Qatar

Qatar Islamic Bank opens books for 5-yr benchmark dollar sukuk -leads

Qatar Islamic Bank has opened order books for a five-year benchmark dollar-denominated sukuk issue, a document from lead arrangers showed on Tuesday. The initial price guidance for the offering has been set in the area of 145 basis points over midswaps, the document showed. The bank has mandated Barwa Bank, Citi, HSBC, Noor Bank, QInvest and Standard Chartered as joint lead managers for the issue. The sukuk issue will be under Qatar Islamic's existing $1.5 billion Trust Certificate Issuance Programme.

Mashreq successfully closes an oversubscribed US$ 500 Million Islamic Facility for Ezdan Holding Group Company

UAE's Mashreq Al Islami has successfully closed a 5 year USD 500 million senior secured syndicated facility for Ezdan Holding Group Company Q.S.C., the largest private sector real estate developer in Qatar. Mashreq Al Islami UAE acted as Mandated Lead Arranger, Sole Book Runner and Facility Agent for the facility. Other banks that participated in the financing included Abu Dhabi Islamic bank, Ahli United Bank, Emirates NBD, Gulf International Bank, HSBC Bank Middle East as Mandated Lead Arrangers, Sharjah Islamic bank, Warba Bank as Lead Arrangers and QIIB as asset custodian. The Facility proceeds will be utilized to support the Company's expansion and developmental plans in its core market.

Qatar Islamic Bank plans roadshow for possible USD sukuk issue

Qatar Islamic Bank will hold investor meetings in Asia, the Middle East and Europe starting on Friday for a possible benchmark offer of U.S. dollar-denominated Regulation S senior sukuk, leads said on Wednesday. The bank mandated Barwa Bank, Citi, HSBC, Noor Bank, QInvest and Standard Chartered as joint lead managers for the possible issue, which would be off Qatar Islamic's existing $1.5 billion Trust Certificate Issuance Programme. Benchmark usually means at least $500 million.

QInvest launches sharia'a-compliant real estate fund in partnership with Pramerica Real Estate Investors

QInvest has launched the QInvest Pramerica Liquid Real Estate Fund in partnership with Pramerica Real Estate Investors, the real estate investment management business of U.S.-headquartered Prudential Financial, Inc. Pramerica will serve as the subadvisor of the Fund. The new Fund will invest exclusively in high yielding sharia'a-compliant real estate investment trusts and other real estate-related securities, sourced globally by the fully dedicated real estate securities team at Pramerica. The new Fund will be hosted on QMAP, QInvest's managed account platform.

QCB to grant licences to GCC banks to open branches in Qatar

The decision to allow new licences came at a meeting of Qatar’s Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment on 9 September. The council reviewed developments in both energy and investment before turning to the proposal by Qatar Central Bank (QCB) to grant licenses to open branches for GCC banks in Qatar. The council approved the proposal, with licenses set to be granted according to QCB requirements. Qatar currently licences 11 domestic banks and seven foreign banks. Among the foreign banks, Mashreq is the only GCC-based institution to have a Qatari banking licence. Bahrain’s Ithmaar Bank has a representative office in Qatar but not a full licence.

Barwa Bank has found its niche in Qatar’s growing Islamic banking sector: Moody’s

Barwa Bank, Qatar’s newest Islamic bank in which government is a majority owner, has found its niche in the country’s growing Islamic banking sector, benefiting from Qatar’s strong economy and favourable operating environment, according to Moody’s. Continued high public spending will continue to create further business opportunities for local banks, particularly those with well-established government links like Barwa, the rating agency said. Furthermore, Barwa will benefit from regulators’ policies, which prohibit conventional financial institutions operating Shariah-compliant banking windows and reduce the competition for a fast-growing customer segment. Nevertheless, the bank’s asset quality will likely remain stable over the next 12 to 18 months.

