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Bahrain was for decades regarded as the financial centre of the Middle East, but it was hard hit during the recession and is arguably still picking up the pieces.
The Gulf state expects to run a budget deficit of more than $3.8bn this year and has proposed a string of policy reforms, including axing millions of dollars of food, fuel and other subsidies, to help it rebalance the books.
Despite this, its leaders claim Bahrain has “passed the stress test” of the past years’ fiscal woes and is bouncing back as a financial hub.
The number of finance institutions in Bahrain has grown steadily over the years to around 400 (from 190 in 1991) and work has recommenced on the $1.3bn Bahrain Financial Harbour scheme, which houses the country’s stock exchange and high-profile tenants such as Gulf Finance House and BNP Paribas.
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is pleased to announce the second dissemination of its Prudential and Structural Islamic Financial Indicators (PSIFIs) from 16 member countries. The PSIFI data, which aims to provide data on the financial soundness and growth of the Islamic banking systems in participating IFSB member jurisdictions, covers the quarterly data from December 2013 to December 2014.
Secretary-General of the IFSB, Mr Jaseem Ahmed stated that "The support of multilateral organisations - such as the IMF, ADB and IDB - have greatly assisted the progress on this project. It is our aim to continue to expand the scope of the PSIFI to include the participation of new jurisdictions, as well as expansion of data to the Islamic capital market and Takaful sectors of the industry".
The value of real estate deals declined since mid of October 2015 until the middle of the current month by 24 per cent to SAR29.6 billon compared with the same period last year, recent data shows.
According to data issued by the Saudi Ministry of Justice, real estate deals divided between residential and commercial, witnessed a fall in residential deals by 36 % to reach SAR18.6bn, while commercial deals rose by 8 % to SAR11bn.
Real estate land deals accounted for 89 % of the total at SAR26.3bn, reports Al Riyadh Newspaper.
Riyadh was the most active city in terms of residential real estate deals with a value of SAR 6.2bn, down by 28 % YoY, followed by Jeddah with SAR3.7bn, down by 13 %. In terms of commercial deals, Riyadh came in first place with SAR4.9bn and a rise of 18 %.
The average length of expatriates stay in GCC countries, counting in all major expatriate groups such as Western, Arab and Indians, exceeds 10 years and this group forms a major target market for asset managers, according to Invesco’s sixth annual Middle East Asset Management Study. The Invesco survey of asset managers showed that contrary to popular belief, the average stay of various expatriate groups in GCC countries are longer, with non-resident Indians (NRIs) exceeding 15 years. In summary, there was a strong consensus that the number of GCC-based retirees would increase from all expatriate segments if GCC governments changed the immigration rules and encouraged retirees.
Market Research Reports, Inc. has published the research report “Challenges and Opportunities for the Wealth Sector in Saudi Arabia 2015” on their website http://www.MarketResearchReports.com. The report focuses on HNWI performance between the end of 2010 and the end of 2014. This enables us to determine how well the country's high net worth individuals (HNWI) have performed through the crisis. This report is a thorough analysis of Saudi Arabia's Wealth Management and Private Banking sector, and the opportunities and challenges that it faces. The report also includes comprehensive forecasts to 2019.
Islamic wealth management is going to become be the “new frontier” for the global Islamic finance industry as a growing number of Islamic high-net worth individuals keeps looking for Shariah-compliant types of investment. According to Thomson Reuters’ Global Islamic Asset Management Outlook 2015, Islamic funds – which are already a $60bn industry – are forecast to grow to at least $77bn by 2019, but the latent demand for Islamic funds is projected to grow even higher to $185bn. nitially, Europe led the initial drive of Islamic wealth management, but now other Shariah-based players have joined the market, especially in the GCC and Southeast Asia.
London-based Islamic finance advisory firm, Edbiz Consulting, has partnered with Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) to produce an Islamic Wealth Management Report (IWMR) to be published in the last quarter of 2015. The report will explore the growth and Islamic wealth, highlighting its concentration in different regions, providing crucial business intelligence to supply-side leaders and potential clients of the Islamic wealth management industry. In addition, different Islamic wealth management solutions will be analysed, with a focus on Islamic philanthropy and social responsibility.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) is expected to see an increase in its wealth management portfolio, with more high net worth individuals set to start banking at ADIB, according to Daffer Luqman, the bank’s global head of liabilities and wealth management. Luqman said he did not see an impact of falling oil prices on their portfolio of high- and ultra-high net worth individuals. He added that the global financial crisis in 2008 has resulted in more people, including those with high net worth, to look into long-term savings as their financial situation is prone to change.
