Thomson Reuters

Healthy H1 sukuk volume could lead to record year

Sukuk issuance in the first quarter of 2014 prompted relatively significant concern as issuance volumes showed no signs of rebounding from a weak 2013. However, the second quarter provided a boost heading into Ramadan with issuance sitting at $66.3 billion. Despite a decline in the number of sukuk issued from 383 to 330, issuance volume rose 14% compared to the same period last year as issuers boosted the size of their sukuk while also lengthening the average tenor. The issuance volume growth is significant but there is a greater need for more tradable instruments because there are no other sources in some of the largest markets.

Submissions Open for the Islamic Economy Award 2014

Thomson Reuters in conjunction with Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) is pleased to welcome submissions for the Islamic Economy Award 2014. The Award recognises global and regional leadership within the following eight categories: 1) Islamic Finance 2) Food & Health 3) Media 4) Hospitality and Tourism 5) Waqf and Endowments 6) SME Development 7) Islamic Economy Knowledge Infrastructure 8) Islamic Arts. Additionally, the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ will recognise an outstanding business leader. Submissions for the awards will be accepted from now until 7 October, 2014. The award winners will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2014. To make your submissions, visit

Thomson Reuters, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launch Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge & Awards 2014

Thomson Reuters, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, has launched the second annual Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge & Awards (EFICA) for 2014. The global awards are designed to recognize and reward innovation in ethical and Islamic finance. Applications are open for the following categories: 1) Islamic Finance Industry Development Award offers a prize of $100,000, 2) Ethical Finance Initiative Award offers a prize of $50,000, and 3) Lifetime Achievement Award offers a prize of $25,000. Submissions for these three awards will be open until 5 August, 2014. To learn more about the awards, guidelines for entry, executive board members and to download application forms, please visit

Thomson Reuters releases Report "State of the Global Islamic Economy"

Thomson Reuters today released its new “State of the Global Islamic Economy” report, which represents the global Islamic economy as core sectors and their ecosystem structurally affected by Islamic values driven consumer lifestyle and business practices. Collectively the majors sectors of Islamic economy identified and covered in the Report are: Islamic finance & Insurance, Halal food, and Islamic values influenced travel, clothing, pharma / cosmetics and media recreation sectors.
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Thomson Reuters Announces Findings of its Annual Sukuk Perceptions and Forecast Study

The findings of Thomson Reuters' and Zawya's Sukuk Perceptions and Forecast Study have been released. The study was conducted in November this year and focuses on a survey of sukuk lead arrangers and investors conducted in August and September 2012. The primary empirical data have been used as a base for forward-looking analytics on the appetites and preferences of sukuk investors for 2013 and beyond. The study states that global captive sukuk demand is likely to to double from $240 billion in 2012 to reach $421 billion by 2016.

Islamic real estate again in vogue: S&P

Sharia-compliant investors are taking a renewed interest in commercial and residential real estate across the gulf region, trying to time any investments to catch a rebound in prices, Standard & Poor's told Reuters on Wednesday.

France risks sharia credentials over sukuk delay

France must host a sukuk issuance this year to show it is serious about Islamic finance and overcome the legal uncertainties that caused a delay to a 1 billion euro ($1.37 billion) issuance, a lawyer working on the deal Told Reuters on Wednesday. At least one French Islamic corporate bond, or sukuk, had been expected last year but was delayed by legal hurdles.

Private equity boom seen for Islamic finance

Private equity will be a key growth engine for the Islamic finance industry, but fund managers need to better understand Sharia concepts before a market can develop, a top banker told Reuters on Wednesday. Like most parts of the world, the private equity market in the Middle East came to a standstill in 2009 as liquidity conditions and deal opportunities dried up.

Bahrain GFH eyes $250 million asset sales

Gulf Finance House plans to raise $250 million through asset sales this quarter, and has made lay-offs to cut costs after a regional real estate boom ended, its acting CEO told Reuters on Tuesday.

StanChart to launch Islamic commodity derivative: CEO

Standard Chartered Bank Saadiq expects to launch an Islamic commodity derivative in the first quarter, the bank's chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.

London sharia bank targets well-off Gulf clients: BLME CEO

Sharia-compliant Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME) is targeting the thousands of rich Gulf residents who spend part of the year in London, to boost its private banking arm, its head told Reuters. The Bank will offer investors access to leased assets such as equipment, trucks, railway carriages and aeroplanes. The Bank's customers will invest in short-term revolving finance facilities, which allow a borrower to draw down and repay amounts for short periods throughout the life of the facility.

Islamic derivatives standard to launch soon

The launch of the first template for an over-the-counter Islamic derivative contract is "imminent" and will encourage more companies to hedge their risks, an executive at a bank involved in its creation told Reuters on Tuesday. The contract, which is expected to pave the way for quicker and cheaper Islamic risk management and more frequent cross-currency transactions, was initially due to be launched a year ago.

Islamic finance "safe" billing is myth: Qatar regulator

It's a myth to assume Islamic finance products are safer than conventional products and underlying risks should be studied more carefully, Qatar's top regulator said on Wednesday.

Despite being billed as a safer alternative to traditional banking because assets must underpin deals, Islamic bondholders have found they may not have any more legal safeguards than conventional counterparts in the event of default.

Such issues were highlighted after sukuk -- or Islamic bonds -- had the first ever defaults last year.

Sukuk, one of the flagship products in the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry, are structured as profit-sharing or rental agreements and returns are derived from underlying assets because Islamic laws prohibits paying or earning interest.

UK sovereign sukuk? Yes, no, maybe …

The United Kingdom government is deciding to issue sukuk which would:

* Diversify its investor base- not a bad prospect for an indebted country- standing a chance to attract further liquidity.

* Show it is not complacent and really means business creating a benchmark in Europe, where no significant sukuk issuance occurred, excluding a 100 million euro issuance in 2004 in German region Sachsen-Anhalt. Pre-crisis rumours had it that the UK would issue sukuk worth £2 billion in short term notes making a real statement about its Islamic finance ambitions.

* Provide help to the five stand alone Islamic banks, which are required by the market regulator to put in place liquidity buffers, consisting of government bonds or cash. Because there is no sovereign sukuk, these shining monuments to London’s superiority in Islamic finance depend on debt issued by the Islamic Development Bank.

* Encourage corporate sukuk issuance, which is not too probable without the government leading by example.

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.

Dubai scrambles to restore confidence

Dubai tries to restore its reputation on Thursday, assuring investors that major property and leisure projects would go ahead and dispatching two top officials on a public relations drive to Washington.

Malaysia's PLUS issues RM 745 mn Sukuk

Malaysia's PLUS Expressways issues additional RM 745 mn via a specical purpose company, PLUS SPV Berhad based on Musharaka to investors identified via a book building process. The size of the book was successfully increased from RM 400 mn to RM 745 mn under the Sukuk program.

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