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Arabian Gulf Sukuk May Reach $5 Billion in Fourth Quarter: Islamic Finance

Banks and companies in the Arabian Gulf may issue the most Islamic debt in three years in the fourth quarter as economic growth accelerates and Dubai’s companies reach agreements to restructure debt. The combination of declining yields in emerging markets and a successful restructuring of state-owned Dubai World’s debt may spur more sales, according to Exotix and Royal Capital PJSC.

Kuwait saturated with Islamic banks, cenbank head says

Sheikh Salem Abdul Aziz Al Sabah told Arabic language daily Al Seyassah that there were five Kuwaiti Islamic lenders registered with the central bank and five conventional banks. Saudi Arabia's Al-Rajhi Bank, one of the biggest Islamic lenders in the Gulf, also operates in Kuwait. Independent analyst Ali al-Nimesh said while the current view of saturation may be accurate, demand could pick up in coming years.

H.E. Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Secretary General Of The OIC on Poverty Alleviation

Poverty is a complex issue and needs to be tackled on a range of fronts including, but not limited to, improving economic growth. Poverty remains one of the big challenges to socio-economic development of majority of developing countries, especially in Sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia. Besides, this phenomenon has brought about problems such as illiteracy, malnutrition, disease and even crime. Global food crisis further worsened the already precarious conditions of poor people in these countries.

To cope with the bane of poverty, the OIC has to reinvigorate its machinery for economic growth and cooperation among member countries through comprehensive mobilization of the resources, within and outside the OIC community. A new approach to economic cooperation was, therefore fashioned out to ensure that all stakeholders are sensitized on the need for the accelerated transformation of the economies of OIC Member-States and the welfare of their peoples.

BARWA Bank annouces new Board of Directors

BARWA Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of its Board of Directors (the "Board"). The nine strong Board will be chaired by H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani, and consists of the following members:Chairman: H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani
Deputy Chairman & Managing Director: Mr. Mohammed Abdul-Aziz Al-Saad
Board Member: Dr. Hassan Lahdan Al-Mohannadi
Board Member: Mr. Ahmed Yousef Kamal
Board Member: Mr. Ali Mohammed Sabah Al-Assiry
Board Member: Mr. Jamal A. Rahman Senan Al Muslmani
Board Member: Mr. Khalid Mubarak Al-Dulaimi
Board Member: Mr. Thani Al-Rahman Al-Kuwari
Board Member: Ms. Aisha Mohammed Al-Naoimi
The Board of Directors will meet at least 6 times per year and ad hoc as required.

Nigeria: Cornerstone Introduces Islamic Insurance

Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Lagos, has established Islamic Insurance (Takaful) division to offer insurance products and services to the huge Moslem population in Nigeria, the chairman of the company, Adetokumbo Sulaiman, has said. The managing director of the company, Livingston Magorimbo, noted that the life insurance businesses of Cornerstone grew by 136 percent last year. He attributed the growth to product innovation, channel diversification and service excellence.

ABC Islamic Bank announces US$1.8 million net profit for first quarter

ABC Islamic Bank today announced a net profit of $1.8 million for the first quarter of 2010 compared to $5.6 million for the first quarter of last year.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Naveed Khan, Managing Director, said, “ABC Islamic maintained a positive operating result in the first quarter of 2010 despite de-risking of the balance sheet and conservative provisioning on impaired assets from the previous year. This has been in line with Group and parent policy. However the bank is well poised for future growth as its capitalization ratio has a healthy cushion for selective growth.”

Source: 

http://www.arabbanking.com/En/AboutABC/Media/Press/Pages/ABCIslamicBankannouncesUS$18millionnetprofitforfirstquarter.aspx

Understanding the sensitivities of Islamic mortgages

Islamic mortgages may be regarded as a niche market but they offer opportunities for brokers who work close to large Muslim populations, especially to those who understand the products and the sector.

As with all areas of lending finance for Islamic mortgages suffered in line with the market downturn. A lack of confidence, funding and a reassessment of risk with lower LTV criteria have all contributed to consolidation in what was a growing area of mortgage broking and lending.

