Asia

Manulife applies for Takaful license

Insurer Manulife Holdings Bhd will submit an application before the end-October deadline for a takaful licence to tap into the growing Islamic insurance market. The plan by Manulife to seek a takaful licence is in line with the Government’s move to liberalise the financial sector and allow more takaful players into the market.

Group issues Sukuk in favour of CIMB Islamic Bank

BUMIPUTRA-Commerce Holdings Bhd, said it received approval from the Securities Commission for the sale of as much as RM 2 bn Sukuk, to be made availabl to CIMB Islamic Bank.

Indonesian PT Bakrieland Development Tbk going to raise Sukuk

Indonesian property firm PT Bakrieland Development Tbk wants to raise up to 300 billion rupiah from an Sukuk issue, or twice the amount previously indicated. Bakrieland has appointed PT Bahana Securities and PT Madani Securities as underwriters for the sukuk. The firm plans to issue a 2-year tranche with an indicative yield of 14-15 %, and a 3-year tranche with an indicative yield of 15-16 %.

Indonesia' Govt Aims For USD 485 mn Of Sukuk Sold By End Q2

The government plans to sell up to Rp 5 trillion (USD 485 mn) of Sukuk, to institutional investors in the domestic market by the end of the second quarter.

IDB finances several projects in Turkistan

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) granted a USD 31 mn facility to Turkmenistan to finance the purchase of two "river-sea" vessels with the capacity of 7 tons each for transportation of oil and oil products.

Istanbul Declaration Adopted By The First Meeting Of The Development And Cooperation Institutions

Istanbul Declaration Adopted By The First Meeting Of The Development And Cooperation Institutions Of The Member States Of The Organisation Of The Islamic Conference (May 13-14, 2009) Istanbul, Republic Of Turkey

Date: 16/05/2009 - View in: Arabic | French - Print

We, the Heads/Representatives of the Development and Cooperation Institutions (DCIs) of the Member States of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Heads of Delegations participating in the First Meeting of the Development and Cooperation Institutions of the OIC Member States held in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey on 13-14 May 2009,

Inspired by the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action, adopted by the Third Extraordinary Islamic Summit held in Makkah Al-Mukarramah in December 2005,

Commending the OIC General Secretariat, the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) and the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) for their initiative of convening the First Meeting of the Development and Cooperation Institutions of the OIC Member States,

PT Berlian Laju Tanker Tbk, Indonesia issues Sukuk

Indonesian shipping firm, PT Berlian Laju Tanker Tbk , in a prospectus published in Bisnis Indonesia newspaper, the firm said it plans to sell 400 billion rupiah of conventional bonds and 100 billion rupiah of ijarah sale-and-leaseback sukuk, which will be offered May 20-25.

It has appointed PT Danatama Makmur and PT Andalan Artha Advisindo Sekuritas as underwriters.

Singapore shall focus on Islamic finance and Green Sector

Economists said two sectors which Singapore should focus on as it gears up for a global economic recovery are Islamic Finance and the green sector.

They said the country should also look to regions like the Middle East and Africa for new opportunities.

CIMB optimistic about Asian Sukuk

Sukuk sales in Asian currencies may jump in the next 6 months as companies compare borrowing costs and investors become more willing to accept risk in addition to favorable USD versus local currency credit spreads, according to CIMB.

Shariah-compliant SET index has formal launch

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) will formally launch its first index tracking shariahcompliant Southeast Asian stocks on Monday, in a bid to attract Muslim investors. The FTSE SET Shariah Index, which has been available since April 23, comprises 55 stocks from the SET Index, representing 44 % of the SET's market capitalisation.

Prudential Malaysia Records 17 % rie In New Business Sales

Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd (PAMB), part of UK-based Prudential Plc, has posted a 17 % growth in new business sales in first quarter 2009 compared to the same period last year. The company's new business annual premium equivalent (APE), which consists of retail life insurance sales and takaful contributions, rose to RM122 million from RM105 million previously.

