Easier access to stock markets for Sharjah Islamic Bank clients

The newly launched Shares Murabaha gives investors direct access to companies listed on the Abu Dhabi and Dubai markets.

Sharjah Islamic Bank, which was known as National Bank of Sharjah, switched to Islamic banking in 2002. Jaime Puebla / The National
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Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB), a Sharia-compliant financial institution, has launched Shares Murabaha, a new service that gives customers easier access to stock markets in the UAE.

SIB, which is publicly listed, says Shares Murabaha will boost investment in companies listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and Dubai Financial Market (DFM), while giving investors the flexibility to sell their shares whenever they want.

"Stock markets are currently one of the most attractive investment destinations for investors, particularly as the UAE's securities markets have recovered from the impact of the global financial crisis," says Jassim al Baloushi, the head of SIB's retail banking group.

"However, a large number of investors are reluctant to enter this sector due to the complicated financial procedures and the required guarantees and commitment."

To qualify for an account with Shares Murabaha, you must be an SIB account holder and receive a minimum salary of Dh8,000 per month.

The bank says Shares Murabaha offers fast approval, simple and straightforward procedures, high financing amounts, long repayment tenures, instant purchase, and the ability to sell any time without shares pledge.

"Shares Murabaha will contribute to encouraging and stimulating investment in the stock market, and will help make the investment experience convenient and pleasant," says Mr al Baloushi. "We are expecting a high demand for this product, in line with the pace of investment in ADX and DFM."

Murabaha account holders must buy and sell shares through SIB's approved broker. The bank does not charge a fee for buying and selling shares. The broker will charge a fee, however.

To apply for a Shares Murabaha account, customers are required to provide the bank with a salary certificate, three months' worth of bank statements, a copy of their passport and UAE ID card, a copy of their residence visa and a security cheque.

SIB, which was known as National Bank of Sharjah, switched to Islamic banking in 2002.

The bank last month reported a boost in first quarter results, saying net profit rose 3.7 per cent to Dh70 million, from Dh67.5m in the previous corresponding period.

For more information about Shares Murabaha, go to www.sib.ae or call 06 599 9999.