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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | October, 2012

Dana Gas won’t repay $ 920 mln sukuk

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dana Gas is set to become the first UAE company to fail to pay an Islamic bond on maturity, three sources familiar with the matter said, sending its stock and bond prices sharply lower.
The UAE’s largest listed natural gas firm, hit by payment delays from Egypt and Iraq’s Kurdistan region, will not repay a $ 920 million convertible sukuk, when it matures today, the sources said. However, Sharjah-based Dana has won more time to hammer out a deal with bondholders, they added. Dana Gas declined to comment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ADIB plans capital boost through sukuk sale

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is planning to boost its capital through the sale of a Shariah-compliant debt instrument, in what would be a rare method by a regional lender to boost its core capital ratios.
ADIB, the largest Shariah-compliant lender by market value in Abu Dhabi, will start investor meetings today ahead of a potential Islamic bond, or sukuk, sale, a statement from the arranging banks said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Indonesia raises Rp 913bln from Islamic bonds

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic bonds offered by the Indonesian government in Tuesday’s auction are more than five-times oversubscribed, an official says. Incoming bids for the bonds, commonly known as sukuk, topped Rp 2.65 trillion (US$275.18 million) while the Finance Ministry’s debt management office only hoped to raise only Rp 500 billion through the offering.
Dahlan Siamat, director of Islamic financing policy, said that the government successfully floated Rp 913 billion of sukuk in the offering: Rp 640 billion from six-year notes (PBS001) and Rp 273 billion from 25-year notes (PBS004)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

THP issues RM200mln in sukuk

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

TH Plantations Bhd (THP) has established a sukuk murabahah programme of up to RM1bil in nominal value with the Pilgrimage Fund Board. THP told Bursa Malaysia that yesterday it had issued RM200mil of sukuk under the programme.
The sukuk has a tenure of up to 15 years and will mature on Oct 29, 2027 and will bear a profit rate of 6.60% per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Volume of Sukuk issuance in September USD 11.6 bln, 66pct are sovereign

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The report prepared by KFH-Research regarding Sukuk in September explained that the issuance of Sukuk in September reached USD 11.6 billion with a 135% increase compared to September last year, while total volume of Sukuk issuance during the first nine months if this year reached USD 103 billion, exceeding the volume of Sukuk last year.
Sovereign Sukuk formed 66% and Malaysia was first while Turkey came in second in volume of issuance; thus making the Malaysian Ringgit the first currency followed by the US dollar………………………………………..Full Article: Source

RAM Ratings reaffirms AA2 ratings of Litrak’s Sukuk

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

RAM Ratings has reaffirmed the AA2 ratings of Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn Bhd’s (Litrak) Sukuk Musharakah Islamic Medium-Term Notes I Programme (IMTN I) of up to MYR 1.15 billion (2008/2023) and Sukuk Musharakah Islamic Medium-Term Notes II Programme (IMTN II) of up to MYR 300 million (2008/2023).
Both the long-term ratings have a stable outlook. Concurrently, we have withdrawn the P1 rating on the Company’s Islamic Commercial Papers Programme of up to MYR 100 million following confirmation that the facility’s validity period had lapsed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IFSB to revise capital adequacy standard for Islamic banks

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) plans to revise its capital adequacy guidelines for Islamic financial institutions, with a draft to be released in November for industry feedback.
The IFSB sets global guidelines for Islamic finance, although national financial regulators have the final say on how much capital banks must maintain and in what form………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indian regulator differs with government on Islamic finance issue

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Differences between the Reserve Bank of India and government are out in the open with RBI governor D Subbarao on Tuesday spelling out Islamic banking where it doesn’t see eye to eye with the finance ministry.
The central bank had received a proposal to consider whether it was possible to permit Islamic banking in India. “Current banking regulation require interest rates. RBI charges interest on the funds it provides banks under repo and it also pays interest. Also, we do not permit risk financing while Sharia finance takes a position on this. There is the issue of dual regulation by Sharia board and RBI. We have said that should the government want this, they should have a new law” said RBI……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Frame new law for Islamic banking: RBI

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Putting an end to the speculation on allowing Islamic banking in the country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, D Subbarao on Tuesday said the current Banking Regulation Act does not permit Islamic banking and that the government will have to bring in a new law if it wants to introduce it in the country.
The governor was answering a question on Islamic banking in a press conference after announcing the second quarter review of the Monetary policy 2012 on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

