Europe

2015 IREF Summit: Global Real Estate Investment Opportunities

ICG-Events is organising its annual IREF Summit which is now in its 11th year. The event is scheduled to take place on the 1st-2nd of December 2015 in London. On the evening of the 1st of December, ICG will also be hosting the IREF Summit Awards of Excellence which will take place at the event's Gala Dinner. The IREF Summit prides itself on being industry led and industry focused and over the years has established itself as the foremost gathering based on its ability to bring together the leading industry experts and institutions to explore the key issues impacting the sector and its future development. For further information on the Summit please visit www.irefsummit.co.uk or contact info@icg-events.com

BRIEF-Albaraka Turk mandates banks for murabaha syndication with initial amount of $400 mln

Albaraka Turk Katilim Bankasi AS mandates BC Islamic Bank (E.C.), Barwa Bank Q.S.C., Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, Emirates NBD Capital Limited, Kuwait International Bank ve Standard Chartered Bank for a murabaha syndication loan with a total initial amount of $400 million in EUR and USD currency. The loan is going to have maturity periods of 367 days and 2 years 3 days.

Cameron woos Muslim investors with sharia-compliant opportunities

Muslim investors have been urged to pour money into major British construction projects as David Cameron revealed a catalogue of sharia-compliant opportunities. UK Trade and Investment has produced a "pitch book" containing details of 18 projects which comply with the strict conditions of Islamic law. A total of £17 billion of projects are included in the document, with schemes including a transport upgrade project in Leeds, the regeneration of Slough town centre and housing developments in Manchester. At a lavish reception in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Cameron set out his vision of making the UK a centre for Islamic finance.

UK regeneration projects: Investing using Islamic Finance

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), a Government Department which helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy, has released a brochure which contains Sharia compliant UK regeneration investment opportunities in the UK. The Regeneration Investment Organisation (RIO) has identified projects at a point of development where project and finance structure can be discussed with project promoters. These projects are listed in the brochure in their totality: some parts may not be Sharia-compliant. Meanwhile, Islamic finance investors are taking a keen interest in UK real estate by funding a number of high profile projects.

Kuveyt Turk issues TRY 160 million Sukuk

Kuveyt Turk has issued Sukuk totalling TRY 160 million ($58.4 million) with a tenor of 189 days. The bank said that the initial public offering attracted a record-­breaking number of subscribers and is its largest issue to date. The Sukuk was issued by KT Kira Sertifikalar? Varl?k Kiralama A.?., a 100 per cent subsidiary of Kuveyt Turk, Halk Yat?r?m Menkul De?erler A.?. was the consortium lead and Bizim Menkul De?erler A.?. was the consortium partner in the issuance. Ufuk Uyan, CEO of Kuveyt Turk, said, that at the end of the maturity, the underlying assets shall be transferred back to the sourcing entity. The principal and lease yield shall be paid to the investors in one go at maturity.

LCI closes innovative Islamic finance facility

LCI Helicopters has closed an Islamic pre-delivery payment facility with Bank of London and the Middle East and Lloyds Bank. The facility will be used for Airbus H175s and H224es delivering over the next three years. LCI says it will be used to make pre-delivery payments on helicopters worth $250 million. The LCI deal relied on a master Murabaha facility with Lloyds also providing a conventional loan. Lloyds was mandated lead arranger for both facilities. BLME also closed a $25 million pre-delivery facility for LCI in December that financed AgustaWestland pre-delivery payments.

Kuveyt Turk issues TRY 160 million Sukuk

Kuwait Finance House’s Turkish affiliate Kuveyt Turk has issued Sukuk totalling TRY 160 million ($58.4 million) with a tenor of 189 days. The bank said that the initial public offering attracted a record-­breaking number of subscribers and is its largest issue to date. The Sukuk was issued by KT Kira Sertifikalar? Varl?k Kiralama A.?., a 100 per cent subsidiary of Kuveyt Turk, Halk Yat?r?m Menkul De?erler A.?. was the consortium lead and Bizim Menkul De?erler A.?. was the consortium partner in the issuance. The principal and lease yield shall be paid to the investors in one go at maturity. The lease certificates have a gross annual yield of 10.63 per cent.

pbb provides Sharia compliant investment facility for Sedco

pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank has agreed a € 76 million medium-term refinancing facility for Sedco Capital, advised by LaSalle Investment Management, for a mixed-use portfolio located predominately in Berlin. pbb is acting as sole lender and hedge provider for the facility. The mixed-use portfolio consists of eight German assets with a total lettable area of 65,770 sqm. Four of the largest assets, in terms of value, are located in Berlin and represent 75% of the portfolio's value.

