Tue, Sep 16, 2014
A A A
Welcome bhaimia
RSS

Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | January, 2013

Bank Nizwa begins Islamic banking operations

Posted on 23 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bank Nizwa, Oman’s first dedicated Islamic bank, officially opened its doors to the public on Wednesday. The bank’s launch had been announced soon after the release of the Islamic Banking Regulatory Framework (IBRF) by the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).
Bank Nizwa will be the first bank in the Sultanate to provide services like account opening through identity cards for Omanis, and resident ID cards for expatriates; instant issuance of personalised ATM cards, instant issuance of personalised cheque books and much more………………………………………..Full Article: Source

More Islamic windows on anvil

Posted on 23 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Capitalising on the modern business mantra of Islamic Banking, more and more banks are coming up with their Islamic windows, according to the Central Bank of Oman (CBO). However, the number of full-fledged Islamic banking bodies will be confined to just two key players, as is said by Hamood Sangour al Zadjali, Executive President of the CBO.
“We have given permission to two full-fledged banks to operate in the country, which are Bank Nizwa and Alizz Islamic Bank. The earlier one has already begun operations while the latter is in the process of opening their offices in the country.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Muslim credit union to run on fees, not interest, founder says

Posted on 23 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A group of Muslim investors have filed to charter a new no-interest credit union based in Houston. Marketing to Shia Muslims in Houston, Dallas and Austin, the Jafari No-Interest Credit Union’s business model would rely on fees, rather than charging interest on loans to customers.
The credit union would also not pay any interest on deposit accounts. Because of the atypical business model — running on fees — I was interested in speaking with the founders of the credit union to get an idea about how that would work………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Robust growth for Islamic banking

Posted on 23 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Ernst & Young’s World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2013 notes that global Islamic banking assets held by commercial banks are set to cross US$1.8 trillion this year, up from the US$1.55 trillion in 2012.This is significantly higher than some of the earlier industry estimates.
Globally, the Islamic banking industry continues to record robust growth, with the leading top 20 Islamic banks registering a growth of 16% in the last three years and Saudi Arabia emerging as the largest international market for Islamic assets (excluding Iran’s banking industry, which has major limitations on international participants)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahrain insurance sector continue its growth in the third quarter of 2012

Posted on 23 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Central Bank of Bahrain announced that the Bahrain insurance market posted a growth during the third quarter of 2012, with gross premiums increased by around 9% over the same period of 2011 to register BD 184.11 million in Bahrain Insurance Market by end of September 2012.
A significant part of this increase attributed to a surge in Long-term insurance (Life & Savings Products), registering around 17% increase in gross premiums to reach BD 42.34 million in September 2012 compared with BD 36.06 million in September 2011, representing almost 23% of the gross premiums written in September 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai eyes new sukuk issue, may raise at least $1 bln

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The government of Dubai has mandated four banks for a potential Islamic bond, or sukuk, issue, four sources familiar with the matter said on Monday, as the emirate seeks to benefit from its lowest borrowing costs since a crippling debt crisis in 2009.
Three of the sources indicated the new issue could be announced as early as Tuesday, and two sources said the borrower was looking to raise at least $1 billion from the sale. All sources declined to be identified because the information is not yet public. A Dubai government spokesperson was not immediately available for comment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai to hire HSBC, StanChart for $1 bln sukuk

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dubai’s government may raise more than $1 billion from a planned sale of Islamic bonds and has mandated five banks including HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) for the offering, according to two people familiar with the deal.
Standard Chartered Plc (STAN), Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB) and National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC have also been hired for the sale of sukuk, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. A sale may start as soon as tomorrow, according to one of the bankers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank Muamalat to sell $73 mln in sukuk bonds

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Shariah-compliant lender Bank Muamalat Indonesia plans to sell Rp 700 billion ($73 million) worth of sukuk Islamic bonds in the first half of 2013, of which the proceeds will be used for branch expansions. The bond sale is part of the lender’s plan to issue a total of Rp 1.5 trillion worth across several years.
“Last year, we issued the first one, worth Rp 800 billion, that offers 10.21 percent yield,” Meitra N. Sari, the company’s corporate secretary, said on Friday. Shariah bonds comply with the Islamic teaching that bans interest, instead using asset returns to pay back investors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CBB Sukuk Al-Salam securities oversubscribed

