UK

LCI closes innovative Islamic finance facility

LCI Helicopters has closed an Islamic pre-delivery payment facility with Bank of London and the Middle East and Lloyds Bank. The facility will be used for Airbus H175s and H224es delivering over the next three years. LCI says it will be used to make pre-delivery payments on helicopters worth $250 million. The LCI deal relied on a master Murabaha facility with Lloyds also providing a conventional loan. Lloyds was mandated lead arranger for both facilities. BLME also closed a $25 million pre-delivery facility for LCI in December that financed AgustaWestland pre-delivery payments.

UK aims to lead in Islamic insurance

The UK should capitalise on the growing Takaful insurance market, or other countries will steal London's lead, said experts at an IUA briefing on Islamic insurance held at Lloyd's on Tuesday. The UK government wants London to become the western hub for Islamic finance, particularly commercial insurance, said Susan Dingwall, head of Islamic insurance and partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. The government's focus on commercial lines of insurance is big break from the past, said Dingwall, speaking at a briefing hosted by the International Underwriting Association (IUA) in London this morning.

MOVES-Gatehouse promotes Will Innes as vice president

London-based investment bank Gatehouse Bank Plc said on Monday it promoted Will Innes as vice president within its real estate investment team. He will work with Will Lowndes, vice president of real estate investment, and will be responsible for sourcing and originating real estate transactions across UK and continental Europe, Gatehouse said. Innes, who joined Gatehouse in January 2014, previously worked at Waypoint Capital where he was responsible for developing international private equity real estate platform.

Seera Invests in UK Dementia Care Housing Development

Bahrain-based Seera Investment Bank B.S.C. has announced the successful completion of a new transaction in the UK Dementia Care sector. The transaction comprises a Shari'a compliant equity investment in a dementia care focused housing development in London, United Kingdom. The development, the first of its kind, when completed will provide circa 115 housing units providing specialized care to dementia sufferers. The project will be developed over a 3 to 4 year period. The units are expected to be sold over the development period with distribution of substantially all the originally invested capital in the 4th year of investment together with a part of the profits. Upon completion of the development the project will then be held to benefit from the ongoing care revenues.

QIB-UK offers investment solution for London properties

QIB-UK is providing opportunities for customers interested to invest in the London real estate market starting with providing access to properties, both residential and commercial ones. A team of real estate specialists will ensure that customers, being continuously supported by QIB Private Banking Relationship Managers stationed in Doha, are able to achieve optimal return on their investments. Recently, QIB added Knight Frank, a global property adviser company established in London back in 1896 to its partners. Customers can now visit QIB’s website to find specific property listings, along with information on locations and prices. They can then submit an online request form indicating properties of their interest to be contacted by the QIB-UK real estate team.

Al Rayan Bank opens private banking branch in Knightsbridge

Al Rayan Bank PLC, formerly known as Islamic Bank of Britain, has officially opened its new private banking branch in Knightsbridge, London. The flagship branch adds to Al Rayan Bank’s existing network of five branches and three agencies throughout the country. It will provide high net worth individuals and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) clients with private banking services including real estate finance, day-to-day banking services and bespoke investment opportunities. In 2014 the bank’s operating income increased by 168 per cent, customer financing increased by 86 per cent and retail deposits increased by 59 per cent. The bank also transformed a £5.5 million loss in 2013 to an after tax profit of £1.2 million, the first time in its eleven year history that it has posted a profit.

QIB hires veteran head of treasury for London business

QIB (UK), the London arm of Qatar Islamic Bank, has hired an experienced banker as its head of treasury. Anthony Lee joins the bank in London having previously served as head of treasury and investments at Doha Bank in Qatar. At QIB (UK), Lee takes over leading the treasury effort from Haissam Saleh, who has been acting head since July last year.

Gatehouse acquires UK student accommodation property

London-based Gatehouse Bank plc has announced the acquisition of Fountainbridge, a student accommodation property located in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, from Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP UK Value fund for £20.0 million. The property is a modern, purpose-built student accommodation asset with a total of 331 bedrooms, centrally located to the University of Edinburgh, Herriot-Watt, Napier and Queen Margaret universities. The investment follows the firm's successful realisation of four investments comprising over 1,600 beds with a combined value in excess of £100 million, completed last year. The firm is currently considering other investments in the UK student accommodation sector.

Saudi British Bank plans capital-boosting sukuk sale - sources

Saudi British Bank (SABB) is planning to sell a riyal-denominated sukuk that will boost its capital reserves, with an announcement set to be made as early as next week. The issue will boost SABB's Tier 2, or supplementary, capital and will be arranged by HSBC's Saudi Arabian unit. The sukuk could be worth 1.5 billion riyals ($400 million) and will have a 10-year lifespan but a clause that will allow the bank to redeem the issue at the end of the fifth year. Riyad Bank announced plans to issue a 4 billion riyal bond to boost its capital base earlier this week. It will have the same 10-year, non-call five, structure that SABB is planning to offer.

Al Rayan Bank operating income jumps 168pc

Al Rayan Bank, formerly known as Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), yesterday announced its strongest financial performance to date, resulting in the Bank more than doubling its operating income and posting its first profit since its inception in 2004. The bank’s operating income increased 168 percent to £11.8m in 2014 from£4.4m in 2013. The bank saw 86 percent increase in total customer financing, to £450.3m. Retail deposits increased 59 percent to £509.8m and while wholesale deposits increased 53 percent to £31.7m. Increasing consumer confidence, the continued strength of the housing market and opportunities to provide property finance to the commercial sector as well as to investors in the Gulf has enabled Al Rayan Bank to post its best results to date.

