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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | April, 2013

Sukuk: Heading for the mainstream

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

With more and more sovereigns and corporates looking to raise money through sukuk - in response to strong investor demand - Islamic finance is becoming increasingly mainstream. Are regional asset managers well positioned to take advantage? The growth of the market for sukuk - Islamic bonds - over the last few years has been staggering and experts predict that 2013 will continue that trend, particularly in the Gulf Co-Operation Council (GCC) countries and wider MENA region.
Investors within the emerging markets space as well as internationally have had a taster and are hungry for more sovereign as well as corporate issues. Worldwide issuance was $138 billion in 2012, its fourth consecutive year of growth, and up 64% on 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gulf banks, investors involved in flood of Turkish issues

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A $500 million sukuk from Turkiye Finans this week was just the latest in a flood of international debt issues from Turkey. But the identity of the arranging banks, and the investors who bought the issue, pointed to a shift in capital markets.
Of the four banks arranging the deal for Turkiye Finans, an Islamic bank majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, two were based in the Gulf: NCB Capital and Dubai’s Noor Islamic Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dana Gas shareholders and Sukukholders approve Sukuk refinancing

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dana Gas, the Middle East’s leading private sector regional natural gas company, announced that sukukholders overwhelmingly voted to approve the refinancing of the $1bn Trust Certificates (Sukuk-al-Mudarabah) issued by Dana Gas Sukuk Limited.
At the Company’s Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting (EGM) which was chaired by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Honorary Chairman, shareholders present unanimously voted in favour of the transaction………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Albaraka Turk to raise $200mln through sukuk

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Albaraka Turk Participation Bank (ABTP), which is part of the Bahrain-incorporated Albaraka Banking Group (ABG), is set to close its debut Sukuk offering this coming week after finishing a roadshow targeting a limited private investor base.
In an interview with Saudi Gazette, a senior Albaraka Turk official confirmed that the Bank hopes to raise up to US$200 million through this Tier 2 Subordinated Sukuk Al-Murabaha issuance. The Sukuk is being issued by ABT Sukuk Ltd, a Cayman Islands registerrd special purpose vehicle (SPV), owned by ABTP, which is also the obligor………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK aims to boost role in Islamic finance

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Prime Minister David Cameron is looking to Southeast Asia to boost the UK’s role in Islamic finance. It’s the Bank of England he needs to convince first, say Shariah-compliant lenders based in Britain.
Central bank rules require lenders to hold easy-to-sell assets as protection against short-term funding shocks. Most are off-limits for Islamic banks because they pay interest. Islamic lenders are “disadvantaged,” Sultan Choudhury, managing director of Islamic Bank of Britain, said in a phone interview from Birmingham, England, on April 22. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Enhancing Islamic financial and securities markets

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Many global leaders in securities and finance have gathered in Tehran to exchange ideas on the Islamic financial markets, find methods to enhance sustainable growth in Islamic financial markets and strengthen Islamic capital markets. These were the focal points discussed at the 5th International Orientation Course on Islamic Capital Markets held in the Tehran.
Financial experts from 16 countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan and Austria attended the event. Many are resorting to Iran’s financial and energy exchanges since the country is the 4th largest producer of petroleum and oil worldwide and is the 2nd largest exporter to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic finance presents opportunities in Australia

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Australian website Financial Standard Online reports that the Muslim Community Co-operative Australia (MCCA) is in advanced discussions with an unnamed Middle Eastern company with a view to setting up a $180 million mortgage fund, a $150 million property fund, a $180 million Sukuk fund and a $5 million asset-leasing fund.
MCCA manages a Shari’ah compliant property income fund out of its headquarters in Melbourne and has just surpassed $30 million in assets under management and MCCA chairman Dr. Akhtar Kalam said this growth shows strong support for Islamic finance products within Australia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shariah compliant real estate financing

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The real estate market in the Middle East has seen a substantial cooling of activity since the global economic downtown at the end of 2008. However, new levels of activity have begun during 2012 as the availability of finance has returned to the market and regional economies are starting to grow once again.
The major driver of real estate expansion within the Middle East is being lead by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and, to a lesser extent, Abu Dhabi. It is estimated, for example, that Saudi Arabia will need 1.2 million new homes by 2015 (Deutsche Bank AG research paper September 2010)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

