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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | November, 2011

Islamic banking needs to develop capacity to undertake cross-border deals

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

South-East Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations are the two largest Islamic finance hubs but there are not many cross-border transactions between them, said Dubai-based Noor Investment Group chief executive officer, Hussain Al Qemzi.
Hussain said if both could not trade among themselves, then they were not doing it right. “If we are to challenge the conventional banks’ entrenched position in international financial deals, we must develop the capacity to structure multi-currency and cross-border transactions and to build scale………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai-based Noor Islamic Bank mulls expanding to Malaysia

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dubai- based Noor Islamic Bank is considering expanding to Malaysia to tap opportunities in Southeast Asia. Chief Executive Officer Hussain AlQemzi said the bank was currently exploring the market and establishing contacts in Malaysia.
“It’s also an opportunity for the Southeast Asia region, through Malaysia to be linked with the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries,” he said. The GCC member states are the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Experts restate great future of Islamic banking in the country

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

An Islamic finance expert Hadiza Garba Laka has said the non-interest banking (Islamic-banking) has great potential for the Nigerian economy.
Hadiza Garba Laka of Lotus Capital Limited, who was delivering a paper recently at a public lecture organized by the Jama’atul Ta’awunil Muslimeen in Abuja, pointed out that Islamic banking has witnessed real time growth in UK, USA and Malaysia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Banking model of Arab countries are far better and more stable: Rahman Khan

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

As per the Islamic faith, charging interest from idle deposits is prohibited by the Islamic banks, however, it allows investment in productive business ventures.
In a recent business gathering initiated by the Indo-Arab Chamber of Commerce, which sought experts from India and Arab countries to come together to discuss and promote the role of Islamic Banking in the infrastructural growth of India there were many a opinions passed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emirates NBD mulls sukuk

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Emirates NBD, the UAE’s largest bank by assets, plans to explore opportunities for selling dollar-denominated Islamic bond, or sukuk, for the first time and its size is expected to be decided in the next 15 days, chief executive officer Rick Pudner said.
The bank is considering a five-year security and will look at markets where there is demand, Pudner said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pudner ponders Islamic issuance, says size and timing undecided

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Emirates NBD Chief Executive Officer Rick Pudner says the bank is ‘looking at opportunities’ but that no decision has yet been made on a possible Sukuk.
“We’re obviously like everyone else looking at opportunities in the Sukuk arena and reviewing our options,” said Pudner, adding that, “We haven’t mandated any banks yet,” and that any issuance had not yet been quantified as regards size and timing. However, he did suggest the bank would prefer to issue a bond with a five-year tenor. “We are looking at five-year but the size we are not sure. We will determine that over the next week or two weeks.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Standard Chartered Saadiq signs up to Tamkeen’s enterprise financing scheme

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Standard Chartered Saadiq and Tamkeen introduce the Enterprise Finance Scheme for Standard Chartered customers in Bahrain, offers 50 per cent guarantee on total financing and subsidies on 50 per cent of profit payments.
The scheme offers Shari’ah-compliant financing for enterprises incorporated in Bahrain. Wasim Akhtar Saifi, Global Head Islamic Banking, Consumer Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, said “Standard Chartered Bank is proud to be associated with Tamkeen on the Enterprise Finance Scheme, catering to enterprises in general with a focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Saudi-Spanish collaboration seeks to boost Islamic finance values in Europe and beyond

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic finance in the European Union may be taking a back seat as the continent is gripped with a dire euro zone sovereign debt crisis which has even impacted on sovereign Germany’s attractiveness as a bond investment asset class.
Similarly, London’s role as a hub for Islamic finance, investment and trade - the declared ambition of the previous Labor government and the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition - is stalling because of the disappointment of the UK Treasury deciding not to raise funds in the wholesale sterling market through a debut sovereign Sukuk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Crisis opens up opportunities for Islamic finance

Posted on 30 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The growth opportunities for the Islamic financial industry are particularly strong as Islamic finance has its largest presence in rapidly growing economies that have been least affected by the global financial crisis, according to Bahrain’s central bank governor H.E. Rasheed M. Al-Maraj.
Al Maraj noted that the “obvious flaws” in conventional finance have created great interest in the Islamic financial model. He said: “This should provide the basis for the industry to sustain a period of strong growth for the rest of this decade. “……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Gulf Islamic borrowing costs poised for biggest monthly surge since May last year

