MENA

Iran - Insurance Bank planned

Iran Daily reported on 15 January that an insurance bank in Iran is proposed by Iran Insurance Company. Mohammad Javad Sahamian Moqaddam told Fars News Agency that the proposed bank will be set up after implementation the insurance laws.

Sukuk Issuance Fell Dramatically In 2008 But Long-Term Market Prospects Are Good, Says S&P

Press Release

PARIS, January 14, 2009--Despite a dramatic decline in volumes in 2008, the long-term perspectives for global sukuk issuance are still good, said Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in a report published today "Sukuk Market Declined Sharply In 2008, But Long-Term Prospects Remain Strong."

"The decline in sukuk issuance in 2008 was as a result of global market turmoil, drying up of liquidity, widening of credit spreads, and investors' wait-and-see attitude," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Mohamed Damak. "Although difficult to measure, part of this decline could also have been due to comments about the Sharia compliance of some sukuk by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions.

More than 45% of sukuk issued in 2008 were "ijara" (lease financing), most probably as a direct consequence of the debate about Sharia compliance among some scholars. The value of sukuk issued in 2008 dropped by more than 56% compared with 2007, to $14.9 billion. "We do not expect the market to start reviving before the second half of 2009 or early 2010," added Mr. Damak.

Gulf Finance House launches USD 3 bn project in Tunisia

Xinhua reported on 9 January that Gulf Finance House (GFH) launches a new USD 3 bn project in Tunisia, named "Tunis City Communication". In December 2007 GFH has already announced the "Tunis Financial Harbour", with an investment close to USD 3 bn.

Blue Orchard: Middle East next growth area for micro finance

Shveta Pathak reported in Business 24/7 on 30 December about the opportunity of micro finance in the Middle East interviewing Jack Lowe, President of BlueOrchard, USA, a Swiss micro finance company.

Jack Lowe, President of BlueOrchard, USA, sees the stable returns and low volatility offered by micro finance as key benefits making it a preferred asset class. The stable returns and low volatility are achieved because micro finance is closely linked to real economy, the society and has the advantage of managing the current situation better.

With the UAE Ministry of Economy having been assigned the task of launching a federal strategy to develop a programme to support and finance small start-ups in the UAE, micro finance institutions are hopeful of tapping the market Lowe told Emirates Business in an exclusive interview.

Excerpts from the interview: http://www.business24-7.ae/articles/2008/12/pages/12302008_f5a31399c6914...

Sixth International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition in Dubai

The UAE is hosting the sixth International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition - DIHAD 2009 from 7th - 9th of April 2009 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai. It is organised by Index Holding with the offical support of the United Nations and the UAE Red Crescent Society. The theme of the event is "Empowering Communities: From Disaster to Development". Specialised sessions are offered:

- Building Community Resilience and Capacity for Disaster Preparedness and Response
- Climate Change and the Global Food Crisis: How can Communities prepare and respond.
- Case Studies of Mitigation, Preparedness and Response to Disasters and other emergencies at the Community Level Urban and Rural Environments.
- Technologies, partnerships and approaches to support communities to prepare and respond to Disasters and direct their development.
- Recovery from Disasters and Sustainable Development -Community Mobilization, and Community Empowerment and Development through Micro-Credit: Global Experience.

Shariah compliant green fund launched

Hedge Fund Review reported on 22 December about the Falcon Fund launched by Da Vinci Invest of Zurich, aiming to invest in the carbon markets and forestry.

The fund will actively trade the carbon markets on a short-term basis and invest in forestry for the long term. Da Vinci Invest expects this strategy provide consistent value growth, diversification and an environmental benefit. Rainforest Invest, Forest Finance and Miller Forest will source opportunities in Panama, Costa Rica and Paraguay.

Only land formerly used for agricultural will be planted. No rainforest will be cut to farm the plantations. The Da Vinci Green Falcon Fund will charge a 2% management fee and a 20% incentive fee.

Da Vinci Invest, incorporated in 2004 as a UK company, is based in Zug.

Islamic Microfinance

Dear All,

Please post here any information, concepts and ideas to foster Islamic Microfinance.

Best regards,

IslamicFinance.de

Jordan Islamic Bank well rated and positioned

Arab News reported 28 April about Jordan Islamic Bank (JIB), being one of the oldest establishments along with Dubai Islamic Bank and Kuwait Finance House. Fitch Ratings end March 2008 assigned a 'BB-' foreign currency long-term issuer default rating (IDR) and a 'B' foreign currency short-term IDR to JIB with a long-term stable outlook.

