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World's first Islamic banking research office launched - UAE

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Group yesterday launched the world's first-ever Islamic banking research office Malaysia-based Islamic Banking Economics and Investment Research that has a team of experts tasked to generate and share knowledge on Islamic finance and capital markets in the Middle East and Asia.

K. Salman Younis, managing director of KFH, said the launch signified the expansion of Islamic finance as an important part of the global financial architecture. "We aim to provide cutting-edge research material which capitalises on economic and Islamic financial research and provides clients with an added value to their investment decisions," he said.

The new research arm of KFH whose total assets reached Dh80.2 billion ($21.84 billion) with a net profit of over Dh2 billion ($560 million) in 2006 is seen to further enhance the sharing of knowledge and resources between two dynamic regions by facilitating investment and information flows. "It has been KFH's declared position that we will continuously seek deal flows not only from the Middle East to Asia but also vice versa, in order to further strengthen the two-way deal flow and encourage stronger bilateral trade relations," Younis said.

Last month, KFH said its first-quarter profit for this year amounted to Dh1.5 billion ($396.4 million), a 42-per cent increase from the same period in 2006.

Baljeet Grewal, chief economist and head of research at KFH, said that accurate and concise market information is crucial at a time when global economics plays a vital role in markets performance. She added that KFH's new research arm is a manifestation of the strong relationship and economic integration between the Middle East and Malaysia.

KFH, which was incorporated in Kuwait in 1977 and is listed on Kuwait Stock Exchange, provides Islamic law-compliant banking services such as consumer banking, real estate and lease financing, trade finance, direct investments, and portfolio investing. (via tradearabia)

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