INCEIF-IFSB joint executive forum

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

INCEIF, The Global University of Islamic Finance, and The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) yesterday held their first joint Executive Forum on Islamic Finance at Sasana Kijang Bank Negara Malaysia.The two-day IFSB-INCEIF Executive Forum aimed to provide a platform for global leaders in Islamic finance to discuss selected emerging issues faced by the global Islamic financial services industry.
The IFSB-INCEIF Executive Forum placed emphasis on issues related to the supervisory and prudential regulation, both at national and international levels, harnessing from the experiences of a distinguished pool of global experts, academics and practitioners………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic Bank of Britain reports 2012 loss of GBP 6.99 mln

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), the UK’s only wholly Shari’ah-compliant retail bank, reported a loss of GBP 6.99 million for 2012, a GBP 2.01m improvement on 2011 (loss of GBP 9.00m). Operating expenses (excluding restructuring costs) reduced by GBP 0.9m to GBP 9.4m.
Total customer financing increased by 86 per cent to GBP 129m (GBP 69m in 2011) with HPP (home) financing increasing by 92 per cent to GBP 117m (GBP 61m in 2011). Retail deposits increased by 22 per cent to GBP 238m (GBP 195.2m in 2011); and as a result of the internet enhancements delivered in the year, 14 per cent of long term deposits raised in 2012 were sourced from the online channel (2011: nil)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Noor Islamic Bank profit jumps 54pct

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Noor Islamic Bank on Monday said its net profit rose Dh26.4 million, or 54 per cent, to Dh75.5 million in 2012 year-on-year.Based on the significant progress made in 2012, the shareholders have underlined their confidence in the bank’s future performance, approving a capital injection of Dh150 million. Currently, Noor Islamic Bank’s capital adequacy ratio stands at 19.54 per cent, with the tier-1 ratio at 14.1 per cent.
Hussain Al Qemzi, Chief Executive Officer of Noor Islamic Bank and Group CEO Noor Investment Group, said: “In line with our strategic road map, building a healthy balance sheet and diversifying core revenue generation capabilities remain our key priorities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Syarikat Takaful expects higher revenue

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd aims for its revenue for the financial year 2013 to grow in line with the industry expansion of between 20% and 25%, said managing director Datuk Mohamed Hassan Kamil.
He said it needed to grow in line with the industry to improve its market share.Takaful Malaysia is the market leader in the group family takaful business. Last year, it captured 40% of the market and 20% of the combined family and general takaful businesses………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aljazira Takaful Ta’awuni hopeful of IPO success

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) board has approved Aljazira Takaful Ta’awuni Company’s (ATT) initial public offering (IPO) of 10,500,000 shares, representing 30 percent of its share capital, amounting to SR 350 million.
The offer price will be SR 10 per share and the subscription period will be from May 13 to 19. Abdulmajeed Al-Sultan, chairman of Aljazira Takaful Ta’awuni Company, said the CMA’s decision would largely enhance its corporate governance practices and protect shareholders’ rights through furthering its commitment to the regulatory standards of joint stock companies that are listed in the market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Takaful M’sia eyes bigger revenue contributions from Indonesia ops

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd (Takaful Malaysia) expects revenue contributions from its Indonesian operations to easily increase to 20 per cent once the ruling on sales of takaful products by stand-alone takaful companies comes into force in 2015.
Group managing director, Datuk Hassan Kamil, said currently the Indonesian operations contributed about 10 per cent.“Our takaful company in Indonesia is a stand-alone company.“So by then we hope the competition will be more equal and fair.“Currently, the playing field is not level………………………………………..Full Article: Source

First Shariah court for Mumbai

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The first Darul Qaza or Sharia Court was inaugurated on Monday at the Anjuman-e-Islam School to fulfil the needs of the Muslim community in this metropolis.
“Though the Sharia court is present in Thane and Malegaon, Maharashtra, and marital and family-related cases are already being handled in Mumbai by Kazis, what is important is we will now have special premises in Nagpada in south Mumbai to deal with these problems,” Abdul Sattar Yusuf Shaikh of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told Gulf News………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gulf investors dominate Turkish sukuks’ flood

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

$500 million sukuk from Türkiye Finans this week was just the latest in a flood of international debt issues from Turkey. But the identity of the arranging banks, and the investors who bought the issue, pointed to a shift in capital markets.
Middle Eastern investors dominated buying of the sukuk, taking 51 percent of the deal, which received just under $2 billion in orders. And of the four banks arranging the deal for Türkiye Finans, an Islamic bank majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, two were based in the Gulf: NCB Capital and Dubai’s Noor Islamic Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Al-Azhar scholars submit sukuk law objections to Shura Council

