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#Al-Rajhi #REIT #shares to go on #sale next week

Al-Rajhi Capital said, the initial public offering period of Al-Rajhi REIT Fund will run from Jan. 1 to Jan. 14. The fund will have a size of $ 282 million, according to the fund manager. Some 42.67 million units will be offered to investors at SR 10 each.
“The Sharia-compliant fund aims to acquire or invest in income-generating commercial, office, and educational assets, as well as warehouses, which are mainly located in the Kingdom, except for Makkah and Madinah,” was said in a statement.
The preliminary portfolio comprises 13 assets that generate income at the end of January and July of every year.
The fund’s assets are spread across various sectors in the Kingdom: Retail 54 %, warehouses 12 %, offices 26 % and education 8 %. Eligible investors are Saudis, GCC nationals, foreigners residing in the Kingdom, institutions, companies, and investment funds operating in the Kingdom, along with other Qualified Foreign Investors.

Stronger #leadership guiding #KFH #Malaysia towards resurgence as #leading #Islamic #bank

The World’s oldest Islamic bank has strengthened its leadership to provide sharia-compliant products and services to an even broader market. Simpler, better, faster. These three key words form the cornerstone of a strategy that is seen to propel Kuwait Finance House Malaysia from its present level to a stronger position in the region. Thanks to fundamental adjustments that demonstrate efforts of Kuwait Finance House to grow its Malaysian subsidiary, the outlook for KFH Malaysia has never been better. “After making changes to the management structure in Kuwait, we came to bring the Malaysia arm in line with the group and to make sure that we drive forward to become the dominant player in Southeast Asia,” CEO David Power said.
Groomed as the regional hub for KFH in the Far East, KFH Malaysia had 18 vacant management positions when Power took over. Within a short period, he took steps to make sure that the bank had the right people on board who could assess the problems and come up with short-, medium- and long-term solutions.

#Iran Seven-Year #Sukuk #Issuance at $3.7b

Seven years ago the Law of Developing Financial Instruments and Entities was passed in the parliament. Since then, more than $ 3.76 billion worth of Islamic sukuk have been issued in the Iranian capital market according to the chief executive of the Capital Market Central Asset Management Company.
"From the fiscal 2010-11 up to the end of the ninth month of the current fiscal year, 47 kinds of sukuk worth more than 157 trillion rials have been released in the capital market, 17 of which worth $ 311.7 million have come to maturity," Gholamreza Abutorabi was also quoted as saying by the official website of the company: "The amount of installments and the original amount of these matured bonds have been reimbursed".
According to the CEO, 30 kinds of active sukuk worth $ 3.5 billion are currently in use and are being traded, whereas two other kinds worth a total of $ 89.9 million belonging to two companies will come to maturity. From the beginning of the current fiscal year on March 20 until now, more than $ 407.6 million worth of installments pertaining to various kinds of sukuk have been received by intermediary financial companies.

#Gulf #Islamic #Investments acquires two logistics facilities

The Gulf Islamic Investments, a Islamic financial services company based in the UAE, has revealed the acquisition of nearly one million square feet of logistics facilities on behalf of its investors, at the price of 144 million US-Dollar. The two state of the art logistics centres, are located in Dortmund Germany, and serves as key logistics centre of Amazon supplying goods to 29 other facilities. These newly built facilities are leased out to Amazon on a long-term lease that cannot be cancelled with regular rental uplifts linked to Germany CPI.

Islamic #microfinance necessary for poverty eradication

The 7th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum successfully concluded in Istanbul between 24–28 November, 2017. The first two days of the conference focused on topics like Islamic microfinance financial technology, financial inclusion, Micro Takaful, Waqf and Zakat as Supportive Elements for Islamic Microfinance. In the next two days, Islamic Agriculture and Rural Finance, the role of Islamic finance in the rural development and micro takaful came under discussion. While addressing the inaugural ceremony, Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), said that Islamic microfinance was a core element of Islamic financial industry. Dr Amjad Saqib, Founder of Akhuwat Pakistan welcomed the guests and participants. He further announced that the next time such an event would be organised would be in London next year in October.

Islamic and conventional banks face almost identical transfer pricing issues

Transfer pricing sounds esoteric and many wrongly associate it with abusive behaviour by multinational corporations. In reality, all multinational corporations have to deal with transfer pricing. Profits made in different countries may suffer different amounts of corporate tax and may suffer different amounts of withholding taxes before those profits can be paid. The tax authorities of each individual country understandably seek to maximise that country’s tax revenues. The serious risk that the multinational group faces is that the tax authorities impose artificial prices for tax purposes. This can cause the underlying profits to be taxed twice. Fortunately, a growing number of countries have entered into tax treaties to solve this problem.

