Arab World’s first venture capital bank that is Shariah compliant launched
The Arab World will finally be on the threshold of increased market development and wealth creation as a result of the launch of the Arabian Gulf and MENA Regions first ever Venture Capital Bank. Approved and licensed to operate by the Bahrain Monetary Agency on May 5, 2005 and carrying the name of Venture Capital Bank (VCBank) it will be the first venture capital bank that is compliant with Shariah Principles.
As part of its management setup, VCBank has put in place a thorough process whereby it engages its Shariah Advisory Board before it commits itself to an investment opportunity through a rigorous compliance system that identifies the nature of the business of each target company and the manner through which financing will be structured around each deal, thus ensuring Shariah certification for each investment prior to any commitment.
Announcing the registration of the VCBank, Dr. Ghassan Ahmed Abdullah Al Sulaiman, Chairman of the Incorporating Committee said; “Our region is undergoing tremendous change, and the liberalization of the economies coupled with the rise in oil prices is spurring increased economic activity. At this moment in time we believe that there is a unique investment opportunity for venture capital investment banking in the GCC and MENA Regions.”
“VCBank will invest in fundamentally strong undervalued, finance-seeking small to medium enterprises (SME’s) with market and revenue growth potential, in addition to a vast array of real estate investment opportunities given the increased demand and appetite for real estate investment products especially in the GCC.”
VCBank brings together prominent business leaders from across the Arabian Gulf with Al Sulaiman Group from Saudi Arabia being the strategic partner. With an authorized capital of 500 hundred million dollars and a paid up capital commitment of 50 million dollars 25 million of which has already been committed by the Founding Shareholders, VCBank will have a strong shareholder base that is geographically well spread and diversified in terms of business line, background, risk profile and investment preference. Moreover the shareholder base will have strong sourcing capacity and significant investment placement power throughout the GCC, with the aim of having an ownership structure of 40% from Saudi Arabia, 20% from Kuwait, 10% from the Kingdom of Bahrain and Qatar, 10% from the Sultanate of Oman and the UAE, 10% from VCBank’s Strategic Technical Partners and 10% from GCC financial institutions.
From his end Mr. Abdul Latif Mohamed Janahi, the Executive Director of VCBank’s Incorporating Committee said; VCBank has linked up with a well established American venture capital firm, Global Emerging Markets Group (GEM Group), as a key strategic technical partner. GEM Group is one of North America’s leading deal origination, advisory, merger, acquisition, corporate finance, and turn-around firms with a strong focus on emerging markets. Furthermore GEM is expected to play a focal role in the creation of a sustainable venture capital culture within VCBank.
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