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Islamic Finance Briefing 03.Mar 2010

Posted on 03 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: An Islamic megabank slated to open this year is expected to spur bank mergers in the Gulf Arab region, where lenders are struggling to compete with large financial institutions.

Ernst & Young partner Sameer Abdi told the Reuters Islamic Finance Summit last month the firm expected to see an Islamic megabank launched within the next six to 12 months……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 03 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Indiatimes.com: State Bank of India (SBI) has said it is losing out on banking opportunities in the Middle East because of the absence of regulations on Islamic banking in India.
The Middle East is seen as a big market for such products, given the wealth in the region. Islamic banking entails carrying out banking activities in accordance with the tenets of the Islamic law (Sharia)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 03 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Jordantimes.com: Bankers and experts said making use of the still largely untapped resources of Islamic finance and banking is an optimal solution in light of the global economic downturn.

Islamic banking and finance proved to be the least vulnerable to losses and the least affected by the negative impact of the global financial crisis and promises major opportunities for growth, they said at the inauguration of the first Islamic Finance and Investment Forum for the Middle East, held on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 03 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulf-daily-news.com: Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) plans to expand its branch network now that it has been given approval by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to offer a full range of retail banking services.

“One of the major challenges for us going forward is to diversify our assets, customers as well as our asset stream,” bank chairman Dr Fuad Al Omar, told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa yesterday……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Globalarabnetwork.com: Morocco’s biggest bank, Attijariwafa Bank said that its net profit rose 26.4% in 2009 compared to 2008 to stand at 3.9 billion dirhams (some $472 mln).

According to its 2009 results, Attijariwafa Bank serves 4.2 million clients and is the first lending bank in Morocco with over 168.5 billion dirhams of credits granted to households and companies……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Arabianbusiness.com: Abu Dhabi is preparing a series of investor presentations for the Gulf emirate’s upcoming issues of sovereign and quasi sovereign debt though no timetable has been set yet, IFR Markets said.

A figure of $20 billion is being mentioned as a potential pipeline amount, IFR, a unit of Thomson Reuters, said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Maktoob.com: The Dubai government’s flagship corporation, Dubai World, is now in a stable, healthy situation, the deputy governor of the United Arab Emirates’ central bank said Tuesday.

“Dubai [World] has been able to set up a strategy to address the crisis,” Mohamed Ali Bin Zayed told reporters on the sidelines of an Islamic banking forum being held in the Jordanian Dead Sea resort……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 03 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Thefinancialexpress-bd.com: The Islamic finance has accounted for 0.70% or US$639bn of the global US$900,000bn financial industry.

The number of institutions offering Islamic financial services is multiplying. More than 50 new financial institutions have opened for business in the past three years alone……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Arabianbusiness.com: Bahrain-based bank Ithmaar plans to launch its rights issue in March once the Islamic lender has received regulatory approval, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

“We’re planning to do the rights issue in March pending regulatory approval,” a spokesman told Reuters……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Thenational.ae: Bahrain’s financial services sector has remained in good health despite the global downturn, but government officials are monitoring local companies closely after big losses at several banks and investment houses, a government official says.

The financial services sector, which accounts for about 27 per cent of economic activity in the nation, recently began to show signs of stress after two large investment companies announced significant losses in the final quarter of last year……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Africanfinancialmarkets.com: The National Bank for Development (NBD) introduced two new Islamic banking products last week: sukuk, a debt instrument, and yosr murabaha, a personal finance tool.
Since the acquisition of 49 percent of NBD’s stock by the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) in 2007, NBD has been transitioning to Sharia-compliant financial services. Prior to ADIB’s buyout, NBD had experienced significant problems, including losses and debts which ADIB agreed to purchase……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Arabianbusiness.com: The Islamic insurance industry, known as takaful, is seeing more interest in consolidation as companies face increasing competition, weak market penetration and a higher expense base than conventional counterparts.