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Adnan HaiderGulf Islamic borrowing costs are poised for their biggest monthly surge since May 2010 after $1.8bn in new sales and as Europe’s debt crisis deepened.
The average yield on Islamic bonds in the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council jumped 59 basis points in November to a seven-week high of 4.46% on November 25, the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai GCC US Dollar Sukuk Index shows. Sales this month brought sukuk issues for the year to $6bn, up 52% from the year-earlier period………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai’s Emirates NBD eyeing debut Sukuk-CEO

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Rick PudnerEmirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank by assets, is considering tapping the Islamic bond, or sukuk, market for the first time as the bank becomes the latest Gulf financial institution to target sharia-compliant investors.
Chief Executive Rick Pudner said on Monday the lender is eyeing a five-year, dollar-denominated issue. “Like everyone, we are looking at the opportunities in the sukuk arena and we’re just reviewing our options,” Pudner said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emirates NBD plans five-year Sukuk issue

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Emirates NBD, the UAE’s largest bank by assets, is considering a five-year Islamic bond (sukuk) issue, chief executive Rick Pudner said. “We are looking at opportunities, but timing is very important. At the moment the market looks crowded with a number of issues launched in recent weeks,” Pudner said.
Pudner confirmed that the bank is actively considering the possibility of a sukuk issue. “We, like everybody else, are looking at the sukuk arena and just reviewing our options. There have been a lot of issues recently. So we are still waiting for the right opportunity and the right moment,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Building Islamic bonds – Bahrain’s economy to receive a welcome boost

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

With recent news of a planned new Islamic bond issue, Bahrain’s economy may be set to receive a welcome boost. The issuance may also come as a boon for the Gulf state’s financial services sector, which is a central part of its Economic Vision 2030, the long-term plan to promote the country as a leading regional and international financial centre, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG.
Bahrain faced ratings downgrades after civil unrest in February, followed a month later by the delay of a planned $1bn sovereign bond issue after debt insurance costs hit 18-month highs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK firm to launch investment Sukuk

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

British-based Sharia-compliant investment firm Solum Asset Management will launch the first “investment sukuk” in the first quarter of next year, treating Islamic bonds as investment vehicles rather than debt instruments, its chief executive said.
Unlike traditional sukuk, which are akin to conventional debt products, the £200 million ($310m) Student Accommodation Investment Sukuk will use equity to provide holders with an annual yield of four to six per cent, said Safdar Alam at the company’s launch in Bahrain………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zimbabwe: Islamic banking - Growth solution?

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Since dollarisation, we have been fed various statistics that imply that things have improved since the hyper-inflationary days. In particular, “growth” has been recorded in various sectors of the economy. To be fair, there, indeed, has been improvement in several areas. Supermarkets are full, companies are no longer compelled to resort to illegalities to remain operational, money is not littering the streets and some semblance of a normal economy is present.
To the mind of the ordinary citizen, though, the most telling sign of improvement or growth is simple: an improvement in their standard of living………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Islam failed economically?

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Compared to the enormous literature on the religion of Islam, very few books have been published about the economic performance of different Islamic nations. The book, The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East, by Timur Kuran, an American Muslim and a leading expert on Islamic economic institutions, is a thought-provoking attempt to analyse the factors responsible for the persistent underdevelopment of Islamic countries in West Asia that include the Arabs, Iran, Turkey and the Balkans.
In the author’s words, the region, “at the start of the third millennium, is widely considered an economic laggard, and plethora of statistics support this consensus”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banking comes out of its niche

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Modern Islamic banking follows Islamic law according to the boards of Shariah scholars which differ between the conservative Middle East and more accepting South East Asian regions but the fundamentals remain the same: interest is banned and banks operate on a system of profit loss sharing (PLS).
Loans involve the bank purchasing a commodity at market value and then selling it to the customer at a higher price with the bank keeping the difference. Similarly, interest is not paid on deposit accounts but investors share in the profit of the bank at a level set to compete on the conventional market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘Cross pollinating’ Islamic finance in GCC, Malaysia