Takaful: going hand in hand

The Islamic insurance industry has developed remarkably over the last four years. Indeed, the number of Islamic insurance companies grew by nearly 73% between 2008 and 2010 (i.e. from 113 to 195), with these being based in more than 30 countries. Given its depth, the European insurance industry is an established and fully-equipped vehicle for the introduction of Islamic insurance operations. Furthermore, the European market is familiar with the concept of mutuality and cooperative insurance, which has many similarities with Islamic insurance. The regulatory reforms across Europe have helped to accelerate the expansion of Islamic insurance products and services in this region.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Women’s World Banking (WWB) Presents Making Finance Work for Women Summit, November 11-12, 2015, Berlin, Germany

The event "Women’s World Banking (WWB) Presents Making Finance Work for Women Summit, November 11-12, 2015, Berlin, Germany" is going to take place on November 11-12, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The Making Finance Work for Women Summit is a two-day event that will focus on how women’s access to financial services relates to economic opportunity and macroeconomic growth. Sessions will cover best practices to serve the women’s market for financial services. The fee to attend the event is USD 500.Find more information on http://www.womensworldbanking.org/summit/.

Iran, Germany to establish joint banking committee

The German and Iranian governments have decided to establish a joint banking committee. Officials from Berlin and Tehran will come together in September for the first meeting of the committee. The decision came after Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. together with Germany came to an understanding in the nuclear negotiations on July 14. Additionally, the U.N. Security Council unanimously accepted the draft resolution, which approves the nuclear agreement and stipulates the U.N. sanctions on Iran will be gradually lifted. $700 million of Iran's frozen assets abroad will be released every month after the sanctions are lifted. It is estimated that the total amount is around $150 billion.

Kuveyt Turk starts operation in Frankfurt

Kuwait Turkey Bank (Kuveyt Turk) opened a branch in the German city of Frankfurt on Tuesday to be the first Islamic financial institution in the Eurozone. Hamad Al-Marzouq, Board Chairman of Kuwait Finance House (KFH), which owns the largest share in Kuveyt Turk, said he was proud to see the first Islamic bank operational in the eurozone. Kuveyt Turk seeks to encourage five million Muslims as well as non-Muslim clients in Germany to use the bank's services, he said. Kuveyt Turk was active in the German market since 2004 but was only capable of practicing partial banking operation in 2010. It was allowed to carry out full banking services in Germany last year.

Bank Asya reports losses of TL 5.8M in Q1

The nonconsolidated loss of Bank Asya in the first quarter of this year was TL 5.8 million ($2.2 million), according to the income statement the bank released on the Public Disclosure Platform. The bank had made a TL 40.81 million net profit in the same period of last year. Bank Asya's net loss by the end of 2014 was TL 813 million. While the total assets of the bank were TL 23.2 billion in the first quarter of 2014, this figure decreased to TL 11.97 billion in the same period of 2015. On May 29, Turkish banking regulators approved the decision to seize all of Bank Asya's shares due to the bank's failure to fulfill its obligations despite the measures taken by Turkey's banking watchdog, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK).

UK aims to lead in Islamic insurance

The UK should capitalise on the growing Takaful insurance market, or other countries will steal London's lead, said experts at an IUA briefing on Islamic insurance held at Lloyd's on Tuesday. The UK government wants London to become the western hub for Islamic finance, particularly commercial insurance, said Susan Dingwall, head of Islamic insurance and partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. The government's focus on commercial lines of insurance is big break from the past, said Dingwall, speaking at a briefing hosted by the International Underwriting Association (IUA) in London this morning.

