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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | August, 2009

Middle East investors eye Al-Amanah

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines is in talks with foreign financial institutions for the sale of up to 40 percent of the state-owned bank.

Al-Amanah, acquired last year by the Development Bank of the Philippines, had been posting large losses for the last few years. DBP aims to turn the bank around with the fresh capital that foreign investors from Muslim countries could bring………..Full Article: Source

Emirates Islamic Bank launches Ramadan promotion

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Emirates Islamic Bank got into the spirit of Ramadan by launching Intelaq (Vehicle Finance) promotion.
This new Sharia-compliant vehicle finance promotion will run until the 30th of September 2009, giving its customers an easier way to gift themselves a car during this auspicious time of the year………..Full Article: Source

ADCB signs major Mudaraba facility with Dubai Silicon Oasis

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has approved a Mudaraba Medium Term Facility worth AED300 million for the developer of the region’s premier integrated innovations hub for high-tech industries, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO).
The funds will be used by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) to part finance the development of facilities within the technology park………..Full Article: Source

Emirates NBD appoints Chief Investment Officer

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Emirates NBD, the region’s top bank in terms of assets, announces the appointment of Mr. Gary Dugan, a renowned and respected UK financial industry expert as the new Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for its Private Banking division.

As CIO, Gary will be in charge of the overall investment policy of the Private Banking and will lead a core team that will provide strategic and tactical asset allocation advice to Private Banking clients for investments across several asset classes………..Full Article: Source

Ahli United Bank cleared to raise stakes

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bahrain-based Ahli United Bank said on Sunday it had received the initial approvals to increase its stakes in two banks in Egypt and Iraq.

The lender has got the approval to increase its stake in its units, Egypt’s Ahli United Bank and the Commercial Bank of Iraq, the Bahraini bank said in a statement on the Kuwaiti bourse website………..Full Article: Source

AUB to repay US$ 400 mln of debt

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Ahli United Bank (AUB) today announced it is set to repay US$ 400 million of US$ 1.2 billion syndicated loan by the end of August 2009, well ahead of its final maturity date.
The 3-year US$ 1.2 billion loan facility was signed during October 2006 with a total of 51 international banks participating, and represented at the time the largest financing deal ever secured by a bank in the Middle East………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banking, finance products and Tawarruq

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Many Islamic banking practitioners and experts have recently highlighted the resilience of Islamic banking in the face of the current global financial crisis.
There have also been calls to make Islamic banking products and services more mainstream by developing uniformity and standards, and to develop more products and services to suit the variety of needs in the banking and financial markets………..Full Article: Source

Mashreq Capital expects to make profit in 2009

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Mashreq Capital, a subsidiary of Dubai-based Mashreq Group and regulated by Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), projects to turn profitable this year following three years of operations, said its chief executive.

Abdul Kadir Hussain, Chief Executive, Mashreq Capital, said: “We are hoping to be profitable this year. Our funds have shown positive returns in 2009………..Full Article: Source

Tamkeen seeks to assist 1,000 new businesses

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tamkeen is aiming to reach out to serve an additional 1,000 new Bahraini enterprises over the next four years.

At present 914 Bahraini enterprises have been served by Tamkeen through innovative Enterprise Development Scheme (EDS)………..Full Article: Source

Muslim business owners to be offered Halal insurance

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From UK Muslims who own their own businesses will be able to take out business insurance compatible with their faith from next year.

Salaam Halal Insurance, the UK’s first standalone Islamic insurance company plans to launch a range of commercial lines products in the first quarter of 2010………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia’s CMA inspires confidence

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From In the midst of the doom and gloom of the past 12 months, one market seemed to have bucked the trend and carried on with business as usual.
Saudi Arabia, a member of the World Trade Organisation and an invitee to the G20 summits in Europe and North America, has an active stock market with millions upon millions of investors and is probably reliant on exports even more than many other emerging and developed economies………..Full Article: Source

Total debt for Dubai calculated at $84bln

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dubai’s total debt may stand at US$84.7 billion (Dh311.1bn) and could be even higher when including bilateral loans and unpublished debt by other government-owned companies, according to the latest estimate by EFG-Hermes.

The regional investment bank raised its earlier estimate by $3bn after including debt recently revealed by Nakheel and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)………..Full Article: Source

Few days remaining to end of SABB Takaful’s rights issue subscription period

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The rights issue subscription period of SABB Takaful commenced on Saturday 15 August 2009, and will end on Wednesday 26 August 2009.
Mr. Mohammed Abdulaziz Aldukheil, Executive Vice President of AFG, said:”The subscription process is going smoothly with shareholders subscribing through all the subscription channels provided by the receiving banks.”……….Full Article: Source

Is Islamic banking a better option?

