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IslamicFinance.de is still edited by myself, Michael Saleh Gassner. In the same time the website became part of the family's publishing house, Al Kitab.
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Bahrain's Al Salam Bank has agreed to acquire fellow Bahraini lender BMI Bank , an affiliate of Oman's Bank Muscat , through a share-swap deal. Al Salam will exchange 11 of its shares for each BMI Bank share to create the kingdom's fourth-largest commercial bank. The tie-up is still subject to shareholder approval, with meetings to vote on assent due to be held in either September or October. Shares in Al Salam were 5.9 percent higher at 0726 GMT in muted trading. The tie-up will create a bank with assets worth BD1.79bn ($4.75bn), according to second-quarter results from both institutions.
Kuwait Finance House (KFH), represented by the Personal Finance Department, has organized a meeting with suppliers of installments finance. The meeting discussed the current market conditions and how to find means to improve it in a beneficial way to all parties on the one hand, and catering to clients' needs on the other. Personal Finance Executive Manager at KFH Talal Al-Hnaidi said, on the sideline of the meeting, that the bank is keen on organizing continuous forums and meetings with large companies and institutions. Moreover, Al-Hnaidi mentioned that KFH supports merchants and communicates with them to discuss the market conditions and to share ideas, thoughts and information that can serve the progress business and can contribute in strengthening the economy and obtaining growth.
Bahrain-based Seera Investment Bank has reported a net income of $5.1 million for the first half of this year compared with a net income of $1.7m for the same period last year. Total income was $8.5m compared with $4.6m last time. The increase in income was attributed to an increase in management fees on assets under management and the early settlement of financing relating to the bank's aviation portfolio. Total assets of the bank were $349m. Seera's balance sheet remains strong with a capital adequacy ratio of 23 per cent and liquid assets of $33m. Profit for the second quarter was $5.5m compared with a profit of $830,000 for the same period last year. Seera has investments in the industrial manufacturing and transportation sectors in addition to smaller investments in the utilities and real estate sectors.
Standard & Poor's reduced Al Baraka's rating from BBB- to BB+ with a negative outlook on the back of increased sovereign and economic risk in the regions where it operates, particularly Egypt and Jordan. Operating environment and credit conditions in the MENA region is expected to remain tough over the coming 12-18 months. Consequently, S&P foresees an adverse impact on Al Baraka's business and financial profiles. The negative outlook reflects S&P's view that the lender's capitalisation could deteriorate if, for instance, Egypt defaults and economic conditions worsen in Jordan. This is the first time that Al Baraka has been downgraded. Earlier this week, the lender said that net income for the second quarter of 2013 rose 11 percent from a year ago to $42 million.
Wong & Partners is advising Malaysian investment company BIMB Holdings on its proposed $885 million takeover of Bank Islam. The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, and will be financed by a $1.8 billion capital raise.
Kuala Lumpur partners Munir Abdul Aziz and Wong Sue Wan are advising BIMB Holdings on the transaction, as well as the rights issue. Kuala Lumpur partner Mark Lim will act for Bank Islam as the lead arranger on the bond issuance. Zaid Ibrahim & Co. Kuala Lumpur partner Wan Marzimin and Zul Rafique & Partners Kuala Lumpur partner Lukman Sheriff Alias are acting as counsel to Dubai Financial Group and Lembaga Tabung Haji, respectively.
Kuwait Finance House (KFH) announced 103 million Kuwaiti dinar or $362 million of precautionary provisions on Tuesday, as it posted a smaller than expected rise in second-quarter net profit. The bank did not provide any more details on the provisions, which cover the first half of the year, nor a comparative figure for the same period the year before. It added that indicators related to profit growth and operating revenues were positive. Net profit rose to 26.8 million dinars in the three months ended June. The lender did not provide further details on its profit. It said it would continue with its expansion plans after its 319 million dinar capital increase last month.
