Financial Institutions

Gatehouse Bank plc announces the establishment and first issue under the Milestone Sukuk platform

Gatehouse Bank plc has announced the establishment of a USD 1 bn Sukuk programme by Milestone Capital PCC ("Milestone"). Gatehouse Bank is the Arranger and Dealer of the Milestone programme as published in a press release via Zawya on 27 January.

The first Sukuk issue under the Milestone platform was successfully completed recently. The Milestone programme is listed on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange and certificates issued under the programme are entered into the Euroclear and Clearstream clearing systems, with BNP Paribas Securities Services acting as common depositary. Milestone Capital PCC is a Jersey based orphan Protected Cell Company, designed to allow the efficient creation of new, segregated, bankruptcy remote cells. Each cell has the ability to issue a diverse range of Sukuk certificates, which is proving very appealing for issuers and investors alike.

David Testa is the CEO of Gatehouse. Ashurst LLP is the legal advisor to Gatehouse Bank on the transaction.

Saudi banks suffer end of year losses

Joanna Hartley reported on 24 January that the Saudi banking sector has posted poor results for the last quarter of 2008 impacted by the global economic environment according to Fitch rating, saying that 2009 will be challenging. The preliminary 2008 results released by the 10 main commercial banks in the kingdom confirmed that the last quarter of 2008 was the worst quarter of the year for all. Despite this the 10 banks remain among the highest rated by Fitch Ratings across the GCC region and generally have sound domestic franchises.

The expectation of tougher conditions for the banks and lower profitability in the coming months resulted in most banks' individual ratings being downgraded in December 2008. Their long-term issuer default ratings largely remain driven by the extremely high probability of support from the Saudi Arabian government (rated 'AA-').

Bahrain Islamic Bank lowers profits marginally

Bahrain Islamic Bank announced on 21 January that its financial results for the year 2008, decreased to BD 22.3 mn net income from BD 25 mn for the year 2007, after making provisions against contingences that may arise in case the current international financial and economic crisis continues further.

The board of Directors has decided to propose to the Bank's AGM the distribution of 20% of dividends of paid up capital as of 31st December 2008 as 10% cash and another 10% bonus shares.

Largest Islamic bank to be launced by June

Liau Y-Sing reported on 23 January that the largest Islamic bank is announced to be launched in June operating out of Bahrain with a paid up capital of USD 11 bn; the Islamic Development Bank being the largest shareholder according to Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, chairman of the General Council of Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions. The bank, which has yet to be formally named, has been in the pipeline for several years and is currently undergoing final review by IDB on its capital input. While a total of $1 billion will be raised by private investors, including IDB, the other $10 billion is expected to come from an IPO on the Bahrain stock exchange, Sheikh Saleh Abdulla Kamel is cited.

Bank Al Jazira plans SAR 150 mn dividend

Bank Al Jazira`s Board plans a SAR 150 million or SAR 0.5 a share, cash dividend payout for 2008.

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Dar eyes UK Islamic banking unit

Arabian Business reported on 28 April that Investment Dar its proposed British bank unit 'Dar Capital' might start with capital of up to GBP 100 mn. A project study should be finished by year-end.

Chairman of Investment Dar is Adnan Al-Musallam.

Source: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/517695-dar-eyes-uk-bank-with-up-to-100-ml...

Gatehouse Bank licensed as 5th Islamic investment bank in London

Gatehouse Bank, a subsidiary of the Kuwait-based investment firm The Securities House KSCC, has been approved as an investment bank by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and can now offer Shariah-compliant products.

David Testa is chief executive at Gatehouse.

Source: http://www.ukinvest.gov.uk/OurWorld/4029877/en-GB.html

Gulf Islamic banks continue to outperform conventional peers

Darren Stubing reported on 27 April Gulf Islamic banks continue to grow at a strong pace in excess of conventional banks in the GCC countries.

Islamic financial institutions exceed the return on assets of their peers in the Gulf (3.6 % vs. 2.4 %) and the return on equity (24 % vs. 19 %), net profit grew 11 % compared to 5 %.

Banks with retail banking proved stronger and more conventional banks consider converting to Islamic bank status, such as the Commercial Bank in Kuwait, however, Islamic banks do required better economies of scale to drive down cost-income ratios, which can be achieved by cross-border expansion including M&A.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/articles/2008/4/pages/04272008_70eea8abe8c54a...

JP Morgan eyes stake in Kuwait Finance House

Reuters reported on 20 April that JP Morgan eyes a stake in Kuwait Finance House quoting a local daily al-Anba based on an unsourced report. The local paper shall have said that the U.S. bank had applied to the central bank of Kuwait to approve a stake buy, adding it was unclear how large a stake it wanted to acquire.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/innovationNews/idUSL2066795520080420

Sharia compliant Ajman Bank holds founding general assembly meeting

Albawaba reported on 20 April that Ajman Bank PJSC it had held its Founding General Assembly meeting for shareholders of the company.
Convened on Wednesday 16 April, the shareholders approved all of the meeting’s resolutions including the completion of the incorporation of the Bank; the adoption of the Bank’s Memorandum and Articles of Association; the Founders’ report and the Pre IPO Auditing report.

Ajman Bank will be Ajman’s first commercial bank. Investors include the Government of Ajman and some of the UAE’s leading financial institutions and private individuals.

