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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | February, 2012

Islamic finance: Breaking the Shariah silence

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Establishing a corporation in 2010 to create and issue short-term Shariah-compliant financial instruments to improve cross-border Islamic liquidity management was a great idea. And it still is – despite the group not conducting a single issue or releasing any press statements.
Many in the Islamic finance community found an opportunity in the global financial crisis to boast or at least be a little smug………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance must adapt to prosper

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

If Islamic finance is ever to be anything more than a poor relation of the conventional credit markets, those responsible for guiding the sector need to learn to adapt. The indecision and disputes that can delay deals at the moment will only get worse as issuers look to push into more innovative areas.
Scholars that stand in the way of progress may well find themselves sidelined. It is often argued that Muslim countries have a natural inclination to move towards a model in which Shariah-compliant finance dominates………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic debt spurred in $15 bln opportunity for greener Gulf

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A body promoting development of debt sales to tackle climate change, with sponsors including National Australia Bank Ltd. and HSBC Holdings Plc, plans to spur green Islamic bond markets as the Middle East diversifies from oil.
The Climate Bonds Initiative, which has advisers from Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch, will set up a panel to help create financial products complying with Islamic shariah law, Chairman Sean Kidney said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zain Saudi Arabia in talks to refinance $2.5bln Islamic loan

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Zain Saudi Arabia, the country’s third-largest mobile operator, is in talks with lenders to refinance its $2.5bn Islamic syndicated loan that matures in July, banking sources close to the deal said.
The firm has come under pressure to restructure its capital after losses pushed it close to a limit on capital losses imposed by the bourse. The original Murabaha loan was secured in 2009 to back the company’s network expansion, with two tranches consisting of $775m and SR6.46bn ($1.72bn)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tunisia seeks to establish legal framework to regulate Islamic economy

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

“The Tunisian Government will seek to establish a legal framework to regulate the Islamic economy in Tunisia,” said, Monday, Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, adding that the country plans to become “a regional centre of Islamic finance.”
Hamadi Jebali also said “Tunisia needs 35 to 45 billion dollars in financing in the next five years to carry out its development projects. Islamic banks, at the forefront of which the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), can provide part of these funds, he indicated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Shariah index and the recently launched Greenex lend a new spin to investing

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) launched Greenex, or Green Index, which will calibrate the performances of companies in terms of carbon emissions. The choice of firms is made on the basis of their greenhouse emissions in the last four financial years.
In late 2010, it launched the BSE Shariah Index. Shariah, the religious law of Muslims, has strictures relating to finance and commerce — to be abided by the faithful. Arab investors invest in ‘clean’ stocks only. The National Stock Exchange (NSE), too, has its Shariah index — S&P CNX Nifty Shariah………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UAE issues takaful law to regulate industry

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A new UAE law regulating the growing Islamic insurance industry will provide more transparency and oversight but the extra costs of compliance may drive consolidation in a fragmented market, lawyers said.
The Islamic insurance, or takaful, law was issued Sunday, placing companies under the jurisdiction of the Insurance Authority of the United Arab Emirates and giving them a year to reorganize their processes. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Pakistan: Islamic banking industry to double market share in next five years: SBP

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Yaseen Anwar, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has expressed the hope that Pakistan’s Islamic banking industry is all set to double its market share in the next five years. He said that Islamic banking industry in Pakistan is growing at a fast pace and maintaining an average growth rate of 30 percent over the past six years.
He said the Islamic banking industry’s asset base has reached Rs. 641 billion which constitutes almost 8 percent of the overall banking industry while deposits represent 8.5 percent of the banking system’s deposits………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank Islam full-year pre-tax profit jumps 36.5 pct

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd has turned in another strong set of results for its financial year ended December 31, 2011, registering a 36.5 per cent jump in its profit before zakat and tax to RM470.1 million, a feat that the bank largely attributed to its organic growth strategy.
Bank Islam managing director Datuk Zukri Samat said the organic strategy had helped the bank to pull off another year of respectable financial performance, particularly through a solid financing growth, a well diversified product, relentless improvement in asset quality, and growing contribution from non-fund based income………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Capinnova deploys Islamic banking solution

