News: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank has hired a training firm to certify additional staff in Shari ' a-compliant finance and banking, according to a press statement. According to the lender, Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance will train senior employees and their deputies through its online-based Islamic finance training programme . Ethica Institute described its training as distinct from short courses that last several days, which it argued were cost-inefficient and ineffective.
BMI View: We expect a general slowdown for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) banks in 2013 and 2014 after several years of rapid growth. In North Africa and the Levant, the coming months will prove to be difficult for commercial lenders, particularly in the context of rising foreign exchange , sovereign and credit risks. While there will be some convergence between the GCC and the rest of the region, mostly due to base effects, we expect the GCC to outperform, and highlight Saudi Arabia and Qatar as key growth countries.