First Islamic Investment Bank (FIIB), a new Bahrain-based investment bank, says it has raised $100 million in a private equity placement – double its original target. Shareholders include the Abu Dhabi Investment Company (ADIC) and The Arab Investment Company (see below).

‘The logic of going from $50 million to $100 million was that instead of doing two deals we can maybe do four,’ says chief executive Majid al- Refai. ‘We think Islamic commercial banks have done a good job. Now it’s high time that we serve high net worth individuals, governments and

institutions as well.’

Al-Refai adds that the private placement took five months because the bank wanted to get a broad geographical spread of investors. The shareholders, a mixture of private investors and institutions, break down roughly as follows: Saudi investors – 37 per cent, Kuwaiti investors – 26 percent, UAE investors – 14 per cent and Malaysians – 14 per cent. The rest is owned by Bahrainis, Qataris and Omanis (MEED 11:4:97).

FIIB absorbed Majestic Global Investments, a Kuwait-based finance company with a subsidiary in Malaysia which has been active in structured finance deals with a minimum size of about $250 million. Al-Refai says FIIB will do similar business in Malaysia and Indonesia and is looking at opportunities in the Gulf, possibly in partnership with Western banks. FIIB also has an Islamic equity fund ready to launch, but will probably wait for a weakening of the current global bull market.