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

ITS (International Turnkey Systems) Group, a solution provider for both Islamic and conventional banks, announced that it has completed deploying its ETHIX Core solution for Islamic banking at Capinnova Investment Bank, the Shari’a compliant investment banking arm of BBK.
Capinnova is an independent provider of world-class Shari’a compliant investment products and services for corporate businesses, high net worth individuals, family businesses and government institutions, regionally and globally. (press Release)

Bahrain banks ‘on solid economic fundamentals’

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Solid fundamentals will support a resumption of strong long-term economic growth and secure Bahrain’s long-term future as a wealth management centre of excellence, said a top government official.
‘Bahrain remains committed to ensuring that the same core business fundamentals remain in place,’ remarked Economic Development Board (EDB) chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oman’s Renaissance plans $104mln convertible bond

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Oman’s Renaissance Services said on Tuesday it will ask shareholders to approve plans for a 40m rials ($103.9 million) offering of zero coupon convertible bonds.
The approval will be sought at a shareholder meeting on March 25, the oil services firm said in a filing to the Muscat Securities Market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UAE expects first federal bond to be around $1bln

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The UAE expects its first ever federal sovereign bond issue to be around $1bn after a public debt law is approved, a senior finance ministry official on Tuesday was quoted as saying.
The UAE’s top advisory council passed a new public debt bill in December 2010, aiming to establish a local debt market in one of the world’s top five oil exporters, but the legislation is still awaiting presidential approval it needs to become law………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance assets seen topping $1 trillion in 2010

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Rasheed M. al-MarajIslamic finance will likely expand faster than mainstream banks this year, and its total assets will top $1 trillion as demand for ethical investments intensifies. However, Islamic financial institutions must guard against straying from the basic tenets of Sharia law if they are to avoid the excesses that led to the global economic crisis.
“The regulatory framework needs to keep pace with the rapid growth of the industry, and also to reflect the lessons learned from the global financial crisis,” said Bahrain’s Central Bank governor Rasheed M. al-Maraj………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Acwa Power to sell $800 mln Islamic bond in early 2013

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi water and power project developer Acwa Power, which in November raised $300 million from a debut sharia-compliant syndicated facility, also plans to issue an Islamic bond, or sukuk, worth $800 million in early 2013, Rajit Nanda, Acwa’s CFO, said.
The company was talking to banks about who would arrange the sukuk and a mandate would be awarded during the third quarter. The mandate would likely go to two of the banks which provided cash for the murabaha-structured facility, Nanda said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

QP finance director says Qatar plans Sukuk

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar Petroleum (QP) director of finance Abdulrahman al-Shaibi said that Qatar will continue to make use of the project finance market, that the possibility of floating project sukuk is being seriously considered, that a PPP law is being studied and that financing plans are being developed for the $8bn QP-Shell petrochemical plant approved in principle at the end of 2011.
Al-Shaibi said that Qatar plans to capitalise on its experience in raising more than $70bn in project financing in the past 15 years to secure further credit from the market for new projects being implemented as part of its long-term economic development plan. (Press Release)

Citi to advise Dubai’s JAFZA on $2 bln Islamic bond

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Citigroup has been tapped to advise Dubai’s main industrial free zone operator on its options for meeting a $2 billion Islamic bond maturity this year, including the potential sale of its UK based developer Gazeley, three sources said on Monday.
Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), which runs an industrial free zone on the outskirts of Dubai, has said it aims to refinance the 7.5 billion dirhams ($2 billion) Islamic bond, or sukuk, maturing in November………………………………………..Full Article: Source

DRB-Hicom’s Islamic-bonds rating downgraded to negative

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia Rating Corporation Bhd (MARC) has revised DRB-Hicom Bhd’s sukuk rating on its RM1.8bil Islamic Medium Term Notes (IMTN) programme from stable to negative.
The outlook recognises the potential weakening of DRB-Hicom’s near-to-intermediate term financial profile, caused by its debt-funded acquisition of Proton Holdings Bhd………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CBB Sukuk Al-Salam Securities over subscribed

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) announces that the monthly issue of the Sukuk Al-Salam Islamic securities for the BD18 million issue, which carries a maturity of 91 days, has been subscribed by 186%.
The expected return on the issue, which begins on 29 February 2012 and matures on 30 May 2012, is 1.18%. The securities are issued by the CBB on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank Negara Indonesia to grow Shariah banking