StanChart eyes UAE, Bahrain for Islamic banking growth

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Standard Chartered, which makes most of its revenue from Asia, is expanding its retail Islamic banking business in the UAE and Bahrain, two markets HSBC Holdings is withdrawing from.
Standard Chartered Saadiq, the lender’s Islamic banking unit, has started to offer Shariah-compliant financing to small and medium-sized companies in Bahrain, according to Sultan Ali Haider, Dubai-based general manager for consumer Islamic banking. The bank is also developing its businesses in the UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, he said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

QIIB’s Q3 profit hits QR531mln, up 5.4pct on ’11 period

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Driven by “sound financing policy” with focus on liquidity and risk management, International Islamic (QIIB) posted a third quarter net profit of QR531mn, up 5.4% on the same period last year.
The bank’s assets totalled QR24.5bn in the third quarter of the year compared with QR22.2bn in 2011-end. QIIB chairman and managing director Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani said the bank registered “good growth across the balance sheet” during the period under review………………………………………..Full Article: Source

QIIB speeds payment processing for its customers through Qatar’s automated clearing house network

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB), a leading full-service bank in Qatar, has successfully gone live with Misys’ payment solution, Misys Payment Manager. The bank selected Misys to support its transition onto Qatar’s Automated Clearing House (ACH) network and will now be able to make simple, secure and reliable payments through this network.
The ACH project’s scope was to connect Qatar Central Bank with all banks in the country in order to deploy Direct Debit and Direct Credit payment transactions, which provides a simple, secure and reliable means for banks to make payments via electronic transfer. QIIB has implemented Misys Payment Manager to provide comprehensive support for Direct Debits thereby helping to reduce the volume of cheques received. The bank can now process any types of payments regardless of size, complexity and structure. It has improved efficiency through compliance with the ISO20022 standard format for payments and process automation enabling it to comply with local regulations and maintain its high standard of customer service. (Press Release)

EIB, Dubai Bank committed to offer better services

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Jamal Bin Ghalaita, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB) and Dubai Bank, met with key corporate banking customers at an exclusive event, organised at the Address Hotel, Marina Mall, to underline the bank’s commitment towards building long-term relationships with its clients.
Emirates Islamic Bank opened its doors in October 2004 with a mission to provide customers in the UAE with innovative Sharia-compliant financial solutions. The Bank offers a wide range of products and services conforming to the highest standards of Islamic finance and all its activities are overseen by a prestigious Sharia board………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance to aid Africa’s development

Posted on 31 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Over the last decade, trade between African countries and the rest of the world has grown significantly and, in particular, charting a 170 per cent increase in trade with the GCC.
The ongoing shift by African countries from being aid-dependant to increasing trade and investment ties with the Middle East has positioned Islamic finance to play a key role in facilitating further increases in trade and investment flows between Africa and the Middle East………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Phillipines: Lack of rules hinders Islamic financing

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

After 40 years of delays, the Philippines still faces hurdles in a renewed push to attract Shariah-compliant investors to Muslim Mindanao, its poorest region, according to Islamic lenders.
The Southeast Asian nation lacks regulations and talent to develop the market, said Kuala Lumpur-based Asian Finance Bank Bhd. and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank in Manila, the sole lender dedicated to the industry, was forced to postpone a sale of what would have been the country’s first sukuk last year because it wasn’t making a profit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Jersey poised to profit from forecast Islamic finance boom

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Jersey is well placed to benefit from a forecast massive rise in Islamic finance by having made such a strong move into the Gulf region, according to global advisory firm Ernst & Young. The global demand for sukuk, securities structured to comply with Islamic law, is expected to grow three-fold from US$300 billion to US$900 billion by 2017, according to estimates by the big four accountancy firm.
And a senior manager at the firm’s global Islamic banking centre, Bilal Ahmed, said that as most of the demand for sukuk comes from South East Asia and the Middle East, Jersey can capitalise on its strong links with Arab states in order to increase its involvement in the area………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance to play a key role in boosting economic development in Africa

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Over the last decade, trade between African countries and the rest of the world has grown significantly and, in particular, charting a 170% increase in trade with the GCC. The ongoing shift by African countries from being aid-dependant to increasing trade and investment ties with the Middle East has positioned Islamic finance to play a key role in facilitating further increases in trade and investment flows between Africa and the Middle East.
This is even more significant given the inherently strong linkages between Islamic finance and real economic activity and the potential to provide funding for key areas such as SMEs and project finance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian bond market still robust; RM100bln issued this year compared to RM70bln in 2011

