News 2008

May 2008

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Samba Won "Best Islamic Financial Institution Award - 2008" in GCC and Saudi Arabia
Al Eisa: The Award Signifies the Success of our Strategy to Develop Shariah-Compliant Services

Global Finance magazine, a premier magazine for finance and business, has named Samba Financial Group: "Best Islamic Financial Institution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the GCC region" during 2008. Global Finance has announced its first annual awards for the World's Best Islamic Financial Institutions. In its announcement, the Magazine says "The winners of this year's awards are those banks that contributed to the growth of Islamic financing and successfully met their customers' needs for Shariah-compliant products, while creating the foundation for continued fast growth in the future". The Magazine indicated that Shariah-compliant finance is the fastest-growing area of finance worldwide, with more than 300 financial institutions that are either fully Islamic or selling Islamic finance products, in addition to several hundreds more Islamic investment banks and insurance companies, or takaful".

Mr. Eisa M. Al Eisa, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Samba Financial Group expressed his delight for winning the Award. "This Award reflects our enormous and orchestrated efforts to develop Samba's Shariah-compliant banking and financial services, and drives us to proceed with developing our strategy to that direction" said Al Eisa and added: "we are proud of this award as it comes at the level of Saudi Arabia and the GCC states, which witness continuous and evolving boom in Shariah-compliant banking and financial services, in addition to being given for the first time by this independent and credible Magazine".

According to the Magazine, the selections were made by the editors of Global Finance, after extensive consultations with bankers, corporate finance executives and analysts throughout the world, considering criteria such as growth in assets, profitability, geographic reach, strategic relationships, new business development and innovation in products. The winning banks were all noteworthy in their dedication to satisfying their customers' needs in accordance with the rules of Islamic finance".

"Samba was the First Bank in the Kingdom to establish a Shariah Supervisory Board to verify compliance of the new Islamic products and services with the Shariah guidelines and principles and follow up the implantation to ensure continued compliance with Shariah rules.

Samba was also the First Kingdom's Bank to launch Shariah-compliant credit cards, co-branded Shariah-compliant credit card (Alfursan), Shariah-compliant credit card for ladies, as well as launching many Islamic consumer financing schemes and programs and arranging the largest ever Islamic loans' Al Eisa says.

Toward the end, Al Eisa expressed Samba's determination to develop and boost further its Shariah-compliant services in line with its strategy to maintain leadership in this important segment. Al Eisa concluded his speech "what is more important to us is maintaining such an achievement, which we consider a motive for more achievements in the future".