Emirates Business 24/7

3rd Arab Women Leadership Forum to kick off on Nov.19 in Dubai

For the third time, the Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) will be host of its flagship Arab Women Leadership Forum. The event will take place in Dubai from November 19th to 20th. The main focus of the forum will be issues and opportunities regarding the role of women in the boardroom. The forum is titled "Board Leadership '&' the Case for Diversity." National as well as internationally-recognized speakers, and accomplished women role models will participate. The forum, which is conducted on a yearly basis, plays a key role in DWE's agenda of activities and initiatives with the purpose of promoting the professional development and career advancement of women in the UAE.

Dubai Bank to be rebranded by November-end

According to an official announcement, by the end of November 2012 Dubai Bank will be rebranded as Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB). By merging the two Islamic banking holdings of the Emirates NBD Group, a stronger, more resilient proposition for customers will be provided. With the completion of the alignment process, customers will be able to enjoy an expanded network of 50 branches, 100 ATMs and CDMs across the UAE. Also, there will be free access to over 700 ATMs and CDMs which are part of the Emirates NBD Group.

Read more on: http://www.emirates247.com/business/economy-finance/dubai-bank-to-be-reb...

Around 98% of GCC firms belong to families

According to a Saudi study, nearly 98 per cent of the companies operating in Gulf oil producers are held by families. This means that they could collapse unless they are turned into joint stock companies. The study, authored by Saleh al Sarei, a member of the trade panel at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that although some of the GCC companies were successful, they were suffering from a high degree of courtesy, which was affecting their performance.

Masraf Al Rayan launches Shariah-compliant fund

Masraf Al Rayan (MAR), an Islamic bank in Qatar, has launched $1.1 billion (Dh4bn) Al Rayan GCC Fund which would be managed by Al Rayan Investment. The Shariah-compliant value fund will take a medium to long-term perspective, investing in GCC-listed equities as well as fixed-income and money-market instruments. Where possible, the fund will seek to take an activist investment approach.

Dewa plans to issue bonds worth $1.5 billion in April to fund expansion

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) will issue $1.5 billion (Dh5.5bn) worth of bonds in April to fund its ongoing expansion plans. When sold, Dewa would have raised nearly Dh10bn from international markets over the period of 12 months. Dewa is also looking at nearly doubling the size of its Export Credit Agency facility in the next few months



Islamic finance looks attractive to shipping industry

Islamic finance in the GCC is emerging as a credible alternative source of ship finance.

Malaysia and UK sign off on uniform wakala

Malaysian and the United Kingdom Islamic banks signed off on a standardised wakala deposit agreement, which some bankers said could help the industry reduce its reliance on the controversial commodity Murabaha structure.

Dubai market stumbles for the second consecutive session

Dubai's index DFM faltered for the second session in three, with investors showing little enthusiasm for risking more money in a highly volatile market until fresh news on Dubai World's restructuring emerges.

Mena debt market can grow to $1.6trn

The debt market in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) has the potential to grow to $USD 1.6 trillion p.a. but currently remains in its nascent stage, according to economic experts speaking at an event organised by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Debt securities form just 3 % of of the Mena capital markets, while global capital markets have a ratio of 42 %.

Dubai Financial Market finalising standard for Sukuk listing

The Dubai Financial Market has finalised comprehensive standards to be established for the issuance of Sukuk and awaiting approval of authorities.

Specialised banks needed for SME finance in UAE

Various experts were interviewed and confirmed the need for special banks addressing the needs of small and medium sized companies in the UAE.

Ghurair in AED 1.27 bn Islamic facility

The well-diversified Al Ghurair Group has signed a USD 347.2 mn (AED 1.275 bn) Islamic facility with a group of financial institutions including Mashreq. The facility has been structured in Ijara and Musharaka that require a sale and lease-back of the asset owned by the client.

Standard Chartered and Mashreq, which is majority owned by the Al Ghurair Group, were the lead book-runners and participating banks include First Gulf Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Arab African Bank and Ajman Bank.

More Sharia compliant Infrastructure Funds expected

Shashank Shekhar reported in Emirates Business 24/7 on 11 March that regional fund managers expect the emergence of several new Shariah-compliant funds focused on infrastructure projects, which offer returns in the range of 15 to 18 per cent. Infrastructure projects in sectors like health, agriculture and green energy are expected to attract the bulk of investments.

Emirates NBD in healthy condition according to CFO

The debt level of Emirates NBD is small and manageable according to analysis given by its CFO, Sanjay Uppal.

USD 1.6 bn medium-term debt is maturing, USD 500 mn has been paid in January already, and the total balance sheet is UDD 76 bn. According to Sanjay Uppal there are no plans to raise capital by selling any of its assets or going for restructuring its debt and sees the exposure to real estate at comfortable levels.

Emirates NBD has an Islamic window.

BKME sees tough 2009, to turn Islamic in 2010

The Bank of Kuwait and Middle East (BKME) expects 2009 to be difficult due to a global crisis but has no exposure to troubled investment firms and will turn an Islamic bank in January 2010. BKME, owned by Bahrain's Ahli United Bank, saw Q4 net profit fall by 89.5 % to 965,000 dinars compared to KWD 9.23 mn in Q4 of 2007, according to Reuters calculations based on financial data.

Millennium Finance Corporation (MFC) on expansion course

Waheed Abbas from Emirates 24/7 reported on 2 February about the regional investment bank and private equity company Millennium Finance Corporation (MFC), which aims to expands its reach to Saudi Arabia, India and Nigeria through joint ventures and acquiring licences. The firm is also considering IPO.

CEO is Keba Keinde, which gave an exclusive interview with Emirates Business. Please click on the source below.

Middle East Carbon Trade Market

Karen Remo-Listama reported in Emirates Business 24/7 on 13 January that Carbon trading can fetch Gulf USD 5bn annually citing Armen Vartanian, Director at EcoVentures, the Middle East and North African (Mena) as there is no single project on carbon trading. Announcement of DMCC were out and also Doha Bank plans an exchange for carbon trading and works with the San Francisco, California-based RainTrust Foundation on the Qatar exchange project and has then secured expressions of interest from Citigroup and Credit Suisse Group. Chief Executive Officer Raghavan Seetharaman said the bank would invest USD 27 mn in its electronic Qatari exchange, and has so far spent USD 7 mn on a plot of land in the USD 2.6 bn Energy City business park that Qatar is building. The start depends on the overall market conditions. Masdar launched already in February 2008 a project to develop a national CO2 capture network capable of creating a significant reduction in Abu Dhabi's carbon footprint.

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