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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | March, 2009

Islamic finance must resolve inner tensions

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From FT: A small idea is developing into a big hope in the Middle East. It is that the answer to the global financial crisis lies in Islamic finance.

Proponents of the $800bn industry argue that the prohibition on dealing in interest has saved Islamic institutions, preventing them from investing in all the dubious structures that have brought down high-flying international institutions…..Full Article: Source

Takaful industry to see strong growth

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: The Islamic insurance or Takaful industry will see double-digit growth in the next three years, slowed only slightly by the financial crisis, a leading industry official said on Monday.

Takaful business was expected to grow 17 per cent a year over the next three years, after annual growth of 25 per cent from 2004 to 2007, said Saleh Malaikah, chairman of Islamic reinsurance operator BEST Re…..Full Article: Source

Need for regulations on Islamic finance

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Menafn.com: There is much talk about the emergence of Islamic finance as an alternative model to the classical neo-liberal market system. But are the Muslim markets where Islamic finance is available up to meeting this challenge?

One Islamic banker, Badlishah Abdul Ghani, CEO of CIMB Islamic Bank, believes that Islamic banking may be in danger of sleepwalking into a major crisis, not because of the credit crunch or the global financial crisis, but because of its internal contradictions and the anomalies between the various jurisdictions…..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance pushes for role in G-20 agenda

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya.com: As the world’s eyes turn to London over the next few days to see whether the G-20 leaders at their April 2 summit can indeed come up with measures to arrest the impact of the global financial crisis and the inevitable march into a pernicious recession, there have been growing calls for a greater role and involvement of Islamic finance in the global financial system and on the G-20 agenda.

We have seen unemployment spiraling worldwide, credit being squeezed to both companies and households, and more people sliding into poverty…..Full Article: Source

Malaysia bourse plans sharia shortselling platform

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Malaysia’s stock exchange plans to launch a platform to facilitate regulated Islamic short-selling and hedge fund activities towards the end of the year, the bourse’s head said on Monday.

Short-selling — the sale of borrowed stock with a view to buying it back more cheaply later — is controversial among Islamic scholar, as some believe that sharia does not permit selling what one does not own…..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Islamic banking and finance

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Allafrica.com: The recently mooted idea of an Islamic finance system may be a welcome alternative to the age-old traditional Anglo-Saxon financial practices.

The credit crunch occasioned by the economic meltdown and the need to lever up with bailouts have created the need for a new approach to finance and banking. The Islamic financial system has been mentioned in this regard…..Full Article: Source

Saudi IDB buys 40 pct of Albania bank for $8 mln

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank raised its stake in the small United Bank of Albania to 55 percent after buying a 40 percent stake for 8 million dollars, the finance ministry said on Monday.

Finance Minister Ridvan Bode said Albania was happy to have received three million dollars more than when it offered it for sale in 2006. The United Bank of Albania, formerly the Islamic-Albanian Bank, received a licence in 1999…..Full Article: Source

Islamic laws of finance a cushion in hard times

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Sacbee.com: The recession gripping the nation has taken less of a toll on American Muslims who follow age-old Islamic laws against paying - or charging - interest.

They’ve also been shielded by socially responsible retirement plans because Shariah- Islamic law - forbids investments in banks and mortgages as well as tobacco, alcohol, gambling, pornography or weapons…..Full Article: Source

Two banks secure fresh capital from Abu Dhabi government

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gowealthy.com: Two Abu Dhabi-based financial institutions, First Gulf Bank (FGB) and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), have secured a total Dh6.7 billion in fresh capital from the emirate’s government.

FGB received Dh4.5 billion from the Abu Dhabi finance ministry and said it would convert it into Tier 2 capital, one of the most reliable form of capital from a regulator’s point of view. FGB secured its money in two tranches, of Dh2.2 billion and Dh2.3 billion…..Full Article: Source

CBB Sukuk Al-Salam securities over subscribed

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Ameinfo.com: The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) announces that the monthly issue of the Sukuk Al-Salam Islamic securities has been over subscribed by 350 %.

Subscriptions worth BD21m were received for the BD6m issue, which carries a maturity of 91 days…..Full Article: Source

Islamic bond sales may reach record on Gulf demand

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Islamic bond sales may rebound and reach a record this year, with the Gulf accounting for about two-thirds of the debt issued as higher yields attract investors, NCB Capital said.

