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Monday, 27 August 2007

Islamic Sukuk issue for Al Rajhi Cement Investment Company

Siraj Capital Ltd, Al-Aoun Capital Group S.A and Capital Investments - the investment banking arm of Capital Bank of Jordan - have announced the signing of an agreement with Al Rajhi Cement Investment Company, newly incorporated in the Dubai International Financial Centre. The agreement mandates Siraj Capital Ltd, Al-Aoun Capital Group and Capital Investments as co-arrangers for the issuance of US$595 million worth of Islamic bonds, or Sukuk, for Al-Rajhi Cement Investment Company. This Sukuk issuance, considered the first of its kind in the cement industry across the region, will finance Al Rajhi Cement’s investments in the region, with the incorporation of new cement plants and the expansion of one existing facility. The signing of the agreement took place on Wednesday in Amman, represented by Mr. Samer Berekdar, CEO of Al-Rajhi Cement, Mr. Ibrahim Mardam Bey, CEO of Siraj Capital Ltd, Mr. Maher Othman VP of Siraj Capital, Mr. Bassam Fadel Ali, CEO of Al-Aoun Capital and Mr. Haytham Kamhiyah, General Manager of Capital Bank / Deputy Chairman of Capital Investments. Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Ibrahim Mardam Bey stated: “We look forward to working on this asset backed transaction and hope it will be a benchmark for Sukuk structures in our region.” Mr. Bassam Fadel Ali said:” There has been growing interest in the Islamic Finance sector in the region and we are proud to be a contributing factor in developing these competencies” Haytham Kamhiyah added: “Al-Rajhi’s choice in our institutions is a testimony to our ability to support and lead financial development in the region. We welcome Al-Rajhi and look forward to strengthening our collaboration with them in their future endeavours.” Islamic Sukuk sales reached an unprecedented US$ 24.5 billion by the second quarter of this year. Meanwhile, Mr. Samer Berekdar from Al Rajhi Cement Investment said: "We are proud of working with such leading financial institutions. Their extensive knowledge in issuing financial securities will definitely encourage further cooperation. As Al Rajhi Cement Investment, we are confident of our future success based upon Al Rajhi’s reputable business standing, our continued investment in assets and human capital and the size of our operations under development.” Al-Rajhi Cement Investment Company is a subsidiary of Al Rajhi Group, which has more than 45 years of experience in the cement industry in Saudi Arabia and the region. Siraj Capital Ltd is a Middle East based investment firm, specializing in developing innovative Shariah compliant investment funds and opportunities focused on the region. Siraj has offices in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dubai. Al-Aoun Capital Group an investment company with a diverse portfolio of international investments in, Financial services, Communications, and Real estate. Al-Aoun Capital Group has offices in Panama City, Amman, and Madrid.Capital Investments is the investment banking arm of Capital Bank, wholly-owned by the Bank. Capital Investments demonstrates broad experience in all areas of corporate finance, asset management and capital markets. - (AB, 26 Aug 07)

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