UAE

Dubai Financial Market finalising standard for Sukuk listing

The Dubai Financial Market has finalised comprehensive standards to be established for the issuance of Sukuk and awaiting approval of authorities.

Dubai’s Nakheel receives bail-out cash

Dubai’s Nakheel receives bail-out cash, but the amount is not disclosed, reported Simeon Kerr in the Financial Times; it is also said that Nakheel was restructuring some payment plans with suppliers.

Contractors say developers such as Nakheel have started to honour some – but not all – payments, after months of delay.

Noor Islamic Bank keeps Rep Office in Tunis open

Noor Islamic Bank PJSC issued a statement saying that their Tunisian representative office is operational and that they continue to explore market opportunities in North Africa, while assessing regional market trends and having to readjust plans to reflect the reality of the slowdown.

The statement followed news announcing the closure of the rep office by some media.

Amlak Finance will halve its s take in a property investment

Amlak Finance will halve its investment in Sky Gardens, a tower located near the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Amlak had purchased properties in various parts of Dubai to sell them to potential purchasers. As buyers have become fewer, the company decided to scale back its investment.

Mawarid and Al Arabiya launching portal for Islamic economics

Mawarid Finance announced in cooperation with Al Aswaq Al Arabiya of Al Arabiya News Channel the launch of an e-portal dedicated to Islamic economics. The new e-portal features a database of Islamic financial companies and institutions in addition to fatwas related to Islamic financial transactions, products, updates on Islamic financing.

A link was provided in the Press Release.

Dubai Islamic Bank offers to buy back Sukuk up to USD 200 mn

Dubai Islamic Bank offered to buy back up to USD 200 mn of sukuk. Pricing shall be at least 86 % of face value, but not more than 90 % determined by an auction.

Dubai Islamic has USD 750 mn of sukuk due 2012.

Noor Islamic Bank closes Rep Office in Tunisia

Noor Islamic Bank closes its representative office in Tunis. The decision shall be taken as expansion plans have been revisited towards focussing on the Gulf region.

Addendum: Noor Islamic Bank denied the closure of the rep office in a press release.

Malta attracts investments from Dubai

Investors from Dubai are negotiating with government officials of Malta on a number of assets and projects in the Mediterranean island state. Dubai has already become a leading investor in Malta's economy with investments totalling near USD 1 bn over the last few years including the USD 300 mn SmartCity project, Euro 500 mn in International Hotel Investments (IHI) Group which owns Corinthia Hotels, as well as Tecom Investments' acquisition of a stake in Maltese telecom operator Go, with many more to come.

Concept of Sharia-Compliant Hotels explained

Paul Rosenberg and Hala Matar Choufany are giving in a contribution to 4hoteliers a set of criteria for Sharia compliant hotels, distinguishing it from merely alcohol free, "dry" hotels:

In order for a hotel to be fully Sharia-compliant, it is extremely important that most of the facilities (such as floors, spa, gym and guest and function rooms) be separate for males and females. This is especially significant at the development stage when designing floor plans of the hotel. Beds and toilets should not be placed in the direction of Mecca.

Neither alcohol nor pork should be served in any of the food and beverage outlets at the hotel and there should be no minibar in the rooms.

See full article for more details as below.

Middle East covers more than half of the Islamic Finance market

Research conducted by Shariah-Fortune screened around 810 companies in 50 countries worldwide offering Shariah compliant financial services. The Middle East covers more than half (around 56 %) of the Islamic Finance market. Around 450 companies are located in this region. Leading countries are the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Asian companies compound to a market share of about 20 %. In particular. Malaysia is one of the key players, not only in Asia, but also globally.

114 companies have been screened in Europe, which accounts for around 14 % of the global market share. On top position in Europe is the UK, boosted by the FSA´s regulatory initiatives. Compared to its global importance North America takes only a small part in the listing for Islamic Finance. Around 44 companies (ca. 5 %) are located in the USA and Canada.

Islamic Arab Insurance Co (Salama) is looking for acquisitions in a number of markets including Turkey

Islamic Arab Insurance Co (Salama) is looking for acquisitions in a number of markets including Turkey.

S&P: Ratings On Dubai Government-Related Entities Put On Creditwatch Negative

Press Release

DUBAI, April 30, 2009--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said it had placed the ratings on the following Dubai-based government-related entities (GREs) on CreditWatch with negative implications: DIFC Investments LLC, DP World Ltd., Jebel Ali Free Zone (FZE), the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC), Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC (DHCOG), and Emaar Properties PJSC (collectively, "the Rated GREs"). In addition, we placed the notes issued by Thor Asset Purchase (Cayman) Ltd. (Thor), which are securitized by cash flows from a revolving pool of existing and future receivables originated by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA; not rated), as well as the notes issued by JAFZ Sukuk Ltd. (collectively, "The Notes"), on CreditWatch with negative implications (see Ratings List below).

Dubai Islamic Bank's shareholders agreed Monday to increase its capital

Dubai Islamic Bank's shareholders agreed Monday to increase its capital by 3 billion dirhams (USD 816 mn) over five years. The bank said in an emailed statement that shareholders at a general assembly also agreed to convert an 3.75 billion-dirham deposit from the Ministry of Finance into Tier 2 capital.

Dolphin Energy plans Islamic tranche worth about USD 500 mn

Abu Dhabi-based Dolphin Energy has signed USD 3 bn of loans that will part refinance a USD 3.45 bn debt facility maturing in July, it is also finalising an Islamic tranche worth about USD 500 mn and is preparing to launch a bond worth USD 500 mn to USD 1 bn.

Specialised banks needed for SME finance in UAE

Various experts were interviewed and confirmed the need for special banks addressing the needs of small and medium sized companies in the UAE.

Deyaar launches distressed debt funds

Dubai real estate developer Deyaar will launch a series of funds of up to AED 1 bn to buy distressed debt, including its own, as it looks to boost returns for shareholders, reports John Irish on Reuters.

Its first AED 500 million fund is about 60-70 % subscribed by a mix of local and overseas investors and would buy back properties on which investors have defaulted from Deyaar's own portfolio according to the CEO, Giebel.

Deyaar will rent out the units to provide cash flow for the company before selling them once the Dubai property market recovers.

Amlak and Tamweel still in need for refunding

The UAE’s two largest Islamic home finance companies will need to secure adequate funding before they can re-start lending, the chairman of Tamweel. Both firms have been funded by banks on short term maturities, a business model, which does no longer work.

New UBS Head of Islamic finance sees further growth

Armen Papazian said he was named to the post head of Islamic finance by UBS Investment Bank 2-1/2 weeks ago with a global mandate to hire staff and design innovative products and as sign of commitment, that UBS believes in the growth sector.

Al Safi platform considers to launche private equity fund

The hedge fund platform Al Safi set up by Barclays Capital is planning Private Equity funds, reported Pratima Desai and Cecilia Valente on Reuters.

Emirates NBD appoints Robbert Jan Voogt as the General Manager of Private Banking

Emirates NBD, the largest bank in the region in terms of assets, announces the appointment of Robbert Jan Voogt as the General Manager of Private Banking.

The new General Manager of Private Banking, Robbert Jan Voogt brings financial expertise from his previous positions at Merrill Lynch and FortisMeesPierson to Emirates NBD. He joins the team after heading the Private Bank South Asia at the Fortis Private Bank in Singapore.

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