Arab Bank, Plc
Annual Report 1988
Annual Report 1993
Annual Report 1994
Annual Report 1995
Annual Report 1997
Annual Report 1999
Annual Report 2000

Islamic International Arab Bank
Annual Report 2000

A Cairo branch, Egypt









Riad Solh Street branch, Beirut









Arab Tunisian Bank, Tunis

65 Years of Service

On 14 July 1995, Arab Bank will celebrate its 65th anniversary. The Bank has not only survived. It has succeeded and grown. These simple words are the return on the investment of millions of hours of hard work by the people of Arab Bank.

Arab Bank was a leader in the introduction of banking to many Arab countries. It was ahead of its time in realizing the importance of an Arab Bank and its vital role in the development of the economy of the Arab World. The same pioneer spirit led Arab Bank to new frontiers and further achievements as it later branched out into important international financial centers, including London, New York and Singapore.

Few financial institutions have flourished so well under the same difficult circumstances and hardships as those faced by Arab Bank. The Bank has survived throughout a turbulent periods of history in the Middle East. Starting with the British Mandate in Palestine and ending with the recent Oslo Agreement, Arab Bank has been affected by almost all foreign campaigns and local national crisis in the areas. The Bank has endured the tripartite invasion in Egypt in 1956, as well as the recent highly regrettable civil war in Yemen and the suffering in Lebanon, Kuwait, and Iraq. Several Arab Bank branches have weathered extreme difficulties, and they have operated under fire on the front lines in Aden, Beirut, and Jerusalem. Whenever a branch was forced to close, due to war or nationalisation, a new branch was opened nearby, reflecting Arab Bank's will and desire to succeed.

Arab Bank has continued on the path envisioned for it with persistence and tenacity. The Bank has not operated in a vacuum and the majority of the Bank's management, staff, and clients are drawn from the communities which it serves. Thus, Arab Bank's mission to serve these communities and participate effectively in the development of their welfare, has resulted in a strong mutually beneficial relationship between the Bank and its clients. Whenever some other banks have chosen the easy option of dropping out when difficulties prevailed, Arab Bank has stood ferm and disregarded profit and expense. Arab Bank has honored its obligations no matter what the price of the difficulty. It has stood beside its people and served them well, in return they have trusted the Bank and helped it to succeed.

Arab Bank is one of the oldest Banks operating in the Arab world as well as one if its most advanced and modernized financial institutions. It is effectively managed, soundly capitalized, and profitable. Arab Bank offers a wide range of services to an increasingly sophisticated clientele. The ability of the Bank's management to employ state-of-the-art modern technology, as well as to comprehend and adapt to the significant factors which are continuously influencing and reshaping the Banking industry, has become the cornerstone of the Bank's strength.

The dynamism of the Bank's clients has motivated the Bank to outperform. Following the petro-dollar boom, Arab businesses had direct access to the world's most advanced financial markets. They became more sophisticated and experienced in dealing with modern and complex financial services and products. To meet their new needs and requirements, Arab Bank has been a pioneer in the introduction of new financial services to the Arab World. The innovation of the Bank have not been limited only to the promotion of new products. It has modified some complicated and sophisticated services, in order to better fit the local markets and improve its services to customers. On some occasions the Bank has refrained from offering certain product lines, because such products either did not fit well with its clients' needs or were deemed to be possibly detrimental instead of beneficial to their interests.

A major characteristic of Arab Bank is its concerted presence in the Arab world and its spreading network in the most important world financial centers, as reflected in the geographical distribution of Arab Bank at the end of 1994.

Arab Bank entities located in Europe comprise the majority share of total assets (34.3%) , loan portfolio (22.5%), deposits (39.5%) and revenue (34.3%). The Arab countries, excluding Jordan, rank second with total assets (27.3%), loan portfolio (37.3%), deposits (29.0%) and revenue (30.2%). Jordan ranks third with total assets (18.2%), loan portfolio (18.7%), deposits (20.9%) and revenue (21.8%). The Far East and Australia gained over North America with loan portfolio (16.3%) and revenue (8.2%), but North America ranks fourth in terms of total assets (8.2%) and deposits (6.8%).

After 65 years of hard work, Arab Bank has now become a strong financial institution with total balance sheet exceeding US$ 20 billion; shareholders' equity close to US$ 1,200 million; and net income of some US$ 150 million. The results of Arab Bank in 1994 reflect the Bank's ability to succeed and the depth of its financial power. We can only conclude from this that the Bank is ready to enter a new era in the world of banking both at the regional and international level.

Khalid Shoman
Deputy Chairman,
Board of Directors