Adib to operate in Algeria

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (Adib) has applied for a licence to operate in Algeria, to tap the country's growing economy, and expects its second quarter profits to at least equal growth in the first quarter, a top official said yesterday.

The Shariah-compliant lender wants to own all of its planned operations in Algeria and expects to hear back from the Algerian Central Bank authorities within a year, Khamis Buharoon, the bank's managing director told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Egyptian resort. "It's virgin territory," Buharoon said of Algeria. "There is a lot of potential."

The bank is also considering potential business in Libya, Saudi Arabia and Qatar though the studies are internal at the moment, he said.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank posted a 46-per cent growth in first quarter profits. "We expect to do better than that," Buharoon said.

"And it will be led by sales of real estate assets, bank investments and additional corporate and retail lending," he said. (Reuters)