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Litrak, Malaysia, may return RM 1 per share with debt refinancing plan

Yong Yen Nie reported in The Edge on 18th March about Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd (Litrak), which may return RM 1 per share after debt refinancing. The firm proposed last Friday the issuance of up to RM1.55 billion in Islamic debt papers under a sukuk programme. The new debt issue is meant to refinance the highway concessionaire’s existing borrowings and redeemable unsecured loan stocks of RM1.2 billion and to fund working capital and other operational purposes.

Analysts said the proceeds from the sukuk bond issue would fully retire Litrak’s existing debts that were taken to fund the construction of the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP).

Source: http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/content.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Artic...

Stanchart applies for Malaysia Islamic bank

Saeed Azhar reported on Reuters on 18th March, that Asia-focused Standard Chartered Bank has applied for a license to set up a separate Islamic banking unit in Malaysia, aiming to capture growth in a business that has escaped global credit turmoil.

Standard Chartered had $1.4 billion (699 million pounds) of Islamic banking assets in Malaysia at the end of 2007, more than double the year ago period, he said.

HSBC and Singapore's third-biggest lender, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp , have already received regulatory approval to set up Islamic banking units in Malaysia.

Source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080318/tbs-uk-standard-chartered-malaysi...

Fitch rates Jordan Islamic Bank for Finance and Investment IDR 'BB-'

AME Info published a press release on 18th March stating that Fitch Ratings has today assigned ratings to Amman-based Jordan Islamic Bank for Finance and Investment (JIB) of Long-term Issuer Default (IDR) 'BB-' (BB minus), Short-term IDR 'B', Individual 'C/D', Support '3' and Support Rating Floor 'BB-' (BB minus). The Outlook is Stable.

Source: http://www.ameinfo.com/150487.html

Takaful help Prudential to make as much profit in Asia as in UK

The Guardian reported on 17th March about the takaful business of Prudential. Prudential is looking to expand into Egypt as the executive who runs the insurer's fast-growing Asian business seeks other markets with scope for rapid growth, like before Indonesia, where 25% of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2007 were sharia-compliant products.

Figures on Friday showed that profits of the Pru's Asian operations broke through £1bn for the first time in 2007 and now match the profits achieved by the insurer's traditional UK operations.

Stowe is already responsible for 13 countries. In India, he believes Pru can soon overtake the state-owned insurer that occupies the number-one slot in the country.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/mar/17/islamicfinance.insurance?gus...

Islamic Development Bank fosters climate research in Pakistan

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will help Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) to conduct research on climatic changes and devise strategies to face the impending environmental challenges.

Pakistan would be adversely affected by climatic change in the years to come and there was dire need that a comprehensive strategy was devised to overcome this, he maintained.

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Gassner's picture

Peer to Peer in Banking & Development

Recently I came across the website www.kiva.org - which happened to be an Internet based charity. What they do? They connect those people who need a microfinance with those small scale donors previously not accessible. It brings together people willing to lend a 25 $ with those who need a 500 $ for a cow, and syndicates it with different lenders globally. A fascinating technology, showing where you contribute and could make difference.

My belief is, that this peer to peer concept using institutional infrastructure for distribution but relying on a high number of small donors, has a great future. People have confidence to make a difference.

Have a look and think about, how this platform could be used in other ways as well!

Once more: www.kiva.org

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Denmark: Islamic Mortgages

Three local banks in the Jutland region of Denmark have agreed to offer mortgage loans that comply with Islamic laws.
The bank owns the property until the terms of the lease, typically a 30-year agreement, are completed. The three banks -- Sparekassen Farsø, Sparekassen Vendsyssel and Sparekassen Hobro -- with cooperation of a fourth -- Den Jyske Sparekasse -- created a company to handle the new Amanah Kredit mortgages. Niels Mogaard, director of Amanah, said the arrangements were already in use, especially in the city of Aalborg, the Copenhagen Post reported.

source: http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Business/2008/03/12/danish_banks_to_comply_...

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