3 Bahraini banks set up R&D unit
Three banks in Bahrain are joining hands to set up an institution to undertake research and development in the sharia compliant fintech sector in the country. The 3 banks - KFH Bahrain, which is a unit of the sharia-compliant Kuwait Finance House, Islamic bank Al Baraka Banking Group and Bahrain Development Bank - said in a joint statement they will set up Algo Bahrain for the purpose. Headquartered in Bahrain, it will aim to support the regional Islamic banking sector by developing fintech products and other innovative, sharia-compliant banking solutions, before expanding to other emerging markets across the world. In the first phase, its activities will be funded by the 3 founding banks while 8 other banks are expected to join the venture through investments in the second phase. The company’s plan is to launch 15 new fintech products or platforms within the next five years.