GCC

HSBC: Saudi Arabia needs 1m new houses in the next 5 years

Saudi Arabia needs 1 million new houses by 2014 to meet the needs of its growing population but house prices are seen falling in the short term due to the global credit crisis, HSBC said in a report. The bank forecast a 15 % decline in house prices and rents in the kingdom's capital Riyadh in 2009 due to credit shortage , with a slow recovery expected in 2010. The rapidly growing population means there are shortages in residential, commercial, retail and hospitality property in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah and the Eastern Province according to the report.

Dubai Islamic Bank purchases outstanding Sukuk through cash tender offer

Dubai Islamic Bank announced that it has purchased USD 50.6 mn from the partial cash tender offer to retire USD 200 mn of outstanding Sukuk. DIB purchased the certificates at 88 % of the face value.

Global to sell stake in Al Salam Bank

Global Investment House plans to sell a 14.1 % stake in Al-Salam Bank in a June 11 auction to reduce its holdings. The company expects 6.4 million dinar in profit.

Global said in January that it defaulted on most of its loan repayments.rg.net

Markaz expects 50 % surge in Saudi demand after mortgage law

The total demand for residential units in Saudi Arabia will be in the range of 500,000 to 800,000 during the period 2009-13. The currently planned organised supply will provide about 73,000 units during 2009-13 and the rest will be tapped by current and future projects by smaller size developers and major projects planned in future.

Bahraini Saudi Bank takeover approved

Bahrain's Al Salam Bank has announced that Bahraini Saudi Bank's shareholders had accepted its takeover offer.

CMA Approved Saudi Electricity Company’s Request for SUKUK Public Offering

The CMA announced on 7 June that Saudi Electricity Company’s request to offer Sukuk in the period from (13/6/2009) G to (28/6/2009) G. More details will be published in the prospectus to the public.

New Certificate in Risk Management for Islamic Financial Institutions

The Global Association of Risk Professionals and the Banque du Liban recently announced the development of a new program, the Certificate in Risk Management for Islamic Financial Institutions.

The explosive growth in, and increasing sophistication of Islamic financial products has created the need for standards and guidelines for sound risk management approaches analyzing these financial instruments.

The Certificate is expected to be available in 3Q 2009

Saad Group restructures debt

Andrew England in Abu Dhabi and Abeer Allam in Riyadh reported in the Financial Times about the Saudi conglomerate owned by Maan Al-Sanea.

The statement by Saad Group – its first admission that it is facing difficulties – came after bankers said the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama) had frozen the personal accounts of Mr Sanea and members of his family.

IslamicFinance.de: Saad Group is related to the Golden Belt Sukuk. No information was given in the article hereto.

Sukuk fund series: HSBC Amanah starts sales

HSBC Amanah, the financial group's Islamic division, said it will start marketing its first Islamic Sukuk fund.

The HSBC Amanah Sukuk Fund, domiciled in Saudi Arabia, will comprise Sukuk, issued by 12 to 14 companies, mostly in the real estate, commercial banking and utilities sectors based in the Gulf Cooperation Council area. It would seek to raise USD 100 million for the fund, which has a 4-year maturity and will target mid- to high-single-digit annual returns.

Economist magazine on Gulf debt markets

A recent article in the Economist emphasizes the importance of the nascent debt markets for Gulf countries.

Saudi Arabia plans mortgage institutions similar to US

Saudi Arabia plans to set up a Fannie Mae-style company in conjunction with the upcoming mortgage law to buy mortgages from financial institutions and help develop national sukuk and debt markets, Saudi Arabia's finance minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said according to Reuters.

International Investment Bank equity parter of steel mill

International Investment Bank (IIB), Bahrain, announced the completion of the first Thermo Mechanical Treatment steel rolling mill in Bahrain (UNIROL) earlier this month. IIB is one of the major partners of the project with an equity stake of 35%.

Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) provided USD 25 m facility to Bukhatir Investment Group

Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) announced that it has provided a USD 25 mn banking facility for Bukhatir Investment Group to support expansion projects planned by the Group.

Bahrain-Based Arcapita Bank Downgraded To 'BB-' On High Leverage; Outlook Negative

Press Release

PARIS (Standard & Poor's) June 1, 2009--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it has lowered its long-term counterparty credit ratings on Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank (Arcapita) to 'BB-' from 'BB' and removed them from CreditWatch, where they were first placed on Jan. 28, 2009, with negative implications. At the same time, we affirmed our 'B' short-term rating on Arcapita. The outlook is negative.

The ratings reflect our opinion of Arcapita's stand-alone credit profile and do not include any uplift for extraordinary external support. However, Standard & Poor's recognizes that ongoing support from Arcapita's shareholders has been significant and is incorporated in Arcapita's stand-alone credit profile.

"The rating action reflects our opinion of Arcapita's high leverage in the context of a very difficult economic and investment climate, which has challenged Arcapita's business model, reduced the value of its assets, and put pressure on its financial performance," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Mohamed Damak.

People leaving Dubai without settling Credit Cards

7Days Dubai reports that one bank faces 2,500 customers leaving per month withou payng off their credit card bills.

Salama appoints CAAM as investment manager

SALAMA, the world's largest Takaful and Re-Takaful Group ties up with Crédit Agricole Asset Management Group (CAAM Group), to offer 3 Islamic funds: BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) quantitative fund, an active Asian equities ex-Japan and a Global Equity fund of Islamic funds.

Global MENA Financial Assets Limited published update on defaulted murabaha transactions

Global MENA Financial Assets Limited (the 'Company') is a closed-ended investment company incorporated in Guernsey to make attractive absolute gains through investment in a diversified portfolio of financial sector assets focused predominantly in the MENA region (including Turkey). Today, the Company announces an update in relation to certain Islamic financing contracts entered into on behalf of the Company and its subsidiaries and referred to in previous announcements.

Thomas Weisel Asset Management LLC teams up With IdealRatings

Thomas Weisel Asset Management LLC partnered to form an alliance with IdealRatings, Inc. to create funds and separately managed accounts to invest in small and mid-cap U.S. companies.

Through an initial investment by Thomas Weisel Asset Management, IdealRatings, Inc. will manage the process of achieving individually tailored Shariah compliance for Thomas Weisel Asset Management clients, including supplying software, research tools and scholar support.

IdealRatings, Inc. and Thomas Weisel Asset Management will target Shariah focused investors, Islamic institutions and international family offices.

Islamic finance firm Dar to meet creditors in June

Investment Dar will brief creditors and investors in a meeting for June 8 in the United Arab Emirates on how its restructuring plan is progressing, the firm said in statemnt according to Reuters.

Qatari bank lending down 7 %

Qatari bank lending fell 7 % in the first two months of 2009 as credit to the public sector dropped 36 %, central bank data showed, the latest signal Gulf banks are more cautious on new loans.

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