Briton claims he repaid bank twice the amount

A British businessman on Wednesday claimed in court that he repaid Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) double the Dh1.8 billion he is charged, along with six others, with embezzling.
DIB's former financing department manager 39-year-old Pakistani, U.H., and his 50-year-old compatriot deputy, R.U., denied helping four of the suspects.

Nakheel sees $10.9bn debt restructuring by H1

Nakheel expects its $10.9 billion debt restructuring process to be completed by the first half of 2011.
It said it will soon issue restructuring agreements, including a term sheet for an Islamic bond offering, to trade creditors that have signed on to its restructuring plan.
Under Nakheel's restructuring proposal, trade creditors will receive repayment through 40 per cent cash and 60 per cent in the form of an Islamic bond, or sukuk.

SNR Denton advises on Dh250m Sharia-compliant facility

SNR Denton has announced that the firm advised Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC, Al Hilal Bank PJSC, Mubadala GE Capital PJSC, Al Khalij Commercial Bank, Al Khaliji France SA, Ajman Bank PJSC and First Gulf Bank PJSC on their successful participation in a Dh250 million Sharia-compliant facility.
The facility was made available to Emirates National Factory for Plastic Industries LLC, based in Sharjah.

Bank Islam Brunei sells stake to Fajr Capital

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) has sold an undisclosed minority stake to Dubai-based Islamic investment firm Fajr Capital as the Asian bank bids to extend its international reach.
Brunei's government has a 45 percent stake in the bank, while the Sultan of Brunei's charitable foundation owns a 25 percent stake.
Javed Ahmad, managing director at BIBD, declined to comment on the exact size of the deal or its value, but when talk surfaced last June that a stake sale might be in the offing,

Gulf Arab companies plan sukuk as cost rises

The political conflict in the Middle East will make it more expensive for companies in the Arab Gulf such as First Gulf Bank PJSC and Masraf al-Rayan to issue Islamic bonds as relative yields hold near the highest level in more than three months.
First Gulf plans to sell bonds or sukuk this year. Masraf said March 15 it will seek shareholder approval to issue as much as $1 billion of Shariah-compliant debt.

Islamic Finance Session at the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists

Alberto Brugnoni, ASSAIF, will moderate the Session on 'Finance and philanthropy' at the “4th World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists - Defining the Roadmap for the Next Decade” that will convene at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai on March 23-24, 2011

Muslim Philanthropy is at a crossroad, challenged to build new models of giving while simultaneously refining old methods embedded in vibrant Islamic tradition. The foremost challenge in the field is to promote strategic and accountable philanthropy that complements and enhances the generations-old conventional charity, which is often personal and spontaneous

The Session will examine within a common framework the failure of zakat to achieve most of its socio-economic objectives, the stagnation of waqf institutions in performing their designated social functions and the growing divergence between the aspirations of Islamic economics and the realities of the Islamic finance industry. It will also offer actionable programme plans for zakat and innovative ways of using the institution of waqf to establish social enterprises, as possible common solutions

Islamic Bonds Make a Comeback

The global market for Islamic bonds, or sukuk, returned to growth last year, shaking off the lingering effects of the global financial crisis.
After two turbulent years, the market started making a strong comeback at the end of 2010. While Malaysia continues to dominate the sukuk market, accounting for 78 percent of total issuances in 2010.
The Gulf region is expected to play a larger and more sustainable role in the sukuk market in the future, according to research by S.&P., in the expectation of a gradual recovery in economic activities and the region’s need to finance the huge pipeline of government projects and infrastructure for events planned for the coming years, like the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Not a Pretty sight at GFH as CEO is axed

Ted Pretty, the chief executive of investment bank Gulf Finance House was asked to leave and will not return to the bank.
What Pretty was really brought on to do was swing the axe and lead a brutal cost-cutting and debt rescheduling program to try and fix the damage done to the bank by its over-ambitious real estate plans at the height of the Dubai property boom . Despite this the firm has struggled to build revenues.

