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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | January, 2009

Islamic finance: A brighter future

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: Islamic finance faces a stern test in 2009 amid the global economic crisis, and increased calls for more comprehensive industry regulation. Nevertheless, analysts argue that the sector’s fundamentals remain sound.

Once seen as an obscure backwater of banking, the Islamic finance sector has registered phenomenal growth in recent years. While the concept of tailored services for devout Muslims has existed for decades, the oil-rich Gulf economies, hubs for Islamic finance, have catapulted the market into the mainstream….. Full Article: Source

Islamic bond sale disappoints Turkish treasury

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Hurriyet.com.tr: The Turkish Treasury said on Wednesday it issued 420.7 million Turkish Liras ($261 million) and $49.1 million in revenue-indexed bonds in a direct sale to banks, far below an official expectation of a 1.89 billion liras.

The lira bond has a three-year and three-month maturity and the dollar bond has a maturity of three years and six months. The bond is considered an “Islamic bond” as it does not rely on interest rates but rather the income from state-owned institutions. The Treasury had said the new bonds are part of an effort to diversify borrowing instruments….. Full Article: Source

Gulf banks’ urge to merge

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Africasia.com: The Gulf Cooperation Council has ambitious plans. In the GCC states of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, policy makers are looking to develop more-diversified and sustainable economies through a vast spending programme involving both public and private sources of financing.

The Institute of International Finance estimates there are about $1.9 trillion worth of projects under way in the region, making the GCC one of the largest project finance markets in the world….. Full Article: Source

Malaysia regulator oks 3 foreign Islamic fund managers

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Malaysia’s market regulator on Thursday approved three new foreign fund managers to start Islamic operations in the country.

The Securities Commission gave its nod to Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd, BNP Paribas Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd and Nomura Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd, the agency said in a statement….. Full Article: Source

Mena managers optimistic despite poor return

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Fundstrategy.co.uk: Managers of funds in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) are optimistic for the medium and long term, but expect markets to keep falling in the short term, a survey finds.

Standard & Poor’s annual review of Mena funds says that the sector suffered badly during the financial crisis, with reported fund falls of 20% to 50% in the year to October 2008….. Full Article: Source

Islamic bonds not spared in economic downturn, says RAM

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Theedgedaily.com: Even Islamic bonds, initially thought to be insulated from the global financial crisis, were not spared the agony of a slump in the domestic market, said RAM Rating Services Bhd.

The domestic sukuk market contracted more than 75% last year, ending with only RM8.8 billion worth of issues, said RAM Ratings in a statement yesterday. …. Full Article: Source

Growth in Islamic sharia banking to be slow this year

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thejakartapost.com: The deepening global economic slowdown, lack of skilled workforce, and limited capital are likely to slow growth in Islamic-sharia banking activities.Primarily due to these factors, the central bank has forecast that the market share for sharia-based banking, in terms of assets, will only reach 3 percent of the country’s whole banking industry assets.

Bank Indonesia (BI) deputy governor Siti Fadjrijah said Wednesday, that the initial forecast of 5 percent market share was too optimistic….. Full Article: Source

Benchmark Mutual Fund launches first-ever Shariah compliant ETF

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business-standard.com: The market for Shariah funds is set to grow with Benchmark Mutual Fund launching the first-ever Shariah Benchmark Exchange-traded scheme in India. It’s an open-ended listed index scheme.

The scheme will be benchmarked against the S&P CNX Shariah index, an index that was launched by Standard & Poor’s and India Index Services & Products. Each unit is priced at 1/10th of the S&P CNX Nifty. The scheme will open for subscription on February 4 and close on February 25….. Full Article: Source

GCC sukuk market revival unlikely this year

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: The Islamic bond, or sukuk, market in the Gulf region is unlikely to see a revival this year as investor confidence continues to be low, experts said. ‘I believe currently it’s still not time to issue sukuk. This year there won’t be much structuring,’ a Qatar-based Islamic banker said.

He said he expected only a handful of Islamic bonds with volumes below $500 million to be issued in the Gulf this year….. Full Article: Source

Indonesia: Yield for retail sukuk at 12%

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thejakartapost.com: The government’s first retail sukuk will carry a yield of 12 percent, higher than the average return of comparable government bonds.

Finance Ministry’s director general of debt management Rahmat Waluyanto said Wednesday the 12 percent coupon had taken into account “the condition of the domestic financial market, and the cost that could be borne by the government in managing its debts”. …. Full Article: Source

Deutsche appoints head of Global, MENA markets and Islamic finance

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Deutsche Bank has announced the appointment of Salman Al Khalifa as head of Global Markets Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Hussein Hassan as Head of Structuring MENA and Head of Islamic Finance at Deutsche Bank. The appointments are effective immediately.

