Asia

FT Special on Islamic finance

FT has today a 4 page special on Islamic finance. The link below leads to its pdf version (size 10 MB), discussing standardisation issues, credit crunch and other topics.

EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd aims to issue Sukuk year end

EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd, Malaysia hopes to raise about RM 80 mn to RM 100 mn through the issuance of Sukuk by year-end to finance the building of two high rise buildings on top of the mall as well as the mall’s refurbishment, reported Shannen Won in The Star Malaysia.

AAOIFI seeks mandate to vet products according to their Sharia Standards

The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) will seek a mandate from its trustees to examine the degree of sharia financial products' compliance with its 40 standards, its secretary-general, Mohamad Nedal Alchaar, said according to Liau Y-Sing from Reuters.

Lack of common standards makes it difficult to sell products across borders, while possibly enhancing innovation.

Malaysia's retail sukuk a success

Malaysia's retail Sukuk was a success and oversubscribed, now a second tranche is in preparation.

Moody's: Sukuk market revitalised by Asian Sukuk

New sales of Islamic bonds or sukuk, by Asian governments such as Indonesia are revitalising the market, ratings agency Moody’s said in a report, wrote Uta Harnischfeger in The National. Last week, the government of Indonesia issued its first international dollar sukuk, raising US$650 million (Dh2.3bn). The Sukuk was seven times oversubscribed.

Iran allows foreign bank branches: Citibank and Goldman Sachs among the first applicants

Iran welcomes foreign banks to establish branches in the country and engage in normal banking operations. According to Presstv, Article 44 of the Constitution had heretofore placed banking activities exclusively in the hands of government. In tandem with the Law on Usury Free Banking Operations, these two measures effectively blocked foreign banking operations from conducting business in the mainland.

With the long-awaited privatization law having already come into force in the summer of 2008, allowing the normal functioning of foreign banks in Iran is viewed as a major economy boosting initiative by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The rules for regulating the activity of foreign banks are set forth in four parts and 13 articles in the decree dated March 18, 2009 by the Council of Ministers and titled The Executive Bylaw of the Manner of Establishment and Operations of Foreign Bank Branches in Iran. The minimum capital for establishing a foreign bank branch in Iran is 5 million euros.

Under the new circumstances, four US banks, including Citibank and Goldman Sachs, have applied for opening a branch in Iran. The banks made a formal request to the CBI to establish a branch.

Arthur D. Little: Shariah-Compliant Banking is an Increasingly Attractive Option for Western Players

A new report released today by management consultancy Arthur D. Little entitled “Islamic Finance Comes of Age” has identified a surge in activity around Islamic finance as a promising opportunity for the global financial services industry as it emerges from the current recession. With Islamic finance assets currently standing at USD 800 bn, Arthur D. Little expects this figure to surge to as much as USD 4 trillion in the next six years, representing a major opportunity for Western financial institutions looking to develop new partnerships and global markets.

The report can be downloaded after free registration at: http://www.adlittle.com/islamic_finance

Indonesia's Global Sukuk 'Ba3 ' by Moody's

Indonesia's forthcoming Global Sukuk has been assigned a foreign currency rating of Ba3 with a stable outlook by Moody's Investors Service.

Danga Capital Sukuk raised MYR 1.6 bn

Danga Capital Bhd., a special purpose vehicle set up by the Malaysia government, raised a Sukuk, offering to MYR 1.6 bn (USD 443 mn) from MYR 1 bn. The 5-year tranche was priced at 4.22 % and the 7-year tranche at 4.49 % at the higher-end of the price guidance.

RAM Ratings has a AAA rating on Danga's planned MYR10 billion program with a long-term stable outlook.

CIMB Investment Bank Bhd. and AmInvestment Bank Bhd. are the joint lead managers and lead arrangers for the issue.

Indonesian USD 650 mn Sukuk Al Ijara ahead

Indonesia began gauging interest this week for its maiden global sukuk that is expected to raise up to USD 650 mn. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, finance minister, confirmed that the offering circular for the Sukuk Al Ijara reported John Aglionby in the Financial Times. Barclays Capital, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank are marketing the Sukuk. t has been rated Ba3 from Moody’s Investors Service, BB- from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and BB from Fitch Ratings.

Yields on traditional government bonds are coming down: The government’s 10-year paper is now offering 11.99%, down from above 14 % in February. Indonesia’s credit default swap spreads over US Treasuries have tightened to 491 bps, down from well over 1,000 bps late last year.

