Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB), the sharia-compliant subsidiary of Emirates Bank Group, has enough capital to maintain growth this year but could raise more in 2007, the bank’s chief executive officer Ebrahim Fayez al-Shamsi told MEED on 11 July.

Al-Shamsi said that the bank was on target to hit 2006 profit and growth targets. ‘We are ahead of schedule for this year’s profits,’ said Al-Shamsi. ‘On the deposit side, we have already reached our 2006 target. So we are revising our strategy for the next two years based on the figures we’ve seen this year.’

More branches will be opened before the end of the year and new retail products, including healthcare finance, are being considered.

EIB was launched in October 2004 following the conversion of Middle East Bank into a sharia-compliant financial institution. It was the second UAE bank after National Bank of Sharjah to go Islamic.

Net income totalled AED 43.1 million ($11.7 million) in
the first full year of operations as an Islamic bank. This was 120 per cent above the figure for 2004.