UK

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.

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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.

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