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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | July, 2012

Revolutionising the Arab economies

Posted on 18 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The ongoing showdown in Egypt between the country’s Islamists and its military rulers is a clear reminder of how difficult democratic transitions in the Arab world are likely to be. Obviously, failure to reach a power-sharing agreement will prolong political instability. But the resulting economic inaction would be just as damaging to the consolidation of democratic rule.
Emerging Arab leaders, from Islamists to reinvented former regime officials, are keenly aware of the need to improve their countries’ economic prospects. They know full well that their popularity can be sustained only if they are able to deliver growth, employment and higher living standards………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s $4bln sukuk leads record Gulf sales in 2012

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Talal TouqanIslamic bond sales in the Arabian Gulf have already surpassed the full-year record set in 2007 as the risk of defaults declines and investors pursue higher- yielding assets.
Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) offerings reached $17.4bn this year compared with a previous record of $16.2bn in all of 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Qatar led the new issues, raising $4bn last week by selling AA-rated Shariah-compliant notes due in 10.5 years at a profit rate of 3.241%. ………………………………………Full Article: Source

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PetGas unit’s RM1.2bln sukuk approved by SC

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Petronas Gas Bhd’s (Pet- Gas) subsidiary, Kimanis Power Sdn Bhd, has received approval from the Securities Commission (SC) for the proposed issuance of up to RM1.16 billion nominal value Islamic securities.
In an exchange filing last Friday, the natural gas supplier said that the sukuk programme, rated AA- by the Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd, will have a tenure of 16 years from the date of first issue of the Sukuk Kimanis under the sukuk programme……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Saudi Arabia: Nod to mortgage law to boost Islamic finance

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The approval of the Saudi Mortgage Law by the Council of Ministers earlier this month, which has been almost four years overdue, will not only be a game changer for the housing finance and real estate development market but could propel Islamic finance to the next level in the Kingdom. Islamic mortgage finance could have the same impact in consumer finance as Sukuk is having on the Saudi corporate sector as a fund-raising instrument.
But according to Ajmal Bhatty, President and CEO, Tokio Marine Middle East Limited, which is in the process of establishing a Takaful (Islamic insurance) joint venture in Saudi Arabia with Alinma Bank, the Alinma Tokio Marine KSA, the adoption of a mortgage law could boost the mortgage Takaful industry in a big way, which could lead to further developments in mortgage securitization down the line as the market matures……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Ramadan wish list for Islamic finance

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

As the blessed month of Ramadan arrives, here is my “seeking” list for Islamic finance. It’s not about another voice asking when the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) will issue its first paper or disagreeing with CIMB Group CEO Datuk Seri Nazir Razak’s comment on “rolling back” government’s involvement in business, but more to do with controlling our own Islamic finance manifest destiny.
Islamic finance has a number of time-consuming challenges: lack of robust regulations in many Muslim countries, ever present conversations on standardisation, lack of enough scholars and qualified people and so on. However, it also has control of some of its own destiny yet seems to be stuck on form over function……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Indonesia flourishes in Islamic finance

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Indonesia is flourishing in the Islamic finance and banking industry with its three best-performing Islamic bond funds say a rebound in corporate sukuk sales is failing to keep up with demand from investors chasing higher returns as government yields decline.
Insight Investments Management’s top-ranked I-Hajj Syariah Fund wants to boost company holdings from 80 percent if more securities become available, President director Tony Henri said in an interview in Jakarta last week. Akbar Syarief, fund manager at MNC Asset Management, overseeing the second-best performer, said his confidence in finding buyers is not matched by certainty there will be sufficient supply……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Gulf Finance House restructures $45mln debt

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank Gulf Finance House (GFH) said on Monday it has restructured $45 million in debt which it will pay back over the next six years.
The cash is part of a $100 million wakala-structured facility, compliant with Islamic law, that is led by the Bahrain-based Liquidity Management Centre (LMC), GFH said in a statement……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Al Ansari Exchange signs agreement with Noor Islamic Bank to accept credit card bill payments

