3rd Arab Women Leadership Forum to kick off on Nov.19 in Dubai

For the third time, the Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) will be host of its flagship Arab Women Leadership Forum. The event will take place in Dubai from November 19th to 20th. The main focus of the forum will be issues and opportunities regarding the role of women in the boardroom. The forum is titled "Board Leadership '&' the Case for Diversity." National as well as internationally-recognized speakers, and accomplished women role models will participate. The forum, which is conducted on a yearly basis, plays a key role in DWE's agenda of activities and initiatives with the purpose of promoting the professional development and career advancement of women in the UAE.

Finance House PJSC : Islamic Finance House Opens its New Main Branch in Abu Dhabi

Finance House PJSC (IFH) has made an announcement about the grand opening of its new main branch. It is located in the centre of Abu Dhabi. IFH is committed to growing across the UAE and to serving the customers who are seeking Shari'a compliant financial services. It offers a wide and diversified portfolio of Shari'a compliant products including personal and business finance alongside investments. Thus, it aims to enrich the financial experience of its customers using a customer-centric approach.

Gulf Arab Private Equity sector picking up: expert

After an investment, which turned out unsuccessful, at the beginning of the ongoing Arab turmoil, there is some positive perspective. A combination of excess liquidity and renewed business confidence has given motivation to new investment activities in the private equity sector. As Shailesh Dash, founder and CEO of Al Masah Capital, explained, the amount of money raised by private equity fund managers in the Gulf region has reached approximately 16.5 billion U.S. dollars in the last 10 years. He further cited two studies by consulting firms Preqin and Bain & Company which found out that private equity firms in the Gulf Arab region are in possession of between 3.8 billion to 5 billion U.S. dollars.

Dubai Chamber, Pearl Initiative co-host seminar on integrated reporting

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Centre for Responsible Business together with the Pearl Initiative organized a seminar on integrated reporting. The seminar was held in the Dubai Chamber's head office in Dubai on Wednesday 14th. Professionals in the areas of CSR, sustainability, finance and strategy occupied in listed companies, public sector, private companies, state-owned enterprises and family firms took part in the event. The major topic of the seminar was integrated reporting - what it was and what ossibilities there are to help businesses take more sustainable decisions. Also, means to enable investors and other stakeholders to understand how an organisation is really performing were discussed.

Sukuk fund outlook from Rasmala

Last month, the dominant tone in Rasmala was one of "risk on" due to fluctuations in $ interest rates which had little bearing on Sukuk pricing in the region. The nervousness in the international market only led to a brief halt in the local market followed by soldiering on as soon as positive sentiment returned. The striving for yield continued at a quick pace. This is evident by the strong performance of some yielding names in the conventional space which were previously unloved but higher. An example of such yielding names is Dubai Holdings 14s and 17s which reached an increase of more than 2% and 3% respectively on the month.

Shrugging Off a Debt Default, Gulf Islamic Financial Markets Show Maturity

After the request of Dubai World of six-month delay on payments on US$26 billion in debt in 2009, default became an extremely dirty word. Consequently, when this year Dana Gas failed to repay US$920 million on its sukuk, the local press was hesitant whether or not to call this a default. During the global economic and financial crisis, the UAE and Dubai in particular were shook by the credit rating agencies, investors and the international press. Fortunately, multibillion-dollar bailout from Abu Dhabi averted the worst. Until recently, companies, which faced inability to repay their debt, looked for restructuring before deadline. Dana Gas made an exception, however, they managed to come up with a restructuring deal very quickly, thus demonstrating development in terms of maturity of the Islamic finance market.

Ethica Launches 700 Page Islamic Finance E-Book for Professionals

Today the certification institute Ethica launched an e-book on practical, usable information about Islamic finance. The 700 pages of the book cover a number of topics from sample Islamic finance contracts, over 1,000+ scholar-approved Q&As, to the entire "Meezan Bank Guide to Islamic Banking," study notes to Ethica's award-winning Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE) program, etc. At the end of the e-book there is an easy-to-use subject index. The emphasis lies on entrepreneurship.

Dana Gas restructures $920 million sukuk

Dana Gas has eventually agreed upon restructuring its sukuk worth $920 million. Thus, it will potentially avert the seizure of its assets in Egypt. According to Dana's statement on Wednesday, the company intends to pay its sukuk holders a mix of cash and new bonds which will be split between a sukuk and a convertible. There is no information on what proportion would be in cash. This solution to Dana's default is believed to serve best the interests of all stakeholders.

ADIB launches $1bn sukuk

A few days ago, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launched a sharia-compliant hybrid Islamic bond worth $1bn, thus aiming to boost its core capital. The Tier 1 perpetual sukuk has no particular maturity date. It was launched at a profit rate of 6.375%. Even though the structure of the sukuk is rather rare and unusual for the Middle East, the demand is high. This means that that ADIB offered enough of an incentive to reel in investors. It can be expected that more bonds of a similar kind may follow this issue.

