GCC

ABC Islamic Bank in USD 100 mn general syndication for Kuwaits "Munshaat"

ABC Islamic Bank (the Initial Mandated Lead Arranger and Bookrunner) launched general syndication for Kuwaits Munshaat Real Estate Projects Company ("Munshaat"). ABC Islamic Bank had successfully closed the senior phase of the US$100 million, 3-year Syndicated Revolving Murabaha Financing Facility.
 
Prior to general syndication BNP Paribas, Emirates Bank International PJSC, and Saudi British Bank joined the facility as Mandated Lead Arrangers at the senior stage.
 
This is the debut syndication for Munshaat and the funds will be used to finance development of prime properties in the Holy Haram area in Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia. Athman Investment Company, Kuwait is acting as the financial advisor to Munshaat Real Estate Projects Company for this financing.
 
Summary of the facility is as follows:
 
Borrower: Munshaat Real Estate Projects Company K.S.C.
 
Amount: US$100 million
 
Facility Type: Revolving Murabaha Financing Facility Purpose: Financing of prime properties in Makkah & Madinah
 

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Dubai Financial Market Sharia Board issues first Islamic standards for classifying listed companies

Business Intelligence reported on 18 March that the Sharia Board of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has issued the first standards for trading shares. The establishment of such standards is in line with DFM becoming an Islamic exchange as decided on the Annual General Meeting in 2007. Since then the Sharia Board with its Chairman, Dr Hussain Hamid has focused on the establishment of criteria to classify listed companies in terms of Sharia-compliance and accounting practices.

The standards are divided into five sections and cover the following areas: definitions of terms and criteria; implications for brokers and investors; guidelines for compliance for conventional firms; conventional income guidelines; and general rules and regulations.

Mr Essa Kazim is Chairman of the DFM.

Source: http://www.bi-me.com/main.php?c=3&cg=2&t=1&id=18389

Sukuk market challenged by subprime crisis

Arthur Macdonald reported in Gulf Daily News that the Sukuk market has suffered from the global financial crisis, but it is likely to recover. It impacted pricing and access to investors. Further the discussion on the Dollar peg of Gulf currencies created addtional uncertainties. Nevertheless the market has grown in ten years from millions to billions, participants of a Sukuk conference in Bahrain said.

Source: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=211884&Sn=BUSI&IssueID=...

Qatar Islamic Bank studies expansion into Egypt and Turkey

Matthew Martin reported on 18 March that Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) is evaluating opportunities to acquire a conventional Egyptian bank and convert it into an Islamic bank, and is also applying for a banking licence in Turkey.
Qatar Islamic Bank will likely follow its strategy of independent brands, like before in regard to European Finance House in London, Asian Finance House in Malaysia and Arab Finance House in Lebanon.

Source: meed.com

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Gassner's picture

An investment bank called Exotix

Edward Russell-Walling wrote in The Banker about an investment bank called Exotix, which y tackles the Yemeni frontier for investment, you can find the entire text here:

http://www.thebanker.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/5643/Exotix_boldly_tackl...

What is remarkable on this article from an Islamic finance perspective? A few issues:

1. It shows how investment banks can operate in emerging or so-called frontier markets:

"Exotix specialises in what are known these days as ‘frontier’ markets, particularly in Africa, in generally off-limits jurisdictions such as Cuba and North Korea, in the wilder corners of Latin America (which these days includes Argentina) and the Balkans. It began in 1999 as a distressed debt specialist and has been putting the knowledge gleaned from that exacting trade to wider use."

2. The frontier market attract more foreign investment and new entities are being set up:

"Since 2005, Exotix has developed an equity platform. “This is a one-stop shop, substantially a stockbroking business, for international investors looking to invest in sub-Saharan Africa,” explains Exotix CEO Peter Bartlett.

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Gassner's picture

Peer to Peer in Banking & Development

Recently I came across the website www.kiva.org - which happened to be an Internet based charity. What they do? They connect those people who need a microfinance with those small scale donors previously not accessible. It brings together people willing to lend a 25 $ with those who need a 500 $ for a cow, and syndicates it with different lenders globally. A fascinating technology, showing where you contribute and could make difference.

My belief is, that this peer to peer concept using institutional infrastructure for distribution but relying on a high number of small donors, has a great future. People have confidence to make a difference.

Have a look and think about, how this platform could be used in other ways as well!

Once more: www.kiva.org

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