United Arab Emirates

GCC #Islamic #insurance companies to #face #headwinds: S&P Global

Islamic insurers in the GCC will probably continue to face headwinds, despite a better overall. The forcasted slowdown follows years of annual growth in gross premiums of up to 20 %, which was mainly driven by the introduction of new mandatory covers, as well as strong increases in premium rates in Saudi Arabia, as new covers and actuarial pricing guidelines were adopted, S&P Global Ratings noted yesterday.
“Now that more policies are adequately priced, overall premium growth has slowed,” said S&P Global Ratings’ credit analyst Emir Mujkic. “The slowdown in premium growth has also been influenced by lower economic activity across all GCC states, as governments are trying to reduce or delay their spending due to lower revenues from hydrocarbon sales,” Mujkic added.

#FinTech in #Islamic #finance

Financial technology widely referred to as FinTech has grown primarily in the last decade due to growing Internet access worldwide and the emergence of smartphones and apps. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report published last year, 70 %bof the world’s population is expected to be using smartphones by 2020.
As smart devices are increasingly becoming part of everyday life for most people in the digital age, it is essential for the banking sector to become more innovative to enhance its productivity. “We’re transitioning toward a situation where growth for companies and economies will have to depend more on productivity than before,” said Jarmo Kotilaine, chief economist at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
“To achieve that, you will need better management, better innovations, new distribution channels and new capital.” Increasing the efficiency of digital banking will particularly serve customers in Saudi Arabia, where banks’ working hours overlap with those of most employees.

#Islamic #banks slowly #embrace #green #finance – survey

Islamic banks are gradually embracing socially responsible finance, from renewable energy to microfinance efforts, helping unlock new funding sources for environmentally-friendly projects, an industry survey shows. The two sectors have developed separately from each other, but green projects could benefit from tapping Islamic banks in countries like the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia, where they now hold a quarter of total banking assets.
Around two-thirds of financing in Saudi Arabia follows Islamic principles, which forbid investing in gambling, tobacco and alcohol. This resembles the screening methodology used by ethical funds in Western markets. Green finance is increasingly important for Islamic banks seeking to differentiate themselves from their conventional peers, the Bahrain-based General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) said in a report.

#Banque Misr obtains $105 mn #murabaha facility from #UAE banks

Banque Misr, Egypt's second-largest state lender, has obtained a $105 mn murabaha financing facility from three United Arab Emirates banks, Chairman Mohamed Mahmoud Eletreby told Reuters Tuesday.
Egypt has been struggling since a 2011 uprising drove away tourists and foreign investors, putting pressure on foreign reserves which halved to $17.5 bn in May.
Eletreby said the facility was obtained from three of the largest UAE banks, but declined disclose their names. He said the facility will strengthen Banque Misr's foreign currency resources and will be paid back in two years.

Arab Monetary Fund calls for central banks to step up in #Islamicfinance

Central banks need to have a stronger role in setting regulations for the region’s Islamic banks. Abdulrahman Al Hamidy, the head of the Arab Monetary Fund, said regulators need to introduce new liquidity management tools. The region’s central banks have moved to offer Islamic banks new, Sharia-compliant liq­uidity facilities to help shore up their short-term financial positions. The UAE Central Bank introduced a Sharia-compliant short-term lending facility in March last year. It allows banks to sell and repurchase Sharia-compliant securities overnight at profit.

Emirates Islamic #charity fund launched

Emirates Islamic announced the launch of the Emirates Islamic charity fund, to govern and manage the bank’s strategy for charitable donations and giving. The fund’s activities will be managed by Awatif Al Harmoudi. The fund has been set up with the primary objective of allocation of financial aid to large charities, public and private institutions, as well as individuals in need.

ADNOC Distribution Signs a Fifty-year Mustaha Agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports

ADNOC Distribution and Abu Dhabi Ports signed a Mustaha agreement. The new agreement aims to strengthen ADNOC Distribution's capacity to develop new projects at Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad) and provide logistical support. The agreement was signed by Saeed Mubarak Al Rashidi, CEO of ADNOC Distribution and Mana Mohammed Saeed Al Mulla, CEO of Kizad. ADNOC Distribution will set up a lubes and grease plant, as well as strategic storage warehouses. The company will commence its operations in the new location by the beginning of 2022.

Fitch affirms EI Sukuk's updated programme at 'A+'

Fitch Ratings has affirmed EI Sukuk's updated $2.5 bn certificate issuance programme's 'A+' rating on the basis of the final programme documents received. The Outlook on the IDR is Stable. The rating on the current outstanding certificates is driven by Emirates NBD's (ENBD) Long-Term IDR of 'A+'/Stable. This is due to the Sukuk structure where ENBD, as the guarantor, provides a direct and unconditional guarantee of EI's Sukuk obligations under the transaction documents.

#Gulf Bond Sales Return, And This Time It’s None of Your Business

Gulf borrowers are back in the bond market, and a new pattern is emerging. GCC bond sales climbed 32% to a total $15.9 bn this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Dubai’s government sold a $569 million privately-placed sukuk in March and Emirates NBD raised $499 mn from such deals. Bahrain and Oman have also opted to privately place sovereign issues. Rizwan Kanji, consultant at King & Spalding said most private-placement issuances are underwritten by the arrangers, which provides the issuer with certainty of execution and pricing.