Aiming to Bolster a Lagging Real Estate Market, Dubai Introduces Islamic REITs

Since the global economic downturn in 2008, Dubai has sought to display signs of financial improvement. And the glitzy sheikhdom of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has begun to demonstrate growth, except in real estate.
Despite the pessimism pervading the market, Dubai launched a Shariah-compliant real estate investment trust (REIT) in November. Emirates REIT, jointly developed by Dubai Islamic Bank and Eiffel Management, a French REIT specialist, joins a number of Shariah-compliant REITs that have been set up Asia and the Middle East over recent months. Governments and Islamic financiers alike hope the new products will spur investment from Muslims and non-Muslims into these regional real estate sectors.

KFH-Turkey to launch a $500 million Islamic bond

Kuwait Finance House's (KFH) Turkish unit will launch a 500 million US dollar Islamic bond by the end of the year.
Mohammed Al-Omar said the Islamic lender will issue the benchmark Sukuk following the success of Turkey's first Islamic bond offering, from lender Kuveyt Turk in August.
Al-Omar noted that the law is a significant step forward that reveals a great desire by many Turkish companies that have good assets but lack the suitable financing to expand locally and overseas to benefit from this new financing instrument; especially after those companies realized the numerous benefits of Sukuk, which include providing financing through Sukuk while neither hindering projects nor exhausting their budgets.

Dubai Bank introduces "Royal Banking," underscoring commitment to 5-year strategy

In line with its five-year strategy to develop products and services that meet the needs of elite clients, Dubai Bank announced the launch of "Royal Banking," a complete wealth management solution for premium customers who seek customised solutions and personalised service across all banking channels.
To qualify as a Royal Banking customer, individuals should maintain an average monthly deposit of AED 500,000 or transfer salaries of AED 50,000 and above to Dubai Bank.

Saving up attractively and securely

National Bonds Corporation has announced a profit of 3.78 per cent for its bond holders despite a challenging year in 2010.
The CEO of the leading Shariah compliant saving scheme in the UAE, discussed a variety of subjects concerning the National Bonds and their customers as well as plans for 2011 and beyond.

MOVES-Barclays names director for Islamic products

British lender Barclays Bank has appointed Dominic Selwood as a director responsible for its Islamic products services.
Selwood joins Barclays as a director in the Financial Institutional Structuring Group (FISG) and is currently based in London.

Fitch assigns 'A' rating to Dubai Islamic Bank

Dubai Islamic Bank has been assigned an 'A' rating by Fitch Ratings, the New York and London-headquartered global ratings agency.

UAE's Tamweel swings back to profit

Islamic home-finance provider Tamweel PJSC, based in Dubai, announced on Sunday that it swung back into the black in 2010, posting a modest net profit of 7.08 million dollars.
The figure represents a "turnaround" from Tamweel's financial performance in 2009, when it posted a net loss of 14.8 million dollars.

Gulf Sukuk to rally on post-Mubarak sentiment

Islamic bonds from the Arabian Gulf may extend last week’s rally as the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak bolstered investor confidence that turmoil in the Arab’s world’s most populous nation will subside.
The yield on Dubai’s 6.396 percent sukuk due November 2014 declined 25 basis points last week to 6.28 percent on Feb. 11.

Saudi Electricity Company invites banks for potential dollar-bond: IFR

Saudi Electricity Company has invited banks for a potential bond mandate, reported IFR Markets.
A request for proposals (RFP) has been sent to a limited number of local banks and international institutions with operations in Saudi Arabia, and replies are due by the end of February.

Qatar sees risks in mixing Islamic, conventional banks

The Qatar central bank appears to see higher risks from conventional lenders operating Islamic units, clarifying a recent ruling which asked commercial banks in the Gulf state to close their sharia-compliant operations. Qatar's central bank earlier in the week asked conventional lenders to close down their Islamic operations amid worries of overlap between the two, in a surprise move that boosted shares of Islamic lenders in the country.

Albaraka cuts size of March sukuk

Albaraka Banking Group reduced the size of a March sukuk programme to $250 million (Dh918 million)-$300 million from the planned $500 million.
The bank also plans to issue a $100 million sukuk in Egypt at the end of the year.

Dubai Bank launches new "Prestige" services, combining profit-bearing salary account with unique lifestyle benefits

Dubai Bank announced today the launch of its new 'Prestige' banking concept, comprising a bouquet of services specifically designed for affluent customers who are looking for exceptional value, convenience and consistent high-quality service delivery across all banking channels.
'Prestige' offers a unique bundle of services designed for individuals who transfer their monthly salaries of more than AED 20,000 to Dubai bank.

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