Yasaar Human Capital launched in the DIFC

Yasaar Human Capital, is launched in the Dubai International Financial Centre, as a specialist executive search and human resources firm working within the Islamic finance sphere. The team behind Yasaar Human Capital focuses on executive search, talent management and advisory.

Majid Dawood is Chief Executive of Yasaar Limited, which is already active in the field of Sharia consultancy and media.

Fuwad Beg is CEO of the new entity, Yasaar Human Capital.

The new power brokers: How oil, Asia, hedge funds, and private equity are faring in the financial crisis

A new McKinsey Report is released reviewing the performance of the so-called "new power brokers" being sovereign wealth funds, private equity and hedge funds during the financial crisis.

The power brokers' collective performance in the financial crisis, though better than the sharp declines in wealth of most institutional investors, masks an important shift: Asian sovereign and petrodollar investors emerged as more influential than ever, while hedge funds and private equity saw their previously rapid growth interrupted.

In a 2007 report, MGI labeled these four groups of investors the “new power brokers” because they had gained enough wealth and clout to influence global financial markets. MGI revisited the power brokers to examine how their fortunes diverged over the during the financial crisis that unfolded in 2008 and projects where they may go from here, using a scenario approach.

The full report can be downloaded for free after registration:

S&P: Negative Rating Actions Taken On Four Dubai-Based Banks On Expected Asset Quality Deterioration

Press Release

Negative Rating Actions Taken On Four Dubai-Based Banks On Expected Asset Quality Deterioration

Standard & Poor's has concluded its review of Dubai-based banks, which has resulted in various negative rating actions.

We are lowering the ratings on Emirates Bank International PJSC, National Bank of Dubai, and Mashreqbank to 'A-/A-2' from 'A/A-1'.

We are lowering the long-term rating on Dubai Islamic Bank to 'BBB+' from 'A-' and affirming the 'A-2' short-term rating.

The negative outlooks on all these banks reflect the deteriorating operating environment in Dubai and the impact we expect it to have on the banks' financial profiles.

Bahrain-Based Arcapita Bank 'BB-/B' Ratings Affirmed And Withdrawn At Issuer Request

-- We are affirming the ratings on Arcapita.
-- The outlook remains negative.
-- We are withdrawing the ratings at the issuer request.

PARIS (Standard & Poor's) June 29, 2009--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it affirmed its 'BB-/B' counterparty credit ratings on Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank. The outlook remained negative. Standard & Poor's then withdrew its ratings on Arcapita at the bank's request.

The ratings affirmation reflects our conclusions that the assumptions factored into the ratings are still holding up. The ratings on Arcapita reflect our opinion of the bank's high leverage in the context of a very difficult economic and investment climate, as well as its pressured liquidity position. In our view, positive rating factors are the corrective measures that Arcapita is implementing and the support that the bank is receiving from shareholders. The ratings reflect our opinion of Arcapita's stand-alone credit profile and do not include any uplift for extraordinary external support.

Strong demand expected for SEC Sukuk

Saudi Electricity Co, the state- controlled power producer, may raise as much as USD 1.87 bn, SAR 7 bn, in the largest sale of Sukuk.

The 5-year Sukuk, which is expected to be rated AA- by Fitch rating service, may pay between 90 basis points to 100 basis points over Saudi interbank rates a market expert is quoted.

The spread above the London interbank offered, or Libor, on corporate and government sukuk has narrowed to 7.6 percentage points from an all-time high of 12.3 percentage points in February, according to HSBC-Nasdaq Dubai indexes.

Abolition of Commodity Murabaha and/or Tawarruq?

Mushtak Parker covered the controversy regarding the decision to abolish Organised Tawarruq of the International Council of Fiqh Academy (ICFA) in Arab News.

Badlishah Abdul Ghani, CEO of CIMB Islamic Bank seeks further clarification whether the decision covers only the so-called organized Tawarruq and reverse Tawarruq on the one hand or the classical commodity Murabaha contract likewise. In the classical Tawarruq, the third party has to be identified and cannot have any link with the financier or bank. In a commodity Murabaha this is not necessarily the case.