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Al-Azhar’s Council of Senior Scholars submitted its objections to the new sukuk law to the Economic Committee at the Shura Council, Tuesday.Abdel Halim Al-Gamal, deputy head of the Economic Committee at the Shura Council, said that the objections were “welcomed unanimously” by the Committee.
He said that the Council objected to articles 1, 2, 3 4, 9, 11, 20, 22 and 30.“The scholars objected to issuing sukuk for religious endowments because they violate Sharia Law,” said Al-Gamal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Al Hilal Bank UAE manager on debut Saudi MYR Sukuk programme

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Al Bayan Group Holding Company is a diversified holding company based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with businesses that include the supply of a large range of equipment and information technology products and services, including the provision of communication networks and the construction of infrastructure. The Programme was established on 2 April 2013 and the first issuance took place on 24 April 2013.
HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad and Hong Leong Islamic Bank Berhad acted as the Joint Lead Arrangers on the establishment of the Programme. HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad, Hong Leong Islamic Bank Berhad and Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad acted as the Joint Lead Managers on the first issuance under the Programme………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hogan Lovells advises Al Bayan Group Holding Company on landmark Malaysian sukuk

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Hogan Lovells has advised Al Bayan Group Holding Company, a Saudi-based conglomerate, on its RM200.0m sukuk, issued on the 24th April 2013, out of its inaugural RM1.0bn Sukuk Wakalah Programme (the Sukuk Programme) - the first Malaysian Ringgit Sukuk Programme to be established by a Saudi corporate issuer and the first issuance by a Saudi corporate issuer of Malaysian Ringgit denominated sukuk in the Malaysian debt capital market to date.
The landmark sukuk has been issued via Al Bayan’s special-purpose vehicle incorporated in Malaysia, ABHC Sukuk Berhad………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emirates NBD Q1 2013 profits up 31 pct

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Emirates NBD’s Chief Executive Officer Rick Pudner, said, “Emirates NBD has once again delivered a robust set of results with a net profit of AED 837 million in the first quarter of 2013, up 31 per cent in comparison with the same quarter in the previous year. While the global economic climate continues to remain uncertain, with our strong financial performance, we aim to continue building on our solid foundations to drive the bank forward while achieving our strategic objectives.”
Emirates NBD’s Chief Financial Officer Surya Subramanian, said, “Pre-provision operating profit, a core strength for the bank, shows signs of growth after a few resilient quarters last year. The Retail business and Islamic franchise have been a key driver for this growth. Our balance sheet is well managed and we continue to de-risk the book.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bank Dhofar Q1 net profit OMR 32.44 mln, up 253 pct

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Operating income was up 7.43 per cent to OMR 22.2 million. Operating expenses rose 22.3 per cent to OMR 10.6 million, including OMR 590,000 in start-up and pre-opening expenses for Maisarah Islamic Banking.
Total assets were up 14.81 per cent to OMR 2.34 billion. Net loans and advances to customers were up 8.4 per cent to 1.71 billion while deposits from customers rose 14.9 per cent to OMR 1.79 billion.Total shareholder equity was up 19.46 per cent to OMR 277.3 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oman issues new rules to boost lending to SMEs

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Oman’s central bank plans to issue rules to boost lending to small and medium-sized firms, its chief said on Wednesday, in a new move to help bring unemployment down in the sultanate.
Supporting smaller firms is a key part of the government’s economic policy for tackling unemployment in Oman, estimated at more than 24 percent by the International Monetary Fund……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Nigeria approves $9 bln foreign loan to spur infrastructure

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Nigeria’s National Economic Council approved a $9 billion loan from lenders including the Export- Import Bank of China, the Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank.
The loan, part of the country’s 2012-2014 borrowing plan, will be used by federal and state governments to fund new infrastructure, invest in agriculture and create jobs, National Planning Minister Shamsudeen Usman told reporters today in Abuja, the capital. Interest rates on the loan will be as low as 2 percent, and the repayment period is 40 years, with a 10-year moratorium………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banking grow rapidly in Pakistan

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic banking is growing at a rapid pace in Pakistan and the growth will accelerate further if the central bank continues to chalk out policies. Banks in this sector expect a total business of Rs1 trillion by 2015 on growing demand.
These were the views of Executive Vice President Head of Product Development and Shariah Compliance, Meezan Bank, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, who was speaking to a select group of journalists at a workshop on ‘Islamic Banking’ at Meezan Bank’s head office………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PruBSN gets many awards at MTA Takaful Starnite 2013

