Private Banking

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

IslamicFinance.de is calling Islamic financial institutions to become member of the UNEP Finance Inititiave to learn and contribute to international best practice in ethical and faith based finance:

"UNEP FI is a global partnership between UNEP and the financial sector. Over 180 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance."

membership information package:
http://www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/forms/MembershipInformationPack.pdf

Faisal Private Bank appoints new CEO

Geneva-based Faisal Private Bank announced it had appointed Swiss national Mark Koch to replace outgoing Chief Executive Marco Rochat from Jan. 1 with a mandate to broaden the Islamic finance focus of the bank.

CIMB launches Islamic commodities fund

CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd today launched it's CIMB Islamic Global Commodities Equity Fund, with a fund size of 600 million units, to tap into the tremendous growth opportunities in the commodities sector.

Faisal bank seeks extra client cash-sources

Geneva-based Faisal Private Bank has warned it could face foreclosure on parts of its real estate portfolio unless investors stump up cash to keep lenders at bay, documents seen by Reuters show.

HSBC Amanah launches the world's first international Islamic premium banking service

HSBC Amanah today announced the launch of HSBC Amanah Premier - the world's first Islamic banking service aimed at internationally mobile, affluent consumers.

Islamic Finance in North America

Yasaar media published a new report called Islamic Finance in North America 2009 for free download, which is co-published by Codexa Capital, UM Financial Group, King & Spalding, and Doha Islamic.

According to the report Islamic finance in North America has developed along two quite separate paths:

  • The first path focuses on retail Islamic finance and centres mostly on home financing products and credit cards.
  • The second path involves a number of high profile GCC-based Islamic investment banks and their deployment of hundreds of millions of dollars in private equity and real estate developments in North America.

Read the full report for free at the link below.

NBAD plans first ETF

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) plans to launch the Middle East’s first exchange-traded fund to try to attract more international investors. The fund, known as an ETF, will be listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) in two months, a senior NBAD official said. It will be licensed by a leading global index provider and will track some of the Gulf’s 50 biggest stocks, said Giyas Gokkent, NBAD’s co-head of asset management and chief economist.

NBK launched Leasing Fund

National Bank of Kuwait announced the launch of its “Islamic KD Ijara Fund II”. This fund is the eighteenth edition of the Islamic Ijara funds and the second from the Kuwaiti Dinar series and is will offer Private Banking clients an investment product that generates monthly income of 6.25% throughout the Fund’s term.

The Fund is entirely compliant with the laws of Islamic Shariah as approved by the independent Shariah board for Islamic funds marketed by NBK in Kuwait, comprised of Sheikh Dr. Khalid Mathkor Al-Mathkor, Sheikh Dr. Essa Zaki Shakra and Sheikh Dr. Abdul Aziz Khalifa Al-Qassar.

BMB Islamic adviced on the Sharia compliant SRI fund of F&C

BMB Islamic adviced on the Sharia compliant F&C fund observing social responsible investing rules as well.

GFH plans UK property fund and Sukuk fund

Gulf Finance House plans to launch a GBP 50 mn UK commercial property fund and a USD 50 mn Sukuk fund in the GCC. The USD 50 mn sukuk fund, to launch in the next two weeks pending regulatory approval, would focus on government, quasi-government, or very stable GCC issues, reported Ulf Laessing and Raissa Kasolowsky on Reuters.

BLME forced to delay fund launches

Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME), has delayed one global equity tracker and one emerging markets equities fund as the financial crisis constrains clients in the Middle East according to the CEO, reported Cecilia Valente and Daryl Loo on Reuters. One fund which has been delayed but is now poised to launch later this year with $70 million will aim to exploit a niche market for office space for doctors in the United States. BLME has also raised GBP 50 mn from an institutional investor for a UK property fund and plans to raise GBP 20 mn by June for a pooled UK property fund.

Algebra Capital sees the Mideast asset management grow from USD 80 bn to USD 300 bn

Algebra Capital sees the Mideast asset management sector to grow by 15 % from USD 80-100 bn to USD 300 bn by 2014. Fixed-income, which contributes less than 2-3 % of regional assets compared with a majority in equity investments, could provide a "tremendous growth" opportunity if regulators and governments focus on creating the domestic demand for new issues, Managing Director Mohieddine Kronfol said.