Tawarruq has been practiced in most countries except perhaps in Qatar where the Shariah scholars have discouraged its use per se. More and more Islamic banks in countries including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Kuwait and UAE, are now shunning Tawarruq, even the accepted form.

Kuwait's Zain renewing USD 2.5 bn Islamic facility

Syndication of the two-year murabaha facility has launched to the senior phase of selldown via bookrunners Banque Saudi Fransi, Calyon and Al Rajhi Bank and is being targeted at a small number of close relationship banks including Saudi and international banks. The margin is said to be 425 bps.

Saad, AHAB to seek USD 10 bn debt restructuring

Saudi-based Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Bros Co (AHAB) said it was about to start talks with creditors, after a newspaper reported it and Saad Group are seeking to restructure USD 10 bn in debt.

AXA announces tie-up with SALAMA for employee benefit plans

AXA has partnered with SALAMA - Islamic Arab Insurance Company to offer Group Life Solutions to AXA’s clients in the UAE.

Amara Holdings partners with Chinese investment firm

Amara Holdings, a Dubai investment firm, and New China Trust Company’s subsidiary, Shanghai Ding Hai Investment Management Company, will identify and evaluate Islamic finance investment opportunities in China for themselves and co-investors and clients.

KFH low exposure to Saad Group

Kuwait Finance House, has minimal exposure to two troubled Saudi firms, belwo 0.1 % of the total credit portfolio, according to Emad Yousef Al-Monayea, Managing Director of Kuwait Finance's subsidiary, Liquidity House.

S&P sceptical on Sukuk market growth

Sukuk growth might be limied due to higher costs of structuring, issuing, accounting fees, real estate downturn, and low hydrocarbon prices, says S&P in a report. Nevertheless, it said sukuk-based financing remained the most attractive means of raising funding for medium and long-term capital costs for GCC issuers.

Nakheel restructuring efforts will affect other Dubai ratings

The refinancing of Nakheel’s US$3.5 billion (Dh12.85bn) Sukuk will be of utmost relevance to the credit ratings Moody's has for Dubai entities. Nakheel has not the stand alone capacity to repay the Sukuk reported Paulo Vecina in The National.

TID Global Sukuk I Limited - Financial Restructuring Update

The Investment Dar Co.The Investment Dar Co.held its latest financial restructuring update meeting in Dubai on Monday 8 June 2009 with its banks and investors. The firm expects its audited results soon. Morgan Stanley is appointed by the steering committee for debt restructuring as their financial advisor.

Saad Group Sukuk down at 25 % of nominal value

Saad Trading Contracting & Financial Services Co.’s debt securities, known as sukuk, are trading for 25 cents on the dollar compared with this year’s high of 79 cents on Feb. 26, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Saad Group on June 2 appointed BDO Capital Finance to advise the company on restructuring plans after the Saudi central bank last month froze bank accounts of al-Sanea and his family members, reported Haris Anwar on Bloomberg.

Al Hilal Islamic Bank to be opened in Kazakhstan

The Governments of Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates signed the agreement on opening of Al Hilal Islamic Bank in Kazakhstan; Aigul Tulekbayeva on Kazinform reports. The Bank’s nominal capital will make up over AED 100 mln and it will be opened in Astana and Almaty.

Kuwait Assets of Saad Group

Saudi billionaire's firm denies that Kuwaiti assets are frozen; as Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai had reported previously.

Tamweel rejects media report about the financing needs

Tamweel says that it does not agree with media report rejected a media report saying it needed USD 1.55 bn to restart its financing operations.

Saudi bond market starts

Saudi Arabia said it launches its new market for Islamic bonds, or sukuk, and bonds.Tadawul currently trades Islamic bond issues by only two listed firms - Saudi Basic Industries Corp and Saudi Electricity, which will launch sukuk on Saturday worth 5 billion saudi riyals. The government is a major shareholder in both firms.

Albaraka puts USD 120 mn for acquisitions aside

Bahrain's Al Baraka Banking Group plans to spend up to USD 120 mn on acquisitions this year as asset valuations drop amid a global financial crisis.

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