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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | July, 2009

Indonesian gov’t to issue Islamic bond on monthly basis

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Xinhua: The Indonesian government will issue Islamic bond regularly on a monthly basis with initial issuevalued at 1 trillion rupiah (around 100 million U.S. dollars) starting from August this year, Indonesian senior official said here on Thursday.
“If the monthly basis issue is doing great, there is a possibility to issue the Islamic bond on two-week basis,” the Detik.com quoted Rahmat Waluyanto, Debt Management Director at the Financial Ministry, as saying……….Full Article: Source

Islamic finance and mobile banking: Could, would, should

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Huffingtonpost.com: Islamic Banking has developed rapidly over the last 30 years. Islamic Banks have proliferated in number and in geographic reach, with services now offered regularly on four continents.
A number of innovative, successful financial products have also been developed, enabling Shariah compliant bonds, mortgages and savings accounts……….Full Article: Source

Development of Murabaha product in conjunction with KFH, says Swift

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Ameinfo.com: Swift’s representative in the Middle East Edward Di Corse said that there is dire need to develop products that serve the Islamic banking industry, since it carry a rapid growth.
Swift Corporation is considered as the biggest corporation that deals with electronic transactions between banks and financial institutions……….Full Article: Source

USAID unable to fund Islamic projects

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Islamonline.net: While funneling aid to Christian charities, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is hamstrung by legal barriers and stenotype fears to fund Islamic charities to promote Islamic teachings.

“Our legal position is too conservative,” Clifford H. Brown, who worked with USAID in Kyrgyzstan three years ago, told the Washington Post on Thursday, July 30……….Full Article: Source

French reform to bring Islamic finance to heart of Europe

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Legalweek.com: As an international law firm headquartered in France, one might say that Gide’s expertise in Islamic finance is driven by pragmatic or opportunistic reasons, such as the fact that France has the largest Muslim population in Europe (about six million, three times that of the UK), or by a more general need for new sources of liquidity to jumpstart the economy.

These facts are undeniable, but Islamic finance has some key features of particular interest in the current climate, given the recent failings of conventional financing……….Full Article: Source

Arab banking soars to 6-month high on profit

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Arab Banking Corp., a Bahraini commercial and Islamic bank, advanced to the highest since January after returning to profit in the second-quarter.

The shares soared by their daily limit of 10 percent to 71.5 cents, the highest since Jan. 14, at 11:20 a.m. in the Gulf country’s capital Manama……….Full Article: Source

NBQ records 32 pct profit growth in first half

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: National Bank of Umm Al Quwain (NBQ) announced on Wednesday that it has earned a net profit of Dh219.3 million for the half year ended June 30, a 32 per cent increase over the half year profit of Dh166.2 million in 2008.

Net profit of Dh108.4 million for the second quarter of 2009 was an increase of 59 per cent over the second quarter of 2008 figure of Dh68 million……….Full Article: Source

CBB takes control of Saudi groups’ banks

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has taken control of banks belonging to two Saudi groups in the latest escalation in one of the largest financial scandals the Gulf region has seen.

The central bank said it has assumed control of Awal Bank, owned by Saad Group and The International Banking Corporation (TIBC), which is owned by Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers (AHAB)……….Full Article: Source

Top UAE banks pressured by rising debt provisions

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Rising provisions as a result of debt trouble at two Saudi conglomerates is likely to dampen profits of the UAE’s biggest banks for the remainder of 2009.

Second-quarter results of top lenders in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have shown that provisions eroded an otherwise healthy income from traditional sources……….Full Article: Source

ADIB profits hurt by realty unit loss

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Increased provisioning and a loss-recording real estate unit have forced Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) profits down by 30 per cent for the second quarter to Dh193 million.

