Shabir Chohan

Islamic bank Al Baraka launches full foreign exchange service in SA

DURBAN-based Al Baraka Bank launched a full international foreign exchange service and now offers a full range of international banking services. As part of the Al Baraka Banking Group it can leverage off the group and its 14 subsidiaries around the world. According to the bank's CE Shabir Chohan, the full foreign exchange service coupled with the recently launched chequebook facility will position the bank as a competitive commercial bank in South Africa.

Islamic body wants protection from bank

FNB and Al Baraka Bank froze the bank accounts of Al Aqsa Foundation after it was added to the US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control list. According to the US departments website Al Aqsa funnels money collected for charitable purposes to Hamas terrorists. However, foundation spokesman Melissa Hoole denied ties to that organisation. Al Baraka had since agreed to allow some activity in the account.

South Africa: Albaraka Bank Achieves R2 Billion Asset Base

Albaraka Bank, SA's only Islamic financial institution, passed the R2bn asset level. This compares with only R400 000 in 1999 when it was formed. CEO Shabir Chohan said that it had taken the bank 15 years to achieve assets of R1bn and then another five years to reach the current level.

Chohan said that although Muslims represented only 2% of the population of SA, he believed there were opportunities for other players in the market that could offer greater convenience and more branches.

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