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Author Archives | Laxman

Laxman - who has written 19160 posts on Opalesque Islamic Finance Briefing.


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Oman’s first Mena-focused Islamic fund to be launched next week

Posted on 15 May 2013

Al Hilal Mena Fund (AHMF), an open-ended fund based on Mudaraba structure, operating in accordance to the principals of Sharia is set to be launched on May 22, 2013. The initial subscription period will continue up to June 20, 2013.

Bankers urge Islamic banks to develop their own financial reporting standard

Posted on 15 May 2013

Central banks of the Islamic countries have been urged to adopt a separate set of regulation including a complete new Islamic Financial Reporting Standard to reduce confusion among Muslim scholars, Islamic bankers said.

Sharjah Islamic Bank launches ‘Zone’ package for companies in Al Hamriya Free Zone

Posted on 15 May 2013

Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB), in collaboration with the Al Hamriyah Free Zone Authority-Sharjah, has launched its latest banking programme, the ‘Zone’ package for companies registered in Al Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah, to facilitate and further ease banking procedures and transactions for companies and investors while enabling them to access exceptional services.

Noor Islamic Bank launches reality mobile banking app

Posted on 15 May 2013

Noor Islamic Bank (Noor)’s augmented reality ‘Bank in Your Hand’ smartphone and tablet application is now available for download from Apple’s App Store, the banks announced in a press reealse. Work is also in progress on adapting the app to other smart phone platforms, it said.

Japan: Food producers eye Islamic market

Posted on 15 May 2013

Japanese food-makers are increasingly seeking halal certification for their products, with the global Islamic population forecast to grow from 1.6 billion at present to more than 2 billion by 2030.

MMC gets nod for RM470mln sukuk wakalah

Posted on 15 May 2013

MMC Corp Bhd has received nod from the Securities Commission (SC) to issue up to RM470 million of sukuk wakalah to part-finance the acquisition of operations and maintenance business of Hicom Power Sdn Bhd, for working capital and to help defray any expenses.

CBB’s monthly Sukuk Al-Ijara oversubscribed by 220pct

Posted on 15 May 2013

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) announced today that the monthly issue of the short-term Islamic leasing bonds, Sukuk Al-Ijara, has been oversubscribed by 220%.

UM gets RM239,000 cash rebate from Takaful Malaysia

Posted on 15 May 2013

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd (Takaful Malaysia) has given a ‘No Claim Rebate’ payment of RM239,281 to Universiti Malaya. Takaful Malaysia Corporate Direct Assistant General Manager Noraini Mohd Yusof said the university has been its client for the last two years and has been enjoying the benefits since then.

Financial market will grow strong with strong govt: CIMB Islamic

Posted on 15 May 2013

The financial market, whether Islamic or conventional, will always grow with a strong government and will not be affected by the ongoing protest by the opposition over the 13th general election results, said CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd executive director/chief executive director Badlisyah Abdul Ghani.

Egypt: New sukuk projects awaiting bids

Posted on 14 May 2013

The Egyptian government expects $10bn to $15bn annual investments from projects financed by sukuk said Ahmed El Naggar, an Islamic finance advisor to the minister of finance.

Puncak Niaga seeks approval for warrants, sukuk

Posted on 14 May 2013

Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd is seeking shareholders’ approval for its proposed issuance of 40.91 million free warrants on the basis of one free warrant for every ten shares and a five-year redeemable convertible secured sukuk ijarah of up to RM165mil in nominal value during its EGM set on May 28.

Khazanah gearing for global sukuk expansion

Posted on 14 May 2013

State investment company Khazanah Nasional Bhd is gearing for more innovative investment options to follow its landmark portfolios in the sukuk marketplace. Khazanah has made it its mission to succeed in dealing with the challenging sukuk market, said Khazanah CFO Mohd Izani Ghani.

