With a focused strategy to invest in private equity and real estate in Asia Pacific region, Al Salam Bank-Bahrain has recently revealed its plans to invest in private equity in China. The deal comes after only 9 months of investing in a real estate project in Penang Island in Malaysia in 2006.
“Al Salam Bank-Bahrain aims to adopt a strategy targeting investments in Asia & Asia Pacific region as they enjoy substantial untapped investment opportunities in focused sectors such as alternative energy.” Commented Dr. Omar Marwan Kamal, Executive Vice President -Head of Investment Group.
He added that the distinctive features of China’s economy, which experienced a double digit growth in 2006, has encouraged the Bank to inject capital that suits investment requirements of several Chinese companies, which meet standard criteria of obtaining targeted IRR not less than 25%.
Additional criteria include investing in small to medium-sized companies that are also profitable and located in industrialized and highly developed Chinese regions such Jiangsu, Shandong and Fujian. In addition, these companies have strong opportunity for achieving substantial growth, and ability to become pioneers in their respective fields. “The Bank intends to invest in these companies through strategic equity stakes, which allows us to provide the required advisory and expertise in order to develop the companies’ operations to meet the international standards for a profitable exit strategy”, stated Dr. Kamal.
For this purpose, Al Salam Bank-Bahrain has singed a strategic partnership agreement with CMIA Capital Partners, one of the reputed fund managers that operate through offices in Shaghai and Singapore, with a successful track record in the Chinese private equity market.
Yousef Taqi, Chief Executive Officer of Al-Salam Bank-Bahrain added that the Bank has successfully achieved geographical expansion during its first year of establishment while its investment activities have experienced distinctive deals. The China deal is one of the results of the continuous success stories of the Bank’s investment arm.
Al Salam Bank Bahrain Incorporated on 19 January 2006 in the Kingdom of Bahrain with a paid-up capital of US$ 318 million (BD 120 million), Al Salam Bank commenced commercial operations on 17 April 2006. The Bank operates under Islamic principles in accordance with regulatory requirements for Islamic banks set by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The Bank’s vision is to become a leading force in the Islamic financial services industry by providing a differentiated Sharia-compliant offering to focused segments in selected markets.
The Bank’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 35 per cent of the paid-up capital was oversubscribed 63 times and raised over US$ 7 billion (BD 2.7 billion) making it the largest IPO in the Kingdom’s history. The Bank was subsequently listed on the Bahrain Stock Exchange on 27 April 2006.
The founding shareholders of Al Salam Bank hold 65 per cent of the paid-up capital. They include Emaar Properties, Amlak Finance, Dubai Investment Group, Dubai Holding and Global Investment House, together with other strategic shareholders from across the Middle East
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