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Islamic Finance Briefing - Category | Market Moves more

Bankers urge Islamic banks to develop their own financial reporting standard

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
They have also urged the regulators to develop an Islamic Inter-bank offered profit rate — to benchmark their rates and reduce dependence of the conventional interbank offered interest rates…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Noor Islamic Bank launches reality mobile banking app

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
“A first-of-its-kind in the Middle East,Noor Appenables customers to access Noor’s full range of products and services, including instant mobile-to-mobile payments between Noor clients, personalized financial analytics, account opening, ATM and branch locator using maps with augmented reality features, transferring money locally or internationally, and paying credit card and utility bills,” said the press release…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japan: Food producers eye Islamic market

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
Halal, an Arabic word meaning “permissible,” is used to designate foods that comply with Islamic law. Halal foods do not use pork and alcohol, while the use of poultry and other ingredients is permitted only after they are processed under particular methods…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Financial market will grow strong with strong govt: CIMB Islamic

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
“The election result has shown that we have a strong government in the country, and we definitely will see Islamic finance grow more and more,” he said on the sidelines of the 10th Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Summit themed “The Future of the Islamic Finance Services Industry: Resilience, Stability, and Inclusive Growth”…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt: New sukuk projects awaiting bids

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
“We expect to receive the first bids for projects using sukuk after the holy month of Ramadan in July,” he said during a conference on the practical application of sukuk, jointly organised by the Ministry of Finance and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sukuk’s success is a matter of maturity

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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 but also the regional and demographic drivers pertaining to the Sharia-compliant counterpart.
Notwithstanding that benchmark US Treasuries are beset by the vulnerability of the Fed’s quantitative easing strategy, there is a story behind the sukuk phenomenon that has gained traction………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai Investments to complete $300bln sukuk soon

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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”.
The firm’s CEO, Khalid Kalban, said that it expected to finalise the deal after announcing a 97% increase in first qoarter profits to $29.1m (AED: 107m). Revenues also increased by 17% to $176.7m (AED: 649m), while the firm’s net worth grew to $2.4bn (AED: 8.7bn)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Turkey: New Islamic banks ready to open soon

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said at the Turkish Participation Banks Union’s annual meeting that it appeared the format of two participation banks would be clearer in a few months. The state-run banks, Ziraat Bank and Halkbank, will establish these two participation banks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IFSB: Challenges ahead for next few years

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
The Board, which was established on Nov. 3, 2002 in Kuala Lumpur by a Group of central banking and regulatory authorities including the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) and Bank Negara Malaysia, no doubt thinks that the IFSB deserves the accolades for the tireless work its officials, committees and supporters have put in over the last decade………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IFSB plays key role in market education of Islamic finance

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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 sectors, celebrates its 10th anniversary next week which also coincides with its 10th annual summit.
The Board actually started operations on March 10, 2003 under its inaugural Secretary-General Professor Rifaat Abdel Karim, and within a space of a decade it has probably done more than any other single institution to put Islamic finance firmly on the map of the multilateral institutions policing the global financial system………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia sukuk attracts Manulife, Asian Islamic

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia’s sukuk are luring Manulife Asset Management Services Bhd and Asian Islamic Investment Management Bhd now that the distraction of elections is over.
Manulife plans to increase holdings on optimism that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will honour a promise to cut the budget deficit after his re-election, chief investment officer Jason Chong said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur…………………………………….Full Article: Source

RAM Ratings reaffirms TNB’s AAA sukuk rating

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
Based on RAM’s methodology on government-linked entities, there is a very high likelihood of extraordinary government support for TNB in the event of financial distress, given the Group’s strategic role as the national electricity company…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Now a Shariah Index for financial inclusion of Indian Muslims

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
Besides giving Islamic mega funds a surer handle on Indian markets, the aim of the S&P BSE 500 Shariah Index is financial inclusion of Indian Muslims - around 177 million in number and hitherto wary of stock markets - and attract them to “correct” equities…………………………………….Full Article: Source

