United Arab Emirates

Sheikh Mohammed, Dubai Hits 1st Goal Of Strategy To Become Islamic Economy Hub

Dubai has achieved the 1st goal of its strategy aimed at making the emirate the global capital of Islamic economy, the UAE’s VP and PM and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has said. His remarks came after a report showed that Dubai has overtaken other financial centres for listing Islamic bonds on its exchanges. Sukuk listed on Dubai’s 2 exchanges, Nasdaq Dubai and Dubai Financial Market, rose to $36.7-B (Dhs 134.38bn) in Y 2015, according to a study by Nasdaq Dubai. According to a report the global Islamic economy has a potential value of $6.7 -T and is bigger than most of the economies in the world except China and the United States. The report estimates that Muslim consumers’ global expenditure on the media, food, and lifestyle sectors such as cosmetics and tourism is forecast to touch $2.47-T by Y 2018.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Dubai Branch obtains Islamic Finance license

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU) obtained an Islamic Financial Business endorsement to operate an Islamic Window from the Dubai Financial Services Agency on 8 July, 2015. This approval has enabled its Dubai Branch to offer both conventional and Islamic financial services to customers. BTMU commenced its Islamic finance services in 2008 through its Malaysian subsidiary. Since then, the Bank has accumulated various skill sets and expertise regarding Islamic finance services such as deposits and loans. BTMU opened its Dubai Representative Office (now Dubai Branch) in 2007. It will be the Bank’s central hub of Islamic finance services in Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Dubai plans new sukuk channels as listings top other centres

Dubai has overtaken other financial centres in listing Islamic bonds on its exchanges, and is mounting a global drive to attract more listings while developing new channels to trade sukuk, Hamed Ahmed Ali, the chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai said. The exchange is working on ways to sell sukuk directly to retail investors, expanding the primary market beyond institutional buyers, and designing a sharia-compliant repurchase agreement, he said. Until 2013, issuers from the Gulf usually chose European exchanges to list sukuk; that has begun changing. Unlike Europe, Dubai has a stable of local state-linked firms which can be encouraged to issue sukuk and list them locally. Also, Dubai is at the heart of a Muslim region, which both supplies sukuk and provides investor demand, Ali said.

Dubai mounts global sukuk drive as listings top other financial centres

Dubai has overtaken other financial centres in listing Islamic bonds on its exchanges, and is mounting a global drive to attract more listings while developing new channels to trade sukuk, Hamed Ahmed Ali, the chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai said. The exchange is working on ways to sell sukuk directly to retail investors, expanding the primary market beyond institutional buyers, and designing a sharia-compliant repurchase agreement, he said. Sukuk listed on Dubai’s two exchanges, Nasdaq Dubai and Dubai Financial Market, rose to $36.7 billion last month from $7bn in 2013. Nasdaq Dubai accounts for the vast majority. Until 2013, issuers from the Gulf usually chose European exchanges to list sukuk; that has begun changing.

UAE banks building provisions to fend off possible bad debts

Several banks and financial institutions in the UAE are building provisions as a precautionary measure in anticipation of possible bad debts they may face in the future, the chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank said. Tirad Al Mahmoud also said that since not all borrowers they deal with are registered with the UAE’s Etihad Credit Bureau, their data is unknown. At present, ADIB’s rejection rate for loan applications it receives is between nine to 10 per cent, which may drop or rise once the Etihad Credit Bureau’s report on an individual or corporate covers the financial data on all the customers of all banks and financial institutions operating in the country.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Exploring Expansion Into SE Asia, Africa

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC is considering entering markets in South East Asia and Africa to tap demand in countries with a large Muslim population. The bank has “looked closely” at Indonesia and Malaysia as well as Algeria, Morocco and Jordan, Chief Executive Officer Tirad Mahmoud stated. The bank may consider an acquisition next year as part of the plan, he said. ADIB in 2014 acquired the retail banking business of Barclays Plc in the U.A.E. for 650 million dirhams ($177 million). The bank was also among lenders that bid to buy the retail banking assets of Citigroup Inc. in Egypt this year, losing out to Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE last month. ADIB expects lending to grow by four percent to six percent this year, Mahmoud added.

