Zawya

Banking on wealth

There are nearly 500,000 high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in the GCC alone; these clients hold roughly $1.7 trillion of assets. A large majority of them are Muslims. If you look at the larger banks, be it in Switzerland, or in other established jurisdictions, it is mainly in the conventional banking space that wealth management solutions are offered to clients. The low oil prices have had an impact on liquidity and the cost of funds. As the demand for Islamic wealth management solutions is primarily from the GCC region and the sentiments in the region are weak due to the low oil prices, investors could take the wait and watch approach.

GFH reports net profit for 2015

GFH Financial Group (GFH) has announced its full year financial results for 2015 with a consolidated profit of US$ 29 million before provisions of US$17 million, and a net profit of US$ 12.0 million, signaling sustained profitability for the Group. Total consolidated income for 2015 was US$85 million, as compared to US$90 million in 2014. Net profit for 2015 was US$ 12 million compared to net profit of US$ 27.3 million for 2014. Commercial banking income attributed to US$57.8 million and investment banking income attributed to US$20.1 million, while real estate has contributed US$5.6 million. The Group reported a loss of US$ 5.95 million for the last quarter of 2015 compared to a profit of US$ 4.2 million for the last quarter of 2014.

A pioneering spirit

Euris Group wants to develop Islamic Finance in Europe. The firm designed a banking concept and is now promoting its project, a Shari'ah compliant private bank in Luxembourg. The European market remains fragmented and far from comprehensive. To fill the gap, it's necessary to build a pure player, i.e. a fully fledged Islamic bank in the Eurozone. From there, a lot will remain to be done: entering the retail and commercial banking space, providing Takaful solutions to European customers and exploring the relevant investment banking opportunities, especially when it comes to European Sukuk. Euris Group chose Luxembourg because it occupies a central position at the heart of the Eurozone.

Al Baraka Banking Group Net Profits Raise by 4% to US$ 286 million in 2015, Total Operating Income Reached US$ 1 billion for the First Time and Total Assets Reached US$ 25 billion

Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C (ABG) announced that its total operating income reached one billion dollars in 2015 for the first time since the start of the Group activities 12 years ago due to continued growth in income-generated business at all the Group units, while the net income for the year reached US$ 286 million in 2015, an increase of 4% on the net income achieved in 2014. Similarly, balance sheet items witnessed moderate increases as total assets increased by 5%, total finance and investments by 4%, customer accounts by 2% while total equity increased by 1% as at the end of December 2015 in comparison with the end of December 2014.

Al Baraka Bank to pump $127.7mn in Egypt SMEs this year: chairman

Al Baraka Bank Egypt, part of Bahrain's Al Baraka Group (ABG), is planning to pump one billion Egyptian pounds (US$127.7 million) to support Egyptian SMEs, its chairman Ashraf El-Ghamrawy said. The investments, with a five percent interest rate, are in favour of the central bank's initiative to advocate small and medium-sized enterprises. Earlier, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the banking sector would inject 200 billion Egyptian pounds ($25 billion) to support small and medium businesses. Within this year, Al Baraka Bank Egypt plans to sign a new partnership worth 200 million pounds with the Social Fund for Development (SFD) to finance small and medium businesses led by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

CIBAFI to discuss profound structural problems in the Islamic Micro and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSME) in Jeddah.

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) tackles the profound structural problems in the Islamic Micro and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSME) finance industry. The recent CIBAFI Global Islamic Bankers Survey from 83 Heads of Islamic banks in 35 countries revealed that MSME finance serves as the second key driver of sustainable growth of Islamic banks. Nonetheless, expanding this business line depends on the development of external factors of this market segment, as well as on how Islamic financial institutions can enhance their technical infrastructures in serving MSMEs. CIBAFI has therefore started the initiative to organize a series of Roundtable Meetings on the topic.

Rawabi Vallianz Offshore Services issues SR1b sukuk

RAWABI Vallianz Offshore Services (RVOS), an equally-owned joint venture between Rawabi Holding and Vallianz Holdings Limited, has appointed Alinma Investment Co., Saudi Fransi Capital, Saudi Hollandi Capital and GIB Capital LLC as Joint Lead Managers and Book-Runners for its first issuance of a SR1 billion Shariah - compliant sukuk. The sukuk were sold through a private placement to sophisticated investors in full and are to be used to partially finance the marine assets of RVOS over a period of five years. Rawabi Holding provides a range of products and services in the fields of oil and gas, petrochemicals, engineering and construction, power and manufacturing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Vallianz Holdings Limited is a provider of offshore support vessels and integrated marine solutions to the oil and gas industry.