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

How many Malaysian Islamic bankers work in senior positions at Islamic financial institutions in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), Pakistan and the UK? Conversely, how many non-Malaysians work in senior positions at Malaysian Islamic financial institutions?
Does the training and experience in Malaysia for Islamic finance somehow imply that it’s too Malaysia-centric (Shafi school) for GCC (Hanbali, Hanafi, Jafri schools) Islamic financial institutions? Does it somehow imply that there needs to be a “retraining” of Malaysian Islamic bankers to the GCC “way” of Islamic banking, finance and takaful?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sri Lanka, Malaysia partners to promote Islamic finance

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Wealth Lanka Management, a Sri Lankan investment house and Malaysian consultancy Al Tayseer Advisory Services are working together to develop Shari’ah-compliant instruments in Sri Lanka.
“We find Sri Lanka as an emerging market for Islamic finance with immense future growth potential,” Al Tayseer Advisory Services chief executive and partner Fahd Hashim, told reporters in Colombo. “Sri Lanka is the second fastest growing economy in Asia right now and growth is linked to public sector investment with imports of cement steel.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

BFH backs Islamic finance conference

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bahrain Financial Harbour Holding Company backed the 18th annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), the world’s largest and most influential annual gathering of international industry leaders in the global Islamic finance industry.
The three-day event was held under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain at the Gulf Convention Centre, Gulf Hotel, from November 21 to 23. Commenting on the company’s participation, managing director Dr Omar Al Mardi said: “Bahrain Financial Harbour Holding Company has played a pioneering role in the development of an iconic financial hub in the region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sharia-compliant template for profit-rate swap soon

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Ijlal AlvisInternational Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) expects to launch a template for sharia-compliant profit-rate swaps, designed to help in hedging risk in frequent cross-currency transactions, in the first quarter of next year, its chief executive said.

Ijlal Alvi said IIFM, a global body which works to standardise Islamic finance products, was close to finalising the template, which will standardise documentation in the use of profit-rate swaps among Islamic institutions……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Give Islamic benchmark rate a chance: Bankers

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Rushdi SiddiquiThe launching of the Islamic Interbank Benchmark Rate (IIBR) by Thomson Reuters in Bahrain last week is the latest manifestation of how the technical architecture of the global Islamic financial industry is maturing. To many the pace of maturity remains frustratingly slow, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, while Asia is galloping ahead, which has resulted in a lob-sided West Asia and East Asia fault line.

The search for a purely Shariah-compliant benchmark for pricing Islamic financial transactions and products is not new, whether it applies to Commodity Murabaha deals or Islamic mortgages. Malaysia has tried to set profit rates for its Islamic banking sector devoid from the benchmarks of LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) or KLIBOR (Kuala Lumpur Offered Interbank Rate)……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Libor alternative opens door for Islamic finance

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

US and European brokerages are poised to capitalise on growing Middle Eastern and international demand for Islamic finance products as the market enters a new phase of development.
The Middle East reached a milestone last week when a group of 16 local banks, in partnership with data vendor Thomson Reuters, launched the Islamic interbank benchmark rate – the first standardised interbank lending rate in the Middle East……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Saudi-Spanish collaboration seeks to boost Islamic finance values in Europe and beyond

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic finance in the European Union may be taking a back seat as the continent is gripped with a dire euro zone sovereign debt crisis which has even impacted on sovereign Germany’s attractiveness as a bond investment asset class.

Similarly, London’s role as a hub for Islamic finance, investment and trade - the declared ambition of the previous Labor government and the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition - is stalling because of the disappointment of the UK Treasury deciding not to raise funds in the wholesale sterling market through a debut sovereign Sukuk……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Malaysia: Robust outlook for Sukuk

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The local sukuk market is expected to remain robust next year despite the global economic uncertainties, with the total issuance estimated to be between US$24bil (RM76.8bil) and US$30bil (RM96bil).

CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd CEO Badlisyah Abdul Ghani said that 2007 was a record year with total issuance at US$24bil (RM76.8bil) to US$25bil (RM80bil), adding that he expected a similar amount of issuance this year.He said to achieve US$24bil to US$30bil in sukuk issuance was something that was reasonable to anticipate………………………………………Full Article: Source

Why German blushes could have been saved by a vibrant Sukuk market

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Sovereign Germany might be disappointed that its recent Eurobond offering was not fully subscribed. Perhaps in hindsight, had it instead opted to issue a debut Eurosukuk for the same amount, the story might well have been different.