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Al Ansari Exchange, the UAE’s largest money exchange network that provides worldwide remittance and foreign exchange services, has recently signed an agreement with Noor Islamic Bank (NIB) enabling credit cardholders of the bank to make their bill payments through any of Al Ansari Exchange branches across the UAE with no extra charges.
“At Al Ansari Exchange, our focus has been to save time and efforts of our customers by continuously extending the range and quality of the services we offer, and our agreement with Noor Islamic Bank further validates our commitment to serve a wider cross-section of the society. In line with our customer-centric approach we will continue to identify various customer requirements and respond by developing more innovative solutions and services to cater to their needs,” said Rashed Ali Al Ansari, General Manager, Al Ansari Exchange. (Press Release)

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Abu Dhabi Islamic inks key pension deal

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions & Benefits Funds said it has signed a partnership deal with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) to provide exclusive products and services and a better banking experience to the seniors and retirees in the UAE capital.
As per the agreement, ADIB will launch special services, products, offerings and discounts tailored to the needs of retired and senior Emiratis……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Islamic Development Bank to finance Bangladesh power projects

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Development Bank will give Bangladesh 380m dollars in loan for two power projects. The IDB and Bangladesh government signed two agreements to that effect at the IDB Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday [14 July].
According to the agreements, the IDB will give 200m dollars for the “Ashuganj Power Station Efficiency Improvement Project” and 180m dollars for the “Construction of Bhola 225MW Combined Cycle Power Plant Project”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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ShariahShares serves Muslims’ investment needs

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

About two in seven people on the planet are Muslim. At about 6.5 million people, Muslims account for about 2% of the U.S. population. Saied Hamedanchi believes they’re an underserved niche market in the investment industry.
As founder and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based ShariahShares, Hamedanchi is developing ETFs that invest according to Shariah law or the moral codes of Islam. The $77 billion in Shariah mutual funds currently are merely a speck among the trillions invested in the market……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Global insurers to spur Islamic insurance initiatives

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The financial interest coverage (FinC) created to circumvent restrictions on Islamic insurance in global programmes will probably be spurred by international insurers with takaful capabilities such as Munich Re, Swiss Re and Hannover Re, according to a report.
For entities in jurisdictions where unlicensed takaful - a form of mutual insurance compliant with Islamic doctrine - is prohibited, FinC allows coverage to be offered to the firm’s parent company instead……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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In Malaysia, ruling party uses Islamic values to bolster support

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

First came the banning of a gay arts festival and the book “Islamic Sex.” Then the cancellation of U.S. singer Erykah Badu’s concert after a publicity photo showed her with an “Allah” tattoo.
Next on the banned list was British author Peter Mayle’s sex-education book “Where Did I Come From?” and, in May, “Allah, Liberty & Love” by liberal Muslim activist Irshad Manji, which calls for reform and greater tolerance within Islam. Although state religious officials in Malaysia say preventing citizens’ exposure to “un-Islamic” books, authors and entertainers is a moral necessity, opposition leaders offer a different view: It’s largely about political power. ………………………………………Full Article: Source

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The Middle East and the role of economics

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

If Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz, how will Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states react? What Middle Eastern country is next to have a revolution? What motivates terrorists? How should U.S. policymakers respond in each case? The answers to these questions require comprehensive and innovative analyses.
Scholarship in Middle East affairs is traditionally performed either through cultural studies or security studies. Unfortunately, few academics, and even fewer policymakers, focus on the role of economics. Cultural and security studies tend to ignore the economic motivations of regional actors and how those motivations are frequently elevated above other considerations. ………………………………………Full Article: Source

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Banks plan Shariah assets for Asian millionaires

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Standard Chartered Plc will start Islamic private banking services in Asia and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. plans to roll out new products for the wealthy as they target rich Muslims who have limited investment options.
The UK’s second-largest lender by market value will offer Shariah-compliant products tailored to meet the needs of people who have at least $2 million (Dh7.35 million), Wasim Saifi, the Kuala Lumpur-based global head for Islamic consumer banking, said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sukuk yields at seven-year low

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic bond yields dropped to a seven-year low and investors predict further declines as growth in Asia and the Gulf that’s outpacing the rest of the world shores up demand for sukuk.
Average yields fell five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, in July to 3.39 per cent, approaching the lowest level since January 2005, when they reached a record 3.33 per cent, according to the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tharawat Sukuk Fund yields 5pct profit in 1H