There is an estimated ‘pipeline’ of about $39.3 billion of so-called sukuk, Jarmo Kotilaine, chief economist at Saudi Arabia’s NCB Capital, said in a report received on Monday. He estimates the pipeline from the Gulf Cooperation Council to be $24.6 billion…..Full Article: Source

Dewa to get Islamic refinancing from 15 Banks

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority will tap 15 banks for a Dh8 billion ($2.2 billion) Islamic loan refinancing, which is scheduled to be announced on Thursday.

The due date for the repayment of this syndicated refinancing, called an ‘Ijara,’ or leasing facility, is April 13 and will be arranged by seven foreign banks and eight local banks. Dubai Islamic Bank will be the lead arranger, and some newly established Islamic banks are likely to take part in this financing…..Full Article: Source

Bahrain National Holding seeks major expansion

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Bahrain National Holding (BNH) is looking for further expansion this year, seeking to grow both vertically and horizontally, according to chief executive Mahmood Al Soufi.

While it is continuing to expand its existing general, motor and life insurance operations it is also in the process of launching new ventures and new partnerships for expansion…..Full Article: Source

Capinnova urges more Islamic finance transparency

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: The emerging Islamic finance industry needs to improve its transparency to overcome the financial crisis faster, the chief executive of Islamic bank Capinnova has said.

The nascent Islamic finance industry, which controls assets of about $1 trillion, has boomed in recent years on the back of high oil prices, but at the end of last year got caught up in the global liquidity freeze alongside its conventional peers…..Full Article: Source

First Islamic bank in Sri Lanka set to launch

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Islamicfinancenews.wordpress.com: The Amana Group was recently given a Letter of Provisional Approval by the Central Bank (CB) to establish a licensed commercial bank named Amana Bank Ltd, and is taking steps to set up the ‘first truly’ Islamic commercial bank in the country, the group said in a press statement.

It said upon achieving certain conditions listed in the Letter of Provisional Approval such as the raising of a minimum capital requirement of Rs. 2.5 billion, Amana Bank expects to receive a banking licence from the CB that will enable it to begin commercial banking operations…..Full Article: Source

Islamic economic experts ready to replace capitalistic system

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thememriblog.org: Economic experts have asserted the importance of expanding the Islamic banking system and providing the necessary instruments to avoid future shocks that the global banking system has recently experienced.

A reference was made to a recent article in the Vatican official daily l’Osservatore Romano which recommended that the Western banks should adopt the Islamic banking financial instrument of sukuk [profit-sharing instruments rather than interest-bearing bonds] to expand the economy…..Full Article: Source

Istithmar World to focus on private equity and alternative investments

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Cpifinancial.net: Istithmar World Investment Management (Dubai) is part of the Dubai World group, Dubai’s investment flag bearer focusing on strategic growth areas through its portfolio companies.

Istithmar World is active in private equity globally and has $9 billion of non-consolidated assets under management, including real estate investments. Istithmar World Investment Management (Dubai) is the first Dubai World entity to be authorised by the DFSA to conduct regulated activities in DIFC…..Full Article: Source

CIMB to raise US$2.5bln sukuk

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thestar.com: CIMB Islamic, the global Islamic banking and finance franchise of the CIMB Banking Group, has 19 mandates from clients in Asia, including the Middle East, to raise nearly US$2.5bil from Islamic capital markets.

It is also set to launch an infrastructure fund worth nearly US$500mil in the region in the next three months…..Full Article: Source

Qatar Islamic Bank to raise $200 mln European Sukuk Fund

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, the Gulf state’s biggest lender complying with Muslim banking rules, is seeking to raise $200 million for a Europe-based fund that will invest in Islamic bonds, known as sukuk.

The EFH Global Sukuk Plus Fund will be operated by QIB’s European Finance House Ltd. unit in London, and managed by Aleksandar Devic, a former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. credit analyst. ….Full Article: Source

Islamic financial system solution to meltdown

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thaindian.com: Greed and individualism must give way to a cooperative approach of Islamic financial system to rid the world of the current economic meltdown, a renowned Muslim scholar said Sunday.

Nejatullah Siddiqui, the scholar, was speaking at the inaugural session of the conference on Islamic Finance and World Economy organised by the Department of Business Administration, Aligarh Muslim University in collaboration with the Taqwaa Advisory and Shariah Investment Solutions (TASIS)…..Full Article: Source

Islamic Development Bank chief urges G-20 to assess Islamic finance

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya.com: “The opportunities offered by Islamic finance in promoting global financial stability and financial inclusion are worth assessment by the leadership of the G-20 countries,” said Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Ahmed Mohamed Ali here yesterday.