Emirates Foundation and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank announce Partnership in support of Financial Literacy in the UAE

Emirates Foundation and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) have partnered in support of financial literacy through Emirates Foundation's programme 'Esref Sah', which aims to educate youth on ways to manage their current and future financial and asset base. The three-year agreement was signed by Mohanna Al Muhairi, Chief Operations Officer of Emirates Foundation , and Mohamed Ali Al Fahim. Region Head, Corporate Banking. With a commitment of AED 1.5 million, the agreement, which offers both financial and knowledge-sharing technical support, is in line with the Foundation's business philanthropy model. On the other hand, this partnership comes as part of ADIB's UAE vision to invest in development programmes.

Faisal Islamic Bank's volume of business surges 7.4% in January

Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt's volume of business has increased by 7.4 percent to register EGP 56.141 billion (US$7 billion) at the end of January 2016. The indicators also revealed that the bank's volume of business hit EGP 52.259 billion at the end of January 2016. Furthermore, the total assets of the bank increased by 7.6% from EGP 51.756 billion in January 2015 to EGP 55.701 billion in January 2016. In addition, the bank's current accounts and saving pools rose 7.5% to record 49.494 billion, compared to 46.048 billion in the same period of the previous year. However, the Liquid assets gained 6.6% to LE 3.081 billion, up from LE 2.889 billion in the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, the bank accounts inched up 3.5% to 1.157 million, up from 1.117 million a year earlier.

Bank Nizwa signs USD 50 million shari'a-compliant financing agreement with Hydrocarbon Finder E&P LLC

Bank Nizwa SAOG has signed an agreement to provide a structured financing facility of USD 50 million to Hydrocarbon Finder E&P LLC (HCF), an independent Oil & Gas exploration & production company. The Bank's Shari'a-compliant package is tailored to meet the requirements of HCF, which has been granted concession rights by the Government of Oman for oil & gas exploration, development and production within an onshore geographical area in Oman termed as Block 7. Hydrocarbon Finder E&P LLC is part of the Services & Trade (S&T Group), an Oman based business conglomerate. The Facilities agreement was signed by Dr. Jamil El Jaroudi, CEO of Bank Nizwa and Brig. Gen. (Retd) Sulaiman Al Adawi, Group Chairman of the S&T Group, on February 10th in Muscat.

Capital markets to play bigger role in GCC project financing

Fiscal pressures exerted by low oil price are expected to increase the role of private sector and capital markets in the financing of hundreds of billions worth of project financing in the GCC countries. Standard & Poor’s estimate that $604 billion (Dh2.2 trillion) worth of project contracts need funding through 2019. Assuming there are no further cancellations, reprioritisations, or deferrals of projects through 2019, the rating agency expects $140 billion-$160 billion in contract awards per year. The countries awarding the most projects will be Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. Out of the projects planned and under way in 2016 of $140 billion, about 48 per cent involve real estate; oil and gas, 17 per cent; and infrastructure, 17 per cent.

International Shari'ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) to Support the Responsible Finance Summit

The Responsible Finance Summit has announced the support of the International Shari'ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) for the Summit. The Summit, which will be hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia, will include the participation of ISRA's Executive Director Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin, who will join a panel session on the popular perceptions about responsible finance and how Islamic finance can contribute to expanding its appeal to a wider audience. The Summit, organized by RFI Foundation and co-organized by Middle East Global Advisors, also represents a setting for ISRA to highlight its work in applied Shari'ah research on Islamic finance, particularly on ethical dimensions of Islamic finance.

Royal Jordanian closes an oversubscribed US$ 275 million loan facility

The Royal Jordanian Airlines announced the successful closure of its US$ 275,000,000 dual conventional and Islamic secured syndicated facility. The syndicate comprised of seven banks based in Jordan, UAE and Qatar; they are Mashreq, Arab Bank plc, Al Khalij Commercial Bank (Al Khaliji) Q.S.C, Dubai Islamic Bank, and The Commercial Bank/Qatar acting as Mandated Lead Arrangers, Arab Jordan Investment Bank as Lead Arranger and Bank al-Etihad as Arranger. Mashreq Bank acted as the sole book-runner for the loan. The facility carries a tenor of 5 years and the proceeds of the facility will be primarily utilized to consolidate and refinance RJ's existing debt and further support the company's on-going strategic growth and turnaround plans on the short- and medium-run.

