June 27 The private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank announced a flurry of initiatives this week and hopes to advise on the mandate for Pakistan's $1 billion Islamic bond, which would cap a landmark year for the Jeddah-based institution.
The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Karachi-based Burj Bank have applied to be advisers on the sovereign deal, meeting with Pakistan's finance ministry earlier this week.
A ministry statement also said that it would review the applications starting next week.
ICD holds a 33.9 percent stake in Islamic lender Burj Bank, as part of its mandate to finance private sector projects across its 51 member countries.
Established in 1999, the ICD has been implementing a new strategy to help widen the appeal of Islamic finance by establishing banks, leasing companies and insurers that following Islamic principles.
Earlier this week, ICD signed separate agreements to help develop Islamic leasing businesses in Malaysia and Uzbekistan, as well as extending $5 million in financing to support SME lending in the former sovier state.
On Wednesday, ICD signed an agreement with the Vienna-based OPEC Fund for International Development to jointly develop the private sector in their common countries of operations.
On Thursday, the ICD announced plans to help develop a special economic zone in Sierra Leone, its first intitative in that African country.
Africa represents around 12 percent of the ICD's cumulative investment approvals since inception, and its chief executive told Reuters in April that it expected this figure to rise in coming years as projects come on line.
Earlier this year the ICD teamed up with Tunisia's newly created sovereign wealth fund, Caisse de Depot de Tunisie, to set up a $30 million fund to support local businesses.
In March, it tied up with Casablanca-based Al Ajial Funds, a unit of sovereign wealth fund Kuwait Investment Authority, to invest in Morocco's private sector.
Senegal-based Tamweel Africa Holding, jointly owned by the ICD and Turkey's Bank Asya, is establishing Islamic banks in Benin and Mali. (Editing by Kim Coghill)