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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | October, 2012

Meezan Bank’s profit-after-tax grows by 16pct

Posted on 17 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Meezan Bank has recorded 16% growth in its profit-after-tax which increased to Rs. 2,663 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 as compared to Rs. 2,292 million earned in the corresponding period last year. Earnings per share of the Bank was recorded at Rs. 2.95 (September 2011: Rs. 2.54) on enhanced share capital of Rs. 9 billion.
The Bank achieved growth in all business segments and consolidated its position as the leading Islamic bank of Pakistan. The Board of Directors of Meezan Bank, in its meeting held in Dubai, U.A.E on October 11, 2012 approved the financial statements of the Bank for the nine months ended September 30, 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Barwa Bank launches Qotof Islamic financial packages

Posted on 17 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Barwa Bank, Qatar’s Shariah compliant banking service provider, has launched Qotof, a suite of financial packages aimed at assisting local corporates achieve their business objectives and most importantly save money, a statement said.
The bank has put together an array of selected products, which until now would have been sold separately. The result: Business Banking “bundles” that are highly cost effective, enabling business to considerably reduce expenses while offering an enhanced banking experience………………………………………..Full Article: Source

QIB launches Masaref

Posted on 17 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The benchmark Islamic bank in Qatar – has announced the launch of new issue of “Hemaya” investment product series called “Masaref” that is linked to the performance of some of the leading Islamic banks in the region.
“Masaref” is QIB’s answer to investors who are seeking a ‘safe haven’ and potentially higher rates of return for their capital. QIB has stepped up to the plate with this new issue aiming to provide both positives of safety and return on investment by harnessing the impressive growth of Islamic banking in the region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt’s NBD allocates EGP 200 mln to finance micro-enterprises

Posted on 17 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

National Bank for Development (NBD) has allocated EGP 200 million towards providing funding for small and micro enterprises, and designed a comprehensive range of funding programmes that are Shari’ah-compliant.
Nevine Loutfy, CEO and Managing Director of NBD, said, “The bank’s aim from offering Shari’ah-compliant micro-financing is to address the banking needs of a market segment that has been largely marginalised in terms of receiving financing services, with the end goal of elevating their standard of living and encouraging entrepreneurship.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

AMMB to begin talks to buy back stake in AmLife, AmTakaful

Posted on 17 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

AMMB Holdings Bhd has obtained Bank Negara Malaysia’s nod to begin talks with Friends Life FPL Ltd to repurchase the 30% stake held by Friends Life in the two joint ventures (JVs), namely AmLife Insurance Bhd (AmLife) and AmFamily Takaful Berhad (AmTakaful).
“The proposed repurchase allows both AMMB and Friends Life to pursue separate strategies to enhance our respective businesses. AMMB remains committed to the continued growth of AmLife and AmTakaful,” AMMB chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India Govt, RBI mull ways to introduce Islamic banking

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

India may be closer to allowing Islamic banking than ever before with the central bank and the finance ministry discussing ways in which rules need to be changed to allow the interest-free practice that’s compatible with Shariah law.
Demands by Muslim groups over the past few decades to allow the method have thus far been stalled because of concerns over incompatibility and fears that it could be used as a conduit for terror funding………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Indonesia aims to be Islamic fashion powerhouse

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A new breed of designers is seeking to blend Islamic modesty with cutting-edge style to turn Indonesia into a global center of Islamic fashion. The idea may seem like a bad fit for some fashion mavens, who when thinking of Islamic fashion usually picture drab black or white cloths used to cloak female beauty rather than celebrate it.
But the Islamic-fashion industry has taken off in recent years as designers look for ways to incorporate the bold colors and rich textile traditions prevalent in some Islamic societies while still maintaining sufficient modesty to adhere to Muslim mores………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Malaysia’s excellent achievement in Islamic finance needs to be sustained

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia’s excellent achievement in Islamic finance needs sustained effort to ensure the sector continues to grow and is competitive.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said the Islamic finance industry had expanded to become a competitive component in the Malaysian financial system and a driver of the country’s growth and economic progress……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Islamic retail banking forum stresses customer centricity

