Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank invests heavily in digital services

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) plans to continue its current strategy based on prudence in risk management, coupled with innovation in customer experience and products. This approach is working: over the past two years, ADIB has attracted more than 100,000 new retail customers, taking its total to more than 950,000. In the first half of 2017, net profits rose more than 14.1% year-on-year to $307m. Total revenues reached $757m, up 4.1%. CEO Khamis Buharoon says the bank has now a balanced customer base, across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the northern emirates, comprising UAE nationals, as well as Arab, Asian and Western expatriates. A number of new additions to ADIB’s range of retail and wholesale banking services are planned. According to Buharoon, ADIB's individual and corporate customer base will continue to grow and key factors remain digitisation and automation in branches.

Apicorp signs sharia-compliant syndicated loan

Arab Petroleum Investments Corp (APICORP) has signed a two-part sharia-compliant facility worth $950 million that it will use to finance investments in regional energy projects, it said in a statement on Sunday. The bulk of the financing consisted of a SAR3 billion ($800 million) Islamic loan of five years duration that was provided by five Saudi banks: Banque Saudi Fransi, National Commercial Bank, Riyad Bank, Samba Financial Group and Saudi British Bank. The remainder was provided on a three year basis by First Gulf Bank, HSBC and National Bank of Abu Dhabi , the statement added.

First Gulf Bank acquires Aseel Islamic Finance

First Gulf Bank (FGB) has increased its stakes in Aseel Islamic Finance, through a purchase agreement which has raised the bank’s ownership from 40% to 100%. With a paid-up capital of AED 800 million, Aseel is now FGB’s Islamic banking and finance arm, planning to develop more products for small medium enterprises. Aseel Islamic Finance will maintain an independent board of directors with Hana Al Rostamani as the Chairperson, while Javed Afzal was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer.

Press Release: Qatar International Islamic Bank's ratings affirmed

Capital Intelligence has affirmed Qatar International Islamic Bank's (QIIB) Financial Strength Rating (FSR) at 'A-', on 'Stable' Outlook - reflecting the Bank's good capital adequacy, very strong liquidity and good loan asset quality. Ratings remain constrained by single name concentration risks in both financing and investment portfolios and by high exposure to real estate. Moreover, the Bank's relatively small balance sheet and market share remain rating constraining factors. The Bank's Long and Short-Term Foreign Currency (FC) Ratings are also affirmed at 'A-' and 'A2', respectively, on 'Stable' Outlook.

Press Release: Gatehouse Bank completes US acquisition of GSA tenanted office building

London-based Gatehouse Bank plc (Gatehouse) has completed the acquisition of a 163,000 sq ft, state of the art office building in Salt Lake City, Utah. The deal is expected to return a stable and healthy yield over the investment period. The property is 100% leased to theGeneral Services Administration (GSA) for a fixed term of 20 years. The Class-A office building has been built specifically to meet the critical security requirements of the tenant. Gatehouse Bank was assisted by Arch Street Capital Advisors and sister company GSH in this transaction.

Press Release: Noor Islamic Bank announces appointment of new Chief Risk Officer

Noor Islamic Bank (Noor) announced the appointment of Narendra Swarup as Chief Risk Officer (CRO). In his role, Swarup is responsible for all the risk functions of the bank. He has more than 25 years of international experience in risk management in sovereign funds and international banks. In addition to his expertise in wholesale and investment banking, retail and private banking and asset management, he is regarded as an industry expert in overseeing credit and operational risk, as well as compliance and governance.

Nakheel creditors’ wise to sell off

About a year ago, Nakheel issued about AED4bn ($1.09bn) of sukuk to its trade creditors. Some holders were quick to offloaded them on the secondary market being impatient to finally settle their outstanding bills from the company. This led to a crash in the sukuk prices, which reached down to 70% of their value. However, there has been a recovery in prices since then, so that now the price on the secondary market is almost the same as the price when holding the bonds to maturity. In addition, there are annual 10% coupon payments. In spite of the risks associated with Nakheel, this makes the high coupon very appealing.

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Qatar Islamic Bank studies expansion into Egypt and Turkey

Matthew Martin reported on 18 March that Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) is evaluating opportunities to acquire a conventional Egyptian bank and convert it into an Islamic bank, and is also applying for a banking licence in Turkey.
Qatar Islamic Bank will likely follow its strategy of independent brands, like before in regard to European Finance House in London, Asian Finance House in Malaysia and Arab Finance House in Lebanon.


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