NCB Pioneers Shariah-Compliant Airport Financing
August 13, 2012 – The National Commercial Bank (NCB) is providing the first Islamic structured international airport financing for Prince Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah. Although NCB faces some challenges due to the nature of Shariah-compliant financing; government owned infrastructure, and build, transfer, and operate (BTO) structure; the bank will ensure the project is planned and executed in compliance with Shariah law. Prince Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport is estimated to cost $1.2 billion (SR4.5 billion) and NCB is providing a significant amount of the total funding through both senior participation and equity bridge financing. Islamic project financing of long-term infrastructure projects has largely been confined to the power and hydrocarbon sectors. However, the success of this finance structuring will allow Saudi banks to expand their coverage of project financing into the railway and highway sectors.
NCB has also announced the launch of its mobile application service, Alahli Mobile, for smart phones. This application will allow customers to view queries about their bank account, transfer money between accounts, check internal remittances, perform express transfers and cash withdrawals, and complete government payments using a mobile device. One key feature in the Alahli Mobile service is the ability to make cash withdrawals from ATM locations without an ATM card. Offering this service follows NCB’s commitment to enhancing customer satisfaction and promoting innovative solutions.