Head of Finance

Gatehouse Bank is a Shariah compliant wholesale investment bank based in the city of London. They seek a Head of Finance to have primary responsibility for implementing the processes, procedures, working practices and support model for the day to day running of the Finance Department.

Middle Eastern Relationship Manager, Real Estate

A leading Islamic Bank based in London is currently looking to recruit a candidate to join its Real Estate team, reporting directly to the Head of Real Estate. The successful candidate will undertake a supporting role across a wide range of the Department’s general business activities including client communication, product design and implementation, relationship management and back office liaison. The role has the potential to provide the appropriate candidate with career progression opportunities and exposure to origination activities.

Corporate Finance Manager

A leading Islamic Bank based in London is looking to recruit a Corporate Finance Manager to join the Corporate Finance team, reporting directly to the Head of Corporate Finance. The successful candidate will undertake a front office role in corporate banking and trade finance.

Islamic Bank of Britain raises £10m

Islamic Bank of Britain has raised £10m through a placing of 1,000 million ordinary shares at 1p each with its majority shareholder, Qatar International Islamic Bank.

Gatehouse Bank launches its first sterling Sukuk

Gatehouse Bank has issued its first real estate-backed Sukuk that comprises shares in a company which owns a property leased to Fujitsu Services Limited. Rental payments will be applied to fund payments to the Sukuk holders and investors have the option to redeem their investment on a quarterly basis. Therefore, this asset constitutes a short term cash instrument with an annual yield of three per cent.

Takeover deadline extended for Islamic Bank of Britain

The deadline for Qatari lender Masraf Al Rayan to come up with an offer for Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) concerning its takeover has been extended. It initially lapsed on December 10th and was now extended to January 7th. IBB is majority-owned by Qatar International Islamic Bank. The latter has been discussing selling a controlling stake in the British bank with Masraf Al Rayan since June 2012.
According to a statement by IBB, its lending growth for the first nine months of 2012 have been driven by two new home financing plans. Furthermore, the bank will search for ways to offer more products.

UK-based Islamic bank seeks tie-up with Oman banks

Gatehouse Bank is making efforts to attract Oman's Sharia-compliant institutions to invest their funds in the UK and vice-versa. They are showing keen interest in establishing a business relationship with all Islamic banks. Gatehouse already have treasury services, capital market products like sukuk and real estate financing. There will be an official meeting between Gatehouse Bank's officials and such of Bank Nizwa and Bank Muscat. The goal of the meeting will be to explore cooperation possibilities and opportunities.

Islamic Bank diversifies Sharia compliant range with rent-only product

Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) has brought diversity to its Sharia compliant Buy to Let Purchase Plan product palette by launching a rent only BTLPP. It is a variable rental rate product which will be available to landlords of any faith. The deposit will be 35% and the rental rate 5.49%. Some of the other features of the product are the lack of early payment charge for clearing the finance in full and An administration fee of 1%. In addition, additional acquisition payments can be made without penalty, subject to a minimum amount of £4,000.

Bahrain's Arcapita sells stakes in UK retirement homes

In the process of Arcapita Bank's asset liquidation aiming to raise money for its creditors, the bank has sold its interests in five retirement homes outside London. According to a statement, Arcapita and its investors have sold their ownership of 80% in the property to Health Care REIT. The investment in the US-based publicly traded property investment trust was carried out in 2003 through a joint venture with Sunrise Senior Living. At the time Arcaoita sought Chapter 11 protection on March 19, 2011, the bank had assets of US$3.06 billion (Dh11.24bn) and liabilities of $2.5bn.

Is your money safe with a bank you've never heard of?

A savings market area in which a number of new names at the top of the best buy tables emerged this year is the area of fixed rate savings bonds. In terms of the best rates in the one, two, and three-year bond market, the predominant banks are such as United Bank UK, the State Bank of India, the Bank of London and the Middle East, the Islamic Bank of Britain, Triodos Bank and First Save. No high street bank can be seen in the top list of the area. In order to be protected in the event that a bank or other institution goes bust, UK savers can rely on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

QIB UK closes seventh Islamic structured note

QIB UK, which is situated in London, has closed its seventh Islamic capital-protected note. The bank's plans further include rolling out similar products every year. Since the launch of its "Hemaya" structured note programme in 2010, QIB UK was able to raise over US$190m. US$153m of the sum were raised by the first six tranches.According to Anouar Adham, the bank intends to launch several tranches every year.