INCEIF partners Bank Nizwa in Oman

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
In a statement Thursday, INCEIF said the collaboration is in line with Bank Nizwa’s efforts, aimed at aligning itself with the “Employer of Choice” adage by nurturing a work environment that attracts, optimises and retains top talent…………………………………….Full Article: Source

2012 ‘was a banner year for sukuk in Kingdom’

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
The conference,which was opened by Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, was attended by 1,200 senior financiers, business leaders and government officials. Housing Minister Shwaish Al-Duwaihy, Economy and Planning Minister Muhammed Al-Jasser and Abdullatif Al-Zayani also addressed the delegates at the inaugural ceremony………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman said to earn $500 mln arranging Malaysia bond

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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.
The total is almost as much as Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy, pays each month on its debt and compares with Goldman (GS)’s record $694 million of global bond underwriting fees in the first quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Goldman, the securities firm with the fastest-growing investment-banking fees, arranged $6.5 billion of bond sales for the fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indonesia: Shariah banking market share reaches new height

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

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 the same period in 2012.
“It is a market share in the Shariah banking industry that has never happened before,” Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Halim Alamsyah said during his opening speech at a discussion on Islamic banking at the State Enterprises Ministry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt’s new economic ministers prioritise IMF deal, Islamic finance

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Finance Minister Fayad Abdel-Moneim and Planning Minister Amr Darrag stress IMF-mandated economic reform aimed at reducing the budget deficit is an immediate priority. Egypt’s newly-appointed economy ministers highlighted the importance of continuing the efforts exerted by their predecessors to ensure Egypt’s economic future in their first public statements on Wednesday.
The finance ministry’s highest priorities over the coming period will be to complete negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over an economic reform plan required to secure a $4.8 billion loan, said Egypt’s new Minister of Finance Fayad Abdel-Moneim………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Record Sukuk seen on Indonesia $92 bln plan: Islamic finance

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Indonesian corporate sukuk sales are off to their best ever start and the top underwriter predicts a full-year record as $92 billion of state-backed development projects buoy issuance.
Bank Muamalat Indonesia and Adira Dinamika Multi Finance were among issuers of Rp 1.5 trillion ($154 million) of securities, Financial Services Authority data show. That compares with Rp 1.9 trillion for the whole of 2012 and a record Rp 2.3 trillion in 2008. The market is still just a fraction of Malaysia’s, where companies sold 95.8 billion ringgit ($32 billion) of sukuk last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

HSBC sees 2013 Sukuk sales doubling to $3 bln: Turkey Credit

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic bond sales in Turkey may double to $3 billion this year as companies join the government in accessing Shariah-compliant investors, according to HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), the world’s biggest underwriter of sukuk.
Sales reached about $1 billion this year, led by banks including Turkiye Finans Katilim Bankasi AS, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The yield on March 2018 notes, which Turkey sold for the first time in September, fell six basis points this year to 2.68 percent, seven basis points below the global average, the data show………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Capita and XL back Lloyd’s-based Shariah-compliant start-up

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A Shariah-compliant underwriting agency has been launched in the London market with the financial backing of Capita and the Bank of London & Middle East, and capacity provided by XL.
Lloyd’s-based Cobalt Underwriting aims to provide Shariah-compliant insurance and reinsurance products globally. Its initial underwriting focus will be on property cover, with a maximum capacity of up to $300m (£193.2m). The products will be offered on a worldwide basis with the exception of the US and Canada………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Türkiye Finans’ $500 mln sukuk sale lures investors

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Turkish Islamic bank Türkiye Finans issued a $500 million five-year Islamic bond, also known as a sukuk, in a bid to take its share of the soaring investor appetite for alternative financial instruments as well as Turkey’s ambitious plans to boost its Islamic finance offers.
The sale, which is bank’s first and Turkey’s second largest after the Treasury’s issuance of $1.5 billion worth of sukuks last September, attracted a massive order from 95 global investors at $1.9 billion, which is 3.8-fold the sale. The sale carried a 3.95 percent yield………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Positive response to Al Bayan Group’s sukuk issuance in Malaysia anticipated

