GCC

Sustainability and Islamic Finance in the United Arab Emirates

The targets set by the UAE to prepare the country’s economy for a post-hydrocarbon era have been very ambitious. As part of its economic diversification actions, the UAE has undertaken to increase the clean energy contribution to the total energy mix from 0.2% in 2014, to 24% by 2021. In the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, a target is set of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 70% by 2050 and increasing the use of clean energy to meet 50% of the country’s energy needs by the same year. The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 similarly sets out the emirate’s aim of transforming Dubai into a global clean energy centre. These goals will require considerable capital investment. However, while other centres for Islamic finance have seen a growing number of responsible finance sukuk issuances, there have been noticeably fewer issuances in the UAE. Mobilising private sector finance through responsible financing activities will be critical in helping the UAE government to meet its extensive sustainability targets.

Dubai to come back to debt market with 10-year #sukuk, 30-year bonds

Dubai has hired banks to arrange investor calls ahead of a potential sale of U.S. dollar-denominated 10-year sukuk and 30-year conventional bonds. Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered are mandated to arrange the calls. The benchmark issuance is part of a $6 billion sukuk issuance programme and of a $5 billion bond issuance programme. The new issuance could bolster the finances of the Middle East trade, finance and tourism hub, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis this year.

#Qatar- Masraf Al Rayan's $750mn #sukuk generates overwhelming demand from global investors

Masraf Al Rayan has announced the issuance of $750mn Sukuk with a term of five years under the bank's existing $2bn sukuk programme. The issuance was 4.4 times oversubscribed to the tune of nearly $3.3bn. The overwhelming demand from investors has allowed the bank to increase the issue size from an initial $500mn to $750mn. The issuance was priced at a spread of 185 basis points over the five-year mid swap carrying a fixed profit rate of 2.21% per annum. Al Rayan Investment, Crédit Agricole CIB, HSBC, Mizuho, MUFG, QNB Capital, Société Générale and Standard Chartered Bank acted as joint lead managers and bookrunners on this transaction.

Registration deadline for Ma’an third Social Incubator extended to 12th September

The Authority of Social Contribution, Ma’an, is urging all social entrepreneurs in the UAE and wider MENA region to complete the online application, as the Authority announces an extension for registrations until 12th September. The teams shortlisted for the Social Incubator programme will aim to strengthen the interactions and create stronger emotional bonding between parents, children, relatives, the elderly and couples across the Emirate and highlight the importance of family values. Ma’an will shortlist and support 10 winning social start-ups, who will then undergo a 90 day training programme and develop their ideas into business ventures. Ma’an will invest more than AED 2 million in total in this cycle with the successful applicants also having access to milestone-based funding, mentorship, office space, business expertise and investors.

Arcapita and Mumtalakat Sell Stakes in NAS Neuron Health Services

Arcapita Group and Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding sold their ownership stake in Abu Dhabi-based NAS Neuron Health Services. The two companies partnered to acquire an equity stake in NAS United Healthcare Services in 2017. Umair Nizami is the Managing Director of Neuron, as well as CEO of Dubai Wing. NAS Neuron is one of the largest private TPAs of medical claims in the GCC region.

#UAE's first ETF tracking Sharia-compliant index lists on UAE markets

The UAE's first exchange traded fund tracking a Sharia-compliant index began trading on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Dubai Financial Market. Bourses in the the region are ramping up efforts to diversify their product offerings to attract more foreign direct investment. Chimera Capital listed its Chimera S&P UAE Shariah ETF, which is designed to replicate the S&P UAE Domestic Shariah Liquid 35/20 Capped Index. The Chimera S&P UAE Shariah ETF is structured and built by S&P and monitored by a Shariah board that meets regularly to review and re-balance the index quarterly. Currently the index has ten securities across the two UAE markets. The fund has a total market capitalisation of Dh234 billion and assets under management of Dh934,839.