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bahrain-based Tharawat Investment House ( Tharawat ), an Islamic investment institution based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, announced five percent profit returns of Tharawat Sukuk Fund for the period from January to June 2012, achieving a cumulative return of 17.4 % since its inception in February 2010. Tharawat said it would distribute around four per cent for the period, making it the fifth time of such distribution.
Tharawat Sukuk Fund is the first open-ended Sharia’a compliant investment product based in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It invests over 70% of its liquidity in Governmental issued Sukuk and in well established firms in the GCC, Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia region……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s Cagamas announces Sukuk issuance

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Cagamas Berhad (Cagamas), the National Mortgage Corporation, has announced the issuance of MYR 500 million ($157 million) one, three and five-year Cagamas Sukuk Wakalah Bil Istithmar (Sukuk Wakalah).
The Cagamas Sukuk Wakalah which will be redeemed at their full nominal value on maturity, are unsecured obligations of the company, ranking pari passu among themselves and with all other existing unsecured obligations of the company. They will be listed and tradable under the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia’s Scripless Securities Trading System………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dar Al-Arkan repays SAR 3.75 bln ($1 bln) Sukuk due 16 July 2012

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company has announced repayment of its Sukuk II, which is due on Monday 16 July 2012, and amounts to SAR 3.75 billion ($1bn). The company transferred the total principal sum to Deutsche Bank (the principal paying agents) on Thursday 12 July 2012 and the Sukuk account holders will receive funds on Monday 16 July 2012.
This second Sukuk was part of Dar Al-Arkan’s Islamic structured debt programme (Sukuk program), initiated in 2007. The aim of the programme was to provide high quality long term external financing to complement the company’s internal cash flow at a time of strong growth in the Saudi real estate market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Central Bank of Bahrain Sukuk Al-Ijara oversubscribed

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) announces that the new issue of the long term Islamic leasing, Sukuk Al-Ijara, has been oversubscribed by 200%. Subscriptions worth BD320.310m were received for the BD160m issue, which carries a maturity of five years.
The expected return on the issue, which begins on 17 July 2012 and matures on 17 July 2017, is 4.30%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai Group opts out of Bank Muscat rights sale

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dubai Group, the second-largest shareholder in Bank Muscat, has sold its rights to buy into a share offering by the Omani lender at a significant discount.
Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest lender, offered new shares to existing holders at a 25-per cent discount to raise about $251 million to fund its credit growth and venture into Islamic finance. Dubai Group had the rights to buy an additional 33.387 million shares, valued at about 0.06 rials ($0.16)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Major Islamic banking forum planned in Africa

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Opportunities and challenges that are forging the Islamic banking, finance and investment landscape in Africa will be the focus for an upcoming Islamic banking forum in Djibouti. Held under the official support of the Central Bank of Djibouti, the Islamic Banking Summit: Africa (IBSA 2012) will be held on November 6 and 7.
“Over the last decade, trade between African countries and the rest of the world has grown significantly, including a 170 per cent increase in trade with the GCC,” said conference chief executive David McLean………………………………………..Full Article: Source

QIB posts net profit of QR 736.9 mln

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) disclosed the semi annual financial statements for the period ending June 30, 2012. The reviewed financial statements for the period ending June 30, 2012 revealed a net profit of QR 736.9 million in comparisons to QR 703.2 Million for the same period last year, QIB said in a press release published Wednesday at Qatar Exchange website.
Speaking on the occasion, HE Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani, QIB Chairman, said”The financial results of the first half of 2012 were achieved through the Bank s comm itment and focus to its growth strategy which keeps pace with the prevailing local and international economic conditions.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

ODB plan to boost Islamic banking

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

In its efforts to provide customers with banking products and services that are in line with the Islamic banking, Oman Development bank (ODB) has decided to set up a team to study the products and services the bank offers and analyse the possibility of adding new services that are in conformity with Islamic law.
According to the decision, the team will submit its report within three weeks. It may be mentioned here that the Sultanate has decided to establish Islamic banking and opening new outlets for Islamic banking products and services at the banks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sharjah bank launches training programme

