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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | September, 2010

Ethica and Zawya make Islamic finance training social media-savvy

Posted on 21 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance and Zawya announced a partnership to jointly deliver online Islamic banking courses and certification. Ethica Institute’s certification is chosen by more professionals and students than any other Islamic finance certificate in the world, and Zawya is widely regarded as the leading provider of business and investment intelligence in the Middle East.
“We are very excited to partner with Zawya to offer their community of business professionals, nearly 1 million visitors per month, with online Islamic finance training and certification,” said Ethica’s Managing Director, Atif Khan. “This historic partnership addresses the greatest need in the industry: practical training developed by scholars and bankers and delivered online around the globe; rather than theoretical training taught by academics and delivered inside a classroom.”………………………………………Full Press Release: Source

MAA Takaful eyes RM1 bln revenue in five years

Posted on 21 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: MAA Takaful Bhd is expecting RM1 billion in total revenue in five years time with the strengthening of its distribution channels, says Chief Executive Officer Salim Majid Zain.
The contributions will come mainly from life insurance, which currently accounts for 60 per cent of total revenue, with the remaining from the general segment, he told reporters at a press conference here today……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Cornerstone introduces Islamic insurance

Posted on 21 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Allafrica.com: Cornerstone Insurance Plc has established Islamic Insurance (Takaful) division to offer insurance products and services to the huge Moslem population in Nigeria, the chairman of the company, Adetokumbo Sulaiman, has said.
He said this at the 18th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the firm for 2009 financial year ended 31st December, 2009 held in Lagos……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Amana Takaful ties up with Global Hospitals Group

Posted on 21 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Haveeru.com.mv: Spearheading a refreshing experience in insurance through Takaful, Amana Takaful recently entered into a strategic partnership with Global Hospitals Group, India. “Takaful is about partnership and trusteeship and we ventured into this tie-up with the intention of bringing the best possible for our clients in the Maldives”, said Hareez Sulaiman, General Manager, Amana Takaful Maldives.
Through our operations for over 6 years in the country we have been able to secure recognition for our products and services. A pioneering feature, Medical Takaful is one of the highly popular products with ‘cash-less’ facility……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Understanding the sensitivities of Islamic mortgages

Posted on 21 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Mortgagestrategy.co.uk: Islamic mortgages may be regarded as a niche market but they offer opportunities for brokers who work close to large Muslim populations, especially to those who understand the products and the sector.
As with all areas of lending finance for Islamic mortgages suffered in line with the market downturn. A lack of confidence, funding and a reassessment of risk with lower LTV criteria have all contributed to consolidation in what was a growing area of mortgage broking and lending. loans for Islamic lender Alburaq and there was a dedicated resource to brokers referring clients to Alburaq’s team in London……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Muslim groups back Islamic center near ground zero

Posted on 21 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From AP: Leaders of prominent U.S. Muslim groups called Monday for interfaith dialogue to combat religious intolerance and said they support the right to build a controversial Islamic center near ground zero.
“We stand for the constitutional right of Muslims, and Americans of all faiths, to build houses of worship anywhere in our nation as allowed by local laws and regulations,” the Muslim leaders said in a statement delivered at the site of the proposed Islamic center and mosque, to be called Park51……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic derivatives struggle for traction in Gulf

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Islamic derivatives are still struggling to gain traction in the Gulf, six months after the launch of a much-touted over-the-counter contract aimed at creating a standard legal framework for hedging products.
Experts said the contract, known as the Tahawwut Master Agreement, in theory provides Islamic institutions with a simpler template for risk management that has been approved by sharia scholars……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Malaysian Sukuk market thrives

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: The Malaysian sukuk market continues its proactiveness with the latest two domestic issuances going to the market. Malaysian issuers in recent months have issued international currencies in US dollar and Singapore dollar, but the bulk of the business is done in local currency ringgit issuances.
Malaysian entities such as Celcom Axiata Bhd and Padiberas Nasional Berhad (BERNAS), the national rice paddy investment partner, have recently launched two sukuk……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Malaysia lowest Sukuk yields lift Dubai demand

