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Islamic Finance Briefing - Category | Investment more

Egypt’s nod to Islamic finance to attract investments

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The passing of a new law that would legalize Islamic bonds by Egypt’s upper house a day ago could trigger an investment windfall for the highly indebted country, the chairman of Egypt’s stock exchange said here on Wednesday.
Mohammed Omran, at the ongoing two-day Africa Global Business Forum, said the underdeveloped bond market at the Nile would get a boost by the new law which increases certainty for foreign investors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic investors chase yield, assets in Australia

Posted on 17 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The prospect of higher yield in Australia is driving Islamic investors Down Under just as it is the broader global investment community, but the focus on capital-intensive industries is adding to its appeal for this source of funds.
Managers of two fledging Islamic funds set up in Australia in the past 18 months say they knew these factors presented opportunities, but they were still surprised by the level of interest from Islamic investors. Amanie Advisors’ Melbourne-based representative, Mark Darras, says he was virtually mobbed by Islamic banks and sovereign wealth funds on a trip to the Middle East in November…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Understanding basics of Shariah investing

Posted on 16 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

We all have different reasons to invest our hard-earned money. It might be for a short-term purpose like the purchase of a car or a house, or a long-term goal such as funding our children’s education or ensuring a more comfortable retirement.
Investing can take on a religious significance, too. For a growing Muslim audience, investments must not only be able to achieve their goals, but also be compliant with the Islamic law. The principles of Shariah investing dictate that to be considered acceptable, companies must pass a certain set of criteria. Among them, the balance sheet structure should contain neither too many liquid assets nor debt, and the company should not engage in “haram” (forbidden) industries such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling as well as specific foods considered non-halal or impure………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore: Shariah products slowly growing popular

Posted on 10 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Investment products that adhere to syariah or Islamic principles are slowly growing in popularity in Singapore. Franklin Templeton has launched another three syariah-compliant funds, as the asset manager recognises the growth of Islamic finance. The three funds are the Franklin Templeton Global Sukuk Fund, Templeton Shariah Global Equity Fund and Templeton Shariah Asian Growth Fund, and will be made available to retail investors.
A syariah-compliant product is one that operates in accordance with the religious beliefs of Islam. For example, syariah-compliant funds are not allowed to invest in businesses associated with activities barred by Islam, such as gambling or alcohol………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GCC issuers get benefit from record low cost

Posted on 09 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Corporate and infrastructure issuers in the Gulf countries are benefitting from sustained positive macroeconomic fundamentals and strong appetite from regional and international investors for high credit quality paper, according to a latest report by Standard & Poor’s.
The issuers also took the advantage of historically low borrowing cost during the first quarter of 2013, the report added. Marking the first sovereign Islamic bond sale in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) this year, Dubai launched a $1.25 billion two-part conventional and Islamic bond sale in January………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia, Qatar buy Saudi share in Islamic finance body

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi Arabia has left the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM), which is preparing to launch its long-delayed first sukuk following its inception in 2010, the IILM said late on Wednesday.
IILM did not give a reason for Saudi Arabia’s exit. The central banks of Qatar and Malaysia have bought out Saudi Arabia’s share. Issuance of the first sukuk had been delayed twice as IILM faced a major challenge to ensure compliance with laws in all of the 12 member countries in Asia. The likely value of the sukuk is between US$300 million and US$500 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia’s first Islamic investment forum announced

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Amanie Advisors Australia is marketing what it claims will be Australia’s first Islamic investment forum. The forum, ear-marked for Melbourne on 16 April, is intended to bring together political, finance and industry figures along with global investors and higher ranking Shariah scholars.
Commenting on the upcoming forum, Amanie Advisors Australia head Mark Darras said the event had the support of the Victorian Government and would provide the opportunity for Australian companies to put their case before some of the biggest investors in the Islamic world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investing the Islamic way

Posted on 02 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Amazon.com is the type of stock that most growth managers have loved the past several years. It’s enjoyed stable growth, and yet the company has regularly reimagined its business model to keep pace with new technologies and innovations. Over the last five years, the shares soared an average of 32.6% a year.
Nicholas Kaiser, co-manager of the $2.2 billion Amana Growth Fund (AMAGX), was also a big fan of Amazon (AMZN). The retail pioneer had been a staple of his fund for years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IFC makes first Islamic finance investment in Sub-Saharan Africa

