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QINVEST: Championing islamic finance
Shahzad Shahbaz

Shahzad Shahbaz
CEO of QInvest

Islamic finance has been growing at twice the rate of conventional financing because of the increasing range of financial instruments now more readily available.

Enter QInvest, Qatar’s first and leading Islamic investment bank. With authorized capital of $1bn and paid up capital of $750m and growing, the bank is making a huge impact in Qatar and beyond. While QInvest now focuses on doing business in the Middle East, Malaysia, South Asia, Africa, Indonesia and Turkey, the firm is well positioned to look at investment opportunities in Europe, the U.S., and other parts of Asia.

QInvest is organized around four main business lines: investment management, investment banking, wealth management and brokerage, currently being developed. The bank creates world-class products and services, and benchmarks itself against both Islamic and conventional financial institutions.

With a 45% stake in the bank, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) lends it credibility in the marketplace. Other major investors across the Gulf region, including major blue-chip companies, family offers and private institutions, own the remainder.

CEO Shahzad Shahbaz describes the two main strategic investments made to expand. “The first was our 47% investment in Panmure Gordon, a 130-year old British brokerage firm. Their expertise is key as we build the pan-regional brokerage business. There’s also our 25% investment in Ambit, one of India’s top investment banking firms. This gives our clients access to the Indian market, in which there is an increasing interest,” he says.

Last September QInvest and Fortis Bank Nederland closed a first round of $100m financing for their Shari’a compliant mezzanine shipping fund. “Investor demand for the product has been considerable, reflecting interest from both Shari’a and conventional investors alike who seek to diversify their portfolios,” Shahzad added.

As for the near future, QInvest expects to launch a regional private equity fund focusing on growth companies in the MENA region.

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