The bank recorded second-quarter provisions against bad loans of Dh171.4 million, bringing its first-half total to Dh247 million. ADIB’s real estate arm, Burooj, recorded a first-half loss of Dh14.4 million, compared with almost Dh142 million in the same period last year……….Full Article: Source

Iran’s real problem - The economy

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Newsweek.com: Political infighting in Iran heated up yesterday when some of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s conservative supporters warned him that he might not get a second term in office if he doesn’t start towing the line.
The warnings came off the back of a tiff over the last couple of weeks between Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, in which the former warned the president to get rid of his right hand man, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, who was perceived as being a bit too friendly towards Israel……….Full Article: Source

Shariah compliant cover under one roof

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Broking.co.uk: Salaam Halal Insurance has launched a Shariah compliant car and home insurance package, making it the first company to offer this type of cover.
Salaam Halal said the cover had also been designed to appeal to non-Muslims with an interest in products of an ethical or co-operative nature……….Full Article: Source

Dubai Investments sees weaker 2009 profit

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Dubai Investments Co., which reported a 46 per cent drop in quarterly profits on Thursday, sees weaker 2009 profits and another tough year ahead as the Gulf property slump hammers the UAE firm’s main segment, its Chief Executive Officer said.

Khalid bin Kalban said the holding company would sacrifice profitability to keep a good liquidity position, both to protect itself against defaults by mortgage owners and to be ready
for acquisitions……….Full Article: Source

Middle East, India and Islamic finance: Taking the slow road

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Legalweek.com: Companies such as Tata, Hinduja group, Reliance, Ranbaxy and many others are taking their products and services around the globe.
Indian businesses have been very important investors in the UK alone in the last few years; they are present in many parts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa too, and English law has an important part to play as a respected neutral choice with which the parties are often familiar……….Full Article: Source

Islamic finance key to Asian revival, Kuwait Finance House says

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Islamic finance will play a central role in reviving Asian economies as investors look to emerging markets to deliver higher returns than the U.S. and Europe, according to Kuwait Finance House.

Demand for investments backed by tangible assets like power plants and property grew after banks outside of Asia were hit hardest by the global financial crisis, Baljeet Grewal, managing director of the second-biggest Islamic bank’s research unit, said in a phone interview from Kuala Lumpur yesterday……..Full Article: Source

Takaful windows ‘will boost industry growth’

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Takaful windows in conventional insurance companies could lead to much faster growth for the industry and would encourage entry of new players into the market, the senior executive of an international law firm focusing on insurance and reinsurance sectors has said.

Takaful window involves a conventional insurance company offering Shariah compliant insurance products without establishing a separate legal entity for the sale of such products……..Full Article: Source

Takaful is growing in Sri Lanka

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dailymirror.lk: Amana Takaful Insurance recently marked its 10th year of operations in Sri Lanka whilst also marking a significant milestone for Takaful in Sri Lanka by reaching Rs 1 Billion in GWP for the last financial year.
Within this short period of time Amana Takaful has been successful in carving a market for themselves in Sri Lanka and also rose in its Brand Rating by 7 notches to 70th position last year, in the rankings researched by Brand Finance……..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance could be a growth industry

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Onlineopinion.com.au: The world is on the brink of facing an economic and environmental disaster due to the financial crisis and global warming, yet we are focusing on the type of clothes a woman may choose to wear.
As an Australian Muslim woman, I found it horrifying to listen to the French President’s statements about the burqa being a sign of subservience and oppression……..Full Article: Source

Top UAE banks ‘face tough 2009 on provisions’

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Downbeat prospects for the UAE’s economy, combined with provisions as a result of debt trouble at two Saudi conglomerates is likely to dampen profits of the UAE’s biggest banks for the remainder of 2009, analysts say.

Second-quarter results of top lenders in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the two wealthiest emirates of the seven that make up the UAE, have shown that provisions eroded an otherwise healthy income from traditional sources……..Full Article: Source

Mashreqbank’s Q2 profits plummet 39 pct

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Mashreqbank reported on Wednesday that its second-quarter net profit had tumbled by 39 per cent compared with the same period last year, due to increased provisions against bad loans that the bank took amid the country’s slowing economic growth.

Mashreqbank’s quarterly net income fell to Dh434.9 million from Dh706.9 million in 2008, it said. The UAE’s fifth-biggest bank by assets booked provisions of Dh319 million in the April-June quarter……..Full Article: Source

Adib’s second quarter net profit drops 30 pct

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s (Adib) net profit fell 30 per cent to Dh193.4 million ($52.65m) in second quarter of 2009 from Dh275.7m a year earlier.

