Americas

New Issue- JANY Sukuk Company prices $500 mln 2019 bond

JANY Sukuk Company Limited priced a bond on Tuesday, with the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc as Guarantor. The Issue Amount is $500 million, its Maturity Date is September 23, 2019. Following are terms and conditions of the bond: Coupon 2.844 pct; Issue price Par; Spread 90 basis points; Underlying govt bond over the midswaps; Payment Date September 23, 2014. Lead Managers are Goldman Sachs International, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, NCB Capital and QInvest. Fitch has assigned a rating of A, and Standard & Poor's A-.

Goldman Sachs sets IPT in 95 bps area over M/S for USD sukuk

Goldman Sachs has set initial price thoughts in the 95 basis points area over midswaps for its debut five-year, benchmark-sized U.S. dollar Islamic bond issue. The investment bank finished two days of investor meetings in the Middle East on Sept. 11. Goldman picked itself, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, QInvest and IPO-NACO.SE to arrange the investor meetings. The sukuk is being issued through a vehicle called JANY Sukuk Co and will be guaranteed by Goldman Sachs. The issue is expected to be rated A-minus by Standard & Poor's and A by Fitch Ratings, identical to the ratings of the investment bank. It will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

XL adds fine art and specie to suite of Shariah compliant products

XL Group has extended its support for Shariah compliant managing general agency, Cobalt Underwriting, by adding fine art & specie coverage to its suite of products. The insurer already provides cover for property, construction and financial lines. The coverage, which spans precious metals, cash, fine art and rare collectibles, particularly complements XL Group’s Shariah compliant Financial Lines offering. In practice this means financial institutions and collectors can now buy cover with significant limits for a range of assets and their exposures, including gold and other valuable assets both in situ and transit. XL sees growth in the arts market in the Middle East and Asia with the opening of new galleries.

XL Group Expands Cyber Insurance & Shariah Compliant

XL Group's global and professional unit formed the cyber and technology risk business unit named North America Cyber & Technology Risk business unit, to capitalize on the rising demand for cyber insurance in the U.S. and Canada. Moreover, XL Group has extended its Shariah compliant cover to Financial Lines and entered into a collaboration with Citation Jet Pilots (CJP) in August. The tie-up will provide competitive insurance policies to Citation owners and pilots who finish the safety education seminars. These expansion initiatives are expected to help it in many ways such as strengthening of operational capacity, increasing competitiveness, and increasing the scope for revenue generation.

GFH acquires Texas properties worth $75m

Gulf Finance House has announced the acquisition of two multi-family residential properties in Houston, Texas, as part of the Diversified US Residential Portfolio, which the bank has recently agreed to acquire. The properties — located in Houston, and Atlanta — have an overall occupancy of 94 per cent, and nearly 1,300 apartments. They have been selected due to their proximity to the large infrastructure assets in the cities, and are expected to benefit from the economic recovery in the US. The total size of the assets is $75 million (Dh275.4 million).

Muslim advisors help observant clients invest the Islamic way

Naushad Virji's firm Sharia Portfolio is a financial-planning practice. Virji, CEO of the firm, helps clients to calculate the right amount of their Zakat. He also constructs portfolios of individual stocks, mutual funds and bonds that adhere to Islamic law. And he researches mortgages that don't violate Islam's prohibition against interest and helps clients find suitable investments in their 401(k) plans. When he started his firm in 2003, he reached out to his own network as potential clients and soon found that the Muslims he knew didn't have much experience working with a financial advisor. There are more and more financial options for observant Muslims, choices that didn't exist just a few years ago.

Treasury hits Iran with new, wide-ranging sanctions

The Obama administration unveiled a host of new sanctions Friday against more than 30 companies and individuals doing business in or with Iran, seeking to thwart that nation’s nuclear ambitions, its support for organizations the United States deems as terrorist groups and mute its support for the embattled regime of Syrian leader Bashar Assad. The sanctions come at a period where the United States needs Iran’s help in trying to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS). Friday’s additions to the list include more banks, providers of equipment to Iran’s state oil company, banks that help to funnel U.S. currency to Iran’s central bank and transport-related businesses that have helped the Syrian and Iranian governments.