Posted on 24 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Africa is probably the second most Islamized continent in the world with most of its northern countries fully Islam.
In many Islamic countries, the ‘modern-European’ mode of banking has been shunned for condoning of interest (usury). Most banking institutions in Africa countries have based their earnings largely on interest. This left no option for the Muslim population………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian banks launch standardised murabaha deposit contract

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Malaysian Islamic banks on Thursday launched a standard agreement for commodity murabaha deposit accounts between banks and corporates, aiming to remove a key barrier to the sector’s growth.

The Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia — which groups banks such as Bank Islam, CIMB Islamic and the Malaysian units of Kuwait Finance House and Al Rajhi– said the master contract would be similar to an interbank murabaha agreement launched earlier………….Full Article: Source

Japan’s top brokerage to tap Islamic finance investors

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest brokerage, plans to step up efforts to tap demand for investing in Islamic financial markets, including those in the Middle East, a major business daily here reported Thursday.

Nomura will expand its operations in Malaysia, adding stock trading and research to its services in that Southeast Asian country, according to the Nikkei Shimbun………….Full Article: Source

Nomura starts coverage of Saudi Arabia’s banking sector with positive outlook

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Saudi Arabian banks are resilient to the global economic downturn due to the relative strength of the region, solid fundamentals and a conservative regulatory environment, said Nomura, which began coverage of the Saudi banking sector with a positive outlook.

Saudi banks are an attractive way of taking advantage of a rising interest rate environment, Nomura said in a note dated August 19………….Full Article: Source

GCC bond, Sukuk volume surge 37 pc in H1

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) bonds and Sukuk volume reached $18.4 billion in the first half of 2009, an increase of 37 percent compared to the same period last year, Kuwait Financial Center (Markaz) said in its latest report on bonds.
The increase was fuelled as a result of new issuances by either sovereign or corporations that are fully or largely owned by the governments, which together represented 92.1 percent of the total issuance during the period………….Full Article: Source

Islamic finance to generate greater interest this year

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: Islamic finance will generate greater interest this year when the global economic outlook improves.

RAM Holdings Bhd’s group chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said investors would seek alternative instruments that can mitigate risk of unsupervised leverage and debt creation………….Full Article: Source

Bank Islam to continue to launch innovative products

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd expects to be launching innovative products both for the individual consumer and corporate sector in keeping with the growing demand for Islamic financial products.

Its general manager of Treasurer Division, Norashikin Kassim, said the bank was constantly innovating products to tap the US$1 trillion global Islamic finance market………….Full Article: Source

Dubai World $60bln liabilities add to Emirate’s debt woe

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya Dow Jones: Government-owned Dubai World holds almost $60 billion in liabilities on its balance sheet, raising concerns that the sheikdom’s debts may be far greater than initially thought, recent figures show.

At the end of last year, the conglomerate had 217.8 billion U.A.E. dirhams ($59.1 billion) in liabilities against AED365.8 billion in assets, according to a statement posted on NASDAQ Dubai’s Web site on July 31………….Full Article: Source

Three foreign investors eyeing stake in Al-Amanah bank

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From GMANews.TV: Three foreign investors are interested in possibly securing a 40 percent stake in the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (Al Amanah), the lender’s chairman and chief executive said.

The bank, which is wholly-owned by state-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), will increase its capital to P5 billion in the next five years from P1 billion, its chairman and chief executive Armando O. Samia said………….Full Article: Source

Al-Amanah to get capital boost

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From State-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is infusing capital into the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank as part of a plan to turn around the country’s lone Islamic bank’s fortunes.

Armando O. Samia, newly installed chairman and chief executive officer of Al-Amanah, said DBP, the country’s sixth largest bank, would infuse P1 billion in Al-Amanah as soon as it obtains central bank approval of its five-year plan for the bank………….Full Article: Source

AIB launches first euro Visa cards in Egypt

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Visa and Arab International Bank (AIB) have launched Egypt’s first Visa Classic and Gold credit cards in euros.

The product was developed following an AIB consumer survey that identified market demand for Visa credit cards in euros. The cards eliminate all charges related to currency exchange, as they already use the common European currency, the euro………….Full Article: Source

IFN 2009 Asia Forum is largest ever Islamic Finance event

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From It’s official. The IFN 2009 Issuers & Investors Asia Forum is the Islamic finance industry’s largest ever event.

The recently concluded three-day forum, from the 3-5 August in Kuala Lumpur, saw 1,198 unique delegates from all over the world………….Full Article: Source

Bahrain hosts Islamic banking event

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The 16th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference will be held in Bahrain on December sixth, said a statement by organizers on Thursday.

