Financial Institutions

Moody’s upgrades #ratings of Masraf Al Rayan

Moody’s has upgraded Masraf Al Rayan’s long term issuer ratings to A1 from A2. Counterparty Risk Assessment is changed to Aa3 from A1. The outlook on the long-term ratings has changed to stable from positive. The upgrade of Masraf Al Rayan’s ratings reflects continued business diversification as a result of growth and profitability of the UK subsidiary. Moody's expects these diversification trends to continue as the bank’s UK subsidiary grows further. The rating agency also expects that Masraf Al Rayan will maintain strong capital ratios, as healthy internal capital generation supports the needs of future asset growth.

Emirates NBD's Islamic arm cuts over 100 jobs - sources

Emirates Islamic, the sharia-compliant arm of Dubai's largest bank Emirates NBD (ENBD), has laid off more than 100 people to adjust to a cooler economy. Growth in much of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has slowed this year because of low oil prices. Earlier this year, Emirates Islamic cut around 200 jobs. Most of the latest jobs to go were in the department servicing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Chief Executive Shayne Nelson said the bank continued to focus on cost control. The bank had already made cuts in April when it made around 100 people redundant from its subsidiary Emirates Money to save costs. National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah said in January it would cut up to 250 jobs, while Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank and the UAE operations of HSBC have reduced their headcounts since late 2015.

Sharjah Islamic Bank plans benchmark dollar #sukuk issue

Sharjah Islamic Bank will begin investor meetings on Aug. 29 for a potential benchmark U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk issue. The meetings will be held in Asia and Europe and the issue would be subject to market conditions. Bank ABC, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, HSBC, KFH Capital, Maybank, Noor Bank, QNB Capital and Standard Chartered will arrange the meetings.

Islamic Development Bank opens Nigeria office

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group formally opened its Nigeria Country Gateway Office in Abuja. The new office has the mission to focus its services on health, agriculture, infrastructure, small and medium-scale enterprise and regional integration. IDB President Ahmad Ali said the group’s presence in Nigeria would strengthen socio-economic, technical and commercial cooperation between the bank and member countries in Africa. He added that this was important with the completion of the last portion of Trans Saharan Road linking Algiers in North Africa and Lagos. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun urged the IDB to support Nigeria’s effort to reconstruct the North East part of Nigeria devastated by years of militancy by insurgent group, Boko Haram.

Bosna Bank International H1 net profit more than doubles

Bosna Bank International announced its first-half net profit jumped to 3.2 million marka ($1.8 million/1.6 million euro) from 1.4 million marka in the same period last year. The lender's net interest income increased 31.5% to 10.9 million marka through June, while net fee and commission income rose 12.9% to 5.1 million marka. The bank's total assets stood at 768.7 million marka at the end of June.

IDB offers to increase support for Jaiz Bank

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has promised to continue its support for Jaiz Bank Nigeria given that that Jaiz bank now has a national licence. IDB president Ahmad Mohamed Ali assured officials that IDB as an institution will continue to assist the Jaiz Bank. Chairman of the Jaiz Bank, Alhaji Umar Mutallab said with Jaiz bank’s newly acquired national licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the bank will soon start rolling out services nationwide. IDB is a shareholder in the Jaiz bank.

Al Baraka Bank completes due diligence of Burj Bank

Al Baraka Bank has finished due diligence for the proposed merger of Burj Bank. Abid Qamar, chief spokesman at the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), said Al Baraka was given permission for due diligence of Burj Bank and they have completed the process. Summit Bank and Bank of Khyber were also interested in Burj Bank, but they did not carry out any due diligence process. The deal is expected to be completed within next three months, but the complete integration of both entities would take six to eight months. The potential deal would be a part of the significant efforts, currently being made by the SBP, to fix the problem of the small banks that fell below the minimum capital adequacy ratio requirement and minimum paid-up capital requirement.