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Kenanga Investment Bank (KIBB) and its Saudi partner Wasatah Capital have identified an opportunity for Saudi companies to create a presence in the Malaysian sukuk market following Al Bayan Group Holding Company’s 200-million Malaysian ringgit (MR) sukuk issuance.
The RM200-million sukuk issuance is the first tranche out of an inaugural RM1.0 billion Sukuk Wakalah Program. It is also the first Malaysian Ringgit Sukuk Program to be established and issued by a Saudi corporate issuer to date in Malaysia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

QCB chief to address role sukuk can play in managing liquidity

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

HE the QCB Governor, Sheikh Abdullah bin Saoud al-Thani, in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and Chairman of the Governing Board of International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM), will give a keynote address at the forthcoming London Sukuk Summit on the standards issued by the IFSB to facilitate the regulation and supervision of the Islamic Financial Services industry.
The event will be held at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel, London on June 12 and 13. He will also address the role that sukuk can play in facilitating the liquidity management for institutions that offer Islamic financial services. In providing this perspective, Sheikh Abdullah will draw on his capacity as Governor of the Qatar Central Bank and Chairman of Qatar Financial Centre (QFC)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Post-election hope for future of Islamic finance in the nation

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Today, as Malaysians welcome their newly elected and returned Members of Parliament as well as state assemblymen, I would like to share with you about my hope for the future of Islamic finance in Malaysia. Islamic finance, as I have often said time and time again, has come a long way in Malaysia.
It dominates the primary and secondary debt capital market with 70%-80% market share. It also dominates the equity capital market with close to 90% of the listed stock on Bursa Malaysia being Syariah-compliant stocks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pilgrim funds give Indonesia banks booster shot: Islamic finance

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Indonesia’s plan to shift 11 trillion rupiah ($1.1 billion) of pilgrim’s savings into Shariah- compliant lenders is a booster-shot that will help narrow the gap with neighboring Malaysia. Deposits set aside by those planning a Hajj visit to Mecca in Saudi Arabia will be shifted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs from non-Islamic banks within a year of announcing the policy, Anggito Abimanyu, director-general of Hajj and Umrah at the ministry, said.
The funds are equivalent to 7.3 percent of the 150.8 trillion rupiah in savings at Islamic lenders, less than a sixth of Malaysia’s 310 billion ringgit ($102 billion), central bank data show………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘Innovation key to growth’ of Islamic banking

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Oman and Malaysia should embark on joint initiatives to develop a pool of professionals to drive the innovation and growth of the Islamic finance industry, said Raja Nazrin Shah, crown prince of Perak, Malaysia, and financial ambassador of the Malaysian International Islamic Financial Centre.
Shah observed, “There is great potential for the Sultanate of Oman and Malaysia to harness their collective resources and forge a mutually beneficial relationship in these areas. Such collaborative arrangements are critical for spurring further development and innovation and for addressing global issues and challenges facing the Islamic finance industry. A potential area for collaboration is the development of human capital.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

DIB eyes acquisitions in Asian markets

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has dealt with much of its balance sheet weakness and should see profits for 2013 grow in the high double digits, allowing it to eye acquisitions in new markets in Asia, officials said.
Leaders at the world’s oldest sharia-compliant lender told Reuters it had put aside around AED 5 billion ($ 1.36 billion) against the sort of soured property loans and transactions which drew into question Dubai’s future as a financial hub in 2009. In his first media interview since taking over to deal with the fallout of the 2008 global crisis, Chief Executive Abdulla Al-Hamli said the bank was now anxious to expand but was being held back in part by the unrest dominating the Middle East………………………………………..Full Article: Source

United Arab Bank’s Islamic banking division appoints Minhaj Advisory to be its Shariah consulting arm

