World Bank-linked IFFI to price dollar sukuk on Thursday - leads

The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFI), for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager, plans to sell a dollar-denominated Islamic bond on November 27. IFFI will look to sell a three-year sukuk of benchmark size and pay an interest rate between 15 basis points and 17 basis points over Libor. Qatar's Barwa Bank, Malaysia's CIMB , National Bank of Abu Dhabi , the investment banking arm of Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank and Standard Chartered are arranging the transaction. IFFI is rated AA by Standard and Poor's and AA+ by Fitch.

IFFIm gives guidance on groundbreaking debut sukuk

The International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) has given initial price thoughts of mid-to-high teens of basis points over three month Libor as it looks to price a debut dollar sukuk. The Reg S deal will be a three year benchmark-sized floating rate note. Standard Chartered is acting as global co-ordinator, with Barwa Bank CIMB, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and NCB Capital the other joint bookrunners. Books are open.

Value-based Arabesque latest addition to London Islamic finance sector

Asset management firm Arabesque has received regulatory approval to start operations with its value-based investment strategies - the latest addition to Britain's Islamic finance sector. The London-headquartered firm now has in place a team of 18 staff, with additional offices in Frankfurt and New York, chief executive Omar Selim said. Moreover, Arabesque is backed by an advisory board of ethical industry professionals. The firm is backed by capital from its own management and has commitments from several institutional investors. Arabesque plans to establish funds in Luxembourg and will offer managed accounts as well.

EIIB-Rasmala eyes mid-market European sukuk, doubling assets

EIIB-Rasmala, a venture between London-based European Islamic Investment Bank and Dubai's Rasmala Group, plans to widen its range of Islamic investment products with the hope of doubling assets under management over the next two years. The firm, which manages over $1 billion in assets, sees growing mid-market opportunities for its Islamic asset management and investment banking business lines, chief executive Zulfi Hydari said. By mid-market, the firm means medium-sized customers which may no longer be served by big investment banks. In investment banking, the firm is focused on arranging Islamic bonds, with deal sizes between $75 million to $150 million. Earlier this month, the firm already arranged the first tranche of a $100 million sukuk programme from FWU Group.



Maybank sets up Islamic asset management company in London

Malayan Banking (Maybank) has set up Maybank Islamic Asset Management (Maybank IAM) company in London. Maybank IAM's CEO Azmeen Adnan said the company aims to become a key player and catalyst in the development of the global Islamic asset management landscape. The company now offers a fixed priced Shariah real estate backed fund, the Amanah Hartanah Bumiputra, which has gained popularity among investors. In addition, it is managing direct equity portfolio mandates for haj funds and direct mandates investing in Asean countries. Collectively, a total of US$8 billion (RM25.17 billion) worth of Islamic assets under management resides within Maybank. Maybank IAM is owned by Maybank through Maybank Asset Management Group.

Operations Analyst

A leading Islamic Bank based in London is currently looking to recruit an Operations Analyst to join its Operations team, reporting to the Fund Operations Manager. The successful candidate will be offered a competitive performance-related remuneration package in addition to the standard benefits package offered by the Company.

Head of Finance

Gatehouse Bank is a Shariah compliant wholesale investment bank based in the city of London. They seek a Head of Finance to have primary responsibility for implementing the processes, procedures, working practices and support model for the day to day running of the Finance Department.

Middle Eastern Relationship Manager, Real Estate

A leading Islamic Bank based in London is currently looking to recruit a candidate to join its Real Estate team, reporting directly to the Head of Real Estate. The successful candidate will undertake a supporting role across a wide range of the Department’s general business activities including client communication, product design and implementation, relationship management and back office liaison. The role has the potential to provide the appropriate candidate with career progression opportunities and exposure to origination activities.

Corporate Finance Manager

A leading Islamic Bank based in London is looking to recruit a Corporate Finance Manager to join the Corporate Finance team, reporting directly to the Head of Corporate Finance. The successful candidate will undertake a front office role in corporate banking and trade finance.

