Arabian Business

Islamic Development Bank places $500m sukuk

This month Islamic Development Bank (IDB) issued a US$500m five-year sukuk. This is a rare example of a privately-placed transaction from this institution. Market data show that the deal was priced at 30 basis points (bps) over the three-month London interbank offered rate. The issuance is prat of bank's US$6.5bn sukuk programme.

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Qatar's QIIB to price $700m sukuk Thursday

Asa reflection of healthy demand for the sukuk deal, Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) launched a US$700m Islamic bond on Thursday. The price of the issue lies at the lower end of the one revised. The spread of the five-year sukuk is 190 basis points over midswaps. The mandated arrangers on the deal are HSBC, Standard Chartered and QNB Capital.

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Dubai's retail debt challenge

Debt management agency ISDM calculated the average debt load of its customers is AED500,000.

The agency has more than 3,000 clients on its books and about 70 percent of its customers are defaulting on consumer rather than business loans. About 5 % of the clients are ex-UAE residents who have skipped the country rather than face jail for their debts. Banks can recover 80 cents on the dollar through consolidation. Through a debt collection agency, may receive 40 cents on the dollar according to the firm's director Yohannes Mazeingi.

Dubai-based ISDM advises clients in debt distress to consolidate their loans and negotiate with the banks. It collects a two percent fee commission based on the overall value of the debt.

Under UAE law, bouncing a cheque is a criminal offence that can result in a jail sentence.


Saudi takaful growth boosts local bonds

Rapid growth among Saudi Arabia's Islamic insurers will benefit the domestic bond market but bypass dollardenominated issues due to regulations that keep insurers' investment close to home, experts and executives said.

Strong growth in the takaful, or insurance industry has underpinned hopes it will give a boost to the market for Islamic bonds, or sukuk.

Insurers are important investors in conventional fixed income markets, but sukuk have been mostly bought by Western investors such as hedge funds and banks.

S&P says prospects weaker for Dubai sukuk issuers

While the medium-term prospects for the global sukuk market remain strong, the prospects are weaker for Dubai-based issuers and potentially other countries in the Gulf. That’s the assessment of ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P), which also said that Malaysia and South East Asia were likely to lead the global sukuk market in issuance of the next couple of years.

Saudi takaful growth boosts local bonds

Rapid growth among Saudi Arabia's Islamic insurers will benefit the domestic bond market but bypass dollardenominated issues due to regulations that keep insurers' investment close to home, experts and executives said.

Qatar's Masraf al Rayan sees Q4 profits up 30%

Masraf al Rayan, Qatar's fourth largest bank by market value, reported a fourth quarter profit of $76.96 million, an increase of 30 percent over the same period in 2008, according to Reuters calculations.

New watchdog set to probe Sharia violations on finance

A new watchdog is to be launched to investigate suspected violations of Sharia-compliance among Islamic finance products, Arabian Business has learned.

Saudi Alinma Bank sees Q4 net profit fall

Newly launched Saudi bank Alinma said on Saturday its fourth quarter net profit fell 85 percent from the previous quarter due to increased operational costs.

Al Baraka in talks for Bank Muamalat stake - CEO

Bahrain-based Islamic lender Al Baraka is in talks to buy a stake in Malaysia's Bank Muamalat, its chief executive said, with a source adding it could buy up to 49 percent in the lender.

Dar eyes UK Islamic banking unit

Arabian Business reported on 28 April that Investment Dar its proposed British bank unit 'Dar Capital' might start with capital of up to GBP 100 mn. A project study should be finished by year-end.

Chairman of Investment Dar is Adnan Al-Musallam.


Abyaar seeks credit rating for Sukuk sale

Rania El Gamal reported on 23 April in Arabien Business that Kuwait's Abyaar Real Estate Development is in the process of getting a credit rating to help it sell between USD 250 to USD 500 mn of Sukuk for general expansion. Abyaar is talks with NBD Investment Bank, a unit of Emirates NBD. Merill Lynch is advising on the sale for another specific project in Dubai about USD 500 mn.

Abyaar has other financing arrangements with Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, Kuwait's Global Investment House and Rasameel Structured Finance.

Abyaar has said it wants to expand in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and is seeking opportunities in Turkey, Malaysia and Singapore.

Marzouq al-Rashdan is vice-president of Abyaar.


Nakheel sets USD 1 bn Sukuk price guidance

Mohammed Abbas reported on Arabian Business on 27 April that state-owned Nakheel, developer of three palm-tree shaped islands off Dubai's coast, set price guidance for the 2-year USD 1 bn Sukuk Al Ijara at 225 to 250 basis points above the Emirates Interbank Offered Rate (Eibor). The Sukuk will be denominated in Dirham. 3-month Eibor is at about 1.92 %, according to data from newswire Reuters. Date for sale is not yet set.

Dubai Islamic Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Company and Dubai-based Emirates NBD are Arrangers.

Kar Tung Quek is Nakheel Chief Financial Officer (CFO).


Syndication markets still suffering

Christopher Mangham reported on Arabian Business 19 April that Syndication markets for Mideast borrowers are increasingly difficult to price with higher margins coming up, while also country limits are often reached. The market remains, however, active with USD 37 bn in Mideast awaiting launch or are under syndication. It becomes more common that bank committments are held flexible in pricing and margins supposed to be increased.

Corporate lending in the Gulf, which did not exist in 2001-2002, totalled USD 67 bn in 2007.


Dow Jones Indexes opens Dubai Office

Talal Malik reported on 14 April in Arabian Business that Dow Jones Indexes opens its first Middle East office in Dubai.

Michael A. Petronella is president of Dow Jones.
Sumeet Nihalani is Dow Jones' senior director of sales for the region.
Imran Vohra is Head of Dubai office.
Rushdi Siddiqui is global director of Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes.


Swiss banks going onshore in the Middle East

Andrew White reported in Arabian Business on 11 April about Swiss banks going onshore in the Middle East.

Pasha Bakhtiar, managing director at Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch (LODH) focusses over the next 10 to 20 years to grow the presence in areas with strong wealth creation, which is the case in the Middle East. Last year the bank established a formal presence in Dubai to better offer its services to existing and new clients in the GCC. Lombard sees an advantage in being a family owned bank like the family businesses in the region.

Hans Nützi, CEO at Clariden Leu agrees that Private Banking becomes more international opposed the way clients banked 5 to 10 years ago. Clariden Leu has a local 13 people asset management team in Dubai and sees demand for structured products.

IIFM aims to finalise Master Murabaha Agreement

Talal Malik reported on 7 April 2008 that the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) said to finalise soon the standardisation for a Master Murabaha Agreement called Master Agreement for Treasury Placement (MATP). The Agreements are under final review by Sharia scholars.

Khalid Hamad is chairman of IIFM.


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