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HSBC Amanah Malaysia now open for business

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Points of Essence:

  • The Islamic banking outfit of HSBC Bank Malaysia has commenced its business. Set up under the HSBC Amanah brand and licensed by BNM, the subsidiary will the full range of activities for Islamic banking business. This complements the existing banking solutions offered by HSBC Bank by offering retail and corporate customers a full suite of Islamic products and services.
  • HSBC has been offering Islamic financial services in Malaysia since 1994. Globally, the HSBC Amanah brand was established in 1998 with the aim of making HSBC the leading provider of Shariah-compliant banking services worldwide.
  • The new institution is expected to strengthen Malaysia’s bid to become an international Islamic financial centre.

HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad (HSBC Amanah Malaysia) is now open for business. The new fully fledged Islamic Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad (HSBC Bank) and licenced under the Islamic Banking Act 1983, commenced its operations on 24 August 2008.”This licence allows HSBC Amanah Malaysia to undertake the full range of activities for Islamic banking business, and we will open our first standalone branch later this year with more to follow in the coming years,” said Ms Irene M Dorner, Chairman of HSBC Amanah Malaysia and Deputy Chairman and CEO of HSBC Bank.

Prior to the opening of the Islamic Bank’s first branch, customers of HSBC Amanah Malaysia can continue to conduct banking transactions in HSBC Bank’s 40 branches nationwide and enjoy the use of and access to the existing Internet banking and Call Centre.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

August 27, 2008 at 3:15 am

Posted in General Issue

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Qatar launches first dedicated investment bank

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Points of essence:

  • Qatar’s very own investment bank looks set to bring investment opportunities to Qatar and to invest in lucrative projects internationally. Licensed in 2007, the bank specializes in local and international Sharia’a compliant investment banking opportunities.
  • With Qatar Islamic Bank as the largest single shareholder, the bank aims to tap the market potentials in the UK, France, the GCC, Asia and Southeast Asia, MENASA including exploring for opportunities in the booming China.

QInvest, the largest financial establishment to start operations in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), was licensed in April 2007 with a capital of US$1 billion.

The bank specializes in local and international Sharia’a compliant investment banking opportunities, and is 25% owned by Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), 15% by Gulf Finance House (GFH), and the remaining 60% of equity is held by other strategic, institutional and private investors from Qatar and other GCC countries.

According to Chief Investment Officer Philippe Jouard, “By 2012, there will be 5 trillion dollars looking for a home from the GCC countries. China is a natural absorber of this liquidity surplus. China should see QInvest as a unique way to attract the wealth of the Gulf.”

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

August 26, 2008 at 3:40 am

DMDI In Final Stages Of Setting Up Finance House

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Points of Essence:

  • The Kuwait Finance House has inspired the establishment of DMDI in Malaysia. The finance institution was mooted at the recommendation by BNM, the country’s central bank.
  • At this stage, it was not clear about the operating framework of DMDI and neither on the benefits it would offer to its members organisations.

By: Ramjit

ACEH, Aug 22 (Bernama) — Dunia Melayu Dunia Islam (DMDI) will be setting up a finance house, DMDI Finance House, in place of an earlier proposal to set up a bank, its president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said.

He said the setting up of the finance house was suggested by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and that it was currently in the final stages of establishment.

“BNM had given its view that it would be better to form DMDI Finance House in the mould of Kuwait Finance House in Kuwait,” he told reporters after chairing the DMDI supreme council meeting in Banda Aceh here Friday.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

August 22, 2008 at 9:29 am

Dubai forms Islamic banking body

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Points of Essence:

  • a global Shariah compliant investment company was set up out Dubai Banking Group to enhance growth and value creation in the industry and solidify Dubai’s position as a leading global financial centre
  • The company will aggressively target significant direct investments and acquisitions in a wide range of sectors across the world’s biggest Islamic markets including the GCC, South East Asia, and Africa.
  • DBG has interest in banking and takaful institutions in Malaysia as well in the Middle East.

