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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | February, 2011

Abu Dhabi Islamic has Q4 profit on higher revenue

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ second-biggest bank complying with Shariah banking rules, posted a profit in the fourth quarter after provisions declined by more than half and net revenue rose.
Net income was 114.1 million dirhams ($31 million) after a loss of 623.3 million dirhams in the year-earlier period, the bank said………………………………………Full Article: Source

Barclays’ head of Islamic finance said to leave company

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: Barclays Capital’s head of Islamic finance left the company last month, a person familiar with the matter said. Harris Irfan, based in Dubai, joined the company in July 2009 and headed Islamic finance operations for Barclays Capital and Barclays Wealth, part of Barclays Plc.
The British bank’s spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News today. Reuters reported earlier today Irfan left the company after the bank decided to focus less on Shariah-compliant product offerings……………………………………….Full Article: Source

QIB’s valuation will rerate!

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: The central bank of Qatar’s directive that conventional commercial banks close down their Islamic businesses is unquestionably negative for the sector but it could spawn spin offs of subsidiaries and sale of loan books to the pure Shariah compliant licenses operating in Qatar.
The Central Bank of Qatar wants to accelerate the growth and market share of state’s Islamic banks, which found it difficult to deal with the sheer economics of scale and brand dominance enjoyed by QNB, the de facto national champion and largest universal banking conglomerate in the emirate……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Conventional banks’ loss is Islamic’s gain

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: Conventional lenders stand to lose between 8 and 16% of their deposit base, total assets and profits with the Qatar Central Bank’s stipulation to close down their Islamic banking operations, according to Moody’s ratings agency.
“The loss of Islamic banking franchise is credit negative for Qatari conventional banks, which derive 10-15% of their yearly earnings from Shariah-compliant banking,” Moody’s credit analyst Elena Panayiotou said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

QNB eyes global growth with Indonesia bank buy

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: The QNB Group has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Indonesia-based Bank Kesawan following a rights issue.
QNB and Bank Kesawan had signed a ‘letter of intent’ in September last year, making QNB the ‘standby buyer’ for the rights issue, which received regulatory approval in December……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Union National Bank posts 16.6pct profit rise

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Union National Bank (UNB) reported a net profit of Dh1.35 billion last year, up 16.6 per cent compared to Dh1.15 billion reported in 2009. The bank’s operating profit last year was up 25.2 per cent to Dh1.8 billion compared to 1.46 billion in 2009.
Despite the prolonged vulnerability in the market due to the global economic downturn, the bank has been able to deliver good results, the bank said in a statement……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sudanese finance minister seeks Islamic insurance, export credit

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Ahlul Bayt News Agency: Sudan’s Minister of Finance and National Economy, Ali Mahmoud, has called on the Islamic Investment Insurance and Export Credit to provide collateral for the security of Sudanese exports and investments in Sudan in all fields.
Sudan is focusing on non-oil exports after South Sudan’s secession, referring to Sudan’s surpluses in agricultural production such as sorghum, animal resources and fruits, he said Sunday, noting that Sudan intended to expand cotton cultivation in the coming years……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Retakaful firm Best Re sees growth in Africa, South America

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Sharia-compliant reinsurer Best Re will grow its business in Africa and eventually expand into South America to diversify its sources of income which is mainly derived from Asia, a senior official said on Monday.
Asia, specifically countries such as China, Indonesia and Malaysia, accounts for three-quarters of Best Re’s income and the company wants to bring this share to about 60 percent within five years, general manager Riadh Karray said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic insurance firm sees opportunity after Egypt crisis

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dailystar.com.lb: Tokio Marine Middle East, an Islamic insurance services provider, sees an opportunity to expand its business in Egypt following the recent political turmoil, the company’s chief executive told Reuters.
Islamic insurance, or takaful, is already seeing demand in Egypt and the recent demonstrations will highlight the need for financial protection, said Ajmal Bhatty, president and chief executive of Tokio Marine Middle East, a unit of Tokio Marine Holdings……………………………………….Full Article: Source

FWU Group to receive ‘Best Takaful Provider’ Award at Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

