By Muneera Al-Sultan
KUWAIT, March 22 (KUNA) -- Kuwait Finance House (KFH) celebrated the 40th anniversary of its establishment to become one of the foremost Islamic financial institutions in the world.
KFH is considered as a pioneer in the banking phenomenon known as Islamic Finance or Shari'a Compliant Banking, it is the first Islamic bank established in 1977 based in Kuwait. It offers a wide range of products and services.
Leading the Islamic finance industry globally, and offering a suite of financial Islamic services and products, KFH's group banking network spans across GCC countries, Asia and Europe, with more than 446 branch including Kuwait Finance House- Turkey (KFH-Turkey) that offers service for customers in Turkey, KSA, Bahrain, Malaysia, Germany, Jordan, and Dubai.
Thirty-nine years ago, KFH opened to the public for the first time on 31 August 1978 and after nine months from establishment by Amiri decree law No. 72/1977 as a Kuwaiti Shareholding Company, on March 23, 1977.
Immediately after the opening on its temporary headquarters in Ahmad Al-Jaber Street, around 170 accounts were registered on the first day, where the headquarters of the bank moved to Emad Commercial Center in 1983 then to its current location on Abdullah Al-Mubarak street in 1986.
Upon incorporation, the government participated in KFH with a 49 percent share, distributed to the Ministry of Finance by 20 percent, the Ministry of Justice (Department of Minors Affairs) before becoming a public body in 1983 by 20 percent, the Ministry of Awqaf by nine percent, while the rest of the shares amounted 51 percent were floated for public subscription with a capital of KD 10 million.
The first KFH board of directors included Ahmed Bazie Al-Yaseen as Chairman and Managing Director, Mohammad Ibrahim Buhindi as Vice Chairman and Deputy Managing Director, Khalid Saleh Al-Ateeqi, Abdulhameed Abdulrazzaq Al-Obaid, Abdulmohsen Ali Al-Tuwairish, Ali Abdulkareem Al-Fozan and Fahd Nayef were replaced by Ali Mohammed Al-Mudhaf, Mohammed Yousef Al-Roumi, Marikhan Saad Saqr and Hadi Hayef Al-Huwailah where Bader Abdulmohsen Al-Mukhaizeem was appointed as the first General Manager of Kuwait Finance House.
During 2016, KFH continued in financing big developments project in Kuwait, most importantly Environmental Fuel Project in addition to financing Infrastructure projects, energy, transportation and real estate development.
forty years later, the government maintained its stake in KFH through the General Investment Authority holding 24 percent, the General Authority for Minors Affairs by 10.4 percent, the General Secretariat of Awqaf by 7.3 percent and the General Organization for Social Insurance by 6.6 percent.
KFH has become a major player in the international sukuk market where the volume of KFH trading group at the sukuk market reached about USD 11.4 billion in 2016.
KFH participated in financing the budget deficit through government debt instruments issued by the Central Bank of Kuwait, where KFH's share is the largest among Islamic banks.
KFH has diversified its activities in several areas, including the social role as an Islamic financial institution with a working methodology that sees money as a key role in the service and development of the society as well as its role in humanitarian work and in supporting the educational process in Kuwait. (end) mfs.ss