Posted on 02 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced the investment of $5 million equity in Gulf African Bank to support corporate finance and lending to small and medium businesses in East Africa. The investment in Gulf African Bank marks IFC’s first engagement with an Islamic finance institution in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Gulf African Bank, one of Kenya’s only two Islamic banks, has fourteen branches in Kenya, offering a range of Sharia-compliant banking products and services. The bank will use IFC’s financing to increase finance for retail and corporate customers, develop programs for women entrepreneurs and extend more services to small and medium businesses………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Insights into Islamic Investment Management from a CFA Charterholder in Pakistan

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

To gather insights into Islamic investment management from experienced CFA charterholders from different countries, we will be conducting a series of interviews. In the first interview of this series, we discuss Islamic investment management with Mohammad Shoaib, CFA.
Shoaib is the chief executive officer of Al Meezan Investment Management Limited based in Karachi, Pakistan. He earned his CFA Charter in 1999. In addition, he holds an MBA from the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, which is now a program partner of CFA Institute. He has 23 years of work experience, including 10 years in Islamic investment management………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Warba Bank boosts investments portfolio

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Warba Bank, an upcoming Islamic lender in Kuwait, has made significant progress over the past year in building its portfolio of investments in the region and the world, based on its strong business model and extensive networks of business contacts.
This reflects the potential of the bank’s team and their ability to complete deals with major companies in the local, regional and global markets, said a senior official. During 2012, Warba Bank completed a series of crucial investments in key investment sectors, covering international markets reflecting the bank’s commitment to generating lucrative returns at low risk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SEDCO launches Islamic investment platform

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

SEDCO Capital, the Saudi Arabia-based asset manager and leading provider of Sharia compliant investment solutions, has launched a one-stop shop investment platform of Sharia compliant funds to qualified and authorised institutional investors.
Investors can now access a total of seven investment funds with total assets under management exceeding $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) on the recently launched SEDCO Capital Global Funds, which is now one of the world’s largest and most diverse Sharia compliant funds platform………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Capinnova exits investment

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Capinnova Investment Bank, the Sharia-compliant investment banking arm of BBK, yesterday announced it has exited its investment in Oasis Mall, having earned 37 per cent total return on invested capital.
Oasis Mall is the largest retail mall in Muharraq and in June 2009 was the bank’s debut transaction in the retail sector. The development was worth $18.6 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank Nizwa open to invest 75pct of its net worth in foreign instruments: CBO

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

CBO has allowed Bank Nizwa to invest up to 75 per cent of its net worth in Islamic instruments outside Oman for the first six months. As the sultanate is a new entrant into Islamic banking it does not have Islamic instruments like sukuk or other short-term liquidity management tools in which Islamic banks can invest their excess liquidity.
When asked about the extent to which Islamic banks and windows are allowed to invest excess liquidity outside Oman, H E Hamood Sangour al Zadjali, executive president of CBO, said, “We are according some flexibility to banks to invest some of their excess liquidity in Islamic instruments outside Oman.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bank Nizwa gets relaxation in overseas investment ceiling

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bank Nizwa, the Sultanate’s first Islamic bank, has got a sizable relaxation in deploying funds in overseas markets for the initial one year. The banking regulator Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has allowed Bank Nizwa to invest up to 75 per cent of the bank’s net worth in foreign currency-denominated assets in the first six months, up to 50 per cent in the subsequent six months, which is against the normal 40 per cent ceiling for banks in Oman, Hamoud bin Sangour Al Zadjali, Executive President of the CBO, said.
“Thereafter, the bank has to bring down the maximum ceiling to 40 per cent. At the moment, it is available to only Bank Nizwa and not (extended to) other banks, which have window operations,” added the CBO chief………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait’s KFH consolidates all its real estate investment activities to one entity, KFH Real Estate

Posted on 12 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) the world’s leading Islamic bank, has taken a major step today in its strategic transformation program with the announcement of KFH Real Estate company, a dedicated fully owned investment vehicle for the real estate asset class.
Shaheen Al-Ghanim, KFH ’s General Manager of International Banking and Acting Chief Investment Officer highlighted KFH ’s investment vision and insight through the announcement of KFH Real Estate; emphasizing on the importance of this announcement, as it marks a new beginning for KFH and its potential contribution to the global Islamic financial services industry. (Press Release)