FWU Group announced that it is to be the recipient of the “Best Takaful Provider” Award from the Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards 2011 in London to be held on the 22nd February 2011. The event, to be hosted at the prestigious Landmark Hotel, will recognise the most successful Islamic institutions worldwide.
It is the second time that FWU Group will receive an accolade from the Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards. In 2007 FWU Group was awarded as the “Best Life Takaful Provider”. This award recognised the group’s growing footprint, reputation for innovation, creative product design, IT systems and quality of white labelled unit-linked savings plans……………………………………….Full Press Release: Source

Tamweel swings back into profit

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Tamweel PJSC, the Dubai-based Islamic mortgage provider, announced it swung to a full year 2010 net profit of Dh26 million from a net loss of Dh54.4 million in the year earlier.
Earnings per share for 2010 came in at Dh0.03 compared with a loss per share of Dh0.06 for 2009, the company said in a statement posted on the Dubai Financial Market’s website……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sakana posts loss for 2010

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

At the Board meeting held on 7 February 2011, Sakana Holistic Housing Solutions the Islamic mortgage provider based in Bahrain announced its financial results for the year 2010. Profitability for the year before impairment allowance was BD0.63m against BD0.85m for 2009. After one-off book provisions, the net loss was BD1.63m.
Commenting on the results, Chairman of Sakana Mr. Reyadh Sater said: “Bahrain’s economy seemed to have weathered the global financial crisis relatively well. However, the Bahrain real estate market continued to witness fall in capital values as demand dwindled and over supply remained in most sectors.”………………………………………Full Press Release: Source

Shoura Council wants ceiling on housing loans increased

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: The Shoura Council recommended on Monday that housing loans offered by the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) be increased from the present ceiling of SR300,000 in view of the rising cost of construction and land prices.
In a session presided over by Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh, the council made the recommendation after the finance committee presented its findings on the REDF’s annual report for the fiscal year 2009/2010……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic private equity onthe rise, hurdles remain

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: Demand for Islamic private equity in Gulf Arab states is on the rise among investors who value its more prudent debt approach and its flexibility in structuring deals, even though the sector faces hurdles in the form of a shortage of qualified professionals and restrictions in its investments options.
The global Islamic finance industry-widely valued at $1tn-is booming and whetting the appetite of many financial institutions in the Gulf region, which want to tap new revenue streams against a backdrop of slower growth and subdued lending……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Islamic banks ‘may see conventional M&As’

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: Niche Islamic investment banks in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) may go in for mergers and acquisitions with conventional lenders to achieve the critical mass for reaping economies of scale, according to a report by a global management consulting firm.
“We anticipate first the build up of national champions driven by major shareholders, as was the case with Emirates NBD in conventional banking. Nice Islamic bank, such as Islamic investment banks (which have been particularly affected by the financial crisis) may diversify through M&As with banks that complement their businesses,” the A T Kearney report said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Japan adopts new strategy

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Japan, one of the world’s top three economies, has included tax reforms and regulatory measures for Islamic finance, as part of the country’s financial strategy, which is one of seven key components of the government’s “new growth strategy — blueprint for revitalizing Japan,” which was approved by the Japanese Cabinet last June and recently published.
This is reminiscent of a microcosm of Malaysia’s strong inclusion of the role of Islamic finance, especially sukuk issuance, in the country’s economic transformation program (ETP), and its latest Five-Year Development Plan, which was announced by Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak during his budget 2011 speech and at the launch of the ETP in November 2010……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Shariah investments arrive in India

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Has India finally reached an inflexion point for Islamic finance or will this be another trial balloon bursting before achieving the right altitude? The recent launch of an Islamic equity index by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), TASIS Sharia 50, received more media coverage globally than India Islamic indexes from the index providers.
A Google search of “Islamic index India” provides 279,000 results, comparable to “Islamic index Malaysia” (270,000), Pakistan (274,000), Saudi Arabia (272,000) and Turkey (259,000), and almost ten times more than the GCC (36,500), at the time this article was written……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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India woos Muslim investors with new stock index

