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Kuwait Finance House consolidates all its direct investment activities to one investment arm

General Manager of International Banking and Acting Chief Investment Officer at Kuwait Finance House KFH Shaheen Al-Ghanim has announced the emerging KFH Investment Company, previously named Liquidity House. He added that this company will be KFH's main investment arm locally, regionally, and globally. Renaming Liquidity House to KFH Investment is one of the results of the new investment strategy, which is considered to be part of KFH's development and restructuring plan. All of KFH investment holdings and activities will be consolidated and supervised by KFH Investment Company. Furthermore, Al-Ghanim revealed that this company will survive Liquidity Management House (LMH). He noted that the Shareholders General Assembly of LMH had been convened last Thursday and approved changing the name of the company.

Bahrain Islamic Bank realizes net profit for Q2-2013

Mr. Abdul Razak Abdulla Al-Qassim - Chairman of the Board of Directors announced that the Board has approved the Financial Statements for the period ended on 30th June 2013. The Bank registered BD2.4m as net profit for the first half of the year after deducting BD5.7m as provisions compared to a net loss of BD15.8m for the same period last year. The Board has taken provisions of BD5.7m as a precautionary step against any unforeseeable deterioration in asset values compared to BD15.9m for the same period last year. Net operating profit for the three months of the second quarter registered BD3mn compared with BD1.4m for the same period in 2012. These results are considered good considering the prevailing economic circumstances.

DDF concludes repricing of existing senior unsecured conventional and Islamic financing facilities

Dubai Duty Free (DDF) has successfully concluded the repricing of its $1.75bn debut facility arranged in 2012. The Repricing was well received by the market with support from its existing syndicate of international, regional and local banks, with several institutions also offering to increase their commitments as well as accepting the lower pricing. However, no new commitments needed to be allocated. Citibank, N.A., London Branch acted as sole co-ordinator and bookrunner for the Company in connection with this Transaction. DDF's goal is to increase sales this year to $1.8bn to grow sales to $3bn within five years.

Bank AlJazira reports 29% jump in Q2 net profit

Saudi lender Bank AlJazira has reported a 29% jump in its net income for the second quarter to SR167m, compared with SR129m for the same quarter last year. Net profit during the first six months of 2013 grew 15% to SR312m from SR272m for the same period last year. The bank's total assets as of June 30, 2013 stood at SR56.22bn against SR47.12bn for the same period in the previous year, an increase of 19%.

KFH-Research global outstanding sukuk reaches $61.2bn

A report issued by KFH-Research states that the global sukuk market has shown resilience this year given the volatility in global bond markets as market players react to positive economic growth prospects as well as concerns over monetary policy in the US. The report mentions that despite rising yields across the board, sukuk issuances have kept up momentum. On a monthly basis, the primary sukuk market in 2013 has outpaced the previous year every month since January 2013 except June 2013. Moreover, the report states that Malaysia held the largest market share of the primary market in 1H13 primarily due to the central bank issuances. The secondary sukuk market in Malaysia remained the largest, followed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar. Growth in the secondary market over the first half of the year was driven by Turkey. The prospects for the sukuk market are expected to remain bright.

Bahrain Islamic Bank convenes its AGM and elects new board

An Ordinary Shareholder Assembly of Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) was held on Sunday 7th July 2013 with the objective of electing a new Board. The result was the election of four new members to the Board in addition to the five members who are appointed. The following four members are the ones who were successful in the elections: Talal Ali Abdulla Al-Zain, Khalil Ebrahim Nooruddin Nooruddin, Ebrahim Hussein Ebrahim Abdul-Rahman, Othman I. N. Al-Askar. Accordingly, the Board of Directors constitution now is complete with a total number of nine as follows: Mr. Abdul Razak Abdulla Hassan Al Qassim (Chairman), Brig. Khalid Mohammed Al Mannai (Vice Chairman), Mr. Talal Ali Abdulla Al Zain, Mr. Khalil Ebrahim Nooruddin, Mr. Mohammed Al Zarrouq Rajab, Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdulla Ali, Mrs. Fatima Abdulla Budhaish, Mr. Ebrahim Hussain Ebrahim Abdul Rahman, Mr. Osman Ebrahim Naser Al Askar.