Net profit for the first half of 2009 at dropped 11.2 per cent to Dh461.8m due to lower investment income of Dh156.2m in the real estate subsidiary and credit loss provisions amounting to Dh 171.4m in second quarter of 2009……..Full Article: Source

Bahrain’s GFH to refinance $300 mln loan

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Bahrain-based Islamic lender Gulf Finance House is seeking to refinance its $300 million murabaha loan, for which it has appointed Deutsche Bank as bookrunner, IFR reported on Wednesday.

The loan, arranged by WestLB and Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich, is maturing in February 2010……..Full Article: Source

Bahrain seeks $1.3 bln loans for utility projects

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Bahrain is seeking $1.3 billion (Dh4.7bn) from regional financing agencies to upgrade the Gulf state’s power and water network over the next 10 years, said an official yesterday.

“We’re seeking soft loans from funding agencies within the region,” said an official at Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority……..Full Article: Source

Thomson Reuters launches Islamic Finance Centre

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Thomson Reuters announced the addition of the Islamic Finance Centre on the Westlaw Business global legal platform. Westlaw Business combines transactional and legal guidance with tools designed specifically for business lawyers.
“The Islamic Finance Centre leverages the best assets from across Thomson Reuters, along with legal guidance from, and in close partnership with, Islamic finance standards boards,” said Kevin Ritchey, senior vice president, Westlaw Business. “It is the first legal resource of its kind designed specifically for lawyers working on Sharia-compliant transactions. Our goal is to advance transparency and legal insight into this growing area of practice to better serve legal professionals on a global basis.” …….Full Press Release: Source

Islamic Banking seminar on Aug 11

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dailyexpress.com.my: OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad will hold an Islamic Banking seminar at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Aug 11, here.

The seminar is aimed at educating and updating businesses on the latest in Shariah-compliance relating to cash management and trade finance……..Full Article: Source

Bursa to start Islamic commodity trading August

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Btimes.com.my: Bursa Malaysia Bhd plans to introduce a fully electronic web-based Syariah commodity trading platform next month.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff said the Commodity Murabahah House (CMH) is the world’s first fully Syariah compliant commodity trading platform………Full Article: Source

Malaysian bourse eyes murabaha trading system as debate rages

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Malaysia’s stock exchange will launch a global murabaha trading platform next month to serve a market worth over $100 billion, amid fierce industry debate over the permissibility of the Islamic funding structure.

The system, which is based on the sharia concepts of murabaha, tawarruq and musawwamah, will involve the sale and purchase of crude palm oil in a series of transactions used as Islamic financing tools………Full Article: Source

CMH to unlock vast potential in Islamic financial industry

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: Commodity Murabahah House (CMH), the Syariah based commodity trading platform is expected to unlock a vast potential of opportunities for the Islamic financial industry.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s deputy governor Datuk Mohd Razif Abd Kadir said the trading platform will also provide a wider range of new instruments………Full Article: Source

Dubai’s $10bln bond leaves investors wary

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Foreign investors are unlikely to tap into a $10 billion Dubai bond unless officials give details such as whether it has federal backing, raising the prospect the central government may intervene again to support the emirate.

Dubai, one of the seven United Arab Emirates, propelled itself into the spotlight as a tourism hub during a six-year oil-fueled boom, but the downturn rocked its foundations based on excess lending and a transient expatriate population………Full Article: Source

BLME establishes income fund

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) yesterday launched Shariah Dollar Income Fund with a seed capital of $50 million (Dh183.5m), said a statement.

The fund, the first and largest Shariah compliant money market fund in Europe, will be managed by Jason Kabel and will be available to institutional and professional investors in the UK, Europe and Middle East………Full Article: Source

Australia: Plans in motion for first Islamic retail bank

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Brokernews.com.au: The Muslim Community Cooperative Australia (MCCA) has stated its ambition to become the country’s first Islamic retail bank.

