GCC

NBB diversifies its Murabaha service to clients by offering #Sukuk-based #Murabaha facility

The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) announced its subscription to Bahrain Bourse’s newly introduced Murabaha service, which will be used by the Bank when transacting in Islamic Commodity Murabaha financing. NBB is one of the first banks in the Kingdom to execute a transaction using the new fully Shari’ah compliant service. The service employs Government of Bahrain Islamic Ijara Sukuk, whereby the lender in the financing transaction buys the Sukuk from the CBB and after the transfer of the ownership, sells them to the borrower, with a deferred sell as the underlying commodity.

DP World hires banks for perpetual Islamic bonds - document

Dubai-based port operator DP World has hired a group of banks for a potential sale of perpetual U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk. Citi, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan will arrange investor calls in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, to be followed by the issuance of perpetual U.S. dollar-denominated Islamic bonds non-callable for 5-1/2 years. Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Crédit Agricole, Samba Financial Group, Scotiabank and Standard Chartered Bank are also working on the deal.

Al Baraka signs #sukuk trading deal with BHB

Al Baraka Islamic Bank and Bahrain Bourse (BHB) have signed an agreement allowing the bank to buy and sell Sharia-complaint ijara sukuk through the exchange. Proceeds from the sukuk will contribute to facilitating the bank’s financing operations for its underlying clients. The agreement aims to diversify the commodities available for underlying clients when conducting a commodity-based murabaha transaction to include government-based sukuk issued by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Dubai outlines plans to unify legal framework for Islamic finance

The CEO of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) outlined the phases for the development of a unified legal framework for Islamic finance. Abdulla Al Awar said that once complete, the project would bring standardisation to the Islamic finance sector and reduce discrepancies in practices across the globe. The DIEDC signed an agreement with the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions for the use of its standards as a reference point in building the international legal framework. The Sharia-compliant segment of Dubai’s economy contributed Dh41.8 billion to the emirate’s gross domestic product in 2018. Dubai continues to pursue its goal of becoming the top Islamic economy hub in the world.

IsDB eager to support development projects Madinah

IsDB President Dr. Bandar Bin Hajjar stated that the bank was working on a pioneering project to establish a "Global Waqf Centre of Excellence" in Madinah, with a capital of $50 million. The aim of the center is to build a global umbrella for the Waqf sector, linking and coordinating all those interested in Waqf. The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) is preparing to launch the first initiative of the center to grant an approved certificate of Waqf specialist. IRTI is also working on the "Ish’had" platform, which is an e-platform using blockchain technology, to document and protect Waqf properties.

#Saudi property firm Amlak plans first post-coronavirus Riyadh IPO

Saudi real estate financing firm Amlak International plans to float 30% of its shares in Riyadh, in what will be the exchange’s first initial public offering (IPO) since the coronavirus crisis. Amlak said the final offer price would be announced on June 30, after a book-building process starting on June 22. Saudi retailer BinDawood Holding also plans to launch an initial public offering as early as this month. The group hired Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, NCB Capital and GIB to organize the deal.

New York Online Investment Firm Gets Aramco Financing for Islamic Products

New York-based Wahed Invest has secured financing from oil giant Saudi Aramco to expand into the Middle East and make Riyadh its regional hub. The Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures extended the funding to the online Islamic investment platform as part of a $25 million funding round. The three-year-old Wahed Invest, which has secured a license to operate in Saudi Arabia, aims to get regulatory approval in 20 more countries. It currently has licenses to operate in nine countries. The company's Islamic Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) holds investments in Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Intel Corp. Wahed Invest is also contemplating listing its Islamic ETF on the Saudi stock exchange. Its ETF was listed on the Nasdaq last year.

Sharjah Islamic Bank hires banks for dollar #sukuk, document shows

Sharjah Islamic Bank has hired a group of banks to arrange a global investor call ahead of a potential issuance of five-year U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk. The bank hired Standard Chartered, Bank ABC, Citi, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, KFH Capital and Mashreqbank to arrange the call.

#UAE- Al Hilal Bank sells Al Hilal Takaful to Siraj Holdings

Al Hilal Bank has completed the sale of Al Hilal Takaful to Siraj Holding. The divestment was driven by Al Hilal Bank's strategic decision to focus on delivering high-quality retail banking services, primarily through digital channels. Al Hilal Bank was acquired by ADCB in May 2019, following the merger between ADCB and Union National Bank (UNB). Full integration of the three banks was completed in early April 2020.

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.

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