Ratings of Bank AlJazira affirmed

Capital Intelligence (CI) has affirmed the ratings of Saudi Bank ALJazira (BAJ). The Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is affirmed at 'BBB', supported by sound liquidity, strong customer deposit growth and improved profitability. For the same reasons, the Long-Term Foreign Currency Rating (FCR) is affirmed at 'BBB+' and the Short-Term Foreign Currency Rating at 'A2'. Ratings are constrained by the high non-performing loan (NPL) ratio, the high cost structure and a resultant low profitability, and a high level of deposit concentration. Both the FSR and the FCR continue to carry a 'Stable' Outlook. In light of the Bank's position in the Saudi banking sector, official financial support is expected to be forthcoming in the event it is needed. Consequently, the Support Level remains at '2'.

Pakistani lender plans Mideast expansion

Pakistan-headquartered Bank of Khyber (BoK) plans to open branches in the Middle East, as part of an expansion drive to capture the fast growing investment opportunities and facilitate the expatriate Pakistanis belonging to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The lender would offer both Islamic and conventional banking services in the lucrative market of Middle East, according to the bank's acting managing director, Javed Hashmat. No further details were provided.

Khaleeji Commercial Bank pays Zakat to needy families

Mr. Adel Al Asoumi, Chairman of Houra and Gudhaybeya Charity Fund thanked Khaleeji Commercial Bank for its contribution towards sponsoring a number of needy families in association with the Charity Fund. As part of its Zakat fund program, the Bank works closely with charity organizations in the country supporting needy families and helping out raise their standard of living. The Bank has contributed from its Zakat fund to support a number of families sponsored by Houra and Gudhaybeya Charity Fund to ensure the support goes directly to the needy families. The Charity Fund will facilitate the process of helping those selected families by providing the Bank with their names, details and identified needs.

ADIB Arranges Dhs1.32bn Syndicated Islamic financing for GMS

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has closed a Dhs1.32bn ($360m) Syndicated Islamic Facility for Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Marine Services (GMS), the largest provider of self-propelled self-elevating jackup barges in the world. ADIB acted as the Mandated Lead Arranger, Sole Underwriter, Sole Bookrunner, Investment and Security Agent for the facility. The deal was tailored by ADIB to meet GMS' financing needs, including re-financing existing facilities and providing finance for the acquisition of 2 additional vessels. The financing will also help GMS achieve its plan to further improve and expand its fleet. The facility evidenced strong demand from local and regional banks which resulted in it being 2 times oversubscribed by 10 local and regional banks.

Kuwait Finance House launches new Gold Account

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) announced the official launch of its new Gold Account. This product enables KFH's clients to buy and sell physical gold biscuits securely. Available at KFH's Head Office branch in Kuwait, the gold biscuits each weigh 100grams and have a purity value of 999.9. KFH clients will be able to open Gold Accounts with no fees charged from 01 July by purchasing a minimum of one gold biscuit. They will then be able to choose whether to withdraw the physical gold or to keep it in custody with KFH without charge for an initial period. Further purchases or sales of gold can then be done conveniently and securely through crediting or debiting a customers' current or savings account. KFH currently plans to offer customers the ability to open Gold Accounts in other branches in Kuwait City in the near future.

Khaleeji Commercial Bank supports needy families

Mr. Yousef Al Mahmeed, Chairman of Hamad Town Charity Fund thanked Khaleeji Commercial Bank and its chairman Dr. Fuad Al Omar for its contribution towards sponsoring a number of needy families in association with the Charity Fund. Khaleeji Commercial Bank has agreed to use part of its charity fund to support a number of families sponsored by Hamad Town Charity Fund to ensure the support goes directly to the needy families. Mr. Yousef thanked the Bank for its initiative and continuous support for programs organized by Hamad Town Charity Fund and other general initiatives taken for similar projects. The Charity Fund will facilitate the process of helping those selected families by providing the Bank with their names, details and identified needs.

Ernst and Young grants Kuwait Finance House CSR Assurance Certificate

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has been granted an Independent Assurance Certificate of its Corporate Sustainability Report from Ernst and Young (E&Y). This certification came after meeting or exceeding all requirements of the certification criteria. Nadeem Shafi, the partner of (E&Y), handed the certificate to KFH's CEO Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Omar in the presence of a number of officials. The bank has been certified according to data and information related to the bank's sustainability performance, internal protocols, processes and controls related to the sustainability performance data and information related to the workforce. Moreover, environmental data, achievements and awards as well as training and community development initiatives, were also taken into consideration. E&Y sustainability assurance team also visited the company's corporate office to gain confidence in the data and selected claims presented in the report.