QInvest boosts investment banking with new director

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

QInvest, Qatar’s leading investment bank, as part of efforts to strengthen its team, has announced the appointment of Nasser Abdullah Al Mahmoud as Director with the Investment Banking arm, a press statement said. On his appointment, Tamim Hamad Al Kawari, QInvest’s CEO, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Nasser to our investment banking team. His experience and knowledge will strengthen our capabilities in the investment banking capacity.”
Al Kawari added: “We are very excited about the continuing growth of financial services in the region and abroad; and we look forward to continually work alongside our clients and be their advisor and financier of choice.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oman’s Bank Muscat gets $195mln equity investment

Posted on 21 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bank Muscat agreed on an equity investment worth OMR75.1 (US$195.1m) from the International Finance Corp, it said on Wednesday, a move which will bolster the capital base of Oman’s largest lender.
The World Bank unit will buy into the bank through a private share placement which will represent 5.28 percent of Bank Muscat’s capital following the investment, a statement to the Oman stock exchange said………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oman as preferred investment destination

Posted on 20 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

According to a recent Thomson Reuters Sukuk Perceptions and Forecast Study, Oman ranked first in the largest survey of its kind of both Shari’a compliant investors and capital arrangers, ahead of Egypt, Kazakhstan, Tunisia and Libya, all of which are establishing regulations for Shari’a compliant finance.
With support from the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) and Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), a member of the Islamic Development Bank group, Thomson Reuters will be holding a forum in Oman investigating what needs to be done to facilitate the country’s entry to global Islamic financial markets…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Ahlibank gears up to purchase Taageer Finance

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Oman-based Ahli Bank has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to explore the feasibility for the takeover of Taageer Finance Company. In a regulatory filing with the Muscat Securities Market (MSM), the bank said the purchase price consideration will be in range between 176 and 177.50 Baiza per share.
Inclusive of cash/stock dividends, the consideration price will be adjusted downwards to reflect cash/stock dividends received by Taageer shareholders, if paid based on financials for the year ended 31 December 2012 and subsequently…………………………………….Full Article: Source

MENA investment outlook upbeat

Posted on 04 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Despite the critical ebb and flow in global financial markets these past three years, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has managed to stem the tide and register a tangible GDP growth of 5.3 percent in 2012, Alternative Investment Strategy 2013 report released Sunday through Al Masah Capital Limited, said.
Bearing in mind the eurozone debt crisis, the easing of economic activity in China and a slew of fiscal downturns hitting the US, this is a hugely positive sign. In 2013, the rate is expected to be even more impressive with many of the MENA countries allocating huge sums for public expenditure as compared to 2012…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s Masraf al Rayan targets Libyan bank stake

Posted on 29 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar’s Masraf Al Rayan is seeking permission from its shareholders to buy a stake in a Libyan commercial bank, the Islamic lender said in a statement. Rayan says plans to finance the acquisition through a capital increase, Reuters said.
On Sunday, Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar’s fourth-largest bank by market value, posted a 16.3 percent increase in full-year net profit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New investors will ‘open doors’, Islamic window for Fimbank

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Fimbank will be able to move first to bring Islamic banking to Malta, tap new markets, and target larger clients if Middle Eastern institutional investors take a controlling interest in the next few months, bank president Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger said.
With a commitment for additional equity of $160 million – which doubles Fimbank’s equity over the next 18 months – the Malta-headquartered trade finance bank has the potential to triple, even quadruple, its balance sheet over the next five years, she said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

QFIB successfully exits ENPI

Posted on 14 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar First Investment Bank ( QFIB ), Qatar’s first independent Shari’ah compliant investment bank authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and Saudi Printing & Packaging Co. (SPPC) announced the successful completion of the Emirates National Factory of Plastic Industries (ENPI Group) deal.
QFIB ’s 71.3% stake, a majority share in ENPI, was sold to SPPC, a publically traded Saudi firm specialized in providing printing packaging solutions. ENPI Group is the leading producer of flexible and rigid plastic packaging solutions having strong manufacturing base including 8 factories in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. (Press Release)