World Bank analysis on Pakistan's informal and formal financial sector

Microcapital sumarized the World Bank report written by Tatiana Nenova, Cecile Thioro Niang and Anjum Ahmad , released May 2009, 187 pages, available at: http://go.worldbank.org/0KKMYAT130 :

This World Bank report measures and describes the current state of formal and informal financial services in Pakistan for underserved populations and enterprises. Currently 14 percent of Pakistanis use savings, credit, insurance, payments and remittance services from the formal financial system. This is compared to India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka where 48 percent, 32 percent and 59 percent respectively have access to formal financial services. In addition about 36 percent of Pakistanis use moneylenders, committees, family and friends. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), which regulates the banking sector, has grown over the past few years yet it has not met demand. Further details about the market and players in Pakistan are found in Chapter 1.

Joint Africa program of develoment banks

MICROCAPITAL STORY: African Development Bank Group, Agence Française de Développement Group, European Investment Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, KfW Bankengruppe, Islamic Development Bank Group, and World Bank Group Launch USD 15bn Joint Action Plan for Africa Including Support for Microfinance Programs.

The Islamic Development Bank Group, through the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector, will contribute up to USD 250 million over the next five years, including USD 50 million for the development of Islamic banking industry and USD 50 million for SME development.

Islamic Bank of Asia aims to localise Tawarruq transactions

The Islamic Bank of Asia, (IBA) a venture of Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings Ltd., aims to stop using London Metal Exchange transactions.The bank is in talks with Olam International Ltd. to use its trading in commodities such as rice, coffee, cotton and cocoa as the basis for financing.

Vincent Cook is CEO.

OIC ruled Organised Tawarruq impermissible

The contemporary definition on organized tawarruq is: when a person (mustawriq) buys a merchandise from a local or international market on deferred price basis. The financier arranges the sale agreement either himself or through his agent. Simultaneously, the mustawriq and the financier executes the transactions, usually at a lower spot price.

It is not permissible to execute both tawarruq (organised and reversed) because simultaneous transactions occurs between the financier and the mustawriq, whether it is done explicitly or implicitly or based on common practice, in exchange for a financial obligation.

Full text: English and Arabic at the link below.

Islamic finance contract will be tested in courts due to increasing defaults

Increasing number of defaults will lead to test the legal framework and stability of the Islamic finance structures in centres such as Dubai, Bahrain and Malaysia. Judges will have to weigh conventional law and sharia (Islamic law) used in contracts, and legal uncertainty over key contract provisions could hurt the industry's ability to bounce back when the global economy recovers. The industry will be watching to ensure any legal disputes are settled in a transparent manner which gives certainty to the contract terms entered into, said Davide Barzilai, a London-based Islamic finance lawyer with Norton Rose.

Ambank enters Brunei market

Ambank Group entered the market of Brunei Darussalam with the opening of its subsidiary called AmCapital (B) Sdn Bhd. Ambank has regional expansion plans to bring its expertise in funds management, Islamic finance and investment advisory to the Sultanate, reported Amin Hosni in Brudirect.com

Brunei Darussalam welcomes Islamic finance players such as takaful and sukuk to promote the country as another Islamic financial centre.

Standard & Poor’s Publishes Islamic Finance Outlook 2009

The new yearbook includes Standard & Poor’s latest analysis and rating methodologies on almost 40 rated Islamic debt issues and issuers, and an overview of its suite of global benchmark and investable Sharia indices.

While total global sukuk issuance more than halved to $14.9 billion in 2008 from $34 billion in the previous year, Standard & Poor’s believes the outlook for Islamic finance remains strong. Sharia-compliant assets now total about $700 billion after growth exceeding 10% annually during the past decade.

Full 70+ pages report for free download at:

http://www.gcc.standardandpoors.com/islamic_finance/Islamic%20Finance%20Outlook%202009%20(12).pdf

RHB Bank opens Islamic unit in Singapore

RHB Banking Group is extending its Islamic banking services to Singapore reported Gabriel Chen on asiaone business.

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