Arcapita will double its capital to $800 million by the end of June. The bank will raise $200 million from its existing 180 shareholders and the remainder from new investors.

‘We’ve grown substantially over nine years,’ Atif Abdulmalik, chief executive officer of Arcapita, told MEED on 9 May. ‘The capital increase will support our balance sheet expansion and growth strategy. It gives us the ability to borrow $1,000 million-$1,500 million – that’s a good war chest.’

The bank is eyeing opportunities in China and India. It is planning to establish an office in Hong Kong or Singapore by 2007 and is already recruiting staff. In China, the bank is pursuing private equity and real estate investments. ‘We estimate that as much as half of our business opportunity in China and the rest of Asia will come from taking certain of our US and European portfolio companies into the region and the other part will be purely Asian deals,’ said Abdulmalik.

Brands the bank plans to introduce include the US’ Church’s Chicken, which posted revenues of more than $1,000 million in the year ending February 2006.

The bank expects to complete a substantial European energy sector transaction in the second half of the year. In March, it acquired Norwegian oil and gas services company Roxar for $200 million (MEED 24:3:06).