Financial Institutions

HSBC: Saudi Arabia needs 1m new houses in the next 5 years

Saudi Arabia needs 1 million new houses by 2014 to meet the needs of its growing population but house prices are seen falling in the short term due to the global credit crisis, HSBC said in a report. The bank forecast a 15 % decline in house prices and rents in the kingdom's capital Riyadh in 2009 due to credit shortage , with a slow recovery expected in 2010. The rapidly growing population means there are shortages in residential, commercial, retail and hospitality property in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah and the Eastern Province according to the report.

Dubai Islamic Bank purchases outstanding Sukuk through cash tender offer

Dubai Islamic Bank announced that it has purchased USD 50.6 mn from the partial cash tender offer to retire USD 200 mn of outstanding Sukuk. DIB purchased the certificates at 88 % of the face value.

Global to sell stake in Al Salam Bank

Global Investment House plans to sell a 14.1 % stake in Al-Salam Bank in a June 11 auction to reduce its holdings. The company expects 6.4 million dinar in profit.

Global said in January that it defaulted on most of its loan repayments.rg.net

Bahraini Saudi Bank takeover approved

Bahrain's Al Salam Bank has announced that Bahraini Saudi Bank's shareholders had accepted its takeover offer.

3 Indonesian banks to open Islamic units

Three national banks are in the process of opening Islamic units to respond to growing demand for sharia banking services, an official was cited in Antara: Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Panin and Bank Victoria.

New Islamic bank in Indonesia

Reuters reported on 18 March that Indonesia's third-largest lender, PT Bank Central Asia Tbk, is planning to launch an Islamic bank in September following its acquisition of a small bank last year, its vice president director said.

Islamic banking in Iraq

Islamic banks first opened in Iraq in the 1990s and seven of the country's 42 banks are now Islamic. The central bank studies a new law for Islamic banks, but there is no time line.

Bilad has about 7,000 account holders, whose deposits rose to about 358 billion Iraqi dinars ($306 million) by the end of 2008 compared to 58 billion dinars a year earlier. Its capital had quadrupled to 100 billion dinars since its foundation, and it expects to hit 200 billion dinars in 2010.

Regulatory constrains the growth of Islamic banks.

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.

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