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Banking Division of United Arab Bank (UAB), the fastest growing bank in the UAE, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Minhaj Advisory - one of the most prominent Shari’ah compliant consultancy in the region.
The services extended by Minhaj Advisory will include introduction of Shari’ah compliant products, contracts, supervision, auditing and training. Minhaj will form a Shari’ah Supervisory Board (SSB) with three reputable Islamic scholars at the helm to extend their guidance regarding provisions and principles of Shari’ah related to transactions and activities of the current and future Islamic products and services provided by UAB’s Islamic banking division………………………………………..Full Article: Source

QAR8bln worth sukuk issued in Q1: QCB Governor

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Saoud Al Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank ( QCB ), yesterday said that Islamic banks in Qatar issued sukuk worth QR8bn by the end of the first quarter of 2013. The QCB , on behalf of the government, has issued sukuk worth QR39bn to help manage the liquidity of Islamic financial institutions to comply with Basel III norms.
The sukuk issuances are likely to grow by 20 percent annually driven by high demand for Shariah- compliant products and finances globally. Sheikh Abdullah, in his opening address at the International Conference on Sukuk, said the total volume of investments of banks operating in Qatar in Islamic sukuk or bonds reached QR47bn for the same period……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Goldman-arranged bond sale stings Najib before Malaysia election

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing calls before a weekend election to justify a $3 billion bond placement by the sovereign-wealth fund he leads, with opponents saying the deal was unnecessary and mispriced.
Goldman (GS) Sachs Group Inc. arranged the March 19 sale of 10- year debt by 1Malaysia Development Bhd., also known as 1MDB, and the notes were priced to yield 4.4 percent, 141 basis points more than sovereign Islamic dollar bonds due July 2021 were yielding at that time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A.M. Best withdraws ratings of Boubyan Takaful Insurance Company KSC

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Rating Services Limited has revised the outlook to stable from positive and affirmed the financial strength rating of C++ (Marginal) and the issuer credit rating of “b” of Boubyan Takaful Insurance Company KSC (CLOSED) (Boubyan) (Kuwait). Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the ratings as the company has requested to no longer participate in A.M. Best’s interactive rating process.
The revised outlook reflects Boubyan’s decision not to ring-fence assets in favour of policyholders. As per A.M. Best’s Takaful (Shari’a Compliant) Insurance Companies criteria, the risk-adjusted capitalisation of Boubyan’s policyholders’ fund remains weak………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar Islamic Bank rules out 2013 sukuk issues

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), the Gulf state’s largest sharia-compliant lender by assets, is not expecting to issue more Islamic bonds before 2014, its chief executive said on Wednesday. “I don’t think it will be needed; there seems to be enough liquidity currently,” Bassel Gamal told reporters at a conference in the Qatari capital.
QIB, whose biggest shareholder is the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, last tapped the market with a $750 million five-year sukuk in October as part of its $1.5 billion sukuk program………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Size of Sukuk issued by Islamic banks in Qatar amounts to approximately QR.8 bln

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Saoud al Thani, the Governor of Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has announced that the size of sukuk issued by the Islamic banks in Qatar amounted to approximately QR.8 billion at the end of the first quarter of this year, whereas the total volume of investments of the banks operating in Qatar in Islamic sukuk or bonds amounted to QR. 47 billion in the same date.
The QCB governor said the QCB on behalf of the Government of the State of Qatar issued Islamic bonds by about QR.39 billion in order to enhance the liquidity of the financial centers of the Islamic banks, in line with the requirements of the “Baza 3″, and out of the firm belief of the importance of Islamic financial instruments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt Islamic bonds could attract $15 bln annually

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Sovereign Islamic bonds, or sukuk, could attract $15 billion in investments to Egypt annually from domestic and foreign investors, according to statements made by an advisor to the finance minister to the state-run MENA news agency.
Ahmed El-Naggar, who manages affairs related to Islamic bonds at the finance ministry, expects the government issue of Sharia compliant debt instruments to spur Egypt’s economic growth and employment figures………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Call to promote Islamic economies as alternative to financial order