Halk REIT issues #Turkey's first #sukuk

Halk Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) has issued Turkey's first sukuk with a nominal value of TL 100 million ($26.12 million) through Halkinvest. The return of the 87-day lease certificate will be realized at 13.25% at the end of the maturity period. Halk REIT General Manager Feyzullah Yetgin said that the widespread use of real estate-based financial products would make a great contribution to the real potential of the sector. Halkinvest General Manager Serdar Sürer said that the lease certificate issuance transaction executed on behalf of Halk REIT was their 60th capital market issuance transaction this year. He also said that they would continue to add value to their business partners with products based on the real economy.

Islamic funding becomes more attractive for the non-Muslim world

Islamic finance has traditionally been dominated by Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It has transformed from a niche corner of global banking to a growing source of funding for the rest of the world. The government of Singapore was one of the earliest non-Muslim entrants into the space, followed by the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Hong Kong, which issued their first sukuk in 2014. African nations such as South Africa, Nigeria and Ivory Coast have made legal and tax changes to make it easier for borrowers to issue sukuk. The value of sukuk bonds issued outside the Middle East and Southeast Asia by non-Muslim countries reached 2.25 billion USD for the period from January to November. By comparison, the volume in 2016 was 2 billion USD, and in 2015 was 1 billion USD. Islamic finance is seen as a more stable alternative to the conventional banking system and offers a more ethical approach to managing money.

Storm looming over Zitouna Bank sale

The sale of Zitouna Bank, which was launched on December 5 by state holding company Al Karama, could be quickly scuttled by the investment banks and other groups which had been hoping to get involved in this major operation.

Bank Islam issues bank cards corresponding with Sharia law

Bank Islam recently presented its first Sharia-compliant bank cards to the #Kazakhstan retail market. Customers will not be able to pay for goods and services that are prohibited under the Sharia law. Therefore, the cards cannot be used in night clubs, casinos, bookmakers, tobacco and liqueur shops. Card holders can pay for goods and services in Kazakhstan and abroad, receiving a cashback of 0.5-1% from each purchase. It also allows carrying out purchases through the internet, transfers from card to card, online payment of taxes and fines. Debit cards of the bank are issued in two categories, Master Card Gold and Master Card Platinum. In the beginning of next year, the bank plans to launch its first credit cards. Cards are currently available for residents of Astana, Almaty and Shymkent.

Islamic finance is becoming so attractive that even non-Muslims want in

Islamic finance has traditionally been dominated by Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It has transformed from a niche corner of global banking to a growing source of funding for the rest of the world. The government of Singapore was one of the earliest non-Muslim entrants into the space, followed by the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Hong Kong, which issued their first sukuk in 2014. African nations such as South Africa, Nigeria and Ivory Coast have made legal and tax changes to make it easier for borrowers to issue sukuk. Islamic finance is seen as a more stable alternative to the conventional banking system and offers a more ethical approach to managing money. The industry's size is expected to expand further to $3.5 trillion by 2021 as countries and companies look for alternative funding sources.

Islamic #insurance #merger creates #UAE giant

Takaful Emarat has agreed to acquire Al Hilal Takaful from Al Hilal Bank. The all-cash transaction will create the largest Islamic insurer in the UAE. The move is viewed as part of a consolidation drive in the Gulf’s takaful sector to offset weak profitability. Mohammad Al-Hawari, managing director of Takaful Emarat, said the deal would drive growth through a wider range of takaful services and a larger customer base. The merger is subject to full regulatory approvals and is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2018. The transfer of Al Hilal Takaful’s ownership to Takaful Emarat will have no impact on current takaful policies, contracts, claims settlements or the writing of new insurance business.

#Malaysia seeks to catapult Islamic finance to the next level

Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry has grown tremendously since 2004, when Bank Negara Malaysia began issuing Islamic banking licenses to foreign Islamic banks. The strong growth is also reflected in the country's Islamic asset management industry, with Malaysia accounting for 34% of the US$78 billion global Islamic assets under management as at the end of 2016. Malaysia strongly believes that Islamic finance must continue to appeal to the broader community.

Experts for strategy to use #fintech in Islamic finance

Islamic banks have been urged to adopt a strategy to make effective use of financial technology. At a seminar held recently, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, director of Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance at IBA, said there has to be a strategy for Islamic finance in the digital world. According to fintech expert Ashar Nazim, Pakistan is doing well in Islamic finance, but the country's finance industry has to adapt to fintech. Market Link Executive Director Ishan Kanji said that using fintech will support the agricultural sector by providing easy access of loans and facilities to farmers. He stressed on the need to tap into the informal economy, which is twice the size of formal economy in Pakistan. At the seminar Hasan Bilgrami, CEO of BankIslami, shared the success story of BankIslami being the first bank in Pakistan to use biometric technology.

