Boubyan Bank plans corporate banking expansion
Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank is one of the leading Islamic banking institutions in the country and the Gulf Cooperation Council region. But its ambitions do not stop there, it aims to be a top five Islamic bank in the world, supported by expansion in its corporate banking business.
Locally, regionally, and increasingly internationally, Boubyan Bank is a growing corporate banking force in Islamic finance, leveraging technology investment and its strong balance sheet to support its large to small and medium sized corporate clients.
They operate in various strategically important industries, from real estate, and trading and importation, to energy, retail commerce and the public sector, all of which Boubyan is involved in financing projects for.
Some of the recent transactional highlights include arranging a $350m facility for Kuwaiti logistics company, Agility, as well as acting as mandated lead arranger on a $100m Islamic term facility for a multinational development bank, and a US$1.6m dual tranche, sustainability-linked term facility for an oil and gas holding company.
The bank also recently closed its inaugural syndicated $500m syndicated murabaha facility. The self-arranged loan is the largest and first Islamic facility to tap an all Asian syndicate group.
Unlike other Islamic banks in the country, “Boubyan is one of the few that has a dedicated structured finance and fixed income desk,” says Abdul-Salam Al Saleh, CEO of corporate banking, financial control, treasury and legal affairs.
Boubyan is aiming to expand its presence in corporate market through investment in new technology, as well as offering a full banking solution to its clients
He says that due to this capability, the bank continues to maintain a “significant local and international presence on key [Islamic] transactions in the primary and secondary markets, where the bank has carried out major roles on originating and lead arranging issuance, especially on numerous successful sukuk transactions”.
Boubyan accessed the sukuk market earlier this year, successfully issuing a $500m senior unsecured sukuk in March.
Islamic finance is a key strength of the bank, but Boubyan is investing in that business and the corporate banking business more broadly to provide more comprehensive support to its clients and realise its growth ambitions.
In particular, Al Saleh says Boubyan is “aiming to expand its presence in corporate market through investment in new technology, as well as offering a full banking solution to its clients,” which includes expanding in transaction banking and supply chain finance.
He adds that this also involves “growing our presence in local and regional markets, leading and participating in key syndicated facilities.”
One such technology investment has been in the bank’s automated workflow platform, which has simplified credit processes and automated approvals, enhancing the delivery speed of services and products to its corporate customers.
In addition, the bank also plans to invest in its trade finance platform, enabling the provision of a more comprehensive set of financial services across the full payments cycle, covering daily operations, salary payments and supply chain finance.
Clients can access Boubyan’s trade finance platform online and via a mobile application, making its completely digital experience, one of few banks in the country to offer this.