The Pakistani unit of Bahrain's Al Baraka Banking Group has raised 2 billion rupees ($19.5 million) via the country's first issuance of subordinated sukuk, or Islamic bonds. The seven-year private placement is the first to be issued by an Islamic bank in Pakistan, according to Abdullah Ghaffar, head of investment banking at Al Baraka Bank Pakistan.
Due to the phasing in of Basel III global banking standards around the globe, several Islamic banks have issued subordinated instruments in order to raise capital, including those in Turkey, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) has launched NBF Islamic, a service offering clients a comprehensive suite of Sharia-compliant financial solutions. All NBF Islamic products are available across the UAE and there are plans to offer Islamic banking solutions to companies and businesses across the UAE. NBF Islamic will be guided by the Sharia Supervisory Board comprising four scholars, Dr. Mohammad Ali Elgari (Chairman), Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, Dr. Muhammad Ameen Ali Qattan and Dr. Osama Al Dereai.
Mercer in partnership with the Institute for International Research Middle East (IIRME), will be presenting the findings of its latest survey on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Programs, Policies and Practices in the region at the 10th CSR Summit held on May 21, 2013 at The Address Hotel Dubai Marina. Taking place over a period from April to May, 2013, the results will be ready for sharing at the conference organised by IIRME on the very same topic. The session will also provide a platform for benchmarking local practices to the global findings from the survey. The survey is open until May 1st, 2013.
Gulf Finance Corporation, a subsidiary of SHUAA Capital, is launching a new specialist division called Gulf Finance Medical Leasing (GFML) that will offer operating leases for medical equipment to the UAE healthcare sector. The equipment can be leased on a monthly fee basis usually for three years at which juncture it can be returned, purchased or upgraded for new equipment. GFML is the first business of its type in the GCC and is planning to address significant market opportunities across the region.
According to Essa Kazim, the chairman of the Borse Dubai, the emirate's strategy to become a global centre for Islamic business and finance is paying off, although it is still at an early stage. Underlining its ambitions, the emirate raised US$1.25 billion (Dh4.59bn) in government sukuk at competitive interest rates last week. The Dubai Financial Market General Index is one of the best performing in the world over the last 12 months.
Nakheel may look to refinance its sukuk borrowings this year due to a reported growing of its 2012 profits. However, an analyst warned of wrong rating and pricing.
A.M. Best Europe – Rating Services Limited has downgraded the financial strength rating of Islamic Arab Insurance Co. (Salama). This is due to the uncertainty regarding Salama’s main subsidiary, BEST RE Limited (Malaysia), and the potential implications for Salama’s capitalisation, operating performance and profile. Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the ratings as Salama has requested to no longer participate in their rating process.
The Global Islamic Microfinance Forum on Islamic microfinance will be held in the UAE on December 8, in which delegates from more than 30 countries will participate. The forum's purpose is to introduce Islamic microfinance on the global canvas as an effective tool for poverty alleviation and social development. It also aims to develop Islamic microfinance internationally and to have a dialogue with the international donor and development agencies and corporate entities for sustainable development.
Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company’s financial strength rating and credit rating were reaffirmed by A.M. Best’s rating agency and Standard & Poor’s rating agency as A and A-, respectively. Thus, ADNIC is placed among an elite group of financial services institutions to have their financial rating maintained in the A category across the Middle East and North Africa region.
In a recent announcement, Fajr Capital Limited has informed about its acquisition of Dubai International Capital’s stake in the Mena Infrastructure Fund. Fajr Capital will join the other two major partners of the fund, HSBC Bank Middle East and Abu Dhabi-based Waha Capital, being a limited partner with other regional and international investors. Fajr Capital’s transaction is expected to result in strengthening the company's position in the MENA region, building exposure in the key markets of Egypt, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as increasing the company's assets.
Emirates Money intends to launch Banca Takaful in conjunction with Dubai Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance Company and Global Takaful Solutions (FWU). A key feature of the new Shari'ah-compliant financial plan is to protect invested capital in a bear market situation that we are experiencing nowadays. Banca Takaful shall offer two different investment strategies - equity and cash - allowing customers to choose their investment strategy.
According to CTPartners, a huge number of family-owned businesses, which now have expanded into regional and global conglomerates, are concerned with succession planning to manage and preserve their wealth for future generations. Family-owned businesses should ensure sustainability beyond the founding fathers and their immediate offspring. Since these businesses constitute 75% of the private sector economy, their sustainability is essential for their contries as well.
The net profit of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) for the first half of the year have been announced. They are as high as Dhs555m, which result is a demonstration of a continuous growth. Compared with it, the same period of 2011 brought a profit of Dhs552m. A 27% increase from the first quarter of 2012 to the second has been registered.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) announced their expansion to Iraq yesterday. By opening a branch in Iraq, the bank becomes the first financial institution in the UAE which launches operations there with license from the Iraqi Central Bank. The branch of ADIB will be situated in Baghdad and will be managed by Jawdat Mahmoud Jawdat. ADIB aims to develop the Islamic finance industry in Iraq using best in class Islamic banking products.
This year's Ramadan shall bring joy to over 3.000 people thanks to a charitable campaigne of the Bank of the Year in the UAE - the United Arab Bank (UAB). Together with Awqaf & Minors' Affairs Foundation they will disburse meals during the holy month. Thus, they will become part of the giving spirit of the Ramadan and hope to make their contribution to the development of the society towards betterment.
The holy month of Ramadan will be marked by the Dubai Islamic Humanitarian Foundation's donation of Dh135 million to a number of charity organisations in six UAE emirates. Dubai Islamic Bank's problems should not affect the charitable act which will include Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah as receiving emirates. More than 3,250 poor families will be given magnetic smart cards. The campaigne takes place for the fifth year in a row.
Abu Dhabi National Islamic Finance (ADNIF) has recently donated Dh 1 million as part of its Zakat funds to UAE charitable foundation Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP). The donated money is to support cancer patients. Ameera Bin Karam, Founding Member and President of FoCP, expressed his hope that this gesture will give a good example to other public and private institutions and individuals.
Since the global economic downturn in 2008, Dubai has sought to display signs of financial improvement. And the glitzy sheikhdom of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has begun to demonstrate growth, except in real estate.
Despite the pessimism pervading the market, Dubai launched a Shariah-compliant real estate investment trust (REIT) in November. Emirates REIT, jointly developed by Dubai Islamic Bank and Eiffel Management, a French REIT specialist, joins a number of Shariah-compliant REITs that have been set up Asia and the Middle East over recent months. Governments and Islamic financiers alike hope the new products will spur investment from Muslims and non-Muslims into these regional real estate sectors.