Sukuk issuers, whether conventional entities such as HSBC Middle East or Goldman Sachs (both of which tapped the sukuk market in 2011, or Islamic banks, agree that market conditions in the sukuk space is more favorable than in the conventional space. And this confidence and appetite for Sukuk is backed by rising demand from big institutional investors in the Middle East and Asia……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Solum fund to treat Sukuk as investment, not debt

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

British-based, sharia-compliant investment firm Solum Asset Management will launch the first “investment sukuk” in the first quarter of next year, treating Islamic bonds as investment vehicles rather than debt instruments, its chief executive said.

Unlike traditional sukuk, which are akin to conventional debt products, the 200 million sterling ($310 million) Student Accommodation Investment Sukuk will use equity to provide holders with an annual yield of 4 to 6 percent, said chief executive Safdar Alam at the company’s launch in Bahrain……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Kuveyt Türk introduces Turkey to Sukuk with pioneering lease certificate issuance

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The transaction represents the first issuance as part of the Comminiqué on Lease Certificates and has created $350 million worth of derivative funds for a five year period that will be primarily used for project financing.
Present at the signing ceremony and press conference for this second Sukuk issuance were Capital Market Board Chairman Vedat Akgiray, Kuveyt Türk Chairman Mohammed Al-Omar, Vice Chairman Abdullah Tivnikli and CEO Ufuk Uyan. The event was also attended by officials from the lead arranging banks; Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Commerzbank, HSBC, Liquidity Management House and Standard Chartered Bank……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

US$25-US$30 bln to be issued in Malaysia next year

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A total of US$25-US$30 billion worth of new sukuk (Islamic bond) issuances are expected to be issued in Malaysia next year despite a slow down in the global economy. CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd chief executive officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani said sukuk currently accounted for 38.2 per cent of the total bonds outstanding.

In the first half of this year, the Securities Commission had approved 19 sukuk issues worth RM32 billion, of which RM24.6 billion has been issued. “In general, 2007 was the record year for sukuk issuances, which was roughly about US$24 billion to US$25 billion. This year we anticipate to close higher in terms of total new sukuk issuances………………………………………Fll Article: Source

Gulf borrowers rush to market

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Companies are rushing to sell bonds and sukuk to investors as worries over the deteriorating global economy convince them it is better to go to markets now than risk being shut out in a few months.
Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, also known as Taqa, began a roadshow with investors last week ahead of a potential bond sale, while Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Holding and Al Hilal Bank are also laying the groundwork for sukuk sales………………………………………Full Article: Source

India: Islamic banking is the need of the hour: Experts

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Even as RBI and government aren’t keen on allowing Islamic banking, experts from the world of Islamic finances today said it is a question of “how soon and not whether it will be allowed”, as this mode of banking can greatly help a fund-starved country get long-term finances.

“It is not when, but how soon, the Reserve Bank and the government will take a positive view on this highly effective financing option,” T Balakrishnan, the brain behind the country’s first proper Shariah-compliant financial services firm Al Barakah Financial Services, promoted by the Kerala government, told PTI on the sidelines of a meet on Islamic banking organised by the Indo-Arab chamber of Commerce and Industries……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Kerala govt’s Shariah finance firm nears start

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Kerala government-promoted Shariah-compliant Al Barakah Financial Services Ltd hopes to start operations from next fiscal, pending RBI licence for non-banking finance company (NBFC). Al Barakah is also trying to get Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approval to float
Shariah-compliant private equity and venture capital funds and portfolio management services.
“The RBI has sought a few additional information and we have provided that. With the Kerala high court stay order getting vacated we hope we will soon get approval,” T Balakrishnan, former additional chief secretary of Kerala, who is now a nominee of the state government on the board of Al Barakah told Hindustan Times……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Paksitan: Islamic finance expands to 7pct of banking sector

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Deputy Governor Muhammad Kamran Shehzad has said the Islamic banking industry is gradually increasing its share in the market and today it constitutes about 7.3 per cent of the overall banking system in Pakistan.