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Prudential BSN Takaful Bhd (PruBSN) received multiple awards at the Malaysian Takaful Association’s Takaful Starnite 2013 recently.
In a statement Thursday, the company said PruBSN’s Direct Agency and Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd’s Agency brought home a total of 14 awards out of six categories namely Top Rookie, Top Agent, Top Unit Manager, Top Agency Manager (Direct), Top Agency Manager (Group) and Top Recruiter (Leader) awards………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s AMMB plans to dispose of certain stake in life insurance business

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia-based banking group AMMB Holdings is looking for potential buyers to dispose of certain stake in its life insurance operations, in a bid to raise nearly $600m from the deal.Sources familiar with the deal were quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that the auction sale of nearly 70% stake is expected to begin in the next two to three weeks.
After the first round of bidding, successful suitors will be shortlisted in June and prior to proceeding with the next round of auction, they will have to obtain the approval from Malaysia’s banking regulator………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Simmons & Simmons advises on launch of unique Shariah-compliant funds platform

Posted on 26 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

SEDCO Capital is a full-service Shariah-compliant wealth and asset management firm serving third-party institutional and private clients.The Simmons & Simmons team was led by specialist Islamic Funds and Finance partner Muneer Khan. He was supported by Funds partner Neil Simmonds, Tax partner Nick Cronkshaw, counsel Ahmed Butt, managing associates James Oussedik and Mohammed Majid, supervising associates Nicole Suignard and Candice Nichol and associates Kristi Lehtis and Robert Nield.
Commenting on the launch, Muneer Khan, said: “This is a unique platform with a number of very innovative new features, including the fact that it covers both liquid and illiquid investment strategies within a single legal structure. This is the largest and most diverse Shariah-compliant platform to be launched in Luxembourg………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Turkiye Finans issues $500 mln sukuk at 3.95 pct -bankers

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Turkish Islamic bank Turkiye Finans issued a $500 million sukuk, or dollar-denominated Islamic bond, at a price of 3.95 percent on Wednesday, bankers said.
The bank, majority owned by Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, had mandated Citigroup, HSBV, NCB Capital and Noor Islamic Bank for the issue last week……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Riyadh-based Al Bayan issues first ringgit sukuk of 1 bln ringgit programme

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Riyadh-based Al Bayan Holding became the first Saudi Arabian company to issue an Islamic bond in Malaysian ringgit, paving the way for more corporations from the kingdom to tap into Malaysia’s market, the world’s biggest for sukuk.
Al Bayan issued 200 million ringgit ($65.4 million) as the first tranche of a newly established 1 billion ringgit programme, a statement from Guidance Financial Group, the company’s advisers, said on Wednesday. Pricing details were not immediately available………………………………………..Full Article: Source

First Saudi firm issues sukuk in Malaysia

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Riyadh-based Al Bayan Holding became the first Saudi Arabian company to issue an Islamic bond in Malaysian ringgit, paving the way for more corporations from the Kingdom to tap into Malaysia’s market, the world’s biggest for sukuk.
Al Bayan issued 200 million ringgit ($65.4 million) as the first tranche of a newly established 1 billion ringgit program, a statement from Guidance Financial Group, the company’s advisers, said Wednesday. Pricing details were not immediately available………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Baker & McKenzie act for Saudi Binladin Group on landmark Sukuk

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Baker & McKenzie recently acted for the Saudi Binladin Group in relation to a SAR 1.3 billion (US$347 million) Sukuk al-ijara issued by SBG Sukuk Limited as an exempt offering in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Sukuk structure benefits from security over prime real estate in Jeddah as well as a corporate guarantee from the Saudi Binladin Group.
The Baker & McKenzie team was led by Partner Bilal Kahlon, who commented, “We are very pleased to have, once again, assisted the Saudi Binladin Group on their Sukuk issuance. The structure adopted for the issuance was particularly complex and innovative, setting a new standard for the Saudi debt capital market.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Mashreq Capital to set up $ 100mln Islamic equity fund

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dubai-based Mashreq Capital plans to set up an Islamic equity fund of up to $ 100 million in the third quarter of this year to invest in stocks across the Gulf region, given lower returns in the bond market, the company’s chief executive said.
“We think there is demand in high-dividend sharia equities,” particularly with interest rates currently very low, Abdul Kadir Hussain said at Zawya’s MENA Asset Management conference in Dubai.“Equities have very attractive yields in this region,” he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahraini Islamic lender plans African expansion

