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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | November, 2009

Success of SAR-denominated bonds good sign for Saudi financial market

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Despite the prevailing global and regional market conditions, GIB’s final bond issue size had been increased from SAR 1.5 billion to SAR 2 billion due to the substantial demand from investors. The order book was closed with orders totalling around SAR 5 billion, representing an oversubscription of more than three times.

Market analysts say this bond issue reflects the increasing appetite for debt issues and the rapidly growing financial market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has so far managed to curtail the negative impact of the global financial crisis……………………….Full Article: Source

ENBD faces $350mln Saudi exposure

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Emirates NBD, the Gulf’s biggest lender, has exposure of up to $350 million (Dh1.28 billion) to two Saudi conglomerates now restructuring their debt, said the bank’s chief executive.

Rick Pudner said the bank’s balance sheet and results in the fourth quarter would not be affected by the exposure, which the bank has declined to detail up to now……………………….Full Article: Source

Emirates NBD may acquire some of Dubai’s $10 bln of bonds

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Emirates NBD PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank by assets, said it may buy some of the $10 billion of bonds Dubai’s government plans to sell to help state-owned companies amid the credit crisis.

“We contribute financing to all government projects,” Chairman Ahmed Humaid al-Tayer said in an interview in Dubai today. The Dubai government-controlled bank contributed to the refinancing of a $2.2 billion loan to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and a $1 billion loan to Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation in April, he said……………………….Full Article: Source

The second income distribution of the Emirates MENA Opportunities Fund

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, the largest bank in terms of assets in the region, has announced strong performance and a high income pay out for investors in the Emirates MENA Opportunities Fund, a Shari’a compliant, balanced, regional investment opportunity
The Board of Directors of the Fund announced the Fund’s second income distribution for the three month period ending September 30th 2009 with an income distribution totaling 1.71%, equating to an annualised return of 7.00%……………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic International Arab Bank plans to set up an Islamic bank in Syria

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The Islamic International Arab Bank Board Chairman Tayseer Smadi on Saturday said the bank is planning to set up an Islamic bank in Syria within the coming two years.

The bank has already signed an initial agreement with the Syrian government to proceed with the legal procedures in this regard……………………….Full Article: Source

ADIB appoints Riad global head of corporate finance, investments

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ second-biggest bank complying with Muslim banking rules, appointed Amir Riad as global head of corporate finance and investment banking.

Riad previously worked with Standard Chartered Bank and Citigroup Inc, Abu Dhabi Islamic said in an e-mailed statement today……………………….Full Article: Source

ME banks moving away from organised tawarruq

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Some Middle Eastern banks are avoiding organised tawarruq after a ruling against the practice, an industry official said, a trend that could signal a shake-up for the $1 trillion Islamic financing sector.
Shrugging off criticism of the OIC Fiqh Academy’s controversial decree, the organisation’s secretary-general said some institutions have heeded the call to abandon the popular financing arrangement……………………….Full Article: Source

UAE: Four-day Eid holiday for banks

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Banks in the country will remain closed for four days from November 26 to 29 to mark Eid Al Adha, according to a statement issued by the UAE Central Bank yesterday.

Banks will also get a two-day holiday on December 2 and 3 to celebrate the National Day……………………….Full Article: Source

Noor Islamic Bank backs Emiratisation

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Noor Islamic Bank has recruited a second intake of 20 sponsored students and 10 part-timers as part of its ongoing drive towards supporting Emiratisation.

The recruits, comprising UAE national undergraduates from Zayed University and the Higher Colleges of Technology, will be closely supported by the Noor Islamic Bank Learning and Development specialists and given the opportunity to work alongside departmental teams to experience, first hand, the dynamics of a world-class financial institution, said a statement……………………….Full Article: Source

Noor Islamic Bank launches national development training programmes

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Noor Islamic Bank today announced the recruitment of a second intake of 20 sponsored students and 10 part-timers as part of its ongoing drive towards supporting Emiratisation.
The recruits, comprising UAE national undergraduates from Zayed University and the Higher Colleges of Technology, will be closely supported by the Noor Islamic Bank Learning and Development specialists and given the opportunity to work alongside departmental teams to experience, first hand, the dynamics of a world-class financial institution……………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic Bank home purchase plan available from mortgage brokers

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) has announced that its Home Purchase Plan is now available via brokers belonging to The Mortgage Times intermediary network.