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) announces that the monthly issue of the Sukuk Al-Salam Islamic securities for the BD18m issue, which carries a maturity of 91 days, has been oversubscribed by 193%.
The expected return on the issue, which begins on 23 January 2013 and matures on 24 April 2013, is 1.00%. The securities are issued by the CBB on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gatehouse Bank expands its global Islamic finance capability with launch of its first sterling sukuk

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Gatehouse Bank, a Shariah compliant investment bank based in the City of London and regulated by the FSA, has issued its first real estate backed sukuk, paying a distribution of 3% per annum over a five year term.
Investors will earn a return by virtue of having pro-rata ownership of the sukuk assets, which comprise shares in a company which owns a 62,000 sq ft property in Basingstoke, in the south east of England. The property is leased to IT services giant Fujitsu Services Limited for an unexpired term of 68 years. (Press Release)

Islamic banking on uptrend despite challenges

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Challenges or not, Islamic banking is set to continue its growth momentum this year. Underpinning this is the planned conversion of development financial institutions (DFIs) into full-fledged Islamic banks, a growing demand for Islamic finance, a strong sukuk (Islamic bond) market and anticipated mergers among Islamic banks.
Industry observers and players reckoned that these factors would spur the growth of the industry and hot up competition among the players, both existing and new………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New liquidity tool needed for Malaysian Islamic banks

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia has emerged as a front-runner in the global Islamic financial services industry, with the state-of-the-art infrastructure and unparalleled government support. With the development of Commodity Murabaha (CM) transactions on Bursa Malaysia under its Bursa Suq Al Sila’, it attempted to snatch away the business of liquidity management by Islamic banks from the London Metal Exchange (LME).
While a one-step forward from the LME CM practice, Bursa Malaysia’s Suq Al Sila’ necessarily represents the case of trading in commodities with complete irrelevance of commodities to the intended outcome, which is no more than exchange of cash between two participating banks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar Islamic Bank net profit plunges 50pct

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), the country’s second-largest lender by market value, said fourth-quarter net profit fell more than 50 percent due to higher provisions.
The bank made a net profit of QR110 million ($30.2 million) in the three months to December 31, according to Reuters calculations, compared with QR265 million in the same period a year ago and widely missing analysts’ average forecast of QR328.58 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rakbank launches Islamic banking

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Rakbank is starting 2013 with the launch of its new Islamic banking window. The bank’s Islamic banking services will be offered through a separate brand, Rakbank Amal, to include a wide range of products from accounts, loans and cards to takaful policies.
“As the fastest growing bank in the region, introducing Islamic Banking is the natural direction for Rakbank as it strives to better serve existing and potential customers in the country through added choice,” said Graham Honeybill, Rakbank chief executive officer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NBK reports net profits of $ 1.09 bln

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest-rated in the Middle East, reported net profits of $ 1.09 billion (KD 305.1 million) for the year 2012 compared with $ 1.08 billion (KD 302.4 million) for 2011.
At year-end, NBK Group’s total assets reached $ 58.4 billion (KD 16.4 billion) up from $ 48.5 billion (KD 13.6 billion) in 2011, while total group shareholders’ equity reached $ 8.2 billion (KD 2.3 billion), up 6 percent year on year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

McDonald’s to pay $700,000 to settle suit over Islamic halal diet

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

McDonald’s and one of its franchise owners agreed to pay $700,000 to members of the Muslim community to settle allegations a Detroit-area restaurant falsely advertised its food as being prepared according to Islamic dietary law.
McDonald’s and Finley’s Management Co. agreed Friday to the tentative settlement, with that money to be shared by Dearborn Heights resident Ahmed Ahmed, a Detroit health clinic, the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and lawyers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘Islamic’ bonds to generate $10 bln in revenue: Egypt FM

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The new Islamic Bonds (Sukuk) law is expected to generate $10 billion for the Egyptian government, Finance Minister El-Morsi Hegazy was quoted as saying on Sunday. The minister indicated that “studies” show that the new bonds would generate such an amount without giving further details or specifying a timeline, according Reuters.
Last week, Egypt’s cabinet approved a draft law to allow sovereign Islamic bonds as the government searches for new ways to finance an unsustainable budget deficit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia pays higher yields for aircraft Sukuk to lure investors