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The first day of the 4th Annual World Islamic Retail Banking Conference that opened Saturday in Dubai focused on customer centricity and cross selling which provided insights on how banks can maintain competitive advantage through developing targeted offerings based on customer value, how technology can help banks to sell more products and increased engagement through social media.
Customer centricity was presented by Yusuf Jehangir, Group Head Marketing at Al Rajhi Bank, while cross selling at every opportunity was presented by Ghiath Halabi, Engagement Director at VeriPark………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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World Bank and IDB sign Islamic finance deal

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The World Bank and Islamic Development Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set out a framework for collaboration between the two parties and lend support to global, regional and country efforts in the development of Islamic Finance.
World Bank Managing Director Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and Islamic Development Bank Group President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali signed the memorandum on behalf of their institutions with the common objectives of fostering, encouraging, and studying the expansion of Islamic finance globally……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Noor Islamic Bank announces new ‘bank in your hands’ app

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bank in Your Hand app will give customers access to all Noor Islamic Bank (Noor)’s retail banking services and products on smartphones and tablets.
Noor has announced its new augmented reality ‘Bank In Your Hand’ smartphone and tablet app, the first of its kind in the Middle East. Noor made the announcement at GITEX Technology Week, taking place in Dubai, where it is showcasing its vision of the Bank of the Future………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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GFH’s India project is a step closer

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Mumbai Economic Development Zone (MEDZ) has been granted access rights to the Mumbai-Pune highway. Energy City Navi Mumbai and Mumbai IT and Telecom City projects are together named the MEDZ.
It is a joint development project between Gulf Finance House (GFH), the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, and the Wadhwa Group, a leading real estate developer in India. The project is GFH’s flagship development project in India………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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This MasterCard follows Islamic laws

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A compass pointing the way to Mecca is embedded in a new MasterCard aimed at Muslims. Al Hillal bank in the United Arab Emirates has rolled out the new bank card which complies with Islamic laws banning charging interest on loans in a bid to appeal to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.
Islamic law or Shariah forbids “riba”, the charging of interest on loans, because it enables the rich to exploit the poor, creates social and economic tension and encourages risk, according to scholars………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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MNRB plans RM150mln Sukuk, secures RM200mln credit

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

MNRB Holdings Bhd plans to set up a Sukuk Mudharabah programme of up to RM150mil while it has also secured a RM200mil revolving credit-i facility from Standard Chartered Saadiq Bhd.
The reinsurer said on Monday of the RM150mil Sukuk, it would use RM120mil to refinance its short-term revolving credit facility of up to RM120mil which matures on Dec 10, 2012. The remaining RM30mil would be used for the group’s general working capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Potential for innovations in Islamic finance contracts, says Shariah expert

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

There is potential for innovations in the area of contracts or new transactions under Islamic financing, says an expert in syariah. Dr Engku Rabiah Adawiah, an Associate Professor from International Islamic University, said innovations in this area would be line with the continuous efforts towards innovations and flexibility in Islamic finance but added that these innovations must clearly be in line with syariah principles.
Engku Rabiah was one of the panellists at a discussion held here among Islamic finance syariah advisors in conjunction with the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF 2012) which will take off here Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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MENA insurance sector still ‘immature’

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Middle East North Africa (MENA) regional insurance and takaful market is expected to rise just under 5 percent this year, despite tough economic conditions across the region, ratings agency A.M. Best in a report.
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, ratings agency A.M. Best said in its October “Market Review”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Sharjah’s economy expected to grow

Posted on 16 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The emirate of Sharjah has chosen four key sectors to fuel its economic growth over the next four years, according to a recent study released by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).
The key sectors are travel and tourism, transport and logistics, healthcare, and environment, in addition to other sectors which are projected to offer the most significant investment potential based on Sharjah’s competitive advantages and unique characteristics………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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WB, IDB sign MoU to encourage expansion of Islamic finance globally

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The World Bank (WB) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set out a framework for collaboration between the two parties and lend support to global, regional and country efforts in the development of Islamic Finance, reports UNB.
President of the IDB Group Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali and WB Managing Director Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin signed the memorandum on behalf of their respective institutions in Tokyo with the common objectives of fostering, encouraging, and studying the expansion of Islamic finance globally, according to a message received here from Tokyo on Sunday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sukuk a solution to Egypt’s economic crisis