Dar al Sharia to help Bank Sohar develop Islamic window

An agreement was signed between Bank Sohar and Dar al Sharia, which will build the foundations of a Shari'ah-compatible Islamic window. According to the deal, Dar al Sharia shall provide help to the Omani lender in terms of issues relating to Islamic banking and financial services. These include Shari'ah-compliant structuring and documentation services for all types of products.

ADIB to issue hybrid sukuk this week

This week, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) plans to issue a hybrid sukuk. However, it is likely that investors will demand a big premium for the rare structure. According to expectations, the bank will raise minium $500m to shore up its core capital, complying thus with tighter Basel III global standards. This is a prerequisite for the Tier 1 capital which will be introduced in the UAE in the years to come. ADIB’s Tier 1 sukuk structure is different from the usual instruments to raise Tier 2 capital sold by different Gulf lenders. Firstly, there is no maturity date. Also, the principal is repaid at the discretion of the issuer.

UAE's Dana Gas says not aware of sukukholder action against co

Dana Gas, which announced inability to repay a $920 million sukuk on maturity last week, claims to have no information about any action from bondholders against the company. It is expected that creditors will stake claim to the company's assets in Egypt. In a statement by Dana, it was confirmed that the company is not aware of any enforcement actions against the company by sukukholders. They further added that discussions with the adhoc committee of sukukholders show constructive progress.

DIB registers $81 million profit

Recently, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) announced a flat third-quarter net profit. Even though there was a big jump in provisioning, the bank exceeded all forecasts of the analysts. During the three months until September 30, DIB made 298.5 million dirhams ($81.3m). Compared to that, the same period last year brought a profit of 298m dirhams. The 43% jump in provisions did not affect the steady quarterly profits. The bank's chairman, Mohammed Al Shaibani, pointed out that DIB's performance was notable for delivering strong results while meantime sticking to its conservative approach to provisioning.

Bondholders seeking key Dana Gas assets

Dana Gas could not manage to repay a $920 million sukuk on its maturity date. It is suggested that holders of the bond will stake claim to the extensive Egyptian assets of the company. According to an announcement by Dana Gas, they are in talks with bondholders aiming to amend and extend the terms of the sukuk.

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3rd Arab Women Leadership Forum to kick off on Nov.19

Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) will again be the host of its flagship Arab Women Leadership Forum. The third edition of the forum will be held on 19th - 20th November at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai. The main focus of the forum will be issues and opportunities regarding the role of women in the boardroom. The theme of the forum is announced to be "Board Leadership '&' the Case for Diversity". National as well as internationally recognised speakers and accomplished women role models will take part. In addition, the forum will play the role of a high-level networking platform for conference attendees.

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Banker charged with embezzling more than Dh1 million

The case of missing deposits worth over Dh1 million in total has been solved. On Wednesday, a banker was charged with embezzlement in a Dubai court. The 39-year-old Jordanian banker with Dubai Islamic Bank is said to have embezzled funds by squirrelling away payments from customers who had completed their bank loans via a loan recovery agency. The criminal acts took place during the period between 2009 and 2011 when the banker was working at Dubai Islamic Bank.

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Abu Dhabi to host sustainability forum

Abu Dhabi will be the host of the annual general meeting of the World Future Council (WFC). The event will be held in the Middle East for the first time in the coming month. Prominent personalities from all over the world will take part in the discussion of the interests of future generations in sustainable policy-making. The title of the meeting is ‘Securing Our World: The Crucial Next 5 years’ and it will be conducted from November 21 to 25. WFC has had success in inspiring a number of governments to frame legislations and policies in order to conserve natural resources.

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ADIB puts Islamic finance on the global ethical business agenda

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has managed to bring up Islamic finance as an ethical and sustainable business model in the global financial scene. In a TV series launched by Bloomberg TV and sponsored by ADIB, CEO of ADIB Tirad Al Mahmoud explained his view of Shari'a-compliant banking being a viable, resilient and ethical business model. Especially because of the global financial crisis, the demand for ethical banking all around the world has been extremely high.

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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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Dubai Bank refunds 'overpaid' service charges to Skycourts customers

Dubai Bank sent a letter to Skycourts unit owners financed by the bank, informing them about their intention of partial fee refund consistent with the principles of Shariah. According to a detailed review of the service fees paid against the financed unit with Dubai Bank, a resolution for additional benefit to Skycourts customers was made. The fee refunded takes into account the period from the moment the bank took the possession of the unit from the developer until the moment when a notice of delivery was sent to the customer by the bank.

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