Ali was echoing calls by the Islamic finance industry experts that the faith-based alternative investment model has something to offer to the global financial system, which has been teetering on the brink of meltdown following the impact of a credit crunch as a result of risky investments in junk derivatives such as subprime CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) in the US…..Full Article: Source

Can Islamic banks save the world?

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Ukinvest.gov.uk: Islamic banking could help Europe and the world survive the global financial crisis, a leading spokesman has said. Dr Ahmed Mohamed Ali, president of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), said that stabilising global markets is a priority for East and West alike.

He told bankers and financiers at Mansion House that a principle of Sharia law is that money should measure rather than create value. And he noted that Islamic banks control £720 billion worldwide, have grown by 10% to 15% growth in the past few years and already have close ties with London…..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi to launch bond

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Cash-rich Abu Dhabi may sell as much as Dh36.7 billion ($10 billion) of international bond, three credit rating agencies said on Friday.

The bond is part of a Global Medium Term Notes (GMTN) programme that the emirate has mandated Citi, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan to arrange, Gulf News has learnt. The emirate is expected to kickstart a roadshow for the bond this week…..Full Article: Source

Syrian economy grows at 6.5pc

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: The Syrian economy grew 6.5 per cent in 2007 and last year, showing that the government’s policies were effective, Prime Minister Mohammed Naji Otri said.

‘Certain economic indicators reflect the correctness of our plans. GDP registered 6.5 per cent growth in 2007 and 2008. These figures inspire optimism and show we are on the right track,’ he told a meeting of engineers…..Full Article: Source

HSBC helps investors explore Islamic finance in Thailand

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Theasianbanker.com: HSBC in Thailand, in collaboration with DataConsult, recently organised the Third Thailand Islamic Finance Conference. This provided an opportunity for both public and private sectors to explore Islamic finance as an alternative funding source for Thailand’s financial market.

The Thailand Islamic Finance Conference provides public sector officials, state enterprise directors, bankers, financiers and private sector business leaders with a better understanding of the opportunities offered through Islamic finance, an area seeing the fastest growth among the global banking and financial services sector…..Full Article: Source

Islamic Banking should be most important agenda for Malaysian Government

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: The government is urged to make Islamic banking as one of the most important agendas in efforts to build energy capacity in future.

The representative from the Pahang Umno Liaison Body, Amiruddin Mohd Said, who made the proposal when tabling the motion on economy at the Umno general assembly 2008, here today, said Malaysia had the expertise needed to realise the agenda…..Full Article: Source

Thai bank says to issue country’s first Islamic bonds

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: State-owned Islamic Bank of Thailand will issue the country’s first Islamic bond in a plan to raise funds for expansion, its president said on Friday.

The bank will sell 200 million ringgit ($55.42 million) of mudaraba bonds in neighbouring Malaysia, Dheerasak Suwannayos said…..Full Article: Source

Rating agency plans sharia rating on firms

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Themalaysianinsider.com: Malaysian Rating Corp will offer from July services to rate the sharia compliance of Islamic financial institutions, its chief executive said today.

This rating would allow investors to assess the degree to which an institution adheres to the sharia’s tenets, the agency’s CEO Mohd Razlan Mohamed said…..Full Article: Source

Syarikat Takaful to sell assets to EXIM

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Btimes.com: Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd is selling seven pieces of land together with an 18-storey office building in Kuala Lumpur to Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd (EXIM) for RM63 million.

The disposal, which is in line with its strategy to focus on managing family and general takaful business, will provide Syarikat Takaful a gain of RM543,000…..Full Article: Source

Egypt central bank cuts key rates

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Egypt’s central bank cut its key overnight interest rates by 50 basis points on Friday, citing slowing inflation and reduced growth in the manufacturing sector and in Suez Canal receipts due to the global economic slowdown.

The bank said it cut its overnight deposit rate to 10 per cent and its overnight lending rate to 12 per cent, following a 100 basis point cut at the bank’s last policy meeting in February…..Full Article: Source

Islamic Economics: Muslim leaders call for more Islamic finance

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Muslimnews.co.uk: Islamic finance and banking must be developed as an alternative to the discredited Wall Street model of doing business, the World Islamic Economic Forum resolved as it wrapped up in Indonesia on March 4.

More than 1,550 delegates including prime ministers, presidents, princes and sheikhs from 38 countries issued a declaration calling on the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to take the lead in promoting Islamic finance…..Full Article: Source

Muslim Groups are targeted for economic hits

Posted on 30 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Masnet.org: Back in the 1960’s, the F.B.I. Counter-intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) practically wrote the book on tactics used by the U.S. government to target Black radical organizations and groups that opposed the war in Vietnam.

