Arab Times

KIA appoints consultant to study possible #merger of KFH and AUB – Tie-up will make KFH the largest bank in #Kuwait: Moody's

Kuwait Investment Authority has appointed a global consultant to study the merger of two banks, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and Ahli United Bank (AUB). Moody’s said in a report that the merger of the two banks will have a positive impact on credit rating, especially for KFH. Moody’s noted that if the merger is successful, it will create the sixth largest bank in the GCC with nearly $85 billion in total assets. The merger will make KFH the largest bank in Kuwait, but it will remain the second largest bank in the Gulf after Al-Rajhi Bank Saudi Arabia. The number of domestic branches of KFH reached 65 while AUB has 37 branches. Several reports were published on the possible merger of the two banks. However, officials from both banks denied reports on the merger while others confirmed.

KFH will benefit overall from #merger with Ahli United Bank – Transaction to create 6th largest bank in GCC

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) disclosed that it is studying a merger with Bahrain-based Ahli United Bank. Although the merger would present significant integration challenges owing to the banks’ geographically dispersed asset bases, it would be credit positive for KFH. If successfully completed, the transaction would create the sixth-largest bank in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with approximately $85 billion in total assets as of year-end 2016. The merger is at an early stage of evaluation, with financial analysis underway. The merger would expand KFH’s banking operations, which are primarily focused in Kuwait and Turkey, and include relatively small operations in Malaysia and Bahrain. In addition to Bahrain, AUB has principal subsidiaries in the UK, Kuwait, Iraq, and Egypt, and has an associate in Oman.

Warba Bank ‘signs’ financial deal with #Turkey’s Ziraat Bank – Islamic banking sector growth eyed

#Kuwait’s Warba Bank announced a new Shari’ah-compliant, joint, multi-currency financial deal of $236 million with the Ziraat Participation Bank of Turkey. Warba Bank acted as the Lead Arranger and Subscription Manager of the deal, which was initially launched at $160 million. Due to oversubscription, the deal was increased so as to reach $ 236 million, with an increase of 52%. The Murabaha-based financing deal includes both US Dollars and Euros. It will be employed mainly in SME financing and income diversification at Ziraat Bank. Shaheen Hamad Al-Ghanem, Warba Bank’s CEO said the Bank was proud to be entrusted and to contribute to the financing of the agricultural sector, which is one of the pillars of the rise of the Turkish economy. This is the second participation of Warba Bank in arranging a financing transaction for the Ziraat Participation Bank of Turkey. In 2016, it contributed to a $155 million multi-currency co-financing transaction for the Turkish bank.

CBK to implement Sharia governance by year-end – To be applied to all banks

The Central Bank of #Kuwait (CBK) is determined to develop the financial sector’s workforce and plans to introduce Sharia governance by the end of the year. CBK’s Inspection Department Chairman Waleed Al-Awadhi revealed that Sharia governance will be implemented after consultations with local banks and will be applied to all Kuwaiti banks. CBK has recently organized a workshop on the topic in collaboration with the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). Waleed Al-Awadhi said that the workshop aimed to familiarize employees of the financial and banking sectors with Sharia governance.

KFH welcomes CBK’s Sharia Supervisory Governance for banks – Regulations instill confidence in Islamic banking: Duwaishan

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has welcomed the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK)’s instructions and regulations regarding the role of Sharia Supervisory Boards in Islamic banks. Islamic Banks would be given until December 31st, 2017 to fulfill the requirements. Isa Abdullah Duwaishan, Executive Manager Shariah Control & Advisory at KFH, stated that the executive team of the board encompasses qualified Shariah controllers who audit the compliance and commitment of all bank departments to sharia rules. He reiterated the efforts of continually improving the skills of Shariah controllers and the Shariah staff in the bank through engaging them in specialized training courses. KFH's Shariah Supervisory Board issues Fatwa and Shariah reports that are viewed as a reference to other banks.

