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MENAFN - Arab News - 07/12/2013
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(MENAFN - Arab News) The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) announced the launch of its first project in Palestine, a specialized Ijara company, in partnership with the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) and the Palestine Islamic Bank (PIB). The announcement was made during an inaugural event in Ramallah attended by a number of ministers and government officials, and representatives from the Palestinian financial sector and the business community.

Leading the inauguration event, Maher Al-Masri, chairman of the Palestinian Capital Markets Authority, noted that the Palestine Ijara Company (PIC) was the first of its kind in Palestine as it specialized in Shariah-compliant financing. The financial instruments offered by Ijara will add significant depth to the Palestinian financial sector and will tremendously benefit the Palestinian SME segment."

Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Chairman of PIF Mohammed Mustafa said: "PIC will offer multiple leasing products that are new to Palestine." He added: "We are also particularly proud of partnering with ICD. And I would like to take the opportunity to thank ICD CEO Khalid Al-Aboodi for the efforts to ensure the success of this unprecedented partnership. We hope that this partnership represents the beginning of a fruitful relationship between our organizations."

Mahmoud Al-Khoshman, ICD's adviser and representative on the board of the Palestine Ijara Company, remarked: "The ICD is honored to partner with major Palestinian investment and banking institutions such as the Palestine Investment Fund and the Palestine Islamic Bank. Through this partnership, we aim to assist Palestinian SMEs in fulfilling their growth potential by offering them Islamic-compliant financing products."

Al-Khoshman added: "The project, which is the first of its kind in Palestine, is 100 percent Shariah-compliant. The Palestine Ijara Company will help add depth and diversity to the Palestinian financial services sector. This is also the first engagement of ICD in Palestine and it will be followed by more to come in the future. As a strategic partner in the company, ICD will utilize its extensive experience and expertise, which we have accumulated over the course of establishing 17 similar Ijara companies across the Islamic and Arab world, to ensure that the company meets its stated goals and objectives."

Durgham Maraee, chief investment officer of PIF, noted that PIF will be
executing this transaction through its specialized SME investment and financing arm, Sharakat Fund. He added: "The fact that the three partners complement each other will ensure the success of the company and optimize its positive impact on the development of the SMEs sector."

Bayan Qasem, acting GM of the Palestine Islamic Bank, said: "The establishment of the Palestine Ijara Company (PIC) marks a significant milestone in the development of the Palestinian Islamic financing sector. PIC's work will complement the Palestine Islamic Bank's efforts to strengthen the presence of Islamic-banking in Palestine."

The new company, the Palestine Ijara Company (PIC), will offer asset-based Ijara financing to SMEs in various economic sectors, including agribusiness, industry, construction, education, health care, and tourism. The financing will range between 100,000 and 1 million per transaction, and will aim to grow the operations of SME's and ultimately to create many new job opportunities in Palestine.


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