According to the organizers, the three-day meeting will discuss the future of Islamic banking in light of the global economic situations such the current world financial crisis………….Full Article: Source

Capital Intelligence lowers Bank Al Jazira ratings

Posted on 21 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, today announced that it has lowered both the long-term foreign currency rating and the financial strength rating of Saudi Arabia’s Bank Al Jazira (BAJ) from A- to BBB+.
The short-term foreign currency rating of A2 is unchanged, as is the support rating of 2………….Full Article: Source

Al-Habtoor Group eyes stakes in UK banks

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dubai-based Al Habtoor Group, a stakeholder in Barclays, has up to $1.3 billion to invest in British banks and hotels in Europe, its chairman said on Wednesday.

The company, one of the United Arab Emirates’ largest family businesses, was one of several Middle East investors that bought into Barclays in 2008 as the lender looked to boost its capital to weather the financial crisis………..Full Article: Source

Expert proposes Islamic finance model for Nigeria

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From International Islamic Financing expert, Mr. Mehmet Asutay said the Islamic finance option provides Nigeria with a ‘fantastic’ opportunity to come out of its current economic doldrums.

He said while commercial banking may not provide immediate solution to the current economic crisis, the Islamic commercial banking, if embraced, will help source the needed investment capital in the country………..Full Article: Source

Nakheel package did not have to cost so much

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From On December 14, Nakheel will have to pay back the money to investors who bought its $3.52bn in Islamic bonds, or sukuk, as well as the profits that are due to them – another $528 million.

Normally, a company might decide to refinance that kind of debt by borrowing the money to pay off investors from someone else, such as banks or even the same investors who lent it the money in the first place………..Full Article: Source

GCC bond market survey H1 2009 highlight

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From During the first half of 2009, GCC bonds and sukuk volume reached USD18.4 billion, an increase of 37% compared to the respective period of 2008.
The increase was fueled as a result of new issuances by either sovereign or corporations that are fully or largely owned by the governments, which together represented 92.1% of the total issuance during the period.
Nonetheless, H12009 volumes remain lower than half, 38.3%, of the total year volume peak of 2007………..Full Article: Source

Dubai World reconsidering Malaysian property deal

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dubai World is reconsidering its involvement in a US$4.5 billion (Dh16.52bn) port and property project in Malaysia because of the economic crisis, MMC Corporation, its Malaysian partner in the development, said on Wednesday.

The plan to build a sprawling maritime centre, including an oil terminal, dry docks, a shipyard, cargo-handling facilities, logistics parks and a property development in south Johor, was first agreed to in September 2007………..Full Article: Source

Moody’s reports stable outlook for Egyptian banking system

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Moody’s Investors Service says the outlook for the Egyptian banking sector is stable, reflecting the system’s relative isolation from and resilience to the global crisis and the considerable progress of the banking sector reforms.
However, downside risks remain, as the potential intensification of the economic slowdown and its impact on the banking sector is a major risk to our stable outlook………..Full Article: Source

Dow Jones Indexes adds Saudi stocks amid license concerns

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya Dow Jones: Dow Jones Indexes said Tuesday it will add Saudi Arabian equities to its stock measures after rival MSCI Inc. earlier threatened to pull the kingdom’s stocks from its indexes over a licensing dispute.

The index arm of Dow Jones launched four new indexes for the region that will include equities in Saudi, the Middle East’s largest economy, for the first time. They’re the Dow Jones GCC Index, Dow Jones GCC Islamic Market Index, Dow Jones GCC Titans 50 with Saudi and Dow Jones Islamic Market MENA indexes………..Full Article: Source

Bahrain Central Bank Sukuk oversubscribed

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The Central Bank of Bahrain has announced that the monthly issue of the short-term Islamic leasing bonds, Sukuk Al-Ijara, has been oversubscribed by 300%. Subscriptions worth BD15m were received for the BD5m issue, which carries a maturity of 182 days, CBB has said.
The expected return on the issue, which begins on 20 August 2009 and matures on 18 February 2010, is 1.05%………..Full Article: Source

Saudi economy on solid footing - IMF

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Saudi Arabia’s economy remains solid and its banks have weathered the global crisis, the IMF said in a report and also commended the world’s leading oil exporter for helping stabilise oil prices.

“The outlook remains broadly positive” despite a projected one percent contraction in GDP this year due to lower oil production, the International Monetary Fund report was quoted as saying in our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News………..Full Article: Source

IDB to finance new projects

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The board of executive directors of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to finance new development projects worth $244.4 million in Sudan, Jordan, Egypt, Mauritania, Cameroon, Kazakhstan and Niger, an IDB statement said.
The board also agreed to finance a number of educational and training projects of Muslim communities in Kenya, China, India, Rwanda, Tanzania and the United States………..Full Article: Source

Investcorp Bank BSC suffers $780.6mln loss on investments

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Investcorp Bank BSC, the Bahrain-based alternative investment firm with $17.6 billion (Dh64.5 billion) of assets under management, posted a full-year loss as fee income declined and it wrote down the value of investments.