MCCA chairman Dr. Akhtar Kalam said its ambitions would be hastened as more and more consumers turn to the principles of Islamic Banking & FInance (IBF) as an alternative to the current offers in the marketplace………Full Article: Source

Rasmala launches Shariah compliant Saudi equity fund

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bi-me.com: Rasmala Investments Saudi announced today the launch of its Shariah Compliant “Rasmala Saudi Equity Fund”.

The new fund will predominantly invest directly in the Shariah Compliant securities listed on Tadawul. The fund is denominated in Saudi Riyal with a minimum subscription amount of SAR 50,000………Full Article: Source

Petronas seeks to sell Islamic, conventional USD bonds

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Malaysian state oil company Petronashas hired Morgan Stanley, CIMB Bank and Citigroup for a global dollar bond issue, including a five-year sukuk and a 10-year conventional debt offering, a source close to the deal said.

It is launching roadshows ahead of the offering with investor meetings in Kuala Lumpur on July 29, in Singapore on July 30, in London on July 31 and in Abu Dhabi and Dubai on August 2………Full Article: Source

Petronas’ ratings affirmed by Standard & Poor’s

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas)’s long-term corporate credit ratings (foreign currency A-; local currency A ) has been affirmed by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) with a stable outlook.

S&P has also affirmed the issue ratings on the senior unsecured bonds issued by Petronas and guaranteed notes issued by Petronas Capital Ltd and guaranteed by Petronas………Full Article: Source

Bank of Sharjah profit rises as interest income soars

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Bank of Sharjah’s net profit for the first half was Dh258 million, a 32 per cent increase over the corresponding June 2008 figure of Dh195 million.
The profit for the 2009 second quarter was Dh149 million compared to Dh109 million for the first quarter, a 37 per cent increase………Full Article: Source

National Bank of Abu Dhabi Q2 profit falls 9.3 pct

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the biggest UAE bank by market value, reported a 9.3-percent decline in quarterly profits on Tuesday, due to a surge in provisions.

NBAD said it had a net profit of 907 million dirhams ($246.9 million) in the second quarter, compared with 1 billion dirhams in the same period last year………Full Article: Source

United Gulf Q2 profit tumbles 88pct

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Bahrain-based United Gulf Bank, named in a US regulator’s lawsuit over fraudulent trading, on Tuesday posted an 88-per cent drop in quarterly profits on impairment losses and a decline in fees and commissions.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission last week filed a lawsuit against UGB, and Hazem al-Braikan, the head of a large Kuwait firm who was found dead a couple of days later in an apparent suicide………Full Article: Source

BankMuscat posts 4.5 pct profit increase

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: BankMuscat has reported 4.5 per cent increase in its net profit for the first six months of this year.
Oman’s leading financial services provider earned a net profit of 60.4 million Omani riyals (Dh576.88 million) in the six months ended June 30 compared to 57.8 million riyals during the same period last year………Full Article: Source

CI affirms Qatar Islamic Bank’s long-term foreign currency rating

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Albawaba.com: Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, today announced that it has affirmed Qatar Islamic Bank’s (QIB) long-term foreign currency rating of ‘A’, its short-term foreign currency rating of ‘A2’ and its financial strength rating of ‘A’.
At the same time CI has raised QIB’s support rating to 2 from 3 on the basis of the strength of Qatar´s ‘AA-‘ (AA minus) sovereign rating and in view of the Qatari government’s demonstrated strong support for the country’s banking system. All ratings carry a ‘Stable’ outlook………Full Article: Source

More Saudi banks raise loan loss provisions

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Al-Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest lender by market value, booked in the second quarter the highest provisions for loan losses this year amid fears over the solvency of two heavily-indebted Saudi firms.

The Islamic lender booked 421.6 million Saudi riyals ($112.4 million; Dh412.51 million) in provisions for loan losses during the second quarter, according to official data published on Tuesday………Full Article: Source

Saudi business outlook brightens

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Although improvement in global business sentiments have boosted optimism, certain factors are impacting business, Rajesh Mirchandani, CEO, Dun and Bradstreet South Asia Middle East Ltd., said.

