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3 Indonesian banks to open Islamic units

Three national banks are in the process of opening Islamic units to respond to growing demand for sharia banking services, an official was cited in Antara: Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Panin and Bank Victoria.

New Islamic bank in Indonesia

Reuters reported on 18 March that Indonesia's third-largest lender, PT Bank Central Asia Tbk, is planning to launch an Islamic bank in September following its acquisition of a small bank last year, its vice president director said.

Manulife applies for Takaful license

Insurer Manulife Holdings Bhd will submit an application before the end-October deadline for a takaful licence to tap into the growing Islamic insurance market. The plan by Manulife to seek a takaful licence is in line with the Government’s move to liberalise the financial sector and allow more takaful players into the market.

Group issues Sukuk in favour of CIMB Islamic Bank

BUMIPUTRA-Commerce Holdings Bhd, said it received approval from the Securities Commission for the sale of as much as RM 2 bn Sukuk, to be made availabl to CIMB Islamic Bank.

Indonesian PT Bakrieland Development Tbk going to raise Sukuk

Indonesian property firm PT Bakrieland Development Tbk wants to raise up to 300 billion rupiah from an Sukuk issue, or twice the amount previously indicated. Bakrieland has appointed PT Bahana Securities and PT Madani Securities as underwriters for the sukuk. The firm plans to issue a 2-year tranche with an indicative yield of 14-15 %, and a 3-year tranche with an indicative yield of 15-16 %.

HwangDBS Investment Management Bhd HwangDBS AIIMAN Sukuk Fund (ASF)

HwangDBS Investment Management Bhd launched its first local sukuk fund, HwangDBS AIIMAN Sukuk Fund (ASF).

Sukuk fund series: HSBC Amanah starts sales

HSBC Amanah, the financial group's Islamic division, said it will start marketing its first Islamic Sukuk fund.

The HSBC Amanah Sukuk Fund, domiciled in Saudi Arabia, will comprise Sukuk, issued by 12 to 14 companies, mostly in the real estate, commercial banking and utilities sectors based in the Gulf Cooperation Council area. It would seek to raise USD 100 million for the fund, which has a 4-year maturity and will target mid- to high-single-digit annual returns.

Jovian to Partner with UM Financial to Launch Shariah-Compliant Product

Jovian Capital Corporation announced an agreement with UM Financial Inc. to explore the launch of a
co-branded, Shariah-compliant investment product. The product targets Canada's approximately 1 million strong Muslim population, as well as foreign investors looking for a uniquely Canadian, Shariah-compliant investment.

Economist magazine on Gulf debt markets

A recent article in the Economist emphasizes the importance of the nascent debt markets for Gulf countries.

Indonesia' Govt Aims For USD 485 mn Of Sukuk Sold By End Q2

The government plans to sell up to Rp 5 trillion (USD 485 mn) of Sukuk, to institutional investors in the domestic market by the end of the second quarter.

Islamic banking in Iraq

Islamic banks first opened in Iraq in the 1990s and seven of the country's 42 banks are now Islamic. The central bank studies a new law for Islamic banks, but there is no time line.

Bilad has about 7,000 account holders, whose deposits rose to about 358 billion Iraqi dinars ($306 million) by the end of 2008 compared to 58 billion dinars a year earlier. Its capital had quadrupled to 100 billion dinars since its foundation, and it expects to hit 200 billion dinars in 2010.

Regulatory constrains the growth of Islamic banks.

Syria receives USD 100 mn finance from IDB

The Islamic Development Bank and the Syrian government signed an agreement last week stating that the bank would provide a EUR 100 mn finance for the expansion of a power station in Syria.

IDB finances several projects in Turkistan

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) granted a USD 31 mn facility to Turkmenistan to finance the purchase of two "river-sea" vessels with the capacity of 7 tons each for transportation of oil and oil products.

Saudi Arabia plans mortgage institutions similar to US

Saudi Arabia plans to set up a Fannie Mae-style company in conjunction with the upcoming mortgage law to buy mortgages from financial institutions and help develop national sukuk and debt markets, Saudi Arabia's finance minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said according to Reuters.

Iran plan up to USD 12.3 bn in bonds

Hashem Kalantari reported in Forbes that Iran plans to issue USD 12.3 bn of foreign currency and rial-denominated bonds over the next three years to help finance the development of its major South Pars gas field in the Gulf.

IDB supports Turkish Exporters

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will extend some USD 100 mn with one-year terms to Turkish exporters that have experienced trouble as a result of the ongoing global financial crisis. Officials from Turkey's Eximbank informed the Anatolia news agency that the IDB will give money to Eximbank, a bank formed with the aim of lending support to Turkish exporters.

International Investment Bank equity parter of steel mill

International Investment Bank (IIB), Bahrain, announced the completion of the first Thermo Mechanical Treatment steel rolling mill in Bahrain (UNIROL) earlier this month. IIB is one of the major partners of the project with an equity stake of 35%.

Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) provided USD 25 m facility to Bukhatir Investment Group

Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) announced that it has provided a USD 25 mn banking facility for Bukhatir Investment Group to support expansion projects planned by the Group.

Bahrain-Based Arcapita Bank Downgraded To 'BB-' On High Leverage; Outlook Negative

Press Release

PARIS (Standard & Poor's) June 1, 2009--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it has lowered its long-term counterparty credit ratings on Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank (Arcapita) to 'BB-' from 'BB' and removed them from CreditWatch, where they were first placed on Jan. 28, 2009, with negative implications. At the same time, we affirmed our 'B' short-term rating on Arcapita. The outlook is negative.

The ratings reflect our opinion of Arcapita's stand-alone credit profile and do not include any uplift for extraordinary external support. However, Standard & Poor's recognizes that ongoing support from Arcapita's shareholders has been significant and is incorporated in Arcapita's stand-alone credit profile.

"The rating action reflects our opinion of Arcapita's high leverage in the context of a very difficult economic and investment climate, which has challenged Arcapita's business model, reduced the value of its assets, and put pressure on its financial performance," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Mohamed Damak.

People leaving Dubai without settling Credit Cards

7Days Dubai reports that one bank faces 2,500 customers leaving per month withou payng off their credit card bills.

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