Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank plans North Africa expansion

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank plans to branch out in North Africa as the UAE-based lender seeks to reach a larger population. The bank applied for licenses in Algeria and Libya and is considering new operations in Tunisia and Morocco. Chief executive Tirad Mahmoud said the bank is seeking to expand in nations with a critical mass in terms of population and economic activity. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank has also moved into countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan, Mahmoud said. The bank wants to be better placed to serve companies, such as Dubai-based mall operator Majid al-Futtaim, which operate across the Middle East and North Africa. Banks that comply with Islam’s ban on interest have become increasing popular after the revolts implemented Islamists into power in some North African countries.