UPDATE 1-Bahrain's Elaf Bank has sukuk mandates worth $1.5 bln

* Mandates range between $100 mln and $1.2 bln

* Elaf to arrange 3 Malaysian sukuk

* Sukuk issues planned in first quarter of 2012 (Adds quotes, details)

ABU DHABI, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank Elaf Bank has secured sharia-compliant bond mandates worth at least $1.5 billion from three Malaysian firms, its chief executive said on Monday.

The Islamic bonds, or sukuk, are being planned for the first quarter of 2012, Jamil Jaroudi told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

“We have mandates from three Malaysian corporates to issue sukuks in the Malaysian market,” said Jaroudi.

He added the sukuk were of varying sizes, ranging from $100 million to $1.2 billion but declined to name the issuers.

Elaf Bank will be the sole arranger of the three sukuk in Malaysia, but other banks may join the deal at a later stage.

The company started as a sukuk exchange centre but converted into an Islamic bank after the financial crisis. It secured a licence to open a branch in Malaysia in June this year.

Jaroudi said the bank is also looking at expanding into other Islamic markets.

“It will help us create corridors between Islamic hubs,” he said, declining to name potential target markets.