Investment bank Gulf Finance House has moved to capitalise on the global energy shortage with the launch of a Shariah bank, the first targeting the energy sector.
GFH, the Islamic investment bank, which built the Bahrain Financial Harbour and has planned an energy cities in India and Libya, said the new bank will fund oil and gas projects.
The Bahrain-based energy bank will have a paid-up capital of $750 million (Dh2.75 billion) and has received initial approval from the Bahrain Central Bank, GFH Chairman Esam Janahi (pictured above) told reporters on Tuesday.
Vahan Zanoyan, Chairman and Chief Executive of PFC Energy International, which is advising on the creation of the bank, said: “The most important aspect of the global oil and gas sector at the moment is the vast energy constraints occurring simultaneously on the entire revenue chain.
“Every single one of the sectors within the oil and gas sector has capacity issues. To fill the gaps the world will need trillions of dollars, not millions, in investment. I could see this adding up to $10 trillion over next 30 years to solve the problems of oil and gas constraints.”
The creation of First Energy Bank is in response to the huge demand for investment in the global energy sector over the next 25 years, Janahi said. Energy projects in the Gulf and North African regions will need about $280bn of investment in the next five years, he said.
First Energy Bank will provide Shariah-compliant products, including equity investment and underwriting new energy facilities, project financing and syndication. It will also seek to acquire energy businesses for public companies, as well as manage energy asset portfolios, GFH said in a statement.
“Although there is focus on high oil prices at the moment, the real story in the oil sector is the constraints it is experiencing,” Zanoyan said.
Partners in the new bank include Emirates Islamic Bank, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Kuwait Investment Company, Khaleeji Commercial Bank, Energy City Qatar, Capital Management House, Qinvest and Sheikh Diab bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
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