GCC

International Islamic Bank takes Tunisian company IPO

Business Intelligence reported on 13 April that International Investment Bank (IIB), a globally-focused Islamic investment bank based in Bahrain, announced the successful initial public offering of ARTES, the exclusive distributor of Renault, Nissan and Dacia in Tunisia.

Aabed Al-Zeera is Chief Executive Officer of IIB.
Mohamed Hadi Mejai is Executive Director, Investment and Business Development, IIB.

Source: http://www.bi-me.com/main.php?c=3&cg=2&t=1&id=19150

Dow Jones Indexes opens Dubai Office

Talal Malik reported on 14 April in Arabian Business that Dow Jones Indexes opens its first Middle East office in Dubai.

Michael A. Petronella is president of Dow Jones.
Sumeet Nihalani is Dow Jones' senior director of sales for the region.
Imran Vohra is Head of Dubai office.
Rushdi Siddiqui is global director of Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes.

Source: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/516453-dow-jones-indexes-opens-first-midd...

Emirates NBD Group launches Fund linked to the performance of Global Property

Property Report reported on 11 April that the Emirates NBD Group launches the Sharia compliant Emirates Islamic Global Property Fund, an open-ended daily dealing investment fund to provide investors with access to property globally.

The fund will be managed by Emirates Investment Services Ltd (´EIS´), the asset management arm of Emirates NBD group and a company licensed and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority. It uses an Islamic certificate that derives its returns based on the profit from a reference index linked to the value of physical commercial property and real estate globally.

EIS has partnered with New Star Asset Management to structure this product as the manager of the reference fund to which returns of the Fund will initially be linked.

Jamal Bin Ghalaita is Head of Consumer Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates NBD.

Source: http://www.property-report.com/aprarchives.php?id=1373&date=110408

Kuwait Financial Centre launches Markaz Islamic Income Fund

Kuwait Financial Centre released on 7 April the launch of Markaz Islamic Income Fund, a Sharia compliant money market fund with a variable capital of KD 5 mn to KD 50 mn. The fund is licensed and approved by the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry the Fund shall invest its money in all available financial and money market instruments within the State of Kuwait and abroad in Kuwaiti Dinars and/or other major currencies actively traded in the financial markets. The Fund investments shall include Mudaraba Sukuk, Murabaha or Wakala, and other Sharia compliant Islamic instruments.

Source: http://www.ameinfo.com/152636.html

Sukuk from Hong Kong?

Deal Journal reported on 10 April about potential ambitions of Hong Kong based corporations to issue Sukuk. Those companies cited include the Airport Authority Hong Kong, which is wholly government-owned. The Chinese newspaper Mingpao is cited that the other firms are rail operator MTR Corp. and Hong Kong Mortgage Corp.

MTR denied it is planning an Islamic bond issue.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2008/04/10/hong-kong-considers-islamic-bonds/

Kuwait Finance House re-arrange investments in Bahrain

Kuwait Finance House aims to re-arrange Bahraini investments according to a report by Ulf Laessing on Reuters on 11 April, citing Al Watan newspaper. KFH shall attempt to invest USD 1.5 bn in Real Estate Investment in Bahrain.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssFinancialServicesAndRealEstateNews/id...

ProLogis and Arcapita Form Venture to Provide Modernized Logistics Facilities in the GCC

ProLogis released on 8 April that they entered into a 50/50 joint venture agreement to create ProLogis Middle
East with Arcapita, an Islamic investment bank based in Bahrain. The Joint-Venture will develop and acquire a USD 1 bn portfolio of advanced
logistics warehouse space in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

Jeff Schwartz is chairman and chief executive officer of ProLogis.
Atif Abdulmalik is chief executive officer of Arcapita. "
Joseph Ghazal is senior vice president and head of
ProLogis Middle East. "

Companies:
http://www.prologis.com
http://www.arcapita.com

Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/0...

Gulf Re targets high-value energy projects

Mohamad Al Kady reported on 12 April in Business 24/7 that Gulf Re, a newly formed joint venture between the Bermuda-based Arch Capital Group and Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), is set to offer reinsurance services for large GCC projects in oil, gas, power and water desalination.

GulfRe starts to think about creating a re-Takaful organisation to offer Islamic reinsurance services to their clients.

Gail Norstrom is the CEO of GulfRe

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

Tabreed names banks for Sukuk issuance

Business 24/7 reported on 13 April that National Central Cooling Co (Tabreed) has mandated Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered and National Bank of Abu Dhabi as lead managers for its planned USD 300-500 mn convertible Sukuk due by 2011.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

Sharia compliant Gold Exchange Traded Fund

Peter Cooper reported on 9 April on Business 24/7 about the Sharia compliant Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and World Gold Council. The ETF will be backed by physical Gold deposited under the Almas Tower of DMCC. After approval of the regulatory body Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) a secondary market will be operated by listing the ETF on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX).

DMCC has taken a share in London-listed Shariah Capital, which is supervising the compliance. Other Gold ETFs usually used derivatives to replicate the performance of Gold.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

Rajhi Bank increases profits

Souhail Karam reported on Reuters, 13 April, on the profit rise of 2.1 % of Saudi-based Rajhi Bank in Q1 from core business operations.

Net Income from investment rose 11.5 % to SAR 2.03 bn. Income from banking services increased 18 % to SAR 454 mn. Growth is targeted by diversifying its sources of revenue, developing the investment and corporate banking sectors along with retail banking. According to analysts posted profits could be even higher, but were impacted by the cost of international expansion.

Rajhi plans to add 160 branches in Saudi Arabia by mid-2008.

