Malaysia

Bank Muamalat signs #corporate integrity pledge with MACC

Bank Muamalat CEO Datuk Mohd Redza Shah Abdul Wahid and MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali signed the Corporate Integrity Pledge of Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Bank Muamalat chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abd Majid. The signing of the pledge signifies Bank Muamalat's declaration against corrupt practices and its resolve to work towards a highly principled business environment.

Malaysia's microtakaful expands to rural areas

#islamicfinance - #Malaysia’s #takaful industry is set to double its growth rate this year as companies focus on selling cheaper policies in rural areas, according to the Malaysian Takaful Association. The number of policies will rise 10 % to 5.05 mn in 2016, compared with 4.3 % growth in 2015 and a 1 % estimated expansion of non-Islamic business, Ahmad Rizlan Azman, chairman of the Association, said.

Zurich Insurance moves into takaful with Malaysia buy

Zurich Insurance is set to take full ownership of Malaysia's MAA Takaful after the deal received regulatory approval, giving Europe's fifth-biggest insurer a foothold in the world's second largest Islamic insurance market. MAA Group said it had received central bank approval for the sale, a deal which was first proposed in November of last year. No size for the transaction was given. MAA Takaful held 1.2 billion ringgit ($306.7 million) worth of assets as of June 2015, a 5 percent increase from a year earlier.

Malaysia’s 1MDB Defaults on Series of Bonds

Malaysian government investment fund 1Malaysia Development defaulted on a series of bonds on Tuesday, weighing on the country’s stock and currency markets and raising concerns that the government may eventually have to spend billions to bail out the fund. The cross default triggered by non-payment, the continuing stand-off with IPIC and a widening investigation across at least six countries into possible corruption and money-laundering connected to the fund are starting to affect the markets.

Islamic finance innovators called to Kuala Lumpur for fintech challenge

The upcoming Global Islamic Finance Forum 2016 to be held in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur from May 10 to 12 will see a special competition for financial technology, the Asean Fintech Challenge. Organised by credit card company Visa and the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia, the challenge aims at bringing the most innovative fintech startups to compete. Here the teams have the opportunity to present their ideas to over 500 Islamic finance delegates from all over the world.

Bank Muamalat ventures into new IAP platform

Malaysian transportation provider Perak Transit aims to raise RM10mil in the form of a RM10mil term financing facility for three years via the investment account platform (IAP). Bank Muamalat is acting as the investment manager for the exercise, where the RM10mil is expected to generate a return of 6.5% per annum to investors. Investors can register at iaplatform.com to place their investments in Perak Transit, which starts at a minimum of RM10,000.

1MDB Admits In Default, Welcomes Dialogue With All Bond And Sukuk Holders

1MDB has confirmed the default in IPIC guaranteed bonds but assured that there are no cross defaults on the bonds guaranteed by the Malaysian government. 1MDB explained the limited default from the non-payment of USD50.3 million interest on the Langat Notes is due to non-payment by International Petroleum Investment Company and reassured investors of the company's intention to meet its financial obligations.

Hong Leong MSIG Takaful CEO Quits

Wan Mohd Fadzlullah Wan Abdullah, CEO of Hong Leong MSIG Takaful (HLMT), a joint venture between Hong Leong Financial Group Malaysia and Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance has resigned from the Islamic insurer. According to reports, Fauzi’s exit could have something to do with a dispute over HLMT’s future strategic directions with HLA Holdings, which is part of Hong Leong Financial Group Malaysia and owns a 65% stake in HLMT.

RHB Islamic Asian Megatrend Fund launched

RHB Islamic International Asset Management (IIAM) has launched the RHB Islamic Asian Megatrend Fund, leveraging on the growth potential of Asian markets. According to RHB Group Asset Management managing director Eliza Ong the total assets under the fund stand at RM127 million. The fund is looking at a return of between eight and 12 per cent per annum over the next three to five years.

INCEIF takes islamic finance education to a global level

Daud Vicary Abdullah, President of the International Centre for Islamic Finance discusses the role of education and specifically higher education programs in Islamic finance. Islamic finance has been growing to where it is today because it has used conventional tactics or conventional instruments. Now there is a big opportunity to use new risk-sharing instruments. The idea is that people get education early and see this not as a religious threat but as a set of options about which they can make realistic choices.

13th Islamic Financial Stability Forum on Consumer Protection in Islamic Finance

The 13th Islamic Financial Stability Forum (IFSF) was successfully organised by the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) on 12 April 2016 and was held in Cairo, Egypt on 10-12 April 2016, hosted by the Central Bank of Egypt. The theme of Forum was Consumer Protection in Islamic Finance, and the main presentation was by Professor Volker Nienhaus, the Former President of Marburg University. He stated that while most of the issues in consumer protection cover both conventional and Islamic segments of the financial system, there are some risks pertinent to Islamic finance sector, such as Shariah non-compliance risk.