The Sharia’a-compliant lender is intent on increasing its share of the mainstream mortgage market and claims it can offer low rates and fees……………………….Full Article: Source

Foreign investors interested in Islamic insurance

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The Indonesian Islamic insurance industry will find new players flourishing with the arrival of a new investor from Asia to establish a joint life insurance company.

Chairperson of the Indonesian Islamic Insurances Association M. Shaifie Zein revealed the potential investor had expressed high interest and commitment to do business in the industry, which was proven by the amount of capital to be invested……………………….Full Article: Source

Tamweel returns to profit after 3 quarters of losses

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Tamweel PJSC, the Dubai-based mortgage lender whose shares were suspended in November 2008, returned to profit after posting three quarters of losses.

Third-quarter profit was 10 million dirhams ($2.7 million) compared with a profit of 185.7 million dirhams in the year- earlier period, the company said in a statement to the Dubai bourse today. Tamweel posted a combined loss of 188 million dirhams in the three quarters ended June 30……………………….Full Article: Source

Tamweel prepares for merger

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tamweel, the country’s second-largest home finance company, has returned to profit as the Government moves towards finalising a proposed merger with its rival Amlak to be put to shareholders as early as January.

The Islamic lender reported a third-quarter profit of Dh10 million (US$2.7m) after three quarters of losses. It was a drop of 95 per cent compared with the Dh185.7m profit for the third quarter last year……………………….Full Article: Source

Takaful Islami Insurance capital market investment committee meet held

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The first meeting of the capital market investment committee of Takaful Islami Insurance Ltd was held at the head office of the company in the city recently.

Chairman of the committee Anwar Hossain presided over the meeting……………………….Full Article: Source

Saudi insurance density surges 23pct

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Saudi Arabia’s insurance density (per capita expenditure on insurance) has increased by 23 per cent from SR358 ($95.4) in 2007 to SR440 ($117.3) in 2008, and is again poised to achieve a healthy growth rate this year, said an expert.

According to Buruj Co-operative Insurance Company, the Kingdom’s insurance density is poised to be sustained this year with the introduction of a new policy in compulsory motor insurance and co-operative health insurance……………………….Full Article: Source

Investment urged to help Gulf start-ups

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Governments have been urged to channel investments into building a venture capital industry in the Gulf to help foster entrepreneurship.

Sovereign wealth funds and state-controlled organisations should invest in venture capital initiatives to help encourage start-up businesses, said Imad Ghandour, an executive director of the Abu Dhabi private equity firm Gulf Capital……………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai ruler revamps state investment unit

Posted on 23 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum has reshuffled the board of the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the state conglomerate that owns Emirates airlines, naming two of his sons as directors, a decree posted on his website showed.

The new six-member board also included Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, Dubai International Financial Centre governor Ahmed Humaid al-Tayer and ICD chief executive Mohammed al-Shaibany, also chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank……………………….Full Article: Source

US’ GE Capital raises $500 mln in debut Islamic bond

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: A unit of General Electric Co raised $500 million in a 5-year Islamic bond sale, the first by a large U. S. conglomerate, as it looks to diversify its investor base.

In July, GE and Mubadala Development Co, a state-owned investment holding company based in Abu Dhabi, established an $8 billion commercial finance joint venture for investments primarily in the Middle East and Africa……………………..Full Article: Source

First Gulf Bank completes $500mln bond sale

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Abu Dhabi’s First Gulf bank has raised $500 million with a three-year conventional bond, an executive said on Thursday.

“We had an order book in excess of $3 billion with a wide investor base including banks and hedge funds,” the executive told Reuters. He declined to give details of pricing……………………..Full Article: Source

Korea looks to Islamic investments

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Joongang Daily: Korean companies such as GS Caltex Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. will be able to sell Islamic bonds as economic growth picks up and ties with the Middle East improve, according to Citigroup Inc.