Two HDG Mansur creditors seek liquidation of the firm

A pair of creditors of troubled Indianapolis developer HDG Mansur want a federal bankruptcy court to force the firm into liquidation, claiming it has no hope of reorganizing and is using Chapter 11 as a stall tactic to fend off a $5.8 million judgment. Two affiliates of HDG Mansur, HDG Mansur Investment Services Inc. and HDGM Advisory Services LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May. The creditors, KFH Capital Investment Co. and Kuwait Finance House Real Estate Co., on Aug. 14 asked the bankruptcy court to convert the case from a Chapter 11 reorganization to a Chapter 7 liquidation. KFH's court filing requesting liquidation mentions a criminal probe launched by the U.S. Attorney’s office. A trial has been set for Oct. 6.

Gatehouse Bank completes purchase of Marriott Residence Inn, New York

London-based Gatehouse Bank has purchased the leasehold interest in the Marriott Residence Inn ("Residence Inn"), Manhattan, New York for an undisclosed amount. The Bank, assisted by Arch Street Capital Advisors, LLC, has acquired the property in partnership with a US-based hotel operator. The Residence Inn is a 17-storey, recently redeveloped building located on 48th Street in Midtown East, Manhattan. The property features 211 guestrooms of multiple room configurations including studios, suites and a penthouse. All rooms include a fully equipped kitchen. The Residence Inn is an extended stay, select service brand of Marriott International that is among the strongest performing brands under the Marriott umbrella.

The Success of the Peterborough Social Impact Bond

Yesterday, the first results for the Peterborough social impact bond (SIB) were released and the outcomes are promising. Through a program related investment (PRI), The Rockefeller Foundation supported the Peterborough SIB pilot aimed at reducing prisoner recidivism—and now, four years later, we can point to tangible success for this new innovative finance mechanism. The first ever SIB project reduced reoffending by 8.4 percent when compared to a control group. While a reduction of 10 percent was needed to trigger immediate repayment to investors, the performance of this first group indicates that investors are on track to receive positive returns in 2016. If the reduction in reoffending remains above 7.5 percent, the Ministry of Justice will make payments to investors.

Purification Calculator Helps Investors Avoid Unethical Profits

Azzad Asset Management has announced the launch of an online tool intended to help American Muslims observe Halal investing guidelines. Using input provided by shareholders of the Azzad Mutual Funds, an online Purification Calculator will provide a user-specific dollar amount that represents unintentional earnings that were potentially derived from religiously impermissible sources. Purification totals are calculated on a per share basis using Azzad's methodology for calculating unethical income. Azzad advises shareholders to give the indicated amounts to the charity or charities of their choice in order to avoid profiting from any activities deemed potentially harmful to society.

Equity Crowdfunding is in Need of Leadership

The American President's leadership is needed in a matter of removing an ongoing source of inequality which continues to disfigure both democracy and capitalism in America and worldwide. In many ways Crowdfunding is the embodiment of ‘The American Dream’. A dream of independence, self-reliance and freedom, without rules and regulations designed to keep people down. In both the UK and the USA government has expressed it’s explicit approval and support for equity crowdfunding. Yet two years on, in each case, the financial regulator – your SEC and our FCA – have sought to veto the will of the legislature. We need to ensure that the vested interests who prefer the status quo step aside at last and allow ordinary people to participate.

Federated to sub-advise 1st Shari’ah-compliant, US fixed-income fund

Representatives from Azzad Asset Management announced the selection of Federated Investment Management Company as sub-advisor for the Azzad Wise Capital Fund, America's first Halal fixed-income mutual fund. The Federated team has researched and purchased Sukuk, a significant holding in the Azzad Wise Capital Fund, for US and European mutual funds, as well as in separately managed accounts for large pension and institutional clients, said Azzad Senior Investment Strategist Fatima Iqbal. In addition, they have extensive experience managing fixed-income securities, generally. Much of the same analysis will be implemented in their management of the Azzad Wise Capital Fund.

