CPI Financial

Malaysian Central Bank confirms ‘no objection’ to merger extension for MBSB, Bank Muamalat Malaysia

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia on 18 January, Malaysia Building Society Berhad reported that, ‘on behalf of the Board of Directors of MBSB, AmInvestment Bank Berhad wishes to announce that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has vide its letter dated 15 January 2016 (which was received today) stated that it has no objection to MBSB’s application for the extension of time until 2 February 2016 to conclude the negotiations with DRB and Khazanah’ [shareholders in Bank Muamalat Malaysia] for the proposed merger and to submit the formal application to BNM.

Hawkamah celebrates tenth anniversary

Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance at the Dubai International Financial Centre and the first centre specialised in Governance in the GCC, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Over the last decade, Hawkamah has offered advisory services and courses across the Middle East and North Africa region. The Centre is marking its 10th anniversary with the launch of several new strategic initiatives. One of Hawkamah’s milestones in the first quarter of 2016 will be the graduation of the first intake of the Women Directors’ Program, in collaboration with Dubai Women Establishment. The institute will also launch the Arabic version of its flagship ‘Director Development Program’, the DDP. The aim of the programme is to build an understanding of corporate governance and increase the capacity of business leaders.

IIRA assigns Fiduciary Ratings to Al Baraka Bank Sudan

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has assigned national scale credit ratings of ‘A- (SD)/A-2 (SD)’ (Single A Minus/A Two) to Al Baraka Bank Sudan (ABS). Outlook on the assigned rating is ‘Stable’. Ratings derive strength from the bank’s franchise and an overall conservative approach to business. While impairment is high in absolute terms, overall asset quality indicators have improved on a timeline basis. The bank features general improvement in profitability, with revenues growing consistently. Capitalization levels remain notably higher than the minimum required and industry average. However, given risks in the general environment, reinforcement of capital as envisaged under the bank’s strategy would strengthen its risk profile and support future balance sheet growth.

NCB announces successful completion of subordinated Tier 1 Sukuk by way of private placement

The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has settled an issuance of subordinated Additional Tier 1 Capital Sukuk on Wednesday 23 December 2015, in the amount of SAR 2.7 billion through a private placement offer in Saudi Arabia. The issuance is intended to strengthen the Bank's capital base in accordance with the Basel III framework and sustain its growth while maintaining healthy capital adequacy levels. Additionally, the Sukuk will continue to extend the maturity profile of NCB's liabilities while continuing to diversify its sources of funding. The Sukuk are perpetual securities with no fixed redemption date. However, NCB has the right to call the Sukuk on a predefined date. All required approvals from the regulatory authorities have been obtained for the issuance. NCB Capital Company acted as Sole Lead Manager.

IIRA reaffirms Fiduciary Ratings of Bank AlJazira: Jan 2016

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has reaffirmed the ratings of Bank AlJazira (‘BAJ’) on the international scale at ‘A-/A2’ (SingleA Minus/A Two) and at ‘A+(sa)/A1(sa)’ (Single A Plus/A One) on the national scale. Outlook on the assigned ratings is ‘Stable’. The fiduciary score has also been reassessed in the range of ’71-75’, reflecting adequate fiduciary standards wherein rights of various stakeholders are adequately protected. The consistent growth in business volumes at BAJ, facilitated by expansion in branch network has been noted. The bank’s low net impairment ratio and sufficient liquidity held, lends support to the assigned ratings. Although financing counterparty concentration remains higher than desired levels, an improving trend has been noted. Capitalisation is adequate and above the regulatory minimum.

IIRA reaffirms ratings of Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has reaffirmed the ratings of Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank (KTPB) at ‘AA(tr)/A1+(tr)’ (Double A / A One Plus) on the national scale. Ratings on the international scale have also been reaffirmed, with foreign currency rating at ‘BBB-/A3’ (Triple B Minus / A Three) and the local currency rating at ‘BBB/A3’ (Triple B / A Three). Outlook on the assigned ratings is ‘Stable’. The assigned ratings take into account KTPB’s sound financial risk profile, against the backdrop of continued business expansion. Overall profitability position is also healthy; however, efficiency indicators have lagged behind larger players.

Bahrain Islamic Bank appoints a new Chief Risk Officer

Bahrain Islamic Bank announces that it has appointment Fahim Ahmed, as the Bank's new Chief Risk Officer effective 01 December, 2015. Mr. Ahmed brings over 17 years of international banking experience where he held various roles in corporate banking and risk management, the last as Chief Risk Officer at Standard Chartered Bank Bahrain, where he has been for the last three years. Mr. Ahmed has served in several markets such as Pakistan, Qatar, Oman, UAE and UK. He has a diploma in Islamic Finance (CDIF) and an MBA from the University of Warwick, UK. The position's scope includes not only the historical risk management responsibility, but also credit risk management, operational risk management and portfolio management.