“With early signs of an economic revival in Asia and the Middle East, Korea’s move to position itself as an investment opportunity for Islamic investors is timely,” Mudassir Amray, the U.S. bank’s head of Islamic banking, said at a conference in Seoul yesterday. “Islamic funds are looking for diversification in their portfolios.”…………………….Full Article: Source

Indonesia may sell first bonds in Euros, finance official says

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Indonesia is considering its first sale of euro-denominated bonds next year to widen its investor base and diversify funding, said Rahmat Waluyanto, director general of the Finance Ministry’s debt management department.

The strength of the euro, which has risen 6 percent against the U.S. dollar this year, is a consideration, Waluyanto said in an interview in Jakarta today……………………..Full Article: Source

Turkey’s Islamic banks record 18 pc-net profit in 3Q

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Turkey’s Islamic participation banks recorded profit in the third quarter of 2009. The participation banks of Turkey recorded 18 percent of net profit in the third quarter of 2009, over the same period of 2008, the Participation Banks Association of Turkey (TKBB) said on Wednesday.

An association statement said that the net profit of the participation banks in the mentioned period was 353 million USD (530 million Turkish liras-TL)……………………..Full Article: Source

Maybank Islamic wins Most Outstanding Islamic Bank award

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Islamic Bank Berhad (Maybank Islamic) recently clinched the Most Outstanding Islamic Bank award at this year’s Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF) Islamic Finance Award.

This is the second year Maybank Islamic has received an award from KLIFF. Last year, it won the Most Outstanding Islamic Retail Bank award……………………..Full Article: Source

UAE local loans to Saudi groups total $2.9bln

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Local lenders have a total exposure of US$2.9 billion (Dh10.65bn) to the struggling Saudi conglomerates Saad Group and Ahmad Hamad Al Gosaibi and Brothers, the Central Bank says.

The first official confirmation of the value of lending to the two companies is at the high end of analysts’ estimates for UAE banks, which were between $2bn and $3bn……………………..Full Article: Source

Gulf bank mergers to focus on UAE

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Any near-term merger activity among Gulf Arab banks is likely to focus on the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain, where margins are low and the customer base relatively small, a top Standard and Poor’s analyst said.

Mergers are far less likely in Saudi Arabia, the biggest Arab economy, where a lower concentration of lenders helps promote profit growth and prudent risk management, said Emmanuel Volland, S&P’s Senior Director of Analytical Ratings for Middle East and North African Financial Institutions……………………..Full Article: Source

International Investment Bank posts Q3 results

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bahrain-based Islamic investment lender, International Investment Bank (IIB) has reported a net loss of $0.6m for the third quarter of 2009, compared to a net income of $0.8m earned in the same period of 2008.
The loss is attributed to fewer investment banking transactions due to current market situation. Net loss for the nine month period was $2m, compared with net income of $12m for the same period last year, IIB said……………………..Full Article: Source

Fitch affirms QIB’s (A) rating with stable outlook

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The Individual Rating (or stand-alone strength) reflects QIB’s position as the leading Islamic franchise with a nearly 50 per cent share of Islamic assets and a nine per cent overall market share of system assets, in addition to the bank’s high earnings power from core banking and healthy capital ratios.

Fitch also takes a positive view of the timely and considerable State support for the domestic banking system. QIB’s liquidity is satisfactory and the tier 1 capital ratio is high at 17.4 per cent at end-9M09, underpinned by the Qatar Investment Authority’s (QIA) nearly QAR 1 billion capital injection (including share premium) in Q109……………………..Full Article: Source

Are investors fishing for Gulf bonds near the market top?

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Foreign and local investors are snapping up bonds issued by Gulf companies and governments. Yesterday Qatar announced a $7 billion bond sale, the biggest and most tightly priced to date.

But are investors buying at the top of the bond market? Yields are exceptionally low. Perhaps they should really be looking at Gulf stock markets for value, or be preparing to do so if local markets have a correction after the long rally since February……………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi refinery finance complete in Jan - Total

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: The financing of a $12.8 million new oil refinery in Saudi Arabia, a joint venture between state run Saudi Aramco and French Total will be completed early next year, a senior Total official said on Wednesday.

The Jubail oil refinery will be funded through 65 percent debt and 35 percent equity. The total financing is expected to be $8 billion……………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar scholar defends Murabaha

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Murabaha differs from interest-based lending as it is based on economic activity, an influential sharia scholar said on Thursday, countering criticism that sharia banking is a copy of conventional finance.

