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   2016
   
 

Annual General Meeting of Al Baraka Banking Group Approves Cash Dividend Payouts and Bonus Shares to Shareholders of US$ 55.62 million

20 March 2016:

Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C (ABG) held its Ordinary and Extra-ordinary General Meetings on 20th March 2016 at the headquarters of the Group 1st Floor Shaikh Saleh Kamel Hall- Bahrain Bay, Kingdom of Bahrain. The Group's shareholders reviewed at the ordinary meeting the report submitted by the Board of Directors on the Group's activities during the financial year ended 31 December, 2015, the report of the Sharia Supervisory Board on financial year ended 31 December 2015 and the external auditors report on the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2015. Then the consolidated financial statements for the financial year ended 31 December 2015 were reviewed and approved. The meeting also approved the proposed distribution of profits for the financial year ended 31 December 2015 after obtainment of the required official approvals: to transfer of 10% of the net income amounting to US$ 16,274,131 to the statutory reserve, to distribute US$ 22,143,101 as cash dividend to the shareholders, amounting to 2 cents for each share equal to 2% of the par value of the share, and to transfer of US$ 124,324,073 to the retained earnings.

The ordinary general meeting approved also the recommendation of the Board of Directors to distribute bonus shares for shareholders registered as of the date of the meeting amounting to 3 shares for every 100 fully paid up shares (totaling US$ 33,472,382 equal to 3% of the issued and paid up capital) from the retained earnings after obtainment of the required official approvals.

The meeting also approved a remuneration of US$ 1.5 Million to the Members of the Board of Directors and the recommendation of the Board of Directors to reappoint Messrs Ernst and Young as Auditors for the Financial year ending 31/12/2016, and to authorize and empower the Board of Directors or its delegate to fix their remuneration. Then, the meeting reviewed the Corporate Governance Report as per CBB instruction, which include the evaluation of the 
performance of ABG's Board, Members and Committee and the percentage report of the Board of Directors attendance at Board Meetings for 2015 (within the annual report distributed to shareholders).

Then the meeting approve the payment of the shareholders' Zakat for the distributable dividends as of 31 December 2015, where to pay 51.6 US cents for each 1000 shares by the shareholders for the dividends distributed and received in cash and to authorize ABG management to pay USD 3,962,022 as Zakat on behalf of the shareholders for the dividends, not distributed in cash, to be deducted directly from the retained earnings.

The Extraordinary General Meeting then was held and approved the increase of the issued and paid up share capital from US$ 1,115,746,069 to US$1,149,218,451 by transferring US$ 33,472,382 to the Share Capital and issue bonus shares of 3 shares for every 100 fully paid up shares to the shareholders registered as of the date of this meeting. The meeting also approved the amendment of the Memorandum and Articles of Association as per the Resolution to increase the capital as above and the authorization and empowerment of the Board of Directors or its delegate to take the necessary action, to effect amendment to the Memorandum and Articles of Association for the purpose of publicizing the increase in the share capital, and attesting the necessary amendment to the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Commenting on these results, HE Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman of Al Baraka Banking Group, said " The year 2015 witnessed an increase in the difficult economic and political conditions regionally and globally, especially during the second half of the year with the China reduced the value of its currency, which sparked off fears of the prospects for the global recovery, and extended oil losses, while the security tensions continued in the region and generated an extremely cautious environment for banks. Therefore we are very proud to see continuing growth in the revenue and business of Al Baraka Banking Group, and further elevation in its regional and global standing. This embodied once again the success of the business model that we followed since the founding of the Group, a model that reflects the true values of socially-responsible Islamic banking, supported by distinct human expertise and large and diversified technical and financial resources, which all have contributed to the translation of that model to the ambitious objectives and strategies and growing financial results and profitability. All these efforts were culminated with the transfer of the Group to the main headquarters in Bahrain Bay at the end of the last year, which is an architectural masterpiece that is equipped with all modern techniques and facilities, and would allow the Group to launch a new stage in its activities and businesses".