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Yields on Malaysia’s sovereign Islamic bonds are trading at the narrowest premium to Treasuries since they were sold, giving investors incentives to buy higher- returning sukuk after Dubai World’s debt restructuring agreement.
Malaysia’s 3.928 per cent dollar-denominated Islamic notes due June 2015 fell 0.1 per cent this month, according to prices from the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. The debt yields 142 basis points more than Treasuries and has averaged 153 basis points over the past three months……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Jordan begins studying mechanism to issue Islamic sukuk

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Menafn.com: The government is working to speed up the use of Islamic-based financing tools as it has recently formed a committee to study mechanisms of issuing sukuk, Finance Minister Mohammad Abu Hammour said Saturday.
In a statement to The Jordan Times, the official said the government is serious about using Islamic sukuk to provide funds for carrying out vital and top priority projects……………………………………….Full Article: Source

RBS looks to manage $10bln in Gulf bonds

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: Royal Bank of Scotland Group expects to manage $7bn to $10bn of Gulf Arab bond sales next quarter, which will be the best three months for debt offerings this year for the region, a bank official said.
The bonds will be sold by governments, state-related companies, financial institutions and companies from “across the region, but dominated by the UAE,” Simon Penney, chief executive officer for the Middle East and Africa at RBS, the UK’s biggest government-owned bank, said in an interview in Dubai……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic banks fared better during financial crisis

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Since the global financial crisis started to unfold in 2008, there have been several reports suggesting that Islamic banks have been less affected by the crisis because they are not allowed for ethical reasons to invest in the pernicious derivatives such as CDOs (credit default obligations) that precipitated the worst crisis the world has seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Such reports have largely been based on oversimplified assumptions about Islamic finance and in a few instances on an emotional attachment based more on religiosity than on dispassionate non-descriptive empirical analysis……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank provides $ 100 mln finance facility to NPCC

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Albawaba.com: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a leading regional Islamic bank, will provide AED 367 million or USD 100 million Istisna’a and forward Ijara facility to National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) to fund the construction of a new SEP 450 self elevating accommodation and crane barge.
This deal is a significant milestone for NPCC as it the first Islamic finance facility in its corporate history. ADIB acted as mandated lead arranger and structured the deal while Waha Capital PJSC advised NPCC……………………………………….Full Article: Source

QIB receives elite JP Morgan Quality Recognition Award

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has won the JP Morgan Quality Recognition Award for Excellence. The award is in recognition to it achieving 99.6% straight-through processing (STP) on payments between banks, which includes money transfers and account settlements between correspondent banks around the world.
“The fact that QIB received the Elite JP Morgan Quality Recognition Award from a global bank proves QIB’s ability to achieve and perpetuate excellence in its financial services around the world,” according to Khalid al-Rumaihi, Senior Executive Manager Head of International Banking and Financial Institutions at QIB……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Adviser ‘holds meetings for NBK stake sale’

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Amanda Staveley, a financial adviser, has held meetings with several shareholders of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), for a stake in the lender that could exceed 10 percent, a local newspaper said.
Staveley’s firm PCP Capital Partners is holding the meetings, Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al-Qabas said in an unsourced report on Sunday. The paper, however, did not name the potential buyer……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UAE Exchange plans bank

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: UAE Exchange Centre, one of the world’s largest money exchange and remittance service providers, has applied for a banking licence in India.
Sudhir Kumar Shetty, Chief Operating Officer, says: “We have applied for a full banking licence in India in April, following the Indian Union Finance Minister’s announcement that deserving candidates could apply for new banking licences.”………………………………………Full Article: Source

Nakheel’s trade creditors next in line

Posted on 20 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thenational.ae: Having reached a consensus on debt restructuring with 99 per cent of its creditor banks, Dubai World’s next big challenge lies in dealing with its still more numerous trade creditors.
The ports and property conglomerate’s subsidiary, Nakheel, has by far the most such creditors: more than 1,000 advertising companies, construction contractors and other service providers that supported Dubai’s once booming property market……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic banks’ profits down 17pct in H1

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Emirates247.com: Islamic banks in the UAE recorded a decline of around 17 per cent in its net earnings in the first half of 2010 despite a sharp rise in the profits of the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), bank figures showed on Thursday.