One time-tested strategy was based on draining the resources of (usually) poor and financially-strapped groups by tying them up in litigation and lengthy court battles – while, at the same time, alienating them from their financial donors. Is this one of the factors behind the Investigative Project/Jihad Watch crusade against Imam Mahdi Bray? Let’s look at the facts and connect the dots: ….Full Article: Source

Islamic finance: An ethical alternative to conventional finance?

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Accaglobal.com: Islamic finance is one of the fastest-growing segments of today’s banking industry. Formerly deemed a marginal industry by some, Islamic finance is now recognised as a vital and thriving market.

While the size of Islamic finance and banking activities, estimated to range from $500bn to $1,000bn, is still a fraction of conventional banking, the impressive growth rates of 10–15% seen in recent years emphasise the potential market for such activities…..Full Article: Source

The rise of Sharianomics

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Jordantimes.com: A majority of pundits see little to no adverse effect of the global financial crisis on Islamic banks. One would think that Islamic banks are poised to surge as leaders in the global banking industry. This would only be true, however, if Islamic banks and the regulatory authorities seized the day and better marketed Islamic banking services.

Islamic banks are based on Sharia, the body of Islamic law. They share common traits: do not charge interest, instead they share in the venture as partners, consequently they are bearers of risk; deal basically in goods and services such as real estate and commodities; avoid ventures that are prohibited by Islamic doctrine; rely on their own deposits to finance their partnerships with the “borrowers”…..Full Article: Source

Mideast economy ‘will bounce back soon’

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: The Middle East economy will bounce back soon, but for rest of the world it’s gloom and doom, according to a leading Harvard University economics professor.

The region’s economy is fundamentally different from the rest, he said. In the near term the oil price is likely to bounce back to between $70 and $80 and the dollar is likely to fall by between 10 per cent and 20pc…..Full Article: Source

Bahrain Financial Exchange appoints Islamic finance consultancy

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Mondovisione.com: The Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX) has employed the consultancy services of the SHAPE Financial Corp. SHAPE is a leading specialist in the formation of solutions for Islamic finance markets and will assist the BFX in the development of Sharia compliant Islamic finance products for listing on the Exchange.

Listing and trading in innovative Islamic products will be a key aspect of the BFX. Working with SHAPE will enable the Exchange to establish its product line in this area and benefit from the strong relationships SHAPE has in the Islamic finance industry. ….Full Article: Source

Doha Bank sells DSM equity portfolio to government

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Menareport.com: Doha Bank, one of the largest private commercial bank in the State of Qatar, recently announced that the Bank has completed all the necessary formalities towards the sale of the identified DSM equity portfolio to the government in a USD 147 million (QAR 537 million) deal as part of the government’s proactive measure to infuse liquidity in the market to support the ongoing developments of Qatar and the related financing needs.

Mr. R. Seetharaman, Chief Executive Officer, Doha Bank said “In this regard, the government has paid USD 66 million (QAR 239 million) in cash and USD 81 million (QAR 298 million) by way of issue of 5-year government bond carrying a fixed coupon of 5.5% annually”…..Full Article: Source

Kuwaiti Cabinet approves economic stimulus bill

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From IHT: Kuwait’s Cabinet has approved a $5.15 billion economic stimulus bill to help the oil-rich country weather the global crisis, the finance minister said Thursday.

The move bypassed Kuwait’s parliament which the ruler dissolved last week citing abuse of democracy and stalling development. The plan aims to help struggling investment companies and offer bank loan guarantees…..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Government moves to issue benchmark bond

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thenational.ae: The Abu Dhabi Government is moving to develop a more mature debt market by issuing a “benchmark” bond, bank sources say. The news follows calls from officials and analysts for Gulf governments to issue the bonds, which are necessary for developing debt markets.

A bond market attracting a larger number of buyers and sellers could eventually provide companies with an alternative way of raising funds, which have grown scarce since the financial crisis forced banks to cut lending…..Full Article: Source

Adih eyes US, Europe distressed assets

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Abu Dhabi Investment House (Adih) aims to capitalise on opportunities in distressed assets in the US and European countries, said its Deputy Chief Executive Officer Fawaz Al Jowder.

