Magazine article American Banker

Peace Could Be a Bonanza for Arab Banks in U.S

Magazine article American Banker

Peace Could Be a Bonanza for Arab Banks in U.S

Article excerpt

Arab banks in the United States are gearing up for a Middle East peace dividend.

Bankers working for institutions that do business with that part of the world say they expect a hefty increase in business and investments there if a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians takes hold.

"We're excited about the prospects," says Munir Barakat, president of the Arab Bankers Association of North America and managing director of Intercap Investments Inc., a New York merchant banking firm.

Increase in Trade Expected

"If you look at the resources -- oil, education, and business acumen -- that are available, it makes you wonder why we waited 40 years to have peace."

"Chances are that trade will increase between the U.S. and Arab countries," said Fakhruddin Khalil, president and chief executive of Arab-American Bank, a New York State-chartered commercial bank. "That will spill over to our business."

Bankers said trade, finance, correspondent banking, and private banking are among the areas that would benefit from a peace agreement.

Rebuilding Lebanon

"There will be definitely be an increase in trade with the U.S. -- if for no other reason than because many resources directed to buying arms will be redirected toward foodstuffs, capital goods, and other items needed for economic growth," Mr. Khalil said.

Bankers added that much of the banking-related business with the Middle East will also revolve around investments in infrastructure projects.

First and foremost is the rebuilding of Lebanon. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.