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Infrastructure-wise, the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) has been implementing a range of platforms in the last few years, under the guidance of the Arab Monetary Fund and World Bank, including a payments system from South African vendor, Perago, a member of Italy’s SIA Group. The PMA was set up in 1994 and by the end of 2007


there were eleven national banks (three Islamic), and eleven foreign banks, including HSBC. They had 162 branches between them. Palestine doesn’t have its own currency so uses the Israeli currency for daily exchanges, US dollars, Jordanian dollars and euros for savings and commercial exchanges. Bank of Palestine is the largest bank, followed by Arab Bank. Temenos broke the ICSFS stranglehold with the only deal in the country in 2014, the supplier’s first here. The National Bank, formerly a microfinance player and as of late a universal bank, is replacing the CABS system from Jordan- based Optimiza. Temenos is heading the implementation. The new system will cover all major operations at the bank, including accounting/GL, corporate,


retail, microfinance,


treasury, trade finance, private banking, wealth/investment management and securities, risk management, regulations and compliance (including FATCA), digital channels, audit and reporting. T24 will be interfaced to Swift, Reuters, Mastercard, ATM and clearing systems. Safa Bank also awarded a contract to Temenos in 2015.


Qatar


Most banks in Qatar offer Islamic banking but there are also four dedicated banks. There are twelve commercial banks, with a mix of domestic and foreign ownership. It has been a profitable, fast-growing market and is the third largest in the Gulf by banking assets. In 2012, there were win for Temenos and for three Indian


vendors, TCS (at Qatar National Bank), Nucleus and Polaris (also Qatar National Bank). TCS’s win was at the bank’s financial services brokerage arm that opened its doors a year earlier, as the first independently regulated, licensed brokerage unit launched by a bank in Qatar. TCS’s Bancs was taken to underpin a multi-market, multi-currency, GCC-wide trading platform, and also to support buying and selling securities on the US and European markets. Polaris supplied its Intellect system for Qatar National Bank’s global cash management/corporate banking operations, including internet banking. TCS was able to win 1 more account in 2015. Path Solutions has had deals in Qatar in the past but nothing since 2008. Infosys had one core banking deal, in 2007, at Bank Sohar, but also nothing since. There has been a small number of treasury system deals, although not recently. In many ways the deal that stands out most prominently


in Qatar was SAP’s first – and to date, perhaps not surprisingly, only – deal for its core banking system in the region. It came in 2007 from a small start-up, Al Khaliji Bank, there were a number of other applications chosen as well, and it went horribly off the rails. The rest of the selections have been spread across a relatively wide number of vendors but there were no signings in 2013 and a solitary Polaris lending win in 2014. Al Khaliji Bank, by virtue of signing for Temenos in 2012, looked as though it was having another attempt. Additionally in 2015, 3 deals of deals were awarded to Misys, Profile and Miles Software respectively.


Saudi Arabia


This has typically been one of the busiest countries for system sales after UAE. However, it still dropped from eleven deals in 2008, eight in 2009 and nine in 2010, to just four in 2011 and three in 2012. As such, the six wins in 2013 rather bucked the trend in most other countries in the region during the year, although the total reverted to three in the following year. Moody’s has had a stable rating for the Kingdom since 2009 and this also applies to the ten banks rated by the credit rating agency. There are 20 or so banks in Saudi Arabia, of which twelve are domestic and have the bulk of the assets. The depressed 2011 total included Samba’s signing with


Temenos, one of the region’s standout deals. Path Solutions signed with Qinvest, and 3i Infotech picked up two Islamic customers for its lending product, Kastle, at Taajeer and Banque Saudi Fransi. The three deals in 2012 went to Nucleus, Oracle FSS


and Temenos, the latter coming from United Installment Company, for Islamic real estate financing and vehicle leasing operations. Temenos’ flagship user in the country, which certainly had challenges along the way with its project, is Saudi Hollandi Bank (now part-owned by RBS, rather than ABN Amro), while this supplier also has the country’s largest Shari’ah-compliant bank on its fairly extensive user list, Alinma Bank. Temenos also had success in 2010 when a move to turn Bahraini Saudi into a fully Islamic bank saw the Al Salam Bank subsidiary settle on T24. Bahraini Saudi had originally selected T24 for Islamic banking in 2006 and Infosys’ Finacle, for conventional banking in 2007. The Saudi banks are fairly heavy user of packages on the whole and this has also been a fertile market for some niche system suppliers, such as Advent, DST and Fidessa with their asset management systems. Riyad Bank signing with Calypso for broad cross-asset trading support was a notable deal in 2013, while Sungard picked up the other two, smaller, treasury deals on offer. Path and ITS had a win each, at International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation and Alawwal Financial Services, respectively. The other win


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