Middle East

Islamic finance industry enters 2013 with new strength

2012 is considered to be a turning point for banking in compliance with Islamic principles. New markets and new regulations in the Middle East contributed very much to the flourishing of the sector. According to data from Ernst and Young, globally assets managed in line with Shari'ah will reach in 2013 record heights, amounting to 1. 8 trillion U.S. dollars, up from 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2012. The ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and the Euro zone debt crisis were not able to stop Islamic banks in the Middle East from expanding their markets and business.

Middle East needs to tackle regulatory fragmentation

It is necessary for regulators in the Middle East to gather in order to coordinate on regulatory changes. Thus it will be possible for countries in the Gulf to profit from domestic and foreign fund manager participation.

Family businesses in Middle East seek government support

Family businesses in the Middle East and in the Gulf region face crucial challenges and therefore turn to the government for help and support. The chairman of Al Fahim Group explains that government support and backing similar to the one during the leadership of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is necessary - local companies need to be supported by ensuring them government work and purchasing their products and services.

Read more on: http://www.zawya.com/story/Family_businesses_in_Middle_East_seek_governm...

Sabah: Islamic banking expands

Sabah’s state banks have been positively assessed which results in rising confidence about the potential of its financial services sector and Islamic finance in particular. The “AA1” and “P1” issue ratings of the corporation have been reaffirmed by RAM Ratings in July. A month prior to that, Sabah Development Bank (SDB) received long- and short-term issue ratings of “AA1” and “P1”. All in all, a stable outlook and a leading strategic role of the Corporation are pointed out.

Read more on: http://www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com/economic_updates/sabah-islamic-bankin...

Middle East M&A activity doubles to US$ 15.7 billion in first nine months of 2012

According to the investment banking analysis for the Middle East by Thomson Reuters for 2012 so far, M&A activity has reached US15.7 billion during this period. During the same period last year the activity was only half of this year's (US7.5 billion). Telecoms is said to be the most targeted industry in the Middle East. The leading country in activity are the United Arab Emirates.

Read more on: http://www.menafn.com/menafn/1093567713/Middle-East-M&A-activity-doubles...

Middle East millionaires get wealthier: $1 trillion and counting

The home to most millionaires in the world changes from the US to the Asia-Pacific region. Already the millionaire population in the Middle East is 2.7% higher with 450,000. Wealth rose 0.7%, thus reaching $1.7 trillion. This information given by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management is an indication of growth of the investable wealth of the region's high net worth individuals independent from the Middle East's vulnerability to protests and demonstrations.

More on: http://www.zawya.com/story/Middle_East_millionaires_get_wealthier_USD1tr...

Islamic banks ‘may see conventional M&As’

Niche Islamic investment banks in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) may go in for mergers and acquisitions with conventional lenders to achieve the critical mass for reaping economies of scale.
It is anticipated first the build up of national champions driven by major shareholders, as was the case with Emirates NBD in conventional banking. Nice Islamic bank, such as Islamic investment banks (which have been particularly affected by the financial crisis) may diversify through M&As with banks that complement their businesses.

A.T. Kearney: Mergers and Acquisitions in Islamic Banking

Islamic banks—financial institutions based on Islamic law—in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have made impressive gains against the region’s conventional banks in recent years. However,
the need for consolidation in this industry is increasing as the economic crisis continues to hamper growth and the market becomes more crowded

Allianz Takaful in talks on sukuk issue - CEO

Allianz Takaful is in talks with a regional Islamic institution, urging it to issue a sukuk bond earmarked for the industry, as it struggles to find long term issues in the market, its chief executive said. It has been difficult for takaful - or sharia compliant - insurers to sell products like annuities and pension plans because of the lack of long term Islamic bonds to match such liabilities.

Deutsche Bank to bring major sukuk to ME market

Deutsche Bank expects to bring to the market a "major" Islamic bond in Saudi Arabia by the end of the first quarter, as part of a wider push into the world's largest oil exporter, a company executive said on Tuesday.

Fatwa shopping? Not for Barclays

The limited number of Sharia scholars has meant the same group of men are on various advisory boards which has led to criticism that people can go “fatwa shopping” and that scholars are in it for the money. Not so, says Harris Irfan, head of Islamic products at Barclays Capital.

Islamic syndicated lending

There has been a significant increase in syndication deals since the start of 2009, with a total of 36 deals announced or closed worth a cumulative total of $9.5bn. If the rest of the year continues as it started it would suggest that total Islamic syndicated loans for 2009 will end in the region of $21bn, which would be broadly in line with 2007 levels, analyses Paul McNamara from Yasaar Media.

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