Franklin Rersouces Inc. holds a 40 % stake in Algebra Capital and have jointly launched 5 products on the equity side and now looking at fixed-income products and Islamic.

Emirates NBD appoints Robbert Jan Voogt as the General Manager of Private Banking

Emirates NBD, the largest bank in the region in terms of assets, announces the appointment of Robbert Jan Voogt as the General Manager of Private Banking.

The new General Manager of Private Banking, Robbert Jan Voogt brings financial expertise from his previous positions at Merrill Lynch and FortisMeesPierson to Emirates NBD. He joins the team after heading the Private Bank South Asia at the Fortis Private Bank in Singapore.

Islamic Wealth Management benefits from Crisis

James Rutter wrote on 9 March in Wealth Bulletin that the crisis creates opportunity for Islamic wealth management as conventional wealth management and its brands looking less attractive. Current market conditions favour more simple products. Ironically, the trend in Islamic finance in recent years has been towards trying to mimic complex and risky western financial products.

By giving money to a counterparty which separately invests in underlying hedge funds or derivatives, an Islamic investor is able to receive a payout that tracks the performance of assets to which he would not otherwise be able to gain exposure. Islamic investors who bought such products have seen hefty losses, prompting a backlash against financial institutions adopting more flexible interpretations of sharia law.

Humayon Dar, CEO BMB Islamic sees ongoing demand for such products in a so-called Sharia wrapper, because of the limited choice of Islamic products.

Eiger launches Sharia compliant coffee fund

The Hedge Fund Review reported on 24 February that the Coffee trading advisor Eiger Trading Advisors has targeted a March launch for four coffee related funds. The funds aim to give investors exposure to the coffee markets through the choice of a hedge fund, a Shariah-compliant fund and two tracker funds. The funds will be domiciled in the Cayman Islands and will launch with approximately $150 million collectively.

The Shariah-compliant Eiger Green Coffee Fund will provide Islamic investors with access to coffee as an asset class. It aims for returns of around 12% a year. The company decided to launch the funds based on its understanding of the coffee industry and the growers. This, the company said, will enable it to exploit trades and generate attractive risk adjusted returns for investors. The funds will target mainly Middle Eastern investors but will not limit itself to particular investors.

The share class will be in dollars. Newedge will act as prime broker for the Coffee Alpha Fund and BNP Paribas will be the prime broker for the Green Coffee Fund. All three funds have a 2% management fee with a 20% performance fee with a high watermark.

Bank Islam signs MoU with Bank Muamalat Indonesia for Estate Planning

Ellina Badri reported in The Edge Daily about the memorandum of understanding between Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd and Bank Muamalat Indonesia Bhd for the distribution of Islamic trust products.

Islamic trusts involve investments made following syariah principles and asset distribution according to Islamic rules of succession. The range of Islamic trust products include will-writing and estate administration services, and waqf, or a gift of property for religious or charitable purposes.

Thailand SET plans to launch shariah 50 index

Siriporn Chanjindamanee reported in The Nation on 3 February that the Stock Exchange of Thailand is planning to launch a Shariah 50 index early next quarter before going on a roadshow to the Middle East in the second half. The index would combine 50 listed stocks, making up 47 per cent of the SET's market capitalisation, that are Sharia tolerated.

According to Santi Kiranand, head of market development, have SET and FTSE jointly developed the Shariah index while the selection of the 50 firms was performed by the Yasaar.

The SET also plans to launch a social responsibility index. It is selecting foreign experts, including FTSE, to help develop the index by the third quarter.

Darakhim Sukuk Basket presented in Kazakhstan

Caspionet reported on 28 January, that Darakhim Sukuk Basket have been presented in Kazakhstan. It is expected that insurance companies, unit investment funds and pension funds will become the chief buyers of the new investment offer. Basically, they represent the companies of the Middle Eastern states, so they are issues of the central bank of Bahrain, the government of the Arab emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. It is expected that the profitability will amount to 10 % at a minimum with a circulation period of 3 years.

Bank of London and the Middle East plans three funds

Bank of London and the Middle East, or BLME, plans to launch at least three funds in 2009 targeting a US dollar based fixed income fund, a UK real estate distressed assets fund and an equities fund according to Adrian Gayler, the newly appointed head of private banking at BLME, told Zawya Dow Jones.

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