Financial Institutions

Royal Bank of Scotland sees big growth opportunities in Islamic investment banking

Royal Bank of Scotland sees big growth opportunities in Islamic investment banking, expecting asset growth rates to remain 15-20 percent annually and profitability levels to increase, Navid Goraya, RBS' global head of Islamic banking said.

GFH aims to raise USD 600 mn for energy projects in Libya and Kazakhstan

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House is seeking to raise USD 600 mn for energy projects in Libya and Kazakhstan this year.

Yemen receives USD 120 mn from IDB for grain silos

Yemen is to sign USD 120 mn agreement with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to finance a project of Grain Silos in Salif area of Hodeidah governorate.

New brand identity for KFH Bahrain leasing card

Kuwait Finance House – Bahrain (KFH-Bahrain), has unveiled its new brand identity for ' Baytik Ijara Card', the first Islamic financing card that allows cardholders to acquire durable goods on a lease-to-own basis.

KFH-Bahrain's first Ijara card was initially launched in 2004. It gave customers the convenience to make purchases at hundreds of outlets in the Kingdom with the flexibility to pay back depending on period of their choice, which can range from 1 to 24 months.

Fitch Ratings had affirmed Kuwait International Bank "A-"

Fitch Ratings had affirmed Kuwait International Bank (KIB)'s Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at "A-", Short-term IDR at "F2", Individual Rating at "C/D", Support Rating at "1" and Support Rating Floor at "A-". It said the outlook on the Long-term IDR was stable, adding that the bank's IDRs and Support Rating "reflected the extremely high probability of support that could be expected from the Kuwaiti authorities in case of need, based on the state's history of support for local banks during past systemic crises." It also said that the successful conversion into an Islamic bank and the many structural improvements to its business since the July 2007 conversion.

Liquidity Management House combines 7 global banks in financing KFH-Turkey

Liquidity Management House, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuwait Finance has succeeded in making a combined global 1-year Murabaha finance deal about USD 115 million for KFH-Turkey, after attracting 7 global and regional banks: Halk Bank-Turkey, Islamic Development Bank, Citibank, Garanti Bank International-Holland, Gatehouse Bank-UK, NBK International PLC, Standard Chartered Bank.

KFH-Turkey Chief Executive Officer is Ufuk Iwan.

Mali and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have signed a grant agreement of 789 million CFA francs

Mali and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have signed a grant agreement of 789 million CFA francs (about USD 1.578 million) aimed at supporting the revival of agriculture. The grant complements two funding agreements recently approved by IDB's Board of Executive Directors to support agricultural production on water control.

New license: Tunisia's first domestic Islamic finance bank

Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's son-in-law recently won a license to begin operating an Islamic bank, which would be Tunisia's first domestic Islamic finance bank.

Sri Lanka: First Barakah Investments Limited is expecting Central Bank approval

Anjana Samarasinghe reported that First Barakah Investments Limited is expecting Central Bank approval to operate as a registered finance company shortly in Sri Lanka shortly. The company also expects to apply for banking licenses within two years time.

Barakah Investments will introduce ‘SUKUK’ an alternative way of bonds in Islamic finance to the market. The Government of Sri Lanka also expects to raise funds through SUKUK.

Islamic Development Bank plans Sukuk

Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) plans to issue USD 5 bn Sukuk, over the next five years to finance its programmes.

IDB's president Mr Ali said he expected 2009 issue would be priced higher and that the new sukuk would increase the IDB’s 2009 financing programme by 15 %.

BLME considers listing on London Stock Exchange

Bank of London and the Middle East plans to focus on its wealth-management business this year and then aim for listing on the London Stock Exchange next year.

Parsoli directors resigned

Parsoli Corporation Ltd has informed Bombay Stock Exchange that Mr. Uto Baader, and Ms. Christine Schiedermaier, have resigned as directors of the Company and accordingly they ceased to be directors w.e.f. March 25, 2009.

Source: 

http://www.bseindia.com/qresann/news.asp?newsid={D28277E5-E5E5-482A-BD51-46090B16FD23}&param1=1

S&P: Arcapita Bank Long-Term Rating Lowered To 'BB'; Remains On CreditWatch Negative; 'B' Short-Term Affirmed

Press Release

PARIS April 6, 2009--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it lowered its long-term counterparty credit rating on Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank to 'BB' from 'BB+' and kept the rating on CreditWatch with negative implications where it was initially placed on Jan. 28, 2009. At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'B' short-term rating on Arcapita.

"The rating action reflects the very weak investment climate, which has challenged Arcapita's business model and has decreased the value of its assets in our view," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Mohamed Damak. "In this light, we believe Arcapita's leverage indicators have weakened, which has put pressure on its credit profile."

Arcapita has reported that it is implementing a set of measures to reduce its leverage and improve its liquidity position. It has already:

--Raised $300 million through two-year facilities from strategic investors;

--Raised $100 million of capital from a strategic shareholder in the Gulf; and

--Sold and leased-back its head office and a related piece of land in a $400 million transaction.

Dubai raises USD 635 mn to refinance debt - Chinese and local banks involved

Simeon Kerr reported in The Financial times on 5 April that the Dubai government raised a
USD 635 mn Islamic finance to help retire a USD 1 bn in civil aviation authority debt maturing later this month.

The lease-based Islamic facilty syndication, led by Dubai Islamic Bank, mainly depends on local banks, but Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and WestLB also participated in the syndication, which was priced at 3 % points above US, UAE and euro benchmark rates. It is due to be repaid in three equal semi-annual instalments from April 2010.

It was the first Islamic transaction for the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China with a branch in the DIFC.

Dubai is preparing to seek a sovereign rating in the second half of this year.

Delay of annual reports - The Investment Dar

The Investment Dar announces that the release of its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2008 has been delayed as a result of additional reporting requirements from the Company's subsidiaries and associates. The Company has been in dialogue with the Kuwaiti regulatory authorities regarding this issue.

As of 1 April 2009, the Kuwait Stock Exchange suspended trading in the companie's shares until further notice as a result of the postponement of the release of its full year financial results for the year ended 31 December 2008. The same action was taken for a number of other Kuwait Stock Exchange listed companies.

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.

Fitch partially downgrades Kuwait Finance House

Fitch Ratings affirmed Kuwait Finance House's (KFH) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A+' and Short-term IDR at 'F1'. KFH’s Individual Rating was downgraded to 'C/D' from 'C' and placed on Rating Watch Negative (RWN). KFH's Support '1' and Support Rating Floor 'A+' were affirmed. The Outlook for the Long-term IDR is Stable.

Abu Dhabi's Hilal Bank sets up Kazakh unit

Stanley Carvalho reported on 31 March on Reuters that Abu Dhabi's government-owned Al Hilal Bank will set up an Islamic bank in Kazakhstan. Al Hilal will headquarter the new bank in the central Asian state's capital Almaty, opening in the second half of 2009 with an initial capital of AED 100 mn(USD 27 mn).

Chairman of Hilal Bank is Ahmed Ateeq al-Mazrouei.

Bahrain's Albaraka sees '09 profit growth at 7 %

The chairman of Bahrain-based Islamic lender Al Baraka Banking Group BARKA.BH expects a 7 % rise in profit this year.

Egon Zehnder executive search assigned to find new EON Bank head

Yap Leng Kuen reported in the The Star that the International search firm Egon Zehnder International has been appointed to find a replacement for former EON Bank CEO Albert Lau Yiong.

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