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Prime Minister Hashem Qandil announced last month his government’s intention to issue one or two rounds of sukuk, a type of Islamic financial product, before the end of 2012. He offered few particulars, but the reaction of the business community has been largely positive, and the Egyptian government is now occupied with fleshing out the details of the proposal.
Qandil’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is meeting this week with representatives of the financial industry and other political parties to discuss the establishment of rules governing the issuance of sukuk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Banque Saudi Fransi gets approval for 2.5 bln Riyal Sukuk

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Banque Saudi Fransi (BSFR), partly owned by Credit Agricole SA, said it received approval from the Saudi central bank to issue as much 2.5 billion riyals ($667 million) in sukuk.
The Islamic bonds will enhance the bank’s capital base and help expand its lending activities, the Riyadh-based lender said in a statement to the Saudi bourse website today. The maturity of the sukuk is no more than five years, it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic Development Bank places $500 mln sukuk

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) issued a $500 million five-year Islamic bond, or sukuk, earlier this month, in a rare example of a privately-placed transaction from the supranational institution.
The deal was priced at 30 basis points (bps) over the three-month London interbank offered rate (Libor), according to market data, and was issued as part of the bank’s $6.5 billion sukuk program………………………………………..Full Article: Source

QIIB’s $700mln 5-year sukuk oversubscribed

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) has successfully priced a $700m 5-year Sukuk issued at par with a 2.688 percent annual profit rate, which will be settled semi-annually. The transaction represents QIIB’s first international debt capital markets issuance.
HSBC, QNB Capital and Standard Chartered Bank acted as Joint lead Managers and Joint Bookrunners, with Qatar Islamic Bank and CIMB Investment Bank, Malaysia, as Co-Managers on the transaction. The Trust Certificates will be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oman banks go for Islamic offerings

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Oman’s non-Islamic banks are set to gain permission this year to offer Shariah-compliant products as retail lending increases the most in three years. The sultanate, which approved licences for two Islamic banks last year, will pass legislation in 2012 to allow banks to offer the services through “Islamic windows,” central bank executive president Hamud Sangur Al Zadjali said recently.
The move may draw customers who had turned to banks in other five Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for retail loans that comply with Shariah’s ban on paying and receiving interest, according to Dubai-based Al Mal Capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A Turkey-Pakistan alliance for Islamic banking

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Turkey is on track to becoming the next hub for Islamic banking and finance. Given the Ottoman legacy, the last seat of the Islamic viceregency, the government of Turkey was only required to show its commitment to Islamic finance before other players in the industry were going to join her in building a vibrant Islamic banking and finance industry.
The recent successful dollar-denominated $1.5 billion sovereign Sukuk issue, followed by a lira-denominated $900 million sovereign Sukuk have put the country on the global platform of Islamic banking and finance. It is expected that many Middle Eastern Islamic banks and financial institutions will enter the Turkish market in the future………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BankDhofar EGM nod for Islamic banking window

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

BankDhofar has endorsed a move to introduce sharia-compliant banking services through the launch of an Islamic Banking window. The approval came at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the bank’s shareholders, which was held at Crowne Plaza Muscat on Wednesday.
Attendees also approved the appoint of a Sharia Supervisory Board comprising the following members: Shaikh Dr Salim bin Ali al Dhahab, Shaikh Dr Mohamed bin Ali al Lawati, Shaikh Humoud bin Abdullah al Rashidi, and Shaikh Ahmed bin Awadh Al Hassaan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Noor Islamic Bank presents its vision of the future of banking at Gitex

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Noor Islamic Bank’s (Noor) presents its vision of the Bank of the Future, which it is showcasing at Gitex Technology Week. The high-tech, interactive, concept bank provides a unique, immersive, 3D experience of how the future of banking could develop.
It includes the latest touch screen technology, 3D holographic projections, finger print recognition and surround sound, bringing together technology which is available today, but has yet to make inroads into banking………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brunei: Islamic banks urged to be sympathetic to house buyers

