#Malaysia’s state investment company 1MDB paid the coupon on its Islamic debt after missing two payments on other securities earlier. The company undertook the scheduled payment of 143.8 million ringgit ($34.9 million) on its 5 billion ringgit 5.75% notes due 2039. President Arul Kanda said 1MDB has ample liquidity to make interest payments and service its current debt obligations. 1MDB’s separate $1.75 billion of 5.99% notes due 2022, which are guaranteed by IPIC, rose 0.1 cent to 103.7.
The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) announced the sale of Bank Asya shares for June 24. The TMSF will sell 183.6 million of the total 360 million preference shares, pricing each share for TL 0.70 ($0.23). This represents 51% of the total preference shares, that is the controlling power of the bank. According to the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) the troubles in Bank Asya's financial structure, administration and operations pose risks to depositors as well as the security and stability of the financial system.
Malaysia's Bank Muamalat will set up a 1 bn ringgit ($243.4 mn) sukuk programme after redeeming 400 mn ringgit worth of subordinated sukuk on June 15. Bank Muamalat's new sukuk programme has loss-absorption features to meet Basel III criteria, qualifying as Tier 2 capital. In February, Bank Muamalat and Malaysia Building Society called off merger talks that would have created one of the country's largest standalone Islamic banks.
Bank Islam #Malaysia has denied rumours that its managing director Zukri Samat would be replaced. Chairperson Zamani Abdul Ghani said the board had decided to renew Zukri’s service contract. His re-appointment has also been approved by Bank Negara Malaysia. Zamani expressed hope that Bank Islam’s staff would continue to give their full support to Zukri.
Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), announced it has closed its investigations into 1MDB after the investment firm paid a fine for non-compliance with local financial regulations. The Finance Ministry insisted that there was no misappropriation but only administrative weakness in the firm. However, 1MDB will be barred from borrowing public funds. Malaysia’s Deputy Finance Minister, Johari Abdul Ghani, said 1MDB will be dissolved once it pays off its debts. The firm currently has debts totalling RM50 billion ($16 billion) as of January, as opposed to assets of RM53 billion.
Bangladesh Bank did not allow Al-Arafah Islami Bank to sell 10% of its shares to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The deal was originally signed in March to invest about Tk 155 crore to acquire a 10% stake in Al-Arafah. Al-Arafah was supposed to issue around 11 crore fresh shares worth Tk 10 each with a premium of Tk 4, in a bid to raise its capital. The board of Al-Arafah is divided over the issue of selling a 10% stake, particularly on the issue of giving veto power to IDB. The aggrieved group had also taken the issue to court opposing the veto power.
Ibdar Bank recently concluded its Annual General Meeting for the fiscal year 2015 and appointed a new Board of Directors. For fiscal year 2015, the Bank reported $14.5 million loss attributable to shareholders. Total revenue for 2015 was $25.6 million compared to $13.6 million for 2014 an increase of 88% over the last year. The improved operating performance in 2015 was overshadowed by impairment and negative fair value changes of $23.8 million. In addition, shareholders elected a new Board of Directors for a three year period. Mr. Tareq Sadeq was appointed as the Bank’s Chairman and Mr. Abdulkarim Ahmed Bucheery as Vice Chairman.
Authorities in #Switzerland and #Singapore took action against Swiss private bank BSI for failing to prevent money laundering and bribery related to its dealings with Malaysian development fund 1MDB. Switzerland's Attorney General opened criminal proceedings against the bank. The country's Financial Market Supervisory Authority ordered BSI to pay back 95 mn Swiss franks Swiss Bank Is Charged Over ($96 mn). Singapore’s central bank revoked BSI’s banking license there and fined it 13.3 mn Singapore dollars ($9.7 mn). The cross-border investigation related to 1MDB involves at least seven countries.
New bond issuance has swept the Gulf but there is still not enough volume to support the number of banks vying for the business. The number of banks hired to run deals in the Middle East is shooting up from the typical five or six arrangers. Qatar has hired 10 banks for an upcoming trade, DP World and Emirates Islamic Bank nine each while Noor Bank seven. For investors, having so many banks makes deals more cumbersome and potentially cuts into the allocation if each bank brings its own buyers.