Dubai Financial Group (DFG) has agreed to divest of its 30.5% stake in Bank Islam to BIMB Holdings in Malaysia, in a deal worth $550m. BIMB Holdings currently owns 49% stake of Bank Islam and the recent acquisition, which completed on 31 July 2013, will enable it to strengthen its banking business in the country. Bank Islam manages a branch network of more than 127 offices. Following DFG's acquisition, the total assets of the lender rose from MYR14.6bn ($ 4.5bn) in 2006 to MYR37.4bn ($11.5bn) by the end of 2012. In June this year, the company divested its credit card operation The Dubai First to Abu Dhabi based First Gulf Bank (FGB) in a deal reached at $164m.
The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) and the Bangladesh Bank (The Central Bank of Bangladesh) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The objective of the MOU is to establish a basis for the exchange of information between the two institutions on banking industry's condition and operating performance and ICIEC exposures on the banks operating in Bangladesh. It is expected that the MOU will help pave the way forward for ICIEC in meeting its objectives under the IDB Group Member Country Participation Strategy (MCPS) for Bangladesh, through enhance letter of credit coverage and support in terms of political risk insurance coverage of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The signing of the MoU should enhance ICIEC's ability to support exporting companies operating in Bangladesh, and also will help to attract more FDI.
Capital Intelligence (CI) has maintained Sharjah Islamic Bank's (SIB) Financial Strength Rating (FSR) at 'BBB+', with SIB's exceptionally sound capital adequacy ratio (CAR) and good liquidity being major supporting factors. Rising non-performing Islamic financing facilities (NPIFFs), a low coverage ratio and high customer concentrations are major constraining factors. While profitability had been under some strain in the recent past, the Bank's good Q1 2013 operating performance is a favourable development. A 'Stable' Outlook is appended to the FSR on the expectation that some of the impaired IFFs will move off the non-performing list later this year, and that the coverage ratio will improve. However, if ratios remain unchanged or worsen, the FSR could be further adjusted downwards at the next review. The Foreign Currency Ratings are affirmed at 'A-' Long-Term and 'A2' Short-Term with a 'Stable' Outlook.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) opens its annual Ramadan exhibition this year at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. The Road from Jerusalem to Mecca and Medina follows last year's exhibition Discovering Ka'aba withtwo more replicas of central landmarks in Islamic history. The exhibition portrays a historical journey through three holy sites of historical and religious significance. The Road from Jerusalem to Mecca and Medina includes a replica of the Ka'aba which illustrates both the Ka'aba's outer façade and its inner structure. Rare photographs of the Ka'aba that depict its various architectural and design elements will also be on display. In addition, the exhibition showcases the Al-Nabawi Mosque and a model of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The exhibition is open to the public every day from 08:30am to 12:00 midnight throughout the whole month of Ramadan.
Burj Bank Limited was formerly known as Dawood Islamic Bank Limited (DIBL). The bank officially commenced operations in April 2007 and was renamed Burj Bank Ltd. in July 2011. Burj Bank has a diversified range of Shariah compliant funded and non-funded products and services aimed at facilitating both individual and corporate customers. Besides, the bank also offers investment and corporate advisory services. Burj Bank was quoted the best Islamic bank by world financial magazine in 2013. After incurring losses for three consecutive years since CY09, CY12 was the year when the bank made an after tax profit of Rs 84.6 million. In 2012, Burj Bank become a dominant player in fleet financing business and is regarded as a top player in this segment. Industry insiders strongly urge the development of an active Islamic money market via short-term sovereign instruments and secondary market via Islamic repo agreements.
Md Asaduzzaman Khan has recently been reappointed as managing director of IIDFC. A career central banker, Khan joined IIDFC after taking voluntary retirement as executive director of Bangladesh Bank in 2008. He is an MA in economics from Dhaka University and an MA in banking and finance from the University of Wales, UK. He was appointed as administrator of the then Oriental Bank Ltd (now ICB Islamic Bank Ltd) in July 2008. He was also the managing director of the security printing press of the central bank at Gazipur. He is also a director of ICB Capital Management Ltd, a member-cum-director of IIDFC Securities Ltd and a former director of the Dhaka Stock Exchange.
