Investment Banking

Saudi's Itqan Capital to boost Islamic finance business

Saudi Islamic investment firm Itqan Capital plans to expand its investment and advisory activities in the kingdom after it received regulatory approval to boost its capital. The firm will increase its capital by 100 million riyals ($26.6 million) to 173.4 million riyals by the end of October, said Adil Dahlawi, managing director and chief executive of Itqan Capital. Itqan currently manages four sharia-compliant funds: a money market fund and three real estate funds. New product launches are scheduled this year with two funds in the pipeline, the first of which is a private equity fund investing in the Saudi education market, Dahlawi said. About half of all assets under management in Saudi Arabia follow Islamic investment principles.

Kuwait Finance House tops banks locally

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has taken the top spot among banks locally and the 161st place globally, among the list of the top 1000 banks worldwide issued by "The Banker" international magazine. It’s worth noting that KFH’s leadership and the diversity of its investments through presence in various areas of investment as well as the global expansion provides the bank with investment opportunities. KFH posted in the first half of this year a gross profit of KD 144.032 million (USD 510.887 mln), and net profit for shareholders was KD 54.568 million (USD 193.555 mln) with an increase of 10% over the same period last year. Total Assets increased by 11 % over the same period last year to reach KD 16.7 billion (USD 59.3 bln), shareholders’ equity reached KD 1.7 bln (USD 6.1 bln).

Capital Intelligence Raises the Ratings of Gulf Finance House B.S.C.

Capital Intelligence (CI), has raised Gulf Finance House's (GFH) Long-Term Rating to 'BB' from 'BB-' and affirmed the Short-Term Rating at 'B'. The Outlook for GFH's ratings reverts to 'Stable' from 'Positive' following the rating action. The ratings reflect the recent successful refinancing and resultant extended debt repayment period. Also supporting the ratings is the significant reduction in leverage in recent years and the moderately improved liquidity position. The factors constraining GFH's ratings are the forced debt restructuring a few years ago, an encumbered asset base, and the small balance sheet coupled with single name and sector concentrations. Also constraining the ratings is the still challenging investment environment.

GFH reports $88.2m revenues and $10.6m net profits for H1 of year 2014

Bahrain based Gulf Finance House (GFH) announced its financial results for the first half of 2014 ended June 30, 2014. GFH reported a net profit of $10.6m for the period compared with $4.2m for the prior year period. The Bank’s consolidated profits rose by 152% in current period compared to the prior year period although an impairment of $10m was conservatively taken. Net profit for the second quarter of 2014 was $9.5m. Total income for the first half of 2014 was $88.2m compared with $24.5m for the same period of the year 2013. Operating expenses for the period were $67.6m. GFH made debt repayments of approximately $7m during the period, representing a reduction of approximately 3.5% of the Bank’s total financing liabilities.

Bahrain's GFH buys Dubailand plot for mixed-use project

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) has signed a land sale agreement to establish a new mixed-use residential development in Dubailand. The agreement with Dubai Properties Group (DPG) involves the purchase of a total area of approximately 1,200,000 square feet of land. The project aims to build residential, commercial and retail space and facilities within Dubailand. The new development includes both villas and apartments in the residential part of the project and is expected to launch later this year. The project is scheduled to be completed within the next five years.

Emirates NBD becomes a global leader in arranging US dollar sukuk

Emirates NBD has announced that its Investment Bank is ranked as the leading arranger of US dollar denominated sukuk globally. According to league tables published by Bloomberg, from January 2014 to June 2014, Emirates NBD Investment Bank arranged 10 dollar sukuk issuances aggregating to $5.4 billion, which is the highest number of dollar denominated sukuk issuances led by any arranger during this period. This achievement is the latest in a series of recognitions for Emirates NBD Investment Bank, which has also recently been named the “Best Regional Bank of the Year” by IFR Middle East (Thomson Reuters) and “Best Debt House” by EMEA Finance.