Sukuk takes record share in Q1

According to Fitch Ratings the total new Sukuk issuance (with a maturity of more than 18 months) in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Singapore and Pakistan was around US$11.1 billion (RM42.9 billion) in the first quarter of 2016. Fitch said that Sukuk issuance was up 22% from Q4’15 and 21% from a year earlier, while non-Sukuk bond issuance of US$17.1 billion was down 23% quarter-on-quarter and 45% year-on-year. Sukuk represented 39.3% of total bond and Sukuk issuance in these countries during the quarter – the highest proportion in the past eight years.

Overwhelming response to sukuk

The Malaysian government, via special purpose entity Malaysia Sukuk Global Bhd, has successfully priced the 10-year and 30-year benchmark sukuk papers at 3.18 and 4.08 per cent. The new sukuk format uses non-physical assets to underpin the agency-based transaction wakala, instead of the traditional use of physical assets. Finance Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said Malaysia has strengthened its position as a top investment destination.

Malaysia launches US$1.5bn dual-tranche sukuk

According to a deal lead Malaysia has launched a US$1.5bn dual-tranche sukuk. The transaction is split between a US$1bn 10-year tranche that has a profit rate of 135bp over Treasuries and a US$500m 30-year tranche at 145bp over Treasuries. Guidance of 150bp area over Treasuries and 165bp area over was released earlier on Wednesday. The transaction is conducted by CIMB, HSBC, JP Morgan and Maybank.

1MDB gatecrashes party for new Malaysian sukuk

The Federation of Malaysia returned to the international bond markets on Wednesday with a $1.5 billion wakala sukuk. However, this success is overshadowed by 1MDB's $11 billion debt after one of its guarantors failed to make a $50 million interest payment on a $1.75 billion note that matures in 2022. It has now entered a grace period, which ends on April 25.

Malaysian Pension Fund to Start $26 Billion Islamic Saving Plan

CEO Shahril Ridza Ridzuan announced that the Employees Provident Fund aims to open the Shariah-compliant plan in January 2017 and is targeting an initial size of as much as 100 billion ringgit ($26 billion). There’s strong demand and 1.5 million of its 6.7 million members should switch in the first year. EPF has a minimum guaranteed annual payout of 2.5 percent. The Islamic fund won’t have a minimum dividend as they can’t be guaranteed under Koranic rules.

Takaful’s family unit chalks up rapid contribution growth

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd (STM)’s first financial quarter ended March 31, 2016 (1QFY16) net profit was in line with their expectations, accounting for 24% of the full-year forecast. The positive takeaway from the 1QFY16 results was a swift expansion of 14.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) in gross earned contributions (GEC) to RM426.8 million. This emanated primarily from its family takaful unit, which chalked up a growth of 21.8% y-o-y in its 1QFY16 GEC (mainly from mortgage-related products).

Malaysia's Global Sukuk Seen Paying Premium Over Existing Debt

Malaysia may price its 10- and 30-year global Islamic bonds at 150 and 165 basis points over U.S. Treasuries. The data compiled by Bloomberg show that Malaysia’s existing sukuk maturing in 2025 yield 3.05 percent, while securities due in 2045 are paying 3.96 percent. According to Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment 1MDB and Malaysia’s finance ministry are in credit-default, but the state firm’s President Arul Kanda said the company is in dispute with IPIC and he sees an amicable resolution.

Malaysia 1MDB Update: Bank Negara Malaysia Warned Government In 2014 About State Investment Fund’s Growing Debts

1MDB issued a statement Monday saying Abu Dhabi state-run fund International Petroleum Investment Corp. has failed to pay interest on $1.7 billion on the Malaysian fund's 2022 bonds. The Malaysian government was cautioned about risks associated with the debt-ridden fund in 2014. The state investment fund set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been burdened with debt of over $12 million over the years and has been accused of mismanagement while facing corruption allegations. Apart from Malaysia, the 1MDB investigation is also underway in the United States, Luxembourg, Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi.

Nazir takes leave of absence saying ‘Reputation of the bank my priority’

Chairman of CIMB Group Holdings, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, is taking leave of absence to facilitate the review of the bank’s anti-money laundering processes. Earlier this month, Nazir was identified as one of the persons whom his brother, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, had assigned the task of disbursing US$7mil (RM27.2mil) in the run-up to the 2013 general election. The review is expected to be complete in a few weeks, by which time the board of directors will decide whether Nazir will maintain his positions in the group.

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