The Meezan Bank, country's first and largest Islamic bank, is celebrating five years of Riba-free banking in Pakistan. This is a not only an achievement of the Meezan Bank as pioneer, but also the success in the spreading of Islamic banking in Pakistan.
In 2002, the first Islamic banking license was issued to the Meezan Bank by the State Bank of Pakistan. The Societe Generale, a French commercial bank operations in Pakistan, was acquired by the Meezan Bank and concurrently the Al Meezan Investment Bank converted itself into a full-fledged Islamic commercial bank. The new bank was renamed the Meezan Bank and President General Pervez Musharraf inaugurated the Bank at a formal ceremony in Karachi.
The Meezan Bank has a strong balance-sheet with excellent operating profitability, including a capital adequacy ratio that has placed the Bank at the top of the industry, a long-term entity rating of A+, and a short-term entity rating of A1.
In addition, the activities of the Bank are governed by the State Bank of Pakistan, and its shareholders are leading financial institutions, including Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company (Pvt) Ltd, Shamil Bank of Bahrain, the Islamic Development Bank, and Noor Financial Investment Company.
In the past five years, the Meezan Bank has grown from being a small niche player operating with only six branches and Rs 5.1 billion in deposits at the end of 2002 to a Bank now with 63 online branches and a deposit base of Rs 34.4 billion.-PR