Ahmad Abu Eideh

Ahmad Abu Eideh

Chief Executive Officer, Middle East (Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon)

Finance / Jordan

“A market leader in providing structured facilities and unique product offerings”

One of the UK’s largest banks, Standard Chartered was the first bank to launch operations in Jordan through its acquisition of ANZ Grindlays Bank in 2000 and their earlier acquisition of the «Ottoman Bank» whose operations started in 1925. Listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as India’s Bombay and National Stock Exchanges, the bank is present in 63 countries and territories, with over 1,000 branches. In Jordan, the bank was chosen as the Best Foreign Bank and Best Foreign Investment Bank in Jordan by EMEA Finance magazine 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. More recently, in 2018 the bank was nominated as the Best Sub-Custodian by Global Finance magazine. Ahmad Abu Eideh, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered, Middle East (Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon), said the bank’s main objective was to drive commerce and achieve prosperity through its diversified offerings: Corporate, Commercial and Retail banking.

Why did Standard Chartered launch a Commercial Banking arm in Jordan in 2015?
Commercial Banking was formed during the fourth quarter of 2015, in line with the group’s strategy to ensure that we bring the best of the bank to rapidly growing and internationalizing corporate clients. Our teams work diligently to ensure that our clients have access to sufficient, steady financing on competitive terms. We also offer a comprehensive range of credit facilities with competitive interest rates and a variety of repayment options to suit our clients’ needs, in addition to protecting our clients from foreign exchange and market fluctuations. The business now manages an expanded portfolio in Jordan covering various sectors within the local corporate segment. Commercial Banking in Jordan has the potential to act as a growth driver for many of our other businesses, particularly our private Banking and international corporate segments where many synergies exist.

Why focus on servicing large corporates?
Our corporate and institutional banking serves local corporates, multinational corporations, financial institutions and government agencies, with a focus on trade finance, cash & liquidity management, capital raising and corporate finance. We capitalize on the bank’s product specialization and structuring capabilities to position ourselves as a market leader in providing structured facilities and unique product offerings. Standard Chartered elevates client focus to put the client’s perspective at the center of every plan, every product offering and every process. We have international experience that we are proud to share – we were the first bank in Jordan to close a substantial Capital Markets Syndicated Loan Facility, finance and provide hedging solutions for the nation’s first solar power plant, and close two sizable private equity investments, which were conducted through our Private Equity arm in Amman. We concentrate on building long-term relationships with clients to support their growth, and we also play a key role in developing the infrastructure. Standard Chartered combines local market knowledge with an unmatched network covering Asia, Africa and the Middle East. We offer a range of digital platforms that connect our clients with the latest financial technology, and we create solutions that help clients make the most of new market opportunities.

What are the bank’s most prominent sustainability initiatives?
The bank’s sustainability agenda is designed to impact the markets where we operate through being a force that promotes sustainable lending policies, operates as a responsible company, and invests in the communities we operate in. The bank’s staff supports our local communities by volunteering their time and skills, and seeking to maximize our impact by undertaking skills-based volunteering. Our volunteering peaks during the holy month of Ramadan with Tikyet Um Ali to serve Iftar meals to underprivileged families. “Seeing is Believing” is our global program in which we help in eradicating avoidable blindness. This year we are launching a locally developed project to screen 30,000 students in Irbid, in the northern part of Jordan. In cooperation with the National Woman’s Health Care Center, we will focus on providing screening for amblyopia and colorblindness, examining referred students with amblyopia and other diseases to doctors and specialists, providing eyeglasses to students and following up on them after six months, and determining treatment for each case and transferring them to the nearest hospital if needed. GOAL is the Bank’s global program that uses sport and life skills to transform the lives of adolescent girls. It was launched in Jordan on January 2011. Now the program has reached more than 15,000 girls in different rural areas across Jordan and is executed in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Injaz. This year, we launched Goal Employability and Entrepreneurship Fund to train 200 Goal champions on how to start their own projects and to be ready for the job market.