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia’s government paid higher yields for its second offering of state-backed Islamic bonds on behalf of the national airline to entice investors, as total issuance of the notes rose to 4.6 billion ringgit ($1.5 billion).
The finance ministry sold 1.2 billion ringgit of the debt yesterday, with orders amounting to 1.5 billion ringgit, said two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the details are private………………………………………..Full Article: Source

DanaInfra ups ante to attract investors to retail sukuk

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

DanaInfra Nasional Bhd (DINB) has extended the offer period and upped the indicative profit rate, for the country’s first Exchange Traded Bonds and Sukuk (ETBS) or DanaInfra Retail Sukuk for retail investors, in a move to woo more investors to take up the new asset class.
The offer period now closes a week later on Jan 25, 2013, while the indicative profit rate which was previously at a minimum of 3.7% per annum has now been fixed at 4% per annum. The money raised from the DanaInfra Retail Sukuk is to partly fund the MRT project, a RM15 billion project………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gulf bonds to weather jump in US treasury yields

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A jump in US Treasury yields in the last few weeks has raised a grim possibility for emerging market bond investors: a sustained back-up in US yields that could sink the value of bond holdings. But compared to many other places in the world, the Gulf looks well-placed to weather such a storm.
Because it has a big local investor base of cash-rich financial institutions, the region may quickly absorb any mass exit by foreign investors from its bonds. And relatively high yield levels, especially for lower-rated bonds, give countries in the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council some protection………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia: Islamic banking on uptrend and continues to grow despite challenges

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Challenges or not, Islamic banking is set to continue its growth momentum this year. Underpinning this is the planned conversion of development financial institutions (DFIs) into full-fledged Islamic banks, a growing demand for Islamic finance, a strong sukuk market and anticipated mergers among Islamic banks.
Industry observers and players reckoned that these factors would spur the growth of the industry and hot up competition among the players, both existing and new. Statistics concur with this. According to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) 2012/2013 Economic Report, Islamic banking continued to expand in the first seven months of 2012, with total assets increasing 20.6% to RM469.5bil, representing 24.2% of the country’s banking system assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Malaysian star!

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

While conventional banking continues to make headlines mainly for scandals, huge pay offs and bonuses, Islamic finance is growing by amazing 20 percent annually. It manages to attract non-Muslims worldwide as well as many countries have adopted and accepted this financial model. This phenomenon is also known to the people in the industry as “faith in finances”.
With this enormous potential, it is clear that there is a huge economic benefit to be sought from it. Out of all the Muslim countries that tried to chase this market, Malaysia seems to lead the way in Islamic finance by leaps and bounds. More than one-fifth of its entire banking structure is in fact Shariah-compliant that in itself is quiet an important statement. Just to note and compare that the average for other Muslim countries is barely 12 percent and many times much less………………………………………..Full Article: Source

KFH applauds Dubai’s initiative to create Islamic economy sector

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Kuwait Finance House Chairman Mohamed Ali AL-Khudairi praised his highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid AL Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister’s initiative of adding the Islamic economy sector to the major sectors of Dubai’s economy.
Al-Khudairi said that the UAE’s initiative to bolster Islamic finance in the emirate will be positively reflected in the products and services offered by Islamic banks, including Sukuk, Takaful and the international arbitration involving Islamic contracts. He also mentioned the UAE’s deep experience in Islamic banking, having launched the world’s first Islamic bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, in 1975………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait Finance House unit Alafco mulls listing abroad

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Aircraft leasing group Alafco, a unit of Kuwait Finance House (KFH), may list some of its shares on an international exchange, according to a market filing on Sunday. KFH, one of the largest Islamic lenders in the Gulf Arab region, owns a 53.69 percent stake in Alafco.
Kuwait-based Alafco said the idea came from shareholders and did not disclose the size of the stake that could be listed nor on which exchange. It plans to carry out due diligence on the proposal, the filing said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banking in Oman poised for mega growth

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Oman’s Islamic banks and window operations of conventional banks, some of which have already started operations, are expected to achieve an asset base of OMR1.5 billion by the end of this year and OMR3-4 billion in the next three to four years, said a prominent expert on Islamic finance.
The Sharia-compliant institutions are expected to mobilise OMR1 billion by way of deposits by the end 2013 while the equity capital of two Islamic banks and window operations put together is estimated in the region of OMR550 million. Of this, the combined paid up capital of two Islamic banks alone is at OMR250 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