Al Hilal Bank’s new CIO looks to collaborate with #fintechs

Al Hilal Bank's new CIO Gopi Krishnan is calling on fintech CEOs to get in touch and collaborate. Krishnan moves from another regional bank, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), where he was CIO since 2012. Prior to that, he was with BankMuscat International as programme director in charge of transformation, enterprise project management office and group integration. Al Hilal Bank offers Islamic banking services in the retail, corporate, wholesale, treasury and investment segments. Its core operations are underpinned by the T24 banking platform supplied by Temenos.

#Bahrain's GFH says may buy control of Bank Al Khair

Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank GFH Financial Group (GFH) has signed a memorandum of understanding to buy a majority stake in Bank Al Khair. Founded in 2004, Bank Al Khair is an Islamic bank with total assets of $580.5 million as of March 2016. The deal is subject to approval by the boards of directors and shareholders of the banks, as well as completion of due diligence and regulatory approvals.

NDIC tasks Jaiz Bank on corporate governance

#Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has challenged the management of Jaiz Bank to strengthen its corporate governance to face the current economic challenges of the country. Umaru Ibrahim, managing director of NDIC, gave the advice to the newly appointed managing director of Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman. Ibrahim advised the bank to step up its public enlightenment efforts in order to increase deposits' mobilisation. He also noted the bank's challenges in investing its excess liquidity due to the absence of Sharia compliant investment windows. He noted that while a lot of countries had tapped into the Sukuk investment window, Nigeria was still lagging behind in this respect.

RHB Bank, Bank Mandiri plan Islamic funds

The race to tap an US$11.5 trillion pool of wealth held by Muslim individuals, institutions and governments is intensifying. The asset management units of Malaysia's RHB Bank and Indonesia's PT Bank Mandiri plan new Islamic funds. RHB Group Asset, which oversees 54 billion ringgit ($13.5 billion), will offer new Islamic funds in Malaysia and may make some of them available in Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and the Middle East. The Indonesian Mandiri Manajemen’s plan for more Shariah investment vehicles comes after the company’s global Islamic stock fund drew $10 million from institutional investors when it was set up on Aug. 4. According to Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre, the global Islamic asset management industry is forecast to grow to $77 billion by 2019 from $58 billion at the end of 2015.

Al-Baraka Bank ready to purchase Burj Bank; final approval on Aug 22

The AL-Baraka Bank Pakistan (ABPL) has decided to purchase the Burj Bank Pakistan. The ABPL bank will purchase the Burj Bank through swap Ratio of 1 share of ABPL for every 1.7 shares of Burj Bank for shareholders of Burj Bank, while its face value will be Rs 10 each in the ABPL for every 1.7 shares of Burj Bank. The ABPL will finalise this merger on August 22. In April this year, the ABPL was allowed due-diligence of the Burj Bank for the amalgamation of two of the smaller entities in Pakistan’s banking industry. The two banks deal in Islamic products only.

IIRA reaffirms ratings of Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank: August 2016

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has reaffirmed the ratings of Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank (KTPB) at "AA(tr)/A1+(tr)" on the national scale. Ratings on the international scale have also been reaffirmed, with foreign currency rating at "BBB-/A3" and the local currency rating at "BBB/A3". Outlook on the assigned ratings is "Stable". Ratings of KTPB are underpinned by its strong institutional ownership, which is led by Kuwait Finance House. The impact of regional instability on Turkey’s banking industry has been manageable so far. However, the industry may face challenges in the coming periods.

Kuveyt Türk closes H1 2016 with a profit of TRY 256 million

Kuveyt Türk Katilim Bankasi has closed the first half of 2016 with a net profit of TRY 256 million with an increase by 24.4% compared to the same period last year. The bank's total assets have reached 44,1 billion increasing by 4.9% and its shareholders equity has reached TRY 3.7 billion increasing by 8%. Ufuk Uyan, the CEO of Kuveyt Türk, said the bank added 30 new branch offices to its network throughout 2016. Kuveyt Türk aims at becoming one of the top three banks opening the highest number of branch offices in the banking sector.

