Bahrain-based Venture Capital Bank, known as VC Bank, signed an agreement with Cyprus-based Lemissoler Shipping Group to start a venture in the Gulf. Lemissoler Maritime will have $166 million (Dh609.2m) of start-up capital and will buy, own and operate container ships, VC Bank said.
Lemissoler has started its operations by initially acquiring five specialised vessels that transport paper products from mills in Canada to the United States and South America.
The company has also identified eight container ships that will be acquired in two phases during 2008 as “expansion fleet”.
These vessels will be on long-term charter contracts with companies that are 10 largest container companies worldwide.
All of the initial fleet vessels are registered with the Lloyd’s Register, the leading maritime classification society and independent risk management organisation. Abdullatif Mohammed Janahi, board member and Chief Executive Officer of Venture Capital Bank, said: “We have been planning to invest in the shipping industry for a while. The industry is considered the life blood of the global economy since it is directly linked to the world’s booming trade activity, and it is responsible for carrying 90 per cent of world trade.
“We are proud to offer this investment opportunity, which is Shariah-compliant, to our investors who will receive an annual dividend yield of nine per cent payable every six months.”
Philippos Philis, board member and Chief Executive Officer of Lemissoler Shipping Group, said: “The group selects its partners carefully, and with Venture Capital Bank’s reputation and its extensive investments in the region, the bank was the first choice of the group to achieve its strategy to expand Lemissoler’s business.”
VC Bank forms shipping venture