(MENAFN - Arab News) The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group, hosted a high-level meeting recently with committed shareholders for a new national home finance company being launched under the brand name of Bidaya.
The meeting was held at ICD headquarters to discuss the status of Bidaya's development and to plan and agree upon on crucial next steps leading to the company's launch.
Commenting on the project, Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of ICD, said: "The passage of the Mortgage Law and recent release of draft regulations are giving the industry much needed clarity and direction." Al-Aboodi added: "The commitment of ICD and the Public Investment Fund are now augmented by an influential group of investors which includes some of the Kingdom's top institutions and family offices. These investors recognize Bidaya's social impact in facilitating home ownership across the Kingdom and agree that the time is ripe for a platform like this."
The consensus from the meeting is that Bidaya should push forward aggressively in order to be launch-ready in time with a finalization of regulations, said the CEO.
Capitas Group International (CGI), an international management firm with experience in setting up and launching Shariah-compliant mortgage and real estate finance platforms, has been working under the direction of the Bidaya sponsors to prepare the platform for launch.
Naveed Siddiqui, CEO of CGI, said: "We are excited about moving forward. Our team is focused on achieving full operational readiness and will now start to address the last phase of platform delivery which includes system testing, key personnel recruitment and location identification and build out."
With the firm backing of its sponsors, Bidaya's development has been ongoing despite uncertainties caused by the previous delays in the passage of the Mortgage Law.
As the founding sponsor of the venture since 2010, ICD has remained committed to the project and now expects Bidaya to be ready to submit its application for an official license as soon as regulations under the Mortgage Law are finalized by SAMA.
ICD, an active investor in housing- related initiatives, is a major sponsor of Ewaan Global Residential Company, which is developing several residential projects in Riyadh and Jeddah.
ICD is also working to expand options for Shariah-compliant real estate finance in several other OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) markets, in collaboration with CGI.
In addition to the housing sector in Saudi Arabia, ICD is also a key sponsor in a SR 1 billion SME Fund, which also includes investment from the Saudi Credit and Savings Bank.