RakBank launches Islamic banking service

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

RakBank, also known as the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah, has launched its new Islamic banking services including a wide range of products from accounts, loans and cards to Takaful policies.
The services will be offered through a separate brand, RakBank Amal. “As the fastest growing bank in the region, introducing Islamic Banking is the natural direction for RakBank as it strives to better serve existing and potential customers in the country through added choice,” said Graham Honeybill, RakBank chief executive officer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Meethaq set to redefine Islamic banking

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman, from Bank Muscat, is all set to redefine Islamic banking with the launch of full-fledged operations at its dedicated branch in Al Ghubra.
Bank Muscat is the first commercial bank in Oman to receive CBO approval and begin operations through independent Islamic banking window as per the requirements of Islamic banking regulatory framework of CBO. Ever since the announcement of the final CBO approval to begin soft operations, customers have been pouring into Meethaq branch to open accounts and avail various services………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NBO launches Muzn Islamic banking operations

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

National Bank of Oman ( NBO ) opened its Muzn Pure Islamic banking branch to customers on Wednesday. The bank in a statement claimed that it was the first conventional bank in the country to offer Islamic banking products to the public.
An impressive soft opening was held at the Muzn Branch under the auspices of the Sheikh Khalfan Al Esry, Muzn Sharia Supervisory Board Member, Sayyidah Rawan Al Said, NBO ’s Board Member and Salaam Al Shaksy, NBO ’s chief executive officer, in the presence of NBO ’s senior management and staff………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ahlibank set to launch Islamic banking

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

ahlibank is all set to launch its Islamic Banking services window across Oman under the Al Hilal Islamic Banking Services brand. Al Hilal Islamic Banking services will provide Islamic banking products and services built on the tenants of truth and transparency in banking and will be fully segregated from the conventional branches.
The bank will be launching six branches from the very start covering a wide geographical area in the Sultanate and will be providing a full-fledged banking experience with a full tray of products to both retail and commercial customer from the launch. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Qatar Islamic Bank 2012 profit drops 9.5pct on higher provisions

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIBK) posted a 9.5 percent decline in profit last year as the country’s biggest Shariah-compliant lender by assets raised provisions against bad loans.
Net income was 1.24 billion riyals ($341 million), the Doha-based lender said in an e-mailed statement. That compared with profit of 1.37 billion riyals in 2011. The mean estimate of seven analysts was for profit of 1.46 billion riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UAE banks remain profitable, despite weaker asset quality, slow loan growth and recent regulations

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Outlook for Gulf lenders, backed by sovereign support, remains stable, credit rating agency Fitch said in a latest report. “GCC sovereigns are helping to stimulate their economies through government-sponsored infrastructure projects, taking advantage of their significant oil/gas revenues. Oil production is expected to be lower in 2013, but will, nevertheless, generate strong revenues for oil exporters, above budget requirements (except in Bahrain). Non-oil producers will, however, be at a clear disadvantage, in the absence of economic growth,” it says.
Fitch said it expects loan growth to increase in 2013, as confidence improves and infrastructure projects come on stream, stimulating the local economies, but much also depends on the global economy and regional unrest………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Omani banks to grow more aggressively in 2013: Fitch

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Omani banks are expected to report higher profits in 2013 and likely to grow more aggressively as they compete for market share, Fitch Ratings said in a report. In its 2013 outlook for GCC banks, the ratings agency said that the outlook for Omani banks remains stable this year.
“To date, Omani banks have achieved modest profitability due to a cautious growth strategy, but they are likely to grow more aggressively as they compete for market share now,” Fitch said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatari bank asset quality set to improve

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Balance-sheet constraints, intense competition and undiversified funding portfolios are posing challenges to the growth of Qatari banks. With government funding flowing freely to real estate and construction sector, the banks’ asset quality should also continue to improve, Fitch Ratings noted in its 2013 GCC/Middle East Banks Outlook.
Qatar’s rapid loan growth has been well above the average in the region. It has been more or less matched by deposit growth, to a large extent public sector, but loans/deposits ratios are gradually creeping up………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Al Rajhi Takaful net profit plummets 71.2 pct

