Bank of Palestine won three awards and was a shortlisted nominee for a fourth award this month. This recognition from different prestigious international financial institutions is a testament to the bank’s continuous growth, development, and success, in addition to its contribution to the Palestinian economy and society.
Euromoney Award for Excellence: “Best Bank in Palestine”
For the second consecutive year, Bank of Palestine won the “Best Bank in Palestine” award at the annual Euromoney Middle East Awards for Excellence ceremony in Dubai on June 6, 2012.
Euromoney awards are recognized as one of the most prestigious international banking awards in the industry and are given to institutions that demonstrate leadership, innovation, and momentum in the markets in which they operate.
Clive Horwood, Editor of Euromoney magazine said at the award ceremony:”The relative peace in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in recent years has meant that the local economy has been growing fast. As the bank with the largest branch network in the area, this year’s winner (Bank of Palestine) is well placed to tap into that and its performance hasn’t disappointed. Over the past year it has managed to increase the value of its loan book by 32 per cent to $720 million, while assets grew by 7 per cent to $1.65 billion and total deposits by 3.6 per cent to $1.3 billion. All that contributed to a 12.9 per cent rise in net profits for the year, taking the figure to $34 million.”
CPI Financial/ Banker ME: “Best Bank in Palestine” & “Fastest Growing Bank in Palestine”
CPI Financial named Bank of Palestine the “Best Bank in Palestine” and the “Fastest Growing Bank in Palestine” at the Banker Middle East Industry Awards 2012 ceremony in Dubai on June 12, 2012. The 13th annual Banker Middle East Industry Awards brought together more than 400 distinguished regional and global industry experts and decision-makers, to honour and celebrate excellence in the MENA banking and finance industry. The Banker Middle East Industry Awards recognise both corporate and individual distinctions amongst top performers in the industry.
CPI Financial’s own commitment to greater transparency in the awards process saw a total of 18 awards going to banking institutions in nine countries in the Middle East– including Palestine - as a result of straightforward analysis of financial reports. 2012 was the first year CPI Financial includes Palestine in their award categories.
FT/IFC “Sustainable Bank of the Year”
Bank of Palestine was one of three banks in the Middle East and Africa that were shortlisted nominees for the 2012 FT/IFC Sustainable Bank of the Year award. Now in their seventh year, The FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Awards are the major global awards for environmentally and socially responsible banking and investment. The 2012 Awards attracted 161 entries from 145 financial institutions and 36 non-financial groups in 67 countries.
This nomination recognizes Bank of Palestine’s implementation of an all-encompassing sustainability strategy, which is based on the commitment to develop communities, and support individuals, families, institutions, and businesses during challenging economic times. The bank’s sustainability strategy is comprised of three pillars: Developing communities through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); building a sustainable economy, and promoting sustainable finance.
Hashim Shawa, Chairman and General Manager of Bank of Palestine stated: “We are honoured to be recognized by these prestigious international institutions, and very pleased that each year more and more institutions are recognizing that there is a solid banking sector in Palestine, and therefore adding Palestine to their award categories. This is helping us in our efforts to change the stereotypes and convey a real image of the business community and investment environment in Palestine.”
Shawa added: “These awards recognize Bank of Palestine’s development, growth, and contribution to the Palestinian economy and society. Over the past five years, our key indicators have more than doubled, making us one of the fastest growing banks in the region. We have managed this growth while maintaining solid foundations and continuously enhancing our risk management framework, which has also guarded the bank from volatile global markets. In fact, our capital base has grown by over 230% over the same period.”
Earlier this year, Bank of Palestine was awarded several other awards. First place ranking for Bank of Palestine in 2012 include:
• “Best Bank in Palestine” 2012 award by Euromoney
• “Best Bank in Palestine” 2012 award by CPI Financial/ Banker ME
• “Fastest growing Bank in Palestine” 2012 award by CPI Financial/ Banker ME
• “Best Bank in Palestine” 2012 award by Global Finance
• “Best Trade Finance Bank in Palestine” 2012 award by Global Finance
• “Best Bank in Palestine” 2012 award by EMEA Finance
• “Sustainable Bank of the Year” nomination by the FT/IFC
About Bank of Palestine (BoP)
Bank of Palestine has a long embedded presence and experience in Palestine dating back to 1960. The bank is now the largest Palestinian bank with the most widespread branch network in Palestine, a paid up capital of $134 million, and assets of over $1.65 billion, with 1,100 employees serving around 600,000 customers. Operating as a universal bank, BoP is engaged in retail, corporate, micro and SME, and Diaspora banking operations, with the largest card processing operations in Palestine; BoP is the sole agent for issuing and acquiring Visa and Master Card in Palestine with over 5,000 Point of Sale merchant terminals nationwide. Recently, BoP has been playing a leading role in some of the largest project finance loan syndications in Palestine, such as Wataniya Mobile Palestine, and the Movenpick Hotel, Ramallah.
In 2007 BoP established a brokerage subsidiary, Al Wasata Securities, providing customers with trading access to stocks listed on the Palestinian Stock Exchange (PEX) and regional markets. And in 2011, the bank established PalPay, a subsidiary company that provides electronic payment solutions.
Bank of Palestine has been committed throughout the years to economic development on a community level. Therefore the bank has adopted a holistic sustainability strategy and has been the leader in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Palestine dedicating 5% of its net profit to areas of Youth, Innovation & Education, Health & Environment, Sports, Arts & Culture, Economic & Diaspora Affairs, and Social & Humanitarian Efforts. BoP is also a proud signatory of the United Nations Global compact.
Bank of Palestine’s stock (PEX: BOP) has been listed on the Palestine Exchange (PEX) since 2005. It is among the market’s blue chip stocks, and represents around 13% of total PEX market capitalization.