Financial Institutions

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.

Central Bank of Iran Supports Cooperatives Bank

Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI)Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Mahmoud Bahmani has promised to supply the initial capital for the establishment of Cooperatives Development Bank. Managing Director of Cooperatives Fund Mashallah Azimi told Mehr News Agency that the proposed bank would start operation this year.

International Bank Qatar launched a new branch Al Yusr Islamic banking

International Bank Qatar launched a new branch Al Yusr Islamic banking to offer consumer, personal finance and corporate anking.

Ambank enters Brunei market

Ambank Group entered the market of Brunei Darussalam with the opening of its subsidiary called AmCapital (B) Sdn Bhd. Ambank has regional expansion plans to bring its expertise in funds management, Islamic finance and investment advisory to the Sultanate, reported Amin Hosni in Brudirect.com

Brunei Darussalam welcomes Islamic finance players such as takaful and sukuk to promote the country as another Islamic financial centre.

Noor Islamic Bank keeps Rep Office in Tunis open

Noor Islamic Bank PJSC issued a statement saying that their Tunisian representative office is operational and that they continue to explore market opportunities in North Africa, while assessing regional market trends and having to readjust plans to reflect the reality of the slowdown.

The statement followed news announcing the closure of the rep office by some media.

RHB Bank opens Islamic unit in Singapore

RHB Banking Group is extending its Islamic banking services to Singapore reported Gabriel Chen on asiaone business.

First Islamic bank in France already in June?

Gilles Saint-Marc, a Paris based lawyer is cited that the first Islamic bank in France may start already in June 2009.

Malaysia to Seek Large Islamic Banks for International Reach

Malaysian Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said to Bloomberg, that an international Islamic financial institution of a large size that can take international business, whether business in Europe, or South Korea or any part of the world is wanted to be seen, reported Shanthy Nambiar and Haslinda Amin on Bloomberg.

Amlak Finance will halve its s take in a property investment

Amlak Finance will halve its investment in Sky Gardens, a tower located near the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Amlak had purchased properties in various parts of Dubai to sell them to potential purchasers. As buyers have become fewer, the company decided to scale back its investment.

Dubai Islamic Bank offers to buy back Sukuk up to USD 200 mn

Dubai Islamic Bank offered to buy back up to USD 200 mn of sukuk. Pricing shall be at least 86 % of face value, but not more than 90 % determined by an auction.

Dubai Islamic has USD 750 mn of sukuk due 2012.

Noor Islamic Bank closes Rep Office in Tunisia

Noor Islamic Bank closes its representative office in Tunis. The decision shall be taken as expansion plans have been revisited towards focussing on the Gulf region.

Addendum: Noor Islamic Bank denied the closure of the rep office in a press release.

New Islamic brokerage firm in Kazakhstan

Fattah Finance was launched in March, immediately after Kazakhstan's law on Islamic finance came into force.
A subsidiary of Almaty-based financial services provider Almaty Financial Centre, Fattah currently offers only brokerage services, but plans to expand its range of activities later this year as it grows its team. It offers its clients shares that are listed both in Kazakhstan and in other markets. "It doesn't matter where the shares are listed, only whether they are Sharia compliant or not," says Ussenzhan Turdiev, head of Fattah's information and analysis department.

The full interview by Clare Nuttal can be read via the link below.

Fitch has affirmed Al-Rajhi A+

Fitch Ratings affirmed Al-Rajhi's long-term issuer default rating (IDR) at "A+" with a stable outlook. Its short-term IDR at "F1", individual rating at "B/C" and support rating at '1'. The bank continues to dominate the Islamic market segment and retail banking, which has been historically its main focus. The bank's long-term IDR is unlikely to change unless the sovereign rating changes.

ABC International Bank plc ("ABCIB") has appointed Faisal Alshowaikh as Head of Islamic Financial Services

ABC International Bank plc ("ABCIB") has appointed Faisal Alshowaikh as Head of Islamic Financial Services, based in London, to grow and develop its Islamic finance business, which was first established in late 1999, and includes Real Estate, Leasing and Islamic home finance through its alburaq retail finance business

IDB unit funds PT Bank Negara Indonesia expansion to Asia

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, a unit of Islamic Development Bank plans to invest as much as USD 500 mn in PT Bank Negara Indonesia’s Shariah- compliant banking unit to help it expand in Asia, specifically Indonesia, Southern Thailand and Malaysia.

The nation’s Shariah-compliant banking assets rose 47 % to 48.4 trillion rupiah (USD 4.6 bn) at the end of 2008, according to Bank Indonesia data.

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