Emirates Islamic plans benchmark-sized dollar #sukuk

Emirates Islamic Bank has mandated banks including HSBC for the sale of Islamic bonds. The sale of the dollar-denominated, benchmark-sized securities may begin this week and the sale is arranged by Standard Chartered, Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, Noor Bank and Bank ABC. Emirates Islamic Bank last sold bonds in July 2012, when it raised $500 mn from securities with maturity of between five and six years.

Dubai’s Noor Bank picks banks for dollar-denominated #sukuk issue

Dubai’s Noor Bank has picked seven banks to arrange investor meetings ahead of a potential Tier 1 dollar-denominated sukuk issue. Joint global coordinators include: Citi, Standard Chartered, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Gulf Bank, Noor Bank and Sharjah Islamic Bank. Dubai’s government owns 48% of Noor Bank, which starts to hold meetings with fixed income investors in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Source: 

gulfnews.com/business/sectors/markets/dubai-s-noor-bank-picks-banks-for-dollar-denominated-sukuk-issue-1.1828668

DP World Said to Hire Banks for Benchmark Dollar #Sukuk Sale

#Dubai ports operator DP World has selected more than a dozen banks for its sale of Islamic bonds. Fifteen lenders have been hired for the offering of dollar-denominated, benchmark-sized securities whose maturity may be as long as seven years. Proceeds from the sale will be used for a tender offer for the company’s existing sukuk due in 2017.

Emirates Islamic completes Murabaha on Nasdaq Dubai

Emirates Islamic Bank completed a $50 mn (Dh183 mn) Collateralised Murabaha deal with France-based Natixis on the Nasdaq Dubai. This was the largest collateralised Murabaha transaction closed by Emirates Islamic this year, and the first of its kind executed on the Nasdaq Dubai Murabaha Platform. CEO of Emirates Islamic Jamal Bin Ghalaita said the transaction sets a precedent for other financial institutions considering Sharia-compliant financing.

Emirates Islamic Bank Said to Plan Benchmark-Sized Dollar #Sukuk

Emirates Islamic Bank has mandated banks including HSBC for the sale of Islamic bonds. The sale of the dollar-denominated, benchmark-sized securities may begin this week and the sale is arranged by Standard Chartered, Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, Noor Bank and Bank ABC. Emirates Islamic Bank last sold bonds in July 2012, when it raised $500 mn from securities with maturity of between five and six years.

Scammers cloning DIFC registered firms, warns DFSA

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) issued a warning about scams which have cloned firms registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The scammers use the names, the registration numbers, and the addresses and contact details of genuine firms registered in the DIFC to create false websites. The purpose of the creation of these false websites is to facilitate advanced fee scams by adding legitimacy to the scam.

Lombard Odier plans to increase #Islamicinvestments offering in ME on 10 year anniversary

On the 10th anniversary of its presence in the Middle East, Lombard Odier demonstrates its long term commitment to the region by expanding its activities and services in the UAE. The team is also celebrating by moving its office location to the Conrad Business Tower. Patrick Odier, Senior Managing Partner of the Lombard Odier Group, said the bank maintains focus on wealth and investment management for private and institutional clients across the region.

QNB hackers behind data breach at Sharjah bank

Hackers have leaked files online containing data on thousands of customers of Sharjah-based Investbank UAE. The files were stolen last December when an individual tried to blackmail the bank for $3 million. When the bank refused to pay, the hacker threatened to dump the stolen files online, yet they never appeared. Security expert Mohammad Amin Hasbini warned that the hackers are going to release data from a second attack. According to Softpedia, the hacker group is Bozkurtlar, the same group that claimed responsibility for the Qatar National Bank data breach two weeks ago.

Dubai Islamic Bank launches UAE Sharia Departments Forum 2016

Dubai Islamic Bank, the largest Islamic bank in the UAE, announced today that it had launched the first UAE Sharia Departments Forum 2016.The event was organized by the Bank, as Founder & Sponsor with the valued participation of other local Islamic banks, to create a platform where the Sharia departments of financial institutions across the country can meet to exchange experiences and share solutions to the challenges they face, with the strategic objective of developing the Islamic financial services sector in the UAE. The opening event took place on April 30, 2016, at The Palace Hotel in Dubai.
As the first event of its kind in the country, the Forum was led by Sharia department at DIB and featured the Sharia departments of other local Islamic banks including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ,Emirates Islamic and Al Hilal Bank . 'Sharia Audit' was chosen as the theme of the event this year with a very comprehensive series of panels, each of which was led by one of the participants, discussing a different element of the topic.

Can Abu Dhabi's new financial free zone compete?

Abu Dhabi’s new financial centre has been running for six months but the corridors still feel quiet. Almost 200 people have been hired to work for Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) since its inception in 2013 but they are nowhere to be seen. Commentators have warned that ADGM’s established neighbour the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) could prevent it from flourishing, and argued it is unwise to locate two financial centres in such close proximity.

Dubai Islamic Bank details rights issue plans

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) is inviting its shareholders to subscribe for new shares, by way of a 1-for-4 rights issue. The Board of Directors resolved on 27 April to increase the issued capital of the Bank by AED 988,437,777 raising the capital of the bank to AED 4,942,188,884. The New Shares will be issued at a price of AED 3.20 per New Share, reflecting the nominal value of AED 1.00 per New Share and a share premium of AED 2.20. The ownership limitation on DIB’s shares remains in place: 51 per cent of the issued share capital of the bank must be owned by nationals of the United Arab Emirates.

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