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UAE banking outlook negative according to Moody's

Rebecca Bundhun reported on 14 January in Arabianbusiness that Moody's sees the fundamental credit outlook for the UAE banking system as negative, as it comes under strain from falling property prices and tightening liquidity conditions. Moody’s Investors Service said on Wednesday its prediction covered the next 12 to 18 months and reflects the number of bank loans given to 'opportunistic' developers, who would struggle to repay them as the property market undergoes a correction.

John Tofarides is a Moody's analyst.

Islamic banking law in Kazakhstan came into effect

Clare Nuttal reported on 13 February on Business News Europe that Kazakhstan launches a new commodity exchange and confirmed in the same article that the Islamic finance law came into effect in January.

Bahrain Islamic Bank receives first rating from Moody`s

Martin Morris reported on 10 February on Arabianbusiness that Moody's Investors Service, has assigned Baa1 long-term and Prime-2 short-term local and foreign currency issuer ratings and a D+ bank financial strength rating (BFSR) to Bahrain Islamic Bank. (BisB). The rating outlook is stable.

Yields in the Gulf rising strongly

Soren Billing reported on 10 February in Arabianbusiness that credit default swaps for Mideast lenders have risen substantially led by Bahrain, spreads have widened by 174.2 basis points (bps) in the last three months, followed by Saudi Arabia (114.8 bps), Abu Dhabi (96.7 bps) and Qatar at (70 bps), Corporates in the region have been hit even harder. The CDS spreads on Dubai based companies range between 600 bps and 1,100 bps, which is significantly higher than on Abu Dhabi based corporations, which range between 250 bps and 400 bps. The yield on Nakheel’s Sukuk that matures on Dec. 14 this year reached 41.9 % from 27.7 % a month ago.

Kuwaiti investement banks, firms may merge under rescue plan

Kuwaiti banks or investment firms may have to merge if they want to obtain state help under a USD 5 bn (Dh18bn) rescue plan, a bill devised by the central bank said. Under the plan, the central bank will also decide which investment firms will qualify for aid depending on whether the firm is able to continue its business and has a "good" solvency.

Western companies looking to Sukuk

Cecilia Valente and Frederik Richter reported 10 February on Reuters, that Western companies, especially in the UK and France, are considering issuing Sukuk to tap Middle Eastern investors.

Venture Capital Bank Achieves USD 47 mn Net Profit

Venture Capital Bank Achieves USD 47 mn net profit and recommends 10 % cash dividends and 5 % bonus shares to its shareholders. The bank maintained a capital adequacy rate of 43 %, which is higher than the minimum requirements by the Central Bank of Bahrain's 12%.

Source: 

http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm/sidZAWYA20090207084444/Bahrain:%20Venture%20Capital%20Bank%20Achieves%20$%2047%20Million%20Net%20Profit

Sharjah Islamic Bank profit drops 23 %

Sharjah Islamic Bank released that its profits declined 23 % to AED 231.59 mn in 2008, down from AED 301.83 mn in 2007.

AmanahRaya-JMF looks into Islamic REITs

AmanahRaya-JMF Asset Management Sdn Bhd, which currently manages RM 7.5 bn in funds, is looking at going into Islamic real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the next two or three years, says managing director/chief executive officer Sharizad Jumaat, and exclude non compliant components by 2011.

Rating of Korean Kexim for Islamic securities

According to a Press Release on 9 February, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it had assigned its 'A' rating to Export-Import Bank of Korea's (Kexim; foreign currency A/Stable/A-1; local currency --/--/A-1) three-year, Malaysian ringgit (MRY) 220 million, 4.75%, fixed-rate senior unsecured bonds, priced on Feb. 4, 2009. The notes are to be drawn down from a MRY3 billion multi-currency Islamic and conventional medium-term program.

Capital Management House (CMH) increased profits to Dh 52.8 mn

The Bahrain-based Islamic investment company Capital Management House (CMH)said its net income increased to USD 14.4 mn (Dh 52.8 mn) last year compared to USD 5.6 mn a year ago. The firm's board recommended 16.6 % stock dividend. Asset under management have grown to reach USD 105.9 mn and the equity base USD 128.8 mn.

