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Property financing campaign launched by #Bahrain-based Al Baraka Islamic Bank

Al Baraka Islamic Bank has launched a promotional campaign to provide property financing to the beneficiaries of the Housing Ministry’s Mazaya programme. Under the campaign, profit rates will be calculated at competitive rates, there will be no down payments, and zero banking fees. The bank will also cover the fees of life insurance for the beneficiaries and will provide fire insurance for the property. Also, there will be instant prizes for the executed deals. The financing is up to BD120,000 with maximum duration of 25 years.

ADIB continues its support to customers impacted by COVID-19

ADIB has launched a series of special offers exclusively to healthcare professionals as a tribute for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. These offers include reductions and discounts on ADIB products: special reduction on the profit rate of personal and auto finance; AED500 reduction in fees for ADIB covered cards or a voucher from Amazon or Noon when applying for cards; fixed profit rates on home finance starting from 2.99% per annum on home finance; 20% fee reduction on all wealth management products; Smartaccount welcome pack and no minimum balance requirement for Smartbanking; an iPad with every Life and Savings Takaful plan, if an AED 1,000 monthly contribution is made. ADIB was among the first UAE financial institutions to launch relief measures for customers during COVID-19, including the postponement of monthly installment payments and the reduction of certain fees.

#Saudi Arabia’s mortgage lender Amlak to start trading on Tadawul from Monday

Saudi Arabia’s mortgage lender Amlak International for Real Estate Finance starts trading shares on the Tadawul stock exchange. The company is floating 27.18 million shares, or 30 per cent of its total, with an indicative price range set at 15-17 Saudi riyals (Dh14.7-Dh16.6) per share. Proceeds of the offer are being used to repay selling shareholders. Amlak International was set up in 2007 and is a non-bank lender, mainly of property loans. Shares in Amlak International's IPO will be allocated on a pro-rata basis to individuals who subscribed to the offer, depending on the size of their request.

UAE Islamic Banks: 2019 Results Dashboard

According to Fitch Ratings, Islamic financing and deposits accounted for 27% of total sector financing and deposits at end-2019. Growth in Islamic financing slowed significantly in 2019. Asset-quality metrics deteriorated in 2019, particularly due to pressures in the real estate and contracting sectors, but also in entertainment, hospitality, and retail and wholesale trade. The operating profit/risk-weighted assets ratio also deteriorated due to increased financing impairment charges. Capital ratios have increased over the past four years, while core capital ratios remain below those of conventional banks but the difference has narrowed.

#Qatar- #Merger was a smooth affair: Barwa Bank Chairman

Barwa Bank held yesterday its Ordinary General Assembly and approved all the agenda of the meeting. The annual general meeting was presided over by the Bank's Chairman and Managing Director Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani. It was held via video conferencing. The focus of the meeting was on completing the full merger process with International Bank of Qatar, in addition to statistics and financial results for the year 2019 as well as the Bank's future plans. The merger took place in a record time that did not exceed 11 months. Barwa Bank recorded remarkable growth, as its total revenue increased by 43% to reach QR3.3bn, while total assets reached QR77bn, supported by financing assets that exceeded QR51bn.

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain tops key performance indicator rankings for GCC banking sector

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain (Al Salam Bank) has achieved the highest reduction in non-performing financing (NPF) amongst 55 GCC listed banks in 2019. According to KPMG, the Bank also ranked sixth in the region for Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), with a strong standing of 20.9%. The KPMG report notes that the region’s positive results were coupled with an increased focus on digitisation. Al Salam Bank has come to be recognised as one of the key institutions driving the digitisation of financial services in Bahrain. Al Salam Bank is continuing the successful roll-out of its three-year strategy, focused on giving customers a virtual branch and an onboarding app that enables clients to open their accounts within minutes.

#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.

#Egypt Faisal Islamic Bank gets FRA's approval for capital raise

The Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) approved a request from Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt to publish the disclosure form to proceed with its capital increase procedures. The disclosure form included the board of directors’ approval to raise the company’s issued capital by $66.02 million to $506.2 million from $440.19 million. The capital increase will be carried out by issuing 66.03 million shares at a nominal value of $1 or its equivalent in the Egyptian pound per share through a 0.149-for-one bonus issue.

Meezan Bank set to benefit from the government’s expansion of Islamic debt issuance

As Pakistan gears up to borrow as much as Rs750 billion in Islamic bonds from the country’s financial system, one bank is set to benefit more than all others: Meezan Bank. The forecast for the net interest margin for Meezan Bank is 5.43% in 2020 and 4.72% in 2021. The key cause of the bank’s growth is its rapid expansion of its branch network, coupled with the fact that its brand name and credibility in Islamic finance mean that the bank rarely ever struggles to attract deposits. Over the past two years, Meezan Bank has added 159 branches, which represents a 21% increase over that period.

