Bahrain’s Ibdar Bank, an Islamic investment institution, recently announced a first quarter net profit of $3 million, an increase of 200 percent on the previous year’s results. Total income for the period rose by 65.8 percent to $6.3 million due to an increase in income from banking investment services and securities, the trading of investments and profitable exits from existing holdings. Ibdar’s total asset base also grew by 3.3 percent to reach $441 million by the end of the quarter.
Ibdar highlighted two African deals as key to their recent success, “Notably, during the quarter, we completed our second financing deal in the African aviation sector with the acquisition and leasing of a Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft to RwandAir,” said chief executive Basel Al Hag-Issa, “This follows our groundbreaking transaction in late 2014 with Ethiopian Airlines, which marked the first ever Islamic financing deal in African aviation and for which we have already distributed our first dividend to investors in the transaction,” he continued.
Al Hag-Issa went on to state that Ibdar has a vision for the future, including the acquisition of a fast moving consumer goods company in Morocco, along with further aviation investments in the GCC and a contracting firm in Saudi Arabia.
Ibdar maintains operations in financing and private equity in the GCC and the MENA region, as well as regional and global real estate investments. The bank also has experience of operating in the infrastructure, oil and gas, maritime and retail sectors.
Ibdar’s success highlights the increased role that Islamic finance houses are taking in African finance. Over the past year a number of Islamic finance organizations have made significant investments in Africa and the recent move toward Islamic banking in Morocco hints that the sector will continue to play a large role in African finance. Additionally, GGC lenders are heavily involved in syndicated loans to African institutions.