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#Brunei's largest bank aims to raise up $500 mln in #Malaysian #listing -IFR

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam aims to raise as much as $500 million in an initial public offering (IPO) and the bank will be listed on the Malaysian bourse. JPMorgan and Malayan Banking (Maybank) are set to be joint global coordinators for the initial public offering of $200 million-$500 million this year. The IPO is expected to raise around $300 million but the final amount will depend on the size of the greenshoe option. Brunei is one of the world's richest countries on a per capital basis. The country does not have a stock exchange although its central bank last year announced draft rules to form one.

ABAC backs development of Islamic Infra Investment

The #Philippine team of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) has expressed interest in developing the Islamic Infrastructure Investment Program (I3P), making it a priority for the country. ABAC Philippines said it would look into how the Philippines can tap into the available funds from the Islamic banks in the region. The advisory council has identified infrastructure investment, areas involving people and labor, and micro, small and medium enterprise development as key priority areas for the country. For people-to-people connectivity, ABAC Philippines agreed to continue advocating for labor mobility and working on the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC). It will also work with the Department of Foreign Affairs on how to improve access to ABTC and to increase penetration of the travel card among Filipino business people.

Abu Dhabi builds a '#fintech bridge' to Asia

Abu Dhabi is taking ambitious steps to tap into financial technology. The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) signed a cooperation deal with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The goal of the arrangement is to spur financial entrepreneurship through mutual exchanges of fintech know-how. Last November the ADGM launched the FinTech Regulatory Laboratory, or RegLab, to provide a platform for foreign players to innovate. So far five companies have been selected to participate. Richard Teng, CEO of the emirate's Financial Services Regulatory Authority, said there was a clear trend toward cultivating sectors besides oil and the cooperation with Singapore is designed to make fintech the driving force of economic diversification. In his view, Asian financial companies have a big market in the Middle East to develop and explore business in wealth management, remittances and other fields.

Maybank Islamic appoints Zainal Abidin as chairman

Maybank Islamic has announced the appointment of lawyer Zainal Abidin as its chairman. Zainal has been a director of Maybank Islamic since 2010 and previously served as chairman of Maybank Trustees. Prior to that, Zainal was a director of Malayan Banking (Maybank) from July 2009 to April 2014. Zainal, 63, is a practising corporate and commercial lawyer. As the founder and senior partner, Zainal established the firm Zainal Abidin in 1987.

TH confirms backing Badlisyah for Bank Islam, denies bad blood with board

Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) has confirmed its support of deputy CEO Datuk Badlisyah Abdul Ghani to lead Bank Islam Malaysia following the retirement of the bank’s group managing director, Datuk Seri Zukri Samat. TH has a 52.5% stake in BIMB Holdings which wholly owns Bank Islam. Bank Islam’s board had already put forward its choice, Khairul Kamarudin, to Bank Negara and the decision now lies with the central bank. TH CEO Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah confirmed recommending Badlisyah to be appointed to lead Bank Islam. He added that the choice of leadership and succession is subject to nomination of the board of directors and approval by Bank Negara Malaysia. He said TH was never at odds with the board of directors.

ICD Extends $5 Million Line of Finance Facility to Arab Gambian Islamic Bank

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Arab Gambian Islamic Bank (Agib) have entered into a Joint Strategic Collaboration to finance the private sector in The Gambia. The financing agreement for the amount of USD5 million was signed by the CEO of ICD, Khaled Al Aboodi and Muhammed Jah, Chairman of Agib Bank. The collaboration will focus on developing the private sector, supporting the local economy and promoting Islamic Banking in the country. CEO of Agib Bank, Nuha Marenah, assured ICD of Agib Bank’s resolve to contribute to the socio-economic development of The Gambia. He also said Agib Bank has the capacity, both in terms of technology and human resources to manage the line of financing to the total satisfaction of all stakeholders.

#Qatar has ninth-strongest Islamic finance industry

The state of Qatar lists rank nine this year on the annually published Islamic Finance Country Index. The index is part of the Global Islamic Finance Report 2017 and was compiled by London-based Islamic finance consultant firm Edbiz Consulting. Qatar’s ranking is testament to its solid Islamic finance industry which is built upon solely fully-fledged Islamic banks. The country with the world’s strongest Islamic finance industry remains Malaysia, followed by Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait. This is the second year in a row that Malaysia has been in the top position, taking over from Iran in 2016. According to Edbiz CEO Sofiza Azmi, in the list of 48 countries, there are 14 that saw a decrease in their scores. Among the 13 countries that improved their ranking, Tunisia took the biggest leap. Other big gainers are Pakistan and Kazakhstan. The report concludes that the ranking suggests that countries with large Muslim populations are the future frontiers for growth in Islamic banking and finance.

