Several Omani private firms are keen to raise funds by way of sukuk after Mohammed Al Barwani Holding received approval for a OMR58 million-issue. The companies interested in issuing sukuk can avail tax concession if the special purpose vehicle for sukuk issue is registered in Oman and the issue is floated in the local market. Mohammed Al Barwani Holding's sukuk issue opened subscription on Monday either in Omani rial or dollar. So far, Oman witnessed only two sukuk issues that raised a total of OMR300 million, OMR50 million from real estate development firm Tilal Development Company and the other one a OMR250 million sovereign sukuk issue.
Emirates Islamic Bank has launched the sale of $750 million in sukuk with five years duration. Pricing for the instrument has been set at 220 basis points over midswaps after attracting orders from investors worth more than $2.2 billion. The pricing is tighter than the 225 bps over the same benchmark indicated earlier in the day, and well inside initial guidance of the 240 bps area. The issuance was arranged by Standard Chartered, Al Hilal Bank, Bank ABC, Dubai Islamic Bank, HSBC, Maybank and Noor Bank.
GFH Financial Group plans to list its Bahraini subsidiary Khaleeji Commercial Bank in Dubai and acquire a financial services company to increase shareholder value. GFH's CEO Hisham al-Rayes said the company wants to regarded by investors as a financial holding company rather than an investment bank. The company aims to generate around 15% of its income over the next two years from real estate investments, which will be managed by a new Dubai-based operation called GFH Real Estate.
The volume of Islamic Development Bank (IDB)'s investments in Egypt currently amounts to US$3.7 billion. The statement was made by Nazih Al-Nasser, director of asset management and advisory activities of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD). He made his remarks in Cairo on Tuesday during a conference organised by the Egyptian Banking Institute, designated to focus on the role of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group and the World Bank Group have jointly produced a global report on Islamic finance. The full report, titled 'Islamic Finance: A Catalyst for Shared Prosperity?', will be launched during the World Bank/IMF Annual Meeting later this year. Some of the key recommendations include having adequate policy interventions and financial infrastructure to enable Islamic finance serve as a catalyst for poverty alleviation and inclusive prosperity.
ADNOC Distribution and Abu Dhabi Ports signed a Mustaha agreement. The new agreement aims to strengthen ADNOC Distribution's capacity to develop new projects at Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad) and provide logistical support. The agreement was signed by Saeed Mubarak Al Rashidi, CEO of ADNOC Distribution and Mana Mohammed Saeed Al Mulla, CEO of Kizad. ADNOC Distribution will set up a lubes and grease plant, as well as strategic storage warehouses. The company will commence its operations in the new location by the beginning of 2022.
Guidance Capital Markets announced it closed a three year Sukuk issuance for the Saudi Arabian conglomerate Al Bayan. The USD denominated Sukuk was issued last week through a private placement with three GCC banks, and was led by Guidance, who also acted as financial advisor to Al Bayan. The issuance is one of the first transactions of its kind, where a private conglomerate in KSA closed a USD dollar Sukuk through a private placement.
Banks across the #GCC are resorting to job cuts and tighter recruitment policies to trim costs. The banking sector has come under pressure following decline in economic activity resulting from reduced oil revenues. According to industry estimates UAE banks have shed nearly 1,200 jobs from the second half of last year. RAKBank has announced a cut of up to 250 jobs, Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered have also reduced their headcount.
Islamic and Christian finance have evolved from the same roots and a shared history. They share much in common and divergent views on interest and usury will probably remain the key difference for the near future. Like Islamic Finance, Christian Finance operates alongside modern-day conventional financial services. For example Reliance Bank in the UK avoids dealings with any company whose main source of income is derived from sales of tobacco, alcohol, gambling, pornography and armaments.
Emirates Islamic Bank completed a $50 mn (Dh183 mn) Collateralised Murabaha deal with France-based Natixis on the Nasdaq Dubai. This was the largest collateralised Murabaha transaction closed by Emirates Islamic this year, and the first of its kind executed on the Nasdaq Dubai Murabaha Platform. CEO of Emirates Islamic Jamal Bin Ghalaita said the transaction sets a precedent for other financial institutions considering Sharia-compliant financing.