Murabaha, or cost-plus financing, is widely used to finance the purchase of assets from real estate to machinery but has been compared to conventional loans due to the profit earned by banks……………………..Full Article: Source

Guyana may benefit from Islamic bank pledge of $1 bln for agriculture in poor countries

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) announced that it will provide an additional US$1 billion for agricultural development in poor countries, which will benefit member states of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC),of which Guyana is a member.

This announcement came on the eve of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Rome World Summit on Food and Security……………………..Full Article: Source

Opalesque Exclusive: Why it might be worth betting on Arab markets - Gulfmena

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque London: Apparently, there is a change of attitude among Arab investors, especially in retail, as they are becoming more engaged. But, foreign investors, beware: “if you’re not an emerging market investor, forget the Middle-East,” said Dr. Sabah Hamad al-Sabah al-Binali, CIO at Saffar Capital, a PE fund focused on the MENA region, at a seminar in London last week.
The compelling factors for the region include strong fundamentals (with oil as a key driver for growth), demographics, liquidity, convergence of markets and value. But “as some parts of the world have no cash and lots of talent, what we have is lots of cash but not talent,” he quipped……………………..Full Article: Source

Sarasin to roll out sharia platform across Asia

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Following last week’s launch of Sarasin’s sharia-compliant wealth management offering in the Middle East, the Swiss private bank says it is considering launching it in other regions, including Asia.

The firm sees demand mainly from the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia, says Fares Mourad, head of Islamic finance at Bank Sarasin in Zurich………..Full Article: Source

IFC’s Sukuk to help Arab markets: Lars Thunell

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From IFC has asserted that strategic investments in Gulf Cooperation Council countries can strengthen financial markets and promote economic development in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Our investments in the Gulf Cooperation Council capital markets create opportunities across the region while providing productive outlets for excess savings generated by oil-producing countries,” said Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, at a news conference in Dubai…………Full Article: Source

Qatar bonds gain after $28 bln of orders for sale

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Qatar’s bonds rose after the largest-ever sale of debt by an emerging-market government received $28 billion of orders, four times the amount issued.

Qatar’s $3.5 billion of five-year bonds, half the total $7 billion sale, advanced to 100.1 cents on the dollar from an issue price of 99.87 cents, according to ING Bank NV data on Bloomberg at 5:59 p.m. in Doha. The emirate’s $1 billion of 30- year bonds rose 3 percent to 102.8 cents, according to prices provided by DZ Bank AG…………Full Article: Source

First Gulf sets guidance for bond worth $500mln

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The UAE’s First Gulf Bank has set price guidance for a 3-year benchmark dollar bond at 250-275 basis points over midswaps, a banker close to the transaction said.

“The price guidance is 275… [which] is still on the higher side. It may come to 250,” said the banker, who declined to be identified…………Full Article: Source

Gulf looks to bonds to brigdge funding gap

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From One lesson Gulf sovereigns and corporates have learned from the financial crisis is that they must diversify their funding sources to better manage their debt maturities effectively.
This realisation has prompted most regional governments to take initiatives in recent months to create markets for debt instruments of various maturities…………Full Article: Source

MARC maintains Marchwatch on Matang’s Sukuk

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: Malaysian Rating Corporation Bhd (MARC) is continuing to maintain Matang Highway Sdn Bhd’s AA-IS rating for its RM70.0 million Sukuk Musharakah issuance on MARCWatch Negative.

The sukuk has been under this placement since August 6, 2009, MARC said in a statement Wednesday…………Full Article: Source

Luxembourg welcomes establishment of Islamic banks

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From A top banker of Luxembourg a country famous for hosting international financial institutions has said that his country would welcome the establishment of Islamic banks.

