Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based investment bank with global reach, announced its intention to invest Saudi Riyals 23 million (US$6.1 million) in Ethraa Capital, an investment company under establishment with joint venture partners from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Ethraa Capital, once licensed by the Saudi Arabian Capital Market Authority (CMA), will offer a full range of investment banking activities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and eventually elsewhere in the GCC. These will include corporate finance, brokerage, portfolio management, private placement, advisory, arranging, custody and related services.
The company will be principally owned by Saudi-based Atheeb Trading, Kuwait Investment Company (KIC) and Ithmaar Bank, with the remainder held by other Saudi investors. Ithmaar Bank will have a 23 per cent stake in the new entity. Ithmaar Bank has already received approval from its regulator, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) for this proposed investment.
“While Ithmaar Bank is a globally focused institution, we are also keen to strengthen our foothold in key GCC markets such as Saudi Arabia. Ethraa Capital is the right vehicle to help us achieve this,” said Khalid Abdulla-Janahi, Chairman, Ithmaar Bank. “There are approximately 78 companies authorised by the CMA to conduct some or all of the business lines that Ethraa Capital plans to launch. We believe that there is much room for growth in the vast and highly liquid Saudi Arabian market and we believe that we have the right partners in place to help us add value for our investors,” he added.
“Ithmaar Bank has a solid team in place, led by its CEO Michael P. Lee, which will be working closely with Ethraa in its early days. Ethraa Capital will also be staffed with highly skilled investment professionals, who will gain the trust of high net worth individuals and institutional investors in Saudi Arabia and undoubtedly help make it one of the premier companies of its kind in the Kingdom,” continued Janahi.
The proposed company will be headquartered in Riyadh and may open branch or affiliated offices within Saudi Arabia and elsewhere as it expands.