Turkey is going to establish an organized industrial zone in the Palestinian city of Jenin in the West Bank, according to a memorandum of understanding co-signed on Wednesday. The memorandum was signed by Turkey's Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Isik, and Palestine's Deputy Prime Minister and National Economy Minister, Mohammed Mostafa. Investors will not pay any taxes. The goods produced in the zone will be able to be exported to world markets including Germany, France, Saudi Arabia and the US without any duties or quotas. Moreover, the businesses will be insured by the World Bank. The goal is to bring the legal framework and corporate capacity in Palestine to international standards.
The private sector arm of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank plans to tap Islamic capital markets to raise as much as $1.2 billion in long-term funds during its current financial year, its chief executive Khaled Al-Aboodi said. The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) will also explore a capital increase as it expands its economic development activities, with a proposal to be presented to shareholders in June 2015. Fitch Ratings has assigned an AA credit rating to the ICD, which has a low level of leverage but which is expected to grow as the institution increases its lending activities. The ICD will consider both syndicated Islamic loans as well as issuance of sukuk, or Islamic bonds, Al-Aboodi added.
Dubai Trade, the cross-border trade facilitator, has signed an agreement with Noor Takaful that will give Dubai Trade customers access to an Islamic insurer for the first time, and an even wider choice of marine and cargo insurance providers online through its Tradeshield platform. Tradeshield allows customers to complete the end-to-end process of purchasing cargo insurance online through the dedicated website www.tradeshield.ae. Noor Takaful will go live on the site for customers in the New Year.
The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFI), for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager, plans to sell a dollar-denominated Islamic bond on November 27. IFFI will look to sell a three-year sukuk of benchmark size and pay an interest rate between 15 basis points and 17 basis points over Libor. Qatar's Barwa Bank, Malaysia's CIMB , National Bank of Abu Dhabi , the investment banking arm of Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank and Standard Chartered are arranging the transaction. IFFI is rated AA by Standard and Poor's and AA+ by Fitch.
FlyDubai's debut Islamic bonds are signalling growing appetite for sukuk from aviation companies in the Gulf as they spend on airports and fleet expansion. The budget carrier raised $500 million this month in the first sale of the debt by a regional airline after Emirates. The issue received bids for more than six times the amount offered. Boeing forecasts Middle East airlines will need more than 2,600 new aircraft over the next 20 years, worth $550 billion. Sukuk is exptected to be part of the financing mix. FlyDubai's five-year sukuk pays a profit rate of 3.776 per cent, or 200 basis points above the five-year mid swap rate.
atuk Seri Abdul Hamidy Abdul Hafiz, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Kuwait Finance House (M) Bhd (KFH), has tendered his resignation. According to officials, the bank’s board had considered Hamidy’s request to resign. Pending approval by Bank Negara on the appointment of a new CEO, KFH said its board had appointed Datuk Mohamad Aslam Khan Gulam Hassan, who is currently the chief recovery officer, as the acting CEO, effective November 27. KFH also said it had appointed Mohammed Nasser Al Fouzan as chairman of the board of directors, effective November 26.
Pakistan raised $1 billion from the international Islamic bond market on Wednesday by selling its Sukuk papers at 6.75 per cent profit rate. The government received a subscription of $2.3bn, which was nearly five times the targeted amount. With the proceeds, the country’s foreign exchange reserves are estimated to touch $14.1bn on Dec 1. And after the disbursement of $1.1bn by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected in the second week next month, the country is set to cross the $15bn reserves barrier and will be eligible to benefit from the concessionary development lending window of the World Bank — International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
"The Oman Islamic Finance 2014: Building on a Strong Start" is written and produced by Thomson Reuters, Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), and the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI). The report provides substantive due diligence on the opportunities for Islamic financial services in Oman.
This report is an annual barometer of the health and development of the Islamic Finance industry worldwide, based on the ICD Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator.
"The Morocco Islamic Finance 2014: Unlocking The kingdom's Potential" is written and produced by Thomson Reuters, Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), and the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI). The report provides substantive due diligence on the opportunities for Islamic financial services in Morocco. There are a lot of expectations of Islamic finance in the Kingdom of Morocco, and the Morocco report breaks these down and presents a forward-looking analysis of potential Islamic banking assets and investment opportunities. The national retail consumer survey indicates Moroccan Islamic banking assets could potentially reach up to 5% of total banking assets by 2018.
After months of delays, the Moroccan parliament finally approved the Islamic financial bill that will regulate Islamic banks and sukuk issues in the kingdom. This new bill will pave the way to financial institute to establish full-fledged Islamic banks in Morocco. It will be effective once it is published in Morocco’s official bulletin in coming days. Last month, Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, the CEO of “Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur” (BMCE), said that the bank was preparing to launch an alternative subsidiary as a joint venture with a major Islamic financial institution from the Middle East, without revealing the identity of that financial institution.
