Malaysian global asset manager establishes first-in-class fund platform in Ireland

Ireland has conducted its first Malaysian-managed fund platform. The Central Bank of Ireland has approved the establishment of CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management (Ireland) Public Limited: a joint venture between Kuala Lumpur headquartered CIMB Group and Principal Global Investors.
The newly created joint venture will uphold a range of international Islamic funds on the platform from its Dublin domicile. Three equity UCITS are being registered: Islamic Global Emerging Markets Fund; Islamic Asia-Pacific ex-Japan Fund, and Islamic ASEAN Equity Fund.
Once registered the funds will be spread in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Singapore.

2012 LSE-Harvard Public Lecture on Islamic Finance , 22nd Feb, 6.30 pm


Date: Wednesday 22 February 2012

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, London School of Economics

Speakers: Mukhtar Hussain, Professor Volker Nienhaus

Chair: The Hon. Mr Justice Cranston

Tadhamon seals UK students facility deal

Tadhamon Capital seems to have reached an agreement with UK developer Watkin Jones for joint ownership of Athena Hall.
The Athena Hall was cultivated by Watkin Jones in 2010 and is part of a new university campus benefiting from a five-year rental guarantee across the whole property and a 30-year nomination agreement with University Campus Suffolk.
The co-arrangers for the GBP26.7 million ($41.3 million) transaction were Tadhamon and Apache Capital Partners. The transaction will distribute a quarterly net cash yield of 8 per cent per annum to investors.

UK 'to remain top Islamic financial centre'

According to British Ambassador Iain Lindsay, UK and London will remain the world's leading international and Islamic financial centres. He stated that Islamic finance benefits from the UK's combination of experience, variety of skills, geographic location, infrastructure, transparency and openness.
He added that UK is in ninth place globally and is the leading Western country. The country is also seeking to consolidate its position as the gateway to Islamic finance in Western Europe.

Islamic investing – from niche to mainstream?

Rob Pearce of HSBC analyzes a form of socially reponsible investing based in Shariah.
It seems that the Muslim community currently makes up approximately 4% of the UK population. This is anticipated to double to 8% over the next two decades. But the proportion of the estimated £500bn UK DC assets invested in Islamic funds is a minuscule fraction of this amount. Auto-enrolment carries many challenges and opportunities, as well as an additional five to eight million individuals who will be saving more or joining a pension scheme for the first time. With an average age of only 28, many of these new investors will be Muslims.

Oasis Group targets UK investors for Islamic funds

The Oasis Group is advancing very fact in expanding its overseas operations and plans to open an office in London later this year as part of its expansion strategy.
Michael Bear, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, stated that high level financial and business services in South Africa and London are on a fast track for much closer cooperation. He also added that this will benefit both countries.
Oasis made its most critical move when it opened its office in Ireland, Dublin. Today it has six funds listed on the Irish stock exchange including its two flagship funds - the Oasis Global Equity Fund and the Oasis Crescent Global Equity Fund; the Oasis Crescent International Property Equity Feeder Fund; the Oasis Crescent Global Income Fund; the Oasis Crescent Global Low Equity Balanced Fund; and the Oasis Global Money Market Fund.

Mefcom ties up with UK-based merchant bank Beufort

Mefcom Capital Markets together with UK-based merchant bank Beaufort will supply various cross-border financial services to corporates and other investor classes. Furthermore, they will arrange Sharia- compliant investment products and plans to give the investors access to markets in India, Mid-East, the UK and Europe.
Mefcom-Beufort would provide its clients services allied to cross-border corporate advisory and due diligence work, brand franchising and international licensing transactions, listing and capital raising activities, private equity, investor roadshows, wealth management and stock broking and more others.

Egypt Rekindles Interest in Islamic Finance

Egypt has renewed interest in the growing sector of Islamic banking and finance in an effort to rebuild the economy of the country using internal methods of financing.
Part of the country's pursuit will be to launch a sovereign Sukuk, or bond, program within months. It would be Egypt's first sovereign Sukuk, ahead of country states including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Jordan aditionally mature markets such as Great Britain and France.

Islamic finance mkt faces ‘expectations’ challenge

The GCC Islamic banking community is well positioned to build on a leadership role versus other potential competing centers such as Malaysia, Iran or even the UK.
GCC Islamic banks have also prooved their ability to be more innovative in terms of product development and provision of services as they compete for business with conventional banks. However competition in the GCC has also outcome as a fragmented Islamic finance industry with most local institutions remaining relatively minor players on a global scale.