In an interview with CNBC Arabiya, he said the company has extended its operations to North Africa including Morocco and Tunisia, and Southeast Asia…..Full Article: Source

Volume multiplies at Nasdaq Dubai in March

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bi-me.com: Volume is slowly picking up at Nasdaq Dubai and has grown more than tenfold since February. Though only 90 futures were traded in January, this grew to 386 in February and 3,956 in March so far, according to a report.

Nasdaq Dubai, the former Dubai International Financial Exchange, opened for derivatives trading on 19 November 2008, but got off to a slow start; only 35 contracts traded in November and a mere 20 in December…..Full Article: Source

DIB approves 25 per cent cash dividend

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) announced that the AGM has approved the distribution of a cash dividend of 25 per cent and bonus shares of five per cent for the year 2008.

DIB reported Dh1.73 billion in net profit for the 12 months ending December 31, 2008, demonstrating strong growth in its core operations despite challenging global financial conditions…..Full Article: Source

Noor Islamic Bank to strengthen UAE national workforce during careers’ exhibition

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Maktoob.com: Noor Islamic Bank PJSC today announced it will leverage the platform offered by the Careers Show 2009 to attract young UAE national students and graduates keen on pursuing a career in the banking and finance sector.

Careers Show 2009 will take place from 29th to 31st March at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Noor Islamic Bank stand will be located in Hall 4 (A4-1), and host senior officials to provide career consultancy and highlight the bank’s work-placements for exhibition visitors…..Full Article: Source

Ithmaar outlines 2008 achievements, stresses importance of key group values

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Albawaba.com: Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board, Michael P. Lee, said today that, despite the global financial crisis, 2008 had proved a positive year for the Bank, and for its subsidiaries and associates.
Lee also announced that, following shareholder approval, one bonus share will be issued for every ten shares held by transferring $54.36 million from the Share Premium to the Capital account. ….Full Article: Source

Thailand to issue Sukuk bonds

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: The Islamic Bank of Thailand (IBT) plans to rise between US$70 million to US$200 million via Sukuk Islamic bonds in Malaysia and Middle East countries by this year.

Malaysia’s second largest banking group CIMB, and its newly acquired BankThai, had approached the IBT to launch the Sukuk bond in Malaysia…..Full Article: Source

Thailand urged to seize the moment and raise funds in mideast

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Nationmultimedia.com: Thailand was urged yesterday to quickly seize the opportunity to raise funds in the Middle East, where liquidity is still available amid the global recession. Given the government’s budget deficits and limited access to funding sources, Islamic financing could fill the gap, said Willie Tham, CEO of HSBC in Thailand.

Tham is very optimistic that investors in the Gulf region would be interested in subscribing to Islamic bonds if the government or private firms started to issue such bonds, known as sukuk. ….Full Article: Source

MARC to offer syariah ratings soon

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thestar.com.my: Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC) will introduce syariah-compliant rating services in the second half of this year as part of its diversification plan. Chief executive officer Mohd Razlan Mohamed said the service had not yet been offered anywhere in the world, except Bahrain.

MARC invested a 5.7% stake in a syariah-compliant rating agency in Bahrain in January 2008…..Full Article: Source

i-VCAP receives SC nod to be full-fledged Islamic fund management company

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: i-VCAP Management Sdn Bhd today announced it has received approval from the Securities Commission to operate as an Islamic fund management company.

As the manager of Asia’s first Shariah-compliant Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), known as MyETF Dow Jones Islamic Market Malaysia Titans 25 (MyETF-DJIM25), it was operating under the licence for general fund management services…..Full Article: Source

Islamic bank sees strong demand for issuance from SMEs

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thestar.com.my: Unicorn International Islamic Bank Malaysia Bhd, which began its operations last year, aims to achieve transactions totalling US$400mil to US$500mil this year. Chairman Datuk Vaseehar Hassan Abdul Razack said demand for medium-sized issuance, especially sukuk and cross-border transactions from small and medium enterprises, continued to be strong.

“We are targeting transactions ranging from US$50mil to US$100mil in size,” he told a media briefing yesterday…..Full Article: Source

Unicorn Malaysia announces maiden net profit

Posted on 27 March 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Cpifinancial.net: Unicorn International Islamic Bank Malaysia Berhad has reported a net profit of MYR 812,546 ($223,993) for 2008, its first full year of operation with an international Islamic bank license awarded under the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative. Unicorn Malaysia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank.

Commenting on the Bank’s results, Dato’ Vaseehar Hassan Abdul Razack, Chairman of Unicorn Malaysia, said: “I am very happy to announce the bank’s maiden profit, which was achieved against the backdrop of an exceptionally challenging global economic environment. ….Full Article: Source

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