DIB Tier 1 Sukuk (3) Ltd. -- Moody's announces completion of a periodic review of ratings of Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC

Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB).
Dubai Islamic Bank's A3 long-term Issuer ratings are derived from the bank's ba2 standalone baseline credit assessment and a five notch systemic support uplift based on Moody's view of a very high likelihood of government support from United Arab Emirates (rated Aa2), in case of need. DIB's ba2 BCA reflects the bank's solid profitability, deposit-funded balance sheet, and healthy liquidity reserves. These strengths are moderated by Moody's expectation of downside pressure on the bank's solvency in the 12-18 months on the back of lower oil prices, reduced investor confidence and the coronavirus-induced disruption.

College of Islamic Studies at HBKU and Qatar FinTech Hub Sign MoU

The College of Islamic Studies (CIS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH). Through the agreement, CIS and QFTH will engage and contribute actively to the development of the financial technology (FinTech) industry in Qatar. QFTH represents a range of stakeholders in the industry from early-stage firms to large financial services companies and relevant service providers, who stand to benefit from CIS' insights and research. The Fintech Hackathon, which was launched in June 2020, is one of the pioneering areas of collaboration between CIS and QFTH.

Mideast family businesses should focus on succession planning, wealth transfer

The desire for wealth transition means that many family businesses may have to change their approach and look outside the family to increase that longevity rather than simply relying on the next generation inheriting the family business. It may be that the skill set or appetite of the next generation to take on the family business is simply not there. Furthermore, the inheritance laws governing the transfer of assets locally may vary from those applicable to assets located abroad. Wealth planning company Julius Baer expects to see an increase in the number of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)/Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Foundations to support wealth and succession planning for clients in the UAE.

Moody's - Decline in #sukuk issuance to be limited by GCC financing needs

Moody’s expects sukuk issuance to modestly decline by 5% this year to about $170 billion because of the coronavirus crisis. Despite the decline, 2020 will still see the second highest sukuk issuance total ever, following a 36% increase in 2019. Total issuance in the first six months of 2020 dropped to $77 billion, down 12% from the same period last year, as activity in Malaysia and Indonesia flagged. Issuance in southeast Asia dropped by 25%, while volumes in the Middle East rose 7%. Volumes are likely to rebound in the second half of 2020, as governments raise money to finance their responses to the coronavirus crisis.

Dubai Islamic Bank reports Dh2.1b first half 2020 net profit

The Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) reported a net profit of Dh2.11 billion for the first half of 2020. Due a difficult quarter, DIB continues to demonstrate healthy profitability whilst ensuring prudence in growing the balance sheet.

Islamic Banks: Structural Advantage

Banks who are in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, will have weaker earnings and profitability this year, due deterioration in nearly all their sources of income said Junaid Ansari, head of Research and Strategy at Kamco Invest, Kuwait. Conventional banks and the Islamic financial institutions will record weaker performance he said, but Islamic banks, due to their structure and focus, may cope better.

Emirates Islamic announces First Half 2020 Financial results

Emirates Islamic announced its financial results for the half year ending 30 June, 2020. The Bank reported a net profit of AED 12 million for the first half of 2020. The total income is of AED 1.1 billion, lower by 15% year-on-year. Funded Income margins are lower by 25 bps year-over-year due to lower profit rate environment. Total assets stand at AED 64.2 billion, decreased by 1% from end 2019. Customer accounts stand at AED 45 billion, broadly flat from end 2019, while current and savings accounts balance up 10% from end 2019.

#UAE’s personal wealth shoots past $400 billion mark

According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), personal wealth held by UAE residents surged to $400 billion between 2014 and 2019, with 48.5% of it held by millionaires in 2019. The consultancy reckons the ranks of UAE’s millionaires are expected to grow by 4.2% annually over the coming four years. The UAE represented 7.1% of the share of personal wealth pool in 2019 in the Middle East and Africa, having grown by 3.8% annually to $400 billion between 2014-19. The consultancy says the wealth management industry's value proposition will change over the next two decades, new forms of interaction will evolve, as well as new business models.