KFH-Turkey issues #sukuk for TL 300m – Issuance highest amount in domestic market

Kuwait Finance House Turkey has realized a sukuk issuance of 300 million TL with tenure of 179 days, exceeding its own previous record breaking sukuk issuance of TL 200 million on Nov 13, 2015. According to CEO Ufuk Uyan the bank will continue similar public offerings in the future. The first lease yield shall be made on Aug 11, 2016, while the second on Nov 8, 2016 at the end of the maturity, together with principal sums. So far, KFH-Turkey has issued lease certificates of a total of TL 7,2 billion in domestic and overseas markets.

KFH major contributor in Bahrain projects – Strategy targets development, coordination among Group banks: Al-Nafisi

Vice Chairman at Kuwait Finance House (KFH), Abdulaziz Yaqoub Al-Nafisi stressed the importance of international investment and creating further integration in KFH-Group banks in the framework of the coordination that targets boosting development according to a unified vision that prioritizes development and recognizes the value of public-private partnerships and international investment, yet contributes in diversifying non-oil sectors to boost the economy. On the sideline of his participation in the inauguration ceremony of Marassi Al Bahrain project, Al-Nafisi praised the project that was a joint effort between the real estate investment and development company, Eagle Hills, in partnership with Diyar Al Muharraq. He went on to say that the project will provide steady flow of income for investors and will comprise a major destination for tourists in Bahrain.

Warba Bank raises Qard Hasan amount to KD 5,000

Warba Bank has announced the re-launching Qard Hasan (“Free Profit loan”) in Kuwait after increasing its amount to KD 5,000 with flexible repayment period up to 18 months to all Kuwaiti Nationals as per the credit terms and conditions for individuals. Two years ago, Warba was the first bank in Kuwait to launch Qard Hasan initiative, not bearing any profits in line with the rules of Islamic Sharia. This initiative aims at supporting national customers working in the government sector, any of its associated institutions or the private sector. The customer will have the choice of either opening a Warba Bank salary account or investment saving account at no charges.

KFH donates KD 6 mln to Zakat House

Zakat House Director General Ibrahim Al-Saleh applauded Kuwait Finance House’s support to Zakat House to execute charitable projects that serve the community. Al-Saleh praised, during receiving a cheque with a value of KD 5,878,129 million from KFH’s Chief Executive Officer, Mazin Saad Al-Nahedh, KFH for collaborating with Zakat House which contributes to accomplish the goal of encouraging charity and the spread of meanings of brotherhood among various segments of the society. It’s worth noting that the donated value will be distributed to help the poor families in Kuwait, to support charity committees and societies working in the field of humanitarian aid and to execute pro bono projects as per the rules and regulations of Zakat House.

KFH concludes course for Wealth Management staff

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and Fitch Learning concluded a three-month paradigm training course in order to enrich the banking experience of employees, and boost their productive abilities. The training course had a capacity of 90 trainees that were divided into six groups. Fitch Learning staff gave this course based on the requirements of employees. Workshops witnessed competitive performance among the trainees. The course was divided into Sukuk, Client Handling Framework, Real Estate, Traded Equity, Private Equity, Asset Allocation and Diversification. After assessing the requirements of Wealth Management, the bank collaborated with Fitch Learning, in order to address those needs.

KFH-Saudi to serve as financial advisor for Murabaha

Murabaha Company inked a deal with Saudi-Kuwaiti Finance House (KFH-Saudi) to serve as its financial advisor, in order to plan and take steps towards the company’s goal to offer 30% of its shares for public offering. KFH-Saudi CEO Tarek Al-Rekheimi said that the bank will, according to this agreement, offer all financial consultations regarding the evaluation of the company, and the preparation of all documents, as per regulations. He went on to say that the bank works with several Saudi corporations to enlist them in the Saudi market during the coming period. He stressed that the increase in number of companies expected to be offered during the coming period, will play a significant role in reinforcing the Saudi bourse, not to mention opening commercial and financial channels for those companies, in order to diversify forms of financing.