Islamic banking solutions gain ground in US

Muslims in America are becoming a significant demographic force, and with that comes significant votes, which in turn translates into influence wielded in the social world they inhabit. And if Muslims in America today want to see interest payments prohibited on loans, then banks must find alternative ways to do business with them. These banks get around the prohibition of interest on loans by treating loans more like leases or profit-sharing arrangements. Giant financial institutions in the US now have their own Sharia advisory boards, while banks with relatively small assets rely on opinions from the Sharia Advisory Board of America.

Islamic banking solutions gain ground in US

Islamic banks are beginning to make inroads into the banking scene in the US. Chicago-based Devon bank, for example, has transformed itself into an interest-free financing establishment, with Islamic financing accounting for more than 75 percent of the bank's mortgage portfolio. Giant financial institutions in the US now have their own Sharia advisory boards, while banks like Devon Bank in Chicago, with relatively small assets, rely on opinions from the Sharia Advisory Board of America. Muslims in America are becoming a significant demographic force, so Islamic banking is here to stay and offers a lot of potential.

Sharia trial of Iranian billionaire:

An Iranian trial and execution raised questions about corruption at high levels in various countries. Reports said that Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, a billionaire businessman was executed in a prison, North of Tehran for being involved in a $2.6 billion state bank scam, the largest fraud case since 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. The public in America, Britain and other European countries reacted with surprisingly many comments on social media platform. They wish such a harsh punishment for their nations in order to deal with corruption amongst politician and businessmen.

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Worldwide study shows religious investors can ally faith and finance

Religious investors, in economic terms the third largest group to invest on the world’s stock markets, can post high placement profits and remain faithful to their religious creed. This is the message of the third biennial world report on religious investors, the only report of its kind.

The report highlights the profile of religious investors who respect this balance and thus can have a major influence on company ethics:
- Their principles of faith can serve as a road map for investment choices;
- By nature, these investors have a long-term view which is key to the notion of responsible investment;
- They can call on the support of what is often a worldwide community;
- They have set up networks that offer the chance to work together on stakeholder actions and therefore increase their impact.

Even though a certain number of religious organisations invest responsibly and use their role as shareholder-activists to promote change this sort of profile is far from the majority.

Islamic Finance has a Huge Potential in North America

Islamic finance, banking, and takaful has a large potential in the US and Canada despite several setbacks and various obstacles and hurdles. In terms of the United States, a 100% truly Shariáh compliant takaful company may not be possible at this time in the USA as many states have limited investment of collected premiums to non-Shariáh compliant investment grade rated bonds. However, the US has seen two major sukuk issuances and there is a large potential for further sukuk. In terms of Canada, there have been no sukuk issuances and there are no Islamic banks. The only positive ruling for Islamic finance in Canada thus far has been the permission of Islamic mortgages under Canadian law. Aside from constitutional hurdles and the lack of regulations and laws, which permit Islamic banking in North America, many people have a fear of Islam and the words Shariáh and Islamic.

CIFA Retail Finance Specialist Course, 11-13 June 2014 Chicago

Course overview:

- Enable participants to apply the principles of Islamic finance
- ExamiEnable participants to apply the principles of Islamic finance
- Examine in detail the different Islamic retail banking products offered by Islamic banks in
various jurisdictions including depository and wealth management solutions.
- Analyze different product structures, and other business related issues - regulatory, legal,
marketing and implementation challenges in the US market.
- Compare and contrast the various Islamic products with their conventional financial
equivalents
- At the end of the course, delegates will have a comprehensive understanding of the different
tools applied by Islamic banks to finance retail consumer needs, and will be able to structure
different solutions that are suitable for the US market.
- The course will use discussions, team exercises, and case studies to ensure delegates learn by
doing.ne in detail the different Islamic retail banking products offered by Islamic banks in
various jurisdictions including depository and wealth management solutions.
- Analyze different product structures, and other business related issues - regulatory, legal,

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