From around Dh1.51 billion in the first half of 2009, the combined net income of the country’s Islamic banks dipped to nearly Dh1.24 billion in the first half of 2010, showed the figures released by Mubasher information centre…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Islamic banks attract more global clients

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thestreet.com: Islamic banking is one of the fastest growing segments in the financial industry, tracking a 10-15% growth over the past decade. Globally, Islamic banking assets are estimated to grow around 15% a year to $1 trillion by 2016, according to the IMF.
The high growth rate seen in Islamic banking is attributable to increasing demand from Muslims, growing oil revenues in the Middle East countries, and the attractiveness of Shariah-compliant financial services to non-Muslim investors seeking “ethical” banking practices…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Noor Islamic Bank jointly closes $ 240 mln Murabaha syndication for Turkey’s Albaraka

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Albawaba.com: Albaraka, the pioneer of the Turkish participation banking, obtained Murabaha syndication facility of 240 million US dollars in total. The Murabaha syndication facility has been realized with the participation of 22 banks and financial institutions from 14 countries, led by Noor Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and ABC Islamic Bank. The maturity of the facility is determined as one year.

The agreement on the availability of the credit reaching a volume of $98 million and 108,5 million Euros was signed in a ceremony attended by the directors of the leading and participating banks of the consortium…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Arab central banks must cooperate: Suwaidi

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Emirates247.com: UAE Central bank Governor Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi reiterated the importance of cooperation among the Arab countries in various fields.

In a statement to Emirates News Agency (WAM) given on the sidelines of the 34th meeting of the governors of Arab Central Banks and Monetary agencies currently under way in Libya, Al-Suwaidi also stressed the importance of these meetings as they discuss various economic and financial issues concerning the Arab world…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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UAE has highest per capita bank accounts in region

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Every UAE resident maintains nearly two deposit accounts on average, according to a World Bank report released Thursday. “There is a wide variation among countries in the region in terms of deposit account penetration, from 104 bank accounts per 1,000 adults in Yemen, to 1,751 bank accounts per 1,000 adults in the UAE,” says the report, Financial Access 2010.

“Average deposit size per capita is much higher in Mena, at 260 per cent, than in developing and high-income countries.”……………………………………Full Article: Source

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Islamic banking: How has it diffused? (Research paper)

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From IMF: This paper investigates the determinants of the pattern of Islamic bank diffusion around the world using country-level data for 1992 - 2006. The analysis illustrates that income per capita, share of Muslims in the population and status as an oil producer are linked to the development of Islamic banking, as are economic integration with Middle Eastern countries and proximity to Islamic financial centers.
Interest rates have a negative impact on Islamic banking, reflecting the implicit benchmark for Islamic banks. The quality of institutions does not matter, probably because the often higher hurdle set by Shariah law trumps the quality of local institutions in most countries. The 9/11 attacks were not important to the diffusion of Islamic banking; but they coincided with rising oil prices, which are a significant factor in the diffusion of Islamic banking. Islamic banks also appear to be complements to, rather than substitutes for, conventional banks…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Tamweel Islamic bonds fail to benefit from Dubai World debt deal

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Islamic bonds of Tamweel PJSC, the United Arab Emirates-based mortgage lender, have failed to benefit from the Dubai World debt accord after being the worst performing sukuk in the country in the past five months.

The yield on Tamweel’s 4.31 percent sukuk due in 2013 surged 8.67 percentage points, since an April 13 low. Yields on the debt climbed six basis points to 19.64 percent since Sept. 9, the day before Dubai World unveiled an accord with 99 percent of creditors. Yields on notes from Dubai World’s DP World Ltd. fell 22 basis points in that time…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Javelin to shut Shariah-based Islamic ETF

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Javelin Investment Management has announced that its JETS Dow Jones Islamic Market International Index Fund will cease trading on October 19, 2010. Launched on July 1, 2009, the fund failed to attract the level of investor interest that had been anticipated.

