Latest News - Friday, 26 August 2016
This Week’s Newsletter
This is a free content. Click title to see the full news. Daily Cover Story - IFN weekly market roundup: 20th – 26th August 2016
The third quarter of the year is entering its final month, and the Islamic finance market has not shown any signs of subdued activities. IFN reviews some of the biggest developments from the past week across different segments including Sukuk,...
Since taking a tumble in 2014, Iraq has struggled to get back on track, with low oil prices and security concerns battering its financial...
Editor's Note
We don’t often hear of Iraq when it comes to Shariah compliant investments or Islamic finance; however, as our cover...
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Volume 13 Issue 34
E.g., 08/26/2016
E.g., 08/26/2016

Daily News Briefs

MALAYSIA: Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has appointed Mohamed Roslan Abdul Rahman and Chan Siew Mei of KPMG Deal Advisory as Receiver and Manager (R&M) for the sale of assets belonging to Asia Pacific Flight Training (APFTSB) to the Islamic bank. According to a bourse filing,...


SAUDI ARABIA: Wataniya Insurance Company’s 10 million rights issue was subscribed by 93.69% in the first two offering periods raising SAR93.69 million (US$24.97 million), the firm said in a bourse filing. Undersubscribed shares will be offered at a minimum price to a number of...


MALAYSIA: Ranhill Powertron II (RPII)’s RM270 million (US$66.79 million) outstanding non-guaranteed notes and RM350 million (US$86.58 million) outstanding guaranteed notes issued under its RM710 million Islamic medium-term note program have been affirmed at ‘AAIS’ and ‘AAAIS(fg...


MALAYSIA: Gas Malaysia’s Islamic commercial paper program and Islamic medium-term note program worth up to RM700 million (US$173.68 million) cumulatively have been assigned preliminary ratings of ‘MARC-1IS’ and ‘AAAIS’ respectively by MARC. The ratings carry a stable outlook.


QATAR: Masraf Al Rayan (MAR)’s long-term issuer rating has been upgraded to ‘A1’ from ‘A2’ while its counterparty risk (CR) assessment was elevated to ‘Aa3(cr)’ from ‘A1(cr)’ by Moody’s. According to a statement, the Islamic bank’s baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted...


BAHRAIN: GFH Financial Group’s long-term ‘BB’ rating and short-term ‘B’ rating have been affirmed with a stable outlook by Capital Intelligence, according to a statement.


GLOBAL: Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank will close down its representative office in Qatar on the 30th September, the Islamic bank said in a statement without elaborating further.


SAUDI ARABIA: Blathnaid Bergin, who was appointed as a non-executive board member of Al Alamiya for Cooperative Insurance Co representing Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Middle East effective the 18th August, resigned on the 25th August due to her resignation from Royal...


UK: BLME Holdings which reported “disappointing” financial performance in the first half of 2016 according to Chairman Adel Al Majed, will not proceed with the acquisition of Renaissance Asset Finance as originally planned as the Islamic bank undertakes a new growth strategy...


OMAN: Al Madina Takaful has launched the Hajj and Umrah Travel Insurance scheme which provides coverage in case of accidental death, permanent total disability, emergency medical expenses, sickness, hospitalization abroad, medical evacuation and loss of baggage and passport,...


BANGLADESH: Islami Bank Bangladesh (IBBL) has contributed BDT5 million (US$62,588.2) to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Bangladesh for the latter’s capacity-building in training and services under an MoU signed between both parties on the 23rd August, according to a...


IRAN: Energy Exchange has agreed with the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company to offer new futures contracts to finance a new project in the Persian Gulf Star Refinery, announced Energy Exchange CEO Ali Hosseini, as reported by Security and Exchange News...


SAUDI ARABIA: Salama Cooperative Insurance Company has been fined SAR30,000 (US$7,995.88) by the Capital Market Authority for violation of paragraph (A) of Article (14) of the Corporate Governance Regulations. According to a bourse filing, the Shariah compliant insurance...


