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Arab Bank: It’s all about liquidity

Jordan’s Arab Bank is one of the most influential financial institutions in the Middle East. It has thrived for nearly 80 years, largely because of a strict risk management policy. Sudip Roy reports from Amman on how the bank is managing the financial crisis.

The Shoman succession

NO BANK IS immune to the financial crisis. Some, though, are better placed than others to weather the storm. One such is Arab Bank. The Jordanian group is one of the biggest and oldest financial institutions in the Arab world. Established in 1930, it has a presence in 30 countries and more than 500 branches, although the cornerstone of its business is in the Middle East and North Africa.

Abdel Hamid Shoman, Arab Bank

"Profits are important in order to provide a return to our shareholders but we don’t like to be too aggressive"

Abdel Hamid Shoman, Arab Bank

Arab Bank has not completely dodged the fallout from the financial meltdown. Its share price has more than halved since the beginning of the year. "Anybody that says that they won’t be affected by the crisis is not telling the truth," says Abdel Hamid Shoman, the group’s chairman and chief executive. "It’s a worldwide problem. The issue is the degree to which you have been affected." To that extent, Arab Bank has fared better than most.

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