QInvest, Qatar's leading investment bank, has won the prestigious 'Sharia Fund of the Year' award at the Global Investor Future of Capital Markets forum in Dubai.
Demonstrating its strong focus on product innovation, QInvest and joint venture partner ABN AMRO, (previously Fortis Bank Nederland) , won the 'Sharia Fund of the Year' award by successfully closing the US$ 75million financing for the first ever Sharia'a compliant Mezzanine Shipping Fund.
"The award expresses our commitment to contributing to the development of the Islamic financial services industry by offering innovative Sharia'a compliant investment solutions to our investors in the GCC region," says QInvest's CEO Shahzad Shahbaz.
Representing QInvest at the award ceremony in Dubai, Faiz Nassim, Head of Financial Institutions and Structured Finance, commented:
"QInvest is honoured to be awarded 'the Sharia'a Fund of the Year' award. We are committed to continually developing innovative financial solutions and responding to client appetite for Sharia'a compliant products that provide investors with upside potential and an opportunity to diversify their portfolios.
Investor demand for Islamic structured financial solutions has been considerable, reflecting interest from both Sharia'a and conventional investors alike who seek an opportunity to diversify their portfolios in terms of sector and asset class.
QInvest is providing investment opportunities particularly in the region given the uniqueness of product offered. Relatively few credit fund investment opportunities have existed in the recent past within the GCC, where the majority of proposals take the form of equity funds.
QInvest CEO Shahbaz said: "This accolade is a significant achievement for the experienced and talented team we have assembled at QInvest. The Fund's investment rationale was driven by a shipping industry in need of a more favourable financing approach offered by sharia'a investment."
Lately, QInvest has acquired a 28% stake in Asian Business Exhibition & Conferences Ltd (ABECL), India's leading exhibitions and conferences organizer to further expand ABECL's operations in India and to establish an international presence. This investment fits well into the firm's strategy of supporting well-managed companies with strong growth potential in the MENASA region, and demonstrates confidence in the Indian economy and clients appetite to deploy capital in one of the world emerging markets.
Based on a philosophy that "with trust comes sharing, through sharing comes partnership and through partnerships, value is created", QInvest has created a unique platform with strategic partnerships in the region and beyond. The platform offers a broad range of expertise which enables QInvest to deliver a high value service to clients, seamlessly covering advisory, financing and investment needs. The business lines include investment banking, investment management, brokerage and wealth management; with dedicated origination and placement teams.
To further strengthen its international reach, QInvest made two important strategic investments. The firm took a 47% stake in Panmure Gordon PLC in 2009 leveraging the experience and track record of the 130-year-old UK stockbroker/investment bank together with its US Investment Bank subsidiary, ThinkEquity, to forge ahead with plans to launch a pan-Middle East, institutionally focused Brokerage business. Second, the firm took a 25% stake in Ambit, one of India's leading investment banking firms, giving clients access to this high growth market in which many investors have expressed keen interest.