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Structured project finance deal for mall in Muharraq Capinnova Investment Bank, the Shari'ah compliant investment banking subsidiary of BBK, will co-invest in a project valued at $50 million in the Bahrain retail sector. Construction has already begun and scheduled completion is expected to be the second half of the year 2010. This venture will be the largest commercial mall in Bahrain's Muharraq area. Jamal Hijres, Capinnova's Chief Executive Officer said, "We feel that ventures such as this will also increase demand for skilled Bahraini manpower in this particular sector." Yasser Abbady, Senior Director, Head of Corporate Finance, Capinnova Investment Bank, stated, "The retail sector in Bahrain has proved to be resilient in the face of external global factors in tandem Capinnova continues to target opportunities in other sectors such as telecommunication, utilities, industrial, services, and financial institutions to support raising growth funds or integration through merger and acquisition."<p>Call for Islamic papers from Harvard The Ninth Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance is scheduled to be held at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts on 27-28 March, 2010. The theme of the conference will be "Building Bridges across Financial Communities." Papers are requested in the four following areas:<p>- Faith and finance; - Social responsibility; - Islamic finance after the global financial crisis;<p>Current academic research Candidates are requested to e-mail by 1 September 2009, in a Word document, the following to ifp@law.harvard.edu: 150-word abstract of the proposed paper, Biographical sketch up to 200 words, Single-page list of presenter's relevant publications. Forum papers should be of publishable quality, original work and written exclusively for presentation at the Ninth Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance. Papers substantially similar to those already presented elsewhere shall not be accepted. All papers, abstracts, and supporting material accepted for the Forum become the property of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School and may not be reproduced in any form or submitted elsewhere without prior written permission.Ca No submissions will be returned.<p>SABB Takaful gets go ahead for rights issue Dr. Yazid AbdulRahman Al Ohaly, the Chairman of SABB Takaful said he has welcomed the decision by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to approve its application to increase the company's capital through a rights issue with a total value of SAR 300 million ($80 million). "We thank the CMA for their approval to proceed with a rights issue.CaOnce completed, the funds raised from the rights issue will enable SABB Takaful to continue pursuing its business and growth objectives." The rights issue offering is being made to registered SABB Takaful shareholders at the close of trading on the date of the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), which will shortly be announced through local newspapers and Tadawul's website. The EGM will vote for the increase in capital and the price of offered shares as recommended by SABB Takaful's Board of Directors. The prospectus for the rights issue will shortly be available on the websites of CMA, SABB Takaful and the Financial Advisor and Lead Manager, Aldukheil Financial Group.<p>BKME arranges real estate finance of $111 million for Abyaar The Bank of Kuwait and The Middle East (BKME) saidCait has arranged a new real estate financing facility for Abyaar Real Estate Development Company (Abyaar). The facility follows the KWD 14 million ($48.7 million) financing extended to Abyaar at the beginning of the year. "This is a landmark deal in the Kuwait financial sector especially in the wake of the global financial crisis and is collateralised by mortgage of Abyaar-owned income generating real estate properties," said a press release. Abyaar Chairman Hesham Abdul Wahab Al Obaid said that the new financing deal is estimated at around KWD 18 million ($62.6 million), with the agreed tenor being up to five years, whereby the funds will be received by Abyaar in tranches upon the completion of the respective projects. Abyaar has been granted the finance against real estate collaterals with market value substantially exceeding the value of the facility.<p>Arcapita's ratings pulled Standard & Poor's said that it affirmed its BB-/B counterparty credit ratings on Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank. The outlook remained negative. Standard & Poor's then withdrew its ratings on Arcapita at the bank's request. "The ratings affirmation reflects our conclusions that the assumptions factored into the ratings are still holding up. The ratings on Arcapita reflect our opinion of the bank's high leverage in the context of a very difficult economic and investment climate, as well as its pressured liquidity position. In our view, positive rating factors are the corrective measures that Arcapita is implementing and the support that the bank is receiving from shareholders. The ratings reflect our opinion of Arcapita's stand-alone credit profile and do not include any uplift for extraordinary external support," the rating agency said in a statement to the media. The ratings withdrawal is subsequent to the issuer's request and means that Standard & Poor's will no longer carry out surveillance on the bank. At the time of the ratings withdrawal, the bank had no rated debt outstanding.