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The local bond market remains robust, hitting RM100bil as of Sept 30, surpassing the total issuances of RM70bil in 2011, according to Securities Commission (SC) chairman Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh.
He said the issuance of PLUS Bhd’s RM30bil sukuk early this year was a significant milestone as it represented the single largest sukuk issuance globally. “As of end-Sept, the total amount of bonds outstanding stood at close to RM980bil, compared with RM841bil at end-2011, reflecting the continued growth of the bond market,” Ranjit said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Indonesia’s five-year bond yield at 11-week low on fund inflows

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Indonesia’s government bonds rose, pushing the yield on five-year securities to an 11-week low, after global funds increased their debt holdings by the most since January. The rupiah weakened.
Overseas investors added 4.52 trillion rupiah ($470 million) to their portfolio of local notes this month through Oct. 24, poised for the biggest inflow since January, Finance Ministry data show. Indonesia plans to raise 500 billion rupiah by offering Islamic bonds tomorrow, after a debt auction last week drew bids for three times the amount offered. The yield on 10-year bonds was 5.73 percent, less than the central bank’s record-low reference rate of 5.75 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hong Kong Government responds favourably to Sukuk consultation

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Financial Services Branch of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau of Hong Kong issued their response to the Sukuk consultation paper which was issued in March 2012.
The formal title of the consultation paper was “Proposed Amendments to the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112) and the Stamp Duty Ordinance (Cap. 117) to Facilitate Development of an Islamic Bond (i.e. Sukuk) Market in Hong Kong”. It provided a detailed analysis of the Sukuk market and relevant tax related changes which would be needed to facilitate the use of Hong Kong based assets in a Sukuk issuance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hong Kong: Islamic finance bill set for 2013

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Government is finalising a bill that will provide a taxation framework for Islamic bonds, or sukuk, that it hopes to introduce to the Legislative Council in early 2013, the Financial Services & the Treasury Bureau said.
The bureau has released results of consultations on proposed amendments to the Inland Revenue Ordinance and the Stamp Duty Ordinance that aim to promote Islamic finance’s development in Hong Kong. They would provide a taxation framework for sukuk on par with that for conventional bonds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gulf Arab banks reap benefits from consolidation

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

While more Western banks reported worrisome news this month, most lenders in the Gulf Arab region celebrate a comeback after streamlining their businesses and joining hands with other institutions.
consolidation and innovation gained momentum in the Gulf Arab financial sector. Emirates NBD said it will integrate Dubai Bank, which it took over a year ago, into its subsidiary Emirates Islamic Bank. Its rival Noor Islamic Bank, which was hit hard by the financial crisis and had to close branches, celebrated a comeback when it launched in mid October the UAE’s first online-banking fully compatible with smart phones………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian banking scene developing well

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

As one of the pioneers and big players in Malaysia’s banking scene, Hussain Najadi is impressed with the progress made since he entered the local sector some 27 years ago.
Najadi also believed that Islamic banking has done extremely well in Malaysia, but tighter governance on the quality and the type of Islamic sukuk must be well placed to comply with syariah rules and guidance. “This must be done in substance and not only in forms,” he explained. “Islamic banking must become a risk sharing platform with savers and not interest bearing loan with mortgages and foreclosures. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

KFH wins best Islamic financial institution in Kuwait award

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

International Banks General Manager at Kuwait Finance House ( KFH ) Shaheen Al-Ghanem said that achieving steady revenues through new services and products is a strategy that will allow KFH to continue leading the Islamic banks locally and globally, since KFH takes advantage of the increase in demand for Islamic financial services and products in Kuwait and international markets; especially that KFH follows a policy that allows it to expand globally through increasing its market share, reinforcing trust, and increasing potential for success in all fields. (Press Release)

Al Rajhi Bank wins Islamic finance award

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Kuala Lumpur Islamic Financial Forum has named Al Rajhi Bank as the recipient of the ‘The Most Outstanding Islamic Finance Product’ for Al Rajhi Collateralised Commodity Murabahah-i (CCM-i). The award is part of the KLIFF Islamic Finance Awards 2012 held in conjunction with the ninth Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF 2012).
A statement from Al Rajhi Bank said the awards were established with the objective to recognise, reward and encourage activities that lead to the promotion of significant efforts and outstanding works and performance in the fields of Islamic banking and finance by key players in the industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic Development Bank to give USD 30mln to Kosovo

