International Finance

Guidance Financial Group actively develops solutions in both primary and secondary markets for housing finance in selected countries and is expanding our consumer and commercial financial services capabilities.

We combine a deep understanding of financial markets with specific experience in mortgage origination and secondary market operations, along with an informed and practical awareness of the challenges involved in creating enterprises in less developed markets.

Guidance Financial Group saw an exceptional opportunity to transfer its housing finance expertise from its U.S. Consumer Finance operations to Saudi Arabia, where we perceived the market for residential housing financing to be under-served. We acted to create and develop, Dar Al Tamleek.

Guidance is investigating opportunities to originate housing finance mortgages in additional predominantly Islamic countries. We are exploring as well possibilities for partnering with sovereign and institutional entities in emerging Islamic countries to establish secondary markets for residential mortgages.

In addition, Guidance is expanding into related consumer and commercial financial services with the development of an Islamic bank in Morocco.

Dar Al Tamleek’s first Shariah-compliant home contracts were offered to Saudi nationals in November 2008. The company quickly became the market share leader for residential mortgages in the Kingdom. Dar Al Tamleek currently operates in the key Saudi cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

Dar Al Tamleek was appointed as the exclusive representative of the Saudi Public Pension Agency’s Masakin program, which seeks to encourage home ownership among government employees. In addition to working closely with Masakin, which is the largest employer program in the Kingdom, Dar Al Tamleek has formed strategic alliances with private employers, realtors and real estate developers to help their businesses succeed by aiding their employees and customers in obtaining appropriate housing finance.

Guidance developed the idea, business plan, products, risk analysis and advanced information technology systems for Dar Al Tamleek, raised capital from a distinguished group of Saudi investors, hired the management team, and launched this “best practices” housing finance company. Guidance continues to be involved in the company as technical advisor and member of various specialist committees.

As with Guidance Residential, the success of Dar Al Tamleek is based on providing a high level of customer service, including education and rapid communication of application status. Dar Al Tamleek Home Finance Specialists are trained to educate customers directly or through seminar programs so they can make informed decisions when choosing a home finance product. The Dar Al Tamleek Shariah Board functions as the authoritative body for determining Shariah compliance.

Dar Al Tamleek’s high technology platform enables customers to be pre-qualified online within seconds and their application status determined within 48 hours of the receipt of all required documentation. This contrasts with approval delays of weeks to months from competitive companies. Other customer service best practices include full disclosure of product features and terms, less paperwork, and longer amortization periods. As Dar Al Tamleek is not a bank, customers gain the flexibility to choose their own banks to process their payments.

Dar Al Tamleek has more than 15 corporate and institutional investors, including the Saudi Public Pension Agency. It represents another example of Guidance creating a new cutting-edge company that meets the needs of homeowners and provides high quality investments in targeted growth markets for institutional investors.