hotel in Dubai. He stated that the award reflects the bank’s leading role in the field of Islamic Banking, not only on a regional scale, but on an international one as well.
Mr. Alkhereiji explained that the Islamic finance products innovated by the bank, are now being applied by many national and international banks and financial institutions, placing the NCB at the forefront of other banks.
This is the second year that NCB has won the same category, reinforcing its leading role. Last year, the bank won “Deal of the Year” in the Finance field, after the bank led the loan for the Itihad Telecommunications deal worth SR 8.8 billion, correlates to $ 2.25 billion during 2004.