Prasarana bonds to do well on pent-up demand

Posted on 07 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Potential investors, although “keen and hungry” for Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd’s (Prasarana) bonds, will await more details on the potential yield rates first. Fixed income analysts opined that the demand for the bonds comes on the backdrop of the tight supply of such bond instruments in the region.
“There seems to be a lack of such bond instruments in the market at present. The underlying demand is strong, given that such Prasarana bonds are usually government guaranteed and can be considered equivalent to the risk-free Malaysian Goverment Securities (MGS),” RAM Holdings group chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold investment and shariah-compliant claims

Posted on 10 December 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Early in October, Bank Negara Malaysia, together with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), raided several gold trading companies with the help of the police.
Among them were Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Pageantry Gold Bhd, Caesar Gold Sdn Bhd, Worldwide Far East Bhd and Bestino Group Bhd. Genneva — probably the largest and the most high-profile of these companies — attracted much attention from the public and the media………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold investment and shariah-compliant claims

Posted on 06 December 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Early last month, Bank Negara Malaysia, together with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), raided several gold trading companies with the help of the police. Among them were Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Pageantry Gold Bhd, Caesar Gold Sdn Bhd, Worldwide Far East Bhd and Bestino Group Bhd.
Genneva — probably the largest and the most high-profile of these companies — attracted much attention from the public and the media. Basically, these companies were raided as they were suspected of carrying out gold-trading schemes that the authorities claim were not sustainable………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Arab Spring opens a new world for entrepreneurs

Posted on 06 December 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Arab Spring has opened a new world with endless possibilities for young entrepreneurs of the region, said former deputy prime minister of Malaysia Tun Musa Hitam. “The younger demographic, especially, has the potential to bear great influence on the future of the world economy and can be harnessed through increased understanding of these opportunities which will boost investor confidence and resources they put into tapping this market,” Musa said.
It is estimated that Muslims have spent $2.1 trillion on the halal economy, $500-600 billion on food and halal related products………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gatehouse Bank acquires US industrial real estate portfolio

Posted on 04 December 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Gatehouse Bank plc (Gatehouse), a Shariah compliant bank based in the City of London, has completed the acquisition of a diverse industrial portfolio of 19 operationally critical properties across the United States of America. The portfolio is stabilised at 100% occupancy, and the properties are leased to 16 tenants with an average remaining lease term of 14 years.
The $178 million portfolio was acquired in partnership with the Brennan Investment Group (BIG). The properties, located in 16 cities across the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest regions of the U.S., will be held for approximately five years, offering investors a stable projected net annual cash yield as well as an attractive IRR upon exit from the investment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Evolution of socially responsible investing

Posted on 26 November 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Like traditional socially responsible investing, Islamic finance has tended to focus on excluding ‘sin’ businesses rather than making a positive impact. Because lending money on interest and sale of risk are widely considered to be prohibited in Islamic finance, it is concerned with the structure and not just the purpose of financing.
Academic literature and news reports suggest growing interest in Islamic finance in making and measuring positive impact, such as through micro finance and this rapidly growing sector is also a possible source of growth for impact investing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

S-E Asia a likely hotspot for global investment bank growth

Posted on 20 November 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

South-East Asia is expected to be a hotspot for growth for global investment banks while more consolidation is expected to reduce the number of major players to around 10 or less within the next three to five years, from the current 14.
In terms of Islamic finance, he said that the country would continue to lead in developing and promoting Islamic banking systems. However, Malaysia will continue to face competition from the Middle East. While there is competition, there will also be an automatic connection with Middle Eastern countries, according to Roland Berger Strategy Consultants senior partner Markus Boehme………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi investment firm Sedco sees assets doubling by 2017

Posted on 09 November 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi Arabia’s Sedco Capital, an investment firm complying with Islamic laws, expects assets under management to double in the next five years as it expands into new areas to meet rising demand from sharia-compliant investors.
The two-year old Jeddah-based firm, which manages about $3 billion in client assets, is one of few firms offering sharia- compliant investments globally. It is part of the Sedco Holding which has interest in real estate, automobiles and financial investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance to raise investor interest in Africa

Posted on 08 November 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic finance offers a major opportunity for diversifying the investor base and raising investor interest in Africa, said Jaseem Ahmed, Secretary-General of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).
Ahmed said that there are important prior actions that need to be taken in terms of strengthening risk management capabilities and the legal and regulatory framework for financial sector supervision. “This will be essential to ensure that the growth of the real economy, which is the ultimate goal of policy, is sustainable,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Al Madina, ACA Amanie sign MoU on Islamic investment