The financial crisis is also putting pressure on smaller and mid sized companies to consider merging with another company, said Hisham Solaiman, financial manager at Kuwait based National Takaful Insurance Co……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From WAM: Deep structural changes and changing attitudes toward risk are driving long-term growth in the insurance sector within the Middle East and North Africa region, said HE Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Speaking at a reception hosted by DIFC yesterday for delegates of the inaugural World Space Risk Forum, a bi-annual conference that brings together professionals in the space business, the DIFC Governor said: “The region’s huge programme of infrastructure spending on energy, water, transportation and petrochemicals is creating mega projects that require insurance and reinsurance services.”………………………………………Full Article: Source

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From Thestandard.com.hk: The Airport Authority says it has not proceeded further with its plan to issue Islamic bonds even with the financial crisis fading.

Chief executive Stanley Hui Hon- chung said the authority will reconsider the issue when further capital needs arise. He said a yuan bond issue could be one of the options that may be considered later……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Gulf Finance House (GFH) announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Liquidity Management Center (LMC) syndicate to rearrange the Wakala facility.

Under the terms of the new arrangement, the existing payment obligations of US$50m in March 2010 and US$50million in March 2011 have been amended such that US$20m will be made in March 2010 with the remaining US$80m paid over 4 installments of US$20m each every six months until the full amount has been paid in 2012……………………………………….Full Press Release: Source

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From Businessweek.com: The following borrowers are expected to sell Islamic bonds, which use asset returns to pay investors to comply with the religion’s ban on paying interest.

Global sales of so-called sukuk increased to $20.2 billion last year from $14.1 billion in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales total $705 million this year……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Cpifinancial.net: The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) have launched the ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut (Hedging) Master Agreement.

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. The ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut (Hedging) Master Agreement is the first financial industry framework document that is applicable across all jurisdictions where Islamic finance is practiced……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Themalaysianinsider.com: Malaysia is likely to give equal tax treatment to Islamic finance and conventional banking under a new tax regime next year, ensuring sharia banking products are not disadvantaged, a tax expert said today.

Malaysia plans to impose a goods and services tax from 2011, a move that would potentially raise the cost of Islamic financing transactions as they typically involve more legal steps than conventional finance……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Brunei.fm: Islamic finance is currently experiencing an annual estimated growth rate of 15 to 20 per cent as the industry grows to exceed US$1 trillion in assets, said a senior government official yesterday.

Minister of Finance II Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim said that there is clear evidence that the current era of Islamic finance has gained credibility and visibility within the world of finance as demand continues to outpace supply……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Fstech.co.uk: The panic caused by Dubai World at the end of last year asking for a ‘standstill’ on repaying its multi-billion debts sent global stock markets tumbling and has spooked some people causing them to question sukuks and other wholesale Islamic finance instruments.
The market has grown massively over the last decade, offering technology vendors, banks, exchanges and many others much needed growth opportunities over the long term. Indeed London is still pushing strongly to grab a slice of the pie ………………………………………Full Article: Source

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From Globalarabnetwork.com: The International Islamic Finance Forum organised by IIR Middle East is held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Vice President and Prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The flagship event will bring together a selection of governors, shariah scholars, heads of Islamic finance, CEOs and issuers to share their expert insights on the most current issues in Islamic banking including the recent Sukuk defaults, new developments in liquidity management and progress in the development of shariah compliant risk management tools……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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From Bi-me.com: The US$35 billion international Islamic funds industry is being urged to offer more innovative areas of investment and to expand into hitherto untapped geographical markets by world-renowned Shariah scholar Dr Mohammed Daud Bakar.

Dr Bakar, Managing Director of Amanie Islamic Finance Consultancy and Education in Dubai, was speaking as Amanie today announced a partnership with Failaka Advisors, to jointly organise the one-day symposium and the annual Failaka Islamic Fund Awards……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 03 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Themedialine.org: Economic terrorism is becoming the preferred tactic of radical Islamic thinkers and terror organizations, an 11-year study of public Islamist discourse has found. Dr Gabriel Weimann, an expert on the use of online platforms by jihadi ideology on the Internet, has released a paper arguing that radical Islamic thought is increasingly supportive of terrorism whose goal is to paralyze or severely weaken Western economies.
The paper, based on an 11-year study of over 7,000 radical Islamic websites and forums, claimed that Islamist terrorist organizations are increasingly interested in operations that will yield the most economic damage, such as attacks on western multinational corporations, Muslim boycotts of those organizations, attacks on resources ‘looted’ from Muslim countries such as oil fields in Iraq and assassinations of Western economic leaders……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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