Independent entity must for Sharia supervision

An independent legal entity should oversee the way in which Islamic financial institutions certify they are following sharia principles, Kuwait’s central bank governor Mohammad Al-Hashel said. Currently, boards of sharia scholars at financial institutions rule on whether activities and products follow religious principles. They are also involved in audits that determine whether the institutions are operating in a compliant manner. At the same time, the scholars are on the payroll of the Islamic banks which they vet, an arrangement contrary to good governance. The growing role of Islamic finance in some national economies is now prompting government watchdogs to pay more attention to the sector. The creation of an independent legal body could see scholars independently reviewing the work of their peers. Establishing the body would involve challenges but it could take its cues from the conventional financial auditing profession.

A big question mark on Islamic finance: Industry ignores its social or religious responsibilities

Islamic Banking and Finance has been nearly confined to the rich people and as per the ideology of capitalism, the profit urge has captured the Islamic Financial Industry and discriminated the underprivileged people and letting them deprived from Islamic financial services. The commercialism has captured Islamic Finance institutions in such a way that business with and financing to the poor has gone astray from their agenda. The share of Islamic Microfinance is less than 1% from the overall volume of $ 1.3 trillion of Islamic Finance Industry. Islamic Microfinance can be energized by utilizing available charity amount of Islamic Banking and Finance industry to reduce poverty and fuel social development. Islamic Financial Institutions have to execute and promote Islamic Microfinance otherwise there is a definite chance of rumors that Islamic Banking and Finance services are only for rich people.

Kuwait’s Alafco picks Deutsche to ‘advise’ on its London listing - Timing of GDR and amount still unknown

Kuwaiti aircraft leasing company Alafco has hired Deutsche Bank to advise it on a potential sale of global depositary receipts (GDRs) in London. The bank is looking at Alafco’s operations to ensure it is ready for the additional scrutiny that comes with a London listing. The timing of the GDR sale and the amount, if any, that a listing could raise were still unknown. Alafco made a profit of 25.6 million dinars ($89.7 million) in its last financial year ended on Sept. 30, 2012, a 45 percent decline from the previous year.

Deal to help NBB expand into Islamic banking

The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) and a local pension fund will buy a 51.6-percent stake in Bahrain Islamic Bank. As part of the deal, NBB and Social Insurance Organization Asset Management Company, a unit of pension fund Social Insurance Organization, will each take a 25.8-percent stake in Bahrain Islamic for 72 fils per share. Based on Bahrain Islamic’s total outstanding shares, the value of the deal is about 34.9 million dinars ($92.57 million). The transaction will provide NBB an opportunity to expand into Islamic banking.

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BKME to go Islamic in Q2, achieves 13 percent growth, Bank to be renamed ‘Al Ahli Al Muttahad’

Bank of Kuwait and Middle East (BKME) has achieved a growth of 13 percent in the last three years, and is now undergoing a change to become fully Sharia-compliant.

KFH plans USD 133.3 mn Saudi investment branch

The Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is set to open an investment bank in Saudi Arabia with a capital of SAR 500 mn (USD 133.3 mn). KFH is further looking into investment opportunities in the UAE, Oman and Qatar.

France to host meetings on ‘Islamic finance’

Arab Times reported that the French Senate,is organizing two round table discussions May 14 to examine the role France can play in attracting Islamic funds.

Senates Finance Commission president Jean Arthuis will preside the meeting and Zubeir Bin Terdeyet, Director of Isla Invest, Maya Boureghda, a legal counsellor at BNP Parisbas, Anwar Hassoune, vice-president of Moodys rating company, Vincent Lauwick, SGAM Asset Management, London, Jean Francois Pon from the Federation of French Banks and Gilles Saint Marc, a lawyer from AARPI.

Source: http://www.arabtimesonline.com/kuwaitnews/pagesdetails.asp?nid=16009&cci...

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