Vakif Bank, Venture Capital Bank and Reef obtain BMA Licences

January - 2007

The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) announced today that it has granted two new licences for banks and another to a financing company.

Vakif Bank

The BMA announced today that it has granted a licence to leading Turkish commercial bank Vakifbank Turkiye Vakiflar Bankasi (Vakif Bank) to establish a branch office in Bahrain. 

The Bahrain branch, which will be an offshore banking unit, is Vakif's first venture in the Middle East. Established in 1954, Vakif Bank has a paid up capital of US$312 million, while total assets stood at US$12 billion. The bank enjoys a country ranking of 7 and a world ranking of 650. 

Through its Bahrain branch, the Vakif Bank will explore and develop banking opportunities between Turkey and the Middle East. Vakif Bank will be the 14th Turkish bank to establish a presence in Bahrain.

Venture Capital Bank

Venture Capital Bank (VCBank) has also been licensed by the BMA to offer venture capital financing and carry of out investment activities in accordance with Islamic principles. 

VCBank, which will have a paid up capital of US$50 million, is being established by a group of investors from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Global Emerging Markets Group (GEM Group), a US-based venture capital firm, is a technical partner of VCBank. 

Reef

The BMA has also granted a licence to Reef, the first real estate financing company in Bahrain. The firm is being established with a paid up capital of BD20 million (US$53m). The firm's shareholders are HRAKLF long standing client Al Khaleej Development Company (Tameer), Global Investment House and Ossis Properties, each with a 10% shareholding, and other individual investors. 

Haya Rashed Al Khalifa Law firm is proud to have given advice to Vakif Bank, Venture Capital Bank and Reef and played a role in each of their applications to the BMA.