Nazir Razak, the brother of Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by an independent investigation undertaken by CIMB Group. Nazir voluntarily took a leave of absence to allow an independent review to be carried out after it was revealed that he had transferred cash to the ruling coalition's politicians in the run-up to the Malaysian general elections in 2013. Although he admitted to transferring the money, Nazir insisted he did nothing illegal. Nazir has now resumed his role as CIMB Group chairman and CIMB Bank director.
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is planning to establish the Islamic Infrastructure Bank, which would be led by Indonesia and Turkey. Indonesia plans to spend US$300 mn on equity participation in the project. However, Turkey has committed to surpass Indonesia’s capital in a bid to bring the new bank’s headquarters to Ankara. Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla expressed his support for the Islamic Infrastructure Bank. The IDB has recently elected Bandar bin Mohammed bin Hamza Asaad Al Hajjar as its new president, following the retirement of Ahmad Mohamed Ali. Bandar will hold the position for a five-year term.
Fitch Ratings has affirmed EI Sukuk's updated $2.5 bn certificate issuance programme's 'A+' rating on the basis of the final programme documents received. The Outlook on the IDR is Stable. The rating on the current outstanding certificates is driven by Emirates NBD's (ENBD) Long-Term IDR of 'A+'/Stable. This is due to the Sukuk structure where ENBD, as the guarantor, provides a direct and unconditional guarantee of EI's Sukuk obligations under the transaction documents.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted Jaiz Bank national license to operate Islamic non-interest banking in all the states of the federation. Chairman of Jaiz Bank Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab said the bank intends to roll out in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in two or three months times. Alhaji Sa’ad Abubarkar III, the Sultan of all Muslims in Nigeria, congratulated and warned that Jaiz bank must conform with all rules and regulations of Islam.
Banks across the #GCC are resorting to job cuts and tighter recruitment policies to trim costs. The banking sector has come under pressure following decline in economic activity resulting from reduced oil revenues. According to industry estimates UAE banks have shed nearly 1,200 jobs from the second half of last year. RAKBank has announced a cut of up to 250 jobs, Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered have also reduced their headcount.
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will elect a new president next week in Jakarta, replacing long-serving president Ahmad Mohamed Ali. Saudi Arabia, the IDB's largest shareholder, has nominated Bandar Hajjar for the post. His candidacy was also endorsed by the outgoing IDB president. The new president will have big shoes to fill: Mr Ali tripled the bank's authorised capital to US$150 bn in 2013 and last year up-sized its sukuk issuance programme to US$25 bn.
#Bahrain-based First Energy Bank (FEB) appointed Khaleefa Butti Omair as the Bank's new chairman, following the recent departure of the Bank's former chairman, Khadem Al Qubaisi. Mr. Khaleefa is a national of the United Arab Emirates with over 13 years experience in investment management. He serves as Chairman and board member of several companies.
The head of the Savings and Deposits Insurance Fund said the deadline for the sale of Bank Asya is May 29. If a buyer cannot be found, the bank will be liquidated. The bank started reporting huge losses throughout 2015, while its shares were suspended from trading in Borsa Istanbul. Later it was taken over by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund. According to the audit report on Bank Asya the bank's shareholders signed blank transfer contracts and a large number of dubious transactions were carried out.
Turkey wants to set up a new Islamic megabank. Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said the prime shareholders would be Turkey's Treasury and the Islamic Development Bank. Simsek prepares for talks with Indonesia in Jakarta next week on proposals to start a Shariah-compliant megabank that will lend to companies and infrastructure projects. Indonesia and Malaysia have long tried separately to establish a Shariah-compliant lender but faced obstacles until now. Turkey is ready to commit more than $300 mn for the lender as capital.
Bank Negara is reviewing the changes needed for the adoption of financial technology, or fintech.
As Bank Governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said at the Global Islamic Finance Forum the bank wants to ensure that the regulatory framework remains appropriate to manage the risks, while encouraging productive innovation. Fintech has immense potential in Islamic finance. An estimated 10 to 40 % of overall banking revenues could be at risk by 2025 due to fintech innovations, according to a McKinsey research and CB Insights.
Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group will establish a banking unit in Morocco after receiving approval from local authorities. The bank said entry to the Morocco market would significantly help diversify assets and income sources for the group. In contrast with its peers in the Gulf, Al Baraka has built the bulk of its business outside of the region, including units in Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and South Africa.