UAE: Emirates Islamic (EI) has reportedly retrenched over 100 staff as part of cost-cutting, reported Reuters citing unnamed sources. The layoffs occurred between April and the end of July, said the sources, adding that most of the latest jobs to go were in the department...


BAHRAIN: Ithmaar Bank has received the approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to transfer its entire banking business to IB Bank and IB Capital, according to a statement. The CBB also welcomes any objection on the said transfer via a written submission within three...


IRAN: The Iranian parliament has officially ratified a bill for Iran’s membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was submitted by President Hassan Rouhani to parliament last December, according to IRNA. The parliament also authorized the government to...


UK: Shariah compliant real estate specialist 90 North Real Estate Partners will be advising on the sale of a 105,000 sqm VW Logistics property in Germany through the agent, JLL, 90 North announced on Twitter.  


BANGLADESH: State-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is seeking US$600 million to US$800 million-worth of financing from the IDB’s International Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) to bankroll its oil imports for the 2016-17 fiscal year, according to The Financial Express...


NIGERIA: The Federal Inland Revenue Services has agreed to grant the necessary tax concessions granted to corporate bonds to the proposed maiden sovereign Sukuk, said Mounir Gwarzo, the director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, as reported by Nigeria’s The...


SAUDI ARABIA: The Capital Market Authority of Saudi Arabia (CMA)’s instructions that will organize the bookbuilding process and allocation method in IPOs to promote the share-pricing mechanism and improve the allocation criteria, will take effect on the 1st January 2017,...


IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE

Case Study

The international Sukuk market recently welcomed a maiden benchmark-sized US dollar Sukuk from a budding sovereign of the GCC where the facility was competitively priced amid a rating downgrade and macroeconomics challenges. NURUL ABD...

IFN Country Analysis

Despite its economy improving since the fall of terrorist groups in the early 2000s, landlocked Afghanistan is still reeling from decades of conflict which has continued to undermine investor and private sector confidence. Heavily...

Sovereign Sukuk

In what was a hectic period just two weeks ago, the sovereign Sukuk space took a slight breather the past week, with Indonesia, Brunei and Bahrain issuing their regular government-backed Islamic papers. DANIAL IDRAKI brings you the usual...

IFN Sector Analysis

As the crowdfunding industry expands to become a popular source of alternative financing and investment, a growing number of entities in the Islamic finance universe have also begun to leverage on the growing use of technology to provide...
 

IFN Reports

IVORY COAST: Tapping the Sukuk market has proven to be the right decision for Ivory Coast which is on the lookout for alternative streams of income and hoping to capture the wealth of Middle East and Asia; and it is likely that...

In what was a hectic period just two weeks ago, the sovereign Sukuk space took a slight breather the past week, with Indonesia, Brunei and Bahrain issuing their regular government-backed Islamic papers. DANIAL IDRAKI brings you...

GFH Financial Group has revived plans to acquire Shariah compliant Bank Al Khair (BAK) after merger negotiations between the latter and GFH’s subsidiary, Khaleeji Commercial Bank, fell through in 2014. VINEETA TAN takes a closer...

Zurich Takaful Malaysia (ZTMB), a new brand in Malaysia’s Takaful market after the largest insurer in Switzerland, Zurich Insurance Group, acquired MAA Takaful earlier this month and renamed the Takaful provider, is set to...

When Saudi regulators introduced new investment rules in 2015 with the aim of easing foreign investment into its stock market, the move was described as “historic” and a potential game changer by pundits. But how has the stock...

BAHRAIN: GFH Financial Group has revived plans to acquire Shariah compliant Bank AlKhair (BAK) after merger negotiations between the latter and GFH’s subsidiary, Khaleeji Commercial Bank, fell through in 2014. The announcement,...

The population of Malaysia is ageing; VINEETA TAN writes how financial institutions are positioning themselves in the retirement market as 15% of the 28 million-strong population is projected to hit 60 years old in less than two...

It has been a busy week in the Sukuk market – both sovereign and corporate – including in the rating segment as two rating agencies review their rating methodologies. Several key appointments were made in the UAE, Malaysia and...

