UK

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.

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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.

UK’s only Shari’ah-compliant fund investing in Prime London Residential Property, to close shortly

London Central Portfolio (LCP) announces today that they will be closing their latest GBP 100 million quoted property fund on April 17th. London Central Apartments II (LCA II) is the only regulated vehicle exclusively targeting Prime Central London’s (PCL’s) Private Rented Sector. It will acquire one and two bedroom units as these are the most highly demanded and offer the highest returns. The properties will be renovated and interior designed to maximise capital uplift and rental returns. It is a five year fund, projecting an IRR of 12 per cent p.a. and shares are to be quoted on the Channel Islands Securities Exchange Authority.

Islamic bank names new marketing chief

Al Rayan Bank PLC, formerly known as Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), has announced the appointment of Tim Sinclair as senior head of marketing and retail sales at its Birmingham office. Sinclair has played a role in the realignment of the bank’s sales channels, towards a more direct model. This has been achieved by developing the bank’s online capabilities, resulting in a 439% growth in direct sales between 2011 and 2014. Sinclair has also championed several research projects, which have helped Al Rayan Bank to develop a clearer understanding of the British Muslim consumer and business marketplace, a previously under researched area.

Threadneedle Investments makes strategic investment in Gatehouse Bank

Gatehouse Bank has announced the addition of Threadneedle Investments as a shareholder in Gatehouse. Threadneedle, an international asset manager based in London with assets under management of $148.2 billion, has acquired a shareholding of approximately two per cent in Gatehouse. The addition of Threadneedle to its shareholder base enhances Gatehouse's ability to continue to deliver value-added opportunities for its clients. The bank has a long history of bridging capital from the GCC region and Southeast Asia with investment in Western markets.

Qatar Islamic Bank opens new London headquarters

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has announced the opening of its new headquarters in the United Kingdom for its subsidiary QIB -UK. The new five storey office is located at 43 Grosvenor Street in the Mayfair district. QIB -UK's focus is on supporting the investment and trade flows between Qatar and the UK. The firm offers real estate investment opportunities for clients looking to purchase premium properties in London. QIB -UK has assembled a team of real estate specialists to ensure clients are well placed to get premium real estate opportunities in the market. QIB -UK, was fully authorised as an Islamic Bank by the UK Financial Services Authority in January 2008, and is fully owned by Qatar Islamic Bank .

European Islamic Investment Bank Appoints Temporary Finance Director

European Islamic Investment Bank PLC Wednesday said it has appointed Neil McDougall as its interim finance director. According to the company, McDougall is a qualified accountant who has held senior board and management positions at financial institutions including Europe Arab Bank and Commerzbank. The company has continued the search for a finance director after the appointment of Michael Warren Kidd, the chief operating officer of its majority-owned Rasmala Investment Bank and head of Strategy and Principal Investment at EIIB, fell through back in July of 2014. European Islamic Investment Bank shares were down 3.9% at 161.00 pence on Wednesday.

Britain to lead the world in Islamic finance

London has set its sights on becoming the world centre for the Islamic finance industry according to the UK's foreign office minister for Middle East, Tobias Ellwood. Britain was also committed to promoting a "peaceful and prosperous" Middle East and expanding trade ties with the region, which topped £35bn last year, said Mr Ellwood. Mr Ellwood also celebrated notable sharia-compliant investments that have been used to fund some of the capital’s largest developments, including The Shard and the Olympic Village. The sovereign Sukuk market, which makes up only 0.1pc of global financial assets, is predicted to expand by 20pc a year.

Iranian bank sues UK government for $4 billion over sanctions

Iran's Bank Mellat is suing the British government for almost $4 billion in damages after the Supreme Court quashed sanctions imposed against it over alleged links to Tehran's nuclear programme. The lender wants compensation for the "significant pecuniary loss" and substantial reputational damage it sustained as a result of sanctions imposed in 2009, according to a claim filed in London's High Court. It claims the UK government also successfully lobbied other authorities to impose their own sanctions that ultimately caused and continue to cause the loss of profitable business, customers, banking relationships and dealing services.