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From AFP: India’s stock market has traditionally been dominated by Hindu investors but the country has taken a step towards financial inclusion with the creation of a new index compliant with Islamic law.
The Bombay Stock Exchange, Asia’s oldest stock market, has launched the TASIS Shariah 50 in an attempt to open stock-trading to more of the country’s vast Muslim population……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Middle East banks apply to offer Islamic finance in Uganda

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: Uganda has received applications from three Islamic banks in the Middle East to offer Shariah-compliant financial services in the country.
“The Middle East investors can start operations either by acquiring a local bank or setting up a new Islamic bank in the country,” Grace Stuart Ndyareeba, deputy director of commercial banking at Bank of Uganda, said in an interview in Jakarta on Friday, declining to name the banks……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Islamic finance: Qatar banks under pressure

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: The decision by the Qatar Central Bank to order conventional banks in the country to close their Islamic banking operations by the end of the year — without a detailed explanation — may be harmful to the financial services industry in the country and the region.
Many international and local conventional banks in Qatar have reportedly invested in setting up Islamic finance operations which they may now have to shut-down at some cost……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Kuwait’s top Islamic bank 2010 profit down 10.7pct

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From AFP: Kuwait Finance House (KFH), the emirate’s leading Islamic bank, said on Sunday its net profit in 2010 dropped 10.7 percent, despite a rising asset base.
KFH posted a net profit of 106 million dinars ($378.6 million, 279.6 million euros) last year compared to 118.7 million dinars ($424 million) in 2009, the bank said in a statement posted on the Kuwait Stock Exchange website……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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IDB chief, Bear discuss cooperation

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Ahmad Mohamed Ali held a meeting with the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Michael Bear, and his accompanying delegation at the IDB headquarters here on Saturday.
Ali, who stressed the importance of the annual coordination meetings between the two parties, commended the tangible development of IDB relations with the business community in London, which poses an international hub for Islamic finance……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Indonesia: Central bank forecasts Islamic bank assets to jump by up to 55pct this year

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thejakartaglobe.com: The assets of the nation’s Islamic banks are expected to grow by half this year as people in the world’s largest Muslim-majority state increasingly turn to the sector for their financial needs, according to a report by the central bank released over the weekend.
“If Indonesia’s economy grows at a decent pace, the assets of Islamic banks will increase by 55 percent,’’ said Mulya Siregar, director of Shariah finance at Bank Indonesia……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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More sharia banks planned in Indonesia

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Asianbankingandfinance.net: Several banks expressed interest in establishing sharia banks in Indonesia. According to Bank Indonesia director for sharia banking Mulya Siregar, the list includes Bank Kesawan, which has just recently been acquired by Qatar National Bank; Malaysia’s Affin Bank Bhd., which owns Bank Ina Perdana Indonesia; and Bank Sinarmas.
“[Affin Bank] hinted last year that they wanted to buy a bank in Indonesia and convert it to a sharia bank, but the deal is not yet done… Sinarmas is planning to spin off its sharia unit in 2012. They have come, expressed their interest and presented their plans, but we have not received any formal letters,” he said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Maybank Islamic offers Islamic financing to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Maybank.com.my: Maybank Islamic Berhad signed an agreement to provide a RM100 Million Commodity Murabahah Term Financing-i (CMTF-i) facility to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai. The facility will be used to redeem UTM’s existing term loans for the construction of hostel facilities at its Skudai campus for students.
The signing ceremony was held at Menara Maybank where Lim Hong Tat, Deputy President and Head, Community Financial Services Maybank and Ibrahim Hassan, Chief Executive Officer of Maybank Islamic signed on behalf of Maybank Group, while UTM was represented by Professor Dato’ Dr Ir Zaini bin Ujang, Vice Chancellor and Tuan Haji Mohamad bin Abdullah, Fund Raising Manager……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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QIB named Qatar’s premier Islamic finance institution

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya.com: QIB has earned an excellence award as the Best Islamic Financing Institution in Qatar in 2010 from the 8th International Real Estate Finance Summit (IREF) organized by ICG in London.
QIB has received the award due to its excellent financing solutions for local companies as well as its premier standing as a competent Qatari financial institution contributing to shaping the national economy……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Emirates NBD Asset Management funds added to Hansard

