KARACHI, July 11, 2007. The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has assigned a long-term rating of A- (Single A Minus), and a short-term rating of A2 (A Two) to BankIslami Pakistan Limited. These ratings denote a low expectation of credit risk emanating from a strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.
The ratings reflect the management’s well-conceived business strategy to become an active player in the seemingly promising Islamic banking segment. In a short span of time, BIPL has established an effective operating platform, and is well positioned to execute its overall business plan. Meanwhile, the ratings also take into account the sound financial standing of the sponsoring groups. However, the extent to which the strategies materialize into desired results, and the related timeline remain to be seen. Meanwhile, the newly developed systems and processes of the bank also need to be tested.
About the bank: BankIslami Pakistan Limited (BIPL), a scheduled Islamic bank, commenced operations in March 2006 and is currently listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange. BIPL is a joint venture among three financially sound business groups, namely DCD Group UK, Dubai Bank, and Jahangir Siddiqqui Company Limited (JSCL). Each group has 18.75% stake in the bank, while the remaining holding is with various institutional investors and the general public. With its head-office in Karachi, the bank currently has a network of 13 branches, and a head count of over 350 employees.
DCD, a UK based Group having stakes in diversified businesses, has recently started participating in the establishment of various Islamic Banks in different countries. Dubai Bank PSJC is 70% owned by Dubai Holdings, while the remaining 30% is with Emmar Properties. Dubai Holdings is the investment arm of the government of Dubai. JSCL is the holding company of Jahangir Siddidui group – a known group in the financial sector.
The seven-member BoD comprises representatives of sponsoring groups. The Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Hasan A. Bilgrami, is a qualified professional having extensive experience with leading financial institutions. He has played an active role in the development of the Islamic banking policies and products in the country.