Islamic Finance

July 24, 2010 (LBO) – A start-up Sri Lankan bank that has just raised 3.2 billion rupees in capital through a private placement wants to lure Middle Eastern funds and lend for infrastructure projects, an official said. Amana Bank is part of Sri Lanka’s Amana Islamic finance group that already has insurance and merchant banking units and wants to get into commercial banking with a post-war economic boom anticipated in the island.

Amana Bank Limited said it had raised 3.2 billion in capital through a private placement by selling 631.9 million 5.00 rupee shares from both foreign and local investors.

A company spokesman said the Amana group has a deposit base of seven billion rupees and a lending portfolio of three billion.

The bank, which will start operations after getting a formal banking license from the central bank, will use the Amana group’s network of 14 branches.

“Amana Bank will be the first fully-fledged (Islamic finance) commercial bank to operate on the Sharia principal,” said Riyaz Mihular, partner and head of advisory services at KPMG Ford, Rhodes, Thornton & Co, financial advisors and placement agents for the private placement.

“All other Islamic finance operations are windows of no