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank signed a three-year agreement for exchange of experience in the Islamic finances and studies for assistance for the development of the economies, Preportr reported. The money is provided for assistance of countries in Central Asia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Kosovo.
Kosovo will receive USD 30 million for investments in the Pristina-Mitrovica motorway and the construction of a youth medical centre………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance shall be ethic model for global banking

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

In order to avoid a repetition of the financial crisis’ shocks, Islamic finance can be an ethical and sustainable business model in the global financial landscape, said Tirad Al Mahmoud, CEO of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB). Mahmoud said conventional banks shall endorse the principles of Islamic finance as a non-interest, non- conventional, ethical style of investing.
According to global auditing and consultancy firm Ernst and Young, there are 390 Islamic financial institutions worldwide, based in 75 countries. Islamic investments reach the mark of 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars, Ernst and Young estimated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

KSA to fund $ 100 mln Kabul Islamic center

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi Arabia will build a massive Islamic center complete with a university and a mosque in Afghanistan, an Afghan minister said, describing the project as “grand and unique.” Estimated to cost up to $100 million, the center on a hilltop in central Kabul will house up to 5,000 students, Dayi-Ul Haq Abed, the acting Haj and religious affairs minister told AFP.
It will be named after Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, the minister added. “The agreement was signed last week in Jeddah. The construction will start next year, in a couple of months or so,” Abed said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Turkey targets $100 bln Arab world trade in five years

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Turkey has good cause to be happy with its millennial decision to instigate a strategic international realignment from Europe to the Middle East, say analysts.
Europe’s only Islamic nation spent the nineties agonising whether to join the European Union; the failure of this long-term goal, due to a European refusal to countenance its membership on little more than religious grounds, today looks like a clear case of serendipity, given the European economic crisis, and has resulted in nothing short of a boom for Turkey, whose increasingly eastwards outlook reaps dividends that are expected to multiply………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rise of Islamic extremism worries Catholic bishops

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Fears of Islamic extremists, precarious relations with Muslims and secret conversions to Christianity sparked concerned debate at a global synod in the Vatican of Catholic bishops around the world.
Dozens of bishops from the Middle East and Africa expressed concern during the three-week synod which ended Sunday over the threats extremist Islam poses to Christianity and spoke of the difficulties of preaching the Gospel in majority Muslim countries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance finds a rapidly growing niche in the secular world

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The past few years haven’t been the best of times for the international banking sector. Aberrant behaviour by certain banks - and the contagion that followed - are the abiding memories of the financial crisis. More recent allegations, issues and proven misdeeds have arguably undermined the credibility and reputation of the global financial sector as a whole.
Well, not quite all of it. Because one sector growing significantly is Islamic finance. Islamic finance remains widely misunderstood and, by many, significantly underestimated. The reality is that it is a US$1.3 trillion global industry - growing annually between 15 per cent and 20 per cent in the past decade - and in markets you may not expect………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Muslim finance is tricky to navigate, growing fast

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The fastest growing religion among the fastest growing population in the developing world is Islam. This is important because under Islamic law, or Shari’a, the taking of interest is forbidden, and trading and ownership are supposed to be more transparent.
Shari’a law spans much more than finance, and interprets moral codes for everything from diet to prayer to politics and economics. All things are considered God’s property and inequities in risk and reward are prohibited, as are limits on personal liability and insurance. (These are considered forms of usury.)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Why Shariah finance and real estate are a perfect match

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic finance continues to grow as a prudent alternative to conventional debt-based structures. Financial assets total more than $1.3 trillion and instruments are expanding into new countries beyond its traditional markets in the Middle East and Malaysia. At its core, Sharia principles favour the development and sharing of risk in physical assets, which contribute to the economic growth of society.
There is therefore a natural match between the Islamic finance model and the acquisition and development of real estate assets. Moreover, Islamic finance is a flexible tool which can be used for a wide range of real estate financings. This ranges from residential mortgages (such as the United National Bank of Pakistan’s lease-based mortgage, the first of its kind in the UK), to large scale financings such as Qatari Diar’s acquisition of the Chelsea Barracks and the construction of the Shard of Glass in London. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Australia: What’s stopping Islamic finance flourishing and what must be done