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic banking players have been urged to be sympathetic to house buyers of abandoned projects and not burden them with debt as it may lead to bankruptcy. Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) financial services monitoring bureau chief, Sheikh Abdul Kareem Said Khadaied said many house buyers face legal action filed by Islamic banking players demanding high payment for uncompleted houses.
“For example, a house buyer was ordered by the court to pay back the full price of the house costing RM492,000 to a bank although the bank only paid RM39,000 to the developer,” he said at Consumer Forum 2012 entitled ‘Is Islamic Banking Only In Name?’ here………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pakistan: Islamic banking records robust growth in country

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The interest-free Islamic banking has recorded a robust growth in the country in the last few years and can further expand tremendously with the help of effective legislation and introduction of more products.
These views were expressed by Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad, the Founder Rector of the University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore. Dr Hasan, who is also chairman of Association of Management Development Institutions in Pakistan (AMDIP), said that total assets of Islamic banking in Pakistan have grown by 34 per cent to Rs641 billion at the end of last calendar year. Similarly, deposits base has also surged by 34 per cent to Rs521 billion during 2011, he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brokerage firms back alizz islamic bank IPO

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Three leading brokerage houses have recommended investors to subscribe to the RO40 million initial public offering (IPO) of alizz islamic bank, which will close subscription on October 21. These are United Securities, the Financial Corporation (FinCorp) and Vision Securities.
United Securities believes that the issue is an attractive opportunity for investors to participate in the Islamic banking growth story in the Sultanate of Oman………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NBK’s net profit reaches $814.4 mln in 9 months

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), claimed to be the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest-rated in the Middle East, reported net profits of $ 814.4 million (KD 228.9 million) for the first nine months of 2012 compared with $ 802.4 million (KD 225.6 million) for the same period of 2011. NBK’s third quarter 2012 net profits reached $ 384.6 million (KD 108.1 million) compared to $ 280.7 million (KD78.9 million) in the third quarter of 2011.
As of end of September 2012, NBK Group’s total assets reached $ 58.1 billion (KD 16.34 billion), up 24.5 percent compared to September 2011, while total group shareholders’ equity reached $ 8.4 billion (KD 2.37 billion), up 5 percent year on year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIMB Islamic promote halal industry via MIHAS, HALFEST

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

CIMB Islamic will continue giving special promotion in terms of financial support to all halal entrepreneurs who join Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) and Halal Fiesta Malaysia (HALFEST). Its Chief Executive Officer, Badlisyah Abdul Ghani said realising that the halal business is a strategic industry, CIMB Islamic has decided to lend support to the development of the halal industry in Malaysia.
“CIMB Islamic has been supporting MIHAS which is targeted for business-to-business (B2B) segment, and now we want to help the business-to-consumer (B2C)’s HALFEST,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of HALFEST Entrepreneurs Award and Gala Dinner, Friday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Solar Guys tap Islamic finance for 50MW Indonesia project

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Queensland solar company The Solar Guys has tapped into the huge Islamic finance market to fund a 50MW solar PV project in Indonesia, the first in a series of projects under an agreement struck with the Indonesian government.
The Solar Guys are proposing to build 250MW of solar PV under a plan it has dubbed the “One Solar Watt Per Person” campaign. The target of 250MW translates into 250 million watts, which roughly equates to Indonesia’s population………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Takaful to change the face of insurance

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

With a majority of these being unregulated, there exists a cut-throat price war; demanding a need to set up effective regulations that will see the desired consolidation and fuel commercial growth. Takaful - the Islamic alternative to conventional insurance - represents a radical new insurance business model that is firing a potentially very big emerging market in the MEA.
Now in its third year, the Middle East and Africa Insurance Summit, will be held on 14-15 January 2013 in Dubai, UAE. The conference will explore the progress of the Middle East and Africa insurance market focused on maintaining profitable business in the sector and the change they are experiencing as leading industry players implement re-tooled strategies to tap into the enormous growth potential that the region offers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘Shariah’ credit card shows way to pray

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

State-owned bank in the United Arab Emirates found a creative way to comply with Islamic law — by not only banning loans with interest, but also embedding a compass pointing the way to Mecca in its credit cards. The bank, Al Hillaj, introduced the card this week to comply with the tenet of Islamic law, or Shariah, which forbids “riba” — charging interest on loans, a practice regarded as potentially encouraging exploitation.
“We continue to see a growing demand, especially in the Middle East, for Islamic banking in general, and more specifically in our case, for cards that are Shariah-compliant in accordance with the tenets of the Islamic faith,” NBC quoted MasterCard spokesman James Issokson as saying………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iran to create Islamic ‘Nobel Prize’