According to the recently released “Global wealth management outlook 2014-15: New strategies for a changing industry” by Strategy&, the GCC has been the most consistent of the emerging markets, recording growth of 16 percent or more each year since 2010 and doubling total private wealth from $1.1 trillion to $2.2 trillion for an overall compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5 percent. The UAE led the GCC countries with 25 percent CAGR, followed by Oman (21 percent) and Bahrain (18 percent), which grew from much smaller bases. Not surprisingly, high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) continue to account for the largest chunk of the region’s wealth at 41 percent.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has signed a partnership agreement with the UAE’s Ministry of Social Affairs and will thereby support the "Tejuri" initiative. H.E. Naji Al Hai Mubarak strongly believes in the importance of strengthening the cooperation between the governmental and the private sector, in order to provide the best services. The banks will also offer cash prizes to encourage children to open long-term savings accounts. He believes that providing children with financial literacy will play a key role in their future financial decisions and will build a sense of responsibility which will contribute to a strong national economy.
Bahrains Housing Ministry launched the second Social Housing Finance Programme exhibition. The event is one of the ministry's efforts to inform about the programme launched in October 2013.
FAAIF CEO Camille Paldi says the potential for Islamic finance, sukuk, and takaful is huge in the United States. Paldi conducts two Islamic Finance, Banking, and Sukuk workshops in New Orleans and New York, USA in association with Al Huda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics and University of New Orleans. Paldi says that the USA participants were enthusiastic about learning Islamic finance concepts despite negative imagery in the media. Paldi explains that in general, educated Americans are excited to learn about new alternative financial structures and investment opportunities.
4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum Logo Inaugurated in New York - USA
Islamic finance is the best suited system for poverty alleviation that can be utilized both by Muslims and non-Muslims as a system to cut down poverty dilemma from all over the world, it can also be utilized as an effective tool of financial inclusion as Millions of Muslims are financially excluded due to religious reasons, according to Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics.
The meeting discussions included the value proposition of Islamic finance; the level-playing field between Islamic and conventional finance; impediments to growth in profit-and-loss sharing financing; and the potential of the industry in fostering access to finance, notably for small- and medium-sized enterprises. But also more specific topics such as the appropriate regulatory and supervisory framework to preserve financial stability, how to adapt and implement Basel III requirements on capital and liquidity, strengthen risk management tools, and enhance Shar?`ah and corporate governance were discussed.
Competition is increasing among the world’s financial centers to grab a slice of Islamic finance, which is expanding beyond its traditional bases in southeast Asia and the Middle East. The focus is mostly on the booming market for sukuk (Islamic bonds). Luxembourg, Britain and Hong Kong are seeking to draw more issuance activity and have already made debut issues of sovereign sukuk this year. But Liechtenstein, is instead concentrating on wealth management through a coordinated effort by the public and private sectors.
A Brit, a Pol and a Brazilian have come together to form a unique Alternative Business Structure and specialise in Islamic finance. Kawa, Guimaraes & Associates Solicitors, based in London’s Canary Wharf, offers services in immigration, family and employment, together with a limited amount of personal injury and medical negligence. Senior partner Mehedi Rahim, said the firm specialised in finding commercial solutions compliant with Islamic principles.
With the growing size of private wealth in the Gulf, maximizing the returns on this wealth is today's most pressing need and challenge. This has triggered fierce competition among wealth management firms. Private wealth management services delivered to high-net-worth investors include advice on the use of various estate planning vehicles, business-succession or stock-option planning, and occasional use of hedging derivatives for large blocks of stock. The recent report issued by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled "Global Wealth 2014: Riding a Wave of Growth" said private wealth in the region will reach $7.2 trillion by the end of 2018, approximately a 3.6 per cent share of total global wealth.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) is offering investors low-risk exposure to global sharia-compliant stocks through a new 100% capital-protected note that tracks the Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 index. The launch of the note is part of ADIB's growing wealth management offering and helps investors in the region to diversify their portfolio. The Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 Index, which includes the largest 100 sharia-compliant stocks traded globally, has given an annualized return of 6.01 percent over the last 10 years, and just over 21 percent in 2013. The note provides 100 percent capital protection at maturity to minimize risk for a minimum investment of US $30,000. The notes are open for subscription until 24th September 2014.
Jan - June 2014 issue of the Malaysian ICM bulletin published by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) is now available online.
Islamic fund and wealth management is an integral component of Islamic financial system. This is attributed to the significant rise in income and wealth of certain Islamic countries over the last four decades as well as the emergence of Islamic finance as a viable alternative to conventional finance. The benefits of Islamic fund and wealth management cut across racial and religious boundaries as it not only benefit Muslims who wish to see their wealth preserved and enhanced within the Shariah framework, but also to non-Muslims who may view this from an ethical perspective of managing wealth.