Greece’s asset stripping can lure UAE investors

Some UAE and Gulf travellers are drawing up plans for short visits to Greece this summer, to pick up choice real estate assets on the cheap. Valuations on Greek realty are down to “10 cents to the dollar” from their 2007 peaks. Gulf investors can tick any number of reasons for picking up a Greek real estate deal now, and they need not be high risk-addicts to head that way. There are some choice valuations being offered up for prime assets as cash-strapped Greek developers/investors seek exits. Hospitality related properties figure prominently, as uncertainty shrouds its tourism industry. Barring a few exceptions, asset prices inevitably recover, although the time taken to recover may vary widely.

What happened to Islamic banking in Malta?

Without any doubt the introduction of Islamic Banking will be a challenge to Malta. There can be no doubt that the Government looked at the matter from a purely commercial point of view without paying any attention to certain core values. But the attacks by ISIS are bringing the issue of core values to the fore again. Currently Malta is seen as one of the top countries in the fight against money laundering and terrorism funding. With the introduction of Islamic Banking, the biggest preoccupation would be whether such a position would be negatively affected. Another concern is on the role of the Regulator. Despite a long Budget Speech, such an essential issue was not tackled by the Minister of Finance and MFSA is far from being prepared for such a proposal.

Bank Asya lawyers call upon B Group shareholders to join against seizure

Publicly traded Islamic bank Bank Asya’s owners have launched 100 cases against the seizure by regulators, with lawyer Süleyman Ta?ba? emphasizing that lawsuits can also be filed on behalf of the 18,000 shareholders corresponding to the B Group shares. Ta?ba? said that the number of cases may reach 110 with the main case file reaching 500 pages, pointing out that the B Group shareholders will also have the opportunity to file cases until the legal deadline expires in the next 35 days. The lawyer also said that a criminal complaint will be filed with the prosecutors against the bureaucrats working at the regulatory agencies who took part in the seizure of the bank and its management.

Turkey seeking to raise US$1.5bn from sukuk and yen issuance

The Republic of Turkey is seeking to raise US$1.5bn from the issuance of sukuk and yen-denominated bonds this year, according to a treasury official. The sovereign, rated Baa3 by Moody's and BBB- by Fitch, is to raise around USD400m-equivalent from the yen-denominated transaction and the rest from the sukuk. The sovereign is aiming to price the sukuk in the fourth quarter of the year, and the yen-denominated deal at some point in the second half of the year, according to the official.

Kuveyt Türk to issue sukuk valued at TL 200 million

Kuveyt Türk will sell sukuk to qualified investors as well as to people through public offerings as part of the TL 1 billion ($373.65 million) issuance ceiling program taken from the Capital Markets Board in 2015. Therefore, the bank plans to issue TL 200 million of sukuk, which is due for 189 days after collecting demands on June 24, June 25 and June 26. Additionally, it aims to issue TL 800 million of sukuk in total by the end of 2015 to increase its resource diversity. Investors' interest in the bank's issuances valued at TL 1 billion from 2014 to 2015 and public offerings valued at TL 150 million in 2013 showed possible growth in the upcoming issuances, and this is why the bank has increased its aims.

Gassner's picture

Cryptocurrencies and Islamic finance?

Bitcoin (https://bitcoin.org) started to make the idea of a cryptocurrency popular. What is missing so far is an intense discussion among Sharia scholars.

What makes Bitcoin unique is, that it is a) created by a computer program b) that it is created and verified by a decentralised process, the so-called 'Blockchain' technology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_chain_(database)), which is solving a practical problem for the first time: To enable trust and accounting without a central ledger, such as a central bank. c) that it faciliates payments quick, efficient and discreet - while the latter leads to accusation of misuse, e.g. for gaming, drugs, terror finance etc.

How it can be seen from an Islamic perspective is not widely discussed, despite it deserves the attention. What we find in search engines are some discussions and also an initiative, which calls itself a bank (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=21732.0).

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