<p>Amara in JV with Chinese company Amara Holdings, a Shari'ah-compliant investment company headquartered in Dubai has signed an agreement with a subsidiary of New China Trust (NCT), one of the oldest trust and investment management companies in China. Through the equity joint venture agreement, Amara and New China Trust's subsidiary Shanghai Ding Hai Investment Management Co., Ltd. will identify and evaluate what a press release described as "lucrative" Shari'ah-compliant investment opportunities in China for themselves and on behalf of co-investors and clients. Amara said that New China Trust, established in 1979, has a vast clientele base and deep knowledge and experience of investing in China. It currently manages assets of over $4 billion and last year has arranged more than $3.3 billion in corporate financing for major Chinese conglomerates.<p>Shari'ah compliant VC real estate fund in India Indian capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), after permitting the entry of Shari'ah-compliant mutual funds, has now also given the nod to India's first Shari'ah-compliant venture capital fund in the real estate sector. The fund is promoted by Kerala-based real estate development company, High-lite Builders. The fund will be managed by Secura Investment Management Company (SIMCO) and the scheme will be called Secura India Real Estate Domestic Scheme. Initially the scheme is targeting INR 500 million ($10.27 million) with a green shoe option of another INR 250 million. Two-year old TASIS was previously associated with India's first Shari'ah-compliant mutual fund scheme. TASIS' three member Shari'ah Board consists of: Mufti Barkatulla a graduate of Darul Uloom Deoband, currently based in London and advising a number of institutions such as Islamic Bank of Britain, Lloyds TSB; Dr. Iqbal Masood Alnadvi received a doctorate in Shari'ah law from Ummul Qura University Madina, after his initial education from Nadwa in Lucknow; Mufti Khalid Saifullah Rehmani is Secretary of India-based Islamic Fiqh Academy and also a founding member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board. <p>Thai agribusiness deal for Al Salam Bahrain-based Al Salam Bank and Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) sign a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aim to identify agribusiness ventures to generate good returns and tackle regional food security issues. The alliance marks the bank's entry into the agricultural industry, in line with Al Salam's diversification strategy. For CP Group, this marks the organisation's business expansion into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Al Salam and CP Group will initially carry out detailed feasibility studies to gauge the viability in various target agribusiness sectors, including livestock, staple food, aquaculture, and perishables.Ca The studies will comprehensively cover technical, financial, market and operational due diligence, in order to identify target markets in the MENA.<p>Research focus on Islamic bank cards Maris Strategies a research and advisory think-tank for financial institutions has launched the Islamic Bank Card Research project. The project is a 90-day rapid research process to build a co-operative group of researchers, industry experts, academics, government agencies and Shari'ah-compliant financial institutions. The aim is to provide Islamic financial institutions with new insight inCahow bank cards can and will play a significant role in their overall product portfolio. Developing an understanding of the current competitive climate, consumer attitudes toward Shari'ah-compliant bank cards and what Shari'ah scholars are saying about bank cards are a few of the topical areas to be covered by this project. Questions to be considered include:<p>How are Islamic bank cards being offered to different demographic groups in various countries?<p>1-What types of Shari'ah-compliant bank cards are working and why? 2-How are Muslim customers using bank cards to facilitate their lifestyles? 3- What cultural differences exist across the Ummah? 4-What are Shari'ah scholars saying about bank cards? 5-What do Muslim and non-Muslim customers think about Islamic bank cards? 6-What brands are most recognisable by customers looking for bank cards? 7-What is next for Muslim bank cards?<p>Maris Strategies' project director Joe DiVanna said, "This project is designed to give Shari'ah-compliant institutions the market intelligence they need to accurately develop their portfolio of products to facilitate the changing lifestyles of Muslims in multination markets. The Islamic finance market needs more product-depth but simply building new products without knowing what will resonate with customers reduces the profitability and waste valuable resources."<p>Malaysians look to capital protected savings Hong Leong Tokio Marine Takaful (HLTM Takaful) reports SGD 10 million ($6.86 million) in sales of its Global Infrastructure & Income Plan (GIIP), a Capital Protection Investment-Linked (CPIL) scheme. GIIP is managed by HLTM Takaful with Citigroup Global Markets Limited (CGML) as the structure provider and Citibank Berhad (Citi) as the distributor; the plan falls under the International Currency Business Unit (ICBU), which Bank Negara Malaysia actively promotes. HLTM Takaful is the largest ICBU player in Malaysia when combined with existing Retakaful business from Tokio Marine Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. GIIP is a four-year Singapore Dollar denominated Shari'ah-compliant and principal protected investment-linked plan which pays a contracted annual income distribution of three per cent p.a. in Singapore Dollars for the first three years and an additional potential income upon maturity which is referenced upon three indices; energy, industrial metals and utilities.<p>2009 CPI Financial. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Islamic Business & Finance
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Date:Aug 6, 2009
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