The net loss was $780.6 million, or $1.12 a share, in the year ended June 30, after a profit of $151.1 million, or $0.212, a year earlier, Investcorp said yesterday in a statement………..Full Article: Source

Investcorp fund boost

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bahrain-based Investcorp saw an improvement in performance in the second half of its fiscal year to the end of June.
In spite of the continuation of highly challenging business conditions, hedge fund returns rebounded strongly with a return of 12.3 per cent for the period………..Full Article: Source

ADCB eyes post-slump growth with campaign

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From ADCB, one of the largest UAE lenders, has recently launched a chic marketing campaign, Long Live Ambition, to reach out to its 350,000 customers and many more.

The bank’s customer base has more than doubled over the last three years………..Full Article: Source

Jordan Islamic net profit rises 3pct to $29 mln

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Jordan Islamic Bank, a subsidiary of Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group, said first-half net profit rose three per cent to 20.7 million Jordanian dinars ($29.2m) on the same period a year ago.

The bank’s total assets rose 5pc to 2.28 billion dinars ($3.2bn) at the end of June against 2.17bn dinars at the end of June last year, the bank said yesterday………..Full Article: Source

New initiative to fund income-generating projects in Jordan

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dubbed Sadaqa, or “charity work”, the project will be launched Thursday by the Islamic Organisations and Societies Council (IOSC) on the occasion of Ramadan. It entails collecting donations and extending interest-free loans to the targeted segments.

“The project seeks to promote charity work, especially in Ramadan, and enhance solidarity between the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak,” Chief Islamic Justice Ahmad Hilayel, who is also president of the council, told reporters yesterday………..Full Article: Source

Allianz Takaful secures Qatar authorisation

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) has granted authorisation to Islamic insurer, Allianz Takaful – QFC Branch, to carry on regulated activities in or from the Qatar Financial Centre.

Allianz Takaful is the first Takaful firm to be authorised by the QFCRA and will be primarily advising on investments in respect of contracts for long-term insurance………..Full Article: Source

Gulf Finance retains ‘BB’ rating

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf Finance Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SHUAA Capital, announced that Capital Intelligence, a regional credit rating agency, has reaffirmed its long-term ‘BB’ rating with a stable outlook.

In its rating report, the rating committee of Capital Intelligence highlighted the low level of non-performing loans, adequately capitalised balance sheet and the management capability as the rational for the rating decision………..Full Article: Source

Meezan Bank’s profit rises

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From In the backdrop of difficult political and economic conditions, Meezan Bank, the largest Islamic bank in Pakistan, announced an increase of Rs66 million in its net profit in the half-yearly results for 2009.

Despite the negative impact on all segments of business, net profit of Meezan Bank increased from Rs443 million to Rs506 million………..Full Article: Source

Kerala to set up interest-free ‘Islamic bank’

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From India’s first interest-free financial institution along Islamic banking principles is expected to come up in Kerala next year.

The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), the nodal agency for setting up the institution, has initiated the process for registering a company with an authorised capital of Rs5 billion, says Thomas Kutty deputy general manager of the KSIDC………..Full Article: Source

CIMB-Principal Asset Management bags two awards

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd bagged the Best Islamic Fund Award for the CIMB Islamic DALI Equity Growth Fund at the Third International Takaful summit held in London recently.

The same fund also won the Best Malaysian Equity Fund for a 3-year performance as at 31 December 2008 at the 4th Failaka Fund Awards………..Full Article: Source

Pakistan bank wins top Sharia rating

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bahrain-based Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has assigned Sharia Quality Rating of AA to Dawood Islamic Bank.

The rating on the Pakistan-based bank reflects IIRA’s opinion that the bank conforms to very high standards of Sharia compliance in all aspects of Sharia quality analysis………..Full Article: Source

American dream; the Shariah way

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The way Islamic Financing works is, the lender will purchase the home of your choice based on the same guidelines as FHA or Conventional financing except that the fee charged for the transaction is just that, a fee.
There is noone holding your property for ransom, you will essentially rent-to-own your home with an agreement that once the proposed amount has been satisfied the deed will be turned over to the buyer. The buyer will still be required to qualify for the loan………..Full Article: Source

Islam’s European conquest: Is America next?

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Britain, birthplace of parliamentary democracy, has fallen to Islam. Oxford, once home to the likes of C.S. Lewis, now houses a giant Eastern Islamic Studies Center.
If this were the only Islamic addition to Oxford, the mood would be less somber, but when Oxford citizens are forced to awake every morning to the Muslim call to prayer with the full consent of the Church of England, nothing short of conquest has taken place………..Full Article: Source

August 2009
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