Wednesday 28, December 2016 by Nabilah Annuar

Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait affirms commitment to Egypt

Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait inaugurates its Egyptian operations following the rebranding of its subsidiary, from Piraeus Bank Egypt to Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait–Egypt.

Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) on 6 November 2016 successfully launched its operations in Egypt through its subsidiary Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait— Egypt (ABK—Egypt) along with the introduction of its Zamalek Flagship branch and Smart Village Headquarters.This follows the rebranding of the Bank after its recent acquisition of Piraeus Bank Egypt (PBE) in 2015.

Establishment

Approximately a year ago, ABK completed the acquisition of Piraeus Bank Egypt for $150 million. The rebranding exercise encompasses the entire 39-branch network of PBE which will be completed by the end of December 2016. ABK’s acquisition of PBE realises ABK’s regional vision, as Egypt is considered a key focus market with a well-regulated yet underpenetrated banking sector, further supported by the country’s attractive macro-economic fundamentals and robust population dynamics, boasting a young population of 85 million with a vibrant middle class.

Commenting at the inauguration ceremony, Ali Marafi, Chairman of ABK—Egypt, said, “It is a great moment for ABK to inaugurate our Headquarters in Smart Village as well as our Zamalek Flagship Branch, and we are delighted to officially launch our operations in Egypt. The acquisition of PBE is under the ABK brand. Egypt, with its wellregulated yet underpenetrated banking market has been a main focus area and the Bank is very proud to have now become an important part of Egypt’s banking industry. We are looking forward to increase our business and support the Egyptian economy, with the Bank’s strong presence and reputation for quality, customer service and reliability in the region.”

Adding to Marafi’s statement on the launch, Khaled El Salawy, ABK— Egypt CEO, explained, “ABK—Egypt is strongly committed to its role in supporting the Egyptian economy through a clearly defined strategy that is founded on supporting and financing corporate and SME clients in various industries with innovative financial solutions. We will also drive focus on the retail segment through a diversified portfolio of products and services that cater to customers’ growing needs.”

Captain of the ship

El Salawy was appointed earlier in May this year to head the Egypt office. He joins ABK fromUnion National Bank, where hewas theDeputy Chief Executive Officer, leading the Corporate Banking Division, Treasury & Investment, SME and Financial Institution activities. Prior to Union National Bank, he spent eight years with AlexBankIntesa SanPaolo Group as General Manager—Head of Corporate Banking. El Salawy succeeds Constantinos Loizides, who stepped down as Chief Executive to return to Piraeus Bank in Greece.

“El Salawy’s broad range of experience, his relationships in the country and his ability to understand business dynamics in Egypt confirmed him to be the best person for the position. He has an extensive knowledge base and perspective on the banking industry in the region and brings the right combination of knowledge and experience to achieve our goals in Egypt,” said Marafi.

Accolades

ABK has been awarded Best Commercial Bank in Kuwait at the Banker Middle East Industry Awards earlier this year, with CEO, Michel Accad named as Banker of the Year during the ceremony. “It is truly an honour to be recognised as the Best Commercial Bank in Kuwait and I’m very honoured to be named Banker of the Year. ABK has worked hard to develop a successful strategy that aims to create a simpler banking model for its customers, and we have witnessed the success of this since it’s been put into effect. We delivered major enhancements and developments to our systems and services as part of our ‘Simpler Banking’ Strategy, which revolves around offering more security, convenience and speed to our customers,” said Accad on receiving the tribute.

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