Jeddah-based Dallah Albaraka Group is close to launching a new Islamic finance company in Abu Dhabi. ‘Legally everything is in place and all that remains is to get a board elected and put a management team in place,’ says Zain Alabedin, general manager of Bahrain-based Albaraka Islamic Bank. ‘We expect this process to be completed, and for operations to start, within the next month ortwo.’

The new entity, which is to be called National Finance Company (NFC), is to have paid-in capital of AED 50 million ($13.6 million). ‘We have a 25 per cent stake in the company and the rest is held by UAE investors,’ says Alabedin. ‘But we will be responsible for the management of the institution.’

Dallah Albaraka’s stake in NFC will be held by the Bahrain-based Albaraka Banking Group, which is being established as a holding company for the group’s diverse Islamic banking operations. Plans are being pursued for the consolidation of the group’s financial activities into a single entity with a number of subsidiaries, its listing on the Bahrain Stock Exchange, and the sale of55 per cent of the holding company’s equity (MEED 8:10:99).

Alabedin says NFC will initially concentrate on developing a presence in the Islamic retail market, with a focus on the car and housing markets.