#Sukuk Market Developing Fastest in #Saudi Arabia

Launched in 2017 with the aim to diversify funding, the Saudi finance ministry had planned to raise US$31.5 billion of Sukuk in 2019. A new ‘primary dealer’ scheme for local-currency government sukuk was launched in 2018, under which five local banks buy the sukuk directly from the government and then make a market by quoting two-way prices to other investors. Additionally, Saudi regulators introduced a number of incentives in 2019 for corporate sukuk issuers and investors to encourage further issuances. Lower regulator fees and zero tax/zakat on investments in domestic sovereign sukuk also promise a more active and liquid secondary market.

Siraj Holding completes deal for Al Hilal Bank's Islamic insurance business

Private investment firm, Siraj Holding, has officially acquired Al Hilal Takaful, the Islamic insurance business and operations of Al Hilal Bank. The transaction, which was initially expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2020, was given the green light by shareholders, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and the Insurance Authority. The firm plans to rebrand and align with the new leadership and group operating model following the completion of regulatory formalities. A new group of board members was appointed as part of the acquisition, while the operations of the company will be led by Thomas Joe as chief executive officer.

Property financing campaign launched by #Bahrain-based Al Baraka Islamic Bank

Al Baraka Islamic Bank has launched a promotional campaign to provide property financing to the beneficiaries of the Housing Ministry’s Mazaya programme. Under the campaign, profit rates will be calculated at competitive rates, there will be no down payments, and zero banking fees. The bank will also cover the fees of life insurance for the beneficiaries and will provide fire insurance for the property. Also, there will be instant prizes for the executed deals. The financing is up to BD120,000 with maximum duration of 25 years.

Islamic Development Bank Group in partnership with the #UAE Ministry of Economy and Annual Investment Meeting Hosted a Live Webinar To Discuss Challenges Facing Co-VID 19

The Islamic Development Bank Group in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy conducted a live webinar entitled "IsDB Group Private Sector Action Response to COVID-19". The webinar discussed the future outlook to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the webinar highlighted the IsDB Group’s US$2.3 billion Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme. During the webinar, 3 online initiatives were launched: Digital Country Presentations, Startups Virtual Pitch Competition and the MADE IN…..SERIES, which is a digital platform for SMEs who want to showcase and present their local products, project and services to an international audience.

ADIB continues its support to customers impacted by COVID-19

ADIB has launched a series of special offers exclusively to healthcare professionals as a tribute for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. These offers include reductions and discounts on ADIB products: special reduction on the profit rate of personal and auto finance; AED500 reduction in fees for ADIB covered cards or a voucher from Amazon or Noon when applying for cards; fixed profit rates on home finance starting from 2.99% per annum on home finance; 20% fee reduction on all wealth management products; Smartaccount welcome pack and no minimum balance requirement for Smartbanking; an iPad with every Life and Savings Takaful plan, if an AED 1,000 monthly contribution is made. ADIB was among the first UAE financial institutions to launch relief measures for customers during COVID-19, including the postponement of monthly installment payments and the reduction of certain fees.

#Saudi Arabia’s mortgage lender Amlak to start trading on Tadawul from Monday

Saudi Arabia’s mortgage lender Amlak International for Real Estate Finance starts trading shares on the Tadawul stock exchange. The company is floating 27.18 million shares, or 30 per cent of its total, with an indicative price range set at 15-17 Saudi riyals (Dh14.7-Dh16.6) per share. Proceeds of the offer are being used to repay selling shareholders. Amlak International was set up in 2007 and is a non-bank lender, mainly of property loans. Shares in Amlak International's IPO will be allocated on a pro-rata basis to individuals who subscribed to the offer, depending on the size of their request.

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