United Arab Emirates

Emirates Islamic celebrates International Women’s Day

Emirates Islamic marked International Women’s Day by celebrating female achievement across the organisation. Jamal Bin Ghalaita, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Islamic and other senior management of the bank honoured 32 women employees at Emirates Islamic, who are seen as an inspiration to the rest of the organization. The women were presented a trophy and certificate of recognition at a special ceremony held at Emirates Islamic’s Healthcare City headquarters. The ceremony was part of Emirates Islamic’s initiative to commemorate International Women’s Day.

UAE's Sharjah Islamic Bank Prices $500m 5 Year Sukuk - Leads

Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) priced a $500 million sukuk of five years duration on Tuesday. The Islamic bond was priced at a spread of 110 basis points over midswaps and carried a profit rate of 2.843 per cent. The final spread was at the tight end of price guidance issued earlier in the day of 115 bps, plus or minus 5 bps, over the benchmark. The order book was worth around $3 billion. SIB’s sukuk was arranged by Noor Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, HSBC, KFH Investment and Standard Chartered and was sold after a series of investor meetings in Asia and Europe.

Takaful transactions reach Dh2.3b

The UAE’s insurance market grew 12 per cent in 2014 to Dh33 billion, said Ibrahim Al Zaabi, director- general of the Insurance Authority. The number of companies providing these sharia-compliant services has reached 11. The director-general said that the investments made by 60 insurance companies reached to Dh40 billion in the year. He said that the Insurance Authority has issued new rules and regulations in order to organise Takaful insurance business. The rules organise the financial, technical, investment, and accounting functions of Takaful insurance companies aiming to protect the rights of stakeholders, from future risks, the minister said.

The Ministry of Finance hosts the first UAE-Luxembourg Council for Islamic Finance Cooperation meeting

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) hosted the first UAE-Luxembourg Council for Islamic Finance Cooperation meeting in Dubai yesterday. The meeting was attended by a number of prominent economic and financial institutions from both countries. UAE members of the council include MoF , the Central Bank, UAE University, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, Dubai Chamber, Etihad Airways, Al Hilal Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. Luxembourg's representativesinclude the Ministry of Finance, Luxembourg Bankers' Association, Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry and the University of Luxembourg.

Moody's assigns (P)A3 to Sharjah Islamic Bank's Sukuk Programme; outlook stable

Moody's Investors Service has assigned a provisional (P)A3 senior unsecured (foreign and local currency) MTN rating to the $3 billion Trust Certificates Issuance Program of SIB Sukuk Company III Limited, a special purpose vehicle incorporated in the Cayman Islands by Sharjah Islamic Bank PJSC (SIB). The outlook on the issuer is stable. The (P) A3 rating assigned to the Sukuk trust certificates is at the same level as the A3 foreign and local currency issuer rating of SIB. The proceeds of each issue of Certificates will be used by the Issuer to acquire an ownership interest in a portfolio of assets. Upon a conclusive review of the transaction and associated documentation, Moody's will endeavour to assign definitive ratings to any issue of Certificates.

Eiffel Management Buys Out DIB’s Stake In Emirates REIT

Dubai-based Emirates REIT announced that Eiffel Management has acquired a 25 per cent in the REIT manager that was previously held by Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB). The value of the transaction was not disclosed. The REIT Manager is responsible for running the property portfolio of Emirates REIT and all the operations concerning the REIT. It is incorporated in Dubai international Finance Centre and licensed by DFSA. Following the deal, Eiffel Management will own 100 per cent of REIT manager’s total issued share capital. Emirates REIT reported a net profit growth of 39 per cent to reach $48.5 million in 2014 from $34.8 million in 2013.

Sharjah Islamic Bank plans dollar-based sukuk

Sharjah Islamic Bank plans to launch a dollar based sukuk, and will hold meetings with fixed income investors on March 5. The bank plans to meet investors in Asia and Europe, it said in a statement on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, and HSBC will act as be arranging meetings on SIB’s behalf.

Emirates Airline flies flag for sukuk

Global sales of Sharia-compliant debt have slumped more than 70 per cent this year amid a plunge in crude prices. The drought underscores the industry’s dependence on sales from the GCC. Activity will pick up over the coming weeks, with Emirates Airline planning to sell US$1 billion of Sharia-compliant notes this quarter. Petroliam Nasional, the Malaysian state oil company known as Petronas, is seeking to raise as much as $7bn in the largest sale of dollar-denominated sukuk. The Islamic Development Bank will meet investors from this week before a possible issue. Meanwhile, Garuda Indonesia may issue $500 million of US currency Sharia-compliant debt in April.

Emirates hires banks for UK-guaranteed sukuk of up to $1 bln

Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, has hired banks to help it arrange a sukuk of up to $1 billion, as the airline seeks to raise cash to finance its pipeline of aircraft orders. The issue will be backed by UK Export Finance (UKEF). UKEF expected to guarantee an Islamic bond in 2015 issued by a customer of Airbus, Britain finance ministry said in October. The upcoming U.K.-backed Emirates deal could close by the end of the first quarter. The transaction is likely to be worth up to $1 billion, with the lifespan being between five and 10 years. Eight banks are arranging the transaction: HSBC, Citigroup, JP Morgan , National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Dubai Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD and Standard Chartered.

Aafaq Islamic Finance certified ISO 9001:2008

Aafaq Islamic Finance, a provider of Islamic finance products and services in the UAE, has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification for its quality management system. The company’s implemented system has been recognized for its aim to satisfy Aafaq clients through its services--meeting client expectations as well as the requirements needed in developing the quality management system continuously. The ISO, which covers the set international standards on quality management systems within organizations, was awarded after a review and evaluation conducted by the British Standard Institute (BSI), the assessing body assigned by the International Organization for Standardization to grant the ISO Certificate of Conformity.