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

If Australia’s desire to become a regional financial services centre is to ever progress beyond just rhetoric, then we must come to terms with our location. On our door step sits the world’s largest Muslim population with a growing demand for Islamic financial products and services.
Australia can rise to become an important Islamic finance hub in Asia Pacific but it requires urgent regulatory and tax reform. It was two years ago that the Board of Taxation first alerted the Government to the challenges facing Islamic finance in Australia. The Board recommended a raft of regulatory reforms designed to make it easier for Islamic products to be approved and supervised………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance shall be ethic model for global banking: banker

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

In order to avoid a repetition of the financial crisis’ shocks, Islamic finance can be an ethical and sustainable business model in the global financial landscape, said Tirad Al Mahmoud, CEO of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) Sunday.
Speaking on Bloomberg Television’s inaugural episode named ” Faith in Finance”, Mahmoud said conventional banks shall endorse the principles of Islamic finance as a non-interest, non- conventional, ethical style of investing. According to global auditing and consultancy firm Ernst and Young, there are 390 Islamic financial institutions worldwide, based in 75 countries. Islamic investments reach the mark of 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars, Ernst and Young estimated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ADIB puts Islamic finance on the global ethical business agenda

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a top-tier Islamic financial institution, made the case for the viability of Islamic finance as an ethical and sustainable business model in the global financial landscape.
Hosted at the inaugural episode of ‘Faith in Finance’, a new six-part series launched by Bloomberg TV and exclusively sponsored by ADIB, Tirad Al Mahmoud, CEO, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank depicted a positive outlook for Shari’a-compliant banking as a viable, resilient and ethical business model. (Press Release)

Islamic finance thrives, amid global crisis

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The global financial crisis has hurt most banks, but the Islamic banking sector is doing well. The Islamic finance sector is enjoying double-digit growth and proving to be a viable economic alternative.
The Islamic faith has over one and a half billion followers–a demographic searching for the right tools combining their beliefs with the best of capitalism………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance: A golden opportunity for young entrepreneurs

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic finance and banking industry is growing at an unprecedented rate and is expected to see flourishing progression in 2012 and beyond. There are many opportunities for career growth and investments within the industry and many young entrepreneurs are tapping into the lucrative sector and finding ways to create wealth in a Shariah compliant manner.
It can often be difficult for entrepreneurs to find the best avenues for investments and business creation within the Islamic finance and banking industry. However due to the rise of various Islamic commodities and its successful framework there are more opportunities opening up for the budding entrepreneur wishing to tap into the industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt: In economic flux, Islamic banking and finance are gaining ground

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The economic stagnation of the past year and a half has taken a toll on many businesses, but a fleet of Islamic investment banks in Egypt sees opportunity in the new emerging order. Ridge Islamic Capital, one such investment bank, has found a niche in the finance sector and made plans to capitalize on it. It offers Sharia-compliant investment banking, asset management and wealth management services to a market that experts say is primed for Islamic finance.
Launched in late September, the firm is among a slew of banks offering, or planning to offer, Islamic investment products. Others are the National Development Bank and partners EFG Hermes and QInvest………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt’s savings vacuum shows struggle for banks: Islamic finance

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

“Let’s not give too much weight to the ravings about Islamic banking in Egypt,” Abdul Hameed Abu Musa, governor of Cairo-based Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, said in a phone interview Oct. 22. He dismissed as “exaggerated” estimates by groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party that Islamic deposits and lending may expand six-fold in the next five years.
Only three of the 39 banks operating in the most-populous Arab country are fully Shariah compliant. Real credit growth to private businesses and consumers may shrink 5.9 percent this year and 5.4 percent in 2013, according to HSBC Holdings Plc estimates………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banking gains traction in India

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The rising demand to allow Islamic banking in the country has led the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to request the government to tweak existing banking laws. Once that happens, it is likely to fetch India billions of dollars in investments from countries in the Middle East.
RBI Governor D Subbarao said: “The Banking Regulation Act of India does not conform to Islamic banking because it allows banks to borrow from and deposit money with the RBI on interest. But we are in correspondence with the government on how our laws can be restructured or amended so that they are in conformity with Islamic banking.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic banking provides better value propositions to consumers – KFH Malaysia

