Arab Bankers Association hosts event tonight to strengthen ties between Arab and UK banking communities

October 24, 2013 11:37 am

The Arab Bankers Association, the non-profit organisation that promotes the professional interests of Arab bankers in Europe and the Middle East, is pleased to announce that it is hosting a Gala Dinner as part of its initiatives to showcase the Arab banking community and its strategic expansion into Europe, MENA and beyond.  The event will highlight the success of Arab banks and on this occasion will honour a particularly successful Arab bank, Blom Bank, as well as a highly influential Arab banker, Dr Naaman Azhari.

Arab banking is currently experiencing a strong recovery as Middle Eastern financial institutions and companies in the region are becoming increasingly active and boost the economy. Rebounding market activity, investment banking to brokerage and private banking, have all been pivotal factors in the positive transformation in the Arab banking industry. The region is coming through the global financial crises in a robust position and is now focused on increasing activity across the region.

To mark this fast growth transformation, the Arab Bankers Association is hosting an event in London to showcase the Arab banking community in London, The event will take place at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London on 24 October 2013 to celebrate and foster relations and understanding between financial professionals in the Arab world and their counterparts in the UK.

The Honouring Ceremony will present the Recipient of the 2013 Arab Bankers Association Award for Distinguished Service to Banking to Dr. Naaman Azhari, Ex-Chairman of Blom Bank. Dr. Azhari led Blom Bank during the rapid expansion of the Lebanese banking, from the early 1960s until recent times.  Also attending the event will be Saad Azhari, who became Chairman of Blom Bank in 2008.

Blom Bank is now one of the largest banks in Lebanon and the Middle East. At the end of June 2013, it has assets of $25.3 billion and equity of $2.2 billion. It has received more awards than any other Lebanese bank including, “Best Bank in Lebanon in 2013” from Euromoney, “Best Retail Bank in the Middle East in 2013” from the Banker Middle East, and more.

Eminent speakers from the UK will include Mr. Andrew Clowes, Chairman of the Middle East Association and a keynote address will be given by Rt. Hon. Oliver Letwin, who will discuss the important role of Middle Eastern banks in the UK’s financial services industry.

George Kanaan, CEO of the Arab Bankers Association, commented:  “With so many high profile and influential speakers, the evening promises to be of great interest and an ideal platform for the UK and Arab banking sectors to create closer ties. We are extremely excited about the event and firmly believe it is a strong platform for the Arab Banking sector to showcase its financial strength and future expansion goals.

“In our position as a mouth piece for Middle East banking sector, we are eager to highlight this and offer the Arab banking sector an opportunity to engage with London, the financial centre of the world.”