Salman Al Khalifa is a Bahraini citizen and was previously head of Global Markets Sales for MENA at Deutsche Bank. In his new role he will report to Yassine Bouhara, Global Head of Structuring and Head of Global Markets for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. …. Full Article: Source

BLME set to launch 3 Islamic, dollar-based fixed-income funds

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: Bank of London and the Middle East, or BLME, plans to launch at least three funds in 2009 targeting fixed income, distressed real-estate assets and equities, a bank executive said yesterday.

The Shariah-compliant lender, which was launched in July 2007, has completed preparation for a US dollar based fixed income fund, a UK real estate distressed assets fund and an equities fund, Adrian Gayler, the newly-appointed head of private banking at BLME, told Zawya Dow Jones in a phone interview. …. Full Article: Source

Dewa refinances $2.2 billion Islamic loan

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) is looking to refinance a $2.2 billion (Dh8bn) Islamic loan which was signed in April 2008, banking sources said yesterday.

The new deal will have three-year maturity and will carry an irrevocable payment guarantee from the Government of Dubai….. Full Article: Source

Arabs must ‘rework strategies to face challenges

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Arab countries must rise to the occasion and re-align their thinking and strategy to meet up new challenges in a changing global scenario, according to a Middle East expert.

Middle Eastern societies are going through a crucial transition phase while facing a moment of truth socially, economically and politically, and their success will depend largely on their ability to capitalize on current opportunities, said Rami G. Khouri, senior fellow at the Dubai School of Government and director of the Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut….. Full Article: Source

RTS to offer direct market access to NASDAQ Dubai

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bi-me.com: RTS Realtime Systems Group, a leading trading solutions provider, announced that it is now offering connectivity to NASDAQ Dubai, the international stock exchange formerly known as the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX).

Through RTS technology, users will be able to trade all of NASDAQ Dubai’s listed products, including equities, derivatives and structured products….. Full Article: Source

Allianz receives approval to establish Retakaful fund

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama.com.my: Allianz Re has announced that Allianz SE Life Reinsurance Branch Labuan, recently recieved regulatory approval to establish a separate fund to support the life and health retakaful business (Family Retakaful).

As a branch office of Allianz SE, ARLL enjoys an S&P rating of “AA” and A.M.Best rating of “A “….. Full Article: Source

MARC downgrades Tracoma’s Islamic bonds

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Btimes.com.my: Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd has downgraded the credit rating on Tracoma Holdings Bhd’s RM100 million Islamic bonds to D from C.

The cut reflects Tracoma’s failure to redeem the first series of RM50 million on January 28 2009, MARC said in a statement. …. Full Article: Source

Finance and realty pull UAE markets down

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: UAE markets fell yesterday, ending the four-session rally. A full week rally has not happened in Dubai since April last year, and in Abu Dhabi since June. The downbeat financial and property sector stocks dragged the Dubai bourse down.

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) fell by 1.05 per cent to close at 1,520.24. There were 3,432 trades, with just four stocks up, 16 down and five unchanged. …. Full Article: Source

DIB moves to improve corporate governance

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has signed a “founding member” sponsorship agreement with corporate governance organisation the Hawkamah Institute, the bank announced on Thursday.

DIB said that the move shows its commitment towards strengthening its corporate governance standards….. Full Article: Source

Tamweel restructuring

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Mortgage lender, Tamweel PJSC - a company which is currently under merger process with Amlak - is restructuring its business plans and organisational structure that involves a reduction of 57 staff members from its workforce, the company said in a statement.

The reason given was to enable the company to be in a stronger position to meet its objectives in the challenging environment that financial institutions are facing at present….. Full Article: Source

Global recession and promises of Islamic finance

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Aboobarza: The world economy is in the grip of a financial crisis. The crisis originated in the United States (US) with plunging house prices, stock price declines, and a severe credit crunch (falling credit availability), and then spread across Europe and major Asian countries.

This financial crisis is far more serious than any experienced over the last four decades. International Monetary Fund (IMF) considers this financial crisis as more serious than the great depression of the 1930s….. Full Article: Source

Sukuk market blighted by credit crunch, say reports

Posted on 30 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Investorsoffshore.com: Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s released contemporaneous reports last week revealing major declines in the issuance of sukuk (Islamic bonds) in 2008 on 2007’s figures, citing reduced trading in excess of 50%.