Releasing Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Optimism Index (BOI) for Saudi Arabia for Q3, 2009, in association with the National Commercial Bank at a press conference, he said: “Rising cost of raw materials and availability of finance have been the leading business concerns for Q3………Full Article: Source

How do ETFs fit in with Islamic finance?

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya.com: ETFs and Islamic finance can work very efficiently. This is especially true in the case of physically-based iShares ETFs where you have a combination of Shari’ah-compliant ETFs that own the underlying securities in the index.
This is a significantly better structure than swap-based ETFs where there can be confusion surrounding the Shari’ah-compliant nature of the swap-based derivative structure………Full Article: Source

Khomeini’s economics

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Theyoungturks.com: The mainstream press goes out of its way to portray the Iranian regime as brutal and undemocratic… as if Iran was like China.
Well, it’s not. Iran at least allows political demonstrations whereas China does not. China immediately starts cracking heads as soon as a couple of demonstrators assemble in the streets. In Iran, there has not been a Tiananmen-type crackdown………Full Article: Source

Sikhs, Hindus dread Islamic tax in Pakistan

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Kuwaittimes.net: When the Taliban gave Sikhs and Hindus an ultimatum – leave the land of your forefathers or pay “jizya”, an Islamic tax in protection money — Singh packed up and left his native Tirah valley for Peshawar..
Scholars say only a true Islamic government, no one else, can collect jizya and on condition that those who pay feel safe, but Lashkar-e-Islam insisted the tax was proper payment for services rendered………Full Article: Source

Indonesia’s sharia market to overtake Malaysia

Posted on 28 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Indonesia’s Islamic market is set to overtake Malaysia’s thanks to the growth in sharia-compliant lending, one of Indonesia’s top Muslim clerics said on Monday.

Indonesia, the world’s most-populous Muslim country, currently lags neighbouring Malaysia, the Islamic financial hub for the region, in terms of the market for sharia financial products, but that should change given stronger government support and demand in the domestic market, he said………..Full Article: Source

Islamic economic system could tackle global crisis: Indonesian VP

Posted on 28 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Xinhua: Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that Islamic economic system could tackle the global economy crisis because it was based on real transaction and could create prosperity and economic justice, the private news portal Bisnis.com reported on Monday.

“Islamic world should adopt its own economic system to reduce economic gap amidst ‘non-real transactions’ in the global trade,” he said in the opening speech at a seminar titled “the Islamic World and the Future of World Civilizations”, here………..Full Article: Source

Dow Jones Islamic Market Index family expands its universe with eleven new countries

Posted on 28 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dow Jones Indexes, a leading global index provider, today announced that Argentina, Colombia, Croatia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Nigeria, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Tunisia and Ukraine will be added to the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index universe.
This will increase the total number of countries in the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index universe to 68 from 57………..Full Press Release: Source

Branding an Islamic bank

Posted on 28 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya.com: Building a brand is a complex and multi-faceted process. Even when a range of brand-building tasks are completed, it’s rare that one knows for sure which of them contributes the most to building a trusted and sustainable brand.
There are numerous pressures, including the urgency to launch and budget constraints. There is no magic formula for branding an Islamic bank, but this is our story and I hope there are lessons in what we did or did not do and even in the things we wished we’d done better………..Full Article: Source

Europe’s first Islamic cash fund bets on new issuance

Posted on 28 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Efinancialnews.com: A London-based Islamic bank has launched what it claims is the first sharia-compliant cash fund in Europe, as the market for Islamic financial products kicks off again following a hiatus during the financial crisis.……….Full Article: Source

Emirates NBD profits fall on bad loans

Posted on 28 July 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thenational.ae: Emirates NBD, the UAE’s largest bank by assets, saw second-quarter net profit fall 41 per cent as it booked more bad loan provisions.

Net income fell to Dh852.1 million dirhams (US$232 million) from Dh1.45 billion a year earlier, according to a statement to the Dubai Financial Market. The bank booked Dh1.6 billion in provisions for the first half of the year………..Full Article: Source

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