Moody’s Investors Service

Solid growth in Islamic IAs expected to normalise

In #Malaysia Islamic investment accounts (IA) have grown at a strong pace since they were introduced in 2015. Bank Negara’s latest monthly banking statistics show that IAs have since grown to RM74.2 billion as at February this year, accounting for 13% of total liabilities within the Islamic banking system. According to Simon Chen, senior analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, by 2020 IAs will probably account for some 16% of the Islamic banking system’s total liabilities. An important feature of IAs is the sharing of risk between the bank and the account holder. For an investor, IAs are attractive because they offer much higher returns than a deposit account. But, unlike a deposit account, the principal amount in an IA is not guaranteed by Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia. According to Chen, a key issue that remains is whether the loss-sharing mechanism in IAs will be honoured by banks in case of actual losses. A significant loss to test the resilience of this regime has yet to occur.

#Oman and #Indonesia making most progress in Islamic finance

According to Moody’s Investors Service, Oman and Indonesia have made the most progress this year in terms of taking initiatives to advance Islamic finance. According to Khalid Howladar, global head of Islamic finance at Moody’s, Oman’s strategy has already yielded substantive results and new sukuk regulations have been published. Over three years Oman’s Islamic banking sector has gone from zero to an agregate of around 10% of the banking system’s financing assets as of June 2016. Indonesia has several inititives to accelerate growth. Also, the country launched a 10-year Islamic finance master plan that consists of action plans and interventions covering key aspects. Meanwhile, markets that seem to have stalled this year are the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

Islamic finance to take over conventional system in many countries

According to Moody’s Investors Service, growth prospects for the Islamic banking are still strong despite subdued sukuk issuance predicted for 2016. Growth in the Islamic banking sector continues to broadly outpace that of conventional banks in most systems in which Islamic banks have been established. The current size of the Islamic finance market has been estimated to range from $1.66 trillion to $2.1 trillion with expectations of market size to be $3.4 trillion by end of 2018. According to the Moody's report, Islamic banking sector growth is driven by strong retail demand and proactive government legislation for the industry. There is potential for further growth, especially in countries in which the penetration of Islamic banking assets remains relatively low, at between 5% and 10% of Islamic financing assets.

Mega bank merger credit negative for CIMB Islamic Bank

The proposed merger between CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, RHB Capital Bhd (RHBCap) and Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) would be credit negative for CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s vice-president Eugene Tarzimanov noted that the merger would see CIMB Islamic Bank’s asset size triple as a result of acquiring RHB Bank’s and MBSB’s Islamic operations.

IDB rate of return triple that of Gulf bonds

The reason for the fact that rate of return on Islamic Development Bank’s Shariah-compliant bonds sold last month was triple that of Gulf sukuk is that investors looking to own the highest rated debt sold this year.
Islamic Development is rated AAA, the highest investment grade, at Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

Bahrain Islamic Bank cut to junk at Moody's on loss, unrest

Because of their losses and after political unrest in the Arabian Gulf nation, Moody’s Investors Service cut off Bahrain Islamic Bank's credit ratings.
Moody's statement was that the decision "reflects a material weakening in the institution’s stand-alone financial profile, as shown in the significant losses it posted in the last two years and the erosion of its capital base in the absence of new capital injections".

Moody’s places Dubai Bank on review

Moody’s Investors Service put the E+ bank financial strength rating (BFSR), mapping to B1 on the long-term rating scale, of Dubai Bank (DB) on review with direction uncertain.
The review comes after the Government of Dubai's announcement on 16 May 2010 that it plans to inject capital into Dubai Bank, protect the interest of all depositors and ensure that Dubai Bank's operations remain uninterrupted.

Sukuk yields rise most in 9 months on unrest

Islamic bonds, led by securities in the Arabian Gulf, underperformed emerging-market debt in February as spreading unrest across the Middle East caused the biggest monthly rise in yields since May.
Investors are shunning Middle East assets as protests expanded to Oman, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya, holder of the largest proven oil reserves in Africa. Moody’s Investors Service and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank say Islamic bonds aren’t likely to recover unless demonstrations that have toppled Tunisia’s and Egypt’s rulers and killed hundreds end soon.

Nakheel Trade-Creditor Sukuk May Help Revive Gulf Market: Islamic Finance

Nakheel PJSC’s plan to offer Islamic bonds to creditors may revive sukuk trading in the Persian Gulf after new sales fell to a five-year low, according to Moody’s Investors Service and Mashreq Capital DIFC Ltd. Thomas Barry said that contractors are likely to sell Nakheel’s sukuk to pay bills. Thomas Barry is chief executive officer of Arabtec Construction LLC. In April, the company said its trade creditors would be offered 100 percent recovery of their claims -- 40 percent through a cash payment and 60 percent in the form of a tradable sukuk. More than 80 percent of Nakheel’s contractors have agreed. Abdul Kadir Hussain said sukuk sales from the region are likely to pick up in the fourth quarter. Nakheel and its parent Dubai World, one of the emirate’s three main holding companies, are renegotiating debt terms after the deepest financial crisis since the 1930s roiled Dubai’s real-estate market and left companies unable to raise financing. Property prices have fallen more than 50 percent in the city as banks cut mortgage lending, according to estimates from Colliers International.

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