Al Mal Capital, a UAE investment company, has been officially provided an initial approval by the UAE Central Bank.

The company, spearheaded by UAE banker Naser Nabulsi, is under formation as a multi-line investment banking enterprise.

The formal launch will be in the last quarter this year.

On completion of its formation with both the Ministry of Economy and Planning and the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, the company will be capitalised at Dh1.2 billion.

Of this, Dh540 million (45 per cent) will be held as founder shares and the remaining Dh660 million will be raised in an initial public offering (IPO), intended for July 2005.

The 82 founding shareholders represent a cross-section of leading UAE national families and institutions, and include three strategic regional industry participants.

"This is a truly homegrown pan-UAE institution that intends to establish offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with a listing on the Abu Dhabi Securities Market," said Nabulsi.

The company plans to identify proprietary investment opportunities while providing underwriting capacity to companies that seek to introduce securities to the capital markets.

"Our aim is to provide a premier service to investors who are actively seeking advisory assistance from professionals in the market," said Nabulsi.

"It is our intention to radically change the quality of advice and professional investment services available to companies and private investors in the UAE, and through strategic alliances with regional financial institutions in the broader region."

Managed on a day-to-day basis by a team of investment bankers with successful track records and experience in the region, the company intends to uphold the highest standards of integrity in corporate governance and operational quality, Nabulsi added.