Alburaq was a dedicated resource to brokers referring clients to Alburaq’s team in London. Islamic Bank of Britain offers training to ensure a full understanding of the market and there are competitive processing fees for packaged or introduced cases.

The important thing to remember is that this sector is growing through difficult times. Brokers will find this sector interesting and it will provide them with a loyal client base who will be keen to recommend knowledgeable and sensitive advisers to members of their community.

Citigroup Plans More Sukuk Sales From Turkey After Kuveyt Turk Bond Issue

Citigroup plans to arrange more sales of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, from Turkey after managing a $100 million issue for Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bankasi AS, an executive at the company said. Citigroup and Liquidity Management House, a unit of Kuwait Finance House KSC which is the owner of Kuveyt Turk, acted as arrangers in Kuveyt Turk’s sukuk sales, the first in Turkey after regulators allowed companies to offer Islamic bonds in April.

Kuwait Finance House - dominant franchise, strong customer funding and adequate capitalisation

KFH's IDRs (Issuer Default Rating) and Support rating reflect Fitch's view that there is an extremely high probability that the bank would receive support from the Kuwaiti authorities, if required. This view is based on the State's strong history of supporting local banks, KFH's government-related shareholders and its systemic importance. Downside risk to the IDRs is limited, as the Long-term IDR is at the Support Rating Floor. Any change in the IDRs would reflect a change in Fitch's view of Kuwait's ability and willingness to support KFH, which is considered unlikely. The Individual rating reflects KFH's dominant franchise, strong customer funding base and adequate capitalisation, as well as its weak performance and asset quality indicators, high sector concentrations and the difficult operating environment in Kuwait.

First trade creditor sues Nakheel

The first trade creditor has filed a lawsuit against Dubai World's Nakheel property developer unit with the special tribunal set up to handle disputes over its debt restructuring, which could further delay a settlement. The tribunal said the suit, filed in mid-August, was served by Dubai-based Construction Delivery Group (CDG). Legal experts have said that creditor claims against Dubai World or its subsidiaries with the tribunal could potentially cause the restructuring to come to a standstill until the matter is resolved in court. Under Nakheel's restructuring plan, trade creditors have been offered 40 per cent of what they are owed in cash and an Islamic bond (sukuk) in lieu of the rest.

Citigroup plans more Islamic bond sales from Turkey; in talks with other sellers

Citigroup plans to arrange more sales of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, from Turkey. Citigroup is having talks with other potential sellers of Shariah-compliant debt in the country, said Hulusi Horozoglu, director of global Islamic banking at Citigroup, in an e-mailed response to questions. Turkey’s government is considering selling sukuk “in the future,” Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said in an interview.

Shariah Banks Targeted to Lift Senegal, Pakistan Poverty: Islamic Finance

Senegal, Pakistan and Afghanistan, among the world’s 50 poorest nations, are turning to Islamic banking to spur economic growth by encouraging people to take out loans and open savings accounts. Developing Islamic nations have shunned banking in part because of the religion’s ban on interest, limiting access to funds for project financing and stunting business growth, according to the International Monetary Fund. The concept of risk-sharing in Shariah banking that prohibits interest payments would be more useful in Muslim countries because their economies are less diversified, the IMF economists said.

Saad creditors sell debt cheaply

Saudi conglomerate Saad Group's creditors sold some of their debt cheaply for just 15 cents on the dollar two weeks ago in order to reduce exposure. The National newspaper said that the foreign banks made the sales. Saad Group is embroiled in a legal disputes with Al Gossaibi group on different fraud charges.

QFIB to launch a one-stop Shari'ah compliant asset management company

Qatar First Investment Bank is co-launching with Gulfmena a unique, one-stop Shari'ah compliant asset management company. The new asset management company is expected to launch in fourth quarter 2010.

It will provide a fully integrated range of Shari'ah compliant products and services covering all asset classes and catering to qualified investors such as foundations, charitable organizations, Awqaf, Islamic banks, Takaful and Re-takaful companies as well as high-net worth individuals.