CIMB Islamic plans RM10b #sukuk, gets AAAIS rating from MARC

Malaysian Rating Corporation (MARC) has assigned a preliminary rating of AAA with a stable outlook to CIMB Islamic Bank's proposed RM10 billion senior Sukuk Wakalah Programme. MARC said the sukuk wakalah would provide an additional platform to raise liquidity for the bank should it need to strengthen its funding base. The rating agency added that the bank would be able to utilise its existing Basel III Tier-2 Junior Sukuk Programme to support its capital position when required. CIMB Islamic’s existing sukuk issuances, rated and affirmed by MARC with a stable outlook are as follows: an RM5 billion Tier 2 Junior Sukuk programme at AA+IS and its RM2 billion Tier 2 Junior Sukuk programme at AA+IS.

Dubai: MAG to sell #property via Sharia-compliant OneGram

Dubai's MAG Lifestyle Development will offer customers the opportunity to purchase properties using OneGram, the first Sharia-compliant crypto-currency. Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, CEO of MAG Lifestyle Development stated that customers will benefit from the growing potential of crypto-currencies with OneGram. Each OneGram Coin (OGC) is backed by a gram of gold, which ensures that it remains a fully capitalised and stable digital currency. In compliance with Islamic Sharia law, it is also zero interest, profit-loss sharing, and non-speculative as it is pegged to gold. OneGram is also simple to buy and trade and will go live in June 2018. Mohammed Ibraheem Khan, co-founder of OneGram said this was the first real-world application for OneGram and the company was proud to be taking this step with MAG Lifestyle Development.

#Iranian Private Banks Secure #Qatar Foothold

Several major Iranian private lenders have recently established correspondent relations with Qatar National Bank (QNB). Kourosh Parvizian, CEO of Parsian Bank, said these banks opened accounts with QNB and are prepared to offer financial services to Iranian and Qatari businesses. QNB governor Sheikh Abdullah Saoud Al-Thani said Qatari lenders will make efforts to remove trade obstacles quickly. The Iranian delegation in Doha held a meeting with officials from QNB, Al Rayan Bank and Al Khaliji Bank. They discussed using local currencies in bilateral trade and taking speedy measures to ease trade between the two countries. Bank Melli Iran is also holding talks with one of the largest banks in Qatar for establishing correspondent ties.

Dana Gas says appeal against BlackRock joining #sukuk trial rejected

The English Court of Appeal has refused Dana Gas' appeal against fund manager BlackRock to participate in English court proceedings. Dana is refusing to redeem its $700 million outstanding sukuk on the grounds that they are no longer sharia-compliant and therefore unlawful in the United Arab Emirates. Courts in both Britain and the UAE are hearing the case. On November 17 the English High Court ruled in favour of the sukuk holders. Dana plans to set aside this judgement on the grounds that the company was not permitted to represent itself in court. Regardless of the result of that application, additional legal proceedings in England are expected.

Why the #sukuk market is soaring

Since its introduction in the 1990s, the sukuk market has grown significantly with no sign of slowing down. 2016 saw volumes rise by 15% year-on-year, bumping the average annual growth rate of the market to 18% since 2010. This puts sukuk growth during this period more than nine times the global bond market growth average. In 2017 sukuk volumes reached $49 billion so far. Sukuk has transformed from a niche product into an integral component of global capital markets. Product offerings have expanded beyond the traditional vanilla instruments to include capital securities in the bank tier 1 format, as well as industry-specific structures for the telecommunications sector. The market is expected to grow in three areas: financing opportunities on the back of China’s Belt and Road initiative, green (or socially responsible investment) sukuk and local currency sukuk.

#Malaysia begins Islamic stock lending

Malaysia’s stock exchange (BMSC) has launched a framework for Islamic stock lending. The introduction of Islamic stock lending aims to provide a Shariah-compliant alternative to the securities borrowing and lending negotiated transaction framework (ISSBNT). According to Bursa Malaysia, Islamic stock lending will provide a more facilitative trading environment and improve trading liquidity. Any person approved by BMSC to be an approved supplier may enter sell its own securities. An approved user is required to have a minimum of RM 50 million (USD 12.2 million) in shareholders funds. Initially, close attention will be given to extending Islamic exchange traded funds in particular, as well as enhancing levels of liquidity.

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