Sukuk’s success is a matter of maturity

Posted on 14 May 2013

The suggestion can easily be made these days that sukuk as a borrowing and investing instrument is well and truly coming of age. Certainly, there are many voices denoting that the Islamic variant on conventional fixed-income is establishing itself in the financial marketplace, tapping not only into the supposed relative safe-haven appeal of bond-related assets [...]

RAM Ratings ups Menara ABS’s Sukuk outlook to stable

Posted on 14 May 2013

RAM Rating Services Bhd has reaffirmed the ratings of Menara ABS Bhd’s Sukuk and revises the outlook on Tranche A from negative to stable.

Malaysian bond yields likely to spike

Posted on 14 May 2013

Malaysia’s bond yields, which have been near record low of late, could see a slight spike in the second half of this year, according to analysts.

Dubai Investments to complete $300bln sukuk soon

Posted on 14 May 2013

Dubai Investments Company, the quoted investment firm whose portfolio includes the Dubai Investments Park and private equity investor Masharie, has said that the $300m (AED: 1.1bn) sukuk it is planning to raise should be finalised “in the coming quarter”.

Global Islamic banking valued at US$1.5 trillion at end-March: El-Beltagy

Posted on 14 May 2013

The Chairman of Egyptian Islamic Finance Association, Dr. Mohamed El-Beltagy, has revealed that the volume of global Islamic banking has reached US$ 1.500 trillion at the end of last March, citing statistics from international financial institutions.

Ahlibank to launch Sharia compliant MENA fund

Posted on 14 May 2013

Ahlibank will launch Sharia-compliant Al Hilal MENA Fund (AHMF), an open-ended fund based on Mudaraba structure, on May 22. The initial subscription period will continue up to June 20.

Elixir real estate funds follow back to basics fixed income philosophy

Posted on 14 May 2013

Here is a small niche asset backed, unlevered real estate fund that provides fixed income without the implied complications of debt or derivatives. Its manager explains how the fund can return double digits yearly. Elixir Capital, based in Palo Alto, CA, runs an onshore fund called the Elixir PURE Fund. But there is to be [...]

Turkey: New Islamic banks ready to open soon

Posted on 14 May 2013

Turkey has begun to open the doors to giving new banking licenses after the 2001 banking crisis, with no exception for interest-free Islamic banks, called participation banks.

Mauritanian gets new Islamic bank

Posted on 14 May 2013

A new financial institution, Mouamalat Assahiha Bank, has been established in Mauritania to operate exclusively according to the Islamic finance code. “The new bank, with a US$20 billion capital, was set by young and successful Mauritanian business people,’ according to a statement from the bank.

Islamic banking needs separate regulations and reporting standard

Posted on 14 May 2013

Central banks of the Islamic countries have been urged to adopt a separate set of regulation including a complete new Islamic Financial Reporting Standard to reduce confusion among Muslim scholars, Islamic bankers said at a two-day conference.

Major Libyan bank fully integrates into Islamic banking system

Posted on 14 May 2013

Libya’s second major bank Gumhouria Bank, decided to fully move over to the Islamic banking system, Al Jazeera TV channel reported on Wednesday.

Islamic finance: Attractive for non-Muslims?

Posted on 14 May 2013

Would a non-Muslim do better to back ethical rather than Islamic funds? It is often claimed that Islamic finance is not only for Muslims. This has two meanings: (1) Islamic financial institutions will not turn away non‐Muslim customers, and (2) non‐Muslims can provide Islamic financial services. In practice, one can find examples in both directions.

IFSB: Challenges ahead for next few years

Posted on 14 May 2013

If its achievements in the past decade are anything to go by, then the next ten years augurs well for the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the multilateral prudential and supervisory standard-setting body for the global Islamic financial services industry.

IFSB plays key role in market education of Islamic finance

Posted on 14 May 2013

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the multilateral organization established on Nov. 3, 2002 in Kuala Lumpur, with the mandate of promoting the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry through the introduction of standards and guidance notes on capital adequacy, risk management and insolvency provisions for the banking, capital market and insurance [...]