Profits may have been affected from a tough 2016 environment, but one of the largest Islamic banking groups in the world is unfazed and is unwavering in growing its geographical presence to tighten its grip on its global title....

Two IDB Group units are linking up to help spur trade and facilitate economic development in one of Africa’s poorest nations. VINEETA TAN brings you the story. The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and...

Features

As a quick introduction to the current social climate, ANASS PATEL wants to start by saying that France is in a love affair with Islam. Not a single day passes by where the press doesn’t relate a (bad) event from the Muslim...

SMEs are critical to the creation of employment and sustainable economic growth. In the UAE, for example, they constitute around 60% of the UAE’s non-oil economy and 90% of total businesses, yet they account for only 3% to 4% of...

During a lecture on entrepreneurial finance taught as part of the Executive Master’s degree program in Islamic finance at the Islamic Economics Institute of King Abdulaziz University, one of my students asked me — ‘Why speak of...

Being part of the greater ‘alternative investments’, real estate is an important asset class, and the source of enormous wealth. However, it is not easily accessible for many investors – this is even more valid when it comes to...

The Islamic finance and banking system model based on Shariah law encompasses concepts which prevent the acceptance of interest or usury and the accumulation of wealth (Riba) and prohibit investment in immoral activities. The...

Women in Islamic Finance

What differentiate Samina Akram from most of her peers are perhaps her passion and commitment to empower women in Islamic finance which have led her to spearhead the creation of a platform to connect and support women worldwide...

Column

By Mohammed Khnifer, an Islamic debt capital markets banker at a supranational banking institution as well as an AAOIFI-certified Shariah advisor and auditor. With the ongoing market conditions, one should take notice of the...

By Daud Vicary, the president and CEO of the International Center of Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), The Global University of Islamic Finance. It has been a busy period post-Eid. Time has been occupied, in part by...

IFN Correspondents

PAKISTAN: Amid a flurry of domestic Sukuk activities in the Republic, Pakistan is now preparing to re-enter the international sovereign Sukuk market ending a 21-month drought as it continues its aggressive borrowing spree to fund...

This article serves as the last of my Brexit trilogy, which could be summarized as follows: ‘Brexit the brave?’ — The vote is going to be too close to call, but don’t worry, Islamic investors seem keen to still invest even...

  There have been a number of legal developments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with some meant to further encourage investment in the Kingdom and likely to be of interest to parties investing on a Shariah compliant basis...

Since the announcement by the Hong Kong government on the 1st March 2016 that its third Sukuk issuance will be happening sometime in the second half of the year, the market has been looking forward to its implementation. In...

The Jakarta Islamic Index (JII) consists of 30 Shariah compliant shares that have the largest market capitalization and are the most liquid. In general, members of this index are made up of companies whose core business is in the...

Shariah Pronouncement

Query:   A corporate entity, which is a customer of an Islamic bank, had deposited an amount in a term deposit account for a period of three years on the basis of Mudarabah. However, upon completion of one year it has...

Special Reports

Statistics in 2015 for foreigners buying commercial real estate in the US will be upstaged by a bigger spike this year, according to Bloomberg.com. However, SHOEB M SHARIEFF points out that there are a few issues to be considered...

The Islamic banking and finance industry in Malaysia has been growing and has a wider presence in Malaysia based on the report released recently by Fitch Ratings. AHMAD MUKARRAMI and SYED MUHAMMAD NAJMI analyzes whether the...

As the dust settles after last month’s Brexit vote, the smoke is only getting thicker with no clear visibility on the tough road ahead. However, is it really all doom and gloom? Or, seen through a wider context, is it a bitter...

Focus on corporate banking technology is witnessing a resurgence and none more so than in the Islamic states. Trade finance currently supports 90% of world trade; however, emerging economies have seen the highest volumes of trade...

Given the recent recession and skyrocketing inflation, the conversion of Trust Bank in Suriname to a fully-fledged Islamic bank in line with the demand of its stakeholders that prompted its board members to undertake the...