JEDDAH — THE Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group signed three a Memorandum of Understanding in quick succession to strengthen collaboration.

The first one was with the City Bank, Bangladesh in order to boost cooperation for fostering private sector development in the country. ICD CEO Khaled Al Aboodi and Sheikh Mohammed Maroof, deputy managing director, and Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman, chief financial officer of City Bank, signed the MOU on behalf of their respective institutions.

The joint collaboration will encompass the areas of Term Finance, Public Private Partnership transactions, Lines of Finance and any other areas of mutual interest.

During the signing ceremony, Al Aboodi stated, “City Bank is one of our most valued partners and signing of this MOU will take our relationship to a new level which will benefit the people of Bangladesh the most.”

City Bank’s Maroof said, “City Bank has achieved significant growth over the years by leveraging strong relationships with partners and providing innovative solutions to meet growing financial needs. I’m sure this partnership with ICD will improve the bank’s performance capacities and better serve our customers’ banking needs.”

The signing ceremony was also attended by Farid Masmoudi, director of ICD, Mahbub Jamil, head of structured finance of City Bank and other high officials of both the institutions.

City Bank is one of the oldest private Commercial Banks operating in Bangladesh. It is a top bank among the oldest five Commercial Banks in the country, which started their operations in 1983. The Bank started its journey on March 27, 1983 through opening its first branch at B. B. Avenue Branch in the capital, Dhaka city.

City Bank is among the very few local banks which do not follow the traditional, decentralized, geographically managed, branch based business or profit model. The bank currently has total 120 branches which includes 99 online branches, 1 full-fledged Islamic Banking branch, 1 SME service center and 11 SME/Agri branches spread across the length & breadth of the country.

ICD and FINOKO cooperation pact

Then the ICD and FINOKO entered into a Joint Strategic Collaboration to establish an Islamic Microfinance Window. ICD CEO Al Aboodi and FINOKO  CEO Turan Ismayilov signed the agreement during IDB 42nd annual meeting at hotel Hilton in Jeddah.

Al Aboodi said, “ICD has always been interested about financial inclusion and measurable development impacts. This program will help cater the most vulnerable and target the most vulnerable and entrepreneurial class of clients. With the help of our partner ICD can become a pioneer promoter of Islamic Microfinance”

Ismayilov said, “We are happy to be the first MFI to receive advisory services from ICD on establishing an Islamic microfinance window and we are looking forward to more co-projects with ICD to assist FINOKO reach its target clients and strengthen our capabilities and resources.”

ICD, Amana Bank PLC’s strategic alliance

The ICD being the lead sponsor and manager of IB Growth Fund (Labuan) LLP (IBGF) and Amana Bank PLC (ABL), the first and the only full-fledged Islamic Bank in Sri Lanka, have entered into a its strategic investment partnership by signing the Investment Term Sheet (ITS), reflecting the agreed key terms and conditions of the proposed investment. With this landmark transaction, ICD via IBGF is expected to infuse growth capital of maximum USD15 million through subscription in the capital of Amana Bank PLC.

ICD CEO Al Aboodi and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Amana Bank PLC  Osman Kassim signed the ITS.

Al Aboodi stated that this strategic initiative reflects ICD’s continuous effort to play a catalyst role in the promotion of Islamic finance, private sector development and regional cooperation in South Asia region. The proposed collaboration with Amana Bank exhibits ICD’s mandate and strategic vision to bring not only good corporate governance and international best management practice but also to secure the long-term stability of the Bank as well as boost the confidence of the market and different stakeholders in the growing Islamic finance industry in Sri Lanka.

Kassim said, “Amana Bank is truly honored to have the confidence of ICD, resulting in this strategic partnership. This collaboration would further strengthen bank’s journey towards much wider and extended network both at regional and international level.”

Kassim further stressed that Sri Lanka being a non-member country the IDB had earlier made an exception in investing in Amana Bank at its inception in 2011, and now ICD too is making this investment and this is sincerely appreciated and the Board and Management of the Bank that is committed to achieve mutual goals for the growth of Islamic finance industry and private sector development. —SG

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