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Islamic Finance Briefing 02.Mar 2010

Path opens for global Islamic finance hedging
Islamic finance industry launches derivatives standard
Doing god's work
Could Dubai debacle boost Islamic wealth management?
Lack of experts plaguing Islamic finance industry
Experts gather to find solutions to Islamic banking & finance issues
No compromise on Shariah principles
NonـMuslim countries interested in the liquidity of Islamic finance
Kazakhstan emerging as most proactive market
Noor Islamic Bank launches UAE's first Arabic mobile Internet banking service
Deutsche Bank AG receives international Islamic banking licence from BNM
Malaysia's Affin Islamic sticks to disputed contract
More global banks may go for IIB licence
Gulf International Bank posts $132mln Q4 loss
Abu Dhabi banks gain after UAE mulls bank credit boost
Qatar's Masraf Al-Rayan launched $1.1 bln GCC fund
Positive returns for funds in GCC in 2009
CBB Sukuk Al-Salam securities oversubscribed
National Bonds announces 3.54pct profit rate
Takaful Ikhlas to broaden income base with property acquisitions
Takaful Ikhlas unfazed by competition
How can Takaful players better position themselves to capitalise on new opportunities as markets pick up?
Dubai International Financial Centre: Insurance industry - Strong and healthy
KPMG is best Islamic finance adviser again
Abu Dhabi Finance announces record low interest rates starting from 5.75 pct
UAE's invest AD raising $400 mln PE fund
King & Spalding advises Al Rajhi Capital and Arcapita Bank
OIC targets US$ 2 bln for Darfur reconstruction
GCC expects to grow by 3.5 pct in 2010, experts
The first international conference on Islamic finance 2010 in Brunei

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulf-daily-news.com: The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, (ISDA) launched the ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut (Hedging) Master Agreement at a meeting in Bahrain.

The development is a breakthrough in Islamic finance and risk management, and marks the introduction of the first globally standardised documentation for privately negotiated Islamic hedging products……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Reuters: A template for an over-the-counter Islamic derivative contract was launched on Monday, offering a channel for the emerging industry to better hedge itself against risks.

The contract, in the making for three years, is expected to pave the way for quicker and cheaper Islamic risk management and more frequent cross-currency transactions by offering a template that is accepted by Islamic scholars……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From WSJ: The global market for Shariah-compliant assets, which conform to a body of Islamic religious laws, is estimated to have grown by 35% to $951 billion between 2007 and 2008, according to International Financial Services London. But the U.K.-based organization says the industry, facing a number of challenges, “paused for breath” in 2009.

At the start of the credit crunch, Islamic finance was held up as a model of good governance. The extra layer of scrutiny provided by their Shariah boards of Islamic scholars ensured strong risk management—or so the argument went……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Islamic wealth managers must cater for their clients’ emerging calls for a more diversified portfolios to win a larger slice of an industry valued at up to $4 trillion, experts told Reuters.

High net worth clients are beginning to demand more diversification in the aftermath of the Dubai World debt stand-still, which has called into question the industry’s reliance on real estate products and Islamic financing structures, experts told the Reuters Islamic Finance Summit this week……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Brunei.fm: Lack of experts on Islamic finance is one of the main issues facing both local and international Islamic financial institutions, said the dean of Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University’s Faculty Business and Management Science.

Dr Mohamed Sharif Bashir said that most of the Islamic financial institutions all over the world, including Brunei, have generally been recruiting bankers and financial professionals from conventional institutions based only on their experience in banking system operations and not on their expertise in Islamic finance……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Brudirect.com: Some 20 papers that will revolve around the theme, “Contemporary challenges of Islamic finance: towards realising the goal of Shari’ah”, will be presented during the two-day International Conference on Islamic Finance.

According to Unissa Rector Dr Haji Serbini bin Haji Matahir, the main objective of the conference is to consolidate and find solutions on issues of Islamic banking and finance “based on the fundamental Shari’ah principles and maqasid al-Shari’ah”……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Brudirect.com: The principles of Shariah must not be compromised as Islamic banking has come of age, said Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim, Second Minister of Finance, during the official opening of the First International Conference on Islamic Finance 2010 at the Rizqun Hotel, Gadong yesterday.