Posted on 06 November 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Al Madina Financial and Investment Services Co of Oman and ACA Amanie of Malaysia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate together in common areas of interest in Islamic investment.
The MoU was signed on the second day of the 1st Muscat International Islamic Banking Forum (MIIFF), which concluded at Al Bustan Palace — A Ritz Carlton Hotel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GCC-Malaysia ties widen investment scope

Posted on 25 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Economic growth in both regions has been very impressive during the last five years of the financial and economic crisis. It fluctuated between 4-7 percent per year. This robust economic growth is expected to continue for the next few years. The GCC states have around $ 2.2 trillion held in foreign assets and their combined current account surplus is around the same amount.
Bilateral trade and investment have been growing relatively smooth, although there is still a lot of room for improvement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Develop new ways to invest endowments, says Salmi

Posted on 24 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Awqaf and Religious Affairs has referred to the importance of improving and developing methods of endowment investments through scientific studies and take advantage of Islamic banks in the Sultanate to find new funding sources consistent with the Islamic law and open partnership with other government agencies to develop endowments to benefit everybody.
HE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Salmi, Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, said new ways have to be found to invest endowments to ensure high dividends and not merely follow old formulas. He also said that legitimate aspects should also be taken into account………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Arcapita plan may lead to investments’ sale, lenders says

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Arcapita Bank BSC, an Islamic- compliant fund manager, shouldn’t be allowed to extend control of its bankruptcy because it already has a plan that may lead to the sale of investments with a liquidation value of $1.4 billion, lenders said.
A group of lenders owning $1.1 billion of Arcapita’s unsecured debt objected in court papers to the company’s bid to extend by 120 days its exclusive right to file a bankruptcy exit plan. The company has a “toggle” plan under which it will either reorganize or “conduct an orderly monetization” of assets, depending on whether Arcapita raises more money by the time it seeks to confirm a plan in 2013, the lenders said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic Development Bank to invest $1 bln to Kazakhstan in 2012-2014

Posted on 04 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will invest $ 1 billion into the Kazakhstan’s economy in 2012-2014. Respective partnership strategy was signed October 2, 2012 in Astana, KazTag Agency reports.
“The new strategy enables to (…) channel sizeable investments into transport, power industry infrastructure, agriculture, science, regional cooperation projects”, the country’s Minister of Industry and New Technology Asset Issekeshev said before the signing ceremony………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IDB eyes investment in Kazakh, Central Asia energy, farming

Posted on 02 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Development Bank is looking to resource-rich Kazakhstan and Central Asia as a fertile ground for investment, with the launch of a $50 million renewable energy fund on Monday and plans to finance agricultural projects, an official said.
The Saudi Arabia-based multilateral bank’s private sector arm, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), said it was considering financing farming projects in Kazakhstan from its $600 million agribusiness fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gulf investors working on Leeds United takeover

Posted on 28 September 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A Bahraini investment bank is working on a deal to buy England’s Leeds United Football Club, in what could be the latest acquisition of a European soccer team by oil-rich Gulf investors.
Gulf Finance House, an Islamic investment bank from the tiny Gulf island state, said Thursday one of its Dubai-based subsidiaries will “lead and arrange the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of LUFC.” A person familiar with the matter said the transaction price would be about £50 million ($80.8 million), and that GFH Capital is acting on behalf of “investors from the Gulf,” without elaborating………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PSE eyes $1.4-trillion Muslim funds with shariah-compliant stocks

Posted on 24 September 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) is hoping to tap into a potential market of more than 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide with an estimated $1.4 trillion in investible funds by offering shariah-compliant stocks, the bourse’s top executive said.
Shariah-compliant equities follow the Islamic law which does not allow investors to put money into firms that benefit from interest or the sale of goods such as alcohol, tobacco or firearms. They also steer clear of companies with large amounts of debt on their balance sheets and those whose business is related to gambling, meat and conventional financial services such as banking and insurance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait’s Commercial Bank to liquidate investment unit

Posted on 24 September 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) said on Sunday it plans to liquidate its investment unit, according to a bourse filing. The bank said in a statement the move to close CBK Capital, a fully-owned subsidiary which manages the bank’s proprietary investment portfolio, would not have a negative impact on the bank’s financial position but gave no details.
CBK Capital managed two money market funds, a Kuwaiti stocks fund and an Islamic finance fund, the source said. According to its 2011 cash flow statement, the bank spent 117.3 million dinars on acquiring investment securities last year and its proceeds from disposing of investment securities totalled 57.3 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ridge Islamic Capital announces official launch of its activities in Egypt

