Financial Institutions

Malaysia likely to give Islamic licence to Abu Dhabi bank

The government is likely to approve an Islamic banking licence for the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The move comes before the administration unveils its new economic model in which the services sector, and in particular Islamic finance, is given more emphasis.

Thomson Reuters unveils risk management solution for Islamic Banking

Thomson Reuters announced the launch of a risk management system specifically tailored for Islamic banking.

Kondor+ Suite for Islamic Banking is a real time trade and risk management solution, which will provide full front-to-back and cross-asset coverage for Islamic banks as well as Islamic windows in conventional banks.

Bank Negara pressing ahead with Shariah guidelines

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the central bank, is pressing ahead with developing a series of Shariah parameters that would provide a standard guidance on applying the respective Shariah contracts in Islamic finance.

In fact, BNM in December 2009 published its latest draft concept paper -- a Shariah Parameter Reference 3 (SPRC 3) -- on the Mudarabah contract. The paper has been sent to various market players in the Islamic finance industry for feedback. This follows the publishing in October 2009 of "Concept Paper -- Guidelines on Takaful Operational Framework" which outlines the parameters governing the operational processes of the Takaful business.

Strategic tie up between "Sharjah Islamic Bank" and "Noor Takaful"

Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) has signed an agreement with Noor Takaful according to which the Bank will offer Noor Takaful Motor Takaful Insurance to all SIB customers through its network of 23 branches. This strategic partnership will enable SIB customers to access Noor Takaful's motor insurance plans for their currently owned or newly purchased sedans and 4x4s at preferential rates and with minimum documentation.

QIIB lends a helping hand here

Qatar International Islamic (QIIB) Bank has made a donation to support the programmes of the Centre for Educational Perspectives, Qatar.

Khurshid backs Islamic banking concept of Kerala

The Centre has offered a helping hand to Kerala in revoking a stay order by the state high court against setting up of an Islamic bank.

Noting that the court order could hamper investment opportunities in the country, Union minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid said the Centre would coordinate with the state government in dealing with the issue legally.

The Kerala government cleared the project after a feasibility study found that Islamic bank was a viable proposition in Kerala. A company was also registered to take the process forward. The share capital of the proposed bank had been fixed at Rs 1,000 crore.

According to the Islamic banking concept, the bank will not pay any interest to customers. A Sharia board can decide what sort of investments the bank can make. The bank will also have Sharia-compliant banking products.

Profits made out of the investments will be distributed to shareholders.

Sharia banking grows strong in Indonesia

The people of West Java also showed their support by injecting Rp 106 billion into the bank. Although its business was not too bright in its early days, the bank recorded a profit of Rp 372.5 billion in the second quarter of 2009. The achievement of Bank Muamalat is proof of the great potential of sharia banking in Indonesia. Sharia banking is based on Islamic law.

Bank Indonesia data reveals there are currently five sharia banks operating in the country, namely Bank Syariah Mandiri, Bank Muamalat Indonesia, Bank Syariah Mega, Bank Syariah Bukopin and Bank Syariah BRI. Twenty-six other banks have sharia banking units, such as Bank Permata, Bank BNI, Bank CIMB-Niaga, Bank Danamon and BPD DKI.

The Acting Governor of Bank Indonesia said that banks based on Islamic law are predicted to enjoy further growth in 2010. Darmin added that sharia banks would continue to flourish due to the organic growth within existing banks and the establishment of new sharia banks and unit.

Is foreign investment the answer to Iraq's banking needs?

A muscular banking sector will make or break whether Iraq is to rebuild and prosper.

Iraq's financial architecture to support a growing, privatised economy is a bottom-up operation. The country remains a cash economy with a thriving black market. Private banks are thin on the ground, lending is sparse and there is no ingrained credit culture.

Local focus

In terms of commercial banking in the country, the landscape is principally local Iraqi banks and joint-venture banks. Products offered are in four main areas: remittances/cash transfers and some foreign exchange; trade finance; commercial lending; and securities and stockmarket trading. Activity in all of these areas is fairly limited.

Lending potential

Gassner's picture

Calling Islamic financial institutions to become member of the United Nations Finance Initiative

IslamicFinance.de is calling Islamic financial institutions to become member of the UNEP Finance Inititiave to learn and contribute to international best practice in ethical and faith based finance:

"UNEP FI is a global partnership between UNEP and the financial sector. Over 180 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance."

membership information package:
http://www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/forms/MembershipInformationPack.pdf

Bahrain-Based Gulf Finance House Lowered To 'B+' And Placed On CreditWatch Negative

Press Release

• The improvement in the liquidity position of Bahrain-based Islamic wholesale investment bank Gulf Finance House proved to be more limited, in our view, than we had previously expected.
• We consider the recent unexpected departure of the CEO and the end to talks about a joint venture with Macquarie to be additional challenges to revenue generation.
• We are lowering our long-term rating on GFH to 'B+' from 'BB+' and placing it on CreditWatch with negative implications.
• The negative implications reflect the uncertainties we see about the execution of GFH's measures to improve funding and liquidity.

PARIS (Standard & Poor's) Jan. 14, 2010--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long-term counterparty credit rating on Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House G.S.C. (GFH) to 'B+' from 'BB+' and affirmed its 'B' short-term rating. In addition, we placed both the long- and short-term ratings on CreditWatch with negative implications.

Dubai Islamic Bank says no deposit withdrawals -TV

Dubai Islamic Bank DISB.DU has not witnessed any significant withdrawals by despositors after news of Dubai World restructuring shook global markets, the lender's financial chief said on Tuesday.

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.

Moody's downgrades Tamweel to Baa3/P-3 from Baa1/P-2; negative outlook

Tamweel's short-term issuer rating was lowered to Baa3/P-3 from Baa1/P-2; negative outlook.

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.

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