Al Baraka Banking Group Increase its Total Operating Income by 7% to US$ 538 million and Total Assets Reach US$ 25 billion in the First Half of 2016

The #Bahrain based Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) announced that it achieved an increase in total operating income of 7% and net profits before tax and provisions by 4% during the first half of 2016. Total assets increased by 2%, total finance and investments by 4%, deposits by 1% while total equity increased by 2% as at the end of June 2016. Total operating income reached US$ 538 million in the first half of 2016 compared to US$ 502 million during the same period of 2015. Al Baraka's CEO Adnan Ahmed Yousif said the Group opened 24 new branches in the first half of 2016 to bring total branches to 611. He considers the entry of the Group to Morocco market a very important achievement, because it represents one of the main markets in the Arab Maghreb and Africa. Also, it means a higher diversification in assets and income sources for the Group.

Moody's: IsDB's strong shareholder support and capital base support its credit profile

According to Moody's latest report, the Islamic Development Bank's (IsDB) credit profile is supported by its strong shareholder support, robust capital base and prudent financial and risk management policies. While facing a risky operating environment due to geopolitical tensions in the MENA region and lower oil prices, the IsDB's operational assets continue to perform well. The bank's gross operational assets have been steadily growing over time and rose 11.7% year-on-year in 1436H, but the pace of that growth will likely slow in the next few years. The overall credit quality of the bank's portfolio is solid, well diversified in different countries and sectors. Its liquidity is solid, with liquid assets making up 23.6% of total assets.

Bank Mandiri to Meet Capital Requirement to Open a Full Branch in #Malaysia

Bank Mandiri, Indonesia's biggest bank by assets, is set to meet the 300 million ringgit ($74 million) capital requirement to operate as a full banking branch in Malaysia. Financial authorities from Indonesia and Malaysia signed a bilateral agreement allowing greater access for lenders from both countries to fully operate in the respective jurisdictions. Bank Mandiri will open several new offices and a string of ATMs in the country, though it will not specifically target the retail banking market in Malaysia. Mandiri had already opened one subsidiary in Malaysia called Mandiri International Remittance whose service is limited to sending money to and from Indonesia. When it has a full branch in Malaysia, it will also be able to offer credit services.

Lidasan: Strengthen Al Amanah Islamic Investment Bank

President of the #Philippines Rody Duterte announced the need to help the people of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (AAIIBP) is the only bank authorized to conduct Islamic Banking business in the country. The AAIIBP total Assets for the month of July 2016 is P785.66 million, a decrease from previous month’s total assets of P795.05 million. In comparison to the same period last year, there is an increase of P6.58 million in total assets largely due to higher deposit levels in 2016. According to lawyer Arifa Ala, there is a significant untapped market opportunity for banks in the Philippines, because only about 30% of Filipino adults have deposit accounts at a financial institution.

QR1bn #sukuk supports QIIB’s 'interim and strategic' plans

QIIB announced the issuance of a QR1bn sukuk within the first tranche of the bank’s capital boost through a local issue. The new sukuk issuance supports the bank's equity and meets Basel 3 requirements and enhances its plans for expansion. With the new issue the bank’s capital adequacy will increase to about 20%, well above the Qatar Central Bank requirements set at 12.5%. Moody’s has affirmed the Bank’s rating this year at A2, Fitch Ratings at A+ and Capital Intelligence at A- with a positive outlook.

#Bahrain's GFH repays $45 million in syndicated debt

Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank GFH Financial Group has repaid $45 million worth of debt, bringing its total syndicated liabilities down to $105 million. This is the latest effort by GFH to deleverage, having held liabilities of over $1 billion back in 2008. In June GFH planned to raise $150 million via sukuk to repay outstanding debts and use surplus cash for future investments. Together with Abu Dhabi Financial Group, GFH is working to establish an Islamic financial institution in Abu Dhabi's financial free zone with authorised capital of $100 million.

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