Noor Bank leads closing of Islamic financing for Stanford Marine

Dubai-headquartered offshore supply vessel company Stanford Marine Group (SMG) has secured a AED 1.2 billion ($326.7 million) Islamic syndicated structured finance facility arranged by Noor Bank. The transaction is one of the first fully Islamic-backed finance deals in the oilfield services sector. Other participating banks in the deal were: Barwa Bank, First Gulf Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank which acted as mandated lead arrangers, while Ajman Bank and United Arab Bank joined the deal as Lead Arrangers. Noor Bank PJSC also acted as Investment and Security Agent for the deal. The facility will be used to consolidate Stanford Marine Group’s existing conventional and Islamic facilities into a single tranche facility.

Islamic lender Amlak says eyeing partnership with Dubai's Emaar

Dubai-based Islamic mortgage lender Amlak Finance has said it is in talks with Emaar Properties to launch a partnership to develop land in “distinctive locations”. Amlak's shares soared 15 percent, the maximum allowed in a day on the Dubai Financial Market, after the company announced the plans. Amlak chief commercial officer Adnan Al Awadhi told Al Khaleej newspaper that it is also in talks with the emirate’s Land Department to revive stalled projects. Last month, Amlak recorded a 77 percent plunge in first-quarter profit because of amortisation charges. Amlak reported that net profit fell to AED3.7 million ($1.01 million) from AED16 million in the same period last year.

‘Very positive’ public response to Wills and Probate Registry in — DIFC officials

The response to the new Wills and Probate Registry at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) was very positive, according to Mark Beer, the CEO and Registrar at the DIFC Courts. He said appointments to register wills are now fully booked until mid July. Non-Muslims with properties and investments in Dubai, regardless of whether they have a residency permit or not, began registering their wills at the DIFC on May 4, when the DIFC launched its new Wills and Probate Registry. The registry allow them for the first time in the region to register a will in English under internationally recognised law, which allows them to transfer their assets as they wish upon their death. The new rule also allows parents to appoint a guardian for their children in case of their death.

Bonds and Sukuk Issuances under the New UAE Commercial Companies Law

The long anticipated UAE Federal Commercial Companies Law no. 2 of 2015 (the “New Companies Law”) was issued on 25 March 2015 and will be in force by 1 July 2015 to replace the existing UAE Federal Commercial Companies Law no. 8 of 1984 (the “Former Companies Law”). The New Companies Law implements a number of important changes to the existing positions under the Former Companies Law, and in some cases, clarifies a number of issues that existed under the Former Companies Law. Article 31 of the New Companies Law confirms the existing position that only a Private Joint Stock Company or a Public Joint Stock Company may issue bonds and sukuk.

Stanford Marine Group unit closes 1.2 bln dirham Islamic loan

A unit of Stanford Marine Group has closed a 1.2 billion dirham ($326.7 million) sharia-compliant loan deal with a group of banks to consolidate its debts into one facility at a cheaper cost, the arranging bank said on Monday. The murabaha-structured facility for offshore vessel operator Stanford Asia Holding Company was arranged by Dubai-based Noor Bank, with five other banks from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar taking part, it said. No pricing or length of the murabaha, a cost-plus-profit arrangement, were provided.

Ibdar Bank Wins the "Aircraft Finance Deal of the Year" Award for landmark leasing agreement with Ethiopian Airlines

Bahrain based Ibdar Bank together with Dubai-based Palma Holding received the African Aviation Awards' "Aircraft Finance Deal of the Year" for their successful structuring of a 12-year agreement for acquiring four brand new Bombardier Q400 Next Gen aircrafts and leasing them to the Ethiopian Airlines. The African Aviation Awards were introduced by African Aviation Magazine in 1999 in order to give International recognition to those individuals, companies and organisations who have made significant contributions to Aviation Development in Africa. Valued at USD 100 million, Ibdar Bank contributed as investor with USD 22 million, while an amount of USD 78 million was secured through a funding agreement with Canada's Export Credit Agency "EDC".

Deloitte and DIEDC: Significant untapped growth potential of digital Islamic services

Deloitte and Noor Telecom have collaborated with Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center (DIEDC) for the compilation of a report that highlights the untapped potential of the Digital Islamic Services market and offers key recommendations for realizing Dubai's vision of emerging as the capital of Islamic economy. The report whose title is ‘The Digital Islamic Services Landscape: Uncovering the Digital Islamic Services opportunity for the Middle East and the World’ combines a range of qualitative and quantitative research projects conducted for the offline and online markets around the world. The report defines the Digital Islamic Services landscape under nine key industry verticals and areas, which constitute the pillars of the global Islamic economy online.

