ABG senior officials get insight on VAT

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MANAMA: The Bahrain based leading Islamic banking group, Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C (ABG) organized a workshop on value-added tax (VAT) and its potential impact on the banking sector with the participation of the President and Chief Executive of the Group Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, executives and senior staff in the Group. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the international audit firm Ernst & Young in the presence of the Mr. Essa Al-Jowder, the Bahrain office managing partner.

Ms. Jennifer Sullivan, Director Tax Advisory Services, Ernst & Young has reviewed the working mechanism of the VAT, which the GCC uniformly plans to apply in 2018, and the potential impact on business in general, and banks in particular, where she talked about the different forms of its effects on Islamic banks and ways to prepare for it, pointing to the numerous advantages that the tax will achieve for Gulf countries.

“We are pleased today in Al Baraka Banking Group to organize this professional workshop on VAT for senior employees in the Group with the aim of spreading awareness among them and introduce them to the most important potential tax impacts on their business and the various activities of the Group. Thus, the Group reiterates another initiative to prepare for the various economic developments and reforms taking place in the Gulf countries,” Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif said.

“While ABG welcomes all the wise economic efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in order to adjust to global economic developments, including the decline in oil revenues, and enhance the prospects of their economic growth and maintain sustainable development, it is aware of the importance of flexible and graded application of these reforms to enable business sectors, including Islamic banking sector, to keep pace and provide all the support to contribute to their success.

Al Baraka Banking Group (B.S.C) is licensed as an Islamic wholesale bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain, listed on Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading international Islamic banking group providing its unique services in countries with a population totaling around one billion. It is jointly rated BBB+ (long term) / A3 (short term) on the international scale and A+ (bh) (long term) / A2 (bh) (short term) on the national by Islamic International Rating Agency & Dagong Global Credit Rating Company Limited, and by Standard & Poor’s at BB+ (long term) / B (short term).

Al Baraka offers retail, corporate, treasury and investment banking services, strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari’a. The authorized capital of Al Baraka is US$ 1.5 billion, while total equity is at about US$ 2.1 billion. The Group has a wide geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking units and representative offices in fifteen countries, which in turn provide their services through over 700 branches. Al Baraka currently has a strong presence in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Bahrain, Pakistan, South Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, including two representative offices in Indonesia and Libya.

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