The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka with the approval of the Minister of Finance, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has conferred a commercial banking licence on Amana Bank.
Amana Bank will be Sri Lanka’s first licensed commercial bank to conduct all its business operations in complete harmony with the principles of Islamic banking.
Islamic banking is one of the fastest growing segments in the global financial industry. It is an emerging alternative to the interest-based banking practice and is gaining popularity across the world’s communities.
Driven by its strong principles of ethics, transparency and fair play, the business and social benefits of the model are being enjoyed by people of diverse cultures and beliefs.
The bank’s shareholding amounts to Rs. 3.4 billion and constitutes both strategic and retail shareholders. Its strategic shareholding is drawn from sound and reputed banking institutions such as Bank Islam, Malaysia Berhad (20%), AB Bank, Bangladesh (15%), Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Arabia (10%), and Sri Lanka’s leading tea exporter Akbar Brothers (10%). The capital was raised by a private placement of shares. The bank engaged KPMG Sri Lanka as its Financial Advisors to the capital raising.
Amana Bank will appropriately acquire the assets and liabilities of Amana Investments Limited through an asset purchase agreement.
Noting that Amana Bank will commence business during the course of this year, the Managing Director and CEO Faizal Salieh stated: “We are delighted to have received the support and cooperation of the Government and the Central Bank to bring a new dimension to Sri Lanka’s banking industry through our entry. We look forward to serving the country with our unique, rewarding and community friendly concept of banking.”