Pakistan, Cagamas, Indonesia Plan Issuance: Islamic Bond Alert

The following borrowers are expected to sell Islamic bonds:

TURKEY: Citigroup Inc. plans to arrange more sales of Islamic bonds from Turkey after managing a $100 million issue for Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bankasi AS, said Hulusi Horozoglu, director of global Islamic banking at Citigroup.

PAKISTAN: The South Asian country plans to sell sukuk maturing in a year or less in the domestic market by the end of this month, according to an e-mailed statement from Syed Wasimuddin, a spokesman for State Bank of Pakistan, the nation’s central bank.

CAGAMAS BHD.: Malaysia’s national mortgage company plans to sell more Islamic bonds this month following a sale in August under its 5 billion ringgit ($1.6 billion) sukuk program, the Business Times reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the proposal.

INDONESIA: plans to sell 2 trillion rupiah ($224 million) of Islamic bonds by private placement this year, said Rahmat Waluyanto, a director at the Ministry of Finance.

FSA Offering Syariah Perspective Financial Planning

First Sovereign Advisory Sdn Bhd (FSA) aims to make financial freedom a reality by offering syariah perspective financial planning, which includes zakat planning. FSA is the first Islamic value-based financial adviser firm licensed by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission in Malaysia. The company's business model is based on fair sharing formula between the company and its financial advisor representatives as well as with capital market service representatives. It also has license to offer other services like portfolio management and tax planning.

National Bonds: serving people's different purposes

Aware that the profit rate dropped last year to 3.5 per cent compared to the previous years' rates of six per cent and seven per cent they think that it was still better than what the banks offered in term deposits. Ali Abdullah Janahi, Mahmoud Al Twissi, Bhawna Bist and Dimple Bhatia are among the recent converts to National Bonds, attracted by what they believe is a safe investment with better returns than banks. While some see the UAE-based Sharia-compliant savings scheme as one more way to diversify their portfolio, others see it as a future fund for children and a stop-gap investment before opting for other avenues such as real estate. In most cases, it's the word of mouth recommendations from friends and relatives about the scheme that persuaded them to invest in National Bonds.

Al Baraka planning to buy firm in Saudi push

Bahrain's Islamic lender Al Baraka yesterday said it planned to enter the Saudi Arabian market through an acquisition of an Islamic investment company there, valued at around 300 million Saudi riyals ($80m). Al Baraka did not disclose the name of the Saudi firm it planned to buy, adding it would reveal further details after gaining official approval. The Al Baraka Banking Group has a wide presence in the form of subsidiary banking units and representative offices in 12 countries, which in turn provide their services through more than 300 branches. Al Baraka had signed a share swap deal with Saudi Investment in 2007 but scrapped the deal in 2009 blaming the global financial crisis.

Islamic Corporation for Private Sector Development to provide assistance to Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan prepares to establish the first investment company jointly with the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Corporation for Private Sector Development. As Turkmenistan's Vice Premier Tuvakmamed Japarov reported at a government meeting on September 17, the main task of the investment company will be to revitalize activities related to direct investments in Turkmenistan through equity capital of small and medium-sized businesses enterprise.

Live a Debt Free Life with National Bonds

National Bonds is providing new hope to its customers who have accumulated loans with the launch of a new initiative that will help new & current bondholders erase their debts and begin a 'debt-free' life. National Bonds Corporation PJSC, the leading Sharia compliant saving scheme, will reward prizes totaling up to AED 2 Million in value that is in addition to its regular & richest weekly and monthly rewards, including the life-changing AED 1 million monthly prize and 22,250 prizes. This initiative is part of National Bonds' efforts to inculcate a culture of regular savings in the UAE. The strategy includes the recently launched National BondsNational Bonds
National Bonds Corporation Standing Instruction Order, a service that makes regular saving easier than ever and is available at a number of banks across the UAE. The Standing Instruction Order will allow banks to automatically deduct a monthly amount from customers to purchase bonds on their behalf, thereby eliminating the need to repeat the transaction process every month.

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