The paid-up capital of ZamZam Bank increased by 30pc to 1.23 billion Br from the 876 million Birr the interest-free bank had registered when it began operating six months ago. The Bank had 1.6 billion Br in subscribed capital raised from 11,000 shareholders when the central bank granted it an operational license. Being the first full-fledged interest-free bank and a pioneer in deploying a Shariah-compliant core banking solution, ZamZam has progressed to open 20 branches registering 35,000 customers in its six months of operation. The Bank held its first annual shareholders' meeting last week at Mechare Meda. Its executive pledged to raise the paid-up capital to five billion Bir before the deadline set by regulators at the central bank expires in around six years' time. Two full-fledged interest-free banks – Hijra and Rammis – have joined the industry since ZamZam opened its doors.