Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 25 March 2007 ¿ Kuwait Finance House (KFH), a leading Islamic financial institution headquartered in Kuwait, through its subsidiary, Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad (KFHMB), is partnering with Belanie Management Limited (Belanie), a Hong Kong-based privately owned international real estate investment company, and Chongqing Risun Industry Group Co., Ltd. (Risun Group), a leading Chinese private enterprise headquartered in Chongqing with diversified business interests, to establish the first sino-foreign real estate joint venture corporation in Chongqing. Chongqing is the most populous city in the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Representatives of KFH, Belanie and Risun Group met with the Vice Mayor of Chongqing Municipal People's Government, Mr. Wu Jianong, and other government officials in a closed door session, before proceeding to a signing ceremony in Chongqing to mark the inauguration of their strategic partnership last Tuesday.
The arrangement paves the way for the parties to leverage on one another's strengths and vast business networks and resources. The partnership aims to play an important role in the financial and economic development of Western China, particularly in Chongqing.
As a first step of the partnership, KFHMB has entered into an Islamic funding arrangement with Belanie for an investment in the sino-foreign joint venture with Risun Group, which is presently developing a well-known mixed-use real estate project in Chongqing, namely Jahoo Hongkong City. The Jahoo Hongkong City development project comprises among others, retail and residential components.
"Through this partnership, KFHMB will be the first Islamic bank to be involved in a corporate real estate transaction in Western China. This is part of KFHMB's plan to increase its investment opportunities in the region. We are interested to participate in Chongqing's development along with its people and society in a range of sectors, including infrastructure and manufacturing, primarily because Chongqing is not only one of the fastest growing major cities in the world with vast development potential but it is also rich in history, culture and natural resources," commented Mr. K. Salman Younis, Managing Director of Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad.
"This is also consistent with the PRC Central Government's policy to enhance the development of China's western region with Chongqing as its main gateway," added Mr. K. Salman Younis.
In his signing ceremony speech, Mr. K. Salman Younis highlighted that such strategic partnership could play an important role in enhancing the Islamic Financial Industry in the region.
"Our move into Chongqing is strategic and timely as it allows us to participate in the strong economic growth of Chongqing via its real estate market, which is fundamentally healthy and stable. Most of the real estate demand is generated by owner-occupiers, which is conducive for us as a long-term investor," said Mr. T. Szen Low, Director of Belanie Management Limited. He added, "We look forward to strengthening our business relationship with KFH and Risun Group through more cooperative opportunities. Both KFH and Risun Group are respectable partners to work with."
About Kuwait Finance House
Incorporated in the State of Kuwait in 1977, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is listed on Kuwait Stock Exchange. A market leader in the Islamic banking industry in Kuwait, KFH is engaged in providing Islamic banking services, including consumer banking, real estate financing, lease financing, trade finance, direct investments and portfolio investing, all of which are conducted in strict compliance with Islamic law. As of 31 December 2006, KFH has assets totalling over US$21.84 billion and a net profit of over US$560 million. KFH has been accorded an upper medium grade (high creditworthiness) investment credit rating of ¿A2' by Moody's Investors Service, as well as ¿A+' by Standard & Poors and Capital Intelligence. Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad (KFHMB) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of KFH and was officially opened on 17 February 2006. KFHMB has an initial paid-up capital investment of RM380 million. The Rating Agency of Malaysia last year has assigned respective long and short term general ratings of ¿AA2' and ¿P1' to KFHMB.
About Belanie Management Limited
Belanie Management Limited (Belanie) is a Hong Kong-based privately owned international real estate investment company. Belanie's directors and executives have over 25 years of combined investment experience in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
About Risun Group
Chongqing Risun Industry Group Co., Ltd. (Risun Group), headquartered in Chongqing, has nine subsidiaries spanning various business sectors, including food and beverages, biotechnology, trading of medicinal and health care products and property development and management. Risun Group, a leading private enterprise in Chongqing, has a registered capital RMB170 million with total assets of over RMB1 billion. The company has approximately 700 employees and generates an annual sales of approximately RMB500 million. Risun Group has been decorated with multiple awards and titles such as "China Trustworthy Operating Enterprise," "Chongqing Best Citizenship" and "Chongqing Top Fifty Private Enterprise".