Corporate Finance

International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation names CEO

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has appointed Hani Salem Sonbol as its CEO. As ITFC is an autonomous member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) the announcement was made at the 41st annual meeting of the IDB in Jakarta. Sonbol expressed his thanks to Ahmad Mohamed Ali, president of IDB’s board of directors. He held several leading positions, including deputy CEO of ITFC, director of the IDB Group Regional Office in Rabat, and director of trade finance and development department at IDB.

Bank Muamalat signs #corporate integrity pledge with MACC

Bank Muamalat CEO Datuk Mohd Redza Shah Abdul Wahid and MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali signed the Corporate Integrity Pledge of Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Bank Muamalat chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abd Majid. The signing of the pledge signifies Bank Muamalat's declaration against corrupt practices and its resolve to work towards a highly principled business environment.

How Does Unethical Conduct Get Normalised in Banking?

The call to set up a Royal Commission on Banking has set in motion the debate on ethics in banking and finance, and the possible remedies to overcome the problem of unethical conduct. It is accepted that the problem is systemic, and yet the remedy suggested is at the individual level - for example the Banking + Finance Oath. The latest Panama Papers scandal dwarfs the past scandals yet again. As long as the money banks can make out of the deals is in excess of the fine they pay, such scandals will continue.

Fitch: Transparency still a weakness in GCC corporates

Fitch Ratings has cautioned that the ratings of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) privately-owned corporates are being constrained by relatively weaker corporate governance than their developed market peers. The ratings agency said in a statement that this is mainly due to the absence of an effective independent board, weak transparency and limited disclosure practices and a move in this direction will still take time.

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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

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:

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How to achieve a soft landing of a deleveraging, while growing economy?

For many years we see in the media experts believing in inflation and even hyper inflation. However, in the same time we face proponents warning against deflation. So far we all noticed.

Only a about a week ago I read an article by Myret Zaki clarifying that unfortunately inflation and deflation co-exists.

Myret Zaki's thesis is that we face inflation on financial markets, and deflation in the real economy (in French):

In my view there is a general major shift in the price matrix and I still try to figure the magnitude and implications thereof. It is a bit irritating as at University we learned about neutrality of money:

This means any extra supply will increase prices equally, 5 % more money, all prices going up 5 %. Pretty plausible at first hand. However, it seems it does not work in reality any more (or never did).

Saudi Aramco to finance 250 women-run projects

Bena'a Productive Families Center (Jana) in the Eastern Region and the Saudi Arabian Oil Company ( Saudi Aramco ) have signed a partnership deal which will contribute to the development of skills amongst women who will own and run small-scale projects in different parts of the Kingdom. Saudi Aramco will fund 250 projects which are scheduled for launching in the next six months and will be run by women. Among other thins the program will be dedicated to train productive families and prepare women both economically and socially to realize production sustainability for their projects. Next year, Jana plans to create 9,500 jobs for women in eight cities.

High-Profile Islamic Finance Firm Dar Al Istithmar Closes

After advising Goldman Sachs on a controversial 2$ billion sukkuk programme, Dar Al Istithmar has closed down.
Sources say that most of the staff moved to Khalij Islamic, with offices in London and Dubai. Clients have moved to Khalij Islamic as well.

Chairman of Dubai's Nakheel denies report, says company can repay debts

Ali Rashid Lootah, the chairman of Dubai government-owned developer Nakheel, assured that his company is in a good financial position and has about $600 million of cash on its balance sheet. The comments followed a recent report from analysts at boutique investment bank Exotix that estimated Nakheel may have difficulties repaying a $1.1 billion Islamic bond and about $2 billion of bank debt due in 2016 with its own resources. Nakheel issued the Islamic bond, or sukuk, as part of its restructuring settlement. According to Mr. Lootah further sukuk shares will be issued.

