Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

Noor Bank raises Dh500m for fixed maturity investment plan with Azimut

European asset manager Azimut's holding company manages assets in excess of $62 billion

Noor Bank chief executive John Iossifidis. The lender is in the middle of a takeover by Dubai Islamic Bank, the UAE's largest Shariah-compliant lender. Victor Besa / The National
Noor Bank chief executive John Iossifidis. The lender is in the middle of a takeover by Dubai Islamic Bank, the UAE's largest Shariah-compliant lender. Victor Besa / The National

Dubai’s Noor Bank, a Sharia-compliant lender in the emirate, raised Dh500 million in a US-dollar Islamic fixed maturity investment scheme in partnership with a Dubai-based subsidiary of asset management firm Azimut Group.

The fixed maturity plan (FMP), raised for the Dubai Financial Services Authority-regulated Azimut, within two-weeks of launching subscriptions is expected to mature in four years. The FMP, which will invest in global sukuk portfolio will pay 5 per cent annual income to investor, the lender said on Sunday.

The Dh507m fixed maturity plan (FMP) to be raised in two-week subscriptions will provide an income of 5 per cent annually after investing in a professionally managed sukuk portfolio.

The transaction will establish Noor Bank's wealth management business as one of the largest distributors of Islamic mutual funds globally with assets under management reaching Dh2 billion.

"Noor Bank’s retail banking strategy is centred around its high-net-worth clients. To ensure we are consistently meeting their requirements, we spare no effort to develop new products and services, and seek lucrative investment opportunities to benefit this segment," said Mufazzal Kajiji, Noor Bank's retail banking head.

"The launch of this four-year FMP reaffirms our commitment to creating diverse investment opportunities for our high-net-worth customers," he added.

Azimut has been in expansion mode in the region, adding investment capabilities in Abu Dhabi this year, while complementing its existing office set-ups in Istanbul and Dubai.

Azimut Group, which manages assets in excess of $60bn, has been in expansion mode in the region, adding investment capabilities in Abu Dhabi this year, while complementing its existing office set-ups in Istanbul and Dubai.

The push into wealth management and adding products such as FMP to its portfolio comes amid a planned takeover of Noor Bank by its larger rival Dubai Islamic Bank, the biggest Sharia-compliant lender in the UAE.

DIB, whose board has recommended the takeover of Noor, is expected to complete all legal procedures related to the evaluation of the deal, it said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market last month

Acquiring Noor Bank would be beneficial to DIB and help consolidate the UAE's overcrowded banking sector, according to Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes.

Mergers of lenders across the region are gathering pace. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s consolidation with Union National Bank and takeover of Al Hilal Bank was the latest deal to be concluded in the UAE, and created the third-biggest lender in the country. In Saudi Arabia, National Commercial Bank is pursuing a merger with Riyad Bank.

Updated: July 7, 2019 07:19 PM

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