Investment Dar seeking 50% debt cut

Kuwait's Investment Dar Co has asked creditors to take a 50% writedown on its debt, as it seeks to meet repayments after defaulting on a loan three years ago. Under the optional plan, creditors will receive a cash payment totaling 5.7% of their outstanding debt and a portion of a new Islamic loan equal to about 44% of their current exposure. Details are not public. Investment Dar's stake in Aston Martin and real estate holdings will be among assets backing the new credit facility.

IDB partners with Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab to train development professionals

The Islamic Development Bank, in collaboration with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA organized a high-level training course on Impact Evaluation of Development Programs taking place at the IDB headquarters from 8 to 12 June 2013. The training program was delivered by renowned experts in the field. Impact evaluation seeks to respond to the growing demand of donors and beneficiaries for measurable results on development interventions carried out by development banking institutions around the world. The training supports IDB's drive to improve the quality of its interventions, and showcase results on the ground. The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) coordinated the training program in collaboration with the Operations Policy and Services Department (OPSD) and the Group Operations Evaluation Department (GOED) of IDB.

Emirates Islamic Bank supports SMEs with special pricing for commercial vehicles and heavy machinery and equipment

Emirates Islamic Bank has launched a range of special Shari'a compliant offers for commercial vehicle, machinery and equipment financing especially designed for the small and medium enterprise sector (SME). The programme is part of the bank's long term strategy to support companies in the SME sector. Under SME Vehicle financing, the bank will offer small businesses, finance for new commercial vehicles starting at 4% profit rate (flat) and at 5% flat rate for used vehicles. Similarly, under Machinery and Equipment category, finance will be offered starting at 5.25% flat rate for new machinery & equipment and 6.25% flat rate for used ones. The bank already provides financing solutions aimed at helping businesses manage cash flow, asset acquisition and expansion requirements.

Capital Intelligence affirms QIB's Financial Rating at 'A'

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has been affirmed by international credit rating agency, Capital Intelligence (CI), with a Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of 'A'. This reflects the Bank's Islamic banking franchise, evidenced by substantial growth in financings and customer deposits, net financial income differential, and the Bank's capitalisation. In view of the Bank's intrinsic financial profile, Qatar's economic growth potential, and ongoing government support for all Qatari banks, the Bank's Long and Short Term Foreign Currency Ratings are affirmed at 'A' and 'A2', respectively, on Stable Outlook. Based on the strength of the Qatari government balance sheet, the Support Rating is affirmed at '2'.

Hussain AlQemzi GCEO Noor Investment Group and CEO Noor Islamic Bank

Noor Islamic Bank (Noor) is targeting Dhs5bn of lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) over the next five years with the launch of Noor Trade. This Shari'a compliant banking service is specifically tailored for SMEs that contribute significantly to the UAE's trade flows. In support of its Noor Trade strategy, Noor has opened its first dedicated trade branch in Almas Tower, home of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT). A second similar branch is scheduled to open in Deira, in July. Under the Noor Trade brand, clients will have access to fully Shari'a compliant financial services, including cash management, trade, and working capital solutions, along with consumer, treasury and takaful products packaged at preferential rates based on eligibility criteria.

SCGF announces first ever Shariah-compliant funds

Luxembourg-based SEDCO Capital Global Funds (SCGF) has announced the first ever Shariah-compliant funds managed according to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. The SEDCO Capital US Equities Fundamental Indexing Fund and SEDCO Capital Global Higher Dividend Yield Fund are screened for compliance with international conventions and guidelines on environment, human rights and business ethics such as UN Global Compact and OECD Guidelines. Non-compliance is dealt with through a process of engagement and exclusion. The funds will also incorporate proxy voting according to best corporate governance standards in its ESG programme. The funds are targeted at institutions, high net worth individuals, family offices, and qualified distributors wishing to invest in a socially responsible manner, while complying with Shariah principles.

KFH-Research: Participation banks growing rapidly in Turkey

KFH-Research issued a report stating that participation banks (Islamic banks) in Turkey form 5.2% of banking assets and will reach 10% by 2018, since those banks surpass the rest of the banking sector and have steady financing growth over 20% per year. The report noted that KFH-Turkey is first in deposits, and that participation banks are highly demanded and offer a wide array of products. There are currently four participation banks in Turkey, which are Albaraka Turk, Kuveyt Turk, Turkiye Finans, and Bank Asya. The low penetration rate of participation banking should ensure that its significant growth will continue over the coming years. Continuous measures and initiatives taken by the Turkish government as well as the large Muslim population will drive the participation banking sector to grow in the longer term.

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