Niger Insurance launches Mutual Halal policy

Posted on 14 May 2013

Niger Insurance Plc has counseled members of the public to embrace takaful insurance as the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is striving to ensure that all adults in Nigeria are adequately protected by insurance.

Aljazira Takaful Ta’awuni sets stage for IPO

Posted on 14 May 2013

Aljazira Takaful Ta`awuni has entered into a new agreement with both Aljazira Capital and Albilad Investment. Aljazira Capital becomes the underwriting manager for the company’s IPO under this deal signed in Jeddah. It also paves the way for Albilad Investment Company to become the underwriter.

Family takaful to drive Takaful Ikhlas’ profits

Posted on 14 May 2013

Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd is looking to boost its family takaful business, regarded as a long term saving mechanism, to drive the company’s growth and profitability further. Its president and CEO Ab Latiff Abu Bakar said Takaful Ikhlas’ family takaful business should grow by another 10% to contribute 70% of its gross contributions in the [...]

Malaysia: Exim Bank plans non-ringgit sukuk this year

Posted on 10 May 2013

Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd (Exim Bank) plans to sell non-ringgit denominated Islamic bonds, or sukuk, in global markets this year to help fund future growth, its managing director Datuk Adissadikin Ali said. He, however, declined to say how much will be issued, except that it will be “significant”.

Malaysia sukuk attracts Manulife, Asian Islamic

Posted on 10 May 2013

Malaysia’s sukuk are luring Manulife Asset Management Services Bhd and Asian Islamic Investment Management Bhd now that the distraction of elections is over.

Jeddah’s IDB unit launches sovereign Sukuk insurance

Posted on 10 May 2013

The insurance product is designed to boost the credit ratings of sukuk for sovereign issuers. A unit of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank, a multilateral lending institution, has launched an insurance product designed to boost the credit ratings of sukuk (Islamic bonds) for sovereign issuers.

Egypt: Sukuk law approved, government to hold two bidding rounds for projects

Posted on 10 May 2013

The Sukuk Law has been approved by President Mohamed Morsi and was published in the official gazette on Wednesday. The government is now set to hold two bidding rounds for sukuk projects, the first to be held in US dollars and the second in Egyptian pounds.

RAM Ratings reaffirms TNB’s AAA sukuk rating

Posted on 10 May 2013

RAM Ratings has reaffirmed the AAA long-term rating of Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s (”TNB” or “the Group”) USD500 million equivalent Murabahah Medium-Term Notes Programme (2005/2025); the long-term rating has a stable outlook.

Asiya Investments launches Islamic trade finance fund

Posted on 10 May 2013

Asiya Investments (Asiya), the Asia specialist investment firm, announced on Thursday the launch of its Asia Islamic Trade Finance Fund, which will invest in select, Shariah-compliant financing of short-term physical trade flows in Asia and the Middle East.

India: RBI will not oppose, if govt allows Islamic Banking

Posted on 10 May 2013

Governor Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Dr D. Subbarao today said RBI will not create any huddle, if Government of India allows Islamic Banking in the country. Addressing a press conference here, after the conclusion of Central Board of Directors (CBD) meeting, the RBI Governor said that different Banks operating in the state will increase [...]

Islamic banking not consistent with existing laws: Reserve Bank

Posted on 10 May 2013

The Reserve Bank said Islamic banking is not consistent with current banking laws in India. “We got to see that Islamic Banking which does not allow charging interest or taking of interest is inconsistent with our existing laws… All that I am saying is Islamic banking is not consistent with current banking laws,” RBI Governor [...]

Now a Shariah Index for financial inclusion of Indian Muslims

Posted on 10 May 2013

Followers of Islam, the second largest faith in the world with an estimated 1.7 billion believers, can now be surer when an Indian firm stands the pre-requisites for observant Muslims. The Shariah index launched by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is a new measure in town, assuring compliance with the Islamic canonical law.