The Board of Directors comprises:

HH Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Vice Chairman
HH Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member
Dr Ali Rashid Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Member
Mr Ali bin Abdullah Al Hamrani, Member
Mr Yousef Ali Fadil Bin Fadil, Member
Mr Salem Rashid Al Khadar, Member

The Fatwa and Shariah Board comprises:

Dr Husain Hamid Hassan, Sheikh Mohammed Abdulrazaq Al Siddiq,
Dr Jassim Ali Al Shamsi

Yousif Khalaf, the CEO of Ajman Bank and former CEO of Bahrain Islamic Bank and Ithmaar Bank.

Dubai Islamic Bank and DIC in talks to open bank in Jordan

Business 24/7 reported on 16 April that Dubai International Capital (DIC) talks with Dubai Islamic Bank about setting up a Shariah-compliant Islamic bank in Jordan.

Sameer Al Ansari heads Dubai International Capital. DIC manages a $500 million (Dh1.8 billion) fund investing in Jordan.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

Alinma's USD 2.8 bn IPO oversubscribed

Tradearabia reported on 15 April that the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the new Islamic bank, Alinma, oversubscribed the SAR 10.5 bn (USD 2.8 bn) three days before the close of subscriptions.

Alinma Bank sought to sell 1.05 billion shares at 10 riyals each representing 70 % of the banks capital. The bank raised 10.64 billion riyals from about 5.4 million subscribers.

The Public Investment Fund and two state pension funds - the General Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI) and the Public Pension Agency - will equally share the remaining 30 % of Alinma's SAR 15 bn capital.

Source: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/CM_141803.html

Moody's assigns first-time IFSR of Aa3 to ICIEC

Moody's released on 14 April that Moody's assigns first-time IFSR of Aa3 to ICIEC with stable outlook stable outlook.

The Corporation was established in 1994 at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. ICIEC provides export credit insurance and re-insurance for exports emanating from its member countries, to anywhere in the world, to cover the non-payment of export receivables resulting from commercial or non commercial risks.

ICIEC is a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB, rated Aaa by Moody's), which holds 51% of ICIEC's issued shares through its waqf fund, a special fund established by IDB.

Moody's notes that ICIEC's rating reflects both the stand-alone fundamentals as well as potential support from its shareholders/IDB Group member countries.

Source: http://www.ameinfo.com/153294.html

Bank of London and the Middle East appoints Senior Advisor

Bank of London and the Middle East released on 14 April the appointment of Mahmoud Faruqui as Senior Advisor.

Having been involved in the Islamic finance industry for over 30 years, Mahmood has extensive experience in advising banks on Strategy, Governance and Sharia'a aspects of product structuring and documentation.

Mahmood has previously worked as Board Member/Advisor of Habib Bank, Alfaysal Investment bank, Faysal Bank, Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain, Dar-Al-Maal Islami (DMI) Geneva, and Habib Bank AG Zurich.

As a founder member and secretary at the Pakistan Banking Council, he played a key role in negotiating and obtaining authorised bank status for five Pakistani banks from the Bank of England.

Humphrey Percy is CEO of BLME.

Source: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/index.php?option=com_pressreleases&view=d...

Kuwait Finance House re-arrange investments in Bahrain

Kuwait Finance House aims to re-arrange Bahraini investments according to a report by Ulf Laessing on Reuters on 11 April, citing Al Watan newspaper. KFH shall attempt to invest USD 1.5 bn in Real Estate Investment in Bahrain.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssFinancialServicesAndRealEstateNews/id...

IIFM aims to finalise Master Murabaha Agreement

Talal Malik reported on 7 April 2008 that the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) said to finalise soon the standardisation for a Master Murabaha Agreement called Master Agreement for Treasury Placement (MATP). The Agreements are under final review by Sharia scholars.

Khalid Hamad is chairman of IIFM.

Source: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/515834-bahrains-iifm-drawing-up-islamic-f...

Korea considers easing Islamic finance

Yoon Ja-young reported on 7 April that Korea regulators plan to revise laws to support banks to reach out to the markets of Islamic countries.
The Financial Services Commission (FSC) plans to revise laws through a revision this year. FSC Chairman Jun Kwang-woo sees bankers requests in this regard very positive. Steps should include opportunities for Sukuk.

Source: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2008/04/123_22065.html

Millennium Finance Corporation announces UGB as new shareholder

Al Bawaba reported on 30 March on the new share holder of Millenium Finance Corporation (MFC), which is United Gulf Bank BSC (UGB).

MFC, a Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) licensed investment bank, was established by an experienced team of bankers from major international investment banking firms, in partnership with DIB. UGB is the investment banking arm of the KIPCO Group, Kuwait.

Khaled Al Kamda is Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Islamic Bank, Masaud Hayat, Managing Director of UGB, Keba Keinde, Chief Executive Officer of MFC, and William Khouri, Chief Executive Officer of UGB all signed off the transaction.

Source: http://www.albawaba.com/en/countries/UAE/224596

Inma Bank eyes SAR 10.5 bn in biggest Saudi IPO

Trade Arabia reported on 5 April based on Reuters that Inma Bank plans SAR 10.5 bn (USD 2.8 bn) in biggest Saudi Initial Public Offering (IPO) from April 7 to 16 selling 1.05 billion shares representing 70 % of the bank's capital SAR 15 bn capital. The Public Investment Fund, General Organisation for Social Insurance (Gosi) and the Public Pension Agency will each hold 10 %.

The IPO was previously delayed. Start of operations of the new Islamic bank is planned for the second half of 2008 with 15 branches.

The CEO is Abdel-Mohsen al-Faris. Lead Manager is Samba Capital.

Source: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/BANK_141332.html

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