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7 October2009
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Malaysia’s Khazanah to take 25% stake in Dubai-based firm

Malaysia’s state investor Khazanah Nasional Bhd will invest 525 million ringgit ($150 million) to acquire a 25 percent stake in Dubai-based Islamic firm Fajr Capital Ltd to seek out opportunities in Islamic financial markets, local business daily the StarBiz reported.

Khazanah managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the move was aimed at providing cross linkages between Malaysia and key Muslim markets.

“Islamic financial services are a key priority for Malaysia, and Khazanah’s participation in Fajr Capital reflects our commitment to this area,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“This partnership also embodied Malaysia’s deepening links with the Middle East and broader Muslim world – regions that are important sources of capital and attractive markets for us to invest in,” said Azman, who is also a director with Fajr Capital.

The acquisition of Fajr Capital was completed with the conclusion of its first round of funding with commitments amounting to 2.06 billion ringgit ($588 million).

Its other shareholders are a private firm MASIC (a member of Al-Subeaei Group of Saudi Arabia) and other investors, including the sovereign investment agencies, Brunei Investment Agency and Abu Dhabi Investment Council.

Based in the Dubai International Financial Centre in Dubai, Fajr Capital also has offices in Kuala Lumpur and London.

Its management team consists of well-known professionals in the international Islamic finance industry, led by Iqbal Khan, the founding chief executive of HSBC Amanah, the global Islamic financial services division of the HSBC Group.

Khazanah said Fajr Capital would be an active and enabling investor in its portfolio companies, helping to optimise performance through best-in-class products, service standards, technologies and syariah expertise.

Independent syariah supervisors have also been appointed to ensure consistency with Islamic legal and ethical principles.

“The firm’s management and founding shareholders believe that Fajr Capital represents a compelling and timely proposition in the current economic environment,” Khazanah said.

Meanwhile, a Bernama report quoted International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed as saying that efforts were underway by Khazanah and the Qatar Investment Authority to establish a joint investment fund.

“I hope Khazanah will draw up several strategies and recommendations for further perusal with Qatar authorities.

“What’s certain is Qatar is very keen to invest in Malaysia. They need concrete proposals from Malaysia and we are confident Khazanah and others are drawing up definite proposals for the consideration of the Qatar Investment Authority,” he said.



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