United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Sharjah Islamic Bank repays $400m #sukuk

Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) has successfully repaid a $400 million sukuk. The sukuk had been raised in May 2011 under challenging market circumstances. The funds raised under the sukuk were used for general corporate purposes and business expansion of SIB. The bank currently has two sukuks of $500 million outstanding which are set to mature in 2018 and 2020 respectively.

EIBFS organises #workshop on Islamic Asset Management

Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) hosted a workshop on the current and future landscape of the Shari’ah-compliant asset management sector for the UAE’s senior-level bankers and financial experts. The workshop invited Islamic finance specialists from EIBFS, Dubai Islamic Bank, Noor Bank and Mashreq Capital. Asset management has evolved significantly over the last few years. In 2015, Assets under Management (AUM) of total global Islamic funds grew 5.3% from the previous year while the number of funds increased by 11%.

The 1st China-UAE #Conference on Islamic Banking & Finance’ to tap synergies between Islamic economies of both countries to drive in mutual growth

The first China-UAE Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance is organized between May 24-25, 2016 in Beijing, China. The Conference will serve as an international platform for experts, decision-makers, scholars, academicians and other Islamic Banking and Finance stakeholders to exchange knowledge and best practices. The debuting conference aims to capitalize on the strategic ties between the UAE and China to identify challenges and opportunities related to Islamic finance.

Qatar's largest bank investigating alleged data breach

Qatar National Bank is investigating a security breach that appears to have exposed sensitive personal data for what could be hundreds of customers, including employees of international broadcaster Al-Jazeera and potentially senior government officials. Four people identified in the files and reached by The Associated Press confirmed their personal information was authentic. It is unclear if all of the data posted online originated from the bank itself. The bank said it was coordinating with the concerned parties to investigate the matter and offered its assurance that there would be no financial impact for its clients or the bank.

Counting the cost of personal debt in the UAE

Hundreds of readers have written to The National to share their financial woes, following a series of articles in the Money section about worrying levels of personal debt in the UAE. The reason why UAE residents are building up such alarming liabilities is the lack of knowledge about the sky-high credit card interest rates in the country. According to a recent Compareit4me.com survey, about two-thirds of credit card holders are unaware of their card’s interest rate.

1st International Innovative Platform for Islamic Economy Products begins 22 November

Organised by the International Centre of Islamic Economy and the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority, the event is part of efforts to encourage innovation and creativity in the development of new products as key additions to the international Islamic economy. The two-day event will be held in conjunction with UAE Innovation Week which was launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in line with of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, upon declaring 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation’. The international platform is poised to attract more than 300 participants including top-notch financial and economic experts, decision makers and representatives from official, supervisory, regulatory, legislative and executive entities to share the latest innovative ideas related to Islamic economic sectors.

Ernest & Young: Islamic banking to grow despite uncertainty

In a joint press conference with the World Islamic Banking Conference, Ernest & Young highlighted part of its World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 in Manama. “The growth of the Islamic banking industry in the GCC, specifically in Saudi Arabia, in the past few years can be attributed to the increased public sector spending on the back of oil revenues. It will be interesting to see how banks are affected as governments draw their reserves from the banking sector to narrow the gap on budget deficits due to the drop in the global oil price,” said Muzammil Kasbati, Director, Global Islamic Banking Centre at Ernest & Young.
According to the statement, the GCC Islamic banking profit pool crossed $12 billion, with expectations that the sector will continue to grow amid regional economic uncertainty. Further, the statement says that nine core markets are currently the growth engines for the global Islamic finance industry. Ernest & Young identified a group of 40 banks across these nine core markets that are “systemically important” to the future progress of the industry.

lydubai in sukuk talks

Low-cost carrier flydubai is in talks with its advisers for a potential bond issuance. Earlier reports citing unnamed sources, Dubai’s low cost airline had mandated seven banks — Credit Agricole, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Noor Bank and Standard Chartered — to arrange a potential debut sukuk issue

Investing on principle – asia asset management

Sukuk issuance and investing is expanding outside of the Islamic world. The asset holders range from sovereign wealth funds and high-net-worth-individuals in the Arab Gulf, to retail investors in other Muslim majority countries such as Turkey, Pakistan and Indonesia. According to Moody’s Investors Service, Malaysia at present dominates the sukuk market when it comes to both sovereign and corporate issuance. Other major issuers include the governments of Indonesia and Gulf states including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The overall outstanding amount of sukuk will probably reach around $115 billion this year.

Al Baraka Bank issues first subordinated sukuk

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 launches Islamic banking

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 shares global trends and regional practices in CSR at the 10th CSR Summit

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 launches Gulf Finance Medical Leasing

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.

Borse Dubai chairman says timing is right for Islamic economy

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 mulls sukuk refi as analyst says sell

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 Withdraws Ratings of Islamic Arab Insurance Co. (Salama)

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.

Global Islamic Microfinance Forum on Dec 8

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.

More on: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-134149-Global-Islamic-Microfinan...

Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company’s ratings reaffirmed

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.

Fajr acquires stake in Mena Mena Infrastructure Fund

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, FWU Group, AMAN Insurance join to launch Banca Takaful

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.

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