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Bhd (KFH Malaysia), a pioneering bank that was incorporated in 1975 in accordance with Islamic principles of syariah, is calling for better awareness among customers that Islamic banking is not only an alternative financial approach but also in some aspects provides better value propositions to the consumers.
In an exclusive interview with The Borneo Post, the bank’s chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Jamelah Jamaluddin pointed out that Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry had been in existence for over 30 years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Filipino bank to sell stake in country’s sole Islamic lender

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is to sell its stake in the country’s sole Islamic bank, the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (Al-Amanah), as it does not have the expertise in Islamic finance.
The DBP has now obtained the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ approval to sell its 99.88 per cent stake in Al-Amanah. “We have obtained the approval in principle for the divestment of our stake in Al-Amanah,” said Estrella E. Icasiano, DBP senior vice president and head of investment banking and capital markets group said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai Islamic Bank wins at ‘CCR credit excellence awards’

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dubai Islamic Bank ( DIB ) announced that its Retail Credit Department has won the “International Credit Management” category at the “CCR Credit Excellence Awards 2012″, the world’s leading credit industry conference. The award reflects DIB ’s focus on implementing international best practices in the Credit Management field and was received by Kazi Farook Kamal, Head of Retail Credit at a high-profile ceremony in London, earlier this month.
Now in their third year, the CCR Credit Excellence Awards, held in association with the Marston Group, honour companies and individuals who have demonstrated best practice credit management over the past 12 months. (Press Release)

Al Baraka group chief honoured at US forum

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Al Baraka Banking Group president and chief executive Adnan Ahmed Yousif has been recognised for his leadership ability by American Finance House LARIBA. He received the award on the sidelines of an international symposium of Islamic banking and finance in Dallas, Texas.
“This award gives us the resolve and determination to provide services in Bahrain and enhance the image of the Islamic banking sector, in which we are a pioneer regionally and internationally,” said Mr Yousif………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian banking scene developing well

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

As one of the pioneers and big players in Malaysia’s banking scene, Hussain Najadi is impressed with the progress made since he entered the local sector some 27 years ago.
The banker from Bahrain first ventured into the country as one of the founding fathers of Arab Malaysian Development Bank (AMDB) – now called Ambank – in 1975, with MIDF and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) holding 55 per cent of AMDB and AIAK Group holding 45 per cent of the equity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sukuk issues by GCC governments hit record levels

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Sukuk issuances by GCC governments have reached record levels this year, on the back of positive regional economic developments. Sound liquidity in regional financial systems, a strong local appetite for debt as well as accommodative worldwide monetary policies, is responsible for the trend, according to a report by credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.
“As access to capital markets widened, several corporate issuers in the region were able to successfully refinance large amounts of debt falling due, notably by tapping the sukuk market,” said credit analyst Tommy Trask………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sudan’s Bank of Khartoum to restart sukuk sales

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bank of Khartoum, Sudan’s oldest bank, plans to start selling Islamic corporate bonds, or sukuks, again as the economic outlook for African country improves in the wake of an oil deal with South Sudan, its general manager said.
Fadi Salim Faqih said the Islamic bank, which is around a fifth-owned by Dubai Islamic Bank, expects to post a record profit this year boosted by strong lending and a substantial windfall from the devaluation of the Sudanese pound, Global Arab Network reports according to Reuters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PSE to finish Shariah-compliant stocks list

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Philippine Stock Exchange hopes to complete a list of Shariah-compliant stocks by next year, as this is expected to attract local and foreign Muslim investors. “We’re hoping that we can actually have an index sometime next year,” PSE President Hans Sicat said.
“We’re working with the NCMF (National Commission for Muslim Filipinos) essentially to help with this project … [and] over the last few weeks, we have invited experts or those who are already participating in these Shariah-compliant boards to talk about the processes and [act] as advisers,” he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia, UAE to remain key insurance markets in MENA

Posted on 29 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The insurance, reinsurance, Takaful and cooperative markets within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) continue to offer opportunity for growth, although the global slowdown of financial markets and political instability in the region threaten to dampen prospects for some companies, A. M. Best Co. said in its special report on Middle East & North Africa Non-Life and Life Insurance market this October.
The report noted that the two main regional markets remain the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which is indicative of their economies and the potential of their markets. Both countries benefit materially from oil revenues, which have stimulated growth, in addition to the introduction of compulsory medical schemes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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