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Saturday, 15 December 2007

Unicorn chief wins top Islamic finance award

MANAMA: Unicorn Investment Bank founder and chief executive Majid Al Sayed Bader Al Refai has won a top award. He was recognised for his 'Outstanding Contribution to the Industry' as part of the 2007 Islamic Business and Finance Awards. The awards are based on peer recommendations and are designed to recognise and reward excellence throughout the global Islamic finance community.
"Mr Al Refai is well-known throughout the Islamic finance industry as a pioneer, a leader and an innovator," said organiser of the awards, CPI Financial chief operating officer Nigel Rodrigues.
"He has dedicated his career to promoting Islamic finance, which is clearly his passion and a deeply held belief - and not simply another way of doing business. It is a most deserved award."
Mr Al Refai is considered to be one of the pioneers of Islamic finance and has been an active proponent of the industry for over 20 years.
He has a wealth of experience in Islamic product development and has established several Islamic finance institutions throughout his career, including Commerce MGI in Malaysia and First Islamic Investment Bank, now Arcapita, in Bahrain.
He established Unicorn Investment Bank in Bahrain in 2004.
To date, Unicorn has advised, structured and successfully placed deals with a total value of over $3 billion.
It was a good night for Bahrain at the awards ceremony in Dubai as Gulf Finance House won the Best Islamic Investment Bank award and Kuwait Finance House in Bahrain received recognition as for creating the Best New Product.
"With all eyes now on the Islamic finance industry due its constant solid performance and its promise of stability and success, it has become vital to have performance benchmarks for this industry," CPI Financial managing editor Paul McNamara said.
"This year's response to the Awards is an excellent example of what has become an increasingly vibrant, mainstream and global industry with a lot of clout and even greater potential."
The Islamic Business & Finance Awards were launched in response to the phenomenal growth of the Islamic finance industry, currently estimated at $500 billion.
Readers of Islamic Business & Finance magazine from across the world cast their votes for winners from a shortlist created by a judging panel of rating and consulting organisations. --(GD, 14 Dec 07)

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