UK bestows first royal award for civic excellence in Islamic finance

Richard Thomas, CEO of Gatehouse Bank, was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the recent Birthday Honours list of Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of the UK Government. Thomas becomes the first UK royal award for civic excellence in Islamic finance.
Fahed Boodai, Kuwaiti chairman of Gatehouse Bank, stated that this recognition is honoring his leading contribution to the development of Shariah-compliant financing over the past 30 years.

Dawn in the East: Islamic finance in focus

Islamic Finance was a growing sector in the UK before the 2008 credit crunch shook the banking industry. Firms had begun to respond to client demand, recruiting experts in Sharia law and putting in place support networks. Now economies are holding back.
The Big Four and top mid-tier firms all have experts that are waiting to engage with clients on the topic, but it is not clear how much business this generates. People with an interest include those searching to invest in Islamic markets and those hoping to attract finance from cash-rich Sharia-observing countries.

New range of Shari’ah-compliant UK pensions launched

In order to equivalate the growing demand from UK Muslims for a suitable retirement vehicle, Pointon York has launched a range of Shari’ah-compliant Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs).
Sultan Choudhury, Commercial Director, stated that people are attentive to the risks of not putting enough aside in pensions for their retirement.
The four Shari’ah-compliant SIPP products that Pointon York will offer are:
- e-SIPP. A low cost SIPP which can be easily managed online
- Single Investment SIPP. A straightforward SIPP for clients wishing to invest in a single asset
- Individual SIPP. A fully flexible SIPP allowing an extensive range of investments
- Corporate SIPP. Suitable for employers, it has three tiers providing flexibility. It is made up of the e-SIPP, the Single Investment SIPP and the Individual SIPP.

HSBC Amanah fund chosen for UK national pension scheme

NEST Corporation has choosen HSBC Life Amanah Pension Fund for its Sharia Fund. NEST is a simple and low-cost UK pension scheme designed to give its members an easy way of building up their retirement pot. It also makes it easy for employers to meet their new workplace pension duties that will start to be introduced from 2012.
Stuart White, HSBC Global Asset Management (UK) Institutional Director, pointed out that this pension scheme could transform UK's pension industry.

BLME launches first Sharia'a compliant UK light industrial building fund for Gulf investors

Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) stated that that they will launch a Light Industrial Building Fund (LIBF). This fund is a Sharia'a compliant UK real estate fund which invests in sustainable property assets.
The five core areas that set the foundations for BLME's competitive offering are Private Banking, Asset Management, Corporate Advisory, Corporate Banking and Markets Division.

BLME to start Bahrain operations

Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) has received a licence from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to open its regional office in the Kingdom.
LME provides a wide range of services and advice to businesses and individuals, with a strong focus on Europe, the Mena region, as well as the US.
The opening of the Bahrain office, BLME’s first overseas office in the Gulf region, reinforces its ambition to provide a bridge between the UK and the GCC to offer a range of investment opportunities to the global investment community.

U.K. Cancels Sukuk, Focus on Economic Growth

The U.K., Europe’s largest market for Shariah-compliant financial products and services, canceled what would have been the first sale of Islamic bonds by a Western federal government as issues fell 15 percent in 2010.
Growth in Europe’s Islamic financial hub has been hampered by slowing economic expansion and the government’s attempt to plug a budget deficit.

Shariah-Compliant Hedging Derivatives Start in Malaysia

Standard Chartered Plc and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd. plan to offer Shariah-compliant derivatives in Malaysia that will allow investors to hedge against interest rates and commodity prices.
Bank Islam Malaysia, the country’s oldest Islamic lender, will offer swaps that allow two parties to exchange different forms of payments from an underlying asset. Standard Chartered, the U.K. bank that earns most of its profit from emerging markets, will begin selling contracts in the first quarter that provide protection from fluctuations in the cost of items such as rice and oil.

Praemium to launch UK Sharia portfolio service

The Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) has appointed Investment management platform provider Praemium to launch the UK’s only Sharia compliant retail discretionary portfolio service.
IBB stated Praemium’s discretionary portfolio service would give investors the chance to set up investments through its independent financial advisers.

Islamic IFA calls for overhaul of UK banks

Getting Islamic finance to become more mainstream needs a significant change to take place in the industry.
During the three-day event at the Gulf Hotel in Manama, delegates heard of the challenges facing the proliferation of Islamic finance products.
Shebab Marzban, product development officer for Egypt-based Ideal Ratings, instigated the discussion when he warned that many Western fund managers fail to carry out correct due diligence on Islamic finance products.

Tadhamon Capital announces successful acquisition of Coxlease School in UK

The transaction of Coxlease School valued at Pounds 17.5m ($28m). Tadhamon Capital advised on the transaction and acted as an arranger of the financing.

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