Deloitte: Growth potential for Islamic Sukuk financing in Europe

The gap between the spending needs of developing countries and the pressure on financial institutions to carefully monitor their credit exposure in order to optimize their capital management driven by regulatory constraints on solvency, is creating opportunities for more diversified products of alternative funding. Considering promoting the Islamic bond market is on top of the agenda of credit risk management, thus creating room and greater opportunities of growth for Islamic products of asset based or backed instruments. This context provided the background for the Deloitte and IRTI-IDB Group executive workshop, “The corporate Sukuk market in Europe: mapping the pathway for an alternative financing”, recently held in London.

CI: Jordan Islamic Bank’s ratings affirmed on ‘Stable’ outlook

Capital Intelligence (CI) has affirmed Jordan Islamic Bank’s (JIB) Long- and Short-Term Foreign Currency Ratings (FCRs) at ‘BB-’ and ‘B’, respectively. JIB’s FCRs are constrained by Jordan's sovereign ratings (‘BB-’/’B’/ ‘Stable’), reflecting JIB’s base of operations in Jordan and its exposure to the Jordanian sovereign in the form of balances at the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ). The Support Level of ‘3’ is affirmed, on the basis of the high likelihood of support from the CBJ in case of need, and from the parent Al-Baraka Banking Group in Bahrain. The Outlook for JIB’s FCRs remains ‘Stable’, in line with the Outlook for Jordan’s Sovereign FCRs. The Bank’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is maintained at ‘BBB-’, on a ‘Stable’ Outlook.

IMF update on Afghan financial sector, Islamic banking regulations coming

As part of its review of the economic outlook for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the International Monetary Fund said financial intermediation in the country needs to become more efficient and broad-based. The IMF noted that the authorities expect that credit availability should increase from its low base, though they recognize that the low private credit reflects the scarcity of profitable and appropriately collateralized lending opportunities and structural challenges. The authorities wish to promote lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and agriculture while developing microfinance to support growth and job creation.

Ithmaar Bank and Tamkeen launch enterprise financing scheme

Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank and Tamkeen have announced the launch of a joint financing solution designed specifically to support private sector enterprises in the Kingdom. The financing scheme offers private sector enterprises amounts of up to BHD 500,000 at a subsidised reduced profit rate, a repayment tenor option of up to 10 years, and grace periods of between one month and two years. Participating SMEs can also benefit from a variety of unique features, as well as exceptional flexibility in repayment methods, including monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual payments. The announcement follows an agreement earlier this year to add BHD 10 million to the joint Ithmaar-Tamkeen enterprise finance scheme portfolio which aims to help private sector enterprises meet their financing needs and achieve their business objectives.

QInvest and Carnegie Mellon Qatar sign MoU

QInvest and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), a branch of Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, USA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate and coordinate in the fields of research and education.
The MOU will offer QInvest the opportunity to use CMU-Q’s educational programs, research and strategic studies, as well as those from select schools at Carnegie Mellon’s US campus. QInvest in return will provide CMU-Q’s new graduates and students in their final year the opportunity to spend one month working at QInvest under the bank’s QTALENT initiative.

Shari’ah scholars and industry stakeholders meet at IFSB-ISRA Shari’ah roundtable

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) have successfully organised a Shari’ah Roundtable themed, ‘Financial Safety Nets: Striking a Balance between Shari’ah Requirements and the Soundness of the Islamic Financial System’. The Roundtable was held on 5 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Roundtable aimed to provide a platform to Shari’ah scholars, legal practitioners, regulators and market players for having in-depth deliberations on key aspects of financial safety nets such as Lender of the Last Resort (LOLR) and Deposit Insurance Schemes from the Shari’ah perspective.
Over 70 delegates from nine jurisdictions among the IFSB members and non-member organisations – representatives from market players, regulatory bodies, and international agencies – Shari’ah scholars as well as academia attended this Roundtable.