For his part, Mr. Abdulla Ammar Al Saudi, Vice Chairman of ABG, said that "In 2015, the weak economic growth experienced in the majority of developed and developing  countries was by and large replicated in the countries in which ABG operates. In the challenging conditions prevailing, not least of which was the depreciation of the domestic currencies of several of ABG's subsidiaries respective to the US dollar - the Group's currency of report - ABG did well to maintain its record of growth and steadily increasing profitability, thanks to wise policies and strategies developed by the Group and are being implemented by all units".

Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Member of the Board of Directors and President & Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group, said "The outstanding results achieved during 2015, embodies our determination to implement all the initiatives that we planned for launch early this year, defying all economic and political datum regionally and globally, and which generated difficult operating and technical conditions for banks in the region. The most important of these initiatives has been to continue improving the quality of products and services, introducing more innovative products, expanding the branch network of ABG subsidiary units, strengthening relationships with our partners, investors and customers, and entering new markets as well as modernizing and developing our human, operational, regulatory and technical infrastructures both at Group level and subsidiary banking units levels. All these initiatives have contributed to maximizing the returns to the shareholders and investors of the Group, thanks to our deep experience in the markets were we operate in addition to large financial and technical resources and the wide branch network of our units".

"We are very pleased to see the contribution of all our banking units in the growth of profits of the Group, which reflects the sound financial positions enjoyed by these units. Coincided with this, the cooperation between the Group's units in trade financing activities for MENA countries have increased, which contributed to the emergence of the role of the Group as a key player in promoting trade and investment between these countries".

The shareholders praised the performance of the Group in year 2015 and the excellent financial results that it achieved, especially that all units of the Group had contributed to the results, which enhances the confidence in the future performance of the Group which is based on diversity of products, depth of knowledge and commitment to the highest professional and ethical standards.

The Group's financial results for year 2015 showed a net profit of US$ 286 million reflecting an increase of 4%, while the total income reached one billion US dollars for the first time since the start of the Group activities 12 years ago. Similarly, balance sheet items witnessed moderate increases. Total assets increased by 5%, total finance and investments by 4%, customer accounts by 2% and total equity by 1% as at the end of December 2015 in comparison with the end of December 2014. All these results confirmed the operational sustainability and growing profitability enjoyed by the Group, which make its financial performance in continuous growth over the past years.

In concluding their statements, Shaikh Saleh Kamel, Chairman of Al Baraka Banking Group, Mr. Abdulla Ammar Al Saudi, Deputy Chairman, Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, President & Chief Executive of the Group and all members of the Board of Directors expressed their sincere thanks to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Central Bank of Bahrain, Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai for the cooperation and assistance they extended to the Group since it was established. They also extended their thanks to all central banks in the countries in which Group banks operate and to all investors and customers for their continuing support and custom. They also thanked all the employees for their hard work, dedication and loyalty.

Al Baraka Banking Group (B.S.C) is licensed as an Islamic wholesale bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain, listed on Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading international Islamic banking group providing its unique services in countries with a population totaling around one billion. It is jointly rated BBB+ (long term) / A3 (short term) on the international scale and A+ (bh) (long term) / A2 (bh) (short term) on the national scale with a Stable outlook by Islamic International Rating Agency & Dagong Global Credit Rating Company Limited, and by Standard & Poor's at BB+ (long term) / B (short term) with a Stable outlook. Al Baraka offers retail, corporate, treasury and investment banking services, strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari'a. The authorized capital of Al Baraka is US$ 1.5 billion, while total equity is at about US$ 2.1 billion.

The Group has a wide geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking units and representative offices in fifteen countries, which in turn provide their services through over 600 branches. Al Baraka currently has a strong presence in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Bahrain, Pakistan, South Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, including two representative offices in Indonesia and Libya.

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