JIB is a subsidiary of the Al-Baraka Banking Group (ABG), which is incorporated in Bahrain and is the restructured holding company of the financial services division of Jeddah-based Dallah Al-Baraka Group (DAG) headed by Saleh Kamel.

Musa Shihadeh is the general manager of JIB.

Source: http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=1093194499

Syndication markets still suffering

Christopher Mangham reported on Arabian Business 19 April that Syndication markets for Mideast borrowers are increasingly difficult to price with higher margins coming up, while also country limits are often reached. The market remains, however, active with USD 37 bn in Mideast awaiting launch or are under syndication. It becomes more common that bank committments are held flexible in pricing and margins supposed to be increased.

Corporate lending in the Gulf, which did not exist in 2001-2002, totalled USD 67 bn in 2007.

Source: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/516908-loan-market-drying-up

Dubai Islamic Bank and DIC in talks to open bank in Jordan

Business 24/7 reported on 16 April that Dubai International Capital (DIC) talks with Dubai Islamic Bank about setting up a Shariah-compliant Islamic bank in Jordan.

Sameer Al Ansari heads Dubai International Capital. DIC manages a $500 million (Dh1.8 billion) fund investing in Jordan.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

"First Persia Fund" to invest in Iranian Stock Exchange

Business Intelligence reported on 14 April that the "First Persia Equity Fund", opened its second-phase of subscription and it aims to raise Euro 250 m, the fund was established in July 2007 with Euro 34 mn.

Shares listed on the Teheran Stock Exchange, TEPIX, which advanced 3.9% so far this year, trade at an average of 4 or 5 times earnings. That compares to a multiple of 15 for the MSCI GCC Countries Index, a measure of more than 140 companies in six GCC states.

Stephen Austen is the fund's Managing Director. The fund is said to have outperformed the benchmark so far.

Source: http://www.bi-me.com/main.php?c=3&cg=2&t=1&id=19192

Academic Research Papers

Dear Members,

Please share your opinion about the following proposal in regard to

- Academic Research Papers

This forum could facilitate to publish your research papers and having them rated by peers afterwards. This would speed up the time from production to publishing tremendously compared to traditional journals.

It also gives a chance to see unusual papers published, however, a good number of submissions might be of lower quality at the same time.

The action question: Is there interest in the community to use such a platform in this way???

Please comment!!!

New IFSB documents on Capital Adequacy and Liquidity Management

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) released on 1 April that the IFSB Council adopted two documents to further facilitate efforts towards enhancing the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry.

In its 12th meeting held at the Islamic Development Bank's (IDB) headquarters in Jeddah on March 26th 2008, the Council of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) resolved to approve two documents that aim to further facilitate efforts towards enhancing the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry. The two documents are:

Guidance Note in Connection with the Capital Adequacy Standard: Recognition of Ratings by External Credit Assessment Institutions (ECAI) on Shari'ah-Compliant Financial Instruments (Guidance Note)

Technical Note on Issues in Strengthening Liquidity Management of Institutions Offering Islamic Financial Services: The Development of Islamic Money Markets (Technical Notes)

Guidance Note in Connection with the Capital Adequacy Standard: Recognition of Ratings by External Credit Assessment Institutions (ECAI) on Shari'ah-Compliant Financial Instruments (Guidance Note)

n/a

Qatar Islamic Bank studies expansion into Egypt and Turkey

Matthew Martin reported on 18 March that Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) is evaluating opportunities to acquire a conventional Egyptian bank and convert it into an Islamic bank, and is also applying for a banking licence in Turkey.
Qatar Islamic Bank will likely follow its strategy of independent brands, like before in regard to European Finance House in London, Asian Finance House in Malaysia and Arab Finance House in Lebanon.

Source: meed.com

Fitch rates Jordan Islamic Bank for Finance and Investment IDR 'BB-'

AME Info published a press release on 18th March stating that Fitch Ratings has today assigned ratings to Amman-based Jordan Islamic Bank for Finance and Investment (JIB) of Long-term Issuer Default (IDR) 'BB-' (BB minus), Short-term IDR 'B', Individual 'C/D', Support '3' and Support Rating Floor 'BB-' (BB minus). The Outlook is Stable.

Source: http://www.ameinfo.com/150487.html

Syndicate content