United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank eyes capital-boosting measures

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank will convene shareholders on June 21 to vote on a rights issue worth Dh504 million ($137.2 million) and raise its sukuk limit to $3 billion from the existing $2 billion ceiling. Under the rights issue plan, 168 million shares will be offered at a price of Dh3 per share, equating to a 40 per cent discount to Wednesday's closing share price. Shareholders will be allowed to subscribe for 56 new shares for every 1,000 they currently own. Adib will also seek shareholder assent to expand its existing Tier 1 sukuk programme to $3 billion from $2 billion.The bank wants to keep expanding its retail network in the UAE, as well as its financing in the SME, large and emerging corporate segments.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank may expand Tier 1 sukuk issue by $2-3bn

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank will ask shareholders for permission to expand its existing Tier 1 sukuk issue, originally sold in 2012, by $2 billion to $3 billion, it said in a bourse filing on Thursday. The increase is subject to regulatory approval, the Abu Dhabi lender said. The Abu Dhabi lender will also ask shareholders to vote to increase the bank's capital by 168 million dirhams ($45.74 million) through a rights issue.

‘Vicious’ debt cycle ends badly for many

Over the years, there have been a number of cases involving suicides due to the inability to settle debts. Defaulters can end up in jail over bounced cheques, lose their jobs, have their visas blocked, and taken to criminal and civil court. In the face of the impending consequences, the defaulters sometimes resort to extreme measures. Many debtors who are stuck in a rut are nevertheless determined to settle their dues. Their biggest concern is that due to the rigid bank rules, they are effectively unable to find a middle road till the time their issue is resolved. Many who have little financial literally and lived a credit card swipe-happy life end up in a continuous state of shock, weighed down by interest and other charges.

CORRECTED-Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank seeks to expand Tier 1 sukuk programme

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank will ask shareholders for permission to expand its existing Tier 1 sukuk programme to $3 billion from $2 billion, it said in a bourse filing on Thursday. The increase is subject to regulatory approval, the Abu Dhabi lender said. It will also ask shareholders to vote to increase the bank's capital by 504 million dirhams ($137.2 million) through a rights issue.

UAE banks discuss plan for centralised Islamic finance board

The United Arab Emirates' bank industry association has discussed a proposal to create a centralised sharia board that would monitor Islamic banking. The central bank had proposed setting up a Higher Sharia Authority that would complement and oversee the work of sharia boards at individual Islamic banks. Details of the timing and structure of the new entity were not specified. The UAE Banks Federation, which represents 50 banks, also said on Sunday that it had approved the appointment of a new, independent monitoring agency that would help to implement its code of conduct for member institutions. It did not give details.

Dubai Islamic Bank picks arrangers for potential dollar sukuk

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has picked six banks to arrange fixed income investor meetings from Thursday for a potential benchmark size, U.S. dollar-denominated senior sukuk issue, a document from lead arrangers showed. DIB has mandated First Gulf Bank, HSBC, Maybank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Standard Chartered Bank and itself to arrange the meetings in Asia and Europe. Meetings will be held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday and Singapore on Friday before concluding in London on Tuesday, the document showed. The offer will be under DIB's $2.5 billion sukuk programme, subject to market conditions.

Ajman Bank starts transactions on Nasdaq Dubai Murabaha platform

Nasdaq Dubai said on Monday Ajman Bank has begun transacting on the its Murabaha Platform, which facilitates the provision of streamlined Sharia-compliant financing services. Ajman Bank’s initial activity on the platform has enabled it to meet the needs of customers throughout the country, the bourse said in a statement. Since it was officially launched in April 2014, the Nasdaq Dubai Murabaha platform has completed a total of more than Dh46.5 billion of transactions and is playing a growing role in Dubai’s expansion as the global capital of the Islamic Economy.