Banking sector nerves blocking international relief, says Islamic Relief FD

UBS recently closed the bank account of Islamic Relief. Because of nervousness about counter-terrorist regulations, the charity organisation is under constant scrutiny by other banks. Incoming as well as outgoing transactions are stopped on a daily basis. It is yet not known whether this is a temporary measure or a permanent one. Since 9/11, Islamic Relief and other similar charities have been object of high scrutiny and had to explain themselves at every juncture.

Analysis: Saudi Arbitration Court in the UK?

It was recently stated in the Financial Times that Saudi Arabia intends to lobby the UK government in November in order to set up a confidential court in London. The court is to settle multimillion pound commercial disputes coming from the Middle Eastern country. The people of Saudi Arabia hope that an arbitration centre based in London will contribute to countering investor concerns about the Saudi Arabian legal system. This way, foreign investment could be stimulated. According to Amgad Husein and John Balouziyeh from SNR Denton, the success of such an arbitration centre depends on its implementation.

Gatehouse advises Malaysia’s SWF on first UK real estate investment

Cooperating with Malaysia's Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), Gatehouse Bank has executed the GBP 165 million acquisition of the law firm SJ Berwin’s offices in London. The role of Gatehouse was Investment and Shari’ah Adviser. The deal is the first real estate investment of the Malaysian client and is essential for its wider global investment strategy. According to Chief Executive Officer of Gatehouse Bank Richard Thomas, this investment is a great example of international co-operation and demonstrates how funds can be mobilised around the world complying with the principles of Shariah.

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UK Muslims Get Access to Shari`ah Finances

UK Muslims will get access to financial products that are in line with Islamic Shari'ah rules, as day want to know what drives the returns they are receiving. A new service, called Ummah Financial Planning, has been recently launched by Garbutt & Elliott and should help around two to three million Muslims in the UK to manage their finances.

BLME Celebrates 5 Years of Trust, Integrity and Ethical Banking

In July 2007 Bank of London and The Middle East ("BLME") celebrated its fifth anniversary of receiving FSA authorisation. Throughout these years BLME has successfully constituted and developed its business platform, providing various wholesale banking and wealth management services. Humphrey Percy, CEO of BLME, said that despite the challenges in the global economical turmoil, BLME had achieved key successes in the growth of their Wealth Management business and Corporate Banking divisions. BLME’s success is due to reliance upon traditional banking values of trust, fairness and integrity. Thus it provides clients with ethical corporate banking, treasury and wealth management services across Europe and the GCC.


New internship to analyze sector with over $270 billion in estimated assets

Riyadh, 20 July 2012: Today a multinational group of companies dedicated to the Islamic banking industry announced the first nominee for the Islamic Banking & Finance internship, cosponsored by Bank of London & the Middle East ( in London, Wafi International in Riyadh ( and Safa Investment Services ( in Geneva and Riyadh.

Thomas R. Woods, graduating end 2012 from Durham University (U.K.) with a Master’s degree in Islamic Finance, was chosen to serve for six months. Fluent in Arabic, Mr. Woods will focus first on global capital markets and professional asset management from the BLME offices in London, and then will conduct the first-ever study of historic investment returns at Islamic endowments (awqaf) at the Safa offices in Riyadh. Wafi will supervise Mr. Woods’ work in Saudi Arabia.

GBP100 million Saudi Arabian - United Kingdom fund completes 2nd real estate acquisition

Sidra Capital (Sidra) and Gatehouse Bank (Gatehouse) finalized their second real estate acquisition in the United Kingdom Real Estate Fund (SURF) for GBP 22.4million.
The fund will deliver a diverse real estate portfolio in the UK, providing Saudi Arabian investors access to one of the world's most transparent and well-regulated markets.
The SURF fund has the purpose to hand over an average annual distribution yield of 7.00%.

Specialist proposes fatwa bypass on Islamic products

Trevor Norman, director of Jersey-based fiduciary specialist Volaw Trust and Corporate Services, noted that UK investors and their advisers should be given permission to research products themselves instead of having to obtain a fatwa, or judgement, from a Sharia board.
Mahmood Faruqui, senior adviser for the Bank of London and the Middle East and former vice-chairman of the Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance, added that another problem with the current system was the lack of transparency from the Sharia board in providing its judgements.

BLME completes first Islamic banking deal in the renewable energy space in the UK

Bank of London and The Middle East plc (BLME) signed a £14 million leasing deal with Global Marine Systems Ltd.
According to the agreement, BLME will support Global Marine in the acquisition and refit of an offshore power cable installation barge. The barge will be uniquely suited for the installation of a full range of subsea power cables. The increased request for this type of cable installation barge is directly connected to the growth of offshore electricity transmission being constructed to link the off-shore wind farms now being built throughout the North Sea and surrounding waters.

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