“With over seven million Muslims in the United States, we believe that Shariah-based investing has a promising future,” says Javelin president and founder Brint Frith, “but we found it difficult to reach target investors through the marketing channels typically used by ETFs.”……………………………………Full Press Release: Source

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Mapletree Industrial plans $800mln IPO

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Todayonline.com: Mapletree Industrial Trust plans to raise about $800 million from an initial public offering in Singapore to buy six properties and repay debt, according to a term sheet sent to investors. Mapletree Industrial Trust will be Shariah-compliant to help attract Middle East investors seeking stable yields, Mapletree Investments chief executive officer Hiew Yoon Khong had said in June.

The trust is offering 1.01 billion units, or up to 69 per cent of its market capitalisation, in the IPO, which includes a greenshoe - or overallotment option - of 91.75 million units…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Ground Zero Mosque to boost “Shariah-compliant Investing” ?

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Alrroya.com: A proposed new mosque near Ground Zero in New York may symbolise a new berthing for Islamic ideals—and finance—in the heart of arguably the world’s most important financial centre. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City and majority owner of Bloomberg L.P., the global media colossus, is an adamant supporter of the mosque. And with his media company in the forefront of global Islamic finance reporting, he just might be a champion of Islamic finance too.

Islamic finance is spreading around the world. Governments realising its potential for profits and jobs are duelling with each other to create the best regulatory and supportive framework for it. Western money centres with growing participation in Islamic finance include London, New York City, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and Toronto. Islamic financel activities in these centres usually encompass the licensing of Islamic banks and offering of Shariah-compliant financial products that include bank accounts, home loans, and bonds…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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CIMB beats HSBC as top underwriter for Sukuk

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., Malaysia’s second-biggest lender, overtook HSBC Holdings Plc to become the top sukuk underwriter after arranging two of this year’s three-biggest sales of Islamic bonds.
CIMB arranged $2.74 billion of the notes in 2010, or 26 percent of the total, compared with $1.65 billion from HSBC so far this quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Standard Chartered Saadiq, Bank Muamalat manage Bernas Sukuk

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Cpifinancial.net: Bank Muamalat Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq Bhdacted as joint principal advisers, lead arrangers and lead managers for Padiberas Nasional’s (Bernas) MYR 750 million ($240 million) Sukuk
The Sukuk issuance marks the first time that Bernas, the Malaysia rice industry regulator, has tapped Islamic finance for funding. The Islamic commercial papers/medium-term notes (ICP/MTN) programme was assigned respective long- and short-term ratings of ‘AA3′ and ‘P1′ with stable outlook by RAM Ratings Services……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Indonesia: Govt ready to issue Sukuk and global bond

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Vivanews.com: The Indonesian government plans to issue sukuk and global bonds in the first semester of 2011. Director General of Debt Management at the Ministry of Finance, Rahmat Waluyanto, said the sukuk and bond issuance is aimed at meeting most of the financing for the 2011 State Budget.
According to him, the issuance will take place at a period considered as being appropriate. “The first semester usually is a good timing,” said Rahmat in the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy’s office today, September 15. Early-year issuance is chosen because the government always applies front loading strategy……………………………………….Full Article: Source

GCC unrated companies owe $67 bln, Moody’s says

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Companies without ratings in Gulf Arab states owe more than $67 billion and are likely to sell bonds, Islamic notes and structured-finance instruments to extend their debt maturities, Moody’s Investors Service said.
“The proportion of bank debt for unrated corporates is high,” the rating company said in an e-mailed report today. This “makes such corporates more likely to pursue debt funding as an alternative,” it said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi not planning immediate bond issues

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Ameinfo.com: The government of Abu Dhabi has no plans for immediate sovereign bond issues, following its “non-deal” roadshows in Switzerland, Germany and Britain this week.
“It is a non-deal roadshow, a regular update we have been doing in the last two years, meeting investors,” the official at Abu Dhabi’s debt management office told the news service……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic banks and exporting wealth

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Aawsat.com: The reason why Islamic banks first came into existence, was because Muslim societies needed financial institutions that operated in accordance with the ordinances of the Islamic Shariaa, and that sought to fulfil the Shariaa’s prime targets in finance.
Shariaa Law regarded finance as a tool to ‘construct the Earth’, achieve the renaissance of the Muslim nation, and ensure a decent standard of living for generations to come. This is something that cannot be achieved without banks and finance, as they are the energy behind any renaissance……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Al hilal bank Term Arranger in Emirates Steel US$1.1bn project finance deal

