Jordan's banks buy into national investment fund

Published July 20th, 2016 - 05:30 GMT
The Central Bank of Jordan said that banks can invest up to 10 percent of their capital. (File photo)
The Central Bank of Jordan said that banks can invest up to 10 percent of their capital. (File photo)

Jordan's banks have accepted the government’s call to contribute to the Jordan Investment Fund (JIF) by buying stakes which will be established and listed in the Amman Stock Market as a public shareholding company, a senior official announced.

During a meeting with the chairpersons of the banks’ board of directors and heads of several blue chips on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Jawad Anani, said that the contribution of the banks would serve national economy and generate revenues, especially since the projects on the drawing board are lucrative.

In a previous statement, Anani said that the company will start to perform its operations in Saudi Arabia and will address sovereign, Arab and foreign funds and Jordanian investors to contribute in the capital.

For his part, Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) Governor Ziad Fariz said that banks can increase their contribution as the CBJ’s rules allow banks to invest up to 10% of their capital, adding that the current total investments of local banks in companies do not exceed JD430 million, although they have a margin of investment up to JD3 billion.

President of the Association of Banks in Jordan Musa Shehadeh said that there is an initial agreement from the banks to contribute the needed percentage of the JIF Company’s capital, adding that there is a possibility to increase the percentage in accordance with the projects to be announced and implemented later.

The JIF aims at investing in national development projects based on profit to attract money needed to implement mega projects in strategic sectors like transportation, energy, water and infrastructure.

By Mohamad Al Daameh

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