The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) is organizing a seminar to discuss the role of Islamic microfinance in poverty alleviation on 14-15 May 2016 in Bogor, Indonesia. IRTI is organizing the event in conjunction with the 41st Annual Meeting of the IDB Group. The event features the launching of the Islamic Microfinance for Poverty Alleviation and Capacity Transfer (IMPACT) Program, which aims to disseminate the best practices in Islamic microfinance.
Egyptian Takaful Property and Liability Insurance (EGTAK) will soon start talks to renew its reinsurance agreements with Hannover Re SE. Head of the Reinsurance Department Hamed Mahmoud said he expects the German reinsurer would renew its agreements without placing any additional conditions.
Shariah investing is forecast to grow very rapidly, following the long-term trends of emerging markets. Executive Chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, Dr. Mark Mobius found that emerging markets outperformed US and world markets in 17 out of the last 28 one-year periods. Islamic stocks in Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey are doing particularly well. Dr. Mobius said 40% of world GDP is in emerging markets, currently Muslim majority countries have a GDP growth of 8%, up from 4% in 1987.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has calculated that, if oil prices remain low, the fiscal deficits of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Algeria will total almost $900 bn between 2016 and 2021. The non-oil sector in the GCC is projected to grow at an average rate of 3.25% per year over the next five years, compared to an average of 7.75% between 2006 and 2015. Thus, regional governments are being forced to review their expenditure plans. A recent PwC survey found that 75% of the more than 130 owners have already been impacted by funding constraints, while 65% forecast they will have less to spend next year.
#Bahrain-based First Energy Bank (FEB) appointed Khaleefa Butti Omair as the Bank's new chairman, following the recent departure of the Bank's former chairman, Khadem Al Qubaisi. Mr. Khaleefa is a national of the United Arab Emirates with over 13 years experience in investment management. He serves as Chairman and board member of several companies.
Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim called on the Islamic finance sector to embrace the financial technological revolution. Technologically-driven applications have spread to every segment of the financial sector, with the number of fintech start-ups having doubled in one year. He noted that the potential impact can be significant, with 10 to 40 % banking revenue possibly at risk by 2025 due to fintech innovations outside banking institutions that are able to offer significant pricing advantage. Bank Negara is reviewing the changes needed to its regulatory framework to ensure that it remains appropriate to manage the risk while encouraging productive innovation.
The #Bahrain based Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) announced that it achieved a substantial increase in total operating income of 16%, and net profits before tax and provisions by 13% during the first quarter of 2016. President & CEO Adnan Ahmed Yousif said the group opened 20 new branches in the first quarter of 2016 to bring total branches to 607 branches with total staff of 11,458. Additionaly, ABG obtainied official approval to establish a banking unit in Morocco, which means a higher diversification in assets and income sources for the Group.
Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) is expected to obtain a full membership at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June 2018. At the 8th Compliance & Anti Money Laundering Seminar in Saudi Arabia SAMA Vice Governor Abdulaziz Al-Furaih said several new assessments have emerged including the set of recommendations by FATF and the MENA Financial Action Task Force (MENA FATF). Thomson Reuters Managing Director Nadim Najjar noted that compliance costs are set to increase in 2016.
Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has announced the appointment of Nada Ishaq Abdul Karim as Executive Secretary to its Board of Directors. The appointment of the first Bahraini woman in this position comes within the Bank's strategic plans in line with the "Ishraq" Initiative- Back to Basics 2016. CEO Hassan Amin Jarrar said this shows the bank's continuous support for qualified Bahraini women and promotion of Bahraini personnel.
On 27 April 2016 Ziraat Participation Bank closed its first Syndicated Murabaha Financing Facility. The debut transaction received a strong response from the market. Due to the significant oversubscription, Ziraat Participation Bank increased the facility size to US$155 mn. CEO Osman Arslan said the proceeds from the facility will be used to support the funding requirements of SMEs and the financing of trade related businesses.