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Al Hilal Bank to get into smart banking

Abu Dhabi’s Islamic bank Al Hilal Bank is making allout efforts to become a leader in smart banking in the UAE over the next five years. The bank will focus mainly on mobile and computer applications, says CEO Mohammad Berro. He told Gulf News that the bank was reducing its reliability on branches and focusing on smart banking instead. The strategy does not call for mass branch expansion and the bank is less dependent on physical branches, yet it is growing, he said, adding it is not stopping its expansion but it is coupling the branches with technology and smart banking that it is getting into slowly. Al Hilal’s foreign operations are only in Kazhakhstan where it has three branches. With only one shareholder, Abu Dhabi Investment Council, Al Hilal Bank is not publically listed. It has, however, issued sukuk, with the latest being $500 million worth of Tier-1 sukuk in mid-2014.

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