The National

Mixed UAE banks 'are breaking the law', FNC member says

Dr Yaqoub Al Naqbi assumes the responsibility of the Central Bank governor for breaking the law by offering Islamic services as other commercial activities. The governor Dr Al Naqbi has underlined that regulations were constantly developing and the criticized licensing practice was necessary to keep up with market demand.

UAE banking reforms: chip and pin debit card switch delayed

The Central Bank has postponed the implementation of three most important reforms regarding the security of chip and pin debit cards. According to the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Emirates NBD, the emirate's banks are not yet ready to implement the new security standards to protect clients against card fraud.

Gains for Nakheel from rebound in property

Nakheel's bonds have brought their bondholders four times more returns than global peers this year. This year's return of the company's notes is 48%. Thus, the average gains of 11 per cent for the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Real Estate Index were surpassed by far. Compared to Nakheel, bonds of high-yielding American home builders registered an increase of 23%.

UAE the only Gulf state to improve in corruption ranking

The UAE has improved its ranking in terms of corruption and has moved one place up in a global ranking of countries perceived as the least corrupt. According to this year's survey, it is the only state in the Arabian Gulf to move to a better position. The annual study of the Berlin-based Transparency International examines the outside perceptions of dealing with public sector officials. It showed that the UAE reached the 27th place, alongside Qatar. The latter, on the other hand, has moved five places down since 2011.

Dana Gas in deadlock over sukuk negotiation

After its default, Dana Gas has asked creditors for a decision on the liquidation of its US$920 million sukuk (Dh3.37 billion). Locked in last-minute negotiations with a committee of sukuk-holders, Dana discusses a standstill agreement over repaying the bond. The company has made a request to its creditors to declare whether they will seek to dissolve the bond. Such a measure would enable attempts to seize the company's assets, including concessions in Egypt and Sharjah.

Fitch issues caution over Islamic banks

Fitch Rating Agency warns about Sharia-complained banks as they do not complete with established conventional banks offering Islamic-compliant products. This is especially the case in Oman who's banking market hasn't been opened yet.

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Bandits and thieves add to Syria's woes

The increase in bank robberies and fraud cases in Syria deepens the country's state of trouble. Already there are alerts to the country's stock exchange about major robberies in separate filings by foreign-backed lenders. A robbery in Homsled to the loss of 75.2 million Syrian pounds (Dh4.12m) which is a huge sum compared with 200m pounds profit the bank made last year. Unfortunately, the frequency of such incidents only gets higher.

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Ireland aims to become hub for Islamic finance

Ireland has set itself the goal to become a global Islamic finance hub since its funds industry has passed beyond the €1 trillion (Dh4.73tn) mark. Thus, the country can take a larger slice of the continuously growing Islamic finance sector. After strengthening Ireland's position in the Sharia-compliant sector by attracting its first fund promoted from Malaysia, the country makes plans for further expansion and growth in this area.

US Islamic assets manager set to delist

After a seven-year string of losses, the US-based Shariah Capital will delist from London's Alternative Investment Market (Aim). According to the hedge fund manager, a cancellation of the shares will be sought. The company expressed its opinion that cost of maintaining the listing, which is US$300,000 per year, is better spent elsewhere.

Meeting of creditors is next test for Dubai World

Dubai World faces another test when it meets creditors next week to begin discussions on its other debts, totalling US$22 billion (Dh80.8billion).

IFC lists USD 100 mn Sukuk in Dubai and Bahrain

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the multilateral development bank, will list a USD 100 mn 5-year Sukuk in Dubai and Bahrain. The IFC plans to return to the market with new issuances every 12 months to 18 months.

NBAD plans first ETF

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) plans to launch the Middle East’s first exchange-traded fund to try to attract more international investors. The fund, known as an ETF, will be listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) in two months, a senior NBAD official said. It will be licensed by a leading global index provider and will track some of the Gulf’s 50 biggest stocks, said Giyas Gokkent, NBAD’s co-head of asset management and chief economist.

Nakheel restructuring efforts will affect other Dubai ratings

The refinancing of Nakheel’s US$3.5 billion (Dh12.85bn) Sukuk will be of utmost relevance to the credit ratings Moody's has for Dubai entities. Nakheel has not the stand alone capacity to repay the Sukuk reported Paulo Vecina in The National.

Amlak Finance will halve its s take in a property investment

Amlak Finance will halve its investment in Sky Gardens, a tower located near the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Amlak had purchased properties in various parts of Dubai to sell them to potential purchasers. As buyers have become fewer, the company decided to scale back its investment.

Gulf debt issues expected to grow

Sara Hamdan reported on The National that market participants interviewed seeing the Gulf Corporate bond sales to grow, specifically as recent sovereign issues have completed a yield curve previously not avalaibe to benchmark against.

Amlak and Tamweel still in need for refunding

The UAE’s two largest Islamic home finance companies will need to secure adequate funding before they can re-start lending, the chairman of Tamweel. Both firms have been funded by banks on short term maturities, a business model, which does no longer work.

Moody's: Sukuk market revitalised by Asian Sukuk

New sales of Islamic bonds or sukuk, by Asian governments such as Indonesia are revitalising the market, ratings agency Moody’s said in a report, wrote Uta Harnischfeger in The National. Last week, the government of Indonesia issued its first international dollar sukuk, raising US$650 million (Dh2.3bn). The Sukuk was seven times oversubscribed.

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