Syariah products: Still lack of Understanding

The Islamic capital markets in Malaysia might have seen fast expansion over the last years but a survey reveals that there is a pervasive lack of understanding of Syariah investments among the unit trust fund investors. Malaysian investors are also looking at alternative options such as Asian high dividend equities and Asian multi-asset income a survey by Eastspring Investments reveals. Asian multi-asset income unit trusts were also widely sought.

Moody's says: Malaysia's Sukuk market may grow 10 percent

A 10 percent growth in the Malaysian Sukuk market for this and next year is in line with the positive views on the long-term growth trends in the global Sukuk market according to Philipp Lotter, Moody's Managing Director for the Corporate Finance Group in ASEAN. Malaysia will remain the world's largest Sukuk market, says Khalid Howladar, Moody's Global Head for Islamic Finance. Singapore and Hong Kong are tapping into this fast-growing asset class although Saudi Arabia is showing strong domestic potential," adds Howladar.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ready for investment in Global Car M

After the huge success and high demand to the first car manufacturing note, the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launched a new capital-protected note earlier this year. It matures in 18 months, provides 100 per cent capital protection at maturity to minimize risk, with an expected return of up to 10 per cent. The note is currently open for subscription with a minimum amount of US$30,000. It offers the opportunity to invest in the world's leading car manufacturers. These include Toyota Motors, Hyundai, KIA Motors, BMW and TATA Motors Ltd.

Dubai Islamic Bank stake in Panin Syariah official

DIB, the oldest sharia lender in the world, has now officially acquired shares within publicly listed lender Bank Panin Syariah from owner, Panin Bank. The statement was submitted to the Indonesia Stock Exchange shows Panin’s stake declining to 64.01 percent from 87.51 percent. Panin vice president Roosniati Salihin confirmed the deal.

10,000 Muslim Millionaires in Britain have different needs

Shari’a-compliant launches from UK based managers are growing steadily. The UK is at the forefront of Muslim investment. Even crowdfunding is becoming increasingly acceptable in the Arab world to raise capital for start-ups. But investments of any nature have to be Shari’a-compliant. Hereby Muslim communities from Bangladesh or Indonesia may differ from Arabs or Iranians. Some national governments, like Pakistan, insist on full Shari’a financing whereas others like Dubai or Bahrain have a less stringent approach to this. A lot of Shari’a money is completely untapped and is waiting on bank accounts. Most conventional products are not able to access this money due to non-Shari’a compliance.

Gassner's picture

Relaunch Newsletter - Free Download

Dear Reader,

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of please find at the hyperlink below the relaunch of the newsletter.

Any new issues will be announced to our registered users of and to the members of the related LinkedIn Group of

If you wish to register please go to or become member of the LinkedIn Group:

Enjoy reading! And if you do, please consider sharing the free newsletter with your friends & colleagues by forwarding or subscribing an internal email address to forward it your entire firm.

NB: I appreciate feedback to improve the content and better understand what readers are looking for. Please allow time for reply, which I may not be able to give to all enquiries after sending out the newsletter.

All the best,

Michael Saleh Gassner

Gatehouse Bank appoints new boss to grow the firm in London

Henry Thompson will take over the role of London-based Gatehouse Bank's new boss with immediate effect. He substitutes current chairman and chief executive Fahed Faisal Boodai, who will remain in his role as executive chairman. Thompson had been working in Shariah-compliant finance at Arcapita as head of legal before. Gatehouse, which offers investment banking services, has been aiming to get a foothold in London’s wealth management sector and recently opened a new office in Mayfair. Boodai said Thompson brings with him sector knowledge, which complements the activities of Gatehouse Bank.

GFH plans reduction of capital

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) expects to complete a proposed capital reduction by the end of the second quarter. Under the proposal, which still requires regulatory approval, GFH will reduce the nominal value of its shares by 13.8 per cent to $0.265 per share from $0.3075. As a result, paid-up capital will be cut to $837 million from $972m. The cash reduction will not involve any cash transfer and will not change the bank's net equity. However, under accountancy rules, it will help remove accumulated losses from GFH's balance sheet.