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Al Rajhi Company for Cooperative Insurance (Al Rajhi Takaful) posted a net profit of SAR 1,477 thousand for the 4th quarter compared to a net profit of SAR 5,125 thousand for the corresponding quarter of 2011, a decrease of 71.2 per cent.
Al Rajhi Takaful posted a net profit before Zakat of SAR 2,118 thousand for the 4th quarter of 2012 compared to a net profit before Zakat of SAR 5,125 thousand for 2011, a decrease of 58.7 per cent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIMB Aviva deal a “safer bet” for Khazanah

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s acquisition of a 49% stake in life insurer CIMB Aviva Assurance Bhd and CIMB Aviva Takaful Bhd is a “safer bet” for Khazanah, said Inter-Pacific Securities head of research Pong Teng Siew.
“Khazanah’s biggest problem is finding investments that fit their requirements thus financial institutions are safer bets for them,” he told SunBiz. Khazanah has exposure to the insurance scene through its stakes in ACR Capital Holdings Bhd, Asia Capital Reinsurance Malaysia Sdn Bhd and ACR ReTakaful Holdings Limited which are present in the reinsurance and retakaful business………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aberdeen launches two Shariah funds in Malaysia

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd launched Aberdeen Islamic Malaysia Equity fund and the Aberdeen Islamic World Equity fund, the company’s first Shariah retail products in Malaysia and the first by a foreign fund manager.
Aberdeen Asset Management Sdn Bhd General Manager Gerald Ambrose said this was a natural step forward for the company. “Having established ourselves as an institutional manager, we are pleased to offer investors the first Islamic unit trusts from a foreign Islamic fund management licensee,” he said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emerging banks challenge Europe investors in renewables finance

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Financing for renewable energy is increasingly moving away from European investors towards national banks in emerging markets, including Islamic finance, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said on Thursday.
The financial crisis of recent years has eroded domination by European banks and utilities, IRENA’s Deputy Director-General Frank Wouters said at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New investors will ‘open doors’, Islamic window for Fimbank

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Fimbank will be able to move first to bring Islamic banking to Malta, tap new markets, and target larger clients if Middle Eastern institutional investors take a controlling interest in the next few months, bank president Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger said.
With a commitment for additional equity of $160 million – which doubles Fimbank’s equity over the next 18 months – the Malta-headquartered trade finance bank has the potential to triple, even quadruple, its balance sheet over the next five years, she said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banking via Pos Malaysia soon

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The plan by Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd to offer Islamic banking services through post office counters by the third quarter of the year is still pending approvals. Chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Redza Shah Abdul Wahid said the collaboration with Pos Malaysia Bhd would provide the bank substantially wider reach through more than 1,000 post office service counters nationwide. “By year end, all post office counters should be able to off er our services.”
These include Pos Minis, self service terminals, Post-On-Wheels mobile outlets, postal agents and stamp agents — making it one of the most extensive retail network in Malaysia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sharjah Islamic Bank’s 2012 net profit at Dh272mln

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Sharjah Islamic Bank said on Thursday said its net profit for 2012 stood at Dh272 million, compared to Dh251.1 million achieved a year ago with an increase of 8.3 per cent.
The bank’s balance sheet grew since December 2011 with total assets reaching Dh18.3 billion compared with Dh17.7 billion which is 3.3 per cent, the bank said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OAB to offer Islamic products through five branches

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Oman Arab Bank is planning to launch its Islamic banking window operations through five branches across major cities of Oman this year. The bank yesterday launched an independent Islamic banking services unit under the brand name Al Yusr.
“We are confident that ‘Al Yusr’ will provide customers with an avenue to be true to their beliefs while offering all the advantages of world class banking,” said Abdul Kader Askalan, chief executive of Oman Arab Bank……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Creditors mull Amlak debt plan - UAE econ min

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Creditors of Dubai firm Amlak Finance are considering a restructuring proposal from the indebted mortgage lender, the United Arab Emirates’ economy minister said on Thursday, adding he expected it would reach a debt solution.
Amlak, a victim of the bursting of Dubai’s real estate bubble in 2008, is still without a solution that would see its business revived more than four years after its shares were suspended………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt approves law to issue sovereign Islamic bonds

