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Qatar’s IBQ sells Islamic operations to Barwa Bank
Sale is first after Qatar central bank's February edict; Sale does not include private and corporate banking portfolios
August 22, 2011 2:51 by p.deleon
International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) has sold its Islamic banking retail operations to Qatar’s Barwa Bank in the first sale of an Islamic portfolio since Qatar’s surprise edict banning conventional banks from offering Islamic banking services.
The sale includes IBQ’s Al Yusr retail loans and deposit account portfolios, the two Al Yusr branches including ATMs as well as the transfer of Al Yusr employees to Barwa Bank, IBQ said in a statement on Sunday.
The private and corporate banking portfolios are not part of the sale.
“While the ruling from the QCB necessitated the sale, we feel Barwa Bank will be able to offer our retail customers the best Islamic banking services in the market,” IBQ managing director George Nasra said in the statement.
In February Qatar’s central bank ordered conventional banks to stop offering Islamic banking services by year-end. Lenders have until Dec. 31 to comply.
IBQ is 30 percent owned by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) , Kuwait’s biggest lender. Barwa Bank is a unit of Barwa Real Estate Co . (Reporting by Regan Doherty; Editing by Shaheen Pasha)