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) has launched a training for the 7th consecutive year with the participation of 15 students from UAE colleges and universities as part of the summer training programme 2012.
Mehnati Training Programme is a short- term programme provided to all UAE nationals graduated from colleges and universities seeking to gain practical work experience………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Conventional insurance firms allowed to offer takaful products

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) allowed conventional insurance companies to offer takaful - the shariah-compliant version of insurance - products with the launch of Takaful Rules, 2012 on Friday.
Representatives of unconventional Takaful companies, however, boycotted the launch ceremony of the new rules in protest against the permission granted to conventional companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic insurance firm launches travel packages

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dubai-based Islamic insurance company Dar Al Takaful has launched its new travel insurance packages for UAE residents, which include special deals for Hajj and Umra.
The ‘Terhal’ packages will include four levels of general policies – platinum, gold, family and schengen, each with different benefits, ranging from a US $1 million personal liability coverage in its platinum package through to loss of passport and travel delays………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SECP launches new takaful rules

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Takaful, the Islamic alternative of insurance, is a scheme based on the principles of mutual assistance in compliance with the provisions of Islamic shariah, and which provides for mutual financial aid and assistance to the participants in case of occurrence of certain contingencies and whereby the participants mutually agree to contribute to the common fund for that purpose.
The existing Takaful Rules were issued in year 2005. During the course of business activity and implementation of these rules, a number of practical issues were highlighted by the stakeholders………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s biggest brand? Not McDonald’s but halal

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Tan Sri Halim SaadPeople may think Google or McDonald’s are the biggest brands in the world, but that’s just because they’re not thinking of halal, says billionaire Malaysian businessman Tan Sri Halim Saad.
With around 1.8 billion Muslims in the world required by their religion to eat only halal food, that makes the halal brand worth an estimated US$2.3 trillion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Religious products: Making money from believers

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Three years ago Fehmida Shah set up Smart Ark, a London-based online firm that sells Islamic books, toys and gifts, mainly for children. “HSBC [a bank] was doing Islamic bonds and religious books were selling well, so I thought why not tap into the niche but growing market?” she says.
Customers from Britain to Singapore have bought her products. They include a pricier Fairtrade range that includes stickers of mosques around the world and a book on why Muslims should recycle………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The economic toll of Islamic law

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Right now, the Islamic world is in the midst of a grand experiment. After decades facing an unappetizing choice among secular dictatorship, monarchy, and Iranian-style theocracy, nations across the region are grappling with how to build genuinely modern governments and societies that take into account the Islamist principles shared by a majority of voters.
As they do, a shadow hangs over their prospects. Islamic nations in the Middle East on the whole have underperformed their counterparts in the West………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Best year yet for Gulf Islamic bonds

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar’s sale of a US$4 billion (Dh14.69bn) sukuk has made this year the Arabian Gulf’s best ever for sales of Islamic bonds - with five and a half months still to go until the end of the year.
Investment banks have funnelled cheap credit towards the Gulf in an effort to make up for declining fee income and maintain relationships with big corporate clients. Gulf borrowers have raised $17.4bn this year, led by sovereign sukuk sales from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Dubai, according to Bloomberg data………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Strong demand for $4 bln Qatar Islamic bond

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar has sold one of the largest Islamic bonds on record with surging demand for the $4 billion issue allowing bankers to trim the yield of the bond to the lowest paid for the gas-rich Gulf emirate.
The two-part bond, maturing in five and 10 years, attracted orders of $25 billion, underlining the robust appetite for strong borrowers in emerging markets and securities that comply with Muslim strictures against interest………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emaar raises $500 mln from sale of Islamic bonds

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, paid a lower profit rate than last year when it raised $500 million from the sale of Islamic bonds.
The Dubai-based developer offered a profit rate of 6.4 percent on the seven-year Shariah-compliant notes, a person familiar with the matter said, declining to be identified because the details are private. Emaar raised $500 million from the sale of five-year Islamic notes at a profit rate of 8.5 percent last year……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Emaar sees demand for sukuk in boost for Dubai