Standard and Poor’s blamed the reduced trading on the global financial crisis, observing that “the decline in sukuk issuance in 2008 was as a result of the global market turmoil; drying up liquidity, widening credit spreads, and promoting a wait-and-see attitude amongst investors.” …. Full Article: Source

‘Pent-up demand’ for Islamic finance in Egypt, says expert

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dailystaregypt.com: Amid the gloom of the global economic crisis, many are hopeful that investors will turn to Islamic finance as the less risky option. Meanwhile, the relatively nascent market needs to play catch up with rising demand.

Ibrahim Warde, adjunct professor of international business at the Fletcher School of law and diplomacy at Tufts University, works on the Islamic Finance Project at Harvard University. He has authored three books — including “The Price of Fear: the Truth behind the Financial War on Terror” — numerous articles for Le Monde diplomatique and lectures at institutions worldwide on the topics of banking and finance….. Full Article: Source

Islamic-style Turkish bonds fail to appeal

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From FT: Turkey’s launch of bonds designed to appeal to Islamic investors fell flat yesterday, raising only a quarter of the 1.89bn Turkish lira ($1.17bn) the Treasury had hoped for.

Banks bought TL420.7m and $49.1m worth of the revenue-linked bonds, which rely on income from state bodies such as the airports authority and Turkish Petroleum Corporation rather than on interest rates, the Treasury said….. Full Article: Source

Gulf sukuk market revival seen unlikely in 2009

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: The Islamic bond, or sukuk, market in the Gulf Arab region is unlikely to see a revival during this year as investor confidence continues to be low, experts said. “I believe currently it’s still not time to issue sukuk. This year there won’t be much structuring,” a Qatar-based Islamic banker who declined to be identified told Reuters.

He said he expected only a handful of Islamic bonds with volumes below $500 million to be issued in the Gulf this year….. Full Article: Source

UAE: Sharia fund to exploit liquidity shortage

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thenational.ae: National Bonds Corporation, a Shariah-compliant savings scheme partially owned by the Government, plans to grab opportunities created by the global credit crisis and become a major regional private equity investor this year.

“During crises, people will save,” said Mohammed Qasim al Ali, the chief executive of National Bonds. “It is going to be a good year for private equity. A lot of businesses are going to be suffering from a shortage of liquidity.”…. Full Article: Source

BMB Islamic picks up top Sharia award

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From FT Adviser: The Cayman Islands-based BMB Group subsidiary came first in the global vote, taking the views of nearly 2500 finance industry figures.

It will pick up the prestigious gong at two ceremonies on 12 February at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur and on 3 March in Dubai’s Grand Hyatt….. Full Article: Source

Lloyds TSB’s SWIP targets Gulf with Saudi branch

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) has joined a Saudi partner to open a subsidiary in the world’s largest oil exporter, the joint venture said on Wednesday.

SWIP is the fund management arm of British banking group Lloyds TSB. SWIP Saudi Asset Management (SWIP SAM), a joint venture between SWIP and local Manar Financial Investment Co, will focus mainly on investment in the insurance sector, SWIP SAM said in a statement….. Full Article: Source

Indonesia sets coupon rate for retail sukuk

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Indonesia has set a coupon rate of 12 percent for its first retail Islamic-compliant bonds, which are due to be issued on Feb. 25, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry said in a statement that the retail sukuk would have a three-year maturity, but did not immediately provide more details….. Full Article: Source

Indonesia government to issue retail Sukuk ahead of schedule

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thejakartaglobe.com: Indonesia will issue its first Islamic bonds, or sukuk, for local retail investors ahead of schedule to take advantage of declining bank interest rates, so the debt papers can compete with bank deposits, a senior official at the Finance Ministry said on Wednesday.

Rahmat Waluyanto, director general of debt management at the ministry, moved the offering dates for the bonds to the period between Jan. 30 and Feb. 20. The offering dates were initially scheduled for the period between Feb. 6 and Feb. 20….. Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Micro Bank offers Islamic compliant services

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Allafrica.com: The Kwara Commercial Micro Finance Bank is to offer interested customers Shari’ah compliant services. The bank which was officially commissioned in Ilorin yesterday under its Halaal loan and savings scheme intends to offer Islamic compliant financial services that prohibits interest (riba).