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Indonesia’s fourth largest lender Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) is actively searching for a partner to further tap growth opportunities in Shariah banking.
Its CEO Gatot Suwondo said the bank is also looking to venture into micro-banking - an area that’s new to BNI right now. Bank Negara Indonesia is one of the familiar household names in Indonesia with over 1,500 branches………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pakistan: IBI far from achieving10-year target

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Banking Industry (IBI) will miss its 10-year growth target to achieve 12 percent share of overall banking industry, staying currently at an average of 7.6 percent in terms of assets and deposits that may attain level of 9 percent by 2012 provided with the improving economic and business situation.
IBI has witnessed impressive growth over a period of decade with significant number of banks and branches established particularly for banking services in accordance with Sharia Compliance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ABC Islamic Bank’s 2011 net profits surge 293 pct

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

ABC Islamic Bank announced a net profit of $8.1 million for 2011, 293 per cent higher than last year. Total operating income was $15.1 million compared to $15.9 million for 2010, mainly due to de-risking of balance sheet asset size.
Operating expenses of $6.2 million were higher than the previous year of $4.9 million, mainly due to a timing recognition of staff expenses related to compensation for last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Muslim investors seek Shariah-compliant RRSPs

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The deadline for RRSP contributions is nearing, but there’s another important investment concern for Muslims — ensuring the products they rely on for their retirement income comply with Islamic principles.
With nearly a million Muslims in Canada, forming nearly three per cent of the country’s population, there has been an emphasis over the last decade in investment products that adhere to the strict dictates of Shariah law………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shariah compliance and public sector borrowing

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

As the debate on public sector borrowing intensified in the wake of the recent US debt crisis, and before that the adverse budgetary situations in a number of European countries, including but not limited to Greece and Ireland, led to political debate on the issue, it would be instructive to look into Shariah guidelines for public debt.
The issue is also relevant to a number of Muslim countries, including Pakistan, where Shahid Kardar, the former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, resigned perhaps because of disagreement over the government’s stance over public debt………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Media and public relations — the missing link in Islamic finance

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The industry has alphabet bodies that deal with various issues but when it comes to public relations and marketing, there seems to be a gaping hole that is getting larger.
Is there a media and public relations (PR) “control room” for Islamic finance that educates, creates awareness, undertakes damage control, etc, so that the industry is “conventionally efficient” media-savvy?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

MTA expects takaful players to easily adopt new framework

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The risk-based capital (RBC) framework for the local takaful industry is expected to take effect by January next year or the following year but will not be onerous to industry players as it will likely be based on the parameters of the conventional insurance framework, according to the Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA).
Deputy chairman Zainudin Ishak said the capital requirements under the proposed RBC framework for takaful would not burden the industry and would be benchmarked to the RBC framework introduced in January 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Takaful Emarat to unveil new investment opportunities

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

At a media roundtable on 5 March, Takaful Emarat will unveil its new offerings, which it is says has the unique features of capital protection.
According to Takaful Emarat’s General Manager, Ghassan Marrouche, the company is set to launch its first investment fund conceived and developed in-house after obtaining the necessary approvals. The open-ended fund will be managed by Riyadh Capital and has a multi-year tenure………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shariah-compliance boosts business value by 25pct

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Fares MouradConverting a conventional business to a Shariah-compliant entity can increase the value of a company by 18-25 per cent due to the scarcity of genuine Islamic investments, but the process involves various risks, said Swiss banking group, Bank Sarasin.
The bank, releasing its Islamic Wealth Management Report, said while the conversion process is arduous, “extending from the design to distribution and beyond, to how the company spends its profits,” the market potential is massive, with the global Muslim population expected to increase by 26 per cent to 2030, to 2.2 billion, rivalling China and India in terms of market size………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UAE is third-richest Islamic state

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The UAE residents are estimated to be third richest in the Muslim world with per capita income of $49,600 (Dh182, 000), according to the latest study on Islamic finance and wealth management.
Qatar leads the Muslims world with per capita income of $79,000 followed by Brunei at $51,600, said Bank Sarasin’s report titled “The path to corporate transformation – converting a company to Islam”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance: An industry inclusive to all, irrespective of background

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

On the day-to-day level it is much more about finding the best Sharia interpretation for a given product, often comprised of unique features, and offered in markets that have country-specific laws that must be followed.
So in summary, while best practice develops across the globe, the highest international standards must be applied each day within the current frameworks for growth and success to take hold………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi’s TAQA raises $215 mln from ringgit bond

