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Islamic Finance Briefing 29.Mar 2010

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Nakheel trade creditors will be offered a large-scale Islamic bond, or sukuk, as part of a debt restructuring plan, a source close to parent firm Dubai World said on Sunday, potentially boosting the region’s sukuk market.

The Dubai government pleasantly surprised the market on Thursday when it offered to pay off Nakheel’s upcoming Islamic bonds as part of a wider deal with Dubai World creditors, and offer trade creditors repayment through cash and a publicly tradable security……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From WSJ: The Dubai government’s decision to pay the equivalent of $1.7 billion to redeem in full the sukuk instruments issued by crisis-hit property developer Nakheel was a painful one.
But people familiar with the decision-making said the alternative would have been much worse, a possible showdown with hedge funds and distressed debt investors that could leave Nakheel with unfinished property projects and knocking confidence in the wider economy……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: We are at an important crossroads in Islamic finance and banking, and I want to explore, in this column, the future of Islamic finance. We hear about 1.5 billion Muslims, but has Islamic finance benefited the ‘man on the street?’ What is so ‘Islamic’ about Islamic finance?

Have we simply been putting an Islamic wrapper around conventional structures and products and placing a blessing them?………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: As Islamic finance is growing very rapidly in the United States, the US-based Florentez Investment Management Inc. (ShariahShares ETF) is set to launch a family of Shariah-compliant exchange traded funds (ETFs) on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange).

“The company has already received an exemptive relief order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US regulator, to launch the funds on the US exchanges,” Saeid Hamedanchi, CFA, president & CEO of Florentez (ShariahShares ETF), said in an exclusive interview with Arab News here recently……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Theaustralian.com.au: The Rudd government is pressing ahead with plans to develop Islamic finance in Australia to help position the nation as a leading global financial services hub.

Assistant Treasurer Nick Sherry told funds managers yesterday he would travel to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain at the end of next month for talks on the regulation, promotion and export of Islamic finance, banking and insurance……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Regulators need to encourage “small” Islamic banks to merge to strengthen their finances and increase product offerings, a senior adviser at Bank of London and Middle East said.

“Small and new banks tend to target the market of older and bigger banks, which fragments the market rather than diversifying or broadening the Islamic offering,” Mahmoud Faruqui said in an e-mail on March 25……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Aawsat.com: When the international financial crisis erupted and stock markets collapsed and large financial institutions began to oscillate between being on the brink of bankruptcy and declaring bankruptcy, one growing financial sector avoided being hit directly by the crisis, namely the Islamic banking sector.
This drew the attention of many specialists at the time and prompted them to call for applying Islamic measures to the international financial industry to avoid this kind of financial crisis happening again……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Thestar.com.my: Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia expects exponential business growth in the next three years supported by its retail business as well as new business initiatives, said chief executive officer Ahmed Rehman.

“Our growing retail business and the new product lines we are developing will put us in a good position in the coming years……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Dar Al Shariah Legal and Financial Consultancy, a subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank, has been named the “Best Shariah Advisory Firm” at the recent Islamic Finance News Awards.

Dar Al Shariah has evolved from Dubai Islamic Bank’s own Shariah Coordination Department, the first ever experiment carried out by an Islamic bank……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: With the verbal approval from the regulatory authorities, Ithmaar Bank is set to become the region’s premier Islamic retail bank, according to its chairman, Prince Amr Mohammed Al-Faisal.

Prince Amr told the bank’s shareholders on Sunday that the bank had received verbal approval to proceed with its reorganization plans, and that formal, written approval will follow shortly……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Reuters: National Bank of Kuwait has received approval to buy up to an additional 20 percent in Boubyan Bank, which could help Kuwait’s largest lender boost its Islamic business.
NBK said in a statement on Sunday it had received the central bank’s approval — valid for three months starting March 22 — to raise its stake in Islamic lender Boubyan Bank to up to 60 percent from 40 percent……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Ameinfo.com: Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, today announced that it has affirmed Qatar Islamic Bank’s (QIB) long-term foreign currency rating of ‘A’, its short-term foreign currency rating of ‘A2′ and its financial strength rating of ‘A’. All ratings carry a ‘Stable’ outlook. At the same time CI affirms the support rating of 2.
QIB’s ratings reflect the recently demonstrated government financial support of the Qatari banking system (including support of QIB itself), which has enabled the Bank to maintain its solid capital adequacy and overall sound financial condition, along with its strong franchise and profitability……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: Omani Central Bank Governor Hamoud Al Zadjali said the bank raised the capital adequacy ratio to 12 per cent from 10 per cent effective year-end as a pre-emptive measure to protect lenders.

