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Posts Tagged ‘Dubai

Women only banking branch in Dubai

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Points of Essence:

  • Emirates Islamic Bank pioneered a banking branch solely for women in Dubai. Apart from guaranteeing the female gender only access, the branch offers banking products with discounts and packages as well as facilities tailored to women. LA Times has the report.

DUBAI: New bank branch caters to women only

Womensbank_2

Photo: Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and Emirates Islamic Bank officials inaugurated a new bank branch devoted to women. Credit: Emirates Islamic Bank

In a first of its kind, Dubai last week unveiled a new banking service that caters only to women.

The Emirates Islamic Bank newest branch in the United Arab Emirates offers women a financial zone free of men, but also custom-made banking products, including retail-outlet discounts, special travel packages and discounts on bank products in addition to exclusive ladies lounges, free Internet and text-message banking.

“Catering to the individual needs of our customers has always been a core part of our business model, and opening an exclusive Al Reem branch is an extension of that belief,” said Faisal Aqil, an official at Emirates Islamic Bank told the daily Gulf News.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

November 17, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Unicorn Investment Bank buys Bahrain Financing Co

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Points of Essence:

  • Unicorn Investment Bank of Bahrain mulls acquiring conventional banks in Europe, Southeast Asia and the Gulf and converting them into Shariah compliant banks. Bahrain Financing Co was its first purchase apart from a subsidiary already established in Malaysia.
  • Despite a gloomy financial setting around the globe, the Bank is ready to issue $1.5 billion worth of sukuk in the Gulf region by the end of this year.

by Jason Benham

Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank said on Sunday it was looking to spend up to $2 billion to buy banks in Europe, Southeast Asia and the Gulf and plans to arrange $1.5 billion of Islamic bonds by year end.

Fred Stonehouse, head of strategic mergers and acquisitions at the Islamic bank, said it planned to convert any banks it acquires to comply with Islamic banking rules that ban interest.

“In the UK we see potential businesses (banks) we could acquire and Islamicise as appropriate,” he told Reuters.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

October 7, 2008 at 11:38 am

Malaysia, Dubai ‘should develop Islamic finance’

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Points of Essence:

  • The Malaysian Second Finance Minister attempted to clear doubts about the strategic direction of Islamic finance in Malaysia for the perceived lack of Government’s initiatives and the current political uncertainties in the country. The Minister rebutted these contentions by offering information on the initiatives already provided by the Government and assured the current political situations are not anywhere near a crisis.

Tan Sri Nor Mohammad Yakcop, Malaysian Minister of Finance II, says the country has received investment commitments from blue chip investors such as Mubadala Development Company, which earlier this year signed a definitive agreement to develop five zones in Node 1 of the Iskandar Development Region in Johor- Bloomberg News

By Babu Das Augustine, Banking Editor
Published: October 03, 2008, 23:41

Dubai: The Malaysian Islamic financial sector is seen as one of the most progressive and attractive in the world given the numerous incentives planned and further liberation in the coming years.

Over the past decade, the international financial community has taken note of Malaysia’s strategic direction in developing and nurturing Islamic banking and finance. The strategies are being implemented through clear and deliberate policies spelt out in both the Financial Sector Master Plan as well as the Capital Market Master Plan.

Currently, Malaysia is the largest Islamic banking and financial services market in the world that has the critical mass of diversified players – Islamic banks, investment banks, takaful companies, development financial institutions, savings institutions, fund management companies, stock brokers and unit trusts.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

October 4, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Ambitions grow overseas to succeed Wall Street as global finance capital

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Points of Essence:

  • Against the backdrop of the country’s worst financial crisis which bankrupted some of its biggest financial players, New York has lost its appeal as the international financial center. The biggest contenders for the top spot are now the newly emerged financial centers, Dubai and Shanghai, as they are building up their stature as international financial centers.

Shanghai and Dubai are among those that see themselves taking the No. 1 spot away from Wall Street. By Ariana Eunjung Cha, The Washington Post
October 2, 2008 SHANGHAI — Looking down from his building’s 87th floor at the glittering signs of multinational banks along the river here, Fan Dizhao declared confidently that Wall Street’s reign as the world’s No. 1 financial hub is coming to an end.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

October 4, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Posted in Financial Centres

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IFC announce Islamic financing solutions for small and medium enterprises

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Points of Essence:

  • Dubai based Islamic Finance Company has commenced offering shariah compliant financial services to SMEs to tap the highly potential business area yet greatly underserved industry. This will give avenues for the institution for its portfolio diversification, opportunities to cross sell products, and a source of stable income.

Islamic Finance Company (IFC), head quartered in Dubai, announced the commencement of full scale shariah compliant financing solutions to the small and medium enterprises commonly referred to as SMEs.

IFC has spent a lot of time researching and studying the financial needs of this growing segment and has a new dedicated department to serve this niche market.

IFC has qualified resources and technical capabilities to offer fully shariah compliant financing solutions to SME’s in order to meet all their working capital, trade and Capex needs.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

September 25, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Dubai vies to be world Islamic finance centre

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Points of Essence:

  • Dubai based Islamic financial institutions under Dubai Group are all in aggressive expansion mode to position Dubai as a premier international Islamic center.

By   Karen-Remo Listana 

Soud Ba'alawy

Dubai Group, a conglomerate of seven private financial institutions, is banking on Islamic finance for its expansion plans, Emirates Business has learned.

“It is important for us to be the Islamic centre,” said Soud Ba’alawy, Dubai Group’s Executive Chairman. “Islamic banking is growing. There are more opportunities and it means it has room for more banks. We see Dubai together with Dubai International Financial Centre will become the Islamic centre and we have the chance to become so.”

Ba’alawy, who is also the chairman of DIFC, said the group’s Shariah-compliant subsidiaries – Dubai Banking Group (DBG) and Noor Investment Group (NIG) – are in an aggressive expansion mode in Islamic banking arena to catapult Dubai on the premier league.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

September 23, 2008 at 6:43 am

Dubai’s crackdown on corruption

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Points of Essence:

  • A string of high profile cases in Dubai involving the alleged financial irregularities by the senior management of Dubai’s top financial institutions may have shocked the global financial fraternity.
  • It was not immediately known how the alleged scandals may have an impact to the overall regulatory and supervisory infrastructure in Dubai.

By Andrew White on Sunday, 24 August 2008

White-collar crime rarely captures the imagination as easily as its garden-variety counterparts.

It seems you have to bring down a bank, hide billion-dollar losses or at least plunder a pension plan in order to secure column inches alongside the murder du jour.

Part of the reason is in the telling – after all, it’s unfortunately far easier to picture a grisly death, than it is to follow how the judicious use of special purpose entities might scupper a $111bn energy giant, or how one city whiz-kid with delusions of grandeur could blindside a 144 year-old Swiss bank with an alleged $75bn in unauthorised trades.

However, the summer of 2008 will be keenly remembered for a string of high-profile investigations into alleged financial irregularities by senior executives at both Dubai Government-owned and private entities.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

August 25, 2008 at 3:49 am