He said the Islamic banking industry, which was re-launched in 2001, had maintained strong growth momentum with over 30 per cent average annual growth over the last six to seven years………………………………………Full Article: Source

Paksitan: Islamic banking grows by 30pct

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic banking industry maintained strong growth momentum with over 30 per cent average annual growth during the last six to seven years, said Mohammad Kamran Shezad, Deputy Governor, State Bank.
Kamran Shezad said that Islamic banking industry at present constitutes about 7.3 per cent of the overall banking in Pakistan.He said there are five full-fledged Islamic banks and 12 conventional banks having Islamic banking branches with a network over 840 branches in more than 70 districts across the country………………………………………Full Article: Source

Pakistan: Islamic financial market proves itself better alternate post crisis: Deputy Governor SBP

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The of State Bank of Pakistan’s Deputy Governor Muhammad Kamran Shehzad has said on Friday that the Islamic Financial Institutes has proved better alternate of the conventional banking system after international financial crisis.

He was addressing the closing ceremony of a five-day Training Program on Islamic Banking which was jointly organized by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) here at the National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF)………………………………………Full Article: Source

Banque Saudi cites ‘financial risks’ for sale of Syrian Bank

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Banque Saudi Fransi (BSFR), a Saudi lender part-owned by Credit Agricole SA (ACA), will sell its 27 percent stake in Bemo Saudi Fransi Syria and its 10 percent share capital in Bemo Lebanon.

“The financial risks in the Arab Republic of Syria do not permit Banque Saudi Fransi to continue as partner,” the Riyadh- based lender said in the statement on the Saudi bourse website today. The bank “is no longer represented in the board of directors of Bemo Saudi Fransi Syria and Bemo Lebanon,” it said……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Kenya booming Islamic banking

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The recently offered Islamic banking in Nairobi is attracting new customers from Muslims and non-Muslims alike who praise the growing industry for offering low-risk Islamic shari`ah financial solutions, UPI news agency reported on Friday, November 25.

“Now, I don’t have to worry about accumulating riba,” Ahmed Bayusuf said, using the word that, for Muslims, defines interest. Developing in his work over the past decade, Bayusuf used to work as a cab driver in Nairobi for nine years………………………………………Full Article: Source

Sri Lanka, Malaysia partners to promote Islamic banking, bonds

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Sri Lanka’s Wealth Lanka Management (Pvt) Ltd, an investment house, and Al Tayseer Advisory Services Sdn. Bhd a Malaysia based consultancy has linked up to provide Islamic banking and bond market instruments, officials said.
The firm advices on Islamic banking and corporate finance and advisory services for specialist industries like steel, cement and cotton. “We find Sri Lanka as an emerging market for Islamic finance with immense future growth potential,” Al Tayseer Advisors Services, chief executive and partner Fahd Hashim, told reporters in Colombo………………………………………Full Article: Source

Sri Lanka: Plans to develop Shariah interbank market

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Shariah interbank market will be developed in Sri Lanka to position the country to become a regional player. The possibilities are being looked at to raise a Shariah bond and negotiations are taking place at present.

The Sri Lankan banking industry landscape needs to be changed to incorporate better practices. Hence, Shariah is a concept that could be adopted by any customer not only Muslims, we need to promote this banking model, Wealth Lanka Management Chairman Mangala Boyagoda said……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Emirates Islamic money market fund breaks $100 mln

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

18-month-old fund attracts over $100 million from individuals, corporates and insurance companies, achieves more than four times the total return compared to overnight deposits.
Deon Vernooy, Senior Executive Officer at Emirates NBD Asset Management, said, “In a low interest rate environment, investors need to focus on earning the best profit rates from their liquid assets, and the Emirates Islamic Money Market fund is an ideal vehicle for investors seeking a cash allocation in their portfolio……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

Arab bankers call for economic ‘state of emergency’, aid fund

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Arab banking officials warned that regional unrest and the world financial crisis had created an economic “state of emergency”, and called for a special aid fund backed by wealthy Arab states to help recovery.
Speaking at the opening of the annual Arab Banking Summit in Beirut yesterday, the chairman of the Arab Union of Banks Adnan Yousif said countries hit by pro-democratic protest movements, which have swept the region and forced out four long-standing rulers this year, would see severe economic losses………………………………………Full Article: Source

Qatar firm eyes $500mln spend on Turkish ‘dry’ hotels

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A Qatar-based hospitality company is set to invest at least $500m in Turkish hotels operating under Islamic traditions. Semi state-owned Retaj Marketing and Project Management is looking to build multiple hotels to attract conservative Muslim holidaymakers in Turkey, according to the Anatolia news agency.