Based on the theme ‘Contemporary Challenges of Islamic Finance: Towards Realising the goals of Shariah’, the aim of the inaugural conference, which is organised by the University Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), was commended by the second minister for its “aim of contributing towards the continued process of solution building in Islamic banking and finance, by consolidating the numerous views and principles, acting as a catalyst towards effective knowledge sharing, as well as exchanging views and experiences among all its stakeholders”……………………………………..Full Article: Source

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From Alwatan.com.kw: Following the recent global recession many countries began to show interest in Islamic finance. This sudden wake to the importance of Islamic finance and its products led in a lack of clarity with regards to this industry.
In response to a question about the role of auditing in Islamic finance Director of Strategic Planning at AlـMashora and AlـRayah for Islamic Financial Group Naser AlـZiyadat stated, “Auditing is a vital part of the accounting process therefore in Islamic finance there are Sharia external and internal auditing committees……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Of the CIS countries, Kazakhstan is emerging as the most proactive and advanced Islamic finance market. According to foreign Islamic bankers recently visiting Astana, the Kazakh capital, there is very strong interest in Kazakhstan in developing Islamic finance.

A delegation from Malaysia’s International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) visiting Kazakhstan at the end of January was very encouraged by the developments in the Islamic finance in the CIS country……………………………………..Full Article: Source

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From Bi-me.com: Noor Islamic Bank today announced the launch of the UAE’s first Arabic enabled mobile internet banking service, as part of the bank’s ground breaking focus on innovative online communications to meet customer demand for convenient, bank-in-your-palm, 24 hour banking services.

The new service can be accessed from any make, or type, of mobile phone with access to the internet……………………………………..Full Article: Source

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From Bernama: Deutsche Bank AG has received an international Islamic banking licence from Bank Negara Malaysia(BNM).

This allows the bank to easily provide Islamic commercial and investment services denominated in foreign currencies to institutional clients throughout Asia, the bank said in a statement here Monday……………………………………..Full Article: Source

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From Reuters: Malaysia’s Affin Islamic Bank is unlikely to drop the bai bithaman ajil financing structure, its chief said on Monday, reflecting the industry’s struggle to achieve a common stand on the disputed contract.

Bai bithaman ajil is a popular contract that is based on the controversial bai inah concept, which has drawn comparisons to a conventional loan. Some practitioners have argued that it will eventually be phased out as banks strive for wider markets……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Thestar.com.my: More international banks may be keen to obtain the country’s international Islamic banking (IIB) licence as interest in syariah-compliant foreign currency business picks up, experts say.

RAM Rating Services Bhd head of financial institution ratings Promod Dass said foreign banking groups with a strong interest in cross-border non-ringgit deals were likely candidates for any future IIB licences……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank (GIB) registered a net loss of $132.4 million in the fourth quarter, which, the banks said, was entirely attributable to an exceptional loan provision charge of $157.3 million.

Announcing the results for the year ended December 31, 2009, GIB board said the bank recorded a consolidated operating income of $163.2 million for 2009, down nine per cent when compared to $179 million in the previous year……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: Abu Dhabi banks rose the most in almost a month as economists said yesterday the UAE may take steps to boost bank credit and on investor speculation that declines so far this year may be overdone.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, the country’s second biggest bank, advanced the most since Feb 3. First Gulf Bank PJSC, the UAE bank owned by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, gained to the highest in more than three months……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Qatari Islamic lender Masraf al-Rayan MARK.QA on Monday said it had launched a new GCC-wide fund with a mandate to manage up to $1.1 billion and focus on Gulf equities, as well as fixed income instruments.
“We believe the time is ripe to launch a fund to tap into the region’s enormous potential, especially as valuations remain very attractive,” said Hussain Ali Al Abdulla, chairman and managing director of Masraf al-Rayan, in a statement on the Qatar bourse website……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Ameinfo.com: The latest Fund Market Insight Report from Lipper for the Gulf Co-operation Council (the GCC) countries reveals that all 69 Lipper equity categories posted positive annual performances for 2009, with the exception of the 39 funds invested in Kuwait which lost 18.13% on average during 2009, reflecting the weak performance of the Kuwait Stock Exchange.
Funds invested in emerging markets topped the annual ranking; Equity Russia returned 159%, Equity Indonesia rose 124%, and Equity Emerging Markets Latin America gained 104%……………………………………..Full Article: Source

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From Tradearabia.com: The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has announced that the monthly issue of the Sukuk Al-Salam Islamic securities has been over subscribed. The securities are issued by the CBB on behalf of the Government of Bahrain.