Dubai Holding has consolidated its investments in Dubai Islamic Investment Group and Dubai Bank under Dubai Banking Group to create a global Shariah compliant investment company.

Dubai Banking Group will be managed by Dubai Group. Fadel Al Ali of Dubai Holding Operations will be the group’s non-executive chairman, while Salaam Al Shaksy, currently CEO of Dubai Islamic Investment Group, will be appointed CEO of the new entity.

HE Mohammed Al Gergawi, chairman of Dubai Holding, said: “The UAE’s financial services sector is the one of the fastest growing sectors in our economy.

This is a tremendous opportunity for our group and we are confident that this strategic step will enhance growth and value creation in the industry and solidify Dubai’s position as a leading global financial centre.”

Soud Ba’alawy, executive chairman of Dubai Group, said: “The market for Shariah compliant investments and financial services continues to grow very rapidly.

Dubai Banking Group will be one of the clear leaders in this market and will continue to aggressively target significant direct investments and acquisitions in a wide range of sectors across the world’s biggest Islamic markets including the GCC, South East Asia, and Africa.”

DBG already has investments in Islamic financial institutions like Kuwait’s Al Fajer Retakaful and Malaysia’s Bank Islam, with combined assets in excess of $10 billion.

Dubai Banking Group is also creating the world’s largest takaful firm, with a total capital of $300m, together with Malaysia’s investment arm Khazanah Nasional and Asian Capital Reinsurance (ACR).

DBG and Khazanag will each hold a 40% stake in the new company, ACR ReTakaful Holdings, while ACR will own the remaining 20%. Khazanah will be the largest shareholder in the company, since it owns a 32% stake in ACR.

The takaful firm will have two operating companies, to be based in Malaysia and the Middle East.

Source: ArabianBusiness.com

Written by Suapi Shaffaii

August 12, 2008 at 7:44 am

Nigeria: IMFB Introduces Islamic Banking

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Points of Essence:

  • Nigeria’s Integrated Micro Finance emerged a new Islamic banking player by introducing Shariah compliant banking products.
  • It is meant to deepening the capacity and finances of the impoverish Nigerians.

By Chris Agabi
Lagos

The Integrated Micro Finance Bank has introduced Islamic banking in its financial and investment products.

Speaking in Lagos, Wednesday, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank Mr. Simon Akinteye said one of its products which is shariah compliant is the Ijara. This, he said will be based on daily contribution from the leased products and the bank, as well as the investor’s share in the profit.

He said it is leasing without interest but that the interest will be shared into three parts and the bank will take just one part while the customer takes two parts.

The other two Islamic products are: Musharaka Marana and Musharaka Nasat which would be the contribution of 12 weeks.

He said on this, the investor would be giving double the amount to invest and subsequently the profits would be shared with the bank and him.

He said the products would cater for Nigerians who wouldn’t want to do conventional banking.

The bank also said it is deepening the capacity and finances of the over 70 million poor Nigerians most of which are women and youths.

She said women particularly are impoverished in Nigeria even though hard working, hence the need to improve their finances. Launching the products, the

Speaking on another new product that was launched, Mr. Akinteye said: “The Business equipment Leasing Account (BELA) product would be useful to anyone who is ready create economic value to the least income generating assets like wheel barrows, generators, refrigerators, hair dryers, barbing saloon complete kit, vulcanizing machines grinding machines etc.”

He explained further that: “We are doing what the conventional commercial banks cannot do. We are really going down to the basics, to providing equipments to people to generate funds. They are going to be paying back gradually over a period of time. Repayment is as small as N200 per day, some N500 and others would pay on weekly say, a thousand naira” adding that “after they have fully paid, the equipments become theirs.”

Source: allafrica.com

Written by Suapi Shaffaii

August 2, 2008 at 9:56 am

The Principal Financial Group Partners with CIMB Group for Islamic Asset Management

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Points of Essence:

  • The Principal Financial Group(R) and CIMB Group have jointly set up CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd to offer total solutions and create value in Islamic asset management.
  • CIMB Principal is a global Islamic asset management company that will operate from the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC). It will manage and distribute Islamic institutional mandates and unit trust funds in Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.