Chief Executive is Abdullah Sulaiman al-Rajhi.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssFinancialServicesAndRealEstateNews/id...

Academic Research Papers

Dear Members,

Please share your opinion about the following proposal in regard to

- Academic Research Papers

This forum could facilitate to publish your research papers and having them rated by peers afterwards. This would speed up the time from production to publishing tremendously compared to traditional journals.

It also gives a chance to see unusual papers published, however, a good number of submissions might be of lower quality at the same time.

The action question: Is there interest in the community to use such a platform in this way???

Please comment!!!

Swiss banks going onshore in the Middle East

Andrew White reported in Arabian Business on 11 April about Swiss banks going onshore in the Middle East.

Pasha Bakhtiar, managing director at Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch (LODH) focusses over the next 10 to 20 years to grow the presence in areas with strong wealth creation, which is the case in the Middle East. Last year the bank established a formal presence in Dubai to better offer its services to existing and new clients in the GCC. Lombard sees an advantage in being a family owned bank like the family businesses in the region.

Hans Nützi, CEO at Clariden Leu agrees that Private Banking becomes more international opposed the way clients banked 5 to 10 years ago. Clariden Leu has a local 13 people asset management team in Dubai and sees demand for structured products.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/516200-banking-on-the-old-school

Gulf Finance House: USD 10 bn Caspian Energy Hub

Gulf News reported on 11 April that Gulf Finance House aims to develop the USD 10 bn Caspian Energy Hub in collaboration with the Government of Kazakhstan and PFC Energy International and signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The project, shall be a services hub that caters to commercial, technical and human resource needs of the oil and gas industry in the Caspian region. The hub also aims to become a global technical training centre for the oil & gas industry.

Esam Janahi is chairman of Gulf Finance House, Vahan Zanoyan is CEO of PFC Energy International and both presented the concept to Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazar. Ulf Wokurka is deputy chairman of the Management Board of Kazakhstan Holding for Management of State Assets. Gani Uzbekov is deputy chairman of the Board of Sustainable Development Fund called "Kazyna".

Source: http://archive.gulfnews.com/business/Oil_and_Gas/10204695.html

AlBaraka: Algerian subsidiary posts strong results

Bahrain Tribune reported on 9 April that, Banque Albaraka D'Algerie, a subsidiary of Bahrain-based Albaraka Banking Group (ABG), announced a net income increase to USD 19 mn in 2007, which is a 34 % growth.

Mohammed Seddik Hafid, Board Member and General Manager of the bank. Adnan Ahmed Yousif is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Banque Albaraka D'Algerie and President and Chief Executive of Albaraka Banking Group.

Source: http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=1093192151

Saad Group outlook revised to 'stable' on improved capital structure

Business Intelligence Middle East reported on 9 April that Standard & Poors revisied Saad Group outlookto 'stable' on improved capital structure. At the same time, the 'BBB+' long-term corporate credit ratings were affirmed.

Standard & Poor's credit analyst is Mohammed Fayek.

The potential for a rating upgrade is constrained by leverage and the potential for volatility in portfolio value. A sustained weakening of equity markets or a more aggressive growth strategy and subsequently higher leverage for the group could have negative implications for the rating.

Saad issued a Sukuk.

Source: http://www.bi-me.com/main.php?c=3&cg=2&t=1&id=19032

EIB and Emirates launches Islamic airline co-branded credit card

Business Intelligence reported on 9 April about the Islamic Visa card of Emirates Islamic Bank, Skywards, and Emirates.

The Emirates Islamic Bank Skywards Credit Card will come with a list of benefits and features.

Faisal Aqil is General Manager of Retail Banking at Emirates Islamic Bank. Kamran Siddique is Visa General Manager for the Middle East and North Africa.

Source: http://www.bi-me.com/main.php?c=3&cg=2&t=1&id=19053

Tamweel sets up holding - plans Sukuk

Parag Deulgaonkar reported on 7 April about the extraordinary shareholder meeting of Tamweel, deciding to restructure Tamweel as a holding firm. The UAE mortgage business, property investment, escrow management services and Tamweel International will be the first four operating units.

The company also plans to raise Dh 5.1 bn through sukuk in 2008. This total amount includes Dh 1.1 bn of convertible sukuk and Dh 4 bn of non-convertible sukuk.

Further Tamweel has signed a joint venture agreement with Al Oula Development Company in Saudi Arabia, where the company expects to open a subsidiary later this year. Other expansion plans include Egypt.

Wasim Saifi is CEO of Tamweel.
Zayed bin Saqer Al Nehayan is Chairman of Tamweel.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

Bank of London and the Middle East participates in Qatar infrastructure financing

AME Info published a press release on 8 April that The Bank of London and The Middle East plc (BLME) announced that it has participated in USD 20 mn of Forward Lease financing to Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC), for the construction of the Ras Abu Fontas A1 (RAF A1) water desalination plant to be built in the northern part of Ras Abu Fontas, Qatar. The Islamic tranche of the transaction was introduced to BLME by European Finance House, London based subdiary of Qatar Islamic Bank. Out of the total project budget of USD 600 mn, USD 150 mn is Islamic financing which is being underwritten by QIB.

Humphrey Percy is CEO of BLME. Mike Clark is CEO of European Finance House.

Source: http://www.ameinfo.com/152651.html

IIFM aims to finalise Master Murabaha Agreement

Talal Malik reported on 7 April 2008 that the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) said to finalise soon the standardisation for a Master Murabaha Agreement called Master Agreement for Treasury Placement (MATP). The Agreements are under final review by Sharia scholars.

Khalid Hamad is chairman of IIFM.

Source: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/515834-bahrains-iifm-drawing-up-islamic-f...

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