Fitch appoints Global Head of Islamic Finance Group

Fitch Ratings has appointed Bashar Al Natoor as Global Head of Islamic Finance, based in Dubai. In this new role, Mr. Al Natoor will coordinate all Islamic Finance activities and expertise across Fitch's Sovereign, Financial Institutions, Corporate, Structured Finance, Infrastructure and Insurance teams. As well as being involved in the rating process of Islamic Finance instruments, the Islamic Finance Group will continue to monitor and report on this sector, produce research and commentary as well as criteria development. Mr Al Natoor has more than 14 years' experience in the Islamic Finance market. Since joining Fitch in 2007, he has overseen Fitch's Sukuk criteria and Islamic Finance practices, undertaken research and written numerous published articles on Islamic Finance.

UAE Insurance Authority issues regulations to traditional and Takaful insurers

H. E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Insurance Authority, issued Decision No. (25) of 2014 Pertinent to Financial Regulations for Traditional Insurance Companies and Decision No. (26) of 2014 Pertinent to Financial Regulations for Takaful Insurance Companies, which regulate the financial, technical, investment, and accounting operations of Traditional and Takaful insurers operating in the UAE. Included in the regulations, an actuary is accredited for every insurance company operating in the UAE and there are new investment rules to protect the rights of policyholders and companies against risks.

Standard Chartered Saadiq Launches Islamic Financial Education Modules

Standard Chartered Saadiq has launched an Islamic financial education programme this month. This programme aims to educate the UAE Community in the ways of responsibly handling their financial future in a Halal way. This programme comprises of a basic and an advanced module which focus on the prohibition of transactions which involve riba, fair distribution of profit and loss as well as prohibition of transactions which involves uncertainty or speculation. This is an extension of the Financial Education for Youth programme which Standard Chartered Bank has been running since 2013.

Dubai-Luxembourg firm launches Islamic factoring for SMEs

Tawreeq Holdings, an investment group based in Dubai and Luxembourg, has launched an Islamic trade receivables financing platform catering to the Gulf region's small businesses, with plans to tap the capital markets to fund the venture. The firm's CEO Haitham Al Refaie said the concept aims to give smaller firms a funding alternative to bank loans. Besides start-up capital from regional investors, the firm plans to raise additional funds, he added without giving monetary figures. Tawreeq's platform provides sharia-compliant factoring by connecting corporates, suppliers and investors to securitise trade receivables.

Tawreeq launches Shari'ah Compliant Supply Chain Finance Platform

Tawreeq, an independent Dubai/Luxembourg based group, has launched a supply chain finance platform targeting SME’s. The company led a development process to devise a Shari'ah-compliant workflow for supply chain finance. At its core is an IT platform that connects all elements under a single, cloud-based system that allows global reach and service. Tawreeq tackles challenges faced by SMEs through cash-flow tools known as factoring and reverse factoring. Tawreeq has worked closely with Amanie Advisors to ensure Shari'ah compliance and certification of its products and processes.

CORRECTED-OFFICIAL-Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank says CEO has not resigned

Abu Dhabi's government-owned Al Hilal Bank said on Thursday its chief executive Mohamed Jamil Berro had not resigned, correcting an earlier comment from a spokeswoman who said he was leaving. The CEO still remains in his position and it is business as usual for the bank, according to a statement from the bank. Earlier, the bank's spokeswoman told Reuters that Berro had resigned, with Al Hilal's executive vice president of wholesale banking, Sarie Ahmed Arar, assuming the role of acting CEO. The bank's spokeswoman mistakenly informed Reuters that Berro had resigned, the statement said without elaborating.

Dubai bank lures female borrowers with perfumed Mastercards.

Al Hilal Bank is reportedly partnering with Hind Al Oud perfume manufacturer that specialises in musky Arab scents to create a themed card targeting women. Al Oud will also provide complimentary perfumes alongside the perfumed MasterCard.

Latest ADIB real estate report shows improving Investor return and occupancy levels across all real estate asset classes

The latest quarterly report issued by the real estate consultancy arm of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) - MPM Properties - highlights value growth across all sectors of Abu Dhabi's real estate market during 2014. Government initiatives to stimulate job growth and enhance market sentiment, fuelled in part by a knock on effect from the Expo 2020 win, provided healthy demand across all asset classes. Residential apartment values within the designated Investment Areas demonstrated strong capital appreciation during 2014. MPM Properties research shows capital value growth ranging from 11% to 35% with an overall average increase of 21.6%.

Flydubai lists $500 million sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai

Nasdaq Dubai said on Wednesday flydubai listed its $500 million (Dh1.8 billion) sukuk on its exchange. This is the 18th Sukuk to have listed on Nasdaq Dubai since the beginning of 2014. The emirate is one of the three largest venues in the world for Sukuk listings, with current nominal value on its two exchanges totalling $24.05 billion. The sukuk saw a geographic distribution of 64 per cent to Middle East accounts, 25 per cent to European accounts, 7 per cent to Asia, and 4 per cent to US offshore.

Dubai Chamber CSR Label recognises sustainability efforts of 18 companies

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry honoured 18 companies for their corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts during a recognition ceremony held at its premises on Tuesday. The CSR Label is open to all organisations, private or public, regardless of their size, sector or operations and can make a major difference to a company’s reputation, efficiency and productivity and its success depends on how the CSR objectives are set and communicated to all of their stakeholders. Some of the honourees inlcuded BETA Information Technology, Zulekha Hospital and Qurum Business Group.

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