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

At a time when the world economy in general and the European economies in particular are deteriorating and their financial crises are far from over, scholars had better focus on Islamic economics as the best alternative to the ailing international financial order.
Khalid Hilal Alyahmadi, Chairman, Amjaad Development, said, “As the global economy continues to struggle amid one of the worst financial crises in recent history, the call for an alternative way of conducting financial activity has progressively become louder. In an interconnected world, the financial markets have become somewhat of an international casino for the elite, where millions are made and lost in a zero sum game, paying scant attention to the disastrous effects these speculative activities have on society”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

INCEIF-IFSB joint executive forum

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

INCEIF, The Global University of Islamic Finance, and The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) yesterday held their first joint Executive Forum on Islamic Finance at Sasana Kijang Bank Negara Malaysia.The two-day IFSB-INCEIF Executive Forum aimed to provide a platform for global leaders in Islamic finance to discuss selected emerging issues faced by the global Islamic financial services industry.
The IFSB-INCEIF Executive Forum placed emphasis on issues related to the supervisory and prudential regulation, both at national and international levels, harnessing from the experiences of a distinguished pool of global experts, academics and practitioners………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hogan Lovells advises Al Bayan Group Holding Company on landmark Malaysian sukuk

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Hogan Lovells has advised Al Bayan Group Holding Company, a Saudi-based conglomerate, on its RM200.0m sukuk, issued on the 24th April 2013, out of its inaugural RM1.0bn Sukuk Wakalah Programme (the Sukuk 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 in the Malaysian debt capital market to date.
The landmark sukuk has been issued via Al Bayan’s special-purpose vehicle incorporated in Malaysia, ABHC Sukuk Berhad………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banking grow rapidly in Pakistan

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic banking is growing at a rapid pace in Pakistan and the growth will accelerate further if the central bank continues to chalk out policies. Banks in this sector expect a total business of Rs1 trillion by 2015 on growing demand.
These were the views of Executive Vice President Head of Product Development and Shariah Compliance, Meezan Bank, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, who was speaking to a select group of journalists at a workshop on ‘Islamic Banking’ at Meezan Bank’s head office………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Simmons & Simmons advises on launch of unique Shariah-compliant funds platform

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

SEDCO Capital is a full-service Shariah-compliant wealth and asset management firm serving third-party institutional and private clients.The Simmons & Simmons team was led by specialist Islamic Funds and Finance partner Muneer Khan. He was supported by Funds partner Neil Simmonds, Tax partner Nick Cronkshaw, counsel Ahmed Butt, managing associates James Oussedik and Mohammed Majid, supervising associates Nicole Suignard and Candice Nichol and associates Kristi Lehtis and Robert Nield.
Commenting on the launch, Muneer Khan, said: “This is a unique platform with a number of very innovative new features, including the fact that it covers both liquid and illiquid investment strategies within a single legal structure. This is the largest and most diverse Shariah-compliant platform to be launched in Luxembourg………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahraini Islamic lender plans African expansion

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bahrain-based Islamic lender Al Baraka Bank plans to expand its global footprint with a focus on Africa under a five-year plan that includes investments in Libya and Morocco, its chief executive told Reuters.
The lender, which has operations in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, aims to nearly double group assets and income by 2017 and is considering the introduction of an Africa-specific brand to support this effort………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Regulation key to new Abu Dhabi free zone

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The newly established Abu Dhabi World Financial Market will need a regulator and lawyers are now asking what form that is likely to take.On Wednesday, The National reported that the UAE had signed into law the creation of a financial free zone for Abu Dhabi on Al Maryah Island.
“This carves a free zone out of a whole host of federal regulations,” said Kai Schneider, a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins. “As a result you would need an alternative regulator to be in place.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic finance is key to economic growth in Oman, says expert

