PLUS Markets Group, an investment exchange based in London, and Amara Dhari, a special purpose vehicle set up by a syndicate of Middle East investors, concluded an agreement for Amara Dhari to acquire a 17 per cent shareholding for around $8 million (7.5p per share).
Amara Dhari is a limited liability company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Two new board members from the Middle East are appointed as non-executive directors of the firm: From their release: "(1) Ahmed Ibrahim Al Asfour, a prominent businessman from a well regarded GCC family, spent his early career working for oil companies. From 1992 to 1996 he worked for the Ministry of Oil for the State of Kuwait and presently serves as Chairman and CEO of Ritaj Insurance Company as well as holding a number of other board appointments. (2) His Excellency Hisham S. Al Otaibi, the former Minister of Commerce and Industry for the State of Kuwait. He has been a member of the Kuwait Supreme Petroleum Council since 1999. His Excellency currently serves as a director of the Kuwait Stock Exchange, having formerly been its President and is Chairman of Contracting & Marine Services Co."
So what other benefits can a Middle Eastern group like Amara Dhari give to a UK firm? According the company statements, Amara Dhari and its shareholders intend to use their relationships with financial institutions, high net-worth individuals, family and international companies headquartered in the GCC to drive Islamic and other companies and products onto PLUS’ primary markets and promote dual listings; introduce GCC financial institutions, banks and other organisations to PLUS; introduce trading members to promote cross-trading; work with PLUS in the creation of a Shariah compliant trading platform or segment; and finally assist PLUS in establishing a presence in the Middle East.
Seems like great benefits for just $8 million.