Saudi Arabia






Saudi regulator fines top Islamic lender al-Rajhi

Saudi Arabia's regulator has fined the country's biggest Islamic bank, Al-Rajhi , for not notifying it about the resignation of two senior executives, the regulator said.

Al Rajhi Capital, Arcapita announce launch of $500m real estate income fund

Al Rajhi Capital, the investment banking subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank, and Arcapita Bank B.S.C.(c), an international investment firm headquartered in Bahrain, announced today the launch of a $500m (SR1.875bn) fund, the ARC Real Estate Income Fund.

Aramco, Total Said to Hire Bankers to Issue Sukuk for Refinery

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. or Aramco, the world’s biggest crude producer, and Total SA hired Deutsche Bank AG, Samba Financial Group and Calyon to sell and manage the mainly domestic bond sale, to help fund the construction of a $12 billion oil refinery.

Investor Numbers and Confidence Up as MIPIM Approaches

Some 2,300 international investors, a 12% increase on the same period 2009, have already signed up for the 21st edition of MIPIM (Cannes from March 16-19), as executives report improved confidence in the real estate market and economic recovery opens the door to new investment opportunities. Other major investment topics on the conference agenda include the presentation by Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (Saudi Arabia), who will talk about Islamic finance.

Saudi takaful growth boosts local bonds

Rapid growth among Saudi Arabia's Islamic insurers will benefit the domestic bond market but bypass dollardenominated issues due to regulations that keep insurers' investment close to home, experts and executives said.

New watchdog set to probe Sharia violations on finance

A new watchdog is to be launched to investigate suspected violations of Sharia-compliance among Islamic finance products, Arabian Business has learned.

Saudi Alinma Bank sees Q4 net profit fall

Newly launched Saudi bank Alinma said on Saturday its fourth quarter net profit fell 85 percent from the previous quarter due to increased operational costs.

Fitch: 2010 Outlook for Saudi Banks more positive after mixed 2009

Fitch Ratings says that 2009 proved to be, as anticipated by Fitch, a challenging year for banks in Saudi Arabia as the full impact of the global economic crisis caught up with the region, reflected in rising loan impairments and a rapid slowdown in lending. The preliminary 2009 results released by the 10 main Saudi commercial banks rated by Fitch showed different trends in net income in 2009, with Q409 being the worst quarter of the year.

Fitch notes that five of the 10 largest commercial banks operating in Saudi Arabia showed improvements in their net income y-o-y, but overall growth in total net income for all 10 banks stagnated in 2009 y-o-y (2008: -14.2%). Areas of concern included lower domestic economic growth, mainly reflecting lower oil revenues and exports, and the negative impact on asset quality of recent rapid credit growth as well as problematic exposures to some large Saudi trading groups (primarily Algosaibi and Saad). The agency has yet to see the full audited financial statements of the Saudi banks but will review them fully in the near future. At this stage, Fitch does not expect to see further downgrades of Individual Ratings in 2010.

Saudi Al Jazira Bank Q4 loss up, ANB profit falls

Saudi's Al Jazira Bank widened its losses for the fourth quarter by 189 percent while smaller rival Arab National Bank saw net profit falling 31.8 percent, the lenders said.

Saad Group sukuk defaults on repayments

A subsidiary of Saad Group, a Saudi Arabian conglomerate, has said it is unable to meet repayments on a sukuk (Islamic bonds) issue worth $650 million, which matures in 2012.

CMA Approved Saudi Hollandi Bank’s Request for SUKUK Public Offering

In continuation of its efforts to develop and diversify investment channels in the capital markets via offers of securities, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) approved Saudi Hollandi Bank’s request to offer SUKUK. Of which the value will be determined at a later stage by the company.


Islamic finance well positioned for GCC recovery

NCB Capital, the investment banking arm of National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest bank, believes that Islamic finance, an increasingly important element of the GCC financial sector, is well positioned to lead the way in the region’s pending economic recovery.

Sukuk fund series: HSBC Amanah starts sales

HSBC Amanah, the financial group's Islamic division, said it will start marketing its first Islamic Sukuk fund.

The HSBC Amanah Sukuk Fund, domiciled in Saudi Arabia, will comprise Sukuk, issued by 12 to 14 companies, mostly in the real estate, commercial banking and utilities sectors based in the Gulf Cooperation Council area. It would seek to raise USD 100 million for the fund, which has a 4-year maturity and will target mid- to high-single-digit annual returns.

IDB plans USD 500 mn Sukuk end of June

Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank (IDB), plans to sell USD 500 mn Sukuk by end of June, reported Shanty Nambiar on Bloomberg. The Jeddah-based bank plans to raise as much as USD 5 bn over the next 5 years through 2014 to fund the bank's projects in member countries.

IDB also plans to start a new USD 1.5 bn to USD 2 bn infrastructure fund funded by public and privat sector as joint investors.

Takaful market booming in GCC

David Masters reported on 15 April about the new Ernst & Young Report in the Insurance Daily, which says that the GCC countries contribute USD 1 bn to the USD 2 bn global Takaful market, which is supposedly growing at 20 %. Worldwide there are 133 Takaful operators. 59 of these operate within the GCC countries of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Ernst & Young’s head of Islamic finance is Sameer Abdi.


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