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First Islamic financial services firm launched

The company has been formed by a group of Gulf-based NRI businessmen and the KSIDC

BS Reporter  |  Kochi 

Kerala industries minister P K Kunjalikkutty announced the launch of Cheraman Financial Services Ltd (CFSL), first Islamic financial services company in the country.

The company has been formed by a group of Gulf-based NRI businessmen and the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).

P Muhamed Ali, chairman of the company said, CFSL received permission from the RBI to work as a non-banking financial services company, and from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to enter into venture capital (VC) funding.

It will commence its first commercial venture at Kannur, in association with Kannur Muslim Juma Ath. The company will also venture into infrastructure projects and assist various start up projects as partners of the projects, Ali said.

CFSL will have an initial capital of Rs 1,000-crore and Rs 250-crore will be earmarked for venture capital funding.

KSIDC will be the single largest shareholder in the company with 11 per cent shares. The other individual shareholders can hold a maximum of 9 per cent.

The Sharia-compliant CFSL will launch road shows in various cities of India and the Gulf countries from next month.

"The NBFC will desist from charging interest on loans or give interests on deposits. However, it will target sectors like infrastructure, services and manufacturing sectors and keep off from restrictive areas including liquor, tobacco, gambling and speculation," noted Ali in a press conference.

CFSL, a few months ago had launched its Cheraman fund, a Rs 250 crore capital venture fund that provides equity funding to viable ventures, both for start-up entities and for expansion of existing entities.

The company said its other group entities include Cheraman Funds Management Ltd and Cheraman Infrastructure Private Ltd.

Cheraman fund, with a corpus of Rs 250 crore, provides equity funding to viable ventures, both for start-up entities as also for expansion of existing entities. The fund focuses on manufacturing and service sectors with special focus on Kerala, while the infrastructure entity has been established to carry out infrastructure development activities through build, operate & transfer (BOT) and other related modes.

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First Published: Sun, August 18 2013. 20:44 IST