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Emirates NBD Asset Management Limited on Saturday announced that it had teamed up with Hansard International to promote a number of its funds through the Hansard platform.
According to the agreement, Hansard has established links to three Shariah-compliant funds managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management: the Emirates Islamic Money Market Fund, Emirates Islamic Global Balanced and Emirates MENA Opportunities Fund, which will be promoted through its platform to clients in the Middle East and Far East……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Al Hilal Bank launches new GCC equity fund

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Ameinfo.com: Al Hilal Bank, one of the UAE’s leading Islamic banks, has today announced the launch of the Al Hilal GCC Equity Fund, a Sharia-compliant investment fund that will provide retail investors with access to the Gulf’s equities markets.
The open-ended fund will invest in publicly traded stocks of companies that meet strict Sharia law criteria. Al Hilal Bank believes that GCC equity markets offer significant opportunities for investors due to the long-term economic growth potential of the region, coupled with the attractive current valuations of its markets……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Takaful: The Cinderella of the Islamic finance industry

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Takaful (Islamic mutual insurance), the Cinderella of the Islamic finance industry, received potentially a major boost with the entry at the end of January 2011 of US insurance giant AIG (American Insurance Group) into the Malaysian market through a RM100-million joint venture, AIA AFG Takaful Berhad.
In fact, two further international-local Takaful joint ventures are scheduled to come to enter the market in 2011 following the approval last year by Malaysian Finance Minister and Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak of the four new joint-venture family Takaful licenses under the Takaful Act of 1984……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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UAE’s Tamweel swings back to profit

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From AFP: Islamic home-finance provider Tamweel PJSC, based in Dubai, announced on Sunday that it swung back into the black in 2010, posting a modest net profit of 7.08 million dollars. The figure represents a “turnaround” from Tamweel’s financial performance in 2009, when it posted a net loss of 14.8 million dollars, it said.
“We are extremely pleased to share our positive financial results for 2010, which follow Tamweel’s recent, successful return to the market,” Abdulla al-Hamli, chairman of Tamweel, said in a statement……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Yemen launches first Sukuk; plans $500mln issue by year end

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya Dow Jones: The Central Bank of Yemen, has launched the country’s first sukuk issue and plans to issue additional Islamic bonds worth $500 million this year, the official Yemen News Agency Saba reports Saturday.
The sukuk, issued Saturday, are valued at 4 billion Yemen rials ($18.74 million) and will be used to finance three local road projects, Saba reports……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Indonesia: Govt sells Islamic bonds to Haj fund

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thejakartaglobe.com: Indonesia’s Finance Ministry on Friday sold Rp 6 trillion ($672 million) in Islamic bonds, or sukuk, to the state-managed Haj Fund via a private placement, Shariah director Dahlan Siamat said.
The sukuk, which is not tradeable in the secondary market, has a three-year tenor and 7.85 percent coupon, he said. Since 2009, the ministry has issued Rp 21 trillion in sukuk to the fund, managed by the Religious Affairs Ministry……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Tadawul elects new board chairman

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: The board of Saudi Arabia’s bourse has selected a new board chairman and vice chairman, the bourse said in a statement on Sunday. The bourse, known as Tadawul, said Taha bin Abdullah Al-Quwiaz was elected chairman of the board and Mansour bin Saleh Al-Maiman as vice chairman, Reuters said.
The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) fell 0.14 percent to close at 6,626.89 on Sunday……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Demand for Islamic lenders lifts QE index

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: Stocks of Shariah-principled lenders, in particular, saw huge demand on the Doha stock exchange during the week, which also saw more clarity emerge from the Qatar Central Bank on the closing down of Islamic financing units of conventional banks.
Strong buying, especially in large and mid cap equities, lifted the 20-stock benchmark by a robust 2.15% or 189 points to 8,949.76 points in the week that saw the central bank justifying its stand by highlighting the higher risks from conventional lenders operating Islamic financing as there would be difficulties in financial reporting. QE was the second best performer among the Gulf bourses……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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20 percent rise in Gulf M&A deals expected, say analysts