Gatehouse Bank completes £17.92 million financing of UK industrial estate

Gatehouse Bank plc has announced the completion of terms to provide £17.92 million of senior financing following the recent acquisition of a UK industrial estate by Saudi Arabia's SEDCO Capital. Palmer Capital is acting as the Investment Manager to SEDCO Capital which through this venture intends to deploy £100 million into UK real estate over the next 12 months through this venture. This transaction is the first such transaction for this programme, which will target the recovering office and industrial real estate market in the UK. The funding supports the acquisition of Blakelands Industrial Estate, an industrial estate in Milton Keynes.

Sharia-compliant savings and bank accounts rocket in popularity across Britain

More savers than ever are turning to Islamic accounts in Great Britain. Tim Sinclair is head of marketing and retail sales at Al Rayan Bank, formerly known as the Islamic Bank of Britain. He says that business has taken off in the past 18 months. A large part of this growth was driven by non-Muslims. Mohammad Khan, head of Islamic finance at PwC, thinks that ethical concerns are one driver of interest in sharia-compliant products, but not the main reason. The competitiveness of the Shariah products is also an important incentive. For example, six of Al Rayan’s savings products are currently listed in the Moneyfacts “best buy” tables.

Shariah-compliant commercial products present 'sizable' opportunity for London

The opportunity presented by Islamic insurance products could help offset the London market's declining share of premium in developing markets according to Max Taylor, chairman of the Islamic Insurance Association of London. Taylor spoke at the IIAL's launch on 30 April at an event at Mansion House attended by Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow.

London-based EIIB transitions to asset management model

London-based European Islamic Investment Bank said on Tuesday it plans to close a proposed 20 million pound ($30.5 million) tender offer for its own shares in May as it transitions into an asset management business model. In February, the sharia-compliant firm said it had received regulatory approval to relinquish its banking licence and is now an investment firm regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. EIIB plans to invest $1 billion in a mix of property transactions over the next 24 months. It held $1.1 billion in assets under management as of December. The firm posted a pre-tax operating profit of $2.3 million in 2014 compared with $2.23 million profit a year earlier.

EIIB-Rasmala Announces Full Year 2014 Results

European Islamic Investment Bank plc ('EIIB-Rasmala'), the London-listed asset management and financing group focused on the growth markets of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has announced its full year financial results for the year ended 31 December 2014. The total operating income was US$16.4 million compared to US$15.4 million a year before. Profit before tax from continuing operations was US$2.3 million (2013: US$2.23 million). Total assets under management (AUM) stood at US$1.11 billion. EIIB-Rasmala expects to invest about US$1 billion in broad mix of property transactions and grow the leasing and alternatives business to over US$1.5 billion in the next 24 months.

Tadhamon Capital exits Central London student development at an IRR of over 25 per cent

Bahrain-based Tadhamon Capital BSC has announced its successful exit from Paris Gardens - its first investment in a Central London student accommodation property. The sale of the property saw investors of Tadhamon Capital achieve more than 70 per cent return on their invested capital within a 30 month period. Since completion in the summer of 2013, the property has generated a stable net income of 8 per cent to investors. The sale of the property generated an IRR in excess of 25 per cent. Simultaneously, Tadhamon Capital has entered into a JV agreement for the development of a new, high-quality student accommodation, located at the centre of Kingston-Upon-Thames (South London).

Sharia-compliant equine coverage launched at Lloyd's

XL Group P.L.C. and London-based managing general agency Cobalt Underwriting Services Ltd. have launched a Sharia-compliant equine coverage. The policy, which is sold through Lloyd's of London, covers named perils, mortality, theft, infertility and permanent disability. No further information on the policy limits or premiums was given.

Source: 

http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20150414/NEWS06/150419937/sharia-compliant-equine-coverage-launched-at-lloyds?tags=|76|83|302

Bahrain's GFH says to review London, Kuwait listings

Bahrain's Gulf Finance House will study the continuation of its equity listings in London and Kuwait. The investment firm is listed in four places, a potentially costly arrangement: Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are often the market's most heavily traded, Bahrain, Kuwait, and London in the form of global depository receipts. Moreover, shareholders approved reducing the firm's capital to $598 million from $1.49 billion to eliminate accumulated losses, and the company will change its name to GFH Financial Group. GFH did not give details of what its review would involve or say when it might be completed.

MOVES-Islamic bank BLME's CEO to resign effective June 11 - statement

Britain's Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) said on Sunday its chief executive Humphrey Percy would step down effective June 11. Percy, who has served as CEO since August 2006, will also step down as a board member of the bank, BLME said in a statement. No reason for his departure was given in the statement, which quoted him as looking forward to the new challenges. An announcement on his successor as chief executive of BLME will be made in due course, the statement added.

Gatehouse Bank and Threadneedle Investments to explore strategic investment opportunities

Gatehouse Bank plc ("Gatehouse") and Threadneedle Investments ("Threadneedle") have outlined their plans to explore the development of a range of diverse investment products aimed at the growing market segment of Islamic investors. This comes shortly after the announcement of Threadneedle's acquisition of a 2% strategic equity stake in Gatehouse. An important part of Threadneedle'sinvestment in Gatehouse is the desire of both parties to work together, sharing their respective global fund structuring knowledge and Shariah-compliant origination track record. This partnership recognises the growing potential for investment products targeting the Shariah-compliant financial sector.

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