Standard & Poor's

Indonesia Debt Drops Most in 8 Months on Fuel: Islamic Finance

Indonesian two-year sukuk dropped last month, raising up yields by the most since September, as Standard & Poor's.
S&P didn’t associate with Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, which have allowed Indonesia investment-grade status in the past five months, declaring the nation at risk from “policy slippages” such as the failure to reduce the fuel subsidies.

Al Salam Bank provides £38 million innovative sharia compliant mezzanine facility

Al Salam Bank - Bahrain a leading Islamic financial institution, has recently provided £38 million in a unique Shari'a compliant mezzanine facility to refinance a landmark commercial Property located in the heart of Canary Wharf, the financial district of London. The property is leased in its entirety to a leading, multinational financial institution with A+ long term rating with stable outlook form Standard & Poor's. The successful closing of this transaction demonstrates ASBB's ability to provide its valued clients with differentiated investment opportunities with attractive terms that are structured to take advantage of current market conditions. ASBB was advised by Herbert Smith LLP and Knight Frank on legal and commercial matters relating to the transaction, respectively.

S&P sees 'major hurdles' for some GCC investment firms

Some investment companies in the Gulf will likely find it difficult to pursue their operations without dramatic changes in the wake of the global financial downturn, Standard & Poor's has said in a new report. "The main reasons behind this deterioration, in our opinion, are Gulf investment companies' generally high maturity mismatches they carry in their funding profiles and the ensuing weakened liquidity, weak business profiles, high leverage, and high exposure to real estate for some of them," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Mohamed Damak. Damak said: "But in the short term, we see some major hurdles for Gulf investment companies to overcome on the potential road to recovery."

Saudi Arabia-Based Al Rajhi Bank Upgraded To 'A+' On Strengthened Financial Profile

Press Release

Saudi Arabia-Based Al Rajhi Bank Upgraded To 'A+' On Strengthened Financial Profile;
Outlook Stable

*We consider that Al Rajhi Bank's strong market position in the Saudi retail market,
superior profitability, growth strategy with solid capital ratios, and improved risk
management have strengthened the bank's financial profile. *We are raising our
long-term rating on Al Rajhi Bank to 'A+' from 'A' and affirming our 'A-1'
short-term rating. *The stable outlook reflects our view that Al Rajhi Bank should
continue to benefit from its comparative advantage as a leading and well-entrenched
Islamic bank in Saudi Arabia and maintain superior financial performance and capital

PARIS (Standard & Poor's) May 31, 2010--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said
today that it has raised to 'A+' from 'A' its long-term counterparty credit rating
on Saudi Arabia-based Al Rajhi Bank (ARB) and affirmed its 'A-1' short-term
counterparty credit rating. The outlook is stable.

"The rating action reflects our view that ARB's stand-alone credit profile has
strengthened in the recent past, thanks to its unique market position in the Saudi

S&P: European Finance House Offshore Sharia Fund Assigned 'AAf/S1+' Fund Credit Quality And Volatility Ratings

Press Release

European Finance House Offshore Sharia Fund Assigned 'AAf/S1+' Fund Credit Quality
And Volatility Ratings

LONDON, May 4, 2010--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it assigned
its 'AAf' fund credit quality and its 'S1+' fund volatility ratings to EFH Funds SCA
SICAV-SIF - Liquidity Subfund (the "subfund"), a Luxembourg-domiciled U.S
dollar-denominated liquidity fund, managed by European Finance House (EFH). This is
the first Standard & Poor's fund credit quality and fund volatility rating assigned
to an offshore Islamic fund.

Fund credit quality ratings generally reflect our assessment of the level of
protection against losses from credit defaults and are based on an analysis of the
credit quality of the portfolio investments and the likelihood of counterparty

Fund volatility ratings generally reflect Standard & Poor's view of the fund's
sensitivity to interest rate movements, credit risk, investment diversification or
concentration, liquidity, leverage, and other factors.