Posted on 14 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thepeninsulaqatar.com: Gulf-based mergers and acquisition (M&A) specialists are forecasting an increase in GCC deal flow volume of around 20 percent in 2011 over 2010, according to the 2011 Middle East M&A Barometer.
This is the second annual M&A Barometer report to be produced by global financial consultancy M: Communications in partnership with Zawya, the region’s leading business information provider……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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S.Korea to seek sukuk bill passage in Feb - official

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: The South Korean government will again push forward a bill to introduce sukuk, or Islamic bonds, a senior finance ministry official said on Thursday, after lawmakers rejected the proposal in December.
“We will give one more try to get a special tax bill for Islamic bond issuance passed in parliament in February,” the official told reporters, declining to be identified until an official announcement is made……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Foreign firms warm to sukuk

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Alberto VermeFrom Thenational.ae: Islamic bonds are growing increasingly popular with foreign companies doing business in the region, the leader of Citigroup’s regional operation says. Sukuk are being considered as a way to diversify financing portfolios and sometimes to hedge risks, said Alberto Verme, the chief executive of Citigroup’s Europe, Middle East and Africa operations.
“You need to have diversified funding sources so you are never surprised by market volatility and you have access to every window,” Mr Verme said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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The value of Islamic finance is expected to surge

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From AKI: Islamic finance and banking is worth around 1 trillion dollars and is destined to grow more than 4 times the rate of conventional investing, according to analysts at Deloitte & Touche. The international financial adviser expects the industry to surge 28.6 percent a year and have a value totalling 5 trillion dollars in 2016. By comparison, growth in conventional finance is forecast by Deloitte & Touche to grow 6.6 percent per year during the same period.
Other financial forecasts are more conservative. Credit Suisse expects Islamic finance to be worth 3 trillion dollars in 2016, while McKinsey Global Institute says growth depends on the price of oil……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Islamic microfinance in Chicago

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Womenetics.com: Chicago Islamic Microfinance Project (CIMFP) is not an investment fund; it is a not-for-profit organization. Our funding would come from charitable donations. Faith organizations tend to be embedded in communities, and they know and are willing to help citizens who could benefit from microfinance services.
We believe we are filling a need for both economic/community development and faith-based microfinance in the Chicago area……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Eversheds says Qatari move on Islamic windows all about ‘risk’

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Cpifinancial.net: The Qatar Central Bank has clarified a recent ruling asking commercial banks in the Gulf state to close their sharia-compliant operations by explaining that it saw higher risks from conventional lenders operating Islamic units.
Acknowledging that the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) circular took many industry analysts by surprise, Amjad Hussain, partner at international law firm Eversheds, said, “Last year, the QCB issued a ruling asking Islamic windows of conventional banks to restrict their lending. This had been preceded by an edict requiring Islamic windows to operate out of separate offices to the conventional bank……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Pakistan: SBP to provide supportive policy for Islamic Banking

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dailytimes.com.pk: The central bank is committed to provide an enabling and supportive legal, policy and regulatory framework for the development of the Islamic banking industry on sound footings in the country, said Yaseen Anwar, Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Thursday.
While delivering a welcome note at a talk on “Narrowing the gap between philosophical underpinnings of Islamic finance & its practices” organized by Dr Abbas Mirakhor, a renowned economist & Islamic finance professional and former Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund at SBP, Yaseen Anwar said that the State Bank is taking a number of initiatives for the promotion of Islamic finance in Pakistan……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Emirates NBD reports 2010 income down 10 pct

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Cpifinancial.net: Emirates NBD says total income for 2010 of AED 9.7 billion ($2,64 billion) was down 10 per cent compared with 2009 but claims ‘excellent progress’ on balance sheet optimisation.
The bank, the region’s largest, reported net interest income for the year of AED 6.8 billion ($1.85 billion), down eight per cent, and non-interest income of AED 2.9 billion ($790 million), down 13 per cent. Net profit was down 30 per cent at AED 2.3 billion ($626.3 million)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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GFH, KIC signs agreement to assist with capital raising program

