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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Amanat shifts Dh700m into Sharia-compliant deposits

Investment firm transforming into Islamic entity

“We are entering a new chapter for Amanat with a clear and unique value proposition centered on education and healthcare sectors in the GCC and beyond," Amanat Holdings vice-chairman Shamsheer Vayalil said. Pawan Singh / The National
“We are entering a new chapter for Amanat with a clear and unique value proposition centered on education and healthcare sectors in the GCC and beyond," Amanat Holdings vice-chairman Shamsheer Vayalil said. Pawan Singh / The National

Amanat Holdings, a GCC healthcare and education investor, moved Dh700 million of its cash into Sharia-compliant deposits in banks in the UAE from conventional ones as it seeks to transform itself into a company complying with Islamic finance.

“Our vision is to be the investment partner of choice in health and education and we aspire to expand our geographic reach beyond our core market, the GCC,” said Hamad Al Shamsi, Chairman of Amanat, said in a statement on Thursday.

“The health and education sectors are both already acknowledged by scholars as being consistent with established Sharia practices so our decision to embrace compliance is a natural and progressive step that supports our mission and vision.”

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After shifting the Dh700m into Sharia-compliant deposits, the company’s remaining deposits in conventional accounts stand at 27 per cent. That’s below the 30 per cent threshold required to be counted as Sharia-compliant.

Amanat’s investments are split equally between healthcare and education with 51 per cent of those investments in Saudi Arabia and 49 per cent in the UAE. Amanat has made investments valued at Dh1.1 billion, comprising 43 per cent of its paid up capital. In all, its Sharia-compliant deposits stand at Dh1.8bn, some 73 per cent of its total assets.

“We have taken steps to move towards becoming a Sharia compliant company by deploying excess cash in Sharia-compliant deposits,” said Shamsheer Vayalil, vice chairman, managing director and chief executive officer of Amanat.

“These steps, we believe, will reflect positively on the company and deliver more value to shareholders. We are working closely as a team to drive growth and value to our shareholders and we have successfully deployed almost Dh400m in leading assets since December 2017.”