“We had Islamic banking institutions in the seventies which discontinued its services and as for now there is no Islamic bank that operates in Luxembourg, but there is no prohibition to have a setup of such an institution, ” Yves Mersch, President of the Central Bank of Luxembourg, told KUNA in an interview…………Full Article: Source

Bahrain’s offshore banks at crossroads

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Bahrain’s offshore investment houses raked in the money during a five-year long oil boom, but the impact of the global financial crisis on the Gulf Arab region has swept away a business model that relied on fees from raising money for property and private equity projects.
Dubai’s real estate bubble burst late in 2008, with prices falling sharply in the Emirate and at least capping growth in other markets in the region, including Bahrain…………Full Article: Source

UAE banks: $2.9bln exposure to Saad, Algosaibi

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The UAE Central Bank said yesterday that banks operating in the country have a combined exposure of $2.9 billion (Dh10.7 billion) to Saudi Arabia’s troubled business groups — Saad and Algosaibi — and ordered the banks exposed to take specific provisions for bad loans.

“The number of lending banks to the two groups and their related banks is 20 banks, 13 national banks and 7 foreign bank branches operating in the UAE. Their funded and unfunded exposures amount to $2.9 billion,” the bank said in a statement…………Full Article: Source

Islamic bankers to discuss new economic realities

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From As cautious optimism returns to the global economy and financial markets begin to move towards stabilisation and economic recovery, more than 1,200 industry decision-makers from over 50 countries including Malaysia, are preparing to meet in Bahrain at the 16th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2009).

The conference from Dec 6-8, will focus on “New Strategies for New Economic Realities”…………Full Article: Source

Islamic economic forum to host more regional meetings

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation (WIEF) is looking at hosting regional meetings next year to identify issues of interest among countries.

Its chairman, Tun Musa Hitam said the WIEF is already in talks with some countries and the response so far was encouraging…………Full Article: Source

Islamic Finance 2.0 – A moral compass for banking

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The truth is, to see banking as a value neutral industry is a misplaced notion, one that stems from its neo-liberal provenance. This has perpetuated the disjuncture between community, environment and business. More than ever, the world is standing back to watch how the finance sector scales this current crisis and charts its way forward.

Arguably sustainability sits within the syntax of Islamic finance. This is because Islamic finance is premised on social welfare aspirations…………Full Article: Source

GCC equity funds continue upward trend

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The latest Fund Market Insight Report from Lipper, a Thomson Reuters Company, for the Gulf Co-operation Council (the GCC) countries reveals that equity funds registered for sale in the GCC continued the upward trend noticed during the second quarter gaining 16.31% on average, bringing year-to-date performance to almost 39%.

As of the end of September 2009, almost all Lipper equity categories ended the quarter on a positive note, with the sole exception of funds invested in Kuwait, which lost 0.39%. This was mainly due to the negative performance of the Kuwait Stock Exchange during third quarter 2009; the index decreasing 2.89%…………Full Article: Source

Islamic insurance company Salaam Halal closes to new business

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Telegraph: The first Islamic insurance company to be launched in the UK has closed to new business after failing to raise enough capital to continue trading.
Salaam Halal, launched last July, has written to suppliers and partners informing them it is now in “solvent run-off”. A note has also been placed on its web site revealing it is no longer accepting “new requests for insurance quotations”…………Full Article: Source

Kuwait: insurance industry looks forward to 2010

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Like many other sectors of the economy, the insurance industry has been affected by the international financial crisis, with most firms seeing a reduction in new business written, a rise in policy cancellations and a fall in the value of assets and investments held over the first three quarters of the year.
This slow-down has been felt across the industry, with both conventional policy providers and the increasingly active takaful, or sharia-compliant, segment feeling the pinch…………Full Article: Source

S&P’s assigns ‘AA-’ rating to Qatar’s $7 bln global bond issue

Posted on 19 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From The fixed-rate notes have three tranches: a $3.5 billion four per cent tranche maturing January 20 2015; a $2.5 billion 5.25 per cent tranche maturing January 20, 2020; and a $1 billion 6.4 per cent tranche maturing January 20, 2040.

The proceeds of the bonds will help the State of Qatar’s general financing, and will be used in areas such as contingency funding for entities that the state owns or controls, and infrastructure investments funding in and outside the hydrocarbon sector…………Full Article: Source

Islamic banks outdo conventional rivals in the UAE

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Islamic banks in the UAE are outperforming their conventional rivals in terms of profitability, liquidity and earnings per share, according to a new report.

And the study said the Shariah-compliant banks have not been seriously affected by the fallout from the global financial crisis as they operate to different standards in terms of loans and investment tools…………Full Article: Source

November 2009
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