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Lost on the Journey: A Critical Review of Amana Bank’s Progress

Author: 
Mohamed Rifkhan A.H. Rahuman
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

“This IPO is for investors who really want to buy our share and be benefitted in the medium term. If someone intends on punting with the IPO, we are not the bank for such people. With punting, we feel that a customer does not become a shareowner.” (FT.lk, 2013) The above statement was mentioned by the former MD/CEO of Amana Bank (“The Bank”) FaizalSalih in the end of the year 2013 when the bank started floating its shares in initial public offering (“IPO”) under the slogan: “Own your share in our journey of success”. The aim of this study is to critically review the progress of the bank based on its strategies, financial position and performance and to provide suggestions on the way forward. Amana Bank is operating in one of the high growth industry of Islamic banking (Consultancy.UK, 2016). However, it appears that so far the bank is following a very narrow path when it comes to its strategies and competition. This narrow view has impacted its share and financial performance and position. In order to overcome this struggle, it has to broaden its view to understand the real competitors and focus on wider customers. It also has to consider the impact of growing financing alternatives such as financing provided by vehicle dealers, Mutual funds, Insurance schemes and Sharia-compliant fund management companies while keeping a close eye on the political changes in the form of threats and mega projects in the form of opportunity for the bank. As a result of these internal and external environmental comprehensions, Amana Bank can deploy many strategies to revamp its journey towards success. This study suggests rebranding or repositioning of the bank while addressing its operational inefficiencies as one of the recommendation. The case of Amana bank provides many insights to Islamic banks that operate in an environment where the majority of the customers do not fall into religious sentiments such as the importance of services and customer care. It also shows the impact of clear future strategies in firm’s market value.

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