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Albawaba.com: Al hilal bank, the UAE’s Islamic bank, announced that it has been appointed as an Islamic Term Arranger for the Emirates Steel Industries PJSC’s Islamic Tranche of its $1.1 billion Project Financing deal.
The financing deal comprised of a $733 million limited-recourse facility from seven conventional banks and a $367 million Ijara (lease) facility from two Islamic banks, al hilal bank’s participation in the deal is of USD 117 Million. Funds will be utilised to finance ESI’s capital expenditures for its expansion plans for additional manufacturing facilities………………………………………Full Article: Source

RBI urged to open windows for Islamic banking in select banks

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Istockanalyst.com: The Indian Centre for Islamic Finance, a non-profit organization spearheading Islamic banking in the country, has approached the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow a few banks in Mumbai to open interest-free windows on a pilot basis, without amending any of the existing regulations.
Any payment or acceptance of interest is prohibited under Islamic banking, which operates on the theory that the return on investment is a compensation for the risk taken by the investor by providing a fund for commercial activity. Money can be lent on a profit-sharing or a fee-based model……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Tawarruq in Islamic banking is usury: IDB

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Emirates247.com: Islamic banks which enforce Tawarruq in their financial and investment operations are involved in usury, which is prohibited in Islam, a senior scholar from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has said.
Sheikh Mohammed Mukhtar Al Salami, Head of the Sharia (Islamic) Panel in the Jeddah-based IDB, said many Islamic banks have been involved in such an investment tool in the Islamic banking industry……………………………………….Full Article: Source

ABG’s Turkish subsidiary secures $240mln Islamic financing

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Albaraka Türk Katılım Bankası (Al-Baraka Turk), a subsidiary-banking unit of Bahrain-based Al-Baraka Banking Group BSC (ABG), signed a $240 million syndicated Islamic financing in Istanbul.
Through the Shariah-compliant dual-currency syndication, Al-Baraka Turk raised $98 million and euro 108.5 million. The funding sought was oversubscribed by about two and a half time……………………………………….Full Article: Source

NBAD plans Malaysia unit, sees more in Asia

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the second largest lender in the UAE by assets, plans to set up a new bank in Malaysia as it seeks to expand its Asian operations, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
NBAD has secured a licence to set up a new bank in Malaysia with a capital of 300 million ringgit ($96 million) that will open in 2011, Michael Tomalin told Reuters in an interview……………………………………….Full Article: Source

ADIB unit launches e-trading platform

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Abu Dhabi Islamic Financial Services (ADIFS), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, has launched a new online trading platform that allows investors to trade in shares of Shari’a-compliant companies listed on UAE stock exchanges.
Investors can access the new platform on and clicking on ADIFS E-trading. The new portal is part of ADIFS’ commitment to provide additional convenience and services to clients, said a company statement……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Three new Takaful plans launched by Prudential BSN Takaful

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Cpifinancial.net: PruBSN Protect it a term plan offering protection to age 70, PruBSN ProtectPlus offers similar but increasing cover, while PruBSN CrisisCover provides protection against 36 types of critical illness
Prudential BSN Chief Executive Officer Azim Mithani said, “Protection is a key part in financial planning. Therefore, setting aside the background and occupation differences, everyone must ensure they have a protection level that they are satisfied with.”………………………………………Full Article: Source

Africa Re launches Sharia compliant subsidiary

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Nation.co.ke: African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) has launched a new sharia compliant subsidiary. The African Takaful Reinsurance Company, has been necessitated by the increasing demand for Islamic law-based insurance services.
The new firm will handle all regions in Africa, Middle East and the rest of Asia……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bahrain firm signs major deal with Hannover

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-daily-news.com: Bahrain-based t’azur Company has signed an Islamic re-insurance agreement with Hannover Retakaful, the Bahrain-based Islamic subsidiary of Hannover Re.
“We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Hannover Retakaful, a highly regarded A rated re-insurance company,” said t’azur chairman Dr Shaikh Abdulaziz bin Naif Al Orayer,………………………………………Full Article: Source