Corporate Governance Key To Gulf Country Success: Deutsche Bank

The countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have a very high chance of success in the development of their financial markets and promoting their competitiveness. This is shown in a recent research by Deutsche Bank. One of the key factors stressed on in the research report is progress made in corporate governance-related matters. The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf countries has made significant advances in establishing effective financial market regulation and oversight as well as a strong grip on market abuse and financial fraud. Continuing to follow this direction and committing the resources needed to achieve optimal consistency and effectiveness in regulation and market supervision is seen as crucial for achieving the goals of financial development and economic diversification.

Major role for corporations to help labor force in Gulf

A three-day regional symposium dedicated to the role of corporations in promoting social responsibility towards labor in the countries of the Gulf region was inaugurated on January 8th at the UN House in Misref. The event was organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the Ministry of Awqaf and the Embassy of The Netherlands. The symposium was of significant importance for the GCC countries because it will benefit not only the corporations or company’s CSR but in particular the citizens and expatriate laborers.

Al-Othman: Baitok-Saudi Arabia achieves SR19m profit since beginning of year

According to a statement by Abdul Aziz Al-Othman - CEO of Saudi Kuwait Finance House - the company has achieved a profit of SR19m since the beginning of 2012 die to investment in various short and long term investments. He particularly stressed on the strength of the Saudi economy and its numerous opportunities. This way, the company's growth potential is being continuously reinforced. Moreover, he pointed out that Saudi economy played a key role in increasing positive performance indicators during the coming period.

SABB Organizes Seminars on Corporate Islamic Banking Solutions

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) held three seminars on the topic of Islamic Banking Services. THe seminars took place in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar, and were organized by the Commercial Banking Services Department. A large group of SABB 's prominent corporate customers attended the events. Some of the specific topics discussed at the seminars were opportunities and challenges facing Islamic Banking as well as the promising future of Islamic Banking in light of how it differs from conventional banking, particularly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Outlook & Review 2012/2013

Dear Reader,

Islamic finance had another great year. Many of its market segments progressed, like for example the Sukuk market gaining more maturity. Despite the ongoing debt crisis a good sign of hope and happiness.

Nevertheless we are - as an industry - still not satisfied with the achievements. Islamic finance shall grow stronger in terms of social impact and in terms of substance:

Hence, please allow me to re-iterate my call for participating in international initiatives beyond just our own industry to learn and spread knowledge and experience:

Calling Islamic financial institutions to become member of the United Nations Finance Initiative

Inshallah we see more Islamic financial institutions taking a lead in SRI, Social Impact Investing and other approaches while contributing with Islamic finance knowdledge to the conventional industry. The time is now; and there are signs that Malaysia aims for a lead:

The Investment Dar debt deliberations include claim reclassification

Kuwait’s The Investment Dar (TID) continues negotiations of the repayment to its creditors in its B-claim group that was due in June but TID missed the deadline for their repayment. The company declined the claim of creditors for an independent adviser to value TID’s holdings. There is still no fixed payment schedule for repayment as the negotiations are still ongoing.

UPDATE 1-Kuwaiti lender KFH eyes 20 pct capital hike

Kuwait Finance House has informed its shareholders about the planned raising of the share capital by 20 pct . This move should help KFH to maintain stable ratings, improve capital ratios and boost fund expansion.

Creative CSR Enhances Future Of Corporations

According to the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail Sunday, private corporations should seize the opportunity to be creative in performing their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), thus enhancing the future of their companies as well as their current reputation. At the CSR charity sale, which was organized by Malaysia Industrial Development Finance Berhad (MIDF), he said that he was certain of the growth of popularity of the company through this event. The charity sale was made possible in collaboration with the Perlis Islamic Religious Affairs and Malay Customs Council.

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Islamic finance title from German translated to Chinese

Dear Reader,

The German language book on Islamic finance by the Editor of and Dr Wackerbeck from Booz Consultants is now translated to Chinese.

Please find the biographical information below:

Authors: Michael Gassner / Philipp Wackerbeck
Title: Islamic Finance – Islam-gerechte Finanzanlagen und
ISBN number: 978-7-5139-0217-5
PUBLISHER: Beijing - Democracy and Construction Press
Pre-Publication Date: 2012.7

Full biographical details:


Book review about the German language original:

Best regards,

Michael Gassner

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