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Saturday, 11 October 2008

Shariah-compliant Investment Company Amara launches today with first investment into China

Prominent GCC investors have already committed significant capital
Key strategic partnerships established in China, MENA and India
Private Equity returns from Emerging Markets investments
Dubai, 11 October 2008 - Newhaven Investments House announces today the launch of Amara Holdings Inc ('Amara' or 'the Company'), a Shariah-compliant investment company which focuses on pre-IPO, private equity and private placement opportunities predominantly in China, as well as MENA and India. Amara has already made its first investment into China with its key strategic partner, Pan China Construction Group. Prominent GCC investors have already committed a significant amount of capital to Amara. These include Khalid Al-Mukairin Group (KSA), Al Sorayai Group (KSA) and Ahmed Alkhemeiri (UAE). Two further GCC investors, Mohammed Alkhalil (KSA) Ahmad Al Omani (Kuwait) are also Amara Board members.
The Company invests in sectors that are fundamental to the domestic economies and growth of the target regions such as agriculture, consumer staples, utilities, industrial, real estate and service related businesses. Key strategic partnerships are already in place with prominent Chinese, Indian and MENA partners ensuring a strong deal pipeline. This strategy will ensure that Amara will be resilient to any global downturn.
Amara's initial investments are in China. The Company has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pan China Construction Group, formerly a part of the Ministry of Construction and with strong ties to the Chinese government, to co-invest in Sino-foreign joint ventures. The first of the joint ventures, China Infrastructure Corporation Limited ('CIC'), has already been formed. CIC, which is 51% owned by Amara, will develop a logistics park, called Ningxia International Logistic Centre, in Ningxia province of China. Pan -China's strong government connections enable it to expedite the development entitlement process. Pan China expects to maintain a substantial development pipeline from which Amara will benefit.
Dr Musab Jassim, Executive Chairman, Amara Holdings Inc said:
"The current market environment presents us with significant opportunities as the price of assets in our target markets have reduced and we are now seeing valuations at very attractive multiples. Our strategy is to focus on sectors that are fundamental to the domestic economies and growth of China, MENA and India. This is to consistently provide investors with private equity returns, regardless of market cycles. Amara is unique as it offers investors packaged exposure to these growth regions and by virtue of its London listing, the highest levels of transparency and corporate governance."
Amara aims to raise up to US$200m initially during October, principally from investors in the Gulf region. The road show, which starts today, will visit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain. Amara is also planning to list on London's Alternative Investment Market shortly after closing, ensuring investors benefit from private equity investments with public equity liquidity.
Amara is developing a well diversified portfolio of assets targeting small and middle market size companies with solid fundamentals, strong management and significant growth prospects. This will include taking strategic stakes in assets that constitute control or significant minority positions.
Amara is an offshore company pursuing an onshore listing. This tax-efficient structure will free up additional capital, thereby increasing Net Asset Value per share. The company will adhere to strict corporate governance and disclosure including frequent reporting of financial and operational results.
Amara is run by Newhaven Investments House, a company formed specially to manage Amara. It is a collaboration of two leading firms, Newhaven Merchant Bankers and Investments House. Newhaven Merchant Bankers has offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia and its principals have a strong track record managing over US$4.5bn in transactions in the target markets. It is a successful money manager returning net of 297% over the past 18 months in its flagship fund. Investments House is the investment arm of a prominent GCC family with in-depth knowledge of Shariah finance and local markets and has completed close to US$1.7bn of successful transactions.

(Zawya)

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Alfalah Consulting-Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com 
Islamic Consultant & Trainer: www.ahmad-sanusi-husain.com 
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

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