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) raised $215 million from the sale of a Malaysian ringgit-denominated Islamic bond, or sukuk, it said on Sunday, as part of plans by the state-run oil and gas utility to diversify its funding sources.
The ten-year sukuk carried a 4.65 percent profit rate with a full swapped rate to U.S. dollars of 5.3 percent, the company, which owns assets in Canada and Europe, said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Turkey to overcome secular qualms with Islamic bond

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Turkey’s government plans its first-ever issue of Islamic bonds this year, overcoming sensitivities about Islamic finance in the secular republic as it seeks to tap a rich pool of investors flush with oil money.
A sovereign sukuk issue from an economy regarded as one of the most progressive and successful in the Muslim world would signal intent on Turkey’s part to play a bigger role in Islamic finance. The size of the global sukuk market is estimated at more than $100 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sukuk to lag emerging debt index this year

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic bonds are lagging behind developing-nation debt for a second quarter as investors seek higher yields in non-investment grade securities.
Shariah-compliant notes returned 1.5 per cent this year, according to the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index, while non-Islamic bonds in emerging-market countries gained 4.1 per cent, JPMorgan Chase’s EMBI Global Composite Index shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia: Investors eagerly awaiting big dividends

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

With the barrage of results coming in, investors chasing for more returns and yields are still on the lookout for that big one, as hints of more bumper dividends allure in the face of a volatile market rocked by external headwinds.
The latest will be the move by Maxis Bhd, which had recently secured approval from the authorities for the proposed 10-year sukuk issuance amounting to RM2.45bil………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Maxis: No more additional debt market funding in FY12

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Maxis Bhd does not intend to source additional funding from the debt capital market in its financial year ending Dec 31, 2012 (FY12), according to chief financial officer Nasution Mohamed.
The company which had its RM2.45bil worth of sukuk with a maturity of 10 years approved by the Securities Commission last week said it needed the additional funding as a part of its “active capital management,” according to Nasution………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Takaful Emarat set to unveil Islamic fund

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

On March 5, Takaful Emarat will unveil the first investment fund conceived and developed in-house, which the company sees as a milestone in its fourth year of operations. All the necessary approvals have been obtained, including the crucial one from the company’s Sharia board.
To be managed by Riyadh Capital, the open-ended fund — with up to 90 per cent of the investor’s funds being guaranteed — has a multi-year tenure. Takaful Emarat currently has more than 70 savings and protection funds on offer, but developed by others………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banks need mergers to fill Western funding hole

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Small and medium-sized Islamic banks may need to merge if they want to become bigger regional players capable of filling the funding hole left by shrinking Western banks, the head of Islamic finance at Deutsche Bank, told Reuters.
“There are mismatch challenges,” Salah Jaidah said on the sidelines of the Euromoney Islamic finance summit in London. “Their size, their appetite for long term funding, their ability to finance at competitive pricing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya amending bank law to attract foreigners

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Libya is amending its banking laws to attract foreign investment and stimulate its private sector as it seeks to create an investor-friendly environment following last year’s war that ousted Muammar Qaddafi, the central bank governor said.
In an interview with Reuters, Saddeq Omar Elkaber said the new Libyan leadership was working on creating the legal framework and necessary infrastructure, including updating a 2005 banking law which first allowed foreign banks in the North African country………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saadiq Malaysia aims to contribute more to group

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

StanChart Saadiq Bhd (Saadiq Malaysia) aims to grow its contribution to Standard Chartered Bank Bhd (StanChart Malaysia)’s business from the current 13 per cent to 20 per cent.
StanChart Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer Osman Morad said this is expected to be achieved within two years. He said Islamic banking is the highest growth sector of Malaysia’s financial industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A Sabah impetus for Islamic banking

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

It is, of course, to be expected of Standard Chartered to open an Islamic bank in Sabah. It is after all, the first foreign bank to offer Islamic banking services in Malaysia in 1992.
But coming on the heels of Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi, the world’s biggest Islamic bank which opened its first branch in Kota Kinabalu last December, Stanchart Saadiq’s first branch at 1Borneo Hypermall in Kota Kinabalu underscores the scope of Islamic finance in the resource-rich Borneo island state………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ahlibank eyes capital hike to complement Qatar’s growth

