Saudi Gazette

Alinma Bank outlook ‘stable’

Alinma Bank has been assigned a long-term issuer default rating (IDR) of ‘A-’ with a stable outlook, a short-term IDR of ‘F2’, a viability rating (VR) of ‘bbb-’, a support rating of ‘1’ and a support rating floor of ‘A-’ by Fitch Ratings. The bank's IDRs, support rating and support rating floor reflect the view of the rating agency that if needed, support from the Saudi authorities is extremely probable.

Saudi-Swiss fund investing in soft commodity markets

Saudi Arabian financial services company Sidra Capital (Sidra) and Swiss alternative investment house INOKS Capital SA (INOKS) made an announcement about investments in various transactions by its jointly managed Sidra Ancile Global Structured Trade Finance Fund (STFIF). The joint facility totals $13.5 million. STFIF is regulated both by Saudi Arabia Capital Market Authority (CMA) and the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) of Luxembourg. The fund has given approval to a number of investments in various transactions since the closure of its first offering of subscription in September 2012.

Jordan to establish regional center for Islamic banking

In order to stabilize the role of Islamic banking in the country, Jordan's government will establish a leading regional center for Islamic finance. This was made possible particularly by the rapid growth of Islamic banking in Jordan after the enforcement of laws organizing the work of takaful insurance and sukuk. So far, the assets of the four Islamic banks operating in Jordan is $4.6 billion. This constitutes 5% of the total banking assets. With an annual growth of 13% they develop better and faster compared with traditional banks in terms of deposits and financing.

SHB issues 4th SR-denominated sukuk

SAUDI Hollandi Bank had emitted a sukuk in value of SR1.4 billion ($373.3 million) with a maturity period of seven years, but it can be redeemed by issuer already after the end of the fifth year. The aim of the issuance is mainly focused on developing the Islamic business of the bank by following prudent asset management strategy and assets-liabilities mix and maintaining a sufficient capital buffer.

Syndicated bank lending in KSA doubles in 2012

Syndicated lending by Saudi Arabian banks has increased by almost twice in 2012, according to Bloomberg. On the contrary, syndicated lending has slowed overall in the Middle East and North Africa as it fell by 5 percent this year registering its first decline since 2009. The Shariah-compliant bond market is mostly driven by privately held companies in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, as they keen to access the public debt markets and thus earn higher yields.

ASEAN as a single asset class proposed

the new Chairman of the Securities Commission of Malaysia - Ranjit Ajit Singh - said he wanted to see the emergence of an internationalized single Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) asset class which would be able to compete with other major regional or global asset classes. He further added that internationalization of the Malaysian capital market as well as of ASEAN as a single asset class is necessary. The capital markets of all the member countries will profit from better and wider access due to success of ASEAN as a single asset class on the global stage.

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Who is guarding the Kingdom’s national assets?

Although since the catastrophic Jeddah floods of 2009 it has been talked a lot about corruption and incompetence in government departments and city municipalities, the issue of state owned enterprises or SOEs has hardly received any attention. That given the fact that these SOEs make up about 50% of the country's non-oil economy and account for over 25% of the employees in the private sector. The management of the Kingdom's SOEs are rarely held responsible for the waste of public funds on the mismanagement of the country’s national assets. As the main reason for this, the way of choosing the boards of directors of these SOEs or state owned enterprises is pointed out.

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Sukuk a solution to Egypt’s economic crisis

Last month the intention of issuing one or two rounds of sukuk by the end of this year by the Egyptian government was announced. The business community has a prevailing positive attitude towards the idea. Now the Egyptian government is busy figuring out the details of the proposal. Establishing rules to govern the issuance of sukuk are to be discussed.

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Turkey’s sovereign sukuk spurs new issuances

Turkish Treasury explores opportunities for a possible Sukuk issuance in value of $1.5 billion that was initially valued at $1 billion. The demand for it is high as the overall market conditions became increasingly challenging. The Turkish Treasury's entrance to the sukuk market shall provide a trustable benchmark to the sector and help boost private issuance around the Gulf and worldwide.

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Prize for research in Islamic economics announced

The committee of Prince Mohammad Al-Faisal Prize has officially announced new nominations for the annual prize 2012. The prize has an important role in promoting Islamic economics and should contribute to foster creativity among young researchers. The winning research work on Islamic economics will be granted a SR100,000 cash prize.

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Saudi banks most profitable in Middle East

After a ranking of the top 50 banks in the Middle East by assets for the period H1 2011 it became clear that Saudi banks are leaders in profitability. Throughout the period they have been maintaining strong asset quality and adapting adequate lending practices and underwriting standards. As the main reason for the success of Saudi banks the traditional conservative fiscal polices together with the billion-dollar government budget are pointed out.

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Skill shortage obstructs growth of Islamic finance

According to Bank Negara Malaysia’s Shariah Advisory Council, there is a skill shortage in the Islamic finance Industry. In order to prevent it from hindering the growth of the Islamic Finance, Southeast Asian universities are adding Islamic finance courses. The new programmes will start at universitas Muhammadiyah in Malang, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur-based International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF). The new courses shall bridge the gap between what was formerly taught and what is requred by employers.

Saudi mortgage law to boost takaful industry

According to the Saudi Arabian Mortgage Law which was adopted by the Council of Ministers earlier this month, insurance will be a prerequisite for mortgages. This means that without insurance, no No mortgage finance provider would finance a house. The new law is expected to affect positively or even to boost the Saudi insurance market and the mortgage takaful in particular.


Al Rajhi ahead of major international banks in market value

According to a survey published originally by the newspaper Al Qabas it results that Al Rajhi Bank with its market value of USD 22.4 bn was ahead of leading global banks, including: Morgan Stanley with USD 20.88 bn, Deutsche Bank with USD 13.83 bn, Barclays with USD 11.58 bn, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) with USD 10.93 bn and Citibank with USD 10.63 bn.

Bank AlJazira General Annual Meeting

Mohannad Sharaw, Saudi Gazette, reported on 18 April that Bank AlJazira increased the bank's capital from SAR 2.250 bn (255 mn equities) to SAR 3 bn (300 million equities), or a 33.3 percent increase and the the total number of shares of 27 stakeholders reached 142,201,320 mn, representing 63 % of the bank's 255 million equities. The SAR 750 mn hike will be deducted from the net profits account according to the SAMA regulations.

The 42nd general annual meeting of the bank was held at Jeddah Hilton led by Taha Bin Abdullah Al-Qwaiz, head of the board, along with Abdullah Saleh Kamel, Abdullah Al-Angari, Khalid Bin Omar Al- Baltan, Eng. Abdul Majid Al-Sultan, Khalifa Bin Abdul Latif Al-Mulhim, Mishari Bin Ibrahim Al- Mishari, and Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al-Mudbel.

The board likewise approved dividend of SR0.50 per each equity owned and registered at Tadawul by the end of the stock market session on Wednesday and the added profits on April 29.


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