Hong Kong Financial Firm Plans Sharia-Compliant Green Investment Vehicle

Nov 30 2009 | 1:00am ET

Hong Kong-based private equity firm Middle East & Asia Capital Partners Pte (MEACP) plans to introduce a sharia-compliant investment vehicle to its clean energy fund to attract Islamic capital, reports Reuters news agency.

“We plan to create a special vehicle that will attract Islamic finance by adding a sharia component,” said company director Vince Choi.

MEACP plans to expand its clean energy fund, established in 2008, from $400 million to $500 million sometime next year with the launch of the sharia-compliant special vehicle.

Choi said the company was targeting a $100 million first round of funding, to be completed by mid-December.

The fund has seed capital of $20 million from Asian Development Bank, and funding of up to $50 million from Overseas Private Investment Corp. Choi said the fund’s third investor was an unnamed regional commercial bank.

“We’ve set a 12-month deadline from next year to get the rest of the cash,” said Choi. “We’re in the second stage of discussions with potential partners (for the rest of the fund) and I expect this will go on for a few months before we make a single investment.”

Choi said MEACP was considering investments in clean power generating projects in Asia, particularly India, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Possible projects include wind, solar, geothermal, small hydropower and biomass.

Islamic financial products conform to sharia law, which prohibits the paying of interest and involvement in sectors related to alcohol, gambling and pork.

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