Kuala Lumpur

UMW plans RM2b sukuk for refinancing

Malaysian car distributor UMW is going to launch a refinancing program worth 2 billion ringgit ($653 million) in order to refinance existing debt and fund investment. The 15-year plan will be arranged by Maybank Investment Bank and Standard Chartered

BUDGET: Industry Player Welcomes Tax Exemption For Companies With TRX Status

Malaysian government plans to introduce tax exemption for companies with Tun Razak Exchange (or TRX) status. It is considered to be an important move in government's efforts to position Malaysia as a central investment destination for foreign investors. According to analysts, the development of TRX financial hub should attract about 250 international financial services companies and offer 40.000 new job opportunities.

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BNP Paribas’ Alwi Says More Non-Islamic Investors Buying Sukuk

Syed Alwi bin Mohamed Sultan, the Kuala Lumpur-based head of Islamic banking for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas Malaysia Bhd., talked about the trends in Islamic finance at the World Islamic Banking Conference in Singapore.
He noted that there is more diversification of the investor base. Potential issuance this year are from countries like South Africa, Kenya, and Senegal.

UCITS tapped for Islamic funds distribution

Potential for marketing Islamic funds cross-border in the Asia-Pacific and Asean is starting to be seen through the UCITS (undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities) platform. Despite the fact that it has already been used in Europe, it's the first time that it's being used in this region.
On January 16 2012 Kuala Lumpur-based CIMB declared the launch of three Islamic UCITS funds designed for cross-border distribution in Asia.
These funds will be registered and allocated in seven jurisdictions including the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.

Sukuk to lag emerging debt index this year

Islamic bonds are falling behind developing-nation debt for a second quarter as investors search for higher yields in non-investment grade securities.
According to the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index, Shariah-compliant notes returned 1.5 % this year and non-Islamic bonds in emerging-market countries gained 4.1 %.
Sales of Islamic debt are intensified in Indonesia, Malaysia and the GCC, while lower-rated nations such as Egypt and the Philippines are still planning issuance.

Indonesia lures Mideast Shariah lenders

Indonesia’s Islamic finance industry is attracting investment from Middle Eastern and European banks as regulator is searching to double Shariah-compliant assets to 10% of the total this decade.
According to Mudassir Amray, the head of wholesale banking in Kuala Lumpur, Al Rajhi Bank is pursueing investment banking business in Indonesia and may open branches when the right time comes.
Moreoever, Bank Indonesia is proposing tax breaks to raise the industry, which has grown an average 38% annually over the past five years.

AirAsia X to put off US$200m sukuk issue

AirAsia X Sdn Bhd will put off a US$200 million Islamic bond issue planned for March by at least 12 months after the airline abandoned routes from Kuala Lumpur to London, Paris, Mumbai and New Delhi.
AirAsia X announced Jan. 12 that it was cutting its flights to Europe, justifying the cost of complying with the European Union’s emissions trading system and rising taxes.

IILM To Issue First Sukuk In 6 Months, Says Zeti

The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) is assumed to launch its first sukuk in the next six months, as it will contribute to better liquidity management. The statement was given by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Zeti akhtar Aziz.
IILM has the purpose to enhance the availability of liquid Shariah-based Islamic financial market instruments. This is a crucial step in promoting more efficient cross-border liquidity management for Islamic financial institutions to sustain increased cross-border flows.

OIC central bankers to review impact of euro zone debt crisis

The governors of central banks and monetary authorities of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries are convening brought together for a meeting hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank, at its plush new conference centre in Sasana Kijang in Kuala Lumpur.
The official theme of the meeting is “Central Banking and Financial Sector Development”. But is is inevitable that discussions will also concentrate on how the global financial crisis, the euro zone sovereign debt crisis and the fallout of the so-called “Arab Spring” are impacting on OIC member countries, and on some alternative solutions to deal with some of the impact of these developments.

Opportunity to expand Islamic finance offerings

It appears that a small window of opportunity has arised for Malaysia to spread its Islamic finance wings internationally.
Global University of Islamic Finance (Inceif) president and chief executive Daud Vicary Abdullah second that, adding that Malaysia should grab the chance to promote its Islamic finance sector globally, before the Middle East took hold of the international Islamic finance.