According to the mission statement of the new bank, “KCMB works with its customers in a view of profit sharing (mudharabah), safekeeping (wudiah), leasing (ijarah), joint venture (musharakah) and capital venture (mudaraba).”…. Full Article: Source

BI says assets of Sharia lenders could grow 40%

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thejakartaglobe.com: Bank Indonesia, the central bank, is projecting Sharia, or Islamic, lenders’ assets could grow by more than 40 percent to Rp 90 trillion ($7.92 billion) in 2009 from around Rp 50 trillion last year, as lenders chose “safe” investments in times of global uncertainty.

Siti Fadjrijah, deputy governor of Bank Indonesia, said the central bank was optimistic about achieving the target, which she said was “in the middle” of the bank’s predictive range — a “moderate” increase. She noted several conventional banks had spun-off their Sharia units into fully fledged Sharia banks, which she believed would speed asset growth….. Full Article: Source

Iraqi official appeals to foreign banks to invest

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From IHT: The Iraqi finance minister appealed Wednesday to international banks to open branches in the country and invest so it can continue to rebuild, saying their presence was needed to help Iraq meet its electricity, housing and oil needs.

In return, Bayan Jabr, promised to clear any obstacles the banks might face in Iraq and revisit any laws that might prove problematic for them to conduct business….. Full Article: Source

Islamic lenders to buy revenue-linked debt

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Hurriyet.com.tr: Turkey’s sale of government debt linked to income at state-owned companies met the demands of the country’s Islamic banks for non-interest-bearing instruments, Dünya newspaper said, citing Osman Akyüz, Secretary-General of the Participation Banks Association of Turkey.

Turkish Islamic lenders are likely to buy the majority of the paper to be issued this week by the Treasury in Ankara, although they may sell some onward to investors in the Gulf, Akyüz said….. Full Article: Source

Kuwait leading Islamic bank posts 4th quarter loss

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Kuwait Finance House, the emirate s leading Islamic bank, on Wednesday posted massive losses for the fourth quarter of last year while its 2008 net profits dropped by 43 percent.

KFH posted a loss of 63.6 million dinars (220.8 million dollars) in the last quarter of 2008 compared to a net profit of 98.4 million dinars (341.7 million dollars) in the last three months of the previous year….. Full Article: Source

KFH vows expansion after profit setback

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-daily-news.com: Kuwait Finance House (KFH) suffered a loss in the fourth quarter and reported a slump in full-year earnings yesterday. This comes just a day after rival National Bank of Kuwait posted a profit dive in a sign the global crisis had reached the Gulf state.

Kuwait’s biggest Islamic lender said it had made a 210.94 million Kuwaiti dinars ($725.5m) provision to help weather the crisis but vowed it would continue foreign expansion….. Full Article: Source

Global financial turmoil ‘threat to GCC projects’

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-daily-news.com: The GCC region now has around $3 trillion tied up in construction and infrastructure projects, of which at least 10 per cent are in serious trouble due the global economic crisis, an expert said yesterday.

Economics and petroleum market behaviour associate professor at the Abu Dhabi-based Petroleum Institute Dalton Garis said Dubai is perhaps the most seriously affected though other parts of the region are “weathering the storm well”….. Full Article: Source

Tamweel removes detained board member

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thenational.ae: Saad Abdul Razak, who has been in detention since October, has been dismissed from Tamweel’s board of directors, the Islamic lender said yesterday. Mr Abdul Razak, who is also a former chief executive of Dubai Islamic Bank and managing director of the Investment Corporation of Dubai, was arrested in connection with an inquiry into alleged corruption.

He is still in police custody, although no charges have been brought against him….. Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi house prices soften, as financing issues loom large

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bi-me.com: Property prices have fallen in Abu Dhabi by an average of 15% in recent months, but a lack of finance is stalling the market, according to industry experts.

Prices in the secondary property market have softened after peaking last summer, with big falls occurring at Al Raha Beach and Al Reem Island, according to LLJ Property, a property broker based in the capital. …. Full Article: Source

Clerics declare Islamic banking hara’am

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Allvoices.com: As many as 31 top Islamic clerics and scholars of the country have declared the present Islamic banking system ‘Hara’am’ and ‘Ghair Sharai’ and termed all the dealings with such Islamic banks un-Islamic as they are based on interest.

The scholars declared the Islamic banking against the Islamic teachings and values, saying that all the business with these so-called Islamic banks was not Islamic. They gave a ‘fatwa’ and urged the Muslims not to deal with these so-called Islamic banks. …. Full Article: Source

Shenyang Islamic development project plan on track

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Malaysiapropertynews.com: The proposed RM11 billion commercial and residential development in Shenyang, China, that will utilise Syariah-compliant financing from Malaysian banks is on track despite the current global economic downturn.

Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Adnan Alias said the report on the feasibility study of the project is nearly completed….. Full Article: Source

Pakistan’s Islamic banks plan to open 230 new outlets in 2009

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Pakistan’s Islamic banks, which saw assets grow 20 times in the past five years, plan to expand their network of outlets this year to take advantage of rising demand for Shariah-compliant loans.

Islamic lenders may add about 230 branches in 2009, driven by the world’s second-biggest Muslim population, Pervez Said, director of Islamic banking at the State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank, said in a telephone interview today. These banks have 500 branches, after adding 210 outlets last year. …. Full Article: Source

Ocado secures GBP10mln Sharia’a financing

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Retail-week.com: Online grocer Ocado has secured a £10m financing facility, raised using Sharia’a financing. It is the first time the retailer has used Islamic finance, which is based on the principles underlying Islamic law.

The retailer secured the leasing facility from London-based Sharia’a compliant bank, Bank of London and the Middle East. Unlike conventional finance, Islamic finance avoids interest and investments in activities which are contrary to Sharia’a law such as illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco and gambling….. Full Article: Source

Saudi banks urged to resume business of lending money

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Mohammed Al-Jasser, deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), said yesterday that the Kingdom has focused its efforts on protecting its financial stability by increasing liquidity in order to confront the aftermath of the global economic crisis.

“The government has adopted a policy of increased spending to reduce the effects of global economic recession,” Al-Jasser said while addressing the last working session of the Global Competitiveness Forum here….. Full Article: Source

Deutsche Bank adds MENA heads

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Marketsmediaonline.com: A global bank is once again zeroing in on the cash-rich Middle East, as Deutsche Bank on Tuesday appointed two new heads to its operations in the region and its growing Islamic finance unit.

The German banking giant said Salman Al-Khalifa will become head of its global markets for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), while Hussein Hassan is now head of structuring MENA and of Islamic finance at Deutsche Bank….. Full Article: Source

S&P: long-term strengths mitigate short-term weaknesses in Qatari insurance market

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Menafn.com: Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services notes that when the State of Qatar’s sound economic prospects are considered alongside the specific strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats confronting the local insurance sector, it is reasonable to be guardedly optimistic for the medium-and longer-term future of the Qatari insurance sector.

With the wealth of insurers as well as banks tending to rise and fall in line with the fortunes of their local economy, it is of more than just academic interest to note how GDP has developed in Qatar (AA-/Stable/A-1+) in recent years, with nominal GDP approaching Qatari riyal (QAR) 300 billion in 2008, or almost double the level of 2005. …. Full Article: Source

First Gulf Bank drive net profit by 50% in 2008

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: The Board of Directors of First Gulf Bank (FGB), financial institution, announced on Tuesday its full 2008 results with net profit of Dh3, 005 million, representing an impressive increase of 50 per cent over its 2007 results.

“At a time where the world is heavily impacted by the financial turmoil resulting in credit and financial crisis, FGB has once again recorded strong performance and exceeded expectations. This reconfirms the bank’s position as one of the best performing, most efficient and most profitable institutions. FGB has strong foundations to continue delivering its vision and commitment to shareholders,” said Abdulhamid Saeed, Managing Director of FGB….. Full Article: Source

Qatar Insurance reports 8% rise in ’08 net profit

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: Qatar Insurance Company has reported 8% rise in its net profit to QR511mn in 2008. On a capital base of QR424.71mn, QIC achieved earning-per-share of QR12.04, the insurer said in statement to the Doha Securities Market.

The company’s board of directors, which met yesterday, has recommended 30% cash dividends (QR3 per share) and bonus shares at a rate of 75% (three shares for each four owned)….. Full Article: Source

Ajman Bank starts with ‘clean slate’

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thenational.ae: Starting a business in the current economic environment offers more opportunities than disadvantages, according to Ajman Bank, a new Islamic commercial bank that intends to become fully operational next week.

“We are not carrying any baggage. We are starting from a clean slate,” said Said Wafai, the head of the bank’s strategic corporate affairs….. Full Article: Source

SBP likely to launch $200mln SME fund

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dailytimes.com.pk: The State Bank of Pakistan is likely to launch $200 million Small and Medieum Enterprises (SMEs) support fund that would be executed through small banks of the country as per Letter of Intent (LOI) agreed with International Monetary Fund.

Bilal Mustafa, Managing Director the Bank of Khyber told Daily Times after the formal inauguration ceremony of Bank of Khyber Islamic Banking Branch….. Full Article: Source

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