Saudi Arabia

Islamic Finance Programs Highlight in Listing of 50 Leading Business Schools of the OIC

DinarStandard™ publicized a listing of 50 Leading Business Schools of the OIC member countries. The listing reveales how OIC based Business Schools are giving leading regional employers access to top talent from within their own neighborhoods with unique expertise in Islamic finance, social entrepreneurship and innovation management.
Some of the insights presented in the listing are:
- Accreditation: Eight B-Schools from the list are AACSB accredited (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.) AACSB is generally regarded as the standard for MBA programs (all US top 20 MBA programs have AACSB accreditation.)
- Geographic breakdown: B-Schools from 16 countries are represented on the list. Malaysia has the highest representation with 8 B-Schools on the list. This is followed by 6 each from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.
- Most of the programs are English language based and 47 of the 50 on the list offer full-time MBA program.

Saudi Arabia: Riz Khan lauds IDB

TV journalist Riz Khan has revealed the role of the Islamic Development Bank in mobilizing local talent and resources to boost the development of member countries. He added that the bank should present itself in a better light so that people would appreciate its activities in order to give people a better perspective about what IDB is doing.

Going Islamic

Because of the strict rules of Islamic finance, many countries have avoided the worst of the 2008 economic meltdown. Now officials in the Russian republic of Tatarstan are hoping that Islamic finance can help them attract direct investment from Muslim nations around the world.
Delegates from as far afield as Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates were welcomed last week in a summit on Islamic finance in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan.

Capital Intelligence marks down Bank AlJazira

Capital Intelligence (CI) has lowered the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of Bank AlJazira (BAJ), based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to 'BBB' from 'BBB+'. The bank has now a stable outlook.
At the end of 2010, the Bank's total staff was 1,616.

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At the end of 2010, the Bank's staff totalled 1,616

GCC has most ultra-wealthy families in world

Qatar and three other GCC countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE are ssen as four of the top 10 countries in the world with the highest density ultra-wealthy households.
According to the study, “ultra-high-net-worth” (UHNW) households or those with more than $100m in AuM, are mostly situated in Saudi Arabia registering 18 per 100,000 households.
Qatar, Kuwait and UAE also made it to the top ten list in terms of the highest proportion of millionaire household by market with 8.9 percent, 8.5 percent and 2.6 percent millionaire households, respectively.

Indonesia Targets Persian Gulf to Boost Assets: Islamic Finance

In order to increase the Shariah-compliant banking assets by 35 percent this year, Indonesia's Foreign Ministry and central bank are seeking investment from the Persian Gulf.
Mulya Siregar, the Jakarta-based director of Islamic services at Bank Indonesia, announced that it is possible that the delegation is going to meet officials in the Middle East as soon as this month, with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait the most likely destinations.

Ireland aims to be home of Islamic finance in Europe

In the path of rebuilding its once dominant financial services sector, Ireland aims to become the home of Islamic finance in Europe.
The taoiseach, Enda Kenny, stated that the Irish tax laws and financial regulations are now sharia-compliant. It seems that the government had recently signed double-taxation agreements with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi hyper-rich leave rest in the dust

A new study reveals that for its population, Saudi Arabia has the highest proportion of "hyper-rich" households in the world. The study also reveals the fact that Dubai's financial services industry is reaping rewards from wealthy investors from Saudi Arabia.
Kuwait and the UAE were among the top 10 countries worldwide on the number of millionaires per capital.

Barwa Bank in QR529m deal with NPS

Barwa Bank and National Petroleum Services Group (NPS) made an agreement to refinance an existing syndication and support its expansion and working capital. All this will be worth QR529m.
NPS group provides drilling and well services to customers in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries in the Middle East, North Africa, Far East, and Europe.
Its state-of-the-art equipment and sectorial services are embracing Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Syria, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Libya, and Iraq.

JEF 2011 Debates The Future Needs Of Islamic Finance

The last and final day of JEF 2011 included a prolific discussion on Islamic banking and finance with Sheikh Saleh Kamel, as a keynote speaker. Governor of SAGIA HE Amr Al Dabbagh shed light on what Saudi's Investment plans for the next 5 years.
Sheikh Saleh called for the unification of Fatwa Authorities at banks. He highlighted the importance of a managing entity to ensure that Islamic transactions are viably controlled and stressed need for proper understanding of its true meaning for proper application of Islamic Finance.

Bahrain braces for more protests

Bahrain braced for more protests Monday as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states reportedly prepared to send troops to help restore order in the strategic kingdom.
The Financial Harbour business complex was blocked off by protesters a day after more than 200 people were injured there in clashes between riot police and demonstrators.
It was the worst day of violence in the tiny Gulf kingdom since seven people were killed at the start of anti-regime unrest in mid-February.