The hotels would operate on Islamic principles, with no alcohol or smoking allowed………………………………………Full Article: Source

RAM Ratings reaffirms ratings of Malakoff’s Islamic securities

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

RAM Ratings has reaffirmed the AA3 rating of Malakoff Corporation Berhad’s MYR 5.6 billion ($1.75 billion) Islamic Medium-Term Notes (2007/2027), as well as the AA3/P1 ratings of its MYR 600 million ($187.6 million) Islamic Commercial Paper/Medium-Term Notes (2007/2014).
Concurrently, the A2 rating of the company’s MYR 1.7 billion ($532 million) Junior Sukuk (2007/2057) has also been reaffirmed, with its negative outlook maintained. Malakoff is an investment-holding company with interests primarily in power generation and maintenance services for power plants……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

GE Takaful eyes top 3 spot in Indonesia

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Great Eastern Takaful Sdn Bhd (GE Takaful) has unveiled a plan to become one of Indonesia’s top three takaful players in three to five years, by introducing affordable takaful plans and leveraging on its bancatakaful distribution partnership with Bank OCBC NISP there.

Its CEO Mohamad Salihuddin Ahmad said the company will venture into the republic next year, initially in Java and Sumatera. It will then enter other areas such as Kalimantan and Sulawesi……………………………………….Fll Article: Source

More banks aim to join world’s first Sharia-compliant interbank benchmark

Posted on 25 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Rushdi SiddiquiThe recently launched Islamic Interbank Benchmark Rate (IIBR) aimed at raising the quality of the Islamic capital profile has some more banks knocking at its door.

Seeking to tap into the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry, with an expected growth of 15 percent per annum, Thomson Reuters on Tuesday launched IIBR, a benchmark to provide scientific, market-agreed indications for the average expected return on Shariah-compliant short-term interbank funding………………………………………Full Article: Source

Kuwait: Large-scale Sukuk

Posted on 25 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

While Kuwait has to date played a relatively small role in the fast-growing global market for sukuks, or Islamic bonds, this could change, should lawmakers develop and implement a more robust legal framework to regulate the issuance of sharia-compliant debt.

In the meantime, however, two entities with strong ties to the country - Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) and Kuveyt Turk participation bank, which is 62% owned by Kuwait Finance House (KFH) - have in recent months raised funds by selling sukuks………………………………………Full Article: Source

Islamists woo investors with free economy

Posted on 25 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Coming to power after decades of repressions under dictatorial governments kept economics and religion apart, Islamist parties are assuring foreigners with pledges for free trade, more manufacturing investment and crackdown on corruption.

“We want to attract as much foreign investment as possible…and this needs a big role for the private sector,” Hassan Malek, an Egyptian businessman and a top financier of the Muslim Brotherhood, told Reuters………………………………………Full Article: Source

Bermuda steps up Islamic finance effort

Posted on 25 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bermuda’s latest target market of the Islamic finance industry was the focus for a delegation from the Island who travelled to Bahrain this week for the 18th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference.

The conference, which was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain, featured Cheryl Packwood, CEO of Business Bermuda and Belaid Jheengoor, director of asset management for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Bermuda and chairman of the Island’s Islamic finance taskforce, on the panel discussion entitled ‘Upgrading Regulatory Frameworks and Risk Management Capabilities: New Approaches to Ensure Stability and the Successful International Development of Islamic Finance’………………………………………Full Article: Source

Debt, corruption and Islamic banking

Posted on 25 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic financing is always provided for doing business or trading, it is relatively difficult for the recipients of Islamic funds to “run away” with the money. In international transactions, if equity-based tools of Islamic finance are used to bring foreign capital into Pakistan, technically the new injection of foreign capital into the country will not lead to an increase in national debt.
Even in the case of the government using sukuk for raising debt-based shari’a compliant capital, the financing will always be tightly linked to an already exiting asset or will be used for creating new assets………………………………………Full Article: Source

Islamic banking forum a success

Posted on 25 November 2011 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

In spite of the economic turmoil in Europe, the economic problems in the US and the unrest in Bahrain, this year’s World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) proved to be the biggest to date.

“In the current economic climate, the attendance at this year’s event was just magnificent,” said event organiser David McLean. “We broke through the 1,300 delegate numbers and had more sponsors than ever before which is remarkable and is a testament to Bahrain’s role as the capital of the Islamic banking industry,” he said………………………………………Full Article: Source

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