“It will make them aware that they need to expand their capital if they’d like to expand their balance sheet,” Al Zadjali said yesterday in a phone interview. Omani banks already have a capital adequacy ratio of above 14 per cent, he said……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: France is a crucial market for Qatar Islamic Bank in its push to develop Islamic finance products in Europe, chief executive Salah Mohamed Jaidah has said in Paris.
QIB has signed a memorandum of understanding with Banque Populaire, a unit of French mutual bank BPCE, in order to gain access to the French retail banking and small and medium-size business markets, he said……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Ameinfo.com: Qatar Islamic Bank has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Banque Populaire, a unit of French mutual bank BPCE, in its efforts to develop Islamic finance products in Europe.
The agreement aims to provide the Shariah-compliant lender with access to the French retail banking and small and medium-size business markets………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Ithmaar Bank is set to implement plans for a comprehensive reorganisation with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Shamil Bank after receiving verbal approval from Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), said a top official.

Ithmaar Bank chairman Prince Amr Mohammed Al Faisal told shareholders on Sunday that the bank had received verbal approval to proceed with its reorganisation plans, and that formal, written approval will follow shortly……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulf-daily-news.com: Bahraini Saudi Bank has rebranded itself as Bahraini Saudi as part of its transition to a fully Sharia-compliant Islamic bank.

The move comes as a result of Al Salam Bank acquiring 90.31 per cent of its equity last year in a two-for-one share swap deal……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Ameinfo.com: A recent report by research firm Prime Holdings has said that the banking sector in the UAE still leads the rest of the GCC in terms of assets, which stood at $414bn (Dhs1.52 trillion) in 2009, Emirates Business has reported.
Assets of the UAE banking sector rose by 4.3% year-on-year in 2009 against a 35% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2004 and 2008. The report puts UAE banking assets ahead of Saudi Arabia’s, which reported assets of $365bn……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Sunnewsonline.com: Equity products of Islamic finance may soon be tradable at the Nigerian Stock Exchange as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is presently tinkering with various capital market products intended to deepen the depth and breadth of the market.

As part of the plans to increase the range of market offerings, Director General of the apex regulator of the capital market, Ms Arunma Oteh, has revealed the commission’s plan to develop regulatory framework and product innovation for Islamic finance products in addition to developing the fixed income market, second tier market, the alternative investment market and over the counter derivatives like swap……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Yobserver.com: At the conclusion of the conference of Yemeni Islamic banks, participants recommended the need to carry out standards for the issuance of Islamic instruments because of their benefit to the community development.

This is the first conference of Islamic banks organized by the Yemeni Businessmen’s Club on 20-21 March in Sana’a under the slogan “Yemeni Islamic Banks: Reality and Future Prospects.”………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Muslims.net: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has approved an amount of $ 120 million to contribute to financing Jubail refinery and petrochemicals project.

It is one of the gigantic refinery projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The cost of the Jubail project totals $12.8 billion……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From WAM: The General Assembly of Waha Capital PJSC, the leading investment holding company enlisted on ADX, approved recommendations of the Board of Directors to issue mandatory convertible AED 1 billion bonds or Sukuk, in addition to distributing 2.5% cash dividends and 10% bonus shares of the company’s paid-up capital.
The announcement came during the Ordinary General Assembly and the Extraordinary General Meetings that took place today in Abu Dhabi, chaired by Hussain Jassim Al Nowais, Chairman of Waha Capital, in attendance of the company’s board members, stakeholders and executive management……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Btimes.com.my: Some RM60 billion of new issuances are expected for Malaysia’s bond and sukuk markets this year, which is about a quarter more than last year.

Government-related infrastructure projects and bank’s capital-raising exercises are projected to form the bulk of the domestic debt capital market’s activity this year, according to RAM Rating Services Bhd……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Saudigazette.com.sa: Saudi-owned Gulf International Bank (GIB) plans a SR3 billion ($800 million) bond issue in April to fund its growth in the kingdom, a banking source said, adding to a flurry of issues from Saudi lenders.
“It’s a five-year deal on a floating note basis,” the banking source, who has direct knowledge of the deal, told Reuters……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: The Capital Market Authority’s recent approval of the first Saudi-listed exchange traded fund (ETF) marks another important milestone in the Kingdom’s capital market history.

With 139 listed companies and over $356 billion in market capitalization, Saudi Arabia is one of the largest equity markets among emerging countries; although its trading value is down 43 percent over last year, Tadawul still trades close to $800 million a day, making it a relatively liquid market……………………………….Full Article: Source

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Meattradenewsdaily.co.uk: The first electronic trading platform allowing sharia-compliant companies to raise cash will launch in London in May, the venture capital firm behind the project told Reuters on Thursday.
The Sharia Ummah Securities Information Exchange (UMEX) is designed to provide a platform to companies with a capital value of at least 20 million pounds ($31 million) and looking to raise the equivalent of at least 20 percent of their market value……………………………….Full Article: Source

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