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bahrain-based Islamic lender Al Baraka Bank plans to expand its global footprint with a focus on Africa under a five-year plan that includes investments in Libya and Morocco, its chief executive told Reuters.
The lender, which has operations in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, aims to nearly double group assets and income by 2017 and is considering the introduction of an Africa-specific brand to support this effort………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Union National Bank contributes AED 4.777 mln to Zakat Fund

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth & Community Development, Chairman of UNB Group, handed over a cheque of AED 4,777,000 to His Excellency Dr. Hadif Bin Jaw`an Al-Dhahiri, Minister of Justice, and Chairman of the Zakat Fund. The event took place on Tuesday 23 April in the presence of officials from UNB, Al Wifaq, and Zakat Fund as well as media representatives.
His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan Minister of Culture, Youth & Community Development, Chairman of UNB Group, said, “UNB’s Group contribution to the Zakat Fund fulfils our mission and highlights our corporate values of supporting societal growth initiatives through UAE institutions that benefit the needy and deserving”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ahli United Bank reports Q1 profits of $309.8 mln

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Excluding this non-recurring gain, AUB reported a 12.2 per cent increase in its net profit, which increased from $86.4 million in Q1/2012 to $96.9 million. This also represents a 23.3 per cent improvement over the Q4-2012 trailing quarter reported profit of $78.6 million. The Basic Earnings per Share was 5.7 cents, compared to 1.6 cents achieved in Q1/2012. The resultant adjusted Operating Basic Earnings per share was 1.8 cents after deducting exceptional gain.
The key drivers to these results was the increase in the operating income of the Group from $214.5 million to $224.2 million (+ 4.5 per cent) and the rise in net interest income by 11.0 per cent to $167.4 million (Q1/2012: $150.8 million)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

RAKBANK reports Q1 profits up 13 pct to AED 367.98 mln

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Net interest income plus net profit from Islamic financing grew by six per cent compared to 31 March 2012 to AED 570.6 million. Non-interest income, which stood at AED 181.8 million by the end of the first quarter of 2013, climbed by 18 per cent compared to the same period last year. This increase is due to several streams of fee income stemming particularly from auto loans, mortgages, Bancassurance, and foreign exchange services. In addition, investment income grew by 50 per cent compared to same period last year as the bank continued to invest in quoted debt instruments.
Operating costs on the other hand, despite increasing by 5.2 per cent for the year, were well below total income growth of 8.6 per cent, indicating an improving profitability. “……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oman central bank to issue rules to boost lending to SMEs

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Oman’s central bank plans to issue rules to boost lending to small and medium-sized firms, its chief said on Wednesday, in a new move to help bring unemployment down in the sultanate.
Supporting smaller firms is a key part of the government’s economic policy for tackling unemployment in Oman, estimated at more than 24 percent by the International Monetary Fund.But bank lending growth in Oman hit a 22-month low of 10.9 percent in February, central bank data showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Breaking new ground: Setting misunderstandings aside, Islamic banking grows rapidly

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Despite misunderstandings about Islamic banking in different sections of the society, it is growing at a rapid pace in Pakistan and the growth will accelerate further if the central bank continues to chalk out policies.
These were the views of Executive Vice President Head of Product Development & Shariah Compliance, Meezan Bank, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, who was speaking to a select group of journalists at a workshop on ‘Islamic Banking’ at Meezan Bank’s head office on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s AMMB seeking offers for life insurance stake

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysian banking group AMMB Holdings Bhd has started seeking offers for its life insurance units, two people familiar with the deal said Wednesday, as the country’s fifth-largest banking group looks to raise as much as $600 million from the sale.AMMB is seeking to expand its profitable insurance business and is seeking a partner with expertise in the industry.
The first round of bids for a stake of up to 70% in the business are due in the next two to three weeks, one of the people said. Bidders will be shortlisted in June and must obtain approval from Malaysia’s banking regulator before they can proceed to the next round of bidding, another person told Dow Jones Newswires………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi royal decree may ease $67 bln housing logjam