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The CEO of Bank Nizwa, Oman’s first Islamic bank, was a keynote speaker at a recent economic forum dedicated to Islamic finance.
Dr Jamil el Jaroudi (pictured), a leading expert in Islamic finance, delivered a powerful presentation under the theme ‘Islamic banking, great hopes for Investments’, which gave participants the opportunity to gain first-hand information on the importance of the industry to the financial landscape of Oman………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Affin denies AMMB eyeing Affin Bank

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Affin Holdings Bhd has dismissed speculation that it was involved in talks with AMMB Holdings Bhd as well as six other banks to sell off its banking unit, Affin Bank Bhd, said its deputy chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.
“I can confirm that we’re not talking to anyone in terms of divestment or acquisition. We’ve just gotten approval to initiate discussions with Hwang-DBS (Malaysia) Bhd in view of acquiring Hwang-DBS. There is no other merger and acquisition (M&A) activity,” he told a press conference after the group’s AGM………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Middle East banking M&A deals touch USD7bln in 2012

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Middle East posted a strong jump in banking M&A (mergers and acquisitions) deal values in 2012, to nearly $7 billion, up from $1.5 billion in 2011, according to a study by global consulting firm PwC.
This was a result of six transactions in the period, even as the total number and value of global banking M&A transactions have declined steadily over the past few years, PwC said in a statement on Sunday, emphasising that high oil prices and the associated flow of money through the Middle East economy helped banks in some parts of the region to maintain high levels of liquidity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sukuk it and see

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

“Laws are like sausages,” remarked Prussia’s “Iron Chancellor”, Otto von Bismarck; it is best not to ask what compromises go into them. The Muslim Brotherhood, which controls both Egypt’s presidency and its acting legislature (the creation of a full parliament awaits a new electoral law and elections), has been trying to design what might be called pork-free legislation, in accordance with Islamic sharia. But it is meeting resistance from an unexpected quarter, fellow Islamists.
Egypt’s economy is sinking, and its government desperately needs finance. The Brothers are not only keen to show constituents that they are doing something to stem the slide, but that they are putting a more “Islamic” stamp on the country………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Challenges to the growth of the Islamic finance market

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

While Islamic financial institutions have passed the robustness test by exhibiting greater resilience during the recent global financial crisis, the crisis has also brought under the spotlight some important challenges the industry is currently facing. Going forward, the stakeholders of Islamic finance will need to address a broad spectrum of issues surrounding the industry.
Highlighting the inherent strengths of Islamic finance, the recent global financial crisis coincided with the growing concerns over the possibility that excessive financial innovation might lead the Islamic finance products to bend certain key precepts of Muslim jurisprudence to breaking point………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai’s GEMS raises $544mln in banking deal

Posted on 22 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

GEMS Education has successfully raised AED2bn ($544m) bank finance as part of its continuing investment in the education sector, it was announced on Sunday.
The facility has a tenor of six years and has Islamic and conventional tranches. The facility raised will be used to refinance its investment in schools made over the last three years and to provide additional funds for the investment in new schools in the UAE and wider MENA region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi pull-out weakens, doesn’t doom IILM sukuk plan

Posted on 19 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A surprise pull-out of Saudi Arabia from the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM) may have deprived the body of a top credit rating, but its debut sukuk issue still looks set to be welcomed by a wide range of investors.
The Kuala Lumpur-based IILM, backed by central banks from the Middle East and Asia, said this month that it planned to issue as much as $500 million through its maiden sukuk programme in the second quarter of this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banking sector flourishes in ME

Posted on 19 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic banking and finance industry in the Middle East, especially in the UAE is witnessing stupendous growth, the just concluded 3rd Annual Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference noted. The conference also revealed that the Middle East has been at the centre of Islamic finance activity and the region is viewed as one of the more mature markets.
Speaking to The Gulf Today, Dr Sayd Farook, Global Head Islamic Capital Markets at Thomson Reuters mentioned that the Islamic finance industry actually has immense potential to capitalise on the value that could be generated by identifying the full value chain in areas such as Halal food processing through a structured and well executed strategy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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