Unicorn 'near Saudi asset managment deal'
Manama, March 9, 2010
Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank Unicorn is close to signing a 'big' mandate for asset management services in Saudi Arabia, a senior executive said on Tuesday.
'We hope to sign it in the next days,' said Ikbal Daredia, head of the capital markets, institutional banking and treasury unit at the Manama-based bank. He declined to identify the firm or value of the deal.
Asset management is a focus for Unicorn in the kingdom as well as corporate finance, Daredia said.
Unicorn was following a couple of potential mandates in corporate financing, Daredia said, without being more specific. The bank is also in talks with unspecified Saudi family firms to restructure debt, he stated, declining to say more.
Globally, Unicorn wants to arrange Islamic bonds (sukuk), worth between $1.5 billion and $2 billion this year, among them a sovereign bond in Asia. 'We have four to five mandates in the pipeline,' he said, declining to be more specific.'
Unicorn arranged for Saudi real estate developer Dar al-Arkan a sukuk worth $450 million in February and is also active in Asia through a separate unit.-Reuters