Posted on 21 September 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Ridge Islamic Capital, the first company in Egypt specialized in offering full-fledged modern Sharia-compliant investment banking; asset management; and wealth management services announced at a press conference its official inauguration and launch of its activities in the Egyptian market.
Ridge Islamic Capital is the Islamic financial arm of the Dubai-based regional investment company Ridge Solutions International Holdings, which is part of Angola-based Ridge Solutions Group. The company was established following the successful acquisition of the Egyptian investment banking and asset management firm El Rashad by Ridge Solutions International Holdings to expand its Islamic investment business across the region. (Press Release)

Egypt-based Islamic finance firm eyes $100mln investment

Posted on 20 September 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Cairo-based Ridge Islamic Capital said on Wednesday it has $100 million to raise its capital and invest in funds over the next two years to tap a growing market for Islamic finance.
The firm was launched on Wednesday after Dubai-based regional investment company Ridge Solutions International Holdings, which is providing the $100 million, acquired Egyptian investment banking and asset management firm El Rashad………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Takaful Malaysia a step closer to property investments in UK

Posted on 11 September 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, a provider of general and family takaful, is on the threshold of investing in properties in the UK due to its better structured property leases and higher returns compared to similar investments locally.
The company is now a step closer towards setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Labuan International Offshore Financial Centre that will act as a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) to handle its overseas property investment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Takaful Malaysia eyes UK property investments

Posted on 10 September 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, a provider of general and family takaful, is on the threshold of investing in properties in the UK due to its better structured property leases and higher returns compared to similar investments locally.
The company is now a step closer towards setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Labuan International Offshore Financial Centre that will act as a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) to handle its overseas property investment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sri Lanka: Islamic banking to attract foreign investments

Posted on 07 September 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The local Islamic banking industry which stands to benefit from increasing GDP growth, exceeding 8% in 2011, is poised to attract more investment flows from Middle East and Far Eastern countries.
“The customer base of Islamic banking has gradually increased and the industry has managed to attract sufficient interest from the domestic market, both Muslim and non Muslim. The current non Muslim consumer market in Sri Lanka, comprises more than 20% of its total Islamic banking market shares, which figures are expected to increase due to education and awareness of Islamic banking products’ increase in the country,” Amana Bank CEO and Managing Director Faizal Salieh said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

DRB-HICOM will not exit Bank Muamalat

Posted on 07 September 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Conglomerate DRB-HICOM Bhd has no intention of divesting its entire 70 per cent stake in Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd as it still wants to be involved in the financial services industry, sources said.
The group, which has other businesses such as automotive, energy and ports, will only pare its stake to a level that is acceptable by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). The central bank in 2008 allowed DRB-HICOM to buy the 70 per cent stake in Bank Muamalat on condition that it would eventually sell it down to 40 per cent. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Foursan Group announces investment in Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank

Posted on 04 September 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Foursan Group, a leading Middle Eastern private equity firm, has made an investment in Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank , a newly-established Jordanian Islamic bank, becoming the bank’s second largest shareholder. Foursan’ s investment was made through Foursan Capital Partners I, a recently established private equity fund with $100 million in commitments targeting investment opportunities in the Levant and North Africa.
Founded in 2010, Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank is a leading Islamic bank in Jordan with a paid up capital of $141 million and assets of $600 million. Within its first two years of operations, JDIB’s branch network grew from one to 12 branches strategically located in Jordan’s three largest cities - Amman, Irbid and Zarqa - and the bank’s deposits and balance sheet grew in an accelerated manner. (Press Release)

What’s the risk for investors of Turkey going Islamist?

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Turkey is as complex as a Byzantine mosaic or a potent Turkish coffee. Straddling Europe, Asia and the Middle East, it’s a Muslim country with ancient Christian roots — but founded as a modern nation in 1923 by a militant secularist, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. For decades an economic backwater, it’s now the fastest-growing economy in Europe.
That economic success was achieved by an Islamist-leaning government that has managed successfully to meld the conservative religious devotion of the masses with the economic interests of the secular elite………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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