Financial Institutions

Ajman Bank Appoints Head of Finance Division

Ajman Bank, the emirate’s first Islamic commercial bank, has officially announced the appointment of their new Head of Finance Division, Seifeldin Abdelkareem. With a career in the financial field spanning twenty eight years, Abdelkareem has a multitude of experience to contribute as new Head of Finance.

Alpen Capital published report on the GCC Takaful industry

The GCC Takaful report caters to investors looking for investment opportunities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Takaful (Islamic Insurance) industry. The focus of the report is on opportunities and challenges for growth of the industry, industry trends, financial performance, valuations, stock liquidity and governance & transparency.

Alpen Capital expects the GCC Takaful industry:

  • to grow at a CAGR of approximately 16.1% per annum in 2009 to 2012.
  • to continue to grow faster than conventional insurance.

Full details of the findings are in the report for download at the below source.

Fraud is major concern at Mideast banks - survey

An online survey by ReadiMinds has revealed that internal frauds in the banking sector remain a major source of concern in the Middle East region.

Gulf countries, IDB give Turkmenistan $1billion loan

Turkmenistan, Central Asia's largest gas producer, is getting $1 billion loan from a group of state-run funds from the GCC countries and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), to finance infrastructure projects in the country, Reuters reported.

NASDAQ Dubai welcomes its planned acquisition by Dubai Financial Market

NASDAQ Dubai welcomes the announcement made today by Dubai Financial Market (DFM), by which DFM has made an offer to acquire NASDAQ Dubai, subject to regulatory approvals. Under the new ownership structure, DFM and NASDAQ Dubai will develop closer operational links.

Faisal bank seeks extra client cash-sources

Geneva-based Faisal Private Bank has warned it could face foreclosure on parts of its real estate portfolio unless investors stump up cash to keep lenders at bay, documents seen by Reuters show.

KFH: ‘No legally binding’ pact to buy YNH's RM920mil property

Kuwait Finance House (M) Bhd (KFH) has refuted YNH Property Bhd’s claim that it is in a legally binding agreement with the latter and can be made liable for backing out of a deal to purchase Menara YNH, a 45-storey office tower worth RM920mil.

SFS Cyprus and Kuwait Finance House launch shipping fund

Global Shariah Shipping Fund, jointly sponsored by Cyprus-listed SFS Group and Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) and Global Shipping Investments Management Ltd (equally owned company by SFS and KFHAM), is being launched with the aim of raising $150 mln for the acquisition of offshore vessels and other types of ship.

Islamic Bank of Asia's CEO Vince Cook resigns

The Islamic Bank of Asia (IBA), a unit of DBS, said its CEO Vince Cook has quit for personal reasons and Friday is his last day with the bank.

Beltone Financial Holding, EFG-Hermes act as financial advisors in largest syndication to be covered from local banks worth $1.0

A consortium of four banks namely, National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Arab African International Bank, and Banque du Caire arranged, underwrote and syndicated a facility for the Egyptian Nitrogen Products Company (ENPC). Faisal Islamic Bank was among the co-arrangers.

UK: Tax issues under further clarification

The UK Government has committed to create a level playing field on VAT for retail investors in Islamic finance products. In his Pre-Budget Report statement, the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, says he will also provide relief from tax on capital gains for alternative property refinance transactions to maintain the UK's position as a centre for Islamic finance.

In addition, guidance will be issued on VAT treatment of alternative finance investment bonds.

Islamic finance fits for Australia

Australia's wealth of natural resources and financial landscape provide a natural platform for Islamic finance, with potential to attract a new type of global investors. Trailing Muslim neighbours such as Malaysia and Indonesia, Australia is looking at developing Islamic finance to attract wealth and create jobs.

The Australian and Malaysian governments held talks this week to cooperate in Islamic finance. The Australian government has expressed interest in Islamic finance but so far it is limited to small entities such as the Muslim Community Cooperative (Australia) Ltd and Iskan Finance which offer home loans. One of the biggest obstacles to the development of Australia's Islamic finance market is tax law.

S&P: Several Dubai Government-Related Entities Downgraded

Press Release

Several Dubai Government-Related Entities Downgraded And On Watch Negative Following
Debt Restructuring Announcement

DUBAI (Standard & Poor's) Nov. 25, 2009--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it
had taken rating actions on a number of Dubai-based government related entities
(GREs) and transactions (for full details see "Ratings List" below). Standard &
Poor's has downgraded DIFC Investments LLC, DP World Ltd., Jebel Ali Free Zone
(FZE), Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC (DHCOG), and Emaar Properties
PJSC. All of these entities have been placed on CreditWatch with negative
implications. The ratings on Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC) were
affirmed, although they were placed on CreditWatch negative. A CreditWatch negative
placement also applies to the notes issued by Thor Asset Purchase (Cayman) Ltd.
(Thor), which are securitized by cash flows from a revolving pool of existing and
future receivables originated by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA; not
rated).

The rating actions are the result of the announcement on Nov. 25 of the

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Presentation Islamic Mortgage models for the German market

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany presented on the BAFIN Islamic Finance conference how mortgages for the Muslim community could look like, how large the market is and challenged the perception that there would be a need to change laws to avoid double real estate transfer tax; it shall rather work tax efficient with proper structuring and without changes. Hence, financial institutions are asked to provide equity and debt based mortgages for the Muslim market.

German BAFIN welcomes application for Islamic banking license

The German banking regulator, BAFIN, held today a conference about Islamic finance with strong international participation and about 200 guests.

BAFIN president, Mr Sanio, says that Germany makes it easy to obtain a licence to sell the products, which are also compatible with the country's financial rules. He expressively welcomed "the first interested party that wants to start offering these products".

Islamic and Conventional Banks in the GCC: How Did They Fare?

Excerpt from the IMF report
"Which group of banks is better-positioned to withstand adverse shocks?
With larger capital and liquidity buffers, Islamic banks are better-positioned to withstand adverse market or
credit shocks. On average, Islamic banks’ capital adequacy ratio (CAR) in the GCC is higher than that for
conventional banks (except in the United Arab Emirates). The risk-sharing aspect of Shariah-compliant
contracts adds to this buffer as banks are able to pass on losses to investors."

page 10, 11

Full Text for free download.

IFC lists USD 100 mn Sukuk in Dubai and Bahrain

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the multilateral development bank, will list a USD 100 mn 5-year Sukuk in Dubai and Bahrain. The IFC plans to return to the market with new issuances every 12 months to 18 months.

S&P Outlines Factors That Could Affect Its View Of The Likelihood Of Government Support For Dubai-Based GREs

Press Release

DUBAI, October 15, 2009--A report published today by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services answers questions related to its view on the likelihood of extraordinary government support for Dubai-based government related entities (GREs), and what factors may affect this in the future (see "What Factors May Affect S&P's View Of The Likelihood Of Extraordinary Government Support For Dubai-Based GREs?").

Specifically, the report answers the following questions:

-- What are Standard & Poor's current expectations regarding the likelihood of extraordinary support from the Government of Dubai for its GREs?
-- What track record does the Government of Dubai have in supporting its GREs?
-- To what extent are the ratings affected by Dubai's challenging debt burden?
-- How might the GRE issuer credit ratings be affected by a restructuring of debt in an unrated GRE?
-- How might the Nakheel repayment affect the GRE issuer credit ratings?
-- Does Standard & Poor's believe the Government of Dubai has the resources to support its GREs?

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