Bank of Palestine named Best Bank in Palestine by Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence 2012 for the second year



For the second year in a row, Bank of Palestine has won the “Best Bank in Palestine” award at the annual Euromoney Middle East Awards for Excellence Dinner 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 dinner: ”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.”

Chairman and General Manager of BoP, Mr. Hashim Shawa expressed great pleasure with the progress and sustained growth of the bank, leading to this award. He confirmed that the bank’s continuous success reflects its vision and determination to be a leading financial institution.

Despite the political instability and the various extrnal impediments to doing business in Palestinet, BoP continued to grow. In 2011, BoP's net profit amounted to 33.98 million USD, a growth of 12.82%. BoP's total assets amount to 1.65 billion USD, maintaining a leading position among the largest Palestinian companies in terms of assets. Shareholders equity increased by 18.62% to 194.39 million USD, and paid-up capital increased by 20% to reach 120 million USD. Customer deposits amount to 1.297 billion USD, credit facilites 720 million USD with an increase of 32.1%.

Along with BoP's continious growth, the concept of CSR and sustainable development continued to be one of BoP's main pillars. Dedicating 5% of its net profit to CSR to develop youth, sports, education, health, arts, tourism, and charity, BoP is a leader in community development.

While in Dubai, a BoP delegation led by Shawa met a group of Palestinian expatriates residing in the UAE and representatives of international press, in an attempt to change the stereotypes about investing in Palestine by showing success stories and discussing investment opportunities. The meeting was part of the bank's responsibility to reach out to the 7 million Palestinians around the world, an attempt led by BoP's specialized Exodus Unit.

Moreover, during a visit to "Gulf Business" magazine, Shawa announced the bank's intention to open its first representative office in the Gulf in Dubai, which is home to 200,000 Palestinians, before the end of 2013. In addition to the strong ties between businesses in Palestine and the UAE, 3% of BoP's shareholders live there. BoP is also preparing to open a representative office in Chile, which is home to more than half a million Palestinians.

Furthermore, Dubai's Rasmala Investment Bank started a Palestinian fund to explore opportunities stock market in cooperation with several Palestinian parties, including Bank of Palestine. In one year, the company was able to support the Fund with 37 million USD. Simultaneously, UAE-based Abraaj Capital, in cooperation with Bank of Palestine, the Palestine Investment Fund, CISCO and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched the Palestine Growth Capital Fund, a $50 million private equity investment vehicle entirely dedicated to investing in the Palestinian SME sector.

Bank of Palestine (PEX: BOP) has been listed on the Palestine Exchange (PEX) since 2005, and is a blue chip stock with 13% of market capitalization.

Other awards won by Bank of Palestine:

Global Finance "Best Bank in Palestine for International Trade"
EMEA Finance "Best Bank in Palestine"
New Economy – Sustainability
IFC – as Best Bank in the Middle East and North Africa for SME's despite difficult circumstances
JP Morgan Chase – for fast and mistake-free transfers (for the tenth year in a row)

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