IILM Targets To Issue First Shariah-Compliant Financial Instruments By Year-End

The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) is expected to issue the first Shariah-compliant financial instruments by year-end.
The minimum size of the instruments could be US$300 million depending on the market demand.
The IILM was established on October 2010 with 14 founding shareholders, comprising the 12 central banks of Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia,Mauritius, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as two multi-lateral institutions, the Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector.

SAIB BNP PARIBAS Asset Management Offers New Sukuk Fund

SAIB Sukuk Fund will be accepting subscriptions from investors starting February 1 2011. The Fund is an openended public Fund under the supervision of the Capital Market Authority of Saudi Arabia. The minimum amosaunt to subscribe into the fund is SAR 100,000 and will provide twice-monthly liquidity.
SAIB BNP Paribas Asset Management Co. Ltd. is one of the premier Asset Management firm operating as a Joint venture between the Saudi Investment Bank and BNP Paribas Investment Partners, a preeminent global financial institution.

Saudi civil aviation authority mulls sukuk issue

Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority is eyeing sale of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, in several tranches to finance a modernisation of the kingdom’s airports.

Saudi Arabia top aid giver

Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of countries that offer humanitarian aid to calamity-hit people across the world.
The Kingdom offered 1.9 percent of its national income last year in humanitarian aid and relief assistance to people suffering from calamities and crises across the world.
Minister of Higher Education Khaled Al-Anqari opened the conference on Sunday on behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
The event has been organized by Madinah Islamic University in collaboration with the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives (KAFRA).

Global Islamic Assets May Hit $700B By Yr End; GCC Leads -Report

Total assets of lslamic banks globally is expected to hit $700 billion, out of which two thirds is in the Arab Gulf region.
Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank is the biggest Islamic lender in the region, holding assets of $48.41 billion, followed by Kuwait Finance House at $41.57 billion.

Palestinians Lure Banks With First Sukuk Bills

The Palestinian central bank is attracting local banks to its first sale of Islamic bills.
Palestine Islamic Bank will submit a bid for as much as $10 million, and Arab Islamic Bank said it probably will participate.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is seeking to expand Islamic finance to reduce reliance on aid from the U.S., Europe, Saudi Arabia and others as the territory starts building institutions for a future state.

Moody's downgrades Dar Al-Arkan ratings to Ba3, outlook stable (Saudi Arabia)

Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded the Ba2 ratings for Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company, Saudi Joint Stock Company , Dar Al-Arkan International Sukuk Company II and the US$450 million USD Certificates ("sukuk") to Ba3. The outlook is stable.
The reason is a combination of:
(1) DAAR's weaker than anticipated operating performance continuing in the third quarter of 2010 attributed to lower land sales, resulting in a departure from Moody's original expectations where land sales are an important part of the funding mix;
(2) DAAR's weaker than anticipated financial metrics, such as Moody's adjusted debt to book capitalisation (LTM 35.3% per end of September 2010), or FFO/Debt (LTM 18.4% per end of September 2010) which are not in alignment with Moody's guidelines for the Ba2 rating category;
and (3) the negative free cash flows DAAR has generated over the first nine months of 2010

Mideast banks tap women's wealth

Emirati housewife Sarah Alzarouni brushed past a group of women clad in floor-length black robes, some with only their eyes showing, to enter through the frosted doors of one of Dubai Islamic Bank’s women-only branches.
Clutching a Louis Vuitton bag to match her designer head scarf, Ms. Alzarouni greeted the female tellers and bank manager with three kisses on the cheek and sat down to do business.
Financial institutions in the conservative Gulf Arab region, where many women are reluctant to mix with men outside their families, are tapping into the niche, with women-only bank branches and investment funds mushrooming.
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam where unrelated men and women are not allowed to mix, is leading the charge.
Industry experts say more women need to participate in the Islamic banking industry at senior levels to help grow products that appeal to a female clientele. But while the finance industry remains a boys club around the world, the glass ceiling is lower in the Middle East.

Saudi needs 150,000 housing units a year: LaSalle

Saudi Arabia needs 150,000 housing units annually as demand for residential property is soaring, while a long-awaited mortgage law will not solve the top oil exporter's housing problem.
Saudi Arabia, the biggest Arab economy, is facing a massive housing problem due to rapid population growth and an inflow of expatriate workers coming to the kingdom rolling out a $400 billion infrastructure spending plan.
In addition, the country has only a small secondary real estate market, and land prices are higher than in other Gulf Arab states.
Rentals prices for residential housing units would keep rising by some 10 percent annually like in previous years. Saudi Arabia has been working for years on a mortgage law but Harris said the bill, if finally approved, would not solve the problem as there was not sufficient land available for sale and few experienced real estate developers operating.

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