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Qinvest set to launch USD 250 mn equity fund

QInvest will soon launch a USD 250 mn private equity fund and another sector-specific fund as well as two other funds by the third quarter of this year reported Santhosh V Perumal in Gulf Times

The Qatar Financial Centre-based firm, whose principal shareholders are Qatar Islamic Bank and Gulf Finance House, also said it would also embark on brokerage and wealth management services.

CEO is Shahzad Shahbaz.

Investment Dar Co. defaults on Sukuk

Investment Dar failed to pay a “periodic distribution” due on April 27 to holders of its Sukuk maturing in 2010.

Central Bank of Iran Supports Cooperatives Bank

Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI)Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Mahmoud Bahmani has promised to supply the initial capital for the establishment of Cooperatives Development Bank. Managing Director of Cooperatives Fund Mashallah Azimi told Mehr News Agency that the proposed bank would start operation this year.

Islamic finance contract will be tested in courts due to increasing defaults

Increasing number of defaults will lead to test the legal framework and stability of the Islamic finance structures in centres such as Dubai, Bahrain and Malaysia. Judges will have to weigh conventional law and sharia (Islamic law) used in contracts, and legal uncertainty over key contract provisions could hurt the industry's ability to bounce back when the global economy recovers. The industry will be watching to ensure any legal disputes are settled in a transparent manner which gives certainty to the contract terms entered into, said Davide Barzilai, a London-based Islamic finance lawyer with Norton Rose.

Dubai Financial Market finalising standard for Sukuk listing

The Dubai Financial Market has finalised comprehensive standards to be established for the issuance of Sukuk and awaiting approval of authorities.

International Bank Qatar launched a new branch Al Yusr Islamic banking

International Bank Qatar launched a new branch Al Yusr Islamic banking to offer consumer, personal finance and corporate anking.

Ambank enters Brunei market

Ambank Group entered the market of Brunei Darussalam with the opening of its subsidiary called AmCapital (B) Sdn Bhd. Ambank has regional expansion plans to bring its expertise in funds management, Islamic finance and investment advisory to the Sultanate, reported Amin Hosni in Brudirect.com

Brunei Darussalam welcomes Islamic finance players such as takaful and sukuk to promote the country as another Islamic financial centre.

Dubai’s Nakheel receives bail-out cash

Dubai’s Nakheel receives bail-out cash, but the amount is not disclosed, reported Simeon Kerr in the Financial Times; it is also said that Nakheel was restructuring some payment plans with suppliers.

Contractors say developers such as Nakheel have started to honour some – but not all – payments, after months of delay.

Noor Islamic Bank keeps Rep Office in Tunis open

Noor Islamic Bank PJSC issued a statement saying that their Tunisian representative office is operational and that they continue to explore market opportunities in North Africa, while assessing regional market trends and having to readjust plans to reflect the reality of the slowdown.

The statement followed news announcing the closure of the rep office by some media.

Faith in Capitalism - 16th June 2009, 09:30 – 12:30, London

"SAVE THE DATE"
16th June 2009, 09:30 – 12:30
Islamic Cultural Centre - London Central Mosque, Regents
Park, London

Faith in Capitalism
A ground-breaking conference for financial representatives
of faith institutions and thoughtful investment management
professionals

Increasing awareness of the social impact of investment is
driving many thoughtful investors, especially private
clients, family offices, endowment funds and those having
strong faith values, towards a new philosophy of “Making
money and stewarding it responsibly”.

The morning’s presentations will include a Keynote Address
on “Faith in Capitalism” and panel discussions debating
“What does faith tell us about responsible investing?” and
“How can investors do good while making money?”

Do not miss this exceptional opportunity to gain a fresh,
inspirational perspective from renowned experts on
faith-based and sustainable investing. The conference will
be open to questions and comments from the audience, and
promises to be a uniquely informative event with
unprecedented opportunities for networking. There is no
charge to attend, thanks to the following sponsors:

Standard & Poor’s Publishes Islamic Finance Outlook 2009

The new yearbook includes Standard & Poor’s latest analysis and rating methodologies on almost 40 rated Islamic debt issues and issuers, and an overview of its suite of global benchmark and investable Sharia indices.

While total global sukuk issuance more than halved to $14.9 billion in 2008 from $34 billion in the previous year, Standard & Poor’s believes the outlook for Islamic finance remains strong. Sharia-compliant assets now total about $700 billion after growth exceeding 10% annually during the past decade.

Full 70+ pages report for free download at:

http://www.gcc.standardandpoors.com/islamic_finance/Islamic%20Finance%20Outlook%202009%20(12).pdf

OIC Member States' Stock Exchanges Forum in Teheran took place

Beginning of May the OIC Member States' Stock Exchanges Forum took place in Teheran, which was themed: enhancing cooperation among the Islamic countries' Exchanges.

RHB Bank opens Islamic unit in Singapore

RHB Banking Group is extending its Islamic banking services to Singapore reported Gabriel Chen on asiaone business.

First Islamic bank in France already in June?

Gilles Saint-Marc, a Paris based lawyer is cited that the first Islamic bank in France may start already in June 2009.

Malaysia to Seek Large Islamic Banks for International Reach

Malaysian Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said to Bloomberg, that an international Islamic financial institution of a large size that can take international business, whether business in Europe, or South Korea or any part of the world is wanted to be seen, reported Shanthy Nambiar and Haslinda Amin on Bloomberg.

Amlak Finance will halve its s take in a property investment

Amlak Finance will halve its investment in Sky Gardens, a tower located near the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Amlak had purchased properties in various parts of Dubai to sell them to potential purchasers. As buyers have become fewer, the company decided to scale back its investment.

Mawarid and Al Arabiya launching portal for Islamic economics

Mawarid Finance announced in cooperation with Al Aswaq Al Arabiya of Al Arabiya News Channel the launch of an e-portal dedicated to Islamic economics. The new e-portal features a database of Islamic financial companies and institutions in addition to fatwas related to Islamic financial transactions, products, updates on Islamic financing.

A link was provided in the Press Release.

Stress testing Islamic finance

Ayah el Said and Rachel Ziemba discussed risk management considerations comparing stress testing in conventional finance and the Islamic finance industry on RGEMonitor.

For Islamic financial institutions, a plausible scenario means factoring in possible contractions in several of the economies that have been the centers for Islamic finance as well as significant asset market corrections which would weaken the balance sheets of Islamic financial institutions. A stress scenario should factor in at least another 40% drop in property prices in Dubai and considerable drops in other markets. The increased risks of investment losses on the one hand, and rising non-performing loans on the other, adds to the vulnerability of Islamic banks.

Lead Manager Bahrain Sukuk

Bahrain’s central bank confirmed that it has appointed Deutsche Bank, HSBC Bank and Calyon as lead managers for its upcoming sale of the sovereign USD 500 mn 5-year Sukuk.

It will also issue 3-year debt in local currency to raise a further 250 mn Bahraini dinars.

Dubai Islamic Bank offers to buy back Sukuk up to USD 200 mn

Dubai Islamic Bank offered to buy back up to USD 200 mn of sukuk. Pricing shall be at least 86 % of face value, but not more than 90 % determined by an auction.

Dubai Islamic has USD 750 mn of sukuk due 2012.

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