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A royal decree in Saudi Arabia has shaken up the way in which the government allocates vast tracts of land, removing an obstacle to a $67 billion program to ease the country’s housing shortage.
King Abdullah originally announced the housing scheme in March 2011. His plan to build 500,000 homes over several years was part of a series of official steps to improve social welfare, at a time when social discontent was prompting uprisings in other Arab countries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Regulation key to new Abu Dhabi free zone

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The newly established Abu Dhabi World Financial Market will need a regulator and lawyers are now asking what form that is likely to take.On Wednesday, The National reported that the UAE had signed into law the creation of a financial free zone for Abu Dhabi on Al Maryah Island.
“This carves a free zone out of a whole host of federal regulations,” said Kai Schneider, a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins. “As a result you would need an alternative regulator to be in place.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

ICIEC approves new Sukuk insurance product

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Sovereign Sukuk Insurance Policy was approved by the Board of Directors of the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) at a recent meeting held at the Islamic Development Bank’s headquarters in Jeddah.
Under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank Group, the Board authorised the ICIEC to launch the product, which will insure Sukuk investors against default on Sukuk issued by Sovereign entities of member countries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SIB lists sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) marked the listing of $500 million sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai on Monday.Mohammed Abdulla, Chief Executive of SIB, rang the opening bell at Dubai Financial Market (DFM) to celebrate the listing of the Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai.
The listing of the Sukuk provides further support for the campaign to promote the “Dubai the Center of Sukuk” initiative launched in January 2013 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minster of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in line with His Highness’s vision to position the Emirate as the Capital of Islamic Economy globally………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ain Shams train project established through sukuk

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Egyptian government will go into negotiations with an Islamic bank in Turkey to go into Initial Public Offering (IPO) regarding sukuk, said advisor to the finance minister on sukuk, Ahmed Al-Naggar.
The sukuk unit has already created a list of all the final projects that will be established through sukuk, which are expected to take place in June.Al-Naggar revealed that one of the projects that will be funded through sukuk is the Ain Shams train project, which is worth EGP 4.5bn in investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UAE’s Dana Gas shareholders approve sukuk restructuring

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Shareholders of Abu Dhabi-listed energy firm Dana Gas approved on Tuesday a plan to restructure its $920 million Islamic bond, the company said.
Last October Dana became the first company in the United Arab Emirates to miss repayment of a maturing bond, but it subsequently agreed new terms with a creditor committee representing bondholders, which included investment firms Ashmore Group and BlackRock………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Modern Sukuk - Sukuk rating on the Oman National Scale assigned - ‘omBBB+’

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, announced that it has assigned a provisional rating on the Oman National Scale of ‘omBBB+’ to the proposed Sukuk issue by Modern Sukuk S.A.O.C.
The rating is supported by the almost fully complete (i.e. except for the serviced apartments) status of Phase 1 of the project and the fact that both offices and mall space are nearly fully let on long term leases - providing an assured source of stable cash inflow………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic Bank of Britain cuts rates for Sharia-compliant BTL mortgage

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic Bank of Britain, the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank, has lowered the rental rate for its Sharia compliant Buy to Let Purchase Plan product range.
The new variable rental rate of 4.89% will apply to both IBB BTLPP products, i.e.: 1. Rent and acquisition BTLPP which requires a deposit of 25% (75% finance to value)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

National Bank Of Abu Dhabi Q1 profit up 36pct

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Higher income from investments and fees helped National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender by market value, to a 35.5 per cent jump in first-quarter net profit, the bank said on Tuesday.
The bank posted net profit of Dhs1.41 billion ($384 million) in the first three months of 2013, beating the average forecast of Dhs1.09 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts.Impairment charges for the first quarter of this year were Dhs322 million, up three per cent higher on the corresponding period last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Morocco agrees $2.4 bln loan deal with IDB

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Morocco expects to sign a $2.4 billion loan deal next month with the Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB), a Moroccan official told Reuters on Tuesday.
The North African country has agreed a package with the IDB under which it will receive $600 million each year from 2013 to 2016, said the official, who declined to be named. A small part of that sum will be a donation rather than a loan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pakistan: Islamic banking to grow beyond Rs 1tr in next five years

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic bankers expect the current 9.7 percent share of the overall banking industry in Pakistan to double by 2017. The deposits base of Islamic banking in the country would cross the Rs 1 trillion mark by next five years or so.
This was stated by Ali Ahmed Siddiqui, Executive VP of Product Development and Shariah Compliance Department of Meezan Bank, while addressing a group of journalists at a workshop on “Concept of Islamic Banking” held at Meezan House on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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