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Iran, which only has one Nobel Prize laureate, announced the inception of a rival award intended solely for outstanding scientists of the Islamic world, the country’s news agency Fars said. The Great Prophet World Prize will be bestowed biennially on “the Muslim world scientists in three technological fields in which Iran has also make outstanding progress,” said Iranian Vice President for Science and Technology Nasrin Soltankhah.
She did not identify the fields covered by the Great Prophet World Prize, but said it would help prepare Muslim scientists for tighter competition over global awards such as the Nobel Prize, identified in the report as “the Noble prize.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Qatar regulator seeks to extend Islamic window ban

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar’s regulator has proposed extending its ban on onshore banks operating Islamic windows to include financial institutions in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), according to a consultation paper released this week.
Such windows allow conventional banks to offer Islamic financial services, provided that clients’ money is segregated from the rest of the bank. Last year the central bank banned Islamic windows in the onshore banking system, requiring conventional banks to close or divest their sharia-compliant businesses. Its motive was apparently to ensure a level playing field for Islamic banks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Turkey’s debut sukuk struggles after Gulf over-allocation

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Turkey’s first sovereign sukuk issue was a public relations triumph but it’s been a financial disappointment so far in the secondary market, showing the risks of over-allocating debt deals to a single region.
The $1.5 billion Islamic bond, maturing in 2018 and issued at a profit rate of 2.803 percent, dropped to about 98 cents on the dollar in the secondary market soon after issue in mid-September and has stayed below par since then………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Axiata sukuk signals use of new assets in Islamic finance

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Axiata’s establishment of a multi-currency sukuk programme and subsequent dim sum sukuk issue marks a new level of flexibility for underlying assets in an individual deal. The September RMB 1 billion ($158.7 million) issue was the largest RMB-denominated dim sum bond to date.
It followed Axiata’s, a Malaysian telecommunications company, establishment of a $1.5 billion multi-currency sukuk issuance programme established in August this year. It was Asia’s first internationally-rated programme of its type………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Qatar’s QIIB to price $700 mln sukuk Thursday

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) launched a US$700m sukuk on Thursday, arranging banks said, at the lower end of revised price guidance in a reflection of healthy demand for the deal.
The five-year Islamic bond was launched at a spread of 190 basis points over midswaps. Price guidance was earlier set at between 190-195 over midswaps, tighter than indicated, with order books reportedly at US$2.7bn on Wednesday afternoon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Woes may imperil Egypt bond rally

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Talks on foreign aid are failing to quell concern that Egypt’s economy is struggling to recover, imperiling a bond rally that returned about twice as much as Middle East non-investment-grade debt this year.
Investors in the Arab nation’s 5.75% dollar-denominated bonds due in April 2020 lost 1.9% in September, paring this year’s return to 22% on Tuesday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the biggest monthly decline of the year and compares with a 2.5% gain in the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai Middle East Sub Investment Grade US Dollar Sukuk/Bond Index. The index has returned 9.6% in 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Sabana reit convertible paves way for Islamic finance growth

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Sabana Reit’s sukuk is the first sukuk ever to be convertible into units in a reit (real estate investment trust). It could signal Singapore’s push to become an Islamic financial centre.
Although Singapore boasts arguably the most complex reit markets in Asia, Sabana was the first to issue a shariah-compliant reit listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX). It has now issued the first convertible sukuk on the SGX………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Trio of firms advise on London South Bank finance deal

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Norton Rose, King & Spalding and Jones Day have advised on the £400m Shariah-compliant financing of the redevelopment of King’s Reach Tower on London’s South Bank. Saudi investor Mohammed Al Subeaei & Sons Investment Company (MASIC), which provided a £145m mezzanine tranche, was advised by a team from King & Spalding led by partners Mike Rainey (Islamic finance), Nigel Heilpern (real estate) and Kevin Conway (tax), following a referral from the firm’s Dubai office.
Heilpern joined King & Spalding from Fried Frank in July to launch a London real estate practice for the US firm………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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IDB told about development of Islamic financing in Kazakhstan