QCB extends deadline for insurance regulations

The Qatar Central bank (QCB) has extended the deadline set for the insurance, reinsurance and Takaful companies to implement its new regulations. As per original schedule, the institutions were supposed to comply to the new regulations from the end of May. After realising that the insurance companies needed more time to reposition themselves to implement the new regulations, the central bank has extended the deadline to November 30. The proposed regulations restrict the companies and insurance practitioners from getting involved in cross-border activities. Besides, the QCB regulation requires the insurance companies to simplify their procedures and finance agreements and to be transparent in relation to their pricing and features of products and services.

Moody's affirms Masraf Al Rayan's issuer ratings: outlook now positive from stable

Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Masraf Al Rayan's (MAR) A2/Prime-1 issuer ratings and baa3 baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA. At the same time, Moody's changed the outlook on the bank's long term issuer ratings to positive from stable. The change in the outlook to positive from stable reflects the ongoing improvements in MAR's business and geographic diversification, including the growth and transition to profitability of its recently acquired subsidiary Al Rayan Bank PLC based in UK. Further underpinning Moody's view on the outlook is Qatar's considerable economic strength, with robust growth prospects driven by the significant wealth and resources of the country, despite lower oil prices.

Barwa Bank official promoted to CCO

Barwa Bank has promoted Talal Ahmad Al Khaja (pictured) to Chief Communications officer. Al Khaja will oversee marketing and communications and public and shareholder relations. Prior to joining the bank in 2009, he worked across private sector institutions and organisations. Holding a Master’s in business management, a bachelor’s degree from Qatar University, and professional certifications, he has amassed over nine years’ experience in administration, marketing, public relations and corporate governance. During his tenure at the bank, he has contributed to acquisitions of the group’s affiliate companies and subscription management in capital financing in 2011. His efforts led to the establishment of the group’s Investor and Shareholder Relations Department.

Interview: Adbulbasit Ahmad Al-Shaibei CEO and director at Qatar International Islamic Bank

Fresh off the back of a strong first-half performance to the year, Qatar International Islamic Bank’s Chief Executive Officer and director Abdulbasit Ahmad Al-Shaibei is basking in a bumper era of growth. The bank has seen its profits grow by around 4-17 per cent every year since 2010 and, if the first six months of this year are any indication, 2015 should maintain the positive run. QIIB announced a net profit of 438 million riyals ($120.3 million) for the first half of the year, a 9 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2014. Al-Shaibei is seeing opportunity for further growth in some unconventional places.

Moody's affirms Masraf Al Rayan's issuer ratings: changed outlook to positive from stable

Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Masraf Al Rayan's (MAR) A2/Prime-1 issuer ratings and baa3 baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA. At the same time, Moody's changed the outlook on the bank's long term issuer ratings to positive from stable. Moody's affirmation reflects MAR's continued strong core financial fundamentals with (1) consistently strong asset quality performance, (2) strong and stable profitability and (3) solid capital buffers. The change in the outlook to positive from stable reflects the ongoing improvements in MAR's business and geographic diversification. Further underpinning Moody's view on the outlook is Qatar's considerable economic strength.

Barwa Bank total assets up by 16% for the first half of 2015 Financing assets grow by 10%

Barwa Bank's net profit for the half-year stood at QAR 412 million, while earnings per share rose to QAR 1.39in the first half of 2015, compared with QAR 1.38over the corresponding period in 2014. Underlined by growth across its financing assets and investment securities, the bank's total assets soared by 16% to QAR 41.3 billion for the first half of the year; financing assets alone registered an increase of 10% to exceed QAR 24.4 billion. Owing to Barwa Bank's focus on product and service development and integration across business segments, as well as to a heavy push on tech-driven innovation, customer deposits for the first half of 2015, increased by 4% to stand at QAR 23.2 billion.

Beema customers can now renew, buy insurance over phone

Damaan Islamic Insurance Company (Beema) has announced the launch of the first of its kind service in Qatar, which enables its customers to renew or buy their motor insurance over the phone. As one of Qatar’s fastest growing Islamic insurance companies, Beema is taking its customer service to a whole new dimension at no extra cost, said Nasser Al Misnad, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Beema.

