First Energy Bank capital fixed at $1bn
Manama, June 15, 2008
The initial private placement offering for First Energy Bank (FEB) has been finalised at $1 billion due to a significant increase in investor demand.
'The accumulated experience of these shareholders working together in the energy field will immediately give us a foundation to build a truly special kind of bank,' said Gulf Finance House chairman Esam Janahi.
'First Energy Bank also benefits from the different core competencies each of them brings across financial services, the oil and gas industry and the high net worth market.
'For this kind of reaction to come within just weeks of the initial announcement demonstrates how GFH's loyal investors support our vision of contributing to socio-economic change through innovative projects,' said Janahi.
The bank's core activity in the oil and gas sector will include direct investment, the purchase of shares in private companies, Islamic financing, financial advisory and asset management. After obtaining regulatory approvals, the proceeds of the capital raising will be used to implement the business plan for the bank.
With a focus on the energy industry, FEB will seek to provide capital and expertise to private sectors with sound project concepts.
At the same time, regional companies already serving the energy sector, but lacking the necessary resources to expand, will also be targeted for investment.
FEB is to be incorporated as an Islamic Wholesale Bank regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and to be constituted as a closed Bahrain joint stock company.
The founders believe that significant and unique opportunities for private investment currently exist in the GCC region due to the paradigm shift in global energy consumption and the projected growth in demand of industrial capacity.
GFH is a recognised global pioneer in 21st century energy projects with their visionary concept of a network of energy cities.
Following the announcement of the fourth Energy City project in Libya that succeeded Energy City Qatar and the announcements of Energy City India and the Caspian Energy Hub in Kazakhstan, establishing a bank focused on the provision of tailored services to the energy marketplace was the logical next step in its continued commitment to the sector.
'We as the founders will help the bank establish its operational infrastructure swiftly and effectively in order to take advantage of that strong sector knowledge and a wide network of client and investor relationships.
'The strong regulatory requirements and principles of the CBB have been essential in increasing the interest and comfort levels of investors. They have helped establish a truly strong base from which to build. We are also grateful to Bahrain, which has supported our initiatives as a whole and paved the way for us to make FEB the first energy focused Islamic investment bank in the world.'
Shareholders of the bank include leading Middle Eastern and North African companies and high-profile investors.
Mideast firms investing in the project include Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, Tasameem Real Estate, Dubai Investments, Emirates Islamic Bank, GFH, Khaleeji Commercial Bank, Capital Management House, Bahrain Islamic Bank and Al Jabr Trading Company. Shaikh Dhiab bin Zayed Sultan Al Nahyan and Shaikh Mohammed Al Amoudi are also shareholders for FEB.-TradeArabia News Service