Bi-annual Bulletin on the Malaysian Islamic Capital Market by the Securities Commission Malaysia

Revised Shariah Screening Methodology: 1
Expands ICM’s Global Reach
New Shariah Advisory Council Resolutions 3
Region’s First Structured Covered Sukuk 7
Royal Award for Islamic Finance Calls for Global 9
SC and Autoriti Monetari Brunei to Strengthen 9
Efforts in Greater Cross-border Activities
SC Leads Islamic Finance Taskforce to Publish a 10
Report on Enhancing Infrastructure for ICM
IFSB-IOSCO-SC Collaborate on Disclosure 11
Requirements for ICM Products
SC Revises Equity Guidelines for SPACS 12
Technical Note on the Application of SC’s 13
Guidelines In Relation to Non-Tradable and
Non-Transferable PDS and Sukuk
2013: Another Resilient Year for the Global 14
Islamic Finance Industry
Global Islamic Funds Industry: Achieving 18
Growth Under Challenging Times
Harmonisation of Shariah Rulings 22
in Islamic Finance
News Round-up 29
Malaysian ICM – Facts and Figures 32
Free download below at source:

Thomson Reuters - Middle Eastern IB Analysis (Q1 - 2014)

Middle Eastern investment banking fees reached US$120.3 million during the first quarter of 2014, down 17% from the previous quarter and a 2% decline compared to the first quarter of 2013. Fees from completed M&A transactions totaled US$46.4 million, up 19% from the same period in 2013, and accounting for 39% of this year’s overall Middle Eastern fee pool. Equity capital markets underwriting fees totaled US$39.6 million, more than twice the amount registered during the first quarter of 2013 (US$17.4 million) and marking the best annual start for ECM fees in the Middle East since 2008. Fees from debt capital markets underwriting declined 47% year-on-year to US$17.4 million, while syndicated lending fees fell 49% to US$16.9 million.

GFH Capital placement of prime central London property oversubscribed

GFH Capital has successfully placed its newly acquired prime central London residential property with GCC investors. The placement was oversubscribed by investors seeking attractive opportunities in the UK real estate market. The luxury property, which is located in Kensington, is a five unit Grade II listed building overlooking the Queens Gate Gardens. The investment is expected to deliver above average capital appreciation over the medium term for the bank and its investors. GFH Capital continues to assess other similar opportunities in the UK and US real estate markets where it sees value and upside potential. GFH Capital announced the acquisition of its Queens Gate Gardens property in early January 2014.

GFH Capital appoints Jinesh Patel to lead bank's next phase of growth

GFH Capital has announced the appointment of Jinesh Patel as its Senior Executive Officer to lead the Dubai based investment bank. In his new role, Mr. Patel has been tasked with further building and growing the business. Mr. Patel is a senior business professional with almost two decades of international experience in the financial services arena spanning Europe, the Middle East and Asia and brings to his role extensive experience in originating, structuring and executing private equity, debt and capital market transactions. Prior to joining GFH Capital, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Ammalay Commodities - Dubai. He holds an MBA from the University of Brighton and BA (Hons) in Business Economics and Finance.

GFH signs development agreements in India

Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) has announced the signing of two development agreements for real estate development in India. The flagship investment of GFH in India is the Energy City and Mumbai IT & Telecom City (India Project) developments in New Mumbai, the agreement of which was signed with Wadhwa Group. The second agreement was agreed with Adani Infrastructure & Developers , to explore development opportunities in relation to various infrastructure and real estate projects in India. Adani Infrastructure & Developers will be partnering with Asiastar City Holdings to develop the Phase 2 of GFH’s India Project.

NCB Capital appoints Sarah Al-Suhaimi as CEO

Saudi investment bank NCB Capital has appointed Sarah Al-Suhaimi as CEO and member of the board subject to CMA approval. Tariq Linjawi, who had been acting CEO, is leaving the firm having successfully managed the organization through a transition period. Al-Suhaimi joins, following CMA approval, from Jadwa Investment where she was head of asset management and CIO, managing over SR17 billion of assets in public and private equity, real estate and fixed income. Sarah is the vice chairperson of the advisory committee to the CMA and is a graduate of King Saud University, with a Bachelor of Administrative Science degree in accounting.

Syndicate content