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Emaar Properties saw strong demand for a $500 million seven-year Islamic bond, or sukuk, priced on Thursday, arranging banks said, in the latest sign that investor confidence in Dubai is returning as state-owned firms repay their debts.
Orders worth $4.65 billion were placed for the sukuk from 185 individual investors, according to statistics provided by the lead banks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SC chief: Bonds for retail investors soon

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A framework to facilitate the offering of bonds to retail investors is currently in the final stages of development and will be introduced shortly, according to Securities Commission (SC) chairman Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh.
“While the retail segment currently has access to the bond market via bond funds, the SC has been working towards greater financial inclusion in the bond market to attract foreign investors and increase direct access into the bond market for retail investors,” he said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Iran plans 10 bln euro bond issue for oil sector

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Iran’s national oil company has been authorised to issue up to 10 billion in euro-denominated bonds this year to help finance its activities, NIOC’s director said on Wednesday, in a further sign the country’s biggest business is creaking under sanctions.
The possible bond issue, which could also include trillions in local currency debt, will depend on Iran’s “situation,” Ahmad Qalebani was quoted by oil ministry website Shana as saying at a conference on oil and gas sector development………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt, Saudi agree on increasing investment, MENA reports

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi Arabia agreed to increase Saudi investment in Egypt and provide more job opportunities for Egyptians, the official Egyptian Middle East News Agency reported, citing Yasser Ali, a spokesman for Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi.
Talks between Mursi and Saudi crown prince Salman bin Abdulaziz also covered ways of overcoming obstacles facing Saudi investors in Egypt, MENA said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IFSB announces new awareness programmes and workshops

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has announced upcoming awareness programmes and the Facilitating the Implementation of IFSB Standards (FIS) Workshops that will held throughout the third and fourth quarters of 2012.
The list of confirmed programmes is as follows: 1) BNM-IFSB Financial Inclusion Advisers Programme and Seminar on Islamic Microfinance. Bank Negara Malaysia and the IFSB are jointly organising a Financial Inclusion Advisers Programme and a Seminar on Islamic Microfinance, to be held from 27 to 30 August 2012 at Sasana Kijang, Bank Negara Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pakistan: ‘Centre of Excellence in Islamic Microfinance’ established

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Centre of Excellence on Islamic Microfinance has been established in Pakistan in order to provide Capacity Building, Shariah Guidance and capacity building to the Microfinance & Islamic Microfinance Institutions, considering its popular trend in poverty alleviation from the world.
This Centre of Excellence will start operations simultaneously through its partner’s offices in Azerbaijan, Mauritius, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Netherland, Switzerland, Ireland and South Africa, which will greatly help in eliminating poverty of from the world through the usage Islamic Microfinance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pakistan: StanChart opens Islamic banking branch

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

As part of Standard Chartered’s commitment to provide high quality Shariah-compliant banking products and services to its customers, the Bank inaugurated its flagship Islamic banking branch at a new location at Sharah-e-Faisal, Karachi. Al-Tijarah is the second flagship branch in Karachi and third in country for Standard Chartered Sadiq.
The branch was inaugurated by Steve Bertamini, Group Executive Director and CEO Consumer Banking. This further portrays that Standard Chartered Saadiq is committed to providing its customers convenient, effective and rewarding Shariah compliant banking. It also offers its customers unique Priority Banking solutions through a dedicated Priority Banking Centre for its customers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IIRA reaffirms Burj Bank’s Shariah quality rating

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic International Rating Agency, Bahrain has reaffirmed the AA (Double A) Shari’ah Quality Rating assigned to Burj Bank Limited (Burj). The assigned rating denotes ‘conformance to the highest standards of Shari’ah compliance in all aspects of the Bank’s operations.
In a report published to the press, IIRA stated that “to ensure adequacy of checks and controls at Burj Bank the Shari’ah Advisor reports directly to the Board Audit Committee………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Expert for introduction of ‘Islamic currency’

