Sydney, (IINA) – National Australia Bank Ltd has closed its first onshore Islamic financing deal, a A$19.9 million ($14.2 million) arrangement to fund a real estate purchase by Sydney-based asset manager Crescent Wealth, according to Reuters.
The funding platform designed by NAB, the country’s No.4 lender by market value, could help open Australia to Islamic investors from the Gulf and Southeast Asia.
Crescent Wealth used the four-year financing for a A$30.75 million commercial property acquisition in South Melbourne, with plans to build a portfolio of commercial assets across the east coast, said Talal Yassine, managing director of Crescent Wealth.
“It marks a significant moment for the industry in Australia as the funding was supported by an Australian retail bank.”
Until know, such deals had to be purely funded by equity, but the Sharia-compliant structure would help to significantly remove transaction risk, in particular for foreign investors, said Yassine.
“We plan to secure a second asset by year end and again, will be leveraging the existing structure we have with NAB.”
Crescent Wealth, established in 2011, currently has over A$100 million in assets under management across five Islamic funds which include cash, real estate and domestic and international equities.
In April, the firm set up an office in Malaysia and is now considering applying for a boutique fund management license.