Financial Institutions

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.

Saudi Arabia plans mortgage institutions similar to US

Saudi Arabia plans to set up a Fannie Mae-style company in conjunction with the upcoming mortgage law to buy mortgages from financial institutions and help develop national sukuk and debt markets, Saudi Arabia's finance minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said according to Reuters.

IDB supports Turkish Exporters

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will extend some USD 100 mn with one-year terms to Turkish exporters that have experienced trouble as a result of the ongoing global financial crisis. Officials from Turkey's Eximbank informed the Anatolia news agency that the IDB will give money to Eximbank, a bank formed with the aim of lending support to Turkish exporters.

International Investment Bank equity parter of steel mill

International Investment Bank (IIB), Bahrain, announced the completion of the first Thermo Mechanical Treatment steel rolling mill in Bahrain (UNIROL) earlier this month. IIB is one of the major partners of the project with an equity stake of 35%.

Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) provided USD 25 m facility to Bukhatir Investment Group

Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) announced that it has provided a USD 25 mn banking facility for Bukhatir Investment Group to support expansion projects planned by the Group.

Bahrain-Based Arcapita Bank Downgraded To 'BB-' On High Leverage; Outlook Negative

Press Release

PARIS (Standard & Poor's) June 1, 2009--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it has lowered its long-term counterparty credit ratings on Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank (Arcapita) to 'BB-' from 'BB' and removed them from CreditWatch, where they were first placed on Jan. 28, 2009, with negative implications. At the same time, we affirmed our 'B' short-term rating on Arcapita. The outlook is negative.

The ratings reflect our opinion of Arcapita's stand-alone credit profile and do not include any uplift for extraordinary external support. However, Standard & Poor's recognizes that ongoing support from Arcapita's shareholders has been significant and is incorporated in Arcapita's stand-alone credit profile.

"The rating action reflects our opinion of Arcapita's high leverage in the context of a very difficult economic and investment climate, which has challenged Arcapita's business model, reduced the value of its assets, and put pressure on its financial performance," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Mohamed Damak.

People leaving Dubai without settling Credit Cards

7Days Dubai reports that one bank faces 2,500 customers leaving per month withou payng off their credit card bills.

Global MENA Financial Assets Limited published update on defaulted murabaha transactions

Global MENA Financial Assets Limited (the 'Company') is a closed-ended investment company incorporated in Guernsey to make attractive absolute gains through investment in a diversified portfolio of financial sector assets focused predominantly in the MENA region (including Turkey). Today, the Company announces an update in relation to certain Islamic financing contracts entered into on behalf of the Company and its subsidiaries and referred to in previous announcements.

Islamic finance firm Dar to meet creditors in June

Investment Dar will brief creditors and investors in a meeting for June 8 in the United Arab Emirates on how its restructuring plan is progressing, the firm said in statemnt according to Reuters.

Qatari bank lending down 7 %

Qatari bank lending fell 7 % in the first two months of 2009 as credit to the public sector dropped 36 %, central bank data showed, the latest signal Gulf banks are more cautious on new loans.

Investment Dar files complaint agains Commercial Bank of Kuwait

A dispute arose between Investment Dar and Commercial Bank of Kuwait regarding the right to buy back from CBK 19.2 % stake in Boubyan, wich Investment Dar sold last year.

South Africa: Albaraka Bank Achieves R2 Billion Asset Base

Albaraka Bank, SA's only Islamic financial institution, passed the R2bn asset level. This compares with only R400 000 in 1999 when it was formed. CEO Shabir Chohan said that it had taken the bank 15 years to achieve assets of R1bn and then another five years to reach the current level.

Chohan said that although Muslims represented only 2% of the population of SA, he believed there were opportunities for other players in the market that could offer greater convenience and more branches.

Investment Dar denies bail out talks with Central Bank

NO BAILOUT: Investment Dar has denied media reports that it is in talks with the Central Bank of Kuwait over a bailout.

QInvest buys 44% stake in 130-year old UK Panmure stockbroking firm

QInvest, trumped two other bidders to buy a 44 % stake in Panmure Gordon & Co, investing USD 36.3 mn in the 130-year-old British stockbroking firm. The deal would involve a placing of 67.5 million shares, priced at 34 pence per share a 15 % discount on Wednesday's closing price.

Panmure said the cash injection would enhance its balance sheet and give it the financial strength to grow into new business areas and locations, including the Gulf.

World Bank analysis on Pakistan's informal and formal financial sector

Microcapital sumarized the World Bank report written by Tatiana Nenova, Cecile Thioro Niang and Anjum Ahmad , released May 2009, 187 pages, available at: http://go.worldbank.org/0KKMYAT130 :

This World Bank report measures and describes the current state of formal and informal financial services in Pakistan for underserved populations and enterprises. Currently 14 percent of Pakistanis use savings, credit, insurance, payments and remittance services from the formal financial system. This is compared to India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka where 48 percent, 32 percent and 59 percent respectively have access to formal financial services. In addition about 36 percent of Pakistanis use moneylenders, committees, family and friends. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), which regulates the banking sector, has grown over the past few years yet it has not met demand. Further details about the market and players in Pakistan are found in Chapter 1.

Islamic Bank of Asia aims to localise Tawarruq transactions

The Islamic Bank of Asia, (IBA) a venture of Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings Ltd., aims to stop using London Metal Exchange transactions.The bank is in talks with Olam International Ltd. to use its trading in commodities such as rice, coffee, cotton and cocoa as the basis for financing.

Vincent Cook is CEO.

International Investment Bank's total income USD 1.8 mn, loss USD 900.000

Bahrain-based International Investment Bank's (IIB) total income reached USD 1.8 mn in Q1. This was mainly derived from investment banking fees generated from the structuring, underwriting and placement of new investments, together with profit earned on funds placed with financial institutions.

Total expenses reduced to USD 2.7 mn in the period, reflecting the lower business activity as compared to a year ago. A net loss was incurred of USD 900,000 compared to a net profit of USD 5.4 mn earned in the same period last year.

Islamic finance enters Spain retail market

Islamic finance is coming to Spain, where it estimates it will find a potential market of two million clients reported Paola Del Vecchio on Ansamed.

According to financial newspaper Negocios, the Halal Institute - the centre of Islamic quality certification in Cordoba operating under the Spanish Islamic Commission - is shortly to sign an agreement with the Sa Nostra building society in the Balearic Islands for the creation of an Islamic current account.

According to market research carried out by the Halal Institute, potential clients in Spain have good earnings, a high level of loyalty to their bank and a low rate of payment default. Thanks to the agreement soon to be sealed by the Halal Insitute and Sa Nostra, Muslim residents of the Spanish archipelago will also be able to open special current accounts to collect the funds needed to be buried in the first Islamic cemetery in the Balearics, without the bank taking any commission or adding any interest to the holder's deposits.

Investment Dar Co. defaults on Sukuk

Investment Dar failed to pay a “periodic distribution” due on April 27 to holders of its Sukuk maturing in 2010.

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