Amlak Finance Jordan reducing its capital

The board of Amlak Finance Jordan decided to reduce its capital to 1 mn Jordinian Dinar in order to preserve the rights of the shareholders, and in consideration of the global financial crisis, which hit specifically the mortgage markets.

The main investors in the company are cited, that the decision on this specific sector does not preclude high confidence in the Jordanian investment environment and the strength of the Jordanian economy, which is less affected by the crisis than other region and stressing that their investments in other crucial sectors in the Kingdom are still ongoing according to plans.

GBCorp income rises 8.1 % to USD 53.1 mn

Global Banking Corporation (GBCorp), the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, said its total income in 2008 increased 8.1 % to USD 53.1 mn compared to USD 49.2 mn for the previous year. Its net profit reached USD 21.2 mn. Total assets reached 93 % to USD 455.9 mn against USD 236.2 mn for the previous year. The bank had USD 723 mn worth of fund under its management.

Bank Indonesia to reduce CAR for banks aiming to spin off Islamic commercial bank

Bank Indonesia plans to reduce the capital adequacy ratio (CAR) for conventional banks wishing to set up a shariah commercial bank through a spin-off from Rp 1 trillion to Rp 500 billion as of March.

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), looks into establishing an Islamic bank in Indonesia as partner.

The Islamic Bank of Asia aims for expansion

The Islamic Bank of Asia, majority owned by DBS is looking for acquisition opportunities in Malaysia and Indonesia, although it is also keen on Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait. The Islamic Bank of Asia currently focuses on commercial banking, corporate finance, capital market and wealth management services. The step towards Malaysia and Indonesia targets the retail markets.

Kuwait Finance House Malaysia more than doubles paid up capital

Kuwait Finance House Malaysia said last Friday it has received a USD 300 mn capital injection from its parent, increasing the paid-up capital to USD 500 mn.

Qatar International Islamic Company seeks stake in Al Jisr Takaful Company

The Qatar Islamic Insurance Company (QIIC) hopes to buy half-a-million shares of Al Jisr Takaful Company which is being set up as a joint venture between Qatari and Bahraini investors. The paid-up capital of the proposed Islamic insurer will be QR 250 mn and some 30 per cent of its equity will be divided equally between Qatari and Bahraini owners through a public offer.

The owners are national insurance firms and major institutions from the two countries. Qatar Foundation as well as the civil and military pension funds in Qatar are tipped to own around 40 % of the proposed company’s equity. The remaining 60 % of the equity will be offered to the Qatari and Bahraini public (citizens) through an initial public offering (IPO).

Qatar Islamic Bank announces profit growth

Mohamed Salem reported in The Peninsula that Qatar Islamic Bank released a net profit to QR 1.64 bn, representing a 30.8 % growth over 2007. The profit in 2007 was QR1.25bn. The bank also announced it plans to launch a rights issue to raise its capital by 10 %.

PLUS plans RM 1 bn Sukuk sales to pay debt, fund projects

PLUS Expressways Bhd, Malaysia’s largest toll-road operator, plans to sell RM 1 bn, 5-year Sukuk to help repay maturing debt and finance expansion projects. Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd supports the sale of the Sukuk. The company aims to raise RM 350 mn in the coming months to refinance debt maturing in June and to raise another RM 200 mn in the second half of the year to fund a road project in Indonesia.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank bolsters Tier 1 capital with government funds

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) is issuing a Tier 1 capital Sukuk to the government of Abu Dhabi, raising AED 2 bn (USD 545 mn). The issuance of the Sukuk was approved by ADIB's board of directors on 3 February 2009, and will be subject to obtaining shareholder approval. The Sukuk will pay an expected return at a rate of 6 % per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears from (and including) the issue date for a period of 5 years, and thereafter at a rate, reset and payable semi-annually in arrears, reflecting the initial margin above the then prevailing six month Emirates Interbank Offered Rate.

Tirad Mahmoudis the Chief Executive Officer of ADIB.

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