The Malaysia-based International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp. (IILM) has reshuffled its Shariah board, losing four of its original six members. The IILM has been troubled by internal management upheaval, like the change of its chief executive late last year and the surprise pullout of Saudi Arabia's central bank in April this year. The changes to the Shariah board, which monitors the IILM's activities and instruments to ensure that they follow Islamic principles, could indicate further delays to the body's plan to begin issuing sukuk. The IILM announced in April that it aimed to make an initial issue worth up to $500 million in the second quarter of this year but has not yet proceeded with the plan, and it has not given a new time frame for it. The body did not issue a statement on the changes to its Shariah board.
Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has appointed Adnan Chilwan as chief executive. Chilwan, who was previously deputy CEO at the bank, replaces Abdullah Al Hamli who was named managing director. The management reshuffle at DIB comes when the bank is preparing for renewed growth, after it set aside about 5 billion dirhams ($1.36 billion) against bad loans following the 2009-2010 crash of Dubai's real estate market. According to Chilwan and Al Hamli, the bank has dealt with much of its balance sheet weakness and should see profits for 2013 grow in the double digits, allowing it to eye acquisitions in new markets in Asia. DIB, which is in the process of acquiring Islamic mortgage lender Tamweel , became the second Gulf bank to issue a hybrid perpetual sukuk when it priced in March a $1 billion Islamic bond to boost its Tier 1 capital ratio.
General Manager of International Banking and Acting Chief Investment Officer at Kuwait Finance House KFH Shaheen Al-Ghanim has announced the emerging KFH Investment Company, previously named Liquidity House. He added that this company will be KFH's main investment arm locally, regionally, and globally. Renaming Liquidity House to KFH Investment is one of the results of the new investment strategy, which is considered to be part of KFH's development and restructuring plan. All of KFH investment holdings and activities will be consolidated and supervised by KFH Investment Company. Furthermore, Al-Ghanim revealed that this company will survive Liquidity Management House (LMH). He noted that the Shareholders General Assembly of LMH had been convened last Thursday and approved changing the name of the company.
The United Arab Emirates central bank has asked local commercial banks in the country to provide details of their financial exposure to Turkey by Tuesday. The aim is reportedly to review the investments. The UAE’s financial ties to Turkey have expanded in recent years because Gulf banks are looking to diversify out of the region’s oil-focused economy and are hamstrung by a lack of potential acquisitions at home. UAE banks have also increased their exposure to Turkish debt, particularly sukuk. Sales of Turkish sukuk to Gulf investors may increase further as Turkey expands its offerings. A new regulation limiting exposure to Turkey is not expected despite the UAE's central bank's action unless the data compiled exceeded the norm.
The President of the Republic of Suan, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir agreed to sell al-Neilain Bank to expatriates, confirming the state's interest and keenness to provide all facilities for expatriates to employ their money inside the country in support of the national economy. Al-Bashir noted that the economic situation in the country is moving to the better, despite all the talk about the large external migration. He said that gold native mining and extensive migration from African and Asian countries to Sudan, demonstrate that there is an economic activity in a way to improve the situation, hoping that expatriates will pay attention to investing their money in Sudan to support the economy. Al-Bashir said that the state supports livestock development by focusing on the export of meat rather than the export of live cattle, by building a modern slaughterhouse in this regard to take full advantage of the slaughtered animals.
BIMB Holdings Bhd is likely to conclude the purchase of the 18.5% stake held by Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) in Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd by the end of the month. BIMB owns 51% of Bank Islam, while the remaining 30.5% stake is held by Dubai Financial Group (DFG). LTH, meanwhile, is the ultimate holding company of both BIMB and Bank Islam. Apart from its direct interest in Bank Islam, the pilgrim fund also owns a 51.5% stake in BIMB. There were reportedly no problems in the talks between BIMB and LTH, with pricing done at arm’s length on market benchmarks and in the best interest of the shareholders. The two block of shares are likely to be valued between 1.6 times and 1.8 times price-to-book value. If both talks with DFG and LTH were successful, then BIMB would fully own Bank Islam. An announcement on both stake sales is expectyed to be made by end-July.