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ADIC sets up Dh2.2bn Islamic investment partnership

Fajr Capital, based in Dubai International Financial Centre, will focus its investments in financial services and key Muslim markets.

Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC) has set up a US$600 million (Dh2.2bn) Islamic investment company in partnership with the sovereign wealth funds of Malaysia and Brunei, it was announced yesterday. Fajr Capital, based in Dubai International Financial Centre, will focus its investments in financial services and key Muslim markets, the firm said yesterday.

In addition to the Abu Dhabi Government-backed ADIC, the founding shareholders are Khazanah Nasional of Malaysia, the Brunei Investment Agency and a private Saudi Arabian firm The Mohammad & Abdullah al Subeaei Investment Company. On top of initial capital of around $600m, the firm had access to further funding, it said. "The global financial crisis has highlighted the need for an ethical and community-based approach to investment," said Iqbal Khan, chief executive of Fajr Capital CEO. "The Islamic financial services industry is strategically positioned to fulfil this need in our target markets."

He said the company aimed to work with local partners and management to grow its portfolio companies with the aim of increasing the overall market share for Islamic financial services. Fajr Capital also has offices in Kuala Lumpur and London. The firm's launch was an indication of the renewed appetite for dedicated institutional investment funds in the region following the global financial crisis, said Fahd Iqbal, a strategist at EFG-Hermes ().

"Interest in dedicated funds for the region has been growing over the last few years, that's been disrupted by the financial crisis, but it is now picking up again," he said. Fajr Capital's board is headed by Sheikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, chairman of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions. He was formerly founder of HSBC's Islamic banking unit. @Email:tarnold@thenational.ae

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