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for private sector, told about the plans for development of Islamic financing in Kazakhstan at the 3rd Kazakhstan Conference on Islamic Financing.
“First of all, we are establishing the first ijara company in Kazakhstan. ICD is opening the ijara company together with a big group of foreign and local investors. This is Islamic leasing in Kazakhstan to support development of small and medium businesses by providing them with alternative resources for the projects that comply with Sharia requirements………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Lack of skilled workforce a ‘hurdle for Islamic banking’

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The proposed Islamic finance institutions, which are set to start operations in the country, is expected to face challenges in view of lack of skilled people and awareness among general public, said a top-level official of the Capital Market Authority (CMA).
Addressing the inaugural function of a two-day workshop on Islamic banking organised by Crowe Horwath here, Abdullah bin Salem Al Salmi, executive president of CMA, said since the whole concept of Islamic banking is new to both regulators and operators in Oman, organisations may find it difficult to get skilled professionals to draft Sharia law for Islamic banks and takaful insurance companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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The impact of HSBC’s withdrawal of Amanah

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

It has been reported that HSBC bank will focus its Islamic financing operations in Saudi Arabia. HSBC have also decided to withdraw its Islamic banking operations in seven other countries, including the United Kingdom, and has already divested its assets in nearly 30 other countries.
HSBC’s reasons for getting out of the Islamic banking game in some countries is because of the pitiful state UK banks have been in since the global economic meltdown of 2008 and the restructuring efforts now underway to revive the industry. But HSBC, as a conventional bank, also could not really compete against the big Islamic banks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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EFG to sell QInvest joint venture stake next year, Arqaam says

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

EFG-Hermes Holding SAE will sell its 40 per cent stake next year in the investment bank it is forming with QInvest and will become a holding company, Arqaam Capital Ltd said.
EFG-Hermes would hold assets in Lebanese unit Credit Libanais SAL, as well as a private equity unit managing $980 million (Dh3.6 billion) and a “large surplus capital position, part of which will be distributed to shareholders,” analysts including Jaap Meijer said in a report. The Cairo-based bank was added to Arqaam’s core portfolio with a buy rating and a price estimate of 15.9 Egyptian pounds, a 34 per cent premium to yesterday’s closing price………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Islamic investment company launched in Saudi Arabia

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Investor for Securities Company launched Safa Investment Services, the first global Islamic asset manager in the GCC, in Riyadh on Monday. Safa Investment Services is the world’s first independent Islamic wealth and asset management brand. It insures an independent selection of “best of class” Sharia-compliant assets.
“Professionally managed assets worldwide are now worth around 80 trillion (SR 300 trillion), of which Muslims own at least 3 trillion (SR 11.25 trillion). What is striking is that almost none of that is invested with any respect for Sharia. A lot is invested in the type of securities that accelerated the global financial crisis,” said John Sandwick, manager at Safa Investment Services, during the launch. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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ING to sell insurance businesses in Malaysia to AIA

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

ING has reached an agreement with AIA Group on the sale of ING’s insurance operations in Malaysia, which include its life insurance business, its market-leading employee benefits business and its 60-percent stake in ING Public Takaful Ehsan Berhad.
Under the terms agreed, ING is expected to receive a total consideration of approximately EUR 1.3 billion. The agreement, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is part of the previously announced intended divestment of ING’s Asian insurance and investment management businesses. The process for the remaining businesses is on-going. Further announcements will be made if and when appropriate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Arab awakening triggers Saudi-Qatari rivalries

Posted on 12 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The demise of secular autocratic regimes in the Middle East and North Africa has heralded a renaissance for Islamist parties in the region, igniting a rivalry for the hearts and minds of the Sunni world between the Gulf powers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
These neighboring petro-monarchies have sought to influence political transformations in the Levant and North Africa on their own respective terms, both to advance geopolitical interests and to ensure that their own populations do not initiate popular uprisings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Tunisia’s Islamic finance push has political echoes

Posted on 11 October 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

After decades of secular rule, Tunisia’s government aims to develop Islamic banking in the country, but some suspect the government’s motives are more political than economic: it wants to win the support of voters.
Governments across North Africa are promoting Islamic finance in the wake of last year’s Arab Spring uprisings, which ousted regimes that neglected or discouraged the business for ideological reasons………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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