Pakistan regulator sets up Shariah advisory board

Posted on 10 May 2013

Pakistan’s securities commission has established a nine-member Shari’ah advisory board to oversee Islamic finance instruments in the world’s second most populous Muslim nation, a centralised approach increasingly being adopted elsewhere around the globe.

Thailand: Finance Min injects 6 bln baht to support Islamic Bank

Posted on 10 May 2013

The Finance Ministry has approved a 6-billion-baht fund for recapitalization of the Islamic Bank of Thailand, of which the ministry is the major shareholder.

INCEIF partners Bank Nizwa in Oman

Posted on 10 May 2013

The International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) has joined hands with Oman’s first dedicated Islamic bank, Bank Nizwa, to provide structured training and development initiatives for Omani nationals working in the Islamic finance industry.

Gulf Finance House reports Q1 2013 profits of $1.5mln

Posted on 10 May 2013

Gulf Finance House (GFH), the Bahrain based Islamic investment bank, announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 recording another period of sound results and profitability.

Ajman Bank’s Q1 net profit up 171 pct

Posted on 10 May 2013

Ajman Bank posted a profit of AED 12.3 million for the first quarter of 2013, compared to a first quarter 2012 profit of AED. 4.5 million, a 171 per cent increase.

Islamic banking impossible in Indian regulatory set-up: RBI governor

Posted on 09 May 2013

RBI governor D Subbarao on Wednesday said implementing Islamic banking model in India would be impossible because it is inconsistent with the banking regulatory set-up where interest is charged and given. However, he said he has suggested the government that the decision being political, it must debate and, if required, bring in a law.

Saudi dairy firm Almarai eyes $500 mln sukuk sale - CFO

Posted on 09 May 2013

Saudi Arabian dairy producer Almarai Co plans to raise at least $500 million from the sale of a debut international Islamic bond to help to finance ambitious growth plans, a senior executive said on Wednesday. The company, which is the Gulf’s largest dairy firm, has previously sold two Islamic bonds, or sukuk, in local currency, [...]

First Saudi Sukuk issuance in Malaysia by Al Bayan Group

Posted on 09 May 2013

Al Bayan Group Holding Company, a Saudi-based conglomerate, recently issued a MYR 200 million Sukuk out of its inaugural MYR 1.0 billion Sukuk Wakalah Programme – the first Malaysian Ringgit Sukuk Programme to be established by a Saudi corporate issuer and the first issuance by a Saudi corporate issuer of Malaysian Ringgit denominated Sukuk [...]

2012 ‘was a banner year for sukuk in Kingdom’

Posted on 09 May 2013

Sukuk has become a global trend, with countries increasingly finding it instrumental to develop their economies. This was among the conclusions stressed at the Eighth Euromoney Conference that ended.

Goldman said to earn $500 mln arranging Malaysia bond

Posted on 09 May 2013

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) made about $500 million arranging three bond sales in the past year for 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the state investment fund led by Prime Minister Najib Razak, said a person familiar with the matter.

Indonesia: Shariah banking market share reaches new height

Posted on 09 May 2013

The market share of Islamic lenders in Indonesia during the first quarter of 2013 reached nearly 5 percent for the first time ever, Bank Indonesia said on Wednesday. The market share of Shariah-compliant banks in the first quarter was 4.9 percent, mainly from Rp 214.5 trillion in assets, an increase of 37.8 percent compared to [...]

Islamic Development Bank President reiterates support for Somalia

Posted on 09 May 2013

The President of the Islamic Development Bank Group, Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, in addressing the International Conference on Somalia in London, stressed that the IDB would cooperate with the Government of Somalia in a bid to rebuild and consolidate the public finance institutions through various methods such as staff training and transfer of knowledge and [...]

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