2012 budget tonic for Malaysia's Islamic finance industry

The 2012 budget with the theme "National Transformation Policy, Welfare for the Rakyat, Well Being of the Nation" was delivered in October 2011 by Malaysian Finance Minister Najib Abdul Razak to the Dewan Rakyat (National Assembly).
Judging by the previous election, the next one will be just as tense.
Prime Minister Najib being one of the most proactive supporters of the Islamic finance industry in the Islamic finance space, the provisions announced in the 2012 budget are part of a continuum of a strategy to improve the role of Kuala Lumpur as a major international hub for Islamic finance and especially an origination center for cross-border sukuk, as opposed to electoral opportunism.

DRB- Hicom To Undertake Sukuk Programme Worth RM1.8 Billion

DRB-HICOM Bhd will attempt an Islamic medium-term notes (sukuk) programme of up to RM1.8 billion.
Maybank Investment Bank Bhd was assigned principal adviser, lead arranger and lead manager for the programme.
The company stated that the proceeds from the programme would be used to finance working capital requirements; current and future projects; investments; capital expenditure; and, refinance borrowings.

Elaf Bank forms joint venture with Ohad Trust in M'sia

Elaf Bank B.S.C. and Ohad Trust B.S.C. have formed a joint venture in Labuan, the result being the fact that Labuan Financial Services Authorities (LFSA) has granted a "trust" licence under Ohad Trust (Labuan) Bhd (Ohad Labuan).
the licence will give permission to Ohad Labuan to work on trust, foundations, fund administration, registrar and custody assignments in Malaysia.

Sukuk sales double in October

Global sales of Islamic bonds were almost double in October as progress toward a resolution to Europe’s debt crisis helps push yields to a one-month low.
Khazanah Nasional Bhd., a Malaysian state-owned investment company, Kuala Lumpur-based Property Holdings Bhd. and Turkish Islamic bank Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bankasi AS have sold global bonds that fulfill Islam’s ban on interest this month.

Hong Leong Islamic Bank Appoints Raja Teh Maimunah As New CEO

Hong Leong Islamic Bank (HLISB) appointed Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz as its new chief executive officer.
Raja Teh Maimunah posesses over 18 years of experience in the financial industry, concentrating on Investment Banking and Islamic Finance. She is also the adviser on Islamic Banking and Finance to the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation and has an LLB (Hons) degree from the University of East London.

Europe can learn from Islamic finance, says Luxembourg's Finance Minister

Luc Frieden, Luxembourg's Minister of Finance, has underlined the fact that given that financial institutions under Europe have remained stable against the backdrop of the eurozone debt crisis, it can learn and win from Islamic finance.
He added that Asia and Europe must join forces for the development and prosperity of the global economy.

Malaysia may loosen foreign ownership cap in banks

It seems that Malaysia's central bank is thinking about allowing a more flexible cap on foreign shareholdings in banks.
An unnamed source stated that Bank Negara Malaysia has been in talks with the country's financial services industry, to supply feedback for the government in drawing up its second 10-year Financial Sector Master Plan blueprint expected to be disclosed by the end of the year.

Kuveyt Türk starts Sukuk roadshow in Kuala Lumpur

Kuveyt Türk Participation Bank has assigned HSBC, Kuwait’s Liquidity Management House and Standard Chartered Bank to arrange a series of fixed income investor meetings.

Halal and Islamic finance markets will converge, says Al Islami CEO

Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Managing Director of Al Islami Foods, stated that the $1 trillion (AED3.68 trillion) global Islamic finance industry finds itself in the process of developing a road-map to gather $651 billion (AED2.4 trillion) halal market.
The statement was given during the 8th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum 2011 (KLIFF), organized by the Centre for Research and Training (CERT), where Al Islami was the only halal food company from the Middle East invited to the international event.

Maybank: Budget will promote Islamic banking

The Budget of 2012 will promote furthermore the comprehensive development of conventional and Islamic banking, insurance and takaful, investment banking and other financial services in terms of the range and offerings of products and services.
Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar stated that it showed the Government’s effort to strike a balance between dealing with people, cyclical and structural issues.

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