Yazob al-Muzani, chairman of the Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME), plans to retire from the sharia-compliant lender’s board on 31 March.

He will be replaced by Adel Abdul Wahab al-Majed, who also serves as CEO of Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank. The latter raised its stake in the London-based lender in November 2013 to 25.62 per cent of its share capital.

BLME has been strengthening its ties with the region following Dubai’s announcement that it aims to become a global Islamic finance hub.

In May 2013, the lender opened a representative office in Dubai, followed by a listing on Nasdaq Dubai in October. But the bank’s stock has been largely illiquid, with its listing mainly seen as a means to raise its regional profile.

In 2013, BLME Holdings reported a 10 per cent rise in operating profit before tax of £6.1 million.  The group’s business growth was driven by its corporate banking and wealth management divisions, resulting in a 19 per cent increase in assets.