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Shamil Bank income above USD 66.8 mn

Shamil Bank said that it had made USD 66.8 mn in total income for last year. The bank's net profit last year amounted to USD 22.8 mn, while Q4 last year, the bank sustained $16.3 million in losses.

Over the year, commodity Murahabas (bank placements) increased significantly from $424 million to $1.043 billion. The bank's Murabaha Financing (loans and advances) activities also increased from $807m to $1.048 billion.

Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Limited (PQFTL) rated by JCR-VIS Credit Rating Co. Ltd. A-

Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Limited (PQFTL) has been assigned an initial Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating of 'A-' (Single A Minus) by JCR-VIS Credit Rating Co. Ltd.

Etiqa Takaful Bhd crossed RM 1 bn in premiums

Etiqa Takaful Bhd recorded for the financial year ended June 30 last year a premium of RM 1.044 bn. It is the first takful company to cross this level and the largest in the world. Currently, the company has about a million policy holders.

Mohd Tarmidzi Ahmad Nordin is Chief Executive Officer.

ABC Islamic registers USD 26 mn net profit

Bahrain-based ABC Islamic Bank announced a net profit of $25.6 million for last year. Gross operating income was USD 33.8 mn which, excluding an exceptional USD 32.8 mn capital gain in 2007 arising from the partial disposal of a sukuk investment, represented a 34 % increase over the previous year. It posted a net profit of USD 50.9 mn in 2007.

Islamic Finance Conference - Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

A range of international speakers representing Gulf funds and Malaysian institutions will take part in Scotland's first Islamic Finance Conference, which will be held jointly by the Islamic Finance Council and Scottish Financial Enterprise, and hosted by Tods Murray LLP.

The event is primarily aimed at fund managers. Speakers include Datuk Noripah Kamso (CEO CIMB Islamic, Malaysia), N. Tariq Shaikh (Managing Partner RHT partners, Dubai), Iqbal Asaria (MD Amiri Capital, London) and Lord Sheikh (Chairman Camberford Law).

To book:
Email: jwood@sfe.org.uk

ISLAMIC FINANCE CONFERENCE
Event details:
Date:2 Apr 2009
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Venue: Tods Murray LLP, Edinburgh Quay, 133 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh
Open to: Members Only
Cost: Free attendance

Pakistan still substantal cash outside the banking system

Adviser to PM on Finance Shaukat Tareen has asked Islamic banks to bring billions of rupees in formal banking which are kept with the people on religious grounds.

Tareen said that this huge amount can be brought in for productive purposes and channelised into a profit and loss based system of banking.

Parsoli promoters barred from trading

Zafar and Uves Sareshwala, promoters of broking firm Parsoli Corporation, were debarred by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) after they were found to have fraudulently transferred shares of genuine investors to their own accounts.

S&P: Rated Gulf Islamic Banks And Takaful Companies Resilient In Global Market Dislocation But Facing Risks

Press Release

PARIS, February 27, 2009--Gulf Islamic financial institutions and takaful companies are feeling the repercussions of the current global financial market disruption less than most of their conventional counterparts because Sharia law prohibits interest-based financial products, according to a new report by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

"IFIs didn't invest in the structured products that have hampered many conventional banks' financial profiles and performance," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Mohamed Damak in the report, titled Rated Gulf Islamic Financial Institutions And Takaful Companies Have Shown Resilience To Global Market Dislocation, But They Are Not Risk Immune. "And most IFIs should be equipped to weather the financial downturn and keep the effects on their financial profiles at manageable levels."

Gatehouse financing European Property

Cecilia Valente reported on 25 February that UK Islamic bank Gatehouse, a unit of Kuwait's Securities House, is set to close its first real estate deal in the coming months, refinancing a continental European property worth about 100 million euros ($128.5 million). The CEO David Testa is cited to have said the bank expected to seal the deal by the end of the second quarter, declining to identify precisely the property or its location. He defines the range of business the four wholesale Islamic banks in the UK could do at deals between GBP 20-40 mn.

Gatehouse, the latest UK-based Islamic bank to be approved by UK market regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA), will finance the deal through a lease and buy-back bond issuance, known as Ijara sukuk.

The sukuk will be placed in the market through the Channel Island-listed Milestone Capital Platform, which the bank said has the capacity to issue debt to up to $1 billion.

Testa said Gatehouse was also involved in raising $50 million for a commodity deal with a Latin American company, which he declined to name.

S&P: Islamic financial institutions suffer from real estate credit exposure

Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) face a significant hit on profits if real estate prices continue to fall in the Middle East according to ratings agency S&P. IFIs' direct exposure to real estate assets in 2008 reached 20 % of total loans, making them vulnerable to an ongoing correction, especially in Dubai.

Unlike their conventional counterparts, IFIs remained immune to price falls in structured products, which prompted write-downs all over the world, the report said.

Islamic gold security to launch in Dubai

A sharia-compliant tradeable security backed by gold will be launched in Dubai next week, Reuters has reported.

Dubai Islamic Bank posts USD 471 mn profit for 2008

Andy Sambidge reported on 25 February in Arabianbusiness that Dubai Islamic Banking reported only a small decline in net profit in 2008, AED 1.73 bn (USD 471 mn) in net profit for 2008. DIB’s total assets as of December 31, 2008, stood at AED 84.6 bn, up slightly compared to the end of the same period in 2007.

DIB’s full-year results reflected total impairment provisions of AED 521 million (including writedowns on its investment portfolio) and mark-to-market losses on equity investments of AED 277 million. The majority of these were recorded in the fourth quarter of the year, one of the primary reasons impacting profitability during the last quarter of 2008.

