GCC

Dubai Islamic Bank closes $1bn #sukuk

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) closed a $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) 5-year sukuk with a profit rate of 2.95%. The sukuk attracted more than 170 investors with the order book rising to over $4.5bn. The sukuk was issued as a drawdown under DIB’s $7.5bn Trust Certificate Issuance Programme, which is listed on Euronext Dublin and Nasdaq Dubai. It is the first public benchmark sukuk issuance from a regional financial institution after the Covid-19 outbreak. Bank ABC, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, ICBC, The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, KFH Capital, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank acted as joint lead managers and bookrunners on this transaction.

Al Salam Bank sponsors the BIBF Islamic Finance Handbook

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain announced the sponsorship of the Islamic Finance Handbook for practitioners, produced locally by the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF). The Islamic Finance Handbook will cover all major Islamic financial products and services including FinTech and Takaful Insurance. The book will incorporate case-studies from Al Salam Bank Bahrain as well as interviews and thoughts from the Bank’s senior management on various aspects of Islamic Finance. The BIBF Centre for Islamic Finance was established in 1997 to help promote the growth of both Islamic finance and banking. Today, the BIBF offers degrees and certifications, and conducts training in more than 27 countries worldwide.

Dubai Islamic Bank gives initial guidance for long 5-year dollar #sukuk - document

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) gave initial price guidance of around 280 basis points over midswaps for a planned issuance of long five-year dollar sukuk. On Monday, DIB hired a group of 10 banks to arrange a global investor call for the deal, which is expected to close on Tuesday.

Al Baraka Bank appoints new chairman

Al Baraka Banking Group announced the appointment of Abdullah Saleh Kamel as the board's new chairman. Previously, the chairman position was held by the late Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, the group's founder who passed away last month. Kamel served as the board's vice chairman and chairman of the executive committee for several years, contributing to the group's expansion strategies.

Wahed Raises $25 million

Wahed raised $25 million in venture funding with proceeds being funneled into ensuring people can invest their money into a diversified portfolio consisting of stocks, commodities, real estate and sukuk. Since launching in 2017, Wahed was recently awarded the first RoboAdvisory permit by the financial regulator, the U.K.'s Capital Markets Authority, to launch its platform in Saudi Arabia. Wahed’s foray into Malaysia in 2019 bolstered their global presence, and the fintech firm now serves over 100,000 clients globally. Wahed believes that they are paving the way for ethical investment in Islamic finance and showing the world how underserved the Muslim market is.

DIFC invests in four FinTech start-ups through $100m fund

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) said it invested in four innovative FinTech start-ups on Monday. The companies receiving funding are: Sarwa, a roboadvisory wealth management firm; FlexxPay, a cloud-based B2B employee benefits platform and two financial services platforms for migrant workers, Now Money and Go Rise. DIFC CEO Arif Amiri said the investments strengthened the free zone’s position as one of the world’s top 10 FinTech hubs. DIFC has rolled out a number of changes in recent months to attract top financial firms and strengthen its credentials.

#UAE and #Saudi women control assets worth $326bln - BCG

Women’s wealth in the Middle East is expected to grow to $1.1 trillion from the current $786 billion during the 2019-2023 period. As of 2019, more than 40% of women’s wealth in the Middle East is concentrated in the UAE and Saudi Arabia where women control assets worth $102 billion and $224 billion. According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), women’s wealth is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3% to $140 billion in the UAE and of 5.1% to $273 billion in Saudi Arabia by 2023. Women are likely to set the region’s wealth management trend, if asset managers target this market segment as a business opportunity and personalise their approach. Women are more likely than men to invest on the basis of their values, favouring funds that perform well but also create a positive impact, as opposed to investing solely for performance.

UAE- Islamic finance can heal Covid pain

Islamic finance can play an important role in navigating the economic turbulence brought by the Covid-19 crisis on individual and corporate levels. It is believed that the four Islamic finance instruments of Qard Hassana, social sukuk, waqf and zakat in particular can help core Islamic countries, banks and corporates navigate the current tough situation. The Covid-19 crisis has significantly slowed the core Islamic finance economies. According to Mohamed Damak, primary credit analyst at S & P Global Ratings, social instruments could be used directly by the Islamic finance industry to support households by compensating them for lost income, and by providing access to basic services, such as education and health care.

Emirate of Sharjah hires banks for #sukuk that could go up to $1 billion

Sharjah has hired banks to arrange the issuance of seven-year U.S. dollar denominated sukuk. HSBC was hired as global coordinator for the planned transaction and is joined by Bank ABC, Dubai Islamic Bank, Gulf International Bank, Mashreqbank and Sharjah Islamic Bank as joint lead managers and bookrunners. The emirate will hold a call with investors on Monday and a benchmark sukuk issuance may follow, subject to market conditions. Benchmark bonds are generally meant to be over $500 million, but a source close to the deal said the transaction could range between $750 million and $1 billion.

Bank of Sharjah to manage, arrange Dh2B Sharjah government #sukuk

The Sharjah government has raised Dh2 billion through sukuk to support its economy, corporates, SMEs, individuals and banking sector during the coronavirus crisis. Bank of Sharjah was appointed as sole lead manager and arranger for the issuance. The certificates will pay a profit rate of 1.5 per cent and mature in May 2021. Sharjah also listed $200 million sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai in March 2020. S&P Global Ratings lowered Sharjah's outlook to negative last month and affirmed its long-term rating at BBB, the second-lowest investment grade.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC CEO steps down, COO takes charges as caretaker

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank has announced the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer, adding that the Chief Operation Officer (COO) will take over as caretaker. The bank did not provide reasons for Mazin Manna’s resignation. COO Sandeep Chouhan has been appointed to serve in the capacity until appointment of a new chief. The resignation occurred following a report of decrease in net profit Q1, from AED600.3 million to AED269.7 million same period last year.