Sri Lanka Islamic insurer short of compliant investments

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Lankabusinessonline.com: Amana Takaful, an Islamic insurer in Sri Lanka says the market does not have enough investment vehicles that are compliant with Shariah laws and also local regulations, where it can invest funds.
“With our foundations constructed on Shari’ah principles, sourcing investment tools that conform to the diktats of being Islamic and Shari’ah compliant is challenging,” the company told shareholders in its annual report……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Daman Islamic Fund continues to outperform benchmarks

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Daman Islamic Fund, a Shari’ah principle-based, UAE-registered open-ended mutual fund, continues to beat its benchmark, the NBAD Islamic Index, by a wide margin as of year to date August 2010. The fund’s year-to-date performance stood at -4.51% against the benchmark’s -10.21%.
Wrapping up August 2010 with a NAV of AED 100.44, fund shares held their value with a nominal decrease of 0.43%, outperforming the index which dropped by 1.29%. The fund declared a second quarter dividend of AED 0.50 per unit, and remains ahead of the Index in terms of annualized dividend yield……………………………………….Full Press Release: Source

Tricor expands into Dubai

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Tricor, a global provider of integrated Business, Corporate and Investor Services, today announced the establishment of a Joint Venture with Praesidium LLP under the name of Tricor Praesidium Limited (in formation).
Tricor has joined forces with a Dubai based boutique compliance and client advisory practice specializing in both conventional and Islamic Finance, well known globally for its Islamic Finance support services……………………………………….Full Press Release: Source

Azmi & Remy join forces in cross-border partnership

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Legalbusinessonline.com: Malaysian firm Azmi & Associates has inked a formal agreement to collaborate with Indonesian firm Remy & partners, in a joint venture aimed to boost Islamic banking and cross-border corporate work.
The formal agreement commenced on 27 August 2010, and Azmi & Associates is already preparing to send lawyers on secondment to the Indonesian firm, to assist in cross-border work between Indonesia and Malaysia……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Malaysia: Plans underway for certified Shariah experts in Islamic finance

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Asiainsurancereview.com: Leading Islamic finance scholars are preparing the first global certification for Shariah experts, seeking to bolster the industry’s reputation and make it easier for Islamic banks and insurers to find qualified advisers.
The International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) in Kuala Lumpur will pick a board of regulators by year-end to issue permits for scholars qualified to sit on Shariah boards, said Dr Aznan Hasan, President of the Oversight Committee……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai Sukuk ‘massive’ rally ruled out by Citi

Posted on 15 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Dubai’s Islamic bonds, after beating Sukuk from Malaysia this quarter, may face limited gains because the restructuring of Dubai World’s $24.9 billion in debt requires asset sales over eight years.
“I don’t think there will be a run-away rally here,” Abdul Kadir Hussain, chief executive officer in Dubai at Mashreq Capital DIFC Ltd., which manages $2 billion of mainly Persian Gulf assets, said in an interview yesterday. “Refinancing risk will occur in five and eight years obviously and the market will continue to see this.”………………………………………Full Article: Source

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Islamic ‘finance’: Between faith and the law

Posted on 15 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Indiatimes.com: At a Reserve Bank of India meeting, a team of Islamic scholars and senior lawyers met a top central bank official to talk about the possibility of a pilot project where banks in India may open special windows to offer interest-free products that are based on Sharia’h, the sacred law of Islam.
The RBI official, like most RBI officials, was non-committal. But the delegation that visited the regulator challenged the fundamental argument that the finance ministry as well as RBI have so far held on to……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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New Islamic tax laws ‘will spur investment’

Posted on 15 September 2010 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Businessday.co.za: New tax laws will level the playing field between Islamic banks and conventional banking, say banking and tax analysts. The new laws are intended to encourage foreign direct investment into SA, says Amman Muhammad, MD for Absa Islamic Banking.
Mr Muhammad says the current tax laws prejudice Islamic finance and undermine SA’s financial role in nonwestern markets as a regional financial centre……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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