UAE’s Masdar Institute to celebrate 5th Commencement Ceremony on 26 May

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Masdar Institute will be organizing the fifth commencement ceremony for the Class of 2015. His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, will give the keynote address at the ceremony that will be held on 26 May at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. More than 100 students from 36 countries including the UAE, are expected to receive their Master’s degrees across nine academic programs. Masdar Institute will also be celebrating the commencement of its first PhD graduates in Interdisciplinary Engineering at the ceremony. As of September 2014, the total number of enrolled students was 491, including 148 PhD students.

Sharia-compliant Amlak Finance plans to re-list shares on DFM this month

Amlak Finance plans to re-list its shares on the Dubai Financial Market this month after an absence of more than six years. The Sharia-compliant home finance company, in which Dubai’s Emaar Properties has a 45 per cent stake, had won shareholder approval last month to resume trading. Amlak completed a restructuring of US$2.7 billion worth of debt last August, paving the way for the firm’s shares, suspended since November 2008, to resume trading. Amlak yesterday reported a 62.5 per cent drop in first-quarter net profit to Dh6 million from Dh16m a year earlier. Revenue fell 15 per cent in the first quarter to Dh105m because of its decreasing real estate portfolio, the firm said.

UAE’s BLME Holdings appoint new Chief Executive Officer

BLME Holdings plc has announced the appointment of Michael Williams as interim CEO of BLME Holdings plc and of its main operating company, Bank of London and The Middle East plc (“BLME”) with effect from Wednesday 13th May. Michael will report directly to Adel Abdul Wahab Al-Majed, Non-executive Chairman of the Board of BLME Holdings plc. Michael is a qualified banker, previously Chief Executive Officer of the International Bank of Qatar in Doha and before this Chief Executive Officer of the National Bank of Fujairah, based in Dubai. His former roles include Managing Director of Nomura Bank International Plc, London and Managing Director of Barclays Global Services. Michael will stand down as Senior Independent Director to be replaced by Neil Holden.

DIFC launches Wills and Probate Registry

As part of the initiatives of the Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA), the DIFC has launched the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry, established by Resolution No. 4 of 2014. The new service aims to provide non-Muslim expatriates the ability to register English language wills that will allow their assets to be transferred upon death according to their wishes. The new rules have been drafted on the basis of Common Law principles from the Estates Act and Probate Rules of the UK, and legislation of other leading common law jurisdictions such as Singapore and Malaysia. While the rules are comprehensive, they are also easily accessible to legal professionals in the UAE.

Fatima Qasimi appointed as new Aseel Islamic Finance CEO

Fatima Qasimi has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Aseel Islamic Finance. Ms. Fatima joins Aseel Islamic Finance with almost 20 years of experience in consumer, corporate and Islamic banking. She joined the FGB group in 2008 as Head of Corporate Banking. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Strayer University, Washington, USA and an MBA in Financial Management from South Eastern University, London, UK. In her new position as CEO of Aseel, Fatima’s focus is on developing two business models for the company to cater to the Islamic financing needs of UAE consumers and corporates, particularly SME and mid-market businesses.

The Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association Discusses Role Of Fixed Income Market at World Green Economy Summit

The Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association (GBSA), the trade association representing the Arabian Gulf fixed income market, moderated a panel at the World Green Energy Summit in Dubai titled 'The Race for Green Finance/Green Funds and Bonds.' The session connected senior figures from government institutions with global energy players and highlighted the need for financial innovation in green energy funding. Panelists included Abdul Nasser Abbas, Senior Director of Treasury at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Annette Eberhard, CEO of Denmark's Export Credit Fund, Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bonds, Jarett Carson, Managing Director of EnerTech Capital, and Ben Cotton, Partner at Earth Capital Partners.

UAE billionaire calls for rules on succession for businesses

Abdulaziz al-Ghurair, one of the United Arab Emirates’ most prominent businessmen, is leading calls for regulations across the Gulf Arab region to smooth the transfer of ownership of family businesses after the death of the founder. Ghurair, the billionaire chief executive of Dubai-based lender Mashreq and chairman of conglomerate Al Ghurair Investment, among his titles, would like to see the introduction of wills and trusts that are compliant with Islamic principles to allow the passing of control to future generations. A draft law will be submitted to Gulf policymakers this year that will include rules governing concepts such as Islamic family trusts and family ownership.