Emirate of Sharjah starts marketing 7-year dollar #sukuk - document

Sharjah began marketing a seven-year dollar denominated sukuk. It comes as several governments in the Gulf seek to bolster their finances to face the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and a slide in oil prices. Sharjah gave an initial price guidance of around 275 basis points over midswaps for the sukuk. Sources said the issuance would likely be between $750 million and $1 billion.

Higher Shari’ah Authority at CBUAE hosts 2nd meeting of Centralised Shari’ah Authorities

The Higher Shari’ah Authority at the Central Bank of the UAE, CBUAE, has hosted the 2nd meeting of the Centralised Shari’ah Authorities to discuss the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was held via a video conference and was attended by more than 40 participants from the members. The meeting discussed the Shari’ah parameters set to strengthen the economic and financial support scheme adopted by the governments and regulatory authorities in their respective countries. The attendees also discussed several matters with regards to challenges and Shari’ah treatments.

Ziina launches #UAE's first social P2P payments solution

Ziina, the UAE's first licensed social peer-to-peer (P2P) payment application, has raised a pre-seed round of $850,000. The application will help the UAE bank account holders to use their smartphones to send and receive money as easily as sending a text message. Ziina is the latest addition to the Middle East's fintech ecosystem and is capitalising on the region's rapid adoption of fintech friendly regulation. Ziina's cofounders are Faisal Toukan, CEO, Sarah Toukan, Chief Product Officer, and Andrew Gold, VP Engineering. They are joined by a strong advisory board including serial entrepreneur Samih Toukan, and Emre Tok. The founding team recently launched the start-up's operations out of Dubai's In5 tech start-up incubator.

#Qatar Islamic Bank offers family shield ‘takaful’ policy

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) launched its family shield takaful policy, designed to provide nationals and residents financial security during unforeseen circumstances. The product is tailor-made to mitigate financial liabilities of the family of the insured, in case of unforeseen events like death or disability. For QR75 per month, customers can purchase a family shield term takaful plan through the QIB mobile app and get takaful coverage for QR250,000. QIB continues to make all financial products and services available digitally. It offers customers the possibility to perform all daily banking needs through its mobile app at any time, from anywhere, without the need to visit a branch.

The legacy of Saudi tycoon Saleh Kamel

Saudi billionaire Saleh Kamel died on Monday and has been buried in Makkah, but his legacy is sure to endure. Even at the age of 79, despite suffering from age-related health issues, Kamel remained active and busy. After graduating, he worked at the Saudi Ministry of Finance. After 10 years with the ministry, Kamel moved to the private sector. He founded his flagship Dallah Al-Baraka Holding Company in 1969 in Riyadh. He expanded the Group's acitivity to include financial and banking services, health care, manufacturing, real estate, tourism, trading and more. Dallah Al-Baraka Group also has the honor of being chosen to clean and sterilize the Two Holy Mosques. Kamel was also a well-known investor in the media and satellite television production. He established Arab Radio and Television and formed a partnership with the Arab MBC channel. Dubbed "the father of contemporary Islamic finance", he received Malaysia’s Royal Award for Islamic Finance in November 2010. The tycoon’s wealth was estimated to be about $2.3 billion. Kamel aspired to creating jobs. He believed that all people should have dignity and that all lives are precious and deserve to be honored.

Saudi Islamic banks’ financial metrics sound, says Fitch Ratings

According to Fitch Ratings, Saudi Islamic banks’ financial metrics deteriorated mildly in 2019 but remained sound. As for conventional banks, the rating agency noted that the impaired financing ratios continued to increase in 2019. Islamic banks have lower impaired financing ratios and financing impairment charges than conventional banks due to their lower proportion of corporate banking. Islamic banks’ profitability remained above conventional banks’ in 2019. Strong deposit growth at Islamic banks in 2019 allowed their financing/deposits ratio to drop below their conventional peers’. Saudi Islamic banks remain well capitalised, with an average Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of 17.8% at end-2019. According to Fitch, if the current economic disruption continues, weaker asset quality and profitability are likely to put pressure on capital.

Dubai Islamic Bank donates AED16 million to Zakat Fund projects

The Dubai Islamic Bank donated AED16 million to the Zakat Fund. Abdullah Aqeeda Al Muhairi, Secretary-General of the Zakat Fund, praised the bank for its donation as well as for its positive humanitarian and charitable role in improving the life of needy people. He also called on Islamic banks and institutions to follow the initiative of the Dubai Islamic Bank to provide zakat money to deserving groups and help the Zakat Fund achieve its goals.

Pandemic may force GCC banks to cut dividends, drive future M&A

Banks in the Arabian Gulf could be forced to scrap 2020 dividends as profits plunge in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The region's lenders are unlikely to require additional capital should loan defaults soar, despite facing headwinds related to the impact of COVID-19 and lower oil prices. According to S&P Global Ratings, the 23 banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have assets totaling $1.5 trillion at 2019-end and can absorb up to $36 billion in extra provisions before their capital bases start to erode. S&P sees that a significant deterioration in the finances of some banks could spur a second wave of consolidation among Gulf lenders. However, bank analysts are more skeptical, citing a lack of plausible potential takeover targets in Gulf countries except for the UAE, which is still overbanked.

#Saudi Arabia raises $1.53bln in local sukuk -statement

Saudi Arabia has raised 5.755 billion riyals ($1.53 billion) in sukuk. The first tranche of the sukuk issue is 3.8 billion riyals, and the total tranche size is 6.549 billion, maturing in 2025. The second tranche has a size of 1.95 billion riyals, and a total tranche size of 10.296 billion, maturing in 2030.

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