Subscriptions worth BD56.8 million ($150.6 million) were received for the BD12 million issue, which carries a maturity of 91 Days, the CBB said in a statement……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: National Bonds Corporation (NBC) has announced its annual 2009 profit rate of 3.54 per cent for its bondholders. The profit bonds for 2009 will be issued effective January 1, 2010.

Over the last three years, NBC’s cumulative profit rate has been 16.64 per cent, which is among the highest payout in comparison to any other similar savings schemes in the UAE……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Bernama: Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MNRB Holdings Bhd, is looking to diversify its investment portfolio by acquiring commercial properties.

Its President and Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Syed Moheeb Syed Kamarulzaman, said the company’s move into its own building in Bangsar South would hopefully become the beginning of its plans to broaden its income through investments in properties……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Thestar.com.my: Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd, the Islamic insurance arm of MNRB Holdings Bhd, is unfazed by new competition from potential takaful players that wish to enter the industry.

“For us, competition drives us or brings innovation,” president and chief executive officer Syed Moheeb Syed Kamarulzaman said after the launch of its corporate head office in Bangsar South yesterday……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

There can be no doubt that the effects of the recent global financial turmoil severely impacted financial institutions and curtailed growth forecasts for even the buoyant Takaful industry. However, there is also no doubt that the future of the global Takaful industry remains bright and indeed the leading Takaful operators are now rapidly positioning themselves to capitalise on the new growth opportunities emerging as markets begin to improve.
With current global Takaful contributions currently less than 1% of the total insurance premium universe, the scope for growth is huge……………………………………..Full Press Release: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Globalarabnetwork.com: The inaugural World Space Risk Forum comes as the space insurance industry celebrates another successful year. Towards the end of 2009, Aon International Space Brokers had predicted that profits in the sector might top $400m this year.

Space Insurance is one of the very few financial sectors that have weathered the storm of the global economic crisis and have continued to be strong and healthy……………………………………..Full Article: Source

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From Accountancymagazine.com: KPMG has been named ‘Best Islamic Assurance and Advisory Services Provider’ in the 2010 Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards. It’s the third time the firm has taken the top prize.

Now in their eighth year, the awards are regarded as the benchmark awards for the global Islamic finance industry, and KPMG’s citation highlighted the firm’s work to promote Islamic finance globally……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Cpifinancial.net: Abu Dhabi Finance has announced the introduction of its new pricing, which will see interest rates starting from 5.75 per cent to up 8.5 per cent.
The new rates will offer the average Abu Dhabi Finance mortgage applicant savings of AED 2,450 per month, or AED 29,400 per year, compared to the previous interest levels……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Aawsat.com: Abu Dhabi investment firm Invest AD is seeking to raise $325 million from third-party investors for a $400 million private equity fund that will invest in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA), a senior executive said.

The fund, the second PE fund launched by Invest AD for the MENA region, aims to achieve a net internal rate of return of at least 25 percent, Invest AD’s head of private equity Samir Assaad told the Reuters Private Equity and Hedge Funds Summit……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

King & Spalding, a leading international law firm, announced today that it advised Al Rajhi Capital and Arcapita Bank in the formation of the ARC Real Estate Income Fund, a Shari’ah-compliant real estate investment fund registered with the Saudi Arabian Capital Markets Authority and targeting USD 500 million in commitments.
The fund will focus on income-generating properties in Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf region, including logistics warehouses, healthcare centers and education-related assets……………………………………..Full Press Release: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Sudanvisiondaily.com: The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has completed the final procedures to convene the donor international conference for Darfur Development and reconstruction which will be held in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on the coming March 21.

OIC Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Ambassador Atta Al-Manan Bakhit, said that the value of development projects that will be agreed upon at the conference will reach nearly two billion U.S. dollars, pointing out that the Preparatory Committee of the Conference has prepared a comprehensive plan taking into account the required follow-up mechanism for the recruitment and operation of the funds provided for construction of Darfur……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabfinance.com: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as an economic region is expected to grow at a pace of 3.5 per cent this year, compared with almost flat gross domestic product growth in 2009, economic experts said on Sunday.

They said Dubai will continue to lead as the region’s main economic hub. The future of oil price is important for this part of the world, but good corporate governance and transparency Is needed to restore investors’ confidence in the regional economies……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 02 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Rtb.gov.bn: From its humble beginning more than 30 years ago, the country continues to obtain clear evidence that the current era of Islamic finance has gained credibility and visibility within the world of finance.
This was stated by the Second Minister of Finance, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abd Rahman during the opening ceremony of the First International Conference on Islamic Finance 2010 this morning……………………………………..Full Article: Source

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