Financial Institutions

India's first Islamic bank to start in Kerala by 2010

The first Islamic bank in India with involvement of the Kerala government is likely to start operations in Kochi next year as the bank’s registration formalities are currently being fulfilled on a war footing, reported George Joseph in Business Standard. Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), which is the designated agency for the formation of the bank, will have 11 % stake, which will be registered as a non-banking finance company (NBFC) in the beginning and later get transformed into a full-fledged Shari’ah-compliant bank.

The project proposes to raise an initial capital of Rs 500 crore from leading non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Indian business houses. According to sources close to the development, leading NRI businessmen such as Mohammed Ali, MA Yusuf Ali, CK Menon and other Kerala-based industrialists such as Azad Mooppan have shown keen interest in the venture.

Bahrain-Based Arcapita Bank 'BB-/B' Ratings Affirmed And Withdrawn At Issuer Request

-- We are affirming the ratings on Arcapita.
-- The outlook remains negative.
-- We are withdrawing the ratings at the issuer request.

PARIS (Standard & Poor's) June 29, 2009--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it affirmed its 'BB-/B' counterparty credit ratings on Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank. The outlook remained negative. Standard & Poor's then withdrew its ratings on Arcapita at the bank's request.

The ratings affirmation reflects our conclusions that the assumptions factored into the ratings are still holding up. The ratings on Arcapita reflect our opinion of the bank's high leverage in the context of a very difficult economic and investment climate, as well as its pressured liquidity position. In our view, positive rating factors are the corrective measures that Arcapita is implementing and the support that the bank is receiving from shareholders. The ratings reflect our opinion of Arcapita's stand-alone credit profile and do not include any uplift for extraordinary external support.

AgriCap Invest established in Morocco

Vision3, conceived by Gulf Finance House, Abu Dhabi Investment House and Ithmaar Bank signed an MoU with Morocco's largest bank, Attijariwafa, signaling their intention to establish AgriCap Invest, a specialized food and agriculture focused investment institution in the Kingdom of Morocco. The new firm will offer intelligent financial solutions to agricultural initiatives in the Kingdom of Morocco and across North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Mediterranean and the broader MENA region.

Albaraka Bank aims to be listed on Johannesburg Stock Exchange before 2011

ALBARAKA Bank in South Africa was keen to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, JSE, and would probably do so by the end of next year, Adnan Ahmed Yousif, the chairman said.

Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG), the parent company, is listed in Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt and Sudan.

KFH low exposure to Saad Group

Kuwait Finance House, has minimal exposure to two troubled Saudi firms, belwo 0.1 % of the total credit portfolio, according to Emad Yousef Al-Monayea, Managing Director of Kuwait Finance's subsidiary, Liquidity House.

Al Hilal Islamic Bank to be opened in Kazakhstan

The Governments of Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates signed the agreement on opening of Al Hilal Islamic Bank in Kazakhstan; Aigul Tulekbayeva on Kazinform reports. The Bank’s nominal capital will make up over AED 100 mln and it will be opened in Astana and Almaty.

Seminar for Charities held in USA

Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah reported on 12 June in the Tribune about a seminar for charities to comply with US provisions in their country.

The Internal Revenue Service, the MacArthur Foundation and a group of lawyers called Muslim Advocates instructed Chicago-area leaders in proper ways to report the collection of foreign funds, keep bookkeeping transparent and otherwise reassure U.S. officials that the money they raise never will end up in the hands of terrorists. The initiative has been inspired by a new generation of leaders and by what many Muslims perceive as a new climate under President Barack Obama, who mentioned the issue of charity, or zakat, during his landmark speech to the Islamic world from Egypt last week.

PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia Syariah aims to double assets by year end

Indonesian Islamic financer PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia Syariah (BRI Syariah) expects its assets to double to 3 trillion rupiah by the end of the year.

Kuwait Assets of Saad Group

Saudi billionaire's firm denies that Kuwaiti assets are frozen; as Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai had reported previously.

Tamweel rejects media report about the financing needs

Tamweel says that it does not agree with media report rejected a media report saying it needed USD 1.55 bn to restart its financing operations.

Albaraka puts USD 120 mn for acquisitions aside

Bahrain's Al Baraka Banking Group plans to spend up to USD 120 mn on acquisitions this year as asset valuations drop amid a global financial crisis.

HSBC: Saudi Arabia needs 1m new houses in the next 5 years

Saudi Arabia needs 1 million new houses by 2014 to meet the needs of its growing population but house prices are seen falling in the short term due to the global credit crisis, HSBC said in a report. The bank forecast a 15 % decline in house prices and rents in the kingdom's capital Riyadh in 2009 due to credit shortage , with a slow recovery expected in 2010. The rapidly growing population means there are shortages in residential, commercial, retail and hospitality property in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah and the Eastern Province according to the report.

Dubai Islamic Bank purchases outstanding Sukuk through cash tender offer

Dubai Islamic Bank announced that it has purchased USD 50.6 mn from the partial cash tender offer to retire USD 200 mn of outstanding Sukuk. DIB purchased the certificates at 88 % of the face value.

Global to sell stake in Al Salam Bank

Global Investment House plans to sell a 14.1 % stake in Al-Salam Bank in a June 11 auction to reduce its holdings. The company expects 6.4 million dinar in profit.

Global said in January that it defaulted on most of its loan

Bahraini Saudi Bank takeover approved

Bahrain's Al Salam Bank has announced that Bahraini Saudi Bank's shareholders had accepted its takeover offer.

3 Indonesian banks to open Islamic units

Three national banks are in the process of opening Islamic units to respond to growing demand for sharia banking services, an official was cited in Antara: Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Panin and Bank Victoria.

New Islamic bank in Indonesia

Reuters reported on 18 March that Indonesia's third-largest lender, PT Bank Central Asia Tbk, is planning to launch an Islamic bank in September following its acquisition of a small bank last year, its vice president director said.

Islamic banking in Iraq

Islamic banks first opened in Iraq in the 1990s and seven of the country's 42 banks are now Islamic. The central bank studies a new law for Islamic banks, but there is no time line.

Bilad has about 7,000 account holders, whose deposits rose to about 358 billion Iraqi dinars ($306 million) by the end of 2008 compared to 58 billion dinars a year earlier. Its capital had quadrupled to 100 billion dinars since its foundation, and it expects to hit 200 billion dinars in 2010.

Regulatory constrains the growth of Islamic banks.

Syria receives USD 100 mn finance from IDB

The Islamic Development Bank and the Syrian government signed an agreement last week stating that the bank would provide a EUR 100 mn finance for the expansion of a power station in Syria.

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.

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