New sharia-compliant investment house to target India, China

October 11th, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Oct 11 (IANS) A new Islamic finance or sharia-compliant investment company targeting the markets of India, China and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been launched in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).Amara Holdings, launched by Newhaven Investment House, will focus on pre-IPO, private equity and private placement opportunities.

The company has already put in place key strategic partnerships with Indian, Chinese and MENA partners, according to an Amara statement.

“The current market environment presents us with significant opportunities as the price of assets in our target markets have reduced and we are now seeing valuations at very attractive multiples,” Musab Jassim, executive chairman of Amara Holdings, said here.

“Our strategy is to focus on sectors that are fundamental to the domestic economies and growth of China, MENA and India,” he added.

According to Jassim, this will consistently provide investors with private equity returns, regardless of market cycles.

The company will invest in sectors that are fundamental to the domestic economies and growth of the target regions such as agriculture, consumer staples, utilities, industrial, real estate and service related businesses.

Amara said in its statement that it aimed to raise up to $200 million initially during October, principally from investors in the Gulf region.

It is also planning to list on London’s Alternative Investment Market.

“Amara is unique as it offers investors packaged exposure to these growth regions and by virtue of its London listing, the highest levels of transparency and corporate governance,” Jassim said.

The new company has already made its first investment in China in partnership with Pan China Construction Group.

The first of the joint ventures, China Infrastructure Corporation, has already been formed, which will develop a logistics park called Ningxia International Logistic Centre in Ningxia province of China.

Newhaven Investments House, the company formed specially to manage Amara, is a collaboration of two leading firms, Newhaven Merchant Bankers and Investments House.

Newhaven Merchant Bankers has offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Investments House is the investment arm of a prominent Gulf-based family.

The new sharia-compliant investment company has been launched even as Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Market launched the world’s first ever master agreement on Islamic finance this week.

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