Ithmaar Bank to start $1bn fund with Kazakhstan


Ithmaar Bank, the Bahraini Islamic investment bank managing $2 billion (Dh7.3bn), is starting a $1bn energy investment fund with Kazakhstan

to invest in oil and gas infrastructure in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The Ithmaar Kazyna CIS Energy Fund will have a 10-year term, the partners said in a statement distributed at the World Economic forum meetings in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt yesterday.

"Many of the CIS countries are at a crucial juncture in their development as they prepare for greater integration with the global economy," Arman Dunayev, CEO of the state-run Kazyna fund, said in the statement.

Kazakhstan's $100 billion economy has grown at an average of 10 per cent a year since 2000 as the price of oil surged, sparking a construction boom and fuelling demand for goods and services. Oil prices have risen more than five-fold since 2000, and Kazakhstan is the biggest energy producer in Central Asia.

Ithmaar Bank said yesterday its board has accepted the resignation of three board members and appointed Mohammad Hussein as new member.

The board members who stepped down are Graham Walker, Farook Bengali and Mohammed Al Mazroui, the bank said in a statement on the Kuwait bourse website. It didn't give a reason for the resignations.

The number

$100: In billions is the current value of Kazakhstan's economy, which has grown at an average of 10 per cent a year since 2000.