• Chinese banks cut back business with Iran

  • Chinese banks have cut back business with Iranian banks due to U.S. pressure over Tehran’s nuclear programme, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official said, reported Reuters. The US, which is leading efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic over activities which Washington fears are ultimately aimed at making bombs, has urged international banks and companies to stop dealing with or investing in Iran. But China has expanded commercial ties with Iran in recent years and has been reluctant to impose tough economic sanctions on Tehran. Iran says its nuclear programme is a peaceful drive to produce energy.
  • Iran: 9 hours, 34 minutes ago
  • Qatar approves formation of ICBC subsidiary

  • The Qatar Financial Center has approved the application of China’s largest lender, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), to set up a branch in Doha, reported Xinhua. It was the first time that a Chinese bank had been allowed to establish a business outlet in the Persian Gulf region, according to ICBC. The Doha branch will focus on wholesale commercial banking as well as investment banking activities such as asset management, investment consulting and trust services. ICBC’s relationship with Qatar began in 2006 when the Qatar Investment Authority bought $206m worth of shares in ICBC in the bank’s initial public offering (IPO). The IPO was at the time the world’s largest.
  • Qatar: 10 hours, 23 minutes ago
  • Web bank takes back cards from customers

  • Egg, the internet bank owned by Citigroup, will withdraw credit cards from 161,000 customers following a risk review, a spokesman for Egg said, reported Reuters. The company has given seven per cent of its credit card customers 35 days’ notice that it was ending their card agreements, he said. The move marks another example of how banks are revising their lending criteria amid the credit crunch.
  • 12 hours, 2 minutes ago
  • BankMuscat profit up by 39%

  • BankMuscat announced its net profit of RO84.2m for 2007 has increased by 39.4% against a net profit of RO60.4m in 2006. the bank has reported a market share of 42.7% in terms of total assets, 43.3% in terms of total credit and 38.0% in terms of total customer deposits as at 30 November 2007.
  • Oman: Saturday, February 02 – 2008 at 13:52
  • Bahrain follows US in rate cut

  • The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has decided to cut its key policy interest rate by 50 basis points, following the second round of rate cut made by the US Federal Reserve, reported Bahrain Tribune. The CBB’s rate on the one-week deposit facility is now down to 3% from previous 3.5%. Overnight deposit facility is also now down to 2.50% from 3% previously.
  • Bahrain: Saturday, February 02 – 2008 at 07:23
  • Bank of Beirut profit up 19%

  • Bank of Beirut has announced that its 2007 profit rose 19% as customer deposits increased, reported Bloomberg. Net income increased to 66.5bn Lebanese pounds ($44.3m) from 55.8bn pounds the previous year. Customer deposits climbed 19.5% to 276.6bn pounds.
  • Lebanon: Thursday, January 31 – 2008 at 11:03
  • Gulf Finance House profit up 61%

  • Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House has announced that 2007 was the most profitable year in the history of the bank with a net profit of $340m, an increase of 61% compared to the previous year. GFH Q4 net profits marked an increase of 205% to $109m over the corresponding period of last year, and a 28 increase on Q3 2007.
  • Bahrain: Thursday, January 31 – 2008 at 09:45
  • Emal to build $5bn Saudi smelter

  • Emal International, a joint venture of Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company and Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal), plans to set up a $5bn aluminium smelter complex in Saudi Arabia, reported Gulf News. Emal has signed an agreement with real estate developer Emaar Economic City to set up the plant in the latter’s King Abdullah Economic City development. The smelter will produce 700,000 tonnes of raw aluminium per year in the first phase but capacity can be doubled.
  • Saudi Arabia: Thursday, January 31 – 2008 at 08:26
Index : Banking and Industry

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