new-middle-east-infrastructure-financing-initiative

New Middle East infrastructure financing initiative

Financial institutions launch an infrastructure finance initiative for the Middle East and South Asia.
Three Middle Eastern financial institutions propose to put up to $6 billion in authorised capital to set up a new investment bank under the name of InfraCapital. The new bank will focus on the financing of infrastructure investments in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region.

InfraCapital is the creation of an alliance between the Gulf Finance House, Ithmaar Bank and the Abu Dhabi Investment House. The banks plan $1.5 billion in paid up capital, allowing InfraCapital to offer focused financing packages to transport, power generation, water, energy, education and social infrastructure projects.

ôThe pace of innovation in what is a booming GCC infrastructure sector cannot be understated,ö says Ithmaar Bank co-CEO Mohammed Hussain. ôGiven the depth of infrastructure experience inherent in the alliance, we are uniquely well placed to create a bank that will serve the many pioneering projects.ö GCC refers to the Gulf Cooperation Council, which consists of six states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Abraaj Capital, a Dubai-based private equity firm, estimates that the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region will require at least $630 billion in infrastructure investment by 2016.

Gulf Finance House, Ithmaar Bank and the Abu Dhabi Investment House all have previous experience in infrastructure financing. On its website, Gulf Finance states that it specialises in creating innovative finance packages for infrastructure projects. Ithmaar Bank and the Abu Dhabi Investment House both have practical experience investing in real estate development and master-planned urban planning projects throughout the region.

In addition to InfraCapital, the three financial institutions will also establish AgriCapital and the Unique Global Islamic Hospitality Development Fund. AgriCapital will be similar to InfraCapital, except it will create innovative funding plans for agricultural projects. The Unique Global Islamic Hospitality Development Fund will focus on the financing of new and existing hospitality companies and properties.

Gulf Finance House, Ithmaar Bank and the Abu Dhabi Investment House will operate all three initiatives as separate business entities with independent management teams.
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