KFH-Turkey issues capital boosting $350m sukuk

Kuwait Finance House Turkey (KFH-Turkey) issued Tier 2 capital-boosting sukuk worth $350 million to support its capital situation. The bank has set the yield at 7.9 percent for 10-year tenure. The sukuk will be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange for trading. The credit rating agency "Fitch" assigned an expected rating of BBB- to this tier 2 Basel III-complaint issue. The bank targets boosting its capital adequacy ratio so it can grow and enhance its presence in the international markets, said CEO- KFH -Capital Abdulaziz Nasser Al-Marzouq. KFH -Turkey mandated international banks and financial institutions led by KFH -Capital as a global coordinator, manager and syndicator, in addition to other lead managers and syndicators which are HSBC, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), Nour Bank, QInvest Investment Bank, Emirates NBD, and KAMCO Investment Company.

Alkhabeer Capital unveils IPO Fund

Alkhabeer Capital, an asset management and investment firm in Saudi Arabia, has announced the launch of Alkhabeer IPO Fund. The Alkhabeer IPO Fund is a Sharia Compliant, Open-Ended Investment Fund targeting IPOs and newly listed companies in Saudi Arabia during their first three years on the market. The fund may also invests part of its assets in the same at other GCC capital markets. Ahmed Saud Ghouth, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Alkhabeer Capital, commented that year-on-year the firm has reported increases in assets under management and has assessed the IPO performance of securities in the GCC, which have seen improvements in the money raised over 2015.

US$9.5 trillion of Muslims Wealth Remain Outside the Global Islamic Financial Industry

Only a fraction of US$11.5 trillion worth of wealth owned by Muslim individuals, institutions and government is managed by Islamic banks and financial institutions. About US$9.5 trillion remain outside the global Islamic financial services industry that has US$2 trillion asset under management, said Professor Humayon Dar, Chairman of Edbiz Corporation at the 2nd Annual International Forum on Islamic Finance in Khartoum, Sudan. Professor Humayon Dar pointed out that the missing dollars are managed by Western financial institutions. Consequently Islamic banks and financial institutions are losing potential revenue of US$180 billion on an annual basis.

Sisi's fund to establish $13 million leasing firm

Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt) Fund, originally initiated by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to support national economy, is planning to launch a leasing firm, its executive chairman Mohamed Ashmawy said. The anticipated firm will be with a capital up to 100 million Egyptian pounds (US$13 million). The firm will help provide job opportunities for the youth. Since the fund was initiated in 2014, individuals and businessmen have contributed billions of Egyptian pounds to the fund. The fund's executive committee encompasses leading businessmen like Naguib Sawiris, former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa and a representative from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Italy's Islamic Bond: Nctm seeks to open a window of opportunities for Italian SME's

As Italy's demand for mini-bonds grows, Nctm Studio Legale (Nctm), a law firm, has hired Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) to help it structure an Islamic Bond. Under the agreement, SRB will collaborate with Nctm to help structure and certify the mini-bonds in light of Sharia guidelines. Shariyah Review Bureau team has many years of experience in a range of industries, specializing in Investment Funds, banking, insurance, agriculture, and Asset Management. The demand for their services has quadrupled over the years with 2015 being the most eventful year. SRB expects this Islamic bond to open new venues of connecting capital with businesses in Italy and also help provide new opportunities to the SME sector.

SUKUK PIPELINE - Issue plans around the world

The Thomson Reuters Global Sukuk Index was last at 116.20589 points, down from 116.97354 at the end of last year. The Thomson Reuters Investment Grade Sukuk Index is at 114.17065 points against 115.21206 at end-2015. Some of the sukuk in the pipeline are: Kuwait Finance House is studying the issuance of sukuk to boost its capital reserves, its chief executive said. Indonesia's government has appointed CIMB , Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered for an offer of U.S. dollar sukuk. The chief executive of state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp said in late January that the company was studying means of finance including sukuk.The government of Qatar is in talks with banks about a sovereign sukuk issue as soon as March or April.

Ibdar makes £8 million investment in prime new Manchester city centre development

Bahrain-based Ibdar Bank has announced that it has made a £8 million investment in a prime new residential project. Angel Gardens, consisting of residential 458-apartments and a total development value of £124 million, forms part of the wider NOMA re-development project aimed at transforming Manchester city centre. The development is being funded through a combination of equity invested by Ibdar and other co-investors and senior debt to be obtained from one of the Banks. Forecasts indicate an expected income return through operations starting at 9.1% on stabilized income, rising to 10.8% per annum after three years of stabilised operations and a targeted IRR of +15% over a five year investment period.

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