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The Doha office of international law firm Eversheds has advised Barwa Bank on the acquisition of Al Yusr, International Bank of Qatar’s Islamic banking operations.

Following Qatar Central Bank’s decision, in January 2011, that conventional banks must close their Islamic banking windows by the end of the year, this is the first purchase of an Islamic finance window by an Islamic bank in Qatar, and also the first deal of its kind in the region.

As a result of the acquisition Barwa Bank is able to accelerate its growth and expansion plans in the local market to position itself as one of the leading Islamic banks in Qatar. The deal has received Qatar Central Bank approval and the customer transfer process has already begun.

The Eversheds team was led by partner and Head of Islamic Finance Amjad Hussain, assisted by senior counsel Arfan Tinawi and solicitors Jaime Oon and Sarah Lisgo from the Doha office. Partner Andy Nunn and associate Dawn Sanderson from

Eversheds’ Abu Dhabi also lent their expertise on the deal. Amjad Hussain commented:"This deal is the first of its kind in the region and as a result it threw up a number of interesting legal, operational and Sharia’h based challenges. We were pleased to find a solution that worked for all stakeholders and allowed us to execute the deal within a very tight timeframe."

Steve Troop, Chief Executive Officer at Barwa Bank commented: "This transaction was very important for Barwa Bank and the efficient, pragmatic and timely input from the Eversheds team was key in delivering a successful conclusion for us."

 

 

 

 

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