Wednesday, May 21, 2008

IB Asia commits US$200m of deals in 1Q08

The Islamic Bank of Asia (IB Asia), a unit of Singapore's DBS Bank, announced the signing of over 20 significant cross-border capital transactions worth more than US$500 billion (RM1.62 trillion) in its first year of business.
IB Asia has committed US$200 million (RM649.1 million) of deals in the first quarter (1Q) of 2008, DBS Group Holdings Ltd said in a statement released yesterday.
The unit of Southeast Asia's biggest bank has been an aggresive player on the Islamic finance front in this region since it was established in May 2007.
Among the deals it had committed in 1Q08 is as the mandated lead-arranger in a US$250 million syndicated Mudaraba financing facility for Tamweel PJSC, a UAE-based Islamic mortgage company.
It was also appointed the mandated lead-arranger in a US$400 million syndicated dual currency ijarah financing facility for Al Jaber Transport & General Contracting LLC, a UAE-based company with interests from manufacturing to real estate.
In conjunction with its first anniversary this month, the statement said IB Asia has also opened its first representative office in Bahrain at the Bahrain Financial Harbour to provide the Islamic bank easier access to shareholders and customers in the Gulf.
Headquartered in Singapore, IB Asia is a joint venture between DBS Bank and 34 investors from families and industrial groups based in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The bank's Shariah board consist of renowned Islamic scholars like Sheikh Dr Mohamed Ali Elgari, Dr Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah, Dr Mohd Daud Bakar and chaired by Bahrain-based Sheikh Nizam Yaqouby.
"IB Asia's rapid progress is particularly encouraging because it underscores our progression from a newcomer to an innovative financial services provider that became profitable within the first 12 months," said IB Asia chairman Abdulla Hasan Saif, who is also the economics affairs advisor to the Prime Minister of Bahrain.In its first year of operation, the statement said IB Asia has focused on establishing itself in the wholesale financing markets and developed a platform of financing structures including trade finance and large-scale syndications.It also built a range of treasury services from the provision of foreign exchange to money market activities.
IB Asia's CEO Vince Cook said the next phase is to launch more complex treasury products, including a proprietary and efficient profit rate swap structure, FX forwards, cross currency ideas and structured products.
"These structured products will position IB Asia as one of the few standalone Islamic banks able to provide the type of investment solutions coming from international investment banks.
"We will be able to offer investors greater exposure to underlying assets such as commodities, equities and FX and where required, provide capital protection," he said.

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