Emirates hires banks for UK-guaranteed sukuk of up to $1 bln

Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, has hired banks to help it arrange a sukuk of up to $1 billion, as the airline seeks to raise cash to finance its pipeline of aircraft orders. The issue will be backed by UK Export Finance (UKEF). UKEF expected to guarantee an Islamic bond in 2015 issued by a customer of Airbus, Britain finance ministry said in October. The upcoming U.K.-backed Emirates deal could close by the end of the first quarter. The transaction is likely to be worth up to $1 billion, with the lifespan being between five and 10 years. Eight banks are arranging the transaction: HSBC, Citigroup, JP Morgan , National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Dubai Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD and Standard Chartered.

European Islamic Investment Bank Wins Approval Of Regulatory Change

UK regulators have accepted European Islamic Investment Bank's application to vary its regulatory permissions, meaning it is now an exempt capital adequacy directive (CAD) investment firm. Last September, European Islamic Investment Bank had concluded that the scope of its UK regulatory permissions was in excess of requirements, and began talks with regulators to "vary its regulatory permissions" to enable it to focus on its core strategy. At the time it anticipated that the move would involve giving up its deposit-taking licence. The European Islamic Investment Bank is regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.

North Africa: UK Partners With Islamic Development Bank On Arab Women's Business Initiative

The UK and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to help boost business opportunities and create jobs for thousands of women across the Middle East and North Africa. The Arab Women's Enterprise Fund will see the IDB and the Department for International Development working together to improve the competitiveness of women entrepreneurs in the Arab world. It will also address legal and cultural barriers that block women getting ahead in business. DFID will contribute £10 million to provide grants to help poor women access markets. IDB will match this with a further £10 million in Sharia-compliant Islamic finance.

Aston Martin to receive much needed cash for investment strategy

Aston Martin has plans to reveal an overhauled model lineup at the Geneva auto show in March. Investindustrial S.p.A., owner of 37.5 percent of Aston Martin’s shares since 2012, has now announced new cash investments into the automaker if needed, according to the private-equity firm’s chairman, Andrea Bonomi. He also added that Investindustrial has no intentions in selling the holding in the near future – disclosing that their investment needs to mature over a period of seven to 10 years. The automaker has other main shareholders such as Kuwaiti companies Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co. Daimler also acquired a five percent stake in the company.

British Muslim Awards 2015 finalists unveiled

The British Muslim Awards sponsored by the Al Rayan Bank, formerly known as Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), aim to recognise a wide range of achievements which cover various aspects of society including business, charity, sport, arts and culture and much more. This year the event took place at the Chateau Impney Hotel, Worcestershire on Tuesday, January 27. Several nominees for each of the categories had been announced prior to the event. Categories include Muslim in the Community, Arts & Cultural Awareness, Young Achiever of the Year, Charity of the Year, Responsible Media of the Year, Religious Advocate of the Year, Muslim Woman of the Year, Best at Sport, among others.

Gatehouse Bank appoints head of real estate investment

Gatehouse Bank has appointed David Swan in a newly-created role as head of real estate investment. Swan will lead the firm’s real estate investment department in the origination, management and realisation of real estate equity investments. Gatehouse currently advises funds with approximately £1bn assets in the UK and US. The business is focused on diversifying its investment capabilities and expanding the geographical footprint of its portfolio. Swan has more than two decades of experience in the real estate investment sector. Prior to Gatehouse, he founded Bridgeport Real Estate in 2012, a real estate company advising investors on a range of large scale off-market transactions.

New Sharia-compliant property deal offers additional security

Gatehouse Bank is marketing a new CMBS-style transaction backed by the rental cashflow from a Paris office property. The deal is backed by an acquisition facility of more than EUR100m, where the rental payments will be securitised through two classes of fixed-rate certificates. This new structure, labelled a commercial rental-backed security (CRBS) by Gatehouse, removes the uncertainty because the certificates are backed by the direct legal ownership of the building. The bank will look to attract typical CMBS buyers, which are increasingly seeking to access this asset class.

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