Oasis Group targets UK investors for Islamic funds

The Oasis Group is advancing very fact in expanding its overseas operations and plans to open an office in London later this year as part of its expansion strategy.
Michael Bear, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, stated that high level financial and business services in South Africa and London are on a fast track for much closer cooperation. He also added that this will benefit both countries.
Oasis made its most critical move when it opened its office in Ireland, Dublin. Today it has six funds listed on the Irish stock exchange including its two flagship funds - the Oasis Global Equity Fund and the Oasis Crescent Global Equity Fund; the Oasis Crescent International Property Equity Feeder Fund; the Oasis Crescent Global Income Fund; the Oasis Crescent Global Low Equity Balanced Fund; and the Oasis Global Money Market Fund.

Global Takaful market to reach $25 billion in 2015, says E&Y

Ernst & Young's experts stated at the International Takaful Summit 2011 in London that Takaful is only one per cent of total global insurance market but Muslims are 20 per cent of the world's population.
Abid Shakeel is the one that spoke at on 'Takaful - the default option for Muslim countries' at the summit. He underlined the fact that the legislation in the Islamic countries that makes Takaful products the preferred choice among insurance products can place the industry on a completely different level. He added the fact that growth in the GCC is primarily driven by compulsory insurance rather than only voluntary policies.

Days of reckoning for first IDB annual meeting since the Arab Spring

Delegates from more than 60 countries are gathering in Jeddah over the next few days for the 36th annual meeting of the board of governors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, which will take place on June 29-30.
The place of the meeting was changed because of the political turmoil and violence in Yemen.
The common theme in general will be bad political, economic and social governance, tempered with endemic corruption, cronyism, lack of basic individual rights and dignity, and the politics and economics of despair through high unemployment, lack of affordable housing and poverty.

BLME launches Sharia High-Yield Fund for Gulf investors

Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME) will launch the BLME High Yield Fund. The BLME High Yield Fund is a Sharia compliant fund which targets institutional and high net worth investors in Gulf countries seeking to generate higher returns than those targeted by BLME's US Dollar Income Fund.
By inventing up to 85% in sukuk and 15% in Ijara, BLME High Yield Fund targets a net return of three-month US dollar Libor in addition to a 5% return per annum.

Light at the end of TID’s debt-restructuring tunnel

Adnan Al-Musallam, chairman of The Investment Dar (TID), fought off any attempt from the last two years from some creditors to put TID under administration or declare it bankrupt.
On June 2, 2011, the Islamic investment company was admitted under the FSL following the approval of the restructuring plan, which was submitted by the company to Kuwait’s Special Circuit Court of Appeal on May 5, 2011.

Could Middle East financial centers pose threat to leader London?

It seems that inspite the fact that London is retaining its top spot as the leading global financial center in 2011, European frontrunners are being challenged by fast developing nations in the Middle East.
Of the four Middle Eastern centers in the GFCI, Dubai has maintained a lead since the index first began in 2007. Qatar is only 8 points behind Dubai having been 135 points behind in the second GFCI in 2007.
The latest GFCI shows that Bahrain and Riyadh are still way behind two Middle Eastern leaders Dubai and Qatar.

EIIB relocating staff to Bahrain in major push

The London-based European Islamic Investment Bank (EIIB) is now focusing on the Islamic markets of the Middle East and Asia, changing the strategy used until now.
Part of the strategy is to relocate some of its key personnel from its London office to its representative office in Bahrain.

Roadshow success for Islamic Development Bank

Islamic Development Bank (IDB) conducted a roadshow in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. This is part of a resource mobilization plan.
The roadshow began in the UAE and reached London where the bank has successfully priced, $750 million, 5-year, Trust Certificates (sukuk) issued at par with a 2.35 percent semi-annual profit rate under its $3.5 billion Trust Certificate Issuance Program.

HSBC Middle East eyeing Islamic bond issue - IFR

It seems that HSBC Middle East is going to meet investors in Asia and Europe for a potential sukuk issue. The meetings will take place in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and London.

