Arqaam Pioneers New Silk-Road Connecting Asia and Africa to Arab Investors
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Arqaam Capital, which earlier this year advised the Jordanian-based CTI Group on a strategic cement-related acquisition in Indonesia, is pioneering a strategy to build bridges across the ‘New’ Silk Road – linking corporations, family groups and financial institutions in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
“The stagnation in Western markets allows us to develop a golden triangle connecting Middle East investors to attractive opportunities in both African and Southeast Asian markets,” said Tamer Makary, Arqaam’s head of corporate finance. “Arab players are now perceived as more strategic investors, with genuine operational and managerial value to add across the Islamic corridor of countries in Asia and south along the Nile Basin,” said Makary, who travels almost weekly to Nairobi and Jakarta.
Arqaam Capital’s corporate finance team, led by the Columbia University-educated graduate, has made a name for itself in its first year by uncovering growth-oriented investment opportunities in key emerging markets for regional investors. In line with the newly adopted strategy, the Dubai-based investment bank this month secured Qatar National Bank, the gulf state’s biggest lender by assets, as a potential “Standby Buyer” for a Rights Issue planned for the first quarter 2011 on behalf of Bank Kesawan, a publicly listed commercial bank with 33 branches across Indonesia. The three-year old Arqaam’s first foray into building bridges along the new Silk Road, named after the ancient trading routes between the Middle East and Asia, was in March when it acted on behalf of CTI, a cement and clinker trading company that owns and operates assets globally, to secure a strategic investment in Indonesia’s largest independent clinker grinding unit in Batam, owned by Bosowa Corporation. “Arqaam’s expertise in working the various issues of cross-border transactions, including structuring, governance issues and the regulatory environment were instrumental in the success of this deal,” CTI Chief Executive Officer Mazen M. Dajani said at the conclusion of the deal.
Makary’s reputation for cross-border mid-market transactions was acknowledged last year when he led a team that acted as exclusive buy-side advisor to Seera Investment Bank (formerly United International Bank) in its leveraged acquisition of Britain’s BWA Water Additives, which was named the 2009 “Deal of the Year – Islamic Finance Award” for Europe from The Banker, a Financial Times Group publication. Three years after opening its doors, Arqaam now has a staff of 65 professionals and is actively seeking to enlarge its regional footprint through acquisition of related businesses in the region’s most populous country, Egypt, in the Middle East’s biggest economy, Saudi Arabia, and its wealthiest, Qatar. The planned expansion, which includes opening a research division in Beirut next month, will fuel additional, much welcomed, coverage for all of Arqaam’s seven individually growing business lines.
Arqaam Capital Limited
Level 27, Index Tower
Dubai International Financial Centre
PO Box 506687 Dubai
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 (0)4 507 1700