AME Info

KFH sponsors Jomana Al-Kandari to attend international medical conference

Jomana Al-Kandari, nutritionist at Amiri Hospital, was sponsored by Kuwait Finance House (KFH) to attend the first international conference for the nutrition of kidney patients in the USA. This sponsorship is part of KFH's initiative in support of healthcare and education. The knowledge and experience Jomana Al-Kandari gained during the conference shall contribute to the development of the medical services to a world-class level.

Capital Intelligence reaffirms the rating of NIG Sukuk Company

Capital Intelligence has reaffirmed the rating of NIG Mudaraba Sukuk at 'BBB-', even though the company's performance in past two years continues to be weak. The company is struggling due to pressure by high financing costs of its large debt and a persistently weak stock market.

Emirates Islamic Bank underlines significance of Ramadan with support for various initiatives

Emirates Islamic Bank said it will sponsor the sixth Takatof Ramadan Project that was recently set up by the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development. The scope of the project is to create an interactive social network among all community and to help disadvantaged families.

Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina looks forward to strengthen its economic ties with UAE

Trade between the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UAE has inceased, reaching a total of EUR8m (Dhs42m) in the last two years through investments from Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah focusing on finance and real estate sectors.

Fitch: 2010 Outlook for Saudi Banks more positive after mixed 2009

Fitch Ratings says that 2009 proved to be, as anticipated by Fitch, a challenging year for banks in Saudi Arabia as the full impact of the global economic crisis caught up with the region, reflected in rising loan impairments and a rapid slowdown in lending. The preliminary 2009 results released by the 10 main Saudi commercial banks rated by Fitch showed different trends in net income in 2009, with Q409 being the worst quarter of the year.

Fitch notes that five of the 10 largest commercial banks operating in Saudi Arabia showed improvements in their net income y-o-y, but overall growth in total net income for all 10 banks stagnated in 2009 y-o-y (2008: -14.2%). Areas of concern included lower domestic economic growth, mainly reflecting lower oil revenues and exports, and the negative impact on asset quality of recent rapid credit growth as well as problematic exposures to some large Saudi trading groups (primarily Algosaibi and Saad). The agency has yet to see the full audited financial statements of the Saudi banks but will review them fully in the near future. At this stage, Fitch does not expect to see further downgrades of Individual Ratings in 2010.

Noor Investment launches Noor Takaful

AMEInfo reported on 6 January about the announcement of Noor Investment Group to launch its Noor Takaful brand. All services will be offered either through Noor Takaful Family or Noor Takaful General, which are headquartered in Dubai and have a combined paid up capital of Dhs 150 mn, offering a suite of general and family takaful coverage for individuals, businesses and corporate clients. The aim is to expand the reach of these companies to include the Middle East and North African region.

According to Arabian Business, the international expansion plans of Noor are holded for the time.

Markaz completes structuring of Arbun Call Option

Kuwait Financial Centre 'Markaz' released on 23 April that they developed an Arbun contract, functioning similar to an American option. Kuwait Stock Exchange is trading conventional options since 2005.

The Arbun (downpayment with revocation option) can be both cash and physically settled at anytime on or before the maturity date. The product has been submitted to the Kuwait Stock Exchange for their review and approval.

Mr. Hussein Zeinnedin is Assistant Vice President - Derivatives at Kuwait Financial Centre 'Markaz'.


Bank of London and the Middle East participates in Qatar infrastructure financing

AME Info published a press release on 8 April that The Bank of London and The Middle East plc (BLME) announced that it has participated in USD 20 mn of Forward Lease financing to Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC), for the construction of the Ras Abu Fontas A1 (RAF A1) water desalination plant to be built in the northern part of Ras Abu Fontas, Qatar. The Islamic tranche of the transaction was introduced to BLME by European Finance House, London based subdiary of Qatar Islamic Bank. Out of the total project budget of USD 600 mn, USD 150 mn is Islamic financing which is being underwritten by QIB.

Humphrey Percy is CEO of BLME. Mike Clark is CEO of European Finance House.


Saudi mortgage law awaits confirmation

AME Info reported on 30 March that the long awaited Saudi mortgage law is being considered by Saudi-Arabia's Consultative Council.

Islamic financing will play a promiment role in housing finance and it is expected that also the takaful industry will benefit from this move.

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Fitch rates Jordan Islamic Bank for Finance and Investment IDR 'BB-'

AME Info published a press release on 18th March stating that Fitch Ratings has today assigned ratings to Amman-based Jordan Islamic Bank for Finance and Investment (JIB) of Long-term Issuer Default (IDR) 'BB-' (BB minus), Short-term IDR 'B', Individual 'C/D', Support '3' and Support Rating Floor 'BB-' (BB minus). The Outlook is Stable.


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