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BSEC and Shamil launch the ME's first Auto-Backed SUKUK
BSEC - Bemo Securitisation (March 10, 2004)


Beirut, March 10, 2004 - The Beirut based BSEC Investment Bank, and the Bahrain based Shamil Bank announced today the groundbreaking launch of a SR 102 Million Shariah compliant investment SUKUK.

CARAVAN I Limited is the region's first inventory fleet securitisation transaction. The three-year maturity Shariah compliant transaction offers investors a right of recourse to the underlying assets. The SR 102 Million Sukuk is backed by a pool of vehicles and vehicle lease agreements purchased from HANCO Rent A Car, a leading Saudi Arabian car leasing and rental company. BSEC acted as the deal Arranger and Structurer, while Shamil Bank was the Underwriter.

Iad Georges Boustany, Managing Director of BSEC, said that there is a strong demand for Securitisation services in the Middle East. "Securitisation, by converting illiquid assets into marketable securities, adds value to both, the corporations and the investors. Securitisation also helps bridging the gap between corporate finance and capital markets and seems to be the shortest route for GCC based companies to access capital. Furthermore the coming together of Securitisation and Islamic Banking is a force that undoubtedly will reshape the industry over the next few years", he added.

Ibrahim A. Mardam-Bey, Executive Vice President at BSEC, explained the elements behind the transaction: "The Islamic Banking sector is experiencing rapid growth and fuelling a demand for new product structures. At the same time many of the region's companies are looking for alternative financing resources. Islamic and Conventional Securitisation is an ideal financing tool for our region's emerging capital markets."

Nizar Al Shubaily, Group Head, Investment Banking at Shamil Bank, said: " We are excited to bring to the market such an innovative structure. Thanks to our partnership with BSEC, we were able to offer the Islamic Banking sector a new Shariah compliant, groundbreaking investment product. CARAVAN I Sukuk is part of Shamil Bank's focus on catering to the region's rising demand for Islamic investment products and a stepping stone to promote the bank as an innovator in the field of Islamic banking. With its current team in place, Shamil is eager to execute Shariah compliant deals that rely on sound financial grounds and creative structures to bring closer the investor community and the corporate arena in the GCC region.

BSEC Investment Bank is specialized in securitisation, and cross-border structured finance, applying best in class know-how, and innovative financial structures. BSEC has succeeded in providing sophisticated financial services to clients and investors based in the GCC region, and has recently demonstrated the coming together of securitisation and the Islamic banking market. BSEC was established in 1994 as a Financial Institution under Lebanese law and is regulated by Central Bank of Lebanon. BSEC is part of the BEMO Bank Group operating in five different markets: Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, Luxembourg and France. BEMO Bank is listed on the Beirut Stock Exchange.

Shamil Bank of Bahrain is a premier Islamic financial institution dedicated to developing, arranging and distributing Shariah compliant financial products and services. Formed in June 2000 as a result of the merger between Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain E.C and Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf (Bahrain) E.C, the entity holds offshore banking, investment banking, and commercial banking licenses issued by the Bahrain Monetary Agency ("BMA"). The Bank has a paid-up capital of $230million, with an authorized capital of $500million, and manages funds in excess of $2.4billion. The Bank has its registered office in Bahrain with six local branches and a commercial branch in Bangladesh. It also operates in overseas markets through subsidiary, and affiliate companies. The Bank is listed on the Bahrain Stock Exchange and its activities are supervised by BMA and a Shariah Supervisory Board.



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