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

There is a need to introduce Islamic currency system to free the society of usury, world renowned Spanish scholar Sheikh Umer Ibrahim Vidallo said on Thursday. He was addressing a seminar titled ‘Effects of usury on economy and economic situation of Muslim countries adopting interest system’ organised by Punjab University Academic Staff Association.
Stressing the need for founding an Islamic currency system bvased on dinar and dirham, Vidallo said that a group of richest families of the world introduced the system of usury in order to control the economy and states of the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance and investment in U.S. expected to grow

Posted on 12 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The United States has been, and is now, one of the largest markets in the world for Islamic finance and investment transactions, which are transactions conducted in accordance with those principles of the Shariáh that are applicable to commerce and finance.
A wide range of U.S. and international practitioners have participated in Islamic finance and investment transactions, and it is likely that even more will participate as the global financial markets rebound and investment activity in the United States increases again………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s Prasarana plans to sell $1.3 bln of Islamic bonds

Posted on 12 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Mohd. Zahir Zahur HussainSyarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd., the Malaysian state-owned public transport operator, plans to sell 4 billion ringgit ($1.3 billion) of Islamic bonds this year to finance the extension of rail lines in Kuala Lumpur, a company official said.
“We hope to sell 2 billion ringgit in tenors of 10 to 20 years this quarter as we need the money for the line extension and borrowing costs are low,” Mohd. Zahir Zahur Hussain, group finance director, said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. “We will look into selling the second portion of the bonds, probably toward the end of the year.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Qatar’s global sukuk nets record $24bln orders

Posted on 12 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar sold the largest dollar-denominated Islamic bond ever seen on Wednesday, taking advantage of heavy interest in high-grade Gulf debt, which is being sought as a safe haven from the global financial crisis.
The world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter priced a $4 billion, two-tranche sukuk, attracting a massive order book of over $24 billion. It was the Qatari government’s first Islamic debt issue for nine years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar debt priced at world’s lowest sovereign

Posted on 12 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, will pay less for $4 billion (Dh14.7 billion) than any other sovereign issuing Islamic bonds. The government priced five-year sukuk to yield 115 basis points more than the benchmark midswap rate, or about 2 per cent, two people familiar with the transaction said on Wednesday.
The 10-year notes were sold at 155 basis points over midswaps, or about 3.2 per cent, they said. That’s below the 3.56 per cent average yield of 12 constituents in the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai Sovereign US Dollar Sukuk Index………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emaar Properties eyes benchmark dollar sukuk

Posted on 12 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Emaar Properties, builder of the world’s tallest tower, plans to issue a seven-year benchmark-sized sukuk this week, two market sources said on Wednesday, joining a growing list of Gulf Arab entities tapping demand for Islamic debt.
The potential sale would mark the Dubai developer’s return to the debt markets after more than a year and an opportune time to raise cheap financing. “This may be the best time for Emaar to tap the sukuk market at a lower profit margin as the yield on its previously issued sukuk which carries a coupon rate of 8.5 per cent has come down significantly to 5.7 per cent now,” said Sajeer Babu, a senior investment analyst at National Bank of Abu Dhabi………………………………………..Full Article: Source

DanaInfra’s RM2.4b sukuk oversubscribed 5.38 times

Posted on 12 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

DanaInfra Nasional Bhd, a wholly-owned company of Minister of Finance, Inc, says its RM2.4bil sukuk has been oversubscribed 5.38 times with highly competitive rates. The sukuk was issued to part finance the construction and development of the Mass Rapid Transit project.
The RM2.4bil Islamic medium-term notes (MTN), which formed part of the RM8.0bil Islamic commercial papers/Islamic MTN programme, had attracted demand of up to RM12.915bil, DanaInfra said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Harnessing green Sukuk for sustainable development in MENA

Posted on 12 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The GCC countries are keen to lead in innovative finance as they develop financial centers and diversify their economies. Additionally, government and government-related entities responsible for the clean energy build out in the Middle East are becoming regular issuers of bonds and sukuk, given the long gestation and life cycle of energy projects.
In this context, a Shariah-compliant “Green Sukuk” would be an ideal investment instrument for the MENA region as it would meet the investment requirements of Shariah-compliant investors from the GCC, Asia and global institutional investors increasingly cognizant of the benefits of environment, CSR and corporate governance compliant investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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