Middle East and other sovereign #investors put major asset allocation decisions on hold

Invesco has released its fifth Invesco Global Sovereign Asset Management Study. The study was conducted amongst 97 individual sovereign investors and asked them to rate the importance of economic and geopolitical factors on their investment strategies. Middle East and other sovereign investors see low interest rates as the greatest tactical asset allocation factor. Brexit and the US election results are expected to grow in importance for future allocations, as the implications of political shifts on investment performance becomes clearer. Sovereign investors have ranked the US as the most attractive market. However, long term confidence is still restricted by concerns about growing protectionism limiting access for foreign sovereigns. The UK saw the biggest drop in attractiveness and Continental Europe's attractiveness has also fallen. However, Germany stands out from its European neighbours because of its perceived safe haven status. Despite target return gaps increasingly widening, geo-political uncertainty is causing sovereign investors to make fewer allocation changes than at any point in the last five years.

5 Foreign Banks Licensed by #Iran

The Central Bank of Iran has released the names of 40 registered banks and credit institutions active in the country, which include the names of five foreign banks. The only five foreign lenders licensed to operate in Iran are the Hamburg-based Iranian-European Bank, Standard Chartered, Iran-Venezuela Bi-National Bank, Islamic Cooperation Investment Bank and Future Bank. The Iranian-European Bank has a German license, but is owned by the Iranian state. Standard Chartered is a British multinational banking company headquartered in London. It operates a network of more than 1,200 branches across more than 70 countries. Iran-Venezuela Bank a joint venture between Banco Industrial de Venezuela and the Export Development Bank of Iran. However, Iran is planning to sell some of its shares in IVBB, as the two countries currently have no commercial relations. The Islamic Cooperation Investment Bank is an Iraqi private lender, which currently has 11 branches in Iran. Future Bank is a fully commercial lender approved by the Central Bank of Bahrain, its branch in Iran is located in the Kish Free Trade Zone.

BRIEF-Al Izz Islamic Bank expresses interest in #merger with United Finance

Alizz Islamic Bank has expressed interest in the possibility of strategic merger with United Finance subject to conducting due diligence. No legally binding commitment has been made and the transaction remains subject to approval by the regulators and other stakeholders.

Oman's $2bn international #sukuk oversubscribed more than three times

Oman's inaugural US2bn international sukuk issuance witnessed a strong investor interest with an orderbook of US6.9bn and over 300 participating accounts. Oman entered the international public sukuk markets via a US2bn seven year sukuk issuance on May 23. The current sukuk follows a US5bn multi-tranche bond priced earlier this year. According to a press release, the final order book represented an oversubscription of nearly three times. The issuance was coordinated by a lead manager group comprising of alizz islamic bank, Citi, Dubai Islamic Bank, Gulf International Bank, JP Morgan, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank. With this issuance the sultanate has now met significant portion of the funding requirements tied to its anticipated budget deficit for 2017.

Sberbank of #Russia to expand capabilities in Islamic financial business

Sberbank received official certification for its Mudaraba Finance transaction from Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB). The bank also reaffirmed that it would remain fully committed to Sharia compliant financial activities for its customers. Sberbank, based in Moscow, currently has 16 thousand branches in all 83 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. It is the largest bank of Russia and the leading financial institution in the country. Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO and Founder of SRB, noted that the Shariyah Review Bureau would continue to review and supervise Sberbank’s transaction and sharing best practices of the Sharia complaint marketplace.

MIDF Amanah to introduce new shariah #fund for high net worth investors

#Malaysian Industrial Development Finance (MIDF) Amanah will introduce a new Shariah Equity Wholesale Fund for high net worth investors with a target to raise RM100 million. The fund will have two special key features, the first being that the fund will have zero entry fee, which means no sales fee will be charged to investors. Secondly, the fund will pay zakat on behalf of its investors. MIDF Amanah Asset Management and Amanah International Finance have also transitioned into fully Shariah-compliant entities.
The equity portfolios under MIDF Amanah have seen an overall exceptional performance in the first quarter this year with gains ranging from 10% to a high of 15%. MIDF managing director Datuk Mohd Najib Abdullah said the conversion of the asset management arm into a Shariah-compliant entity will cater to the ever growing demand for Islamic finance products and services.

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UNICEF: 100,000 Iraqi Children in Extreme Danger in Western Mosul

There is no end of bad news these days. After Yemen and Syria, there around 100'000 children alone being trapped in Mosul. The humanitarian aid for those human tragedies is largely underfunded.

On 10th June I join the Crans-Montana Cycling for Children event. Please donate for all what needs to be done urgently:

https://www.unicef.ch/en/cycling-for-children/action/michael-gassner

Here is the latest report on Mossul:

"Erbil – Civilians living under siege in the remaining ISIS-held neighborhoods of Iraq’s Mosul are under extreme danger, warned the United Nations children’s agency on Monday.

