The figures suggest that Shamil, an Islamic financial institution, enjoyed a strong second half in 2001, after achieving profits of $4.5 million in the first six months of the year. A company official attributed the profit growth to an increased number of accounts.

Shamil was formed in June 2000 by a merger of Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain and Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf, to create one of the world’s largest financial institutions. Profits in that year were only $6 million, representing a significant fall from the $10 million achieved in 1999 by the two banks prior to the merger. Shamil attributed its poor 2000 performance to high taxes on subsidiaries in Pakistan and Bangladesh.