The Board of directors of Dubai Islamic Bank has proposed a cash dividend of 25 percent and bonus share of five percent for 2008.

Emirates NBD in healthy condition according to CFO

The debt level of Emirates NBD is small and manageable according to analysis given by its CFO, Sanjay Uppal.

USD 1.6 bn medium-term debt is maturing, USD 500 mn has been paid in January already, and the total balance sheet is UDD 76 bn. According to Sanjay Uppal there are no plans to raise capital by selling any of its assets or going for restructuring its debt and sees the exposure to real estate at comfortable levels.

Emirates NBD has an Islamic window.

Indonesia follows up on strong sukuk debut

John Aglionby reported on 23 February in the Financial Times that Indonesia is planning further after seing the first retail Sukuk being an outstanding success raising Rp 5,556bn (USD 466 mn) compared with the target of Rp 1,700 bn. The coupon rate is fixed at 12 per cent over three years and is paid monthly.

USD denominated Sukuk to retail investors and medium-term notes, the latter expected to be in the region of USD 3 bn, are still under consideration. The global sukuk and medium-term notes have been delayed after a successful international roadshow this month, pending parliamentary approval for the government’s revised budget.

Moody's negative on Qatar banks

Martin Morris reported on 23 February in Arabianbusiness that Moody's, says the fundamental credit outlook for the Qatari banking system is negative, reflecting expectations of a weakening in operating conditions.
In its new Banking System Outlook on Qatar the agency examines the likely future direction of fundamental credit conditions in the industry over the next 12 to 18 months. It does not represent a projection of rating upgrades versus downgrades.

Negative factors evaluated are the asset quality, impacted by property lending and the reduced profitability also impacted by stock market developments. The direct impact of the financial crisis has however so far been limited.

Fitch Ratings: Dubai Bond Positive For Government-Linked Corporations

Fitch Ratings released that the recent announcement of a USD 20 bn bond programme is improving the overall liquidity which will be positive for government-linked corporates facing the need to refinance maturing debt at a time when the impact of regional economic conditions, especially in the construction and property sector, are becoming increasingly negative.

Official figures put Dubai government and state-owned corporate debt at USD80 bn, of which Fitch estimates that around USD11 bn of foreign currency debt matures during 2009. Last week Borse Dubai raised USD2.5 bn in financing, and received an equity injection of USD1 bn from its shareholder, Investment Corporation of Dubai, to refinance an aggregate USD3.8 bn loan (part of the 2009 maturities).

Source: 

http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20090225\ACQDJON200902250527DOWJONESDJONLINE000316.htm&&mypage=newsheadlines&title=PRESS%20RELEASE:Fitch:Dubai%20Bond%20Positive%20For%20Government-Linked%20Corps

Eiger launches Sharia compliant coffee fund

The Hedge Fund Review reported on 24 February that the Coffee trading advisor Eiger Trading Advisors has targeted a March launch for four coffee related funds. The funds aim to give investors exposure to the coffee markets through the choice of a hedge fund, a Shariah-compliant fund and two tracker funds. The funds will be domiciled in the Cayman Islands and will launch with approximately $150 million collectively.

The Shariah-compliant Eiger Green Coffee Fund will provide Islamic investors with access to coffee as an asset class. It aims for returns of around 12% a year. The company decided to launch the funds based on its understanding of the coffee industry and the growers. This, the company said, will enable it to exploit trades and generate attractive risk adjusted returns for investors. The funds will target mainly Middle Eastern investors but will not limit itself to particular investors.

The share class will be in dollars. Newedge will act as prime broker for the Coffee Alpha Fund and BNP Paribas will be the prime broker for the Green Coffee Fund. All three funds have a 2% management fee with a 20% performance fee with a high watermark.

Thomson Reuters Appoints Rushdi Siddiqui as Head of Islamic Finance

Mr. Siddiqui joined Thomson Reuters from Dow Jones, where he was Global Director for their Islamic Market Indices at Thomson Reuters he is appointed Rushdi Siddiqui to lead its Islamic Finance business.

Thomson Reuters, which has been active in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia since 1865, has strong Islamic Finance assets covering leading content, news, analytics and trading capabilities. In this newly created role, Mr. Siddiqui will be utilizing these assets and working closely with Islamic finance and banking professionals including fund managers, treasury, financial hubs, regulators, stock exchanges, central banks, Takafol (insurance) entities, Halal industry, intra-OIC (57 Muslim countries), trade, investment, as well as others to strengthen and grow this business.

Basil Moftah is Managing Director for Thomson Reuters in the Middle East and Africa.

Moody's sees Dubai bond positive for corporate ratings if unconditional

Moody's Investors Service said on Monday the Dubai's government's USD 20 bn 5-year, 4 % bond programme could support debt ratings of Dubai companies that were placed under review for a downgrade earlier this month. If there are no restrictions on how Dubai uses bond proceeds this could support Moody's ratings of Emaar, DP World, DIFC Investments, Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and the Jebel Ali Free Zone. Moody's had said it could lower its debt and Islamic bond, or sukuk, ratings for the six firms, all linked to the Dubai government, by as much as two notches each. The review is due shortly.

Restructuring mandates increasingly important for law firms

Earlier the month the law firm Ashurst announced the formation of their Islamic finance restructuring team. Now Lovells advertises to their prospective clients being a "global player in Business Restructuring and Insolvency". It seems that supply follows demand due to the ongoing crisis.

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