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Islamic Finance Briefing 23.Mar 2010

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Financeasia.com: Supporters of Islamic finance say that its model of risk- and profit-sharing is less vulnerable to the problems associated with Western finance, as demonstrated by the current crisis, but the response to our web poll last week suggests that our readers disagree.

More than two-fifths of those who voted in the poll said that the reputation of Islamic finance had been damaged by the financial crisis. One of the biggest question marks hanging over Islamic transactions is how they will hold up in distressed situations. Nakheel, a Dubai property developer owned by Dubai World, is in talks with creditors at the moment to try to restructure its $980 million sukuk, which is due on May 19………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Prominent Saudi Shariah scholar and economist, Mohamed Ali Elgari, threw down the gauntlet to his fellow Shariah advisories warning that it is high time that Shariah governance in Islamic finance is addressed impartially, and in a transparent and positive way, and that the authority to issue fatwas should not be centralized or monopolized by one authority or body of Shariah scholars.

Diversity of Fiqh (jurisprudence) and interpretations is a strength, which he stressed, should neither be ignored nor eliminated. Although, such diversity could be perceived by the general public as inconsistency and conflict amongst scholars………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Btimes.com.my: AmBank Group plans to bolster its Islamic banking and financial services in the region as part of its expansion drive. Chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said the banking group intends to tap Islamic banking’s big potential for growth.

“But we will expand on our own and will not buy any stakes in other banks or seek partners. Malaysia is already known as a leader in Islamic banking and we should continue to lead,” he said………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Oxfordbusinessgroup.com: Jordan is moving to further open its financial sector to sharia-compliant lenders, having unveiled plans to change regulations and legislation that will strengthen the regulatory environment for the Islamic component of the banking industry.

At present, Islamic banks have a relatively low profile in Jordan’s finance sector, though this is in the process of changing. The country’s older Islamic banks have assets representing some 11% of the total asset holdings of the banking system and 12.5% of all bank deposits and credit facilities, accounting to around 15% of credit extended by Jordan’s financial institutions, according to Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) data………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Cpifinancial.net: The Financial Markets Supervisory Authority in the Republic of Kazakhstan has granted Al Hilal Bank an official licence to open the Republic’s first Islamic bank under the name “Al-Hilal Islamic Bank”.
The new bank is fully owned by Al Hilal Bank with a capital of $36 million. The headquarters is established in the city of Almaty with a branch in the city of Astana………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Iii.co.uk: Saudi-based Al Rajhi Bank on Monday said it has obtained approval from Jordanian authorities to start banking business in the country, its third foreign market. Rajhi, the Gulf’s biggest Islamic lender by market value, has several branches in Malaysia and announced last month plans to open a branch in Kuwait.
“Rajhi has obtained all official approvals to start banking activity in the Kingdom of Jordan,” it said in a statement without elaborating………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From NNN-KUNA: The Islamic banking industry in Turkey maintained a robust performance in 2009 despite the global economic downturn, making profits of over USD 470 million.

The financial results of Turkey’s interest-free banking show a total growth rate of nine percent compared with the figures of 2008, the Participation Banks Association of Turkey (TKBB) reported………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Dawn.com: The trillion dollar Islamic finance industry is looking beyond the troubles of Dubai developer Nakheel at possible reforms that could help draw more interest from Western players.

Dubai World rocked the global markets in November when it asked for a delay in repaying $26 billion in debt. A $4.1 billion sukuk, or Islamic bond, from its unit Nakheel staved off default thanks to a bailout from Abu Dhabi………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From People.com.cn: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is to allocate 355 million U.S. dollars for development projects in Darfur, IDB chief said.

Addressing the opening session of the International Donors Conference for the Reconstruction of Darfur here on Sunday, IDB President Ahmed Mohamed Ali announced the allocation of 355 million dollars for reconstruction projects in the war-torn area during the next five years………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

Dubai Islamic Bank has been named the top performer in the UAE banking sector in the latest YouGov Siraj BrandIndex poll, which is based on the opinions of more than 750 UAE-based respondents interviewed per fortnight. According to the most recent BrandIndex, which was introduced in March 2009, DIB has established its leadership position in a wide range of categories, including quality, value for money and corporate reputation.

The world’s first Islamic bank also leads in primary indicators such as Buzz and Attention scores, pillars of BrandIndex that reflect the immediate impact the brand has on the top of mind of consumers in the UAE. DIB’s Attention scores, in particular, set a benchmark that other UAE banks have yet to rival in attracting the attention of consumers………………………………..Full Press Release: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Provisions booked by Saudi banks last year for credit losses are “very high” but lenders are now in a stronger position than they were during the global economic meltdown, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, or SAMA, said .

“The provisions taken by our banks during 2009 year are very high by all standards,” Mohammad Al Jasser told the Dubai-based channel in an interview posted on SAMA Web site………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From MENAFN - Arab News: The approval last week by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) in Saudi Arabia of the Kingdom’s first exchange-traded fund (ETF) opens up a growing global market for this increasingly popular investment asset class, both in its conventional form and Shariah-compliant variant.
ETFs and exchange-traded commodities (ETCs) are not well known in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) markets, although in the Islamic finance space there are about six that have been launched over the last two years in London, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: Saudi Arabia will allow its planned exchange-traded funds to include Islamic bond and commodity instruments in addition to Saudi shares, Tadawul said.

The Capital Market Authority (CMA) will also allow exchange-traded funds that include only Saudi shares to be listed on foreign bourses, the Saudi stock exchange said in a statement………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: The Secretariat-General of the Dubai Economic Council (DEC) will organise a workshop titled “Sukuk: nature and applications” on March 31 in Dubai.

A number of representatives of federal and local governments and the local business community will attend the event………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: Banque Saudi Fransi plans to raise $250 to $500 million from a five year bond issue, a source from the bank said.

The size of the planned issue, which follows a roadshow last week, will depend on the pricing that the Saudi affiliate of French Credit Agricole gets for the bond, the source said………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Neurope.eu: Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev announced in Astana that the government intends to become a significant player in the Islamic finance market by offering debt that complies with Muslim tenets as early as 2010, Gazeta.kz reported.
Kazakhstan being the Central Asia’s leading energy producer will sell Islamic bonds for the first time. This move was taken to entice overseas money to finance its budget deficit………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Asianinvestor.net: Foreign investors have bought nearly as many Indonesian bonds in the first few months of this year as they did during the whole of 2009. Other investment flows are also up, boosted by the country’s recent upgrade by Standard & Poor’s.
Indonesia seems to be flavour of the month, particularly in terms of bond investments. Debt instruments issued in the country were already proving very popular, even before Standard & Poor’s upgraded the country’s foreign-currency rating to BB from BB- on March 12, its highest rating in 12 years………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Insurancenewsnet.com: Zaytuna Takaful will be an insurance company governed by the laws of the insurance sector in force in Tunisia and is subject to 100% with all legal requirements and regulations governing the insurance industry in our country.
It will market all products under the legal texts, provided they conform with the principles of Islamic finance, especially for this product “Life”. Life insurance capitalization is not allowed in Islamic insurance………………………………..Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Thejakartapost.com: Having weathered the impact of the international financial crisis, the insurance industry expects steady growth in 2010. However, the landscape is shifting more quickly as some players look to boost their presence in the undervalued market, liberalization takes effect and the emergent Islamic sector moves forward.

Having felt an initial squeeze due to the global downturn, with premium income falling by 3.4 percent in the first quarter, Indonesia’s insurance industry picked up through 2009 as an air of pessimism was replaced by cautious optimism………………………………..Full Article: Source

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