Abu Dhabi Investment House Seeks Brunei Opportunities

Abu Dhabi Investment House Seeks Brunei Opportunities

By Hadi DP Mahmud

Bandar Seri Begawan – Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADM) is in talks with Brunei Darussalam government agencies to explore opportunities of establishing in the Sultanate, The Brunei Times learned yesterday.

The business opportunities the company is considering include the offering of Syariah-compliant financial investments and the infusion of equity in Brunei projects that fit in its aim to diversify its business scope into agriculture, pharmaceuticals and clean energy, ADIH spokesperson Noora Al Nusuf said in a phone interview yesterday.

“We’re in talks with government agencies not just on investments in Brunei, but as well as on products that we can offer that will have high returns on investments for Brunei in general,” she said, declining to reveal details of the company’s plans in Brunei as the talks are going on.
“We’re mandated by the hoard to have at least 90 per cent, if not 100 per cent, of the products that we offer to be Syariah-compliant. We think Brunei will be a very good market for that.”

ADIH, which is looking at expanding to newer geographies in the region such as Singapore, Korea, China, Vietnam and Malaysia, has expressed interest in Brunei due to its location, economy and its interest in Syariah-compliant products, said Noora.

“We feel Brunei is a very unique market, compared to (others in) the region. We feel there is an untapped area there that is worth exploring and further studying,” she said.

As we’ve seen from the economic situation/turmoil, that companies which are Syariah-compliant are the least affected. So we feel that at the moment it presents the most successful and secure model. We think by offering a Syariah-compliant portfolio, its a safe win-win situation for both the investors and the company, depending on the sector involved,” she added.

The investment house saw a net profit of US$71 million, reflecting an 18 per cent in crease from US$60 million in 2007.

ADIH’s total income for 2008 was US$116 million, a 36 per cent increase from US$86 million in the previous year.

“The investment house will continue to expand geographically to chase business opportunities and would diversify its investment portfolio by including two new business sectors of clean energy and pharmaceuticals,” ADIH chair-man Jowaan Awaidha Al Khaili said in a statement.

The investment house, which is looking at markets like North Africa, Asia and Europe, last year launched an Indian Entertainment City Fund, a US$400 million Syariah-compliant fund to invest into a real estate project in India.

The firm launched a US$3 billion mega luxury living, leisure, and entertainment project in Qatar.   — Courtesy of The Brunei Times