QInvest, which has advised on sukuk transactions totalling $3.5bn in 2013, expects increased activity for Islamic deals in 2014 from within and outside the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. pictured "We think 2014 could be the year that sees Islamic finance become a much more mainstream product, and we have an exciting pipeline of deal flow that will see us working very closely with corporates and sovereigns that are looking for ways to diversify their funding through Islamic finance," Tamim Hamad al-Kawari (), CEO of QInvest, said. He said 2013 was an exciting year for QInvest, which saw it involved, in close co-operation with Qatar Islamic Bank , in some of the largest and most successful sukuk transactions of the year. It was also a landmark year for the Islamic finance sector as new markets have recognised the benefits, both as a funding source and as an investment, he added. During the year, QInvest acted as joint lead manager and book runner for Ooredoo's $1.25bn , five-year sukuk, which was part of a $2bn programme. This was Ooredoo's first ever Islamic bond and was the first dollar-denominated sukuk issued globally using an innovative airtime structure. QInvest also acted for Turkey as joint lead manager and book runner on the sovereign's second sukuk; a $1.25bn issue, which was oversubscribed 6.2 times, following that country's first sukuk in 2012. In May, QInvest was one of the joint lead managers for Saudi Arabia-based developer Dar Al-Arkan's $450mn sukuk, an offering that provided diversity to sukuk investors. This followed on from QInvest's co-manager role on Turkiye Finans' $500mn debut sukuk issue. "These transactions form a key part of QInvest's new strategy to deliver long term sustainable growth and reinforce the bank's position as a leading Islamic financial institution," its spokesman said.
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