QInvest may arrange sukuk sales in Qatar next year

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Qatar-based investment bank QInvest is in discussions with a borrower in the Gulf nation to arrange the sale of an Islamic bond in the first half of next year.

Qatar-based investment bank QInvest is in discussions with a borrower in the Gulf nation to arrange the sale of an Islamic bond in the first half of next year.

QInvest LLC, a Qatari Islamic investment bank, is in discussions with a borrower in the Gulf nation to arrange the sale of an Islamic bond in the first half of next year, chief executive Shahzad Shahbaz said.

The bank, which is 35 percent owned by Qatar Islamic Bank, may also help another entity raise funds, Shahbaz said in a telephone interview from Doha on Sunday, declining to provide details. QInvest ranked 13 among 31 sukuk underwriters this year, arranging $250m of the notes, or 1.8 percent of the total $13.7bn, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales of Islamic debt from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council dropped 40 percent to $4bn so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, the nation’s biggest Sharia-compliant lender, sold $750m of similar-maturity debt on September 30, and received $6bn of orders.

“Given the fact that the Qatar Islamic Bank transaction was so successful, I think there may be a number of potential issuers who may want to tap the sukuk market,” Shahbaz said.

QInvest may expand its business in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Turkey by the end of 2012, Shahbaz said. “I think we will look to have some sort of presence in each of these markets in the next 12 to 18 months,” he said.

The bank provides investment banking, brokerage and wealth management services, according to data on the website.

QInvest, which has $1bn of authorised capital, doesn’t plan to sell its stake in London-based stockbroker Panmure Gordon & Co Plc, he said. The Daily Telegraph reported in October that QInvest has asked Lazard Ltd. to advise it on its options concerning its stake in Panmure.

“We’ve never said that this stake is up for sale,” he said. “Now, if tomorrow people come and make offers and proposals, we’ll consider them.”

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