Latest News - Wednesday, 4 May 2016
This Week’s Newsletter
This is a free content. Click title to see the full news. Daily Cover Story - Saudi Arabia eases foreign investment rules to lure fresh capital
SAUDI ARABIA: One of the largest Islamic finance markets in the world has announced further liberalization measures to ease foreign capital investment flows into the country which has been hard hit by weak oil prices and an overdependence on the...
Islamic banks may be lagging behind their conventional peers in the digital race; however, it seems that Islamic financial institutions may...
Editor's Note
The digital revolution has led to the birth of a very different banking environment from a decade ago; from fintech to...
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Volume 13 Issue 17
E.g., 06/04/2016
E.g., 06/04/2016

Daily News Briefs

GLOBAL: Watson Farley & Williams has promoted eight lawyers to the firm’s partnership, including Shawn Er, part of the firm’s asset finance group in Singapore, whose expertise include Islamic finance. This round of promotions, effective from the 1st May 2016, brings the firm...


MALAYSIA: Malaysia Building Society (MBSB) has not applied for a banking license, according to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), its largest shareholder, The Star reported. MBSB is said to be raising funds to strengthen its core capital and increase its leverage ratio to at...


MALAYSIA: RAM has withdrawn the ‘A2(s)’ rating on FEC Cables’ RM130 million (US$33.09 million) Islamic medium-term note (IMTN) facility, after the company confirmed that it had fully redeemed and cancelled the facility on the 29th April. In a statement, RAM said it no longer has...


MALDIVES: A private automobile company in Maldives, Litus Automobiles Company, has introduced Islamic hire purchase based on the concept of Ijarah Thumma Naqlul Milkiyya, according to IFN Correspondent Dr Aishath Muneeza. It is the second private hire-purchase company in the...


MALAYSIA: Bank Muamalat Malaysia (BMMB) is ready to list on Bursa Malaysia, subject to shareholders’ decision, according to Bernama quoting chairman Dr Munir Majid who added that the bank is seeking to grow its business either organically or through mergers and acquisitions. CEO...


GLOBAL: Clifford Chance has promoted Daniel Royle, a lawyer in the firm’s corporate practice based in Riyadh, and Shauaib Mirza, a senior member of the Islamic finance practice based in Dubai, as counsels effective the 1st May 2016, according to a statement.


SAUDI ARABIA: Aljazira Takaful Taawuni Co has recommended a dividend per share of 50 Saudi halala (13.32 US cents) to shareholders out of retained earnings as at the end of the first quarter of 2016, a bourse filing shows. Total dividend distribution amounted to SAR17.5 million...


GLOBAL: South Korea’s Woori Bank officially began its operations in Iran on Monday the 2nd May, according to an announcement on the Central Bank of Iran’s website. This is the first time a South Korean bank has established a presence in Iran.


PAKISTAN: Summit Bank has received approval from Pakistan’s central bank to conduct due diligence on Burj Bank, Reuters reported. Summit Bank had in March informed the State Bank of Pakistan of its intention to acquire the majority shareholding of the unlisted Islamic bank, as...


SAUDI ARABIA: Al Alamiya for Cooperative Insurance Company’s non-executive director Sean William Lowther has resigned from the board of directors effective the 3rd May, according to a bourse filing. Lowther’s resignation is due to his resignation from Royal and Sun Alliance...


UK: The London Central Portfolio, a Central London property fund and asset management specialist which also manages Shariah compliant London Central Apartments III, has appointed former FTSE 250 chairman Richard Crowder as a non-executive director of its quoted residential funds...


IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE

Case Study

The government of Indonesia in late March 2016 issued its Islamic papers worth US$2.5 billion in two tranches: a US$750 million five-year facility and a US$1.75 billion 10-year facility — the largest Asian US dollar transaction. Speaking...

IFN Country Analysis

The year 2015 looked to be like a promising year for Islamic finance in Egypt. But with the implementation of a Sukuk legislation postponed and sovereign Islamic issuance delayed several times, can the industry continue to be optimistic...

Weekly Poll

As global oil prices continue their downward spiral, the increasing strength of the US dollar has created speculation that some GCC countries may not be able to hold on to their dollar currency pegs over the medium to long term. Over the...

IFN Sector Analysis

The growth of Islamic finance over the years with further product innovation and sophistication has naturally placed a strong demand for talents to serve the industry’s needs. The reality of the situation, however, is that the supply of...
 

IFN Reports

The evolving landscape of the global economy has seen more nations tapping into the Islamic debt markets, with Maldives, Iran and Brunei among the newer players to make headway in the sovereign Sukuk space. DANIAL IDRAKI brings...

Dubai’s financial free zone and the emirate’s think tank have joined hands to pool and mobilize resources to develop the country’s Islamic finance proposition, aligning themselves with the vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed...

The growth of ASEAN is certainly gaining the attention of fund managers of late, and the recent launch of the RHB Islamic ASEAN Megatrend Fund by RHB Islamic International Asset Management (RHBIIAM) reflects the opportunity...