Tadhamon Capital and Apache Capital completes the acquisition of Paris Gardens in Central London

Bahrain based Tadhamon Capital B.S.C. and London based Apache Capital Partners, both investment companies, have completed the acquisition of Central London student accommodation development - Paris Gardens. The development itself was planned to be finished in September 2013. The property in the London Borough of Southwark will provide student accommodation of 253 beds.

The Transfer Window: latest moves including BLP, Mayer Brown and DLA

Simmons & Simmons has hired another partner from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) in London. John Kelsey,recruitment of real estate specialist, took the number of partners the firm has hired from BLP to seven in less than a year. The hire follows the adding of six partners from BLP to its London office last year.
Also in the real estate space, Mayer Brown has switsched to rebuild its property practice with the hire of a partner from CMS Cameron McKenna. Chris Harvey, a salaried or gateway partner in CMS' London real estate group, will oversee Mayer Brown's City real estate investment team.

Central London realty attracts ME investors

A new report shows that sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and cash-positive pension funds from Asia and the Middle East are an arising force behind the high level of global capital currently flowing into the Central London commercial real estate market.
Central London has always had a pivotal role in international commercial property investment in an European and global context, completely overshadowing other global cities in terms of cross-regional investment into European real estate, because of its traditional strengths of transparency, long income flows and relative liquidity.

Gatehouse Bank net USD half billion in real estate for GCC investors

Gatehouse Bank based in London, has surpassed the USD half billion mark in real estate investment acquisitions, on behalf of its GCC investors. This was succeeded after the acquisition of a multi-million dollar US student property portfolio, "The Republic at Denton" and "The Republic at Lubbock" in Texas, USA providing investors a net cash yield of 7.0% per annum and a projected IRR of 9.0% over a hold period of five years.
The newly built, multi-million dollar developed properties were obtained in partnership with US-based student housing specialty operator, The Scion Group LLC.

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

AirAsia X to put off US$200m sukuk issue

AirAsia X Sdn Bhd will put off a US$200 million Islamic bond issue planned for March by at least 12 months after the airline abandoned routes from Kuala Lumpur to London, Paris, Mumbai and New Delhi.
AirAsia X announced Jan. 12 that it was cutting its flights to Europe, justifying the cost of complying with the European Union’s emissions trading system and rising taxes.

Tadhamon Capital announces the shared ownership of Athena Hall

Tadhamon Capital B.S.C.(c) completed successfully an acquisition of 50% ownership alongside Watkin Jones, of a prime purpose built student accommodation block. The block, Athena Hall is located in Ipswich, about 70 miles north east of London. The transaction was co-organized by Tadhamon Capital and Apache Capital Partners.
Athena Hall is the only purpose built student accommodation property on campus and current request significantly outweighs supply. The property has 590 rooms, 6 retail units and a dedicated car park, and will be operated and managed by Fresh Student Living.

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.

Abu Dhabi's ADIB eyes Islamic bond, plans investor meetings

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) will hold investor meetings for a potential dollar-denominated Islamic bond, or Sukuk.
Meetings will begin in Kuala Lumpur on Nov. 17, and will cover Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), before ending in London on Nov. 21.

LCP unveils sharia-compliant London property fund

London Central Portfolio has issued a sharia-compliant residential London property fund.
It seems that the fund will be adressed to some of the more wealthy clients, both domestic and overseas investors, who are looking to invest in property in the capital. The statement was given by Naomi Heaton, chief executive for LCP.

Oasis Group's CEO outlines expansion strategy

Oasis Group Holdings is the developer of Shariah-compliant asset management, retirement and investment fund products in South Africa since it launched its first Islamic fund in August 1998, the Oasis Crescent Global Equity Fund.
In the last few years, the group has taken a chance abroad and now aspires to build the first global Shariah-investment fund brand, complete with a global distribution capability and a global asset management capacity.
It also seems that it is in the process of opening an office in London to spearhead its operations in the UK and EU market, which as a Muslim population of 2.8 million and 12 million respectively.

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