Islamic finance awards 2014: Wafra
Best Islamic leasing house
Wafra, a long-time winner of this award, continues to be a leader in Islamic leasing. A period of extraordinary growth in leasing fund assets and commitments, from $19 million in 2005 to $1.7 billion in 2012, appeared to be plateauing in the middle of 2013, but part of the reason for that is the successful repayment of existing leasing funds. In the past 14 years Wafra has structured, implemented and managed 39 leasing funds and fully repaid 22; all have reached their conclusion not only without default but with the achievement of all targeted returns.
Today, Wafra says it is involved in the management of 17 equipment leasing funds with around $2 billion in capital on a Shariah-compliant basis. These fall into two camps: ijarah leasing funds, which target investment-grade and comparable lessees; and structured leasing funds that target a combination of investment-grade and higher-yielding lessees. Yields on these funds have varied over the years from 5% to 9%, but always considerably above treasuries.