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Refile british govt investment scheme used for islamic solar project

(Clarifies fee structure in 7th par)By Bernardo VizcainoJune 12 A British government investment scheme could become a platform for Islamic financial investments in the country, says a company which is using the scheme to establish a small solar power plant. The government's Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) helps small trading companies raise finance by offering tax relief to investors.

British-based Islamic financial advisory firm Simply Sharia plans to raise 3 million pounds ($5 million) by the end of June to build the solar plant, using the tax relief to create a wakala funding structure, said chief executive Faizal Karbani. The project has been vetted by Bahrain-based Islamic advisory firm Shariyah Review Bureau and will be managed by London-based Gardner Asset Management LLP, which is now seeking a suitable site for the solar farm in Britain.

Islamic finance has grown rapidly in its core markets in the Middle East and southeast Asia, but expansion elsewhere has been slow partly because asset transfers expose sharia-compliant structures to high taxation.

EIS could address this issue as it provides investors with income tax relief at 30 percent, capital gains tax exemption, loss relief and 100 percent inheritance tax relief. Under the wakala structure used by the solar project, one party acts as agent (wakil) for another, charging an agency fee and a performance fee which mirrors the setup of a conventional solar EIS. Revenues will be generated from government-backed renewables obligation certificates, which are tradable green certificates issued by the government to producers of renewable electricity, and from selling power generated by the solar farm, said Karbani.

Rlpc rac launches $2 bln loan refinancing

Oct 14 A 1.25 billion pound (1.99 billion US dollar) loan for Britain's second largest roadside recovery group RAC that will refinance existing debt and enable shareholders to take a dividend has launched for syndication, banking sources said on Tuesday. Barclays, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs and Nomura are providing the debt financing which follows Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC's acquisition of a stake in RAC from U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group last month. GIC's acquisition halted RAC's plans for a listing. The dividend recapitalisation - a process whereby existing debt is refinanced and increased to enable shareholders to take a dividend payment - will be shown to investors at a bank meeting on October 16 in London, the banking sources said.

The covenant-lite financing includes a 965 million pound term loan B; a 50 million pound revolving credit facility (RCF); and a 235 million pound strategy investment loan structured as a second lien tranche. A portion of the second lien has already been preplaced with GIC, the banking sources said. Pricing will emerge on Thursday at the bank meeting. It is expected to be around 475 basis points (bp) over Libor on the TLB; 450bp over Libor on the RCF; and 725bp over Libor with a 1 percent Libor floor on the second lien, the banking sources added.

Debt to earnings are in the mid-5s through the senior and high-6s in total, the bankers added."Investors do like the deal but it is a lot of sterling to raise," an investor said.

Funds which do not have sterling will need to factor in around 70bp-80bp extra in costs to swap from sterling to euros, the bankers said. This is the third dividend taken by Carlyle since it acquired the company in 2011 from Aviva for 1 billion pounds, backed with 620 million pounds of debt. It took a 183 million pounds dividend in 2013 and 260 million pounds dividend in 2012, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data. RAC has about 8 million members and responded to around 2.5 million breakdowns in 2013. The business had core earnings of 156 million pounds last year. (1 US dollar = 0.6281 British pound)

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