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Ahlibank Qatar plans to raise capital to meet its growing business in view of the strong macroeconomic growth of the country.
“The board of directors has decided to increase the capital of the bank in order to bolster the financial competence and upgrade its competitiveness,” Ahlibank Qatar chairman Sheikh Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz bin Jassem al-Thani told the annual general assembly………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sharjah Islamic Bank’s website wins Best Structure Award

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Sharjah Islamic Bank has won recently the ‘Best Structure Award’ under the Islamic banks category and received a Certificate of Excellence by Pan Arab Web Awards 2012.
Pan Arab Web Awards was created to recognize excellence in web design, development and web ownership skills to showcase their creativity in a competition for the best website in the Pan Arab Region. (Press Release)

Islamic banks need mergers to fill Western funding hole

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Small and medium-sized Islamic banks may need to merge if they want to become bigger regional players capable of filling the funding hole left by shrinking Western banks, the head of Islamic finance at Deutsche Bank, told Reuters.
“There are mismatch challenges,” Salah Jaidah said on the sidelines of the Euromoney Islamic finance summit in London. “Their size, their appetite for long term funding, their ability to finance at competitive pricing. I see this as a big challenge and not happening already now,” he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s Bank Islam may assume listing status of parent

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia’s oldest Islamic lender Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd may assume the listing status of its parent company BIMB Holdings Bhd, the Business Times said on Thursday, citing unidentified sources.
BIMB, which owns 51 percent of Bank Islam, is discussing the move that will simplify BIMB’s group structure and potentially improve valuations, one of the sources told the widely read business daily………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banking set to triumph

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Adnan Ahmed Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer of Al Baraka Banking Group and Chairman of the Union of Arab Banks, said that the Islamic banking in the Sultanate will spread and will achieve more than 20 per cent of the domestic banking during the next five years.
Adnan Yusuf revealed in an interview with Oman Economic the interest of ABG to enter the Islamic banking sector in the Sultanate but due to factors related to the policy of the group towards the form of ownership, Al Baraka Group is currently considering the possibility of managing a bank in the Sultanate or engaging in Islamic finance if the new banking laws permit so………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Barwa Bank to seek credit rating in 2013, followed by debt offer

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Barwa Bank, a closely-held Sharia- compliant lender and Qatar’s newest bank, plans to apply for a credit rating next year before a possible debt offering.
“On the back of a strong set of numbers in 2011 and what we hope will be a good set of results in 2012, we will seek a rating in 2013,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Troop said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Capinnova deploys Islamic banking solution

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

International Turnkey Systems (ITS), a leading solution provider for Islamic and conventional banks, has completed deploying its Ethix Core solution for Islamic banking at Capinnova Investment Bank, the Sharia-compliant investment banking arm of BBK.
“Despite tough market conditions, the Islamic banking and investment sector continues to show promise and positive growth on a global scale,” said Capinnova head of operations and support Naveed Anjum………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IDB funds Turkey railway project

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has pledged to provide financing of US$ 668 million for major infrastructure works across the Muslim world, including a US$ 229 million loan for a 304 km high speed railway line between Ankara and Konya in Turkey.
IDB will fund a number of other transport projects, including a US$ 15.4 million loan to Sierra Leone for the construction of its Pendembu-Kailahum Road project and US$ 15 million for Niger for its Arlita-Assamaka road project on the border with Algeria………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pakistan: ICCI urges Islamic banks to support SMEs

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Yassar Sakhi Butt has said that banks should develop innovative, cost effective and business friendly Islamic Banking products to facilitate the smooth growth of business activities in the country.
The ICCi President was inaugurating the UBL AMEEN, Melody Market Branch, Islamabad on Thursday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fitch cuts Jordanian banks support ratings to ‘4′

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Jordan-based Bank of Jordan (BOJ), Jordan Islamic Bank (JIB), The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance (HBTF), and Cairo Amman Bank’s (CABK) Support Ratings to ‘4′ from ‘3′. The Support Rating Floor for BOJ and JIB has been revised to ‘B+’ from ‘BB-’. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this release.
These rating actions reflect a weakening in the state of Jordan’s creditworthiness. Higher domestic borrowing and dependence on foreign grants to meet public expenditure needs have weakened government finances………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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