Dar Al Takaful Provides Health Insurance Coverage for the Law Income Categories

Dar Al Takaful has been recently granted the approval by Dubai Health Authority to provide medical insurance coverage to the category with salaries below AED.4000, the service is offered to the SMEs and sponsors. Saleh Al Hashmi, the Managing Director of Dar Al Takaful expressed his pleasure with the selection of Dar Al Takaful by Dubai Health Authority to provide this service and said that this confirmed the strong partnership between the government and the private sector and assure. This cooperation comes in line with Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 aims at securing the wellbeing of Dubai citizens and residents. He added that the new service is part of the firm's strategy that aims to provide the best medical care with competitive rates and without imposing extra fees on the insurance policy.

DIB prices $750m sukuk at 2.921%, oversubscribed 3 times

Dubai Islamic Bank on Sunday said its $750 million sukuk issuance maturing in June 2020 carries a profit rate of 2.921 per cent and saw a strong oversubscription. The bank had held road show in London, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for the issuance which is part of its $2.5 billion sukuk programme. The order book was driven by strong demand across the globe, and given the fact that it was oversubscribed nearly three times. Dubai Islamic Bank, First Gulf Bank, HSBC, Maybank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, and Standard Chartered Bank acted as joint lead managers. Arab Banking Corporation, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Union National Bank acted as co-lead managers.

Dubai Women Establishment, Hawkamah IOD sign MoU

Dubai Women Establishment today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance (HICG), aimed at creating a framework to advocate greater female representation in directorship positions in both the public and the private sectors. The MOU was signed by HE Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of the Dubai Women Establishment board and Director General of Dubai Media Office, and HE Hamad Buamim, Chairman of Hawkamah. The MoU will focus on areas of cooperation and will include opportunities for all signatories to participate in knowledge sharing activities and research, report creation and strengthening corporate government frameworks to encourage greater female participation at the board level.

Knight Frank releases 2015 Dubai Real Estate Investment Report

Against a backdrop of low interest rates globally and relatively volatile financial markets regionally, the flow of capital into real estate has continued, according to the latest Dubai Real Estate Investment Report released by Knight Frank. Developed property markets such as those of the UK and Europe should continue to see strong levels of demand from GCC investors. Knight Frank’s Middle East Capital Tracker – which monitors professional real estate investors’ favoured global destinations – shows that the UK remains a firm favourite for almost 60 per cent of investors from this region. The GCC itself, as well as Continental Europe, also rank highly.

ADIB chief urges UAE to widen provision of short-term liquidity to Islamic lenders

Tirad Al Mahmoud, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, has urged the Central Bank to broaden its provision of short-term liquidity to Sharia-compliant lenders. The UAE should also offer longer-term funding facilities to Islamic banks so as to improve their business capability, he added. The Central Bank allows Islamic banks to park Sharia-compliant assets on its balance sheet in exchange for profit. This is only available on an overnight basis. The central banks of the UAE and Bahrain recently introduced a series of short-term treasury management tools to help Islamic lenders to manage their cash flows. Bahrain and the UAE are the only countries in the region whose central banks offer liquidity tools to Islamic lenders.

Dubai Islamic Bank CEO Dr. Adnan Chilwan Discusses 'Treps Opting For Faith-Based Finance

CEO Dr. Adnan Chilwan, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) says that the Islamic finance sphere demonstrated a greater degree of resilience when compared to conventional banks during the most recent financial crisis. The bank also noticed an upswing of fresh clients, partly due to what he considers a shift in perception. DIB recently launched a comprehensive SME offering targeted towards the SME sector in the UAE. The product and services suite primarily focuses around the liquidity management and working capital finance needs of the customers across this segment, Mr. Chilwan explains. DIB is also pursuing a growth strategy, looking at opportunities in Indonesia and Kenya.

Al Hilal Bank inaugurates new eco-friendly branch in Abu Dhabi’s iconic Masdar City

Al Hilal Bank has on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 inaugurated its new branch in Masdar City, a mixed-use project being developed in Abu Dhabi which is envisioned to emerge as the world’s most sustainable eco-city. Aside from meeting the conventional and Islamic banking needs of the surrounding community, the branch also serves as a hub for students of the nearby Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. The banking facility integrates elements such as a vending machine and wall-mounted touch screens for social media interaction to provide a venue for the Institute’s students and faculty to do research or simply to relax. Al Hilal Bank now has a total of 25 branches spread across the UAE in addition to three overseas branches in Kazakhstan.

Syndicate content