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Egypt has approved a draft law to allow sovereign Islamic bonds, the country’s finance minister said on Wednesday, as the government searches for new ways to finance an unsustainable budget deficit.
The Islamist-led administration had amended the original draft of the law following criticism from religious scholars. The legislation still needs to be approved by the upper house of parliament, where Egypt’s ruling Islamists hold a clear majority. “The cabinet today agreed to the draft sukuk law,” minister Al Mursi Al Sayed Hegazy told reporters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egyptian economists skeptic about ‘Islamic’ bonds

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Much hype was made on the new introduction of Islamic bonds (sukuk) to Egypt. Members of the ruling Freedom and Justice Party have marketed the concept as a possible savior for the Egyptian economy. Economists were more cautious than optimistic about the benefits of Islamic bonds.
Galal Amin, a veteran and renowned economist explained he was worried that the new financial tool would allow for the sale of public enterprises at their lowest value (through sukuk) to foreigners, who would consider this a gateway to help them pull out of their respective economic downturns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global sukuk remains under-invested

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Although sukuk prices have rallied and spreads have compressed over the past few years, sukuk markets continue to offer value and remain under-allocated in Shariah-compliant portfolios. The demand-supply imbalance will therefore continue to favor investors in sukuk.
In summary, our longer-term view about the opportunity set for fixed income investors in the current global environment of low growth and low interest rates remains little changed. We believe that opportunities offered by corporate and emerging market sukuk continue to be attractive, while the relative valuations of perceived safe-haven bonds still appear to us to over-estimate the possibility of more extreme scenarios for the global economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gulf bonds to weather jump in U.S. Treasury yields

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A jump in U.S. Treasury yields in the last few weeks has raised a grim possibility for emerging market bond investors: a sustained back-up in U.S. yields that could sink the value of bond holdings. But compared to many other places in the world, the Gulf looks well-placed to weather such a storm.
Because it has a big local investor base of cash-rich financial institutions, the region may quickly absorb any mass exit by foreign investors from its bonds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

QFC Regulatory Authority announces new rules

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The QFC Regulatory Authority has released rules covering corporate governance, anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and Islamic finance windows.
These final rules follow the conclusion of an industry consultation process, which started in September 2012. The rules support the Regulatory Authority’s commitment to keep its rules aligned with international regulatory standards for insurance and banking supervision respectively………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah, Sun Life to buy CIMB Aviva, CIMB Takaful

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd has partnered Canadian insurer Sun Life Financial Inc to buy a 98% stake in life insurer CIMB Aviva Assurance Bhd and CIMB Aviva Takaful Bhd for RM1.8 billion, which includes entering into a 20-year exclusive bancassurance agreement with CIMB Bank Bhd.
Khazanah and Sun Life are each acquiring 49% of the two companies from CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Aviva International Holdings Ltd respectively. CIMB Group currently owns 51% of the joint ventures and Aviva holds the rest, but following the deal CIMB Group will retain a 2% interest in CIMB Aviva and CIMB Takaful. The proposed acquisition by Sun Life and Khazanah is subject to regulatory approvals in Canada and Malaysia. The transaction is expected to close by the first half of 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

AmBank looks to sell stake in insurance arm

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

AmBank Group is looking to sell a stake in its insurance arm to a new partner by June, a report said, adding that it had received interest from several unidentified parties.
Managing director Ashok Ramamurthy was quoted as saying in a Bloomberg report it wanted to sell its stakes in its conventional and Islamic insurance units, slightly more than a week after it repurchased the 30% stake in AmLife and AmFamily Takaful from its joint-venture partner Resolution Ltd. It completed the acquisition for RM245mil, implying a price-to-book value multiple of 1.7 times………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sukuk story remains strong in 2012 and 2013

Posted on 17 January 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The global sukuk market has had another very successful year. 2012 performance was strong, consistent and on a positive trajectory throughout the year with slight bouts of volatility in January, May and August.
Global sukuk, measured by the S&P Dow Jones Sukuk Index, has returned 8% in 2012, 14.2% over two years and 28.8% over five years. These correspond to annualized returns of 8.2%, 6.9% and 5.2% over one-, two- and five-year time frames, respectively………………………………………..Full Article: Source

banner
January 2013
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031