Last update: 6:02 p.m. EDT July 16, 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa, Jul 16, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Principal Financial Group(R) and CIMB Group today launched CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd, their signature global Islamic asset management company that will operate from the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC). CIMB-Principal Islamic will offer total solutions and create value in Islamic asset management by combining CIMB Group’s leading knowledge and expertise in Islamic finance with the 129-year track record of The Principal(R) in a wide range of financial products and services, including global funds management and retirement services. The Principal has global assets under management of over $300 billion as of March 31, 2008. The company is jointly owned by CIMB Group and The Principal. It will manage and distribute Islamic institutional mandates and unit trust funds in Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East. CIMB Group is the largest investment bank in Southeast Asia and the second largest retail bank in Malaysia. “This is very positive news for our shareholders and clients,” said Larry Zimpleman, president and CEO of the Principal Financial Group. “Our expanded mutual commitment augurs well for both our businesses as the Shariah-compliant market shows tremendous growth possibilities. CIMB Group is a recognized pioneer in the Islamic financial markets, with unrivalled Shariah-compliant advisory and capital markets experience. With the emergence of a rising middle class in developing markets and subsequent need for retirement planning, we believe our partnership with CIMB Group will enable us to address key markets for both conventional and Shariah-compliant products and services, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.” “We see this as a major opportunity to deepen our collaboration with our long-time partner in Malaysia to create the capacity to offer best-in-class Islamic investments to a worldwide base of customers with specific requirements,” said Jim McCaughan, president and CEO of Principal Global Investors. “CIMB Group has excellent Islamic finance credentials. Their unique insights on how to address the Islamic marketplace, combined with our expertise in international investments and global asset management, is a great partnership that will provide the finest in professional investment services to customers in a previously underserved market.” CIMB Group CEO Dato’ Sri Nazir said, “We are pleased that an international investment firm of the stature of The Principal has chosen to set up its singular global Islamic fund management arm with CIMB Group. The decision by The Principal to base its international Islamic asset management business in Malaysia also represents a strong endorsement of the country’s status as an international Islamic financial center.”

Source: marketwatch.com

Written by Suapi Shaffaii

July 18, 2008 at 4:50 am

ACR ReTakaful Gets BNM Licence To Offer Re-Takaful Solutions, Services

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Points of Essence:

  • A new retakaful player, ACR ReTakaful SEA Bhd recently receives a licence from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to operate in Malaysia.
  • It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai-based ACR ReTakaful Holdings as a joint venture between ACR Capital, Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Dubai Banking Group.
  • It plans to offer retakaful solutions and services to the South-East Asian market.

SINGAPORE, July 7 (Bernama) — ACR ReTakaful SEA Bhd, a new syariah-compliant re-takaful company, has received an operating licence from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), said ACR Capital Holdings Pte Ltd, the Singapore-based parent of Asia Capital Reinsurance Group.

The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai-based ACR ReTakaful Holdings, established in May as a joint venture between ACR Capital, Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Dubai Banking Group, the global investment company of Dubai Group.

In a statement here Monday, ACR Capital said the ACR ReTakaful would be capitalised at RM325 million and the BNM licence would allow the company to offer retakaful solutions and services to the South-East Asian market.

ACR ReTakaful chief executive officer, Zainal Abidin Mohd Noor, said the company was delighted to get the licence to start its retakaful business in Malaysia.

“The takaful and retakaful markets in our region are thriving and we are now well-positioned to respond to the growing needs and market potential that we see all around us,” he said.

ACR ReTakaful SEA is the second Malaysian venture of ACR Capital Holdings which was set up in November 2006 and capitalised at US$620 million (US$1 = RM3.26).

Source: BERNAMA

Written by Suapi Shaffaii

July 10, 2008 at 6:42 am