About 100,000 children are trapped in extremely dangerous conditions, warned the UN Children Fund as fierce battles between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants raged on in an attempt to liberate the eastern city."

#Dubai: #Meraas Holding has #issued $400 million #sukuk –sources

Meraas Holding, a real estate developer in Dubai owned by the UEA government, issued a $400 million sukuk last week. It was sold privately to a select group of investors, according to sources. The Islamic bond has a five-year maturity and is at par with a 5.112 % yield on May the 26th and traded at one to 1.5 points above par shortly after that. Emirates NBD, Noor Bank and Standard Chartered jointly coordinated the transaction and served as bookrunners along with Dubai Islamic Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Warba Bank.
Meraas is the parent company of the leisure and entertainment company DXB Entertainment, which owns 4 theme parks and a water park in UAE capital. It has been said, that a new entity has been set up which will manage billions of dollars of development projects for Meraas Holding and Dubai Holding. Dubai Holding is the investment vehicle of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, formerly chief executive of DXB Entertainment, has been appointed to lead the new management company.

#NBKR and #Islamic Development Bank work on creation of a bank with #Islamic #finance #principles in #Kyrgyzstan

The National Bank of Kyrgyzstan and Islamic Development Bank are working on creating a bank with Islamic finance principles in Kyrgyzstan, according to the chief of NBKR, Mr Tolkunbek Abdygulov.
Abdygulov said in a statement, that developing Islamic finance principles will allow the citizens to use other types of financing, which will increase the competition between banks and thus improve the quality of bank services and bank products. “After entering into force of a new law on National Bank and banking activities, Civil Code will be complemented by regulations on deals according Islamic principles.”

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Unprecedented spread of cholera in Yemen as health workers race against time to save children

"SANAA/DJIBOUTI/AMMAN, 2 June, 2017 – “I have just concluded a trip to Yemen to oversee UNICEF’s response to the unprecedented cholera outbreak that is gripping the country."

Just today UNICEF updated the world on the cholera outbreak in Yemen. In order to send response teams for such events and save children's lives we have to give.

On 10th June I join the Crans-Montana Cycling for Children event. Please donate for all what needs to be done urgently:

https://www.unicef.ch/en/cycling-for-children/action/michael-gassner

#Emirates #NBD #launches Emirates NBD Markit iBoxx USD #Sukuk #Index

The new Index will contain 98 Sukuk from 61 issuers that will have a current market value of over $90 billion. The Emirates NBD Markit iBoxx USD Sukuk index captures sovereign, sub-sovereign and corporate Sukuk from emerging and developed markets and will contain investment grade, sub investment grade and unrated securities. They will all offer a broad representation of the global Sukuk universe and provide combining transparency, multi-dimensional analysis, independence and flexibility, it will provide an accurate and objective benchmark for Islamic finance investors.
Developed by Emirates NBD Group in collaboration with IHS Markit, the Emirates NBD Markit iBoxx USD Sukuk Index is a market-cap weighted index dedicated to capturing the performance of the Sukuk market. It will be used for benchmarking, risk and performance analysis and as an underlying for tradable products. In order to meet the growing demand for Shari'ah-compliant solutions, it is envisaged that the Index will be utilised by a range of institutions including asset managers, banks, pensions and sovereign wealth funds and ETF issuers.

#TA #Securities gets nod to #offer #Islamic #stockbroking #services

Bursa Malaysia Bhd has added TA Securities Holdings Bhd to its Islamic participating organisations list, making it the 11th stockbroking house and Islamic PO partnering with Bursa Malaysia-i. TA Enterprise Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Datin Alicia Tiah stated, that the inclusion will complement and broaden its product offerings.
Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan said in a statement: "We hope that with the support from our brokers, we will be able to provide a conducive marketplace for the Shariah investing community which will, in turn, continue to spur the growth and vibrancy of the Islamic capital market domestically and regionally.”

#Dana Gas #venture #seeks #$26.5b damages from #Iraq Kurds

Dana Gas and its partners are looking at recovery for damages of at least $26.5 billion from Iraq’s self-governing Kurdish region for all delays in oil and natural gas projects. Dana Gas is based in the UAE and its partners in the venture named Pearl Petroleum, filed a petition in May at a federal court in Washington, DC, seeking “recognition and enforcement” of awards in a London arbitration case. The petition is part of a legal process that may allow Pearl Petroleum to seize Kurdish assets if the Kurds don’t pay awards decided in arbitration.
According to the Kurdish Energie Minister stated, the Kurdistan Regional Government “considers that the claimants’ approach in the arbitration is unconstructive and unnecessarily escalates the dispute. It will continue vigorously to pursue its rights and defend its position in all appropriate forums.”
Dana Gas and partners are pursuing claims in the London Court of International Arbitration against the Kurdish Regional Government for damages related to delays they say were caused by the Government in developing the projects.

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