Qatar's largest sharia-compliant bank sees 27% surge in Q2 profits

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) beat the average forecast of analysts as it reported a 27 percent jump in second-quarter net profit on Tuesday. The Islamic lender made a net profit of 494.7 million riyals ($131.9 million) during the period, compared with 389.8 million riyals in the same period a year ago. The lender did not provide a detailed breakdown of its earnings. Qatar Islamic Bank posted net profit of 895.1 million riyals in the first half of the year, higher than 725.2 million riyals it reported a year-ago, according to its statement to the bourse.

Qatar's Barwa takes $175m refinancing loan

Qatari firm Barwa Real Estate Company, has raised $175m through an Islamic loan from International Bank of Qatar to refinance its existing debt. The sharia-compliant loan will last for seven years from the date that the company draws down on the facility. In an effort to refinance its current debt obligations, Barwa Real Estate intends to increase the lifespan of the maturities on the best available terms, as part of its five-year business plan running between 2016 and 2020. As Qatar’s largest listed developer, Barwa Real Estate reported more than doubling its fourth quarter net profit in March this year, as well as an improved dividend payout for the full year. Barwa Real estate is listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange.

Some govt-funded investment firms to be privatised

Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, also Chairman of Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment, has issued directives to privatise some government and semi-government-funded investment companies. A council meeting, chaired by the Emir, examined results of a study on investment firms partially funded by government and semi-government bodies. Deputy Emir H H Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani, also Vice-Chairman of the council, attended the meeting along with Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, who is Executive Member of the council, and other members.

Moody's upgrades Qatar Islamic Insurance Company to Baa1 IFS rating; stable outlook

Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2 the insurance financial strength rating (IFSR) of the Qatar Islamic Insurance Company ("QIIC"). The rating carries a stable outlook. The rating upgrade for QIIC reflects (i) the company's improved and extremely strong capitalisation in relation to insurance risk; and (ii) its sustained strong profitability both in terms of underwriting profit and of bottom line. Nonetheless, Moody's added that QIIC maintains a significant level of investment risk, as QIIC invests predominantly in Qatari equity and property markets, translating to a high risk assets ratio. Furthermore, QIIC's insurance risk remains relatively concentrated to Qatar. The outlook is stable reflecting the expectation that the improvements in QIIC's capitalization will be maintained.

Qatar's Barwa Bank gets shareholder nod for $2 bln sukuk programme

Shareholders of Qatar's Barwa Bank approved plans for a $2 billion senior unsecured sukuk programme that could be issued in various currencies, the lender said in a statement on Tuesday. The Islamic bank did not specify a timeframe or size for a potential debut deal. It also received approval to pay a cash dividend of 10 percent to shareholders, the statement said.

Qatar Islamic Bank to boost capital via bond sales

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) expects to issue a Tier 1 capital-boosting bond between this quarter and the third quarter, the bank’s chief financial officer Gourang Hemani said. The Doha-listed lender in February received shareholder approval to issue up to 5 billion Qatari riyals (Dh5.04bn) to increase its Tier 1 or core capital in line with Basel III banking standards. The bond will have a perpetual tenor. It is going to be a private placement, most likely within Qatar. QIB’s net profit rose 19 per cent to 400 million riyals in the first quarter of this year, compared to a year earlier. Total income grew 13 per cent in the first quarter to 950m riyals, compared with the year-earlier period.

Moody's upgrades Qatar International Islamic Bank issuer ratings and changes outlook to stable

Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded Qatar International Islamic Bank's (QIIB) long term and short term issuer rating to A2/Prime-1 from A3/Prime-2, and changed baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adj. BCA to baa3 from ba1. Moody's also changed the outlook on the bank's long term ratings to stable. At the same time, Moody's assigned a new Counterparty Risk Assessment of A1 to QIIB. Moody's rating action reflects QIIB's improved and consistently strong asset quality performance and its solid capitalisation, liquidity and funding profile. These strengths are moderated by high borrower and sector concentrations, risk management challenges stemming from rapid financing growth and margin pressures driving a modest decline in profitability.

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