The ratings reflect Standard & Poor's analysis of the subfund's credit quality and

S&P: Islamic Investors' Risk Tolerance Will Determine Demand For Sharia Fund Ratings

Press Release

Islamic Investors' Risk Tolerance Will Determine Demand For Sharia Fund Ratings,
Report Says

LONDON, May 4, 2010--The economic boom in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region
has fueled the emergence of Islamic finance in the international market in the past
decade. Revenue growth in this region has particularly benefited the asset
management sector, as Standard & Poor's noted in a report published today (see "Using Fund Ratings To Assess Credit And Market Risks In Sharia Funds").

The Middle East is by far the largest market for Sharia-compliant funds, but
conventional players in Europe, South Africa, and the U.S. have also launched a
number of funds that comply with Sharia law during past years, enhancing their
product range to meet the specific requirements of Islamic investors seeking to
invest in this asset class.

The number of product types remains limited, which Standard & Poor's Ratings
Services believes is largely due to the nascent nature of Sharia funds. Funds also
have to be invested in ways that are permitted under Islamic law. Sharia funds,
unlike traditional bond funds, do not invest in conventional rated fixed-income

S&P: Negative Rating Actions Taken On Four Dubai-Based Banks On Expected Asset Quality Deterioration

Press Release

Negative Rating Actions Taken On Four Dubai-Based Banks On Expected Asset Quality Deterioration

Standard & Poor's has concluded its review of Dubai-based banks, which has resulted in various negative rating actions.

We are lowering the ratings on Emirates Bank International PJSC, National Bank of Dubai, and Mashreqbank to 'A-/A-2' from 'A/A-1'.

We are lowering the long-term rating on Dubai Islamic Bank to 'BBB+' from 'A-' and affirming the 'A-2' short-term rating.

The negative outlooks on all these banks reflect the deteriorating operating environment in Dubai and the impact we expect it to have on the banks' financial profiles.

S&P: Saudi Arabian Insurance Markets Withstand Regulatory Restructuring And The Global Economic Downturn

Press Release

LONDON, April 29, 2009--In the spring of 2009, uncertainty remains the dominant theme for insurance companies and banks across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, as it does internationally, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services noted in a report, titled "Insurance Markets In Saudi Arabia In The Wake of Regulatory Restructuring And The Global Economic Downturn."

Even within the GCC, however, Standard & Poor's detects a widespread belief that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and its financial institutions have been less affected by the downturn than most of its neighbors, and that recovery will likely come more quickly there than elsewhere. Meanwhile, the ongoing flow of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) on the Tadawul Stock Exchange in Riyadh in 2009--including the April IPOs of insurers Al Rajhi, Weqaya, ACE Arabia, and AXA Cooperative to raise a cumulative Saudi Arabian riyal 260 million (approximately $69 million) of new capital--indicate that Saudi investors still have considerable liquid assets with which to support attractive business propositions.

Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH) and Standard & Poor's launched National Data Pooling Project (NDPP)

Joint Press Release

Riyadh ? London, February 2 2009

Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH) and Standard & Poor's, the leading provider of financial market intelligence, independent ratings, indices, investment research and data across the Middle East?s credit risks launched today the National Data Pooling Project (NDPP) and signed a contract in Riyadh. SIMAH was represented by its General Manager Mr. Nabil Abdullah Al-Mubarak, Standard & Poor?s by Mr. David Pearce, Managing Director of McGraw-Hill International (UK) Ltd and Mr. Bernard O?Sullivan, Managing Director and Head of Standard & Poor?s Risk Solutions in Europe, Middle East & Africa.

In this context, Nabil Al-Mubarak stated that the project comes as the final step in the framework of specialized projects for measuring credit risks, which would enable all participating member banks to fulfill all requirements of Basel II capital adequacy issued in 2005, referring to the fact that the Kingdom has already been implementing Basel II Capital Standards since 2006, and welcoming at the same time the strategic relationship with Standard & Poor's.

Syndicate content