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Dubai scrambles to restore confidence

Dubai tries to restore its reputation on Thursday, assuring investors that major property and leisure projects would go ahead and dispatching two top officials on a public relations drive to Washington.

Beltone Financial Holding, EFG-Hermes act as financial advisors in largest syndication to be covered from local banks worth $1.0

A consortium of four banks namely, National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Arab African International Bank, and Banque du Caire arranged, underwrote and syndicated a facility for the Egyptian Nitrogen Products Company (ENPC). Faisal Islamic Bank was among the co-arrangers.

HSBC Amanah launches the world's first international Islamic premium banking service

HSBC Amanah today announced the launch of HSBC Amanah Premier - the world's first Islamic banking service aimed at internationally mobile, affluent consumers.

Tamkeen invests in Islamic banking professionals for the future

Bahrain's emergence as an Islamic banking hub has spurred Tamkeen to put in place an ambitious plan to train 130 Bahraini graduates in Islamic finance and business accounting.

Islamic finance well positioned for GCC recovery

NCB Capital, the investment banking arm of National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest bank, believes that Islamic finance, an increasingly important element of the GCC financial sector, is well positioned to lead the way in the region’s pending economic recovery.

Bahrain central bank head sees recovery signs

Despite an early intervention by governments, the global economy has not yet fully recovered. However, the signs of recovery are there and the situation is immeasurably better than a year ago according to the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Funds distributed for Nakheel bond repayment

Repayment of a $4.1 billion (around Dh15.05 billion) bond issued by Nakheel was set to be completed yesterday, when other Islamic bond issuers reassured investors about their repayment capability in replies to a ‘soundness and health' check by Nasdaq Dubai.

Dow Jones Indexes Wins 18th Award for Its Islamic Market Index Series

Dow Jones Indexes, a leading global index provider, on December 16 announced that it has been named “Best Index Provider Shari’ah compliant Indexes” by Dubai-based Islamic Business & Finance magazine.

Dubai Financial Support Fund receives USD 10 billion from Abu Dhabi

The government of Abu Dhabi and the Central Bank of the UAE has announced that it has agreed to provide $10 billion to the Dubai Financial Support Fund.

The Dubai Financial Support Fund can therefore enable Nakheel to pay its Sukuk due today.

Nakheel to repay sukuk in next 2 weeks

Nakheel Development Limited announced via the exchange, Nasdaq Dubai that it aims to repay the Sukuk in the next two weeks. According to the statement it will use funds that will be provided by the Dubai Financial Support Fund.

Westlaw Business Islamic Finance Center expands to include AAOIFI Islamic finance standards

Westlaw Business, part of Thomson Reuters, and the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) today announced their agreement to provide current standards and other Islamic finance industry information for global business law professionals within the Westlaw Business Islamic Finance Centre. Please check the full news at the link provided.

Dubai Islamic Bank launches Wajaha, exclusive wealth management service

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) announced today the launch of Wajaha, a distinguished wealth management service for ultra high net worth individuals. Tailored to meet the distinct needs of the ultra high net worth clients, Wajaha is an invitation-only service that offers unparalleled advantages, from unique financial products to personal relationship managers, offered within a private setting in exclusive Wajaha Centres in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

CMA's Board of Directors approves creation of arbitration centre and endorses Oman Social Responsibility Initiative

HE Maqbool Ali Sultan, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Capital Market Authority chaired on Saturday the fourth and last meeting of the Board for 2009, which approved a number of proposed amendments to the Capital Market Law including a new clause on the creation of arbitration centre pertaining to the laws under the jurisdiction of CMA

The full news is available at the link provided.

Shari’ah-compliant Structured Trade Finance Fund to be launched by Gatehouse Bank and DDCAP

Gatehouse Bank will launch a Shari’ah-compliant Structured Trade Finance Fund in early 2010. Parnter is the wholesale Islamic market intermediary company DDCAP. The aim of the fund is to invest capital in structured trade finance transactions.

Brunei’s total sukuk issue tops $2 billion

THE Ministry of Finance issued $68 million worth of sukuk in two separate floats between November and December, bringing the total sold to more than $2 billion. The Ministry of Finance had completed the successful pricing of its 40th and 41st issuances of short-term Sukuk Al-Ijarah securities.

Full news of the about the issuance of the sukuk is available at the link given below.

How Sharia-compliant is Islamic banking?

The question was analysed by Mr John Foster of BBC where it was concluded that anything that is not prohibited under the Al-Quran and the As-Sunnah is permissible. The full news is available at the source stated below.

UK: Tax issues under further clarification

The UK Government has committed to create a level playing field on VAT for retail investors in Islamic finance products. In his Pre-Budget Report statement, the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, says he will also provide relief from tax on capital gains for alternative property refinance transactions to maintain the UK's position as a centre for Islamic finance.

In addition, guidance will be issued on VAT treatment of alternative finance investment bonds.

Islamic finance fits for Australia

Australia's wealth of natural resources and financial landscape provide a natural platform for Islamic finance, with potential to attract a new type of global investors. Trailing Muslim neighbours such as Malaysia and Indonesia, Australia is looking at developing Islamic finance to attract wealth and create jobs.

The Australian and Malaysian governments held talks this week to cooperate in Islamic finance. The Australian government has expressed interest in Islamic finance but so far it is limited to small entities such as the Muslim Community Cooperative (Australia) Ltd and Iskan Finance which offer home loans. One of the biggest obstacles to the development of Australia's Islamic finance market is tax law.

Islamic finance suffers growing pains

Robin Wigglesworth reported in the Financial Times that although, the Islamic finance industry may have breached the USD 1,000 billion mark in assets, difficulties arise, in spite of claims that the industry’s model is inherently more robust than conventional finance.

Islamic financial institutions have proven equally susceptible to a global economic downturn and property correction as their larger conventional peers. Dubai has been an active issuer of Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, and the exposure of Islamic banks to the emirate’s debt pile has caused the cost of financing to rise greatly during the past two weeks and triggered a rash of credit agency downgrades

Zawya Sukuk Report for Free Download

The Zawya Collaborative Sukuk Report covers the following issues:

  • What is the distribution of current and potential investors and what is their appetite?
  • What is the appetite of the Supply side and what drives their need to issue?
  • What are the challenges faced by the industry, what are the associated developments and what needs to be done to resolve them?

The download is free after providing contact details to Zawya:

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