EIIB-Rasmala Announces Full Year 2014 Results

European Islamic Investment Bank plc ('EIIB-Rasmala'), the London-listed asset management and financing group focused on the growth markets of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has announced its full year financial results for the year ended 31 December 2014. The total operating income was US$16.4 million compared to US$15.4 million a year before. Profit before tax from continuing operations was US$2.3 million (2013: US$2.23 million). Total assets under management (AUM) stood at US$1.11 billion. EIIB-Rasmala expects to invest about US$1 billion in broad mix of property transactions and grow the leasing and alternatives business to over US$1.5 billion in the next 24 months.

SIB achieves Dh107m net profit for Q1 2015

Sharjah Islamic Bank achieved a net profit of Dh106.9 million for the first quarter 2015 compared to Dh110 million for the same period last year. While total assets reaching Dh27.4 billion, total assets grew by 5.3 per cent to reach Dh27.4 billion at the end of the first quarter 2015 compared to Dh26.0 billion at year end 2014. Liquid assets reached Dh5.7 billion comprising 20.7 per cent of total assets. Net customer receivables amounted to Dh16 billion growing by 10.5 per cent or Dh1.5 billion compared to year end 2014. Investment securities increased by 27.6 per cent to reach Dh2 billion compared to Dh1.6 billion at the end of 2014. Sharjah Islamic Bank was successful in attracting more deposits during the first-quarter of the year.

Noor Bank’s inaugural Sukuk ?successfully achieves lowest ever coupon pricing in the UAE

Noor Bank has successfully priced its inaugural five-year $500 million Sukuk today. With the final pricing of 2.788 per cent for the issue, it becomes the lowest ever pricing paid by any Sukuk issuer in the UAE till date. The final pricing came at the back end of global roadshows undertaken across Asia, Middle East and Europe. This pricing of 130 bps over five-year mid-swaps is at the tight end of the final price guidance and compares to initial profit thoughts of 140 bps area. The senior unsecured issuance rated ‘A-’ (EXP) received an overwhelming investor interest from various geographies including the Middle East (54 per cent), Europe (29 per cent) and Asia (17 per cent) wherein more than 45 per cent of the issuance was allocated to European and Asian investors.

MIDEAST MONEY-Some banks win, some lose in Dubai's "Islamic economy"

Dubai's drive to develop its Islamic finance sector is fuelling growth of sharia-compliant banking but the benefits are unevenly distributed, with some lenders struggling to compete against burgeoning competition. Several initiatives announced by Dubai could have a big impact on the Islamic banking sector but have not yet materialised. One such initiative is a central sharia board of Islamic scholars that would oversee the sector. This could reduce costs for banks and increase the confidence of customers. Another project still in the planning stage is the world's first fully sharia-compliant export-import bank, which could spur the growth of Islamic trade financing.

Sharia-compliant services help Dubai Islamic Bank to 34% profit rise

Dubai Islamic Bank said its first quarter profit rose 34 per cent as the biggest Islamic bank in the UAE by assets shrugged off a sharp drop in the price of oil and continued to gain market share in Sharia-compliant financial services. Net income rose to Dh850 million in the first three months of 2015 from Dh637m in the same period last year. Revenue increased 20 per cent to Dh1.56 billion from Dh1.3bn in the same time frame. Chief executive Adnan Chilwan said that he expects 15 to 20 per cent growth in loans this year. He said this year that loan growth would continue to come from corporations and individuals.

Debt wish: Most UAE residents use bonus to pay owed money

According to a survey for Zurich International Life by YouGov, 71 per cent of UAE residents will receive a company bonus during 2015. However, for 39 per cent of bonus recipients, the primary use of their payment will be to settle debt, with a further 16 per cent using the bonus to pay bills, such as rent or school fees. Another 13 per cent of respondents said they will leave their bonus in the bank, 11 per cent will invest in property and 10 per cent will invest in a savings scheme, while only seven per cent will spend the majority of their bonus. Besides, only 44 per cent of expats believe they will fulfil their financial goals when they leave the UAE.

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