Shaheen-Hamad-Al-GhanimKUWAIT: Warba Bank, a leading bank in Kuwait, yesterday announced the acquisition of equipment leasing portfolio managed by ATEL Capital Group, an independent equipment lessor based in the United States of America becoming the first Kuwait enterprise to invest with the company.

The acquisition of portfolio is in line with Warba Bank's strategy of capturing attractive sharia compliant investment opportunities regionally and internationally, while diversifying its asset base and enhancing the global scale. As part of the transaction, the Bank has initially invested US$8.2 million in a diversified portfolio of Operating leases comprising of high-quality low-tech low-obsolescence mission-critical equipment leased to investment grade corporations in United States.

Established in San Francisco, California, in 1977, ATEL has originated and managed over $2 billion of equipment leased to primarily investment grade US corporations. Over the last three decades, ATEL has built a reputation as one of the largest independent equipment leasing enterprises in the United States.

The acquisition also brings ATEL together with Warba Bank's expertise in providing innovative sharia-compliant financing solutions to its customers. This acquisition is also an important step in adding high quality and innovative assets to Warba Bank's portfolio while strengthening its competiveness in the local marketplace.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for Warba Bank and enables us to further extend our leadership position in marketplace," said, Shaheen Hamad Al-Ghanim, Deputy CEO for Investment & Treasury, Warba Bank. "ATEL Capital Group is a globally respected equipment leasing firm with a dedicated team of investment professionals who have extensive experience and knowledge of the US market, with an ambition to expand its geographical footprint."

"The bank's strong reputation in Kuwait, combined with ATEL's global expertise in the equipment leasing sector undoubtedly provides a strong foundation for a successful partnership. This acquisition is an important step in our strategy of seeking international exposure and diversifying the assets and a new chapter in the Warba Bank story."

Warba Bank, an Islamic Bank established by virtue of an Amiri Decree, was officially registered in the Central Bank of Kuwait's register of Islamic Banks on April 5th, 2010. The State of Kuwait, Warba Bank offers a wide range of customized Sharia compliant services and solutions which are available through the Bank's three Business Groups: Retail Banking Group, Corporate Banking Group, and Investment and Treasury Group. Branching out in 8 strategic locations, Warba Bank has over 300 employees.