Financial Institutions

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.

Islamic Bank of Britain launches mortgage product in Scotland

Jane Bradley reported in the Scotsman on 3 April that Islamic Bank of Britain is introducting its mortgage product to Scotland. It is understood the launch is just the beginning of a wider push into Scotland – which is likely to include the opening of a physical branch and back office operations as well as the introduction of online retail banking for Scottish customers.

Two Islamic banks in Kenya founded, but first year of operations not yet profitable

James Makau reported in Business Daily on 31 March that the Gulf African Bank and First Community Bank became the first fully fledged Islamic banks in Kenya but both had to record losses in their first year of operations as operating expenses and heavy set-up costs took a heavy toll on earnings.

Gulf African Bank recorded a loss of Sh281 million last year while First Community Bank (FCB) posted a loss of Sh307 million within the same period despite both players recording increases in net income during the year.

ADIB converts USD 599 mn to regulatory capital

Stanley Carvalho reported in Arabianbusiness on 29 March that Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank became the fourth Abu Dhabi bank to announce it has secured financing from the Ministry of Finance. ADIB secured AED 2.2 bn of government deposits and converted it into regulatory capital following similar moves by rivals in the credit crisis.

With the conversion into Tier 2 capital, ADIB's total equity increases to AED 11.02 bn and its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) will be 19.75 percent.

Tiras Mahmoud is CEO of ADIB.

AGM Al Baraka Group

Albaraka Banking Group B.S.C (ABG) held its Ordinary and Extra Ordinary General Meetings today in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. A cash dividend of USD 27.9 mn was decided, which represents 4 % of the issued capital further bonus shares were approved in an amount of USD 46.5 at the rate for one share for every 15.

After deducting all the expenses, the total net income amounted to USD 201 mn in 2008, reflecting an increase of 37.1 % over the income in 2007 after excluding the effect of the extraordinary profit arising from the IPO of the Group's unit in Turkey from the profits of 2007.

First Islamic Bank in Sri Lanka

The Amana Group was recently given a Letter of Provisional Approval by the Central Bank (CB) to establish a licensed commercial bank named Amana Bank Ltd., among the conditions is to raise a minimum capital requirement of Rs 2.5 bn.

Dubai Islamic Bank sets up JV in Jordan this year

Dubai Islamic Bank is set to implement this year its joint-venture with Jordan Dubai Capital and Dubai International Capital to invest in Industrial Development Bank and convert it to the Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank.

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