SIB heads to London

Mohammed Abdullah, CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB), stated that the bank will issue a global dollar-denominated Sukuk that will be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The size of the issue is yet to be decided as they are waiting for market response after the investor road show which is taking place in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Islamic Development Bank Plans Dollar-Denominated Sukuk Issue

The Islamic Development Bank wants to launch a dollar-denominated sukuk. The sukuk is expected to be launched after the completion of its fixed income investor meetings in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Gatehouse in world-first venture creates Takaful Brokerage in London

Gatehouse Bank plc will join Paul Napier Ltd in order to form Gatehouse Napier. This wil be the world's first Shariah compliant insurance broker which offers premium Takaful and Re-Takaful commercial risk solutions in London.
It appears that GCC investors have invested more than £3bn on UK commercial property in the post financial crisis.

QIIB agrees to buy IBB

Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) has agreed to buy full control of the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) as part of QIIB’s plans to develop an international banking business compliant with Shariah laws.
QIIB is offering one pence a share, representing a discount of 70 percent to IBB’s closing share price of 3.38 pence on March 15.

London Fire Brigade partner AssetCo snubs Arcapita bid approach

AssetCo Plc rejected what it called an opportunistic takeover approach from Islamic investment firm Arcapita , and said it received a new loan from its principal bank.
AssetCo, which is valued at 14 million pounds, is the only company to have a fully outsourced fire and rescue service in the Middle East.

Fire engine firm AssetCo damps down takeover bid

AssetCo, the troubled firm that owns London's fire engines, has rejected a takeover approach from an Islamic investment fund.
Shares in the emergency services company jumped by a fifth yesterday as it revealed that the board had rebuffed an 'opportunistic' cash offer from Bahrain-based private equity firm Arcapita.
Arcapita said the approach had been supported by AssetCo chief executive and largest shareholder John Shannon and it was 'still considering its options'.

Growth of women in Islamic finance remains a challenge

Many women have and are still contributing to the development of the contemporary Islamic finance movement, and yet their contribution, except in countries such as Malaysia, has largely been marginalized by an industry that is still dominated by middle class men.
The issue of gender equality and empowerment is one that affects all societies whether in the West or East. The issue of unequal payment for the same jobs in the City of London, one of the world's largest financial centers, is still entrenched. The number of women on the boards of FTSE 100 companies is still woefully low.

MOVES-Barclays names director for Islamic products

British lender Barclays Bank has appointed Dominic Selwood as a director responsible for its Islamic products services.
Selwood joins Barclays as a director in the Financial Institutional Structuring Group (FISG) and is currently based in London.

WikiLeaks bares US concern over London as rival financial hub

Islamic finance made its debut in WikiLeaks last week when the whistleblower par excellence passed on a diplomatic cable dispatch to The Telegraph, sent by Robert Holmes Tuttle, the then US ambassador to the Court of St. James in London, to his bosses at the State Department and the US Treasury, outlining the UK government’s policy on Islamic finance and warned that London is getting the competitive edge on Wall Street as the international financial center because it has actively sought to promote itself as a global hub for Islamic finance, investment and trade.

Bahrain central bank grants licence to Bank of London and The Middle East

The Bank of London and The Middle East has been granted a licence by the Central Bank of Bahrain to open an office in the kingdom. The bank is a Financial Services Authority authorised independent wholesale Sharia-compliant bank based in London.

BLME sees strong performance from Middle East Sharia'a USD income Fund

The Bank of London and The Middle East's (BLME) Sharia’a USD Income Fund has been ranked in the top decile of funds for 2010 by Lipper Hindsight, Thomson Reuters’ fund ranking platform.
This is proof of the fund’s good performance and its ability to provide a good balance between liquidity and return in a challenging environment.
Since its launch in March 2009 BLME’s USD Income Fund has offered investors weekly liquidity and enhanced yields through investment in Islamic money markets and the Sukuk (Islamic Bond) market.

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