Banque Zitouna fête son 10ème anniversaire

Fondée en 2010, Banque Zitouna s’est rapidement développée en peu d’années s’imposant ainsi en tant que banque islamique entièrement évolutive en Tunisie. Le long de ses 10 années d’existence, Banque Zitouna n’a cessé de se réinventer toujours en accord avec ses valeurs de Banque islamique, en créant de la proximité avec ses clients et ses territoires, vecteur principal de sa réussite. En mars 2019, le Groupe Majda Tunisia a racheté les parts de l’Etat dans le capital de la banque. Banque Zitouna envisage également une expansion à l’international notamment en Afrique, au Maghreb et en Europe, outre la mise en place d’un plan de transformation digitale et le développement de nouvelles activités à travers la création de nouvelles filiales.

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.

Hong Leong Islamic appoints Rusni Hassan as Shariah Committee chairman

Hong Leong Islamic Bank (HLISB) has appointed Professor Dr Rusni Hassan as the chairman of its Shariah Committee effective April 1, 2020. Rusni is a professor at the IIUM Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance and is an influential veteran in the Islamic finance and banking industry. Her works and contributions to Islamic finance have also been recognised internationally including being listed in the prestigious Top 10 Most Influential Women in Islamic Business and Finance 2019 and Top 50 Most Influential Women in Islamic Finance 2018 by Cambridge IFA.

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.

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.

Gulf banks could see second wave of mergers after pandemic dust settles

The impact of the novel coronavirus on the global economy is growing and continues to shock the markets. S&P Global Ratings acknowledges a high degree of uncertainty about the rate of spread and peak of the COVID-19 outbreak. It comes as no surprise that the pandemic will halt the growth of GCC Islamic and conventional banks this year as they focus on preserving asset quality rather than business expansion. The delay of Expo 2020 for Dubai and potential cancelation of the pilgrimage season for Saudi Arabia, may result in a stronger impact on the regional economies. When the dust settles and the full effect of current conditions on banks’ financials is visible, there could be a second wave of mergers and acquisitions in the region.

GCC banks face 'earnings shock' from lower oil price, Covid-19

GCC banks will see significantly reduced revenue as they face an earnings shock from the oil price drop and Covid-19 pandemic. S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Mohamed Damak says the coronavirus will take a toll on important sectors such as real estate, hospitality, and consumer-related, but these will be relatively short lived and he forecasts a gradual recovery in nonoil activity from third-quarter 2020. In his view, if the recovery takes longer than expected, GCC banks could feel greater pressure. In March, S&P revised its outlooks of some UAE banks including First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Mashreqbank, Sharjah Islamic Bank and National Bank of Fujairah to negative. Most central banks in the GCC have already come up with stimulus packages to help the banking system withstand the economic fallout. The Central Bank of the UAE on Sunday doubled the size of its stimulus package to Dh256 billion.

Loan moratorium: Borrowers need to inform banks on consent, says finance minister

Malaysian borrowers who wish to continue with the six-month moratorium need to inform their respective banks of their consent via the banks’ designated platforms. Although the moratorium is automatic starting April 1, the borrowers’ consent is still legally required. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said starting from May 1, bank customers with hire-purchase loans and fixed rate Islamic financing will receive a notification on the steps they must take to complete the deferment process under the six-month moratorium on loan and financing payments. Customers will be notified via SMS, email or registered mail from their banking institutions.

#Bahrain's Al Baraka Bank looks for acquisitions as coronavirus pandemic hits valuations

Bahrain's Al Baraka Banking Group plans to expand into India, China and Indonesia as the coronavirus pandemic pushes valuations down. The pandemic, which has tipped the global economy into a recession, slated to be the deepest since the Great Depression, has dented lending. Al Baraka Banking Group plans to setup a small commercial bank in China focusing on trade financing to capitalise on growing commercial ties. In Indonesia, the lender has already explored the possibility of taking a stake in Bank Muamalat three years ago and will continue to look for further opportunities. Al Baraka currently operates in Sudan, Turkey, South Africa, Algeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

#Bahrain’s Al Salam Bank exits $182.5 mln U.S. multifamily real estate

Bahrain's Al Salam Bank has sold a portfolio of seven multifamily assets in the United States for $182.5 million. Al Salam acquired the real estate assets in North Carolina and Texas in 2016. The bank said the sale price exceeds the original underwriting for the portfolio. Al Salam Bank’s head of private banking Ali Habib Qassim said the exit comes at an opportune time ahead of the uncertainty of the current COVID-19 crisis.

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