First Arab Bank branch, 1930 Jerusalem













Arab Bank headquarters in Nicosia, Cyprus


The year 1999 was an important landmark in the history of Arab Bank, concluding seventy years of remarkable progress and a good financial performance during this year itself. The Bank completed the groundwork to support a stronger and even more successful financial institution in the future. In these past seventy years of operations, Arab Bank has transformed its initial equity of Palestine Pounds 15,000 (USD 60,000) into USD 2 billion. Its subsidiaries, affiliates, and network of branches have evolved to cover the most important financial centers in the world in addition to the countries of the Arab region. In 1999, the Board of Directors and the management of the Bank have worked to ensure that the important elements of future success as well as corporate governance, are well maintained.

In the Middle East, Arab Bank is the most recognized financial institution for its long-standing successful record and its mission in the region. The aims of creating value, developing business and participating in the economic growth wherever the Bank operates are reflected in its principal tasks. The goals of the Bank are achieved by the enhancement of the wealth of all related groups, which include the customers, the shareholders, and the employees. In the light of this orientation, Arab Bank's mission is to be the Premier financial institution in the Arab region., gathering strength from its meaningful and significant global presence to provide innovative, effective and efficient service and products that meet the needs of its clients.

Arab Bank's corporate strategy calls for meeting effectively the requirements of its clients in the ever-changing world of financial services. It is imperative to widen the product line of the Bank to enhance its traditional services and at the same time to enter into other non-traditional areas. Several initiatives have been launched in this regard, including the modernization and improvement of asset generation activities, the introduction of a new line of investment and personal banking products and efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its retail services.

The organizational structure, which ensures the institutional character of the Bank, is under continuous consideration by the management. Arab Bank's organization emphasizes the clear assignment of responsibilities and decision-making authority, incorporating and advancing the existing hierarchy of the required approvals from individuals to the Board of Directors. Clear accountability and related transparency are essential to implementing the changes. They enrich corporate governance and help in achieving the best management practice. The creation of a business-line driven structure is another important principle employed in building the organizational structure of the Bank. In implementing this concept, Arab Bank will become more market focused and result focused…

During 1999, the management and the more than six thousand employees of the Bank encountered significant challenges which were met with skill, determination, energy and effectiveness. While there will certainly be new challenges in the year 2000, and the new millennium, we have never been so confident in the future of Arab Bank and the ability of its management and employees to build enduring value for our constituency.

Khalid Shoman,
Deputy Chairman
Board of Directors