Business 24/7

Markaz expects 50 % surge in Saudi demand after mortgage law

The total demand for residential units in Saudi Arabia will be in the range of 500,000 to 800,000 during the period 2009-13. The currently planned organised supply will provide about 73,000 units during 2009-13 and the rest will be tapped by current and future projects by smaller size developers and major projects planned in future.

E&Y sees takaful contributions grow to USD 7.7 bn by 2012

Ernst & Young released a report saying that the takaful market may reach USD 7.7 bn contributions by 2012, compared to USD 2.5 bn in 2006 and USD 3.4 bn in 2007.

Source: 

http://www.business24-7.ae/articles/2009/4/pages/globaltakafulmarketmayhit$77billionin2012report.aspx

Fixed Income market seen as important to Gulf growth

Sean Davidson wrote on 13 February in Business 24/7 about the importance of an active sovereign bond market to strengthen Gulf monetary policies allowing for an integrated market for local currency government bonds where the central, local and forweign banks, individuals and other institutional investors can participate - a matter which plenty of economists agree to.

The UAE government has indicated plans to issue conventional bonds and sukuk in the near future with maturities of up to 30 years.

Kuwaiti investement banks, firms may merge under rescue plan

Kuwaiti banks or investment firms may have to merge if they want to obtain state help under a USD 5 bn (Dh18bn) rescue plan, a bill devised by the central bank said. Under the plan, the central bank will also decide which investment firms will qualify for aid depending on whether the firm is able to continue its business and has a "good" solvency.

Capital Management House (CMH) increased profits to Dh 52.8 mn

The Bahrain-based Islamic investment company Capital Management House (CMH)said its net income increased to USD 14.4 mn (Dh 52.8 mn) last year compared to USD 5.6 mn a year ago. The firm's board recommended 16.6 % stock dividend. Asset under management have grown to reach USD 105.9 mn and the equity base USD 128.8 mn.

GBCorp income rises 8.1 % to USD 53.1 mn

Global Banking Corporation (GBCorp), the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, said its total income in 2008 increased 8.1 % to USD 53.1 mn compared to USD 49.2 mn for the previous year. Its net profit reached USD 21.2 mn. Total assets reached 93 % to USD 455.9 mn against USD 236.2 mn for the previous year. The bank had USD 723 mn worth of fund under its management.

Deyaar's contracts will be Shariah-compliant

Business 24/7 reported on 6 January that the real estate developer said that Deyaar's contracts will be Shariah-compliant and they are going to deal exclusively with Islamic banks. Deyaar is an affiliate of Dubai Islamic Bank. Markus Giebel, the CEO of Deyaar has written a column for Business 24/7.

Blue Orchard: Middle East next growth area for micro finance

Shveta Pathak reported in Business 24/7 on 30 December about the opportunity of micro finance in the Middle East interviewing Jack Lowe, President of BlueOrchard, USA, a Swiss micro finance company.

Jack Lowe, President of BlueOrchard, USA, sees the stable returns and low volatility offered by micro finance as key benefits making it a preferred asset class. The stable returns and low volatility are achieved because micro finance is closely linked to real economy, the society and has the advantage of managing the current situation better.

With the UAE Ministry of Economy having been assigned the task of launching a federal strategy to develop a programme to support and finance small start-ups in the UAE, micro finance institutions are hopeful of tapping the market Lowe told Emirates Business in an exclusive interview.

Excerpts from the interview: http://www.business24-7.ae/articles/2008/12/pages/12302008_f5a31399c6914...

Gulf Islamic banks continue to outperform conventional peers

Darren Stubing reported on 27 April Gulf Islamic banks continue to grow at a strong pace in excess of conventional banks in the GCC countries.

Islamic financial institutions exceed the return on assets of their peers in the Gulf (3.6 % vs. 2.4 %) and the return on equity (24 % vs. 19 %), net profit grew 11 % compared to 5 %.

Banks with retail banking proved stronger and more conventional banks consider converting to Islamic bank status, such as the Commercial Bank in Kuwait, however, Islamic banks do required better economies of scale to drive down cost-income ratios, which can be achieved by cross-border expansion including M&A.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/articles/2008/4/pages/04272008_70eea8abe8c54a...

Dubai Islamic Bank and DIC in talks to open bank in Jordan

Business 24/7 reported on 16 April that Dubai International Capital (DIC) talks with Dubai Islamic Bank about setting up a Shariah-compliant Islamic bank in Jordan.

Sameer Al Ansari heads Dubai International Capital. DIC manages a $500 million (Dh1.8 billion) fund investing in Jordan.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

Kuwaiti Abyaar to launch USD 1 bn Sukuk before year-end

Parag Deulgaonkar reported 22 April in Business 24/7 that Kuwait-based Abyaar Real Estate Development is to launch a USD 1 bnsukuk issue before year-end to finance its projects and will dual list its share on the Dubai Financial Market, for which it has appointed NBD Investment Bank as financial advisor and placement agent.

Marzooq Al Rashdan is Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Abyaar

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

Gulf Re targets high-value energy projects

Mohamad Al Kady reported on 12 April in Business 24/7 that Gulf Re, a newly formed joint venture between the Bermuda-based Arch Capital Group and Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), is set to offer reinsurance services for large GCC projects in oil, gas, power and water desalination.

GulfRe starts to think about creating a re-Takaful organisation to offer Islamic reinsurance services to their clients.

Gail Norstrom is the CEO of GulfRe

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

Tabreed names banks for Sukuk issuance

Business 24/7 reported on 13 April that National Central Cooling Co (Tabreed) has mandated Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered and National Bank of Abu Dhabi as lead managers for its planned USD 300-500 mn convertible Sukuk due by 2011.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

Sharia compliant Gold Exchange Traded Fund

Peter Cooper reported on 9 April on Business 24/7 about the Sharia compliant Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and World Gold Council. The ETF will be backed by physical Gold deposited under the Almas Tower of DMCC. After approval of the regulatory body Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) a secondary market will be operated by listing the ETF on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX).

DMCC has taken a share in London-listed Shariah Capital, which is supervising the compliance. Other Gold ETFs usually used derivatives to replicate the performance of Gold.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

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