Unicorn Investment Bank looks for mergers and acquisitions

Unicorn Investment Bank consider mergers in the Gulf, and acquisitions of about USD 2 bn in the Gulf, Europa and Asia. It plans a Sukuk Al Ijara about USD 425 mn in Q3 to fund its expansion reported Ulf Laessing and Raissa Kasolowsky on Reuters. Current targets are two Gulf firms, retail banks in Pakistan, India and Malaysia and one in Britain or continental Europe. Unicorn received also a license in Malaysia for a new set up.

Plans announced last September to issue USD 1.5 bn Sukuk by the end of 2008 had been postponed due to market conditions.

E&Y sees takaful contributions grow to USD 7.7 bn by 2012

Ernst & Young released a report saying that the takaful market may reach USD 7.7 bn contributions by 2012, compared to USD 2.5 bn in 2006 and USD 3.4 bn in 2007.

Source: 

http://www.business24-7.ae/articles/2009/4/pages/globaltakafulmarketmayhit$77billionin2012report.aspx

Follow IslamicFinance.de with Twitter

IslamicFinance.de installed on 18 April a new service to keep you updated with Islamic finance news by sending its content to a Twitter account allowing to follow news even by mobile phone, Wikipedia the online encyclopedia explains Twitter as follows:

"Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user's profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers). [...] Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. The service is free to use over the Internet, but using SMS may incur phone service provider fees." Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

Please feel free to use just another free service related to IslamicFinance.de by following the news via Twitter:

Go to: http://twitter.com/IslamFinance

ACR ReTakaful SEA aims strategic alliance with an Islamic reinsurer in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic reinsurer ACR ReTakaful SEA expects to grow its business in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. The company is interested in specialized risk, including special liabilities, offshore energy, aviation and satellite and space insurance. The firm was in talks to enter into a strategic alliance with an Islamic reinsurer in Malaysia, which would likely take place in September.

GFH aims to raise USD 600 mn for energy projects in Libya and Kazakhstan

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House is seeking to raise USD 600 mn for energy projects in Libya and Kazakhstan this year.

PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk raised bonds and Sukuk

Indonesian retailer PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk raised a bigger-than-targeted 528 billion rupiah ($46.68 million) from a bonds issuance to help finance business expansion.

Matahari appointed PT HSBC Securities Indonesia, PT Indo Premier Securities and PT Ciptadana Securities as underwriters. It planned to raise 500 billion rupiahand achieved to raise 226 billion rupiah from Sukuk and 302 billion rupiah from conventional bonds. Pricing is about 16 % for 3 years and 17 % for 5 years.

Sri Lanka: First Barakah Investments Limited is expecting Central Bank approval

Anjana Samarasinghe reported that First Barakah Investments Limited is expecting Central Bank approval to operate as a registered finance company shortly in Sri Lanka shortly. The company also expects to apply for banking licenses within two years time.

Barakah Investments will introduce ‘SUKUK’ an alternative way of bonds in Islamic finance to the market. The Government of Sri Lanka also expects to raise funds through SUKUK.

Oliver Wyman says Islamic finance industry to grow to USD 1.6 trillion by 2012

Assets of the global Islamic finance industry are estimated to grow to around USD 1.6 trillion by 2012, a report by consultancy Oliver Wyman said. Growth opportunities lie in underpenetrated markets with large Muslim populations in the Middle East, Pakistan and South East Asia. Islamic wholesale banking needs to diversify from real estate finance to include advanced treasury services, innovative asset management, balance sheet management and securitisation management.

Request form: http://www.oliverwyman.com/ow/request.htm?name=The%20Next%20Chapter%20in...

Islamic Development Bank plans Sukuk

Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) plans to issue USD 5 bn Sukuk, over the next five years to finance its programmes.

IDB's president Mr Ali said he expected 2009 issue would be priced higher and that the new sukuk would increase the IDB’s 2009 financing programme by 15 %.

Parsoli directors resigned

Parsoli Corporation Ltd has informed Bombay Stock Exchange that Mr. Uto Baader, and Ms. Christine Schiedermaier, have resigned as directors of the Company and accordingly they ceased to be directors w.e.f. March 25, 2009.

Source: 

http://www.bseindia.com/qresann/news.asp?newsid={D28277E5-E5E5-482A-BD51-46090B16FD23}&param1=1

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