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Alwatan Daily: Gulf Finance House BSC (GFH), the Bahrain based Islamic investment bank announced that the Kuwait Investment Company (KIC) has been appointed to assist the bank with the recapitalization and raising up to 500 million US dollars program through a convertible Murabaha as part of the restructuring plan agreed to by shareholders.
KIC’s appointment opens up an opportunity to individual, private investors who will now - through KIC - be able to participate in the capital increase……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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India: Kerala govt plans to rope in Shariah-based fund for roads

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Indianexpress.com: The Left Front government in Kerala plans to depend heavily on Shariah-based fund from Islamic countries for developing the road network in the state. The budget for 2011-12, presented by Finance Minister Thomas Issac in the Assembly on Thursday, unveiled road development project of Rs 40,000 crore for the next 10 years. The state government has set aside Rs 1,000 crore for the scheme.
In a state where the idea of BOT roads is yet to go down well with the political parties and agitating groups, the government plans to raise a major chunk of the money from the Shariah-based Islamic non-banking financial entity, Al Barakh Financial Services Limited, which has influential NRIs as major stakeholders……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Islamic banking surges post-global recession

Posted on 10 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Madzlan HussainFrom Indianexpress.com: Islamic banking has been gaining momentum after the recent global meltdown and many countries, including India, are opening their doors for it, an international Islamic banking expert said here. Islamic banking is based on the principle of profit-sharing, rather than charging interest.
“The current volume of Islamic banking is USD 1.2 trillion. It is very small and less than 1 per cent when compared to conventional banking, which is nearly USD 243 trillion. But this USD 1 trillion was achieved within 40 years. This is growing 15-20 per cent much faster than conventional banking,” expert Madzlan Husain said………………………………………Full Article: Source

Islamic banking move is a potential game-changer

Posted on 10 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Nigel DenisonFrom Efinancialnews.com: This week, Qatar Central Bank surprised commercial lenders by stipulating that they shut down their Islamic finance activities by year end, in a move that will affect banking strategies. The move leaves unanswered questions and big strategic worries for the big Western banks with a presence in the region.
The central bank on Sunday sent a three-quarter page circular to banks specifying that they had the rest of the year to wind down their Islamic banking operations and could not do new business. Questions around implementation and scope remain, but the surprise move has far reaching ramifications for those banks that have tried to offer both commercial and Islamic lending………………………………………Full Article: Source

Qatar sees risks in mixing Islamic, conventional banks

Posted on 10 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: The Qatar central bank said it saw higher risks from conventional lenders operating Islamic units, clarifying a recent ruling which asked commercial banks in the Gulf state to close their sharia-compliant operations.
Qatar’s central bank earlier in the week asked conventional lenders to close down their Islamic operations amid worries of overlap between the two, in a surprise move that boosted shares of Islamic lenders in the country……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Qatari bank may set precedent

Posted on 10 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thenational.ae: Qatar’s move to stop Sharia-compliant lending by conventional banks could trigger similar moves across the region as Gulf states jostle for position in a market estimated to be worth US$800 billion (Dh2.93 trillion).
Qatar’s central bank this week ordered conventional banks to shut down their Islamic operations by the end of the year amid worries about an overlap between the two forms of banking……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bank Negara: No ban on Islamic services by conventional banks

Posted on 10 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Themalaysianinsider.com: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) assured that it will not follow Qatar’s example in stopping conventional banks from offering Islamic banking services.
“Bank Negara Malaysia has accorded the flexibility to the Islamic financial industry to decide on the strategic business direction of each individual institution,” the central bank said in response to questions from The Malaysian Insider……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic banks must ensure shariah compliance

Posted on 10 February 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thestar.com.my: Malaysian Islamic banking institutions, operating as subsidiaries or windows, must have proper firewalls and separation of funds to ensure compliance with syariah requirements, Bank Negara said.
The authority was responding to a decision by Qatar’s central bank on Sunday directing its conventional lenders to shut their Islamic operations amid worries of overlap between the two, a move which some experts said could prompt other regulators to follow suit……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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