Sukuk become tool in Basel III capital-raising  
Sukuk appear to fit in well with Basel III principles

Published: 13:59 November 25, 2012

Dubai: A $1 billion sukuk issue by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank this month may start a trend that was probably not contemplated by the founders of modern Islamic finance: Islamic bonds may become a key tool for banks to meet tightening capital rules.

The trend could add further momentum to a global boom in sukuk issuance. It could also ease pressure on banks which find it hard to raise capital from equity issues as global financial instability depresses stock markets.

Adib attracted a spectacular order book of over $15 billion for this month’s $1 billion perpetual sukuk, which has no maturity date; Adib can choose to repay the bond on certain dates from 2018 if it wishes.  Read More...

Gulf Islamic banks ready to step in as HSBC pulls back
Gulf institutions still planning for expansion as HSBC announces reduction in some Islamic operations

Published: 12:38 October 20, 2012

Sydney: Four days after HSBC Holdings said it would shrink its global Islamic banking operations, National Bank of Abu Dhabi revealed very different plans: it aims to triple the contribution of its Sharia-compliant operations over the next eight years.

The contrast suggests that rather than being a sign of weakness in the Islamic finance sector, HSBC’s decision reflected its own business priorities — and to the extent that the British bank pulls back from the industry, local banks will gain an opportunity to expand. 

"We have mandates from three Malaysian corporates to issue sukuk in the Malaysian market," said Jaroudi.

HSBC announced early this month that except for wholesale banking operations, it would no longer offer Islamic products in Britain, the UAE, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Singapore and Mauritius.

It said it would focus its Islamic finance business on customers in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, while keeping a limited presence in Indonesia. Read More...

Global sukuk issuances hit $121b in 2012
The GCC market reached over $19 billion of issuance as at July 2012

By Saifur RahmanBusiness Editor

Published: 18:19 December 10, 2012 

Dubai: The global sukuk market is expected to grow 141.32 per cent to reach $292 billion (Dh1.07 trillion) in issuances by 2016, up from $121 billion (Dh444 billion) in 2012, according to a latest report by Thomson Reuters

The value of global aggregate sukuk for the period January 1996 to September 2012 is $396.4 billion, attributed to 2,790 issues.

“More than 60 per cent of this total value comes from sukuk issued between 2010 and 2012, when 1,486 sukuk were issued to the tune of $248.5 billion,” the report says.

“On an average, investors expect 50 per cent of their portfolios to be allocated to Islamic finance investments. Between $200 million to $800 million, or an average of 35 to 40 per cent of this would be allocated to sukuk.

“Real estate is the least preferred sector for investors, while arrangers least expect issuances from the oil and gas sector. GCC investors overwhelmingly prefer USD sukuk, while Asian investors are split between USD, Malaysian ringgit and other currencies.”  Read More... 

Saudi banking, investment expert scoops international award  
Monday 19 November 2012 Last Update 21 November 2012 5:08 am

Saudi asset management company SEDCO Capital’s Chairman Abdelelah Salem Ahmed Bin Mahfouz has been named winner of the Most Outstanding Individual Contribution to Islamic Finance Award for 2012.
The award was recently presented during the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF 2012) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The aim of the event was mainly to honor and acknowledge the significant efforts of individuals and institutions in developing the Islamic finance industry, as well as to gather a pool of industry experts including regulatory authorities, Shariah scholars, bankers, legal practitioners, Takaful operators and academicians to share their views and experience concerning the Islamic finance industry.
Abdelelah said: “It is an honor to receive such a prestigious award and proof of the success of SEDCO Capital’s vision of sharing our experience and knowledge, in addition to delivering global best practice ideas to our investment partners, which we have developed over sixteen years of successful involvement in real estate, public equity timber, commodities and private equity investments.”Read More.... 

Gulf firms look to emerging markets for more returns
Saturday 24 November 2012
DUBAI: Gulf firms and state-backed investors, flush with petrodollars and facing limited growth options at home, are stepping into emerging markets in Africa and Asia to get a foothold in key sectors such as banking and telecommunications.

Investors from the Gulf have for years put their oil wealth into developed markets in the United States, Europe and Japan. The consistent focus on less developed countries is new, and may have big implications for the economies receiving the money.

Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank, is one example of the trend; it is looking at potential acquisitions in areas including Africa, Chief Executive Rick Pudner told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit this week.

"If you can find something that isn't betting the bank on but is a good opportunity to take advantage of weaker asset prices in the region, then you need to look at it," Pudner said. Read More...  
The growing importance of the Islamic finance market
Sunday 11 November 2012

Last Update 11 November 2012 4:56 am

The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia achieved the distinction to issue the single largest Sukuk worth $ 4 billion in January 2012. The Kingdom's Sukuk market is now considered the third largest in the world, after Malaysia and the UAE, and is expected to continue to climb up the issuance ladder moving forward.

The growing importance of the Islamic finance market will be the subject of a two-day event on Monday Nov.12 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh which will feature an Issuers Day and an Investors Day. The event will also address key issues concerning Saudi Arabia and the Gulf's current economic climate and follow up on the latest developments within the region's Islamic financial market. They will include recent governmental efforts, issuer and investor interest, potential capital market issuances, as well as tax and regulatory updates.

Arab News will be sponsoring the event among others major companies.

In its inaugural year, the Islamic Finance news Saudi Arabia Forum 2012 is part of the globally renowned Islamic Finance news Forum series, which also includes the globally renowned and recognized annual Islamic Finance news Asia Forum; now in its eighth year. Read More... 

ICD to open two new Islamic banks in Africa
Saturday 10 November 2012

Last Update 11 November 2012 12:27 pm

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group, is opening two new Islamic banks in Mali and Benin in 2013, to provide Islamic financial services in the areas currently greatly underserved, Khaled Al-Aboodi, chief executive officer and general manager of ICD, announced this week.

Al-Aboodi, who was speaking at the Islamic Banking Summit, also stated that it is planning to issue a $ 200 million sukuk for the government of Senegal to provide liquid Islamic products for Islamic banks.

“We see sukuk as the “jewel in the crown” of Islamic finance and we are currently working on the structuring issues for several African countries. This is a development we see as providing a tremendous boost for African Islamic infrastructure finance,” he said.  Read More... 

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