Amana expecting licence to begin commercial banking

The Amana Group has reached another milestone in their journey with the granting of a Letter of Provisional Approval to establish a licensed commercial bank named Amana Bank Limited by the Monetary Board of CBSL, a statement released by the company said.

The Amana Group is currently taking steps to establish the first truly Islamic Commercial Bank in the country. Amana Bank has not yet been granted a licence to carry on banking business under the Banking Act No. 30 of 1988 (as amended).

Upon achieving certain conditions listed in the Letter of Provisional Approval such as the raising of a minimum capital requirement of Rs.2.5 billion, Amana Bank expects to receive a banking licence from the CBSL that will enable it to begin commercial banking operations.

Upon receiving its commercial banking licence, Amana Bank plans to use its unique position as the first truly Islamic bank in the country to attract Sharia-compliant investment flows from the Middle East and the Far East.

Subject to Malaysian and Sri Lankan regulatory clearances, Amana Bank hopes to utilize the technical expertise and specialized Islamic banking know-how of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (BIMB), which currently holds a 10% stake in AIL, to design and deliver a new range of Islamic banking services, which includes current accounts, foreign exchange transactions, inward and outward remittances, export financing, guarantees, performance bonds, bid bonds, corporate treasury placements, private banking, wealth management, long term housing finance, infrastructure financing, agricultural finance and leasing. BIMB pioneered Islamic banking in Malaysia and is a globally acknowledged leader in Islamic banking, the statement said.

Amana Bank plans to actively participate in the Government’s ‘Re-awakening of the East’ program by expanding it’s branch network in the Eastern province beyond the currently existing five and offering appropriate Islamic banking solutions to facilitate the resurgence of the Eastern Province’s infrastructure and economy.

Amana Bank has plans to build on the solid foundations laid by AIL to take its products and services to all ethnic groups, realize the full business potential that would ensue from a licensed commercial banking operation and provide its customers and shareholders with higher value and returns.

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