Standing alongside China and the US as the world’s largest economic powerhouses, Japan has yet to rest on its laurels, and making inroads into the global Islamic finance market has proven to be a bonus for its banking fraternity...

The recent confirmation by Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to launch a Shariah compliant retirement fund by January 2017 with an estimated initial size of around RM100-120 billion (US$25.64-30.77 billion) has become a...

UAE: Dubai’s financial free zone and the emirate’s think tank have joined hands to pool and mobilize resources to develop the country’s Islamic finance proposition, aligning themselves with the vision of Prime Minister Sheikh...

The national oil refining company of Kuwait has tapped the Islamic debt financing market for the first time in its half a century-long history culminating in the nation’s largest Kuwaiti dinar financing transaction to date....

GLOBAL: Market activities across the Sukuk, banking, asset management and Takaful segments were vibrant this past week with several potential mergers and acquisitions (M&A)in the pipeline, new regulations in the works, a new...

The appointment of deputy governor Muhammad Ibrahim to succeed Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz as governor of Bank Negara Malaysia has been embraced positively by the financial community, particularly the Shariah finance fraternity, who sees...

UK: Islamic finance activity in the UK may look to have quieted down since the furore following the country’s inaugural sovereign Sukuk issuance in June 2014, but all that could be about to change as the authorities prepare to...

Features

The hype surrounding the interest rate increase in the US and the strengthening of the US dollar has, to a certain extent, been a bit overdone and both have already been priced into global Sukuk in 2015. AHMAD NAJIB NAZLAN writes...

It was a little over 20 years ago that STUART HUTTON took his first tentative steps into working in recruitment, with a well-known UK brand which had established themselves as a leading provider of staffing needs, and in this...

The anticipated passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which was to be the legislative charter of the autonomous region in southern Philippines, did not materialize. The enactment of that law would have boosted Islamic banking and...

Over the last two decades, Shariah scholars have gone to great lengths to explain why conventional derivatives are impermissible in Islamic finance. There are a handful of very compelling reasons and DR KEN BALDWIN examines them...

Oman’s minister of oil and gas, Dr Mohammed Al Rumhy, was unusually candid, ahead of the scheduled oil producers’ summit in Doha in the second week of April, when he stressed the social and economic impact of the continued very...

Women in Islamic Finance

After the 2007-08 financial crisis, a Treasury Select Committee in the UK reported that the excessive risk-taking in financial institutions in the early 2000s may have been exacerbated by the under-representation of women in...

Column

On the 18th April, we were honored to take part in the launch of a new economic development initiative — Global DSM. Global DSM has been architected to support the development of the regional and state economy by focusing and...

It was a very rare scene that morning when more than 150 Saudi homeowners complained how one of the Islamic banks raised the monthly mortgage installment without prior notification. The scene took place the month that followed...

IFN Correspondents

On the 24th April 2016, Abdulla Jihad, the minister of finance and treasury of the Republic of Maldives, visited the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, with a delegation on an official trip to seek technical assistance to develop...

The recent downgrade of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s sovereign rating by S&P and Moody’s raised concerns among investors and regulators alike. S&P cut Bahrain by two notches to 'BB/B' with a stable outlook, pushing the rating...

Al Rayan Bank has introduced a new charities’ notice savings account which intends to meet the detailed banking requirements of charities and non-profit organizations throughout the UK. The 100-day notice account enables...

I thought it was time to write about a risk that is considered very difficult to measure: operational risk. Operational risk, as we define it, is the risk arising from failed people, systems and processes.  There was at...

RAM Ratings expects Sukuk issuance in Malaysia to ease to RM100-120 billion (US$25.64-30.77 billion) in 2016 (2015: RM148.3 billion (US$38.02 billion)). Our projection takes into account government expenditure cuts and potential...

Shariah Pronouncement

Query:   A corporate entity, which is a customer of an Islamic bank, had deposited an amount in a term deposit account for a period of three years on the basis of Mudarabah. However, upon completion of one year it has...

Special Reports

The Investment Account Platform (IAP) was launched on the 17th February 2016 by the governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz and it marked a historic moment in the evolution of the global Islamic finance space and...

The government of Kenya is determined to issue a retail bond to the public via a mobile platform to raise about KES5 billion (US$49.03 million) this year. The bond aims at promoting a saving and investment culture by Kenyans...

Leasing, as an industry, is fairly well developed. Countless hours, across various disciplines, have been invested to perfect its product offerings. So much so that if you were to ask individuals at random about the internal...

INDONESIA: Despite regional volatility, global industry players are optimistic of the Islamic finance growth story in Asia driven by favorable demographic trends, rising affluence and stronger regulatory support for the industry...

The news out of Standard Chartered (SCB) is reflective of the state of economies within the emerging markets. SCB reported its first loss since 1989 and it has to be noted that SCB is not a bank to get caught up in the subprime...