Turkey's Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MÜSiAD) is organizing the 15th MÜS?AD International Fair "High Tech Port by MÜSIAD" themed "The World is Changeable: Change the Business, Change the World," and the 18th International Business Forum (IBF) Congress which will be held from November 26-30 at Istanbul's CNR Expo Center. IDB's President Dr. Ahmed Mohammad Ali will deliver a speech in the opening session of the IBF and the keynote speech will be delivered by Mushtak Parker, editor of the Islamic Banker Magazine . This year, the events will be enriched with the remarks of ministers and the input of academics, public authorities and experts.
The UAE was ranked first in Islamic trading among members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 2012, with trade valued at $91.3 billion. The UAE accounted for 13.40 per cent of the volume of trade between member countries, said Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs of OIC, in a statement on the sidelines of the preparatory meeting for the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (COMCEC).
The Thomson Reuters Global Sukuk Index is at 115.78256 points, up from 115.41158 at the end of last month and 109.78969 at the end of last year. The Thomson Reuters Investment Grade Sukuk Index is at 113.90126 points, against 113.67021 at end-October and 107.28036 at the end of 2013. Several sukuk issues are in the pipeline, including: The Tunisian government picked banks for a debut U.S. dollar sukuk issue, expected to be completed this year. The Islamic unit of Oman's Bank Muscat plans to tap the sukuk market in the first quarter of next year. Turkish Islamic bank Kuveyt Turk mandated CIMB Investment Bank, Kuwait Finance House and Maybank Investment Bank to issue up to 2 billion ringgit of sukuk in Malaysia.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged the country's investors to invest in the economy of Iraq. Davutoglu made this statement at a session of the ruling Justice and Development Party. He said that Turkey must have firms and companies that operate in Iraq. Turkish investments in the territory of Kurdish autonomy of Iraq are estimated at $ 700 million. At present, around 1,500 Turkish companies, as well as the branches of such banks as Ziraat Bankasi, Vakifbank, Is Bankasi, Bank Asya and Albaraka operate in the territory of Kurdish autonomy of Iraq.
The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) has given initial price thoughts of mid-to-high teens of basis points over three month Libor as it looks to price a debut dollar sukuk. The Reg S deal will be a three year benchmark-sized floating rate note. Standard Chartered is acting as global co-ordinator, with Barwa Bank CIMB, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and NCB Capital the other joint bookrunners. Books are open.
The State Bank of India (SBI) will launch a Shariah-compliant mutual fund next month, the first time a state-owned bank will roll out an Islamic financial instrument for the country’s estimated 170-million Muslim population. An SBI official said the country’s biggest lender had received all clearances to launch its Shariah Equity Fund, including from the Reserve Bank of India and the government. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the country’s apex body on Shariah law, lent its support to the move. The Bombay Stock Exchange launched India’s first Shariah index — S&P BSE 500 Shariah — in May 2013. Over the past year, it has given a return of a robust 46%.
Lahore-based Asia Insurance Company Ltd will seek shareholder approval next week to offer takaful products.The company will seek approval to allocate 50 million rupees ($492,853) in capital to its takaful operation, the minimum capitalisation requirement. It will also seek to increase its authorised capital to 500 million rupees from 300 million currently. Asia Insurance joins a growing list of firms in offering sharia-compliant products including United Insurance Company and EFU insurance group. In May, Pakistani regulators introduced new takaful rules that allowed conventional firms to enter the sector. Regulators expect as many as half of all conventional insurers in Pakistan to eventually offer takaful products.
Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development will provide $200 million in loans for microfinance projects in Egypt, a move it said would create more than 120,000 jobs by 2020. The UAE state investment fund has signed the loan agreement with the Egyptian government in Cairo. The loan will be directed towards microfinance development in remote and disadvantaged areas and pockets of poverty throughout Egypt. It will also help Egyptian women in rural areas find work. Egypt issued its first law regulating microfinance services last week, seeing the provision of extremely small loans could help to create jobs by giving individual entrepreneurs a start.
Moody's Investors Service has assigned a provisional (P) Caa1 senior unsecured rating to the proposed US dollar Trust Certificates to be issued by The Second Pakistan International Sukuk Company Limited, a special purpose vehicle established in Pakistan, by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Moody's Caa1 government bond rating and stable outlook on Pakistan reflects the country's large but moderating fiscal deficits as well as its stabilizing external liquidity position. It also factors in high susceptibility to event risk, both on the political front and in terms of economic vulnerabilities that could arise. The (P)Caa1 rating assigned to the trust certificates is at the same level as Pakistan's Caa1 issuer ratings.