i-VCAP introduces MyETF-AGRI to tap into long-term potential of agribusiness

The launch of MyETF-AGRI, the firm’s second Islamic ETF issued this year, brings the number of Shari’ah compliant ETFs in Malaysia to four and 18 in total in the world.
The global ETF market has closed in on the $3 trillion mark with Shari’ah-compliant ETFs only registering about $320 million of that total. In Malaysia, Shari’ah-compliant ETFs make up of over 30 % of the ETF market.
Malaysia does lead the pack, however, with the most Shari’ah-compliant ETF products in the world. Malaysia’s four Shari’ah-compliant ETFs account for some $75 million or 23 % of the global Shari’ah-Compliant ETF segment.
The launch of this landmark Fund represents many firsts for the industry including being the first agricultural-related Islamic ETF globally and the first sectoral Islamic ETF in the region while reinforcing Malaysia’s position as the global hub for Islamic finance and investment products.
MyETF-AGRI will look to invest in the 30 constituent companies that make up the Thomson Reuters Asia Pacific ex-Japan Islamic Agribusiness Index and in substantially the same weightings as they appear on the benchmark index.

ISRA and Thomson Reuters launch joint publication on Islamic commercial law report 2016

The International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) and Thomson Reuters, the world's leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals today launched an inaugural joint publication on Islamic Commercial Law Report 2016.
The Islamic Commercial Law Report 2016 was launched by the Deputy Minister, Prime Minister’s Department YB Senator Dato’ Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dato’ Dusuki at the International Shari’ah Scholars Forum (ISSF), organised by ISRA and the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) in Westin Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 3 November 2015.
The Islamic finance industry has witnessed exponential growth over the last three decades, and has become one of the fastest growing segments of the global financial industry with estimates of the current market size ranging from $1.66 trillion to $2.1 trillion. One key factor that has contributed to this progressive development is the flexible nature of Islamic commercial law, which has imbued Islamic finance with the same core characteristic of flexibility, as the legal maxim says: “the original ruling in Islamic financial transactions is permissibility”.

Al Baraka Islamic Bank’s foreign currency ratings lowered

Capital Intelligence (CI) said that following the recent downgrade in the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Sovereign Ratings in September 2015, it has lowered Bahrain-based Al Baraka Islamic Bank’s (AIB) Long and Short-Term Foreign Currency Ratings to ‘BB’ and ‘B’, respectively (from ‘BB+’/‘A3’/‘Stable’). Accordingly, the Outlook for these ratings is revised to ‘Stable’ from ‘Negative’. The Support Level of ‘2’ is maintained on the grounds of the high likelihood of support from the parent ‘Al Baraka Banking Group’ (ABG), also in Bahrain.

Bahrain EDB hosts IIFM Consultation on Islamic Credit Support Arrangement

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) hosted a Market Consultative Meeting on Islamic Credit Support Arrangement in association with the International Islamic Financial Markets (IIFM) and its Islamic hedging joint-partner International Swaps & Derivatives Association (ISDA) in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Credit Support Arrangement (CSA) is one of the key documentations for risk management where counter-parties transactional risk is managed through collateral and margin maintenance mechanism. The Islamic CSA will be developed under the already published ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut Master Agreement for Islamic hedging transactions.

3rd Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum to take place in Spain

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions and the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) and the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona are co-organising the 3rd Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum, themed “Building Bridges” on the 27th of November 2015, at Casa Llotja de Mar in Barcelona, Spain. This 3rd Edition will play a key role in building bridges for capital flows between Europe, the Middle East and beyond. It will bring together business leaders, policy makers and regulators to discuss challenges and opportunities for the Mediterranean region to tap into Islamic finance as a key source for Infrastructure projects and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) financing.

QNB in preliminary talks to buy Turkey’s Finansbank

In a statement to the Qatar Exchange, QNB revealed its involvement as a potential bidder for Finansbank, the National Bank of Greece’s Turkish banking subsidiary. Established in 1987, Finansbank operates 654 branches and has more than 12,000 employees. The bank’s total assets in H1 2015 reached TRY 82.45 billion. The bank was acquired by National Bank of Greece in 2006. QNB has also recently investigated the possibility of taking over KFH Malaysia. However, a bourse statement on 22 September said the bank had stopped preliminary talks to acquire Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) without reaching an agreement.

King & Spalding advises on largest Sukuk programme to date

King & Spalding has advised the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on the establishment of a $25 billion Sukuk programme, triple listed on the London Stock Exchange, Nasdaq-Dubai and Bursa Malaysia. The programme is rated “AAA” by S&P and Fitch and “Aaa” by Moody’s. King & Spalding’s Kanji advised the IDB on the transaction with assistance from Dubai-based senior associate Hamed Afzal and Washington, D.C.-based transaction specialist Gina Bunker. The lead manager on the transaction was Standard Chartered Bank plc and dealers included CIMB, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Natixis and Standard Chartered Bank.

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