Monday, 21 April 2014

Event Summary (KLCIF2014) - KL Conference on Islamic Finance 2014


KL Conference on Islamic Finance 2014


Date    : 22-23 April 2014
Venue : Grand Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia

“An international gathering of practitioners, scholars and experts to discuss and share their knowledge, expertise and experience on the principles, instruments and issues related to Islamic finance, to be held at the world’s leading Islamic financial centre…Kuala Lumpur.”


Event site : www.islamic-finance-conference.net

KEY FOCUS/TOPICS:
- Product development and Implementation of Islamic financial products
- Ensuring Shariah compliance in Islamic financial instruments
- Sukuk: development, issues and challenges
- Islamic gold account: a golden opportunity
- Islamic mutual funds (unit trusts): factors to consider in making an investment
- The rise of Islamic wealth management in Islamic finance industry
- Islamic financial planning: success in both worlds
- Takaful: innovation and solutions
- Enterprise risk management for Islamic banks
- Enterprise risk management for takaful operators
- Accounting and auditing
- Human capital development in Islamic finance industry
- Legal issues and challenges in Islamic finance
- Dispute settlement in Islamic finance: issue and solutions
Islamic ethics in financial services industry
- Corporate governance for Islamic finance industry


SPEAKERS:

Speakers are selected from Islamic banks, takaful operators, academicians, legal practitioners, consultants, regulatory bodies.

Among the speakers are:


WHO SHOULD  ATTEND:
- Islamic bankers/bankers
- Takaful/insurance operators
- Regulators
- Head of governmental departments
- Financial planners/wealth advisors
- Financial consultants
- Legal practitioners (lawyers)
- Academicians (lecturers)
- Entrepreneurs (businessmen/importers/exporters etc)
- Other professionals 

REGISTRATION:
Early Bird Fee: 
Registration with payment by 22 March 2014
Malaysian   :  RM1,500
International  :  USD600

Normal Fee:
Registration with payment after 22 March 2014
Malaysian  :  RM1,800
International  :  USD700
Special fee for Malaysian university lecturers :  RM1,000 (group discount not applicable)

Fee is inclusive of lunch, refreshments and seminar package only.


Group Discount:
Enjoy 20% discount for third and subsequent delegates registered from the same organisation and the same billing source.


DOWNLOAD BROCHURE
(will be uploaded soon...for now you may request for tentative program or you will be given a tentative program when register online)


REGISTER ONLINE



ORGANISER


VENUE


Grand Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia

MEDIA PARTNERS


Kuala Lumpur


Lahore

Sukuk market dominated by local issuers

Dubai:Sukuk markets across the world operates as a collection of local markets as truly global issuance are relatively low according to data from Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
Over the past 10 years, local sukuk issuance in Malaysia and the countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region have helped fuel impressive growth in domestic sukuk issuance.
But out of the $117 billion in sukuk issued in 2013, only 16 per cent was truly international — that is, listed on major exchanges and generally issued in hard currencies.
“Most international issuances to date have originated in Malaysia or the GCC. Since 2001, S&P has seen only about 20 international sukuk from issuers domiciled outside these countries, for a total amount of around $10 billion,” said Mohammad Damak, an analyst with S&P.
Most international sukuk are listed on one or more of the international exchanges such as Irish Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Dubai, Singapore Stock Exchange, Bursa Malaysia, London Stock Exchange. If a sukuk is listed on a local/regional stock exchange, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services classifies it as international if it is issued in foreign currency.
More than 40 per cent of worldwide issuance in 2013 was short-term sukuk issued in ringgit by just one issuer — the Central Bank of Malaysia. Most international issuances to date have originated from Malaysia or the GCC.
Despite the relatively low number of international sukuk issues interest from issuers outside these traditional markets has increased, chiefly because Sharia-compliance attracts deep-pocketed Middle Eastern and Asian investors.
“We understand that about half of sukuk investors invest in such instruments for religious reasons. We also estimate that about 60 per cent of investors in sukuk issued by entities domiciled outside the GCC and Malaysia were from the Middle East and Asia,” Damak said.
Data shows that in the case of sukuk issues from entities domiciled outside the GCC and Malaysia, a high proportion of investors for such international sukuk came from the Middle East and Asia. Of these investors 36 per cent were from the Middle East and 22 per cent from Asia. The remaining investors were mainly from Europe (16.8 per cent) or the US (12.3 per cent).
Sukuk are generally more expensive to issue than conventional bonds because they are priced at a premium. However, this premium does not seem to have acted as a serious brake on market development. In addition, the costs attached to structuring sukuk seem to us to be of secondary importance to large issuers.
We understand that a few issuers, particularly in the corporate or project finance space in the Gulf, have recently raised sukuk at a cost below that required to issue comparable conventional bonds. In our view, the reduced cost was underpinned by very strong demand for sukuk in a region where the amount issued remains small.
Yields on sukuk and conventional bonds with similar characteristics remain very strongly correlated, as shown by the synchronised moves of the yields on S&P Dow Jones Mena bonds and sukuk indices.
(Gulf News.Com / 20 April 2014)
---
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

BSP in talks with Malaysia counterpart to craft Islamic banking framework for Philippines


Malaysia, home to the one of the world’s largest Muslim populations, has expressed interest in helping develop the Islamic banking industry in the Philippines, the Department of Finance said Sunday.

Finance Undersecretary Jose Emmanuel Reverente said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has been holding talks with Bank Negara, Malaysia’s central bank, regarding the creation of a framework for Islamic banking in the country.

"There has been strong interest from Malaysia in terms of assisting us develop a strong Islamic banking framework… We are working closely with them," he said.

In a forum held last March, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. lamented the scarcity of Islamic banks in the Philippines, particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), despite the vast business opportunities available in the region.

At present, only 20 banks operate across five provinces in ARMM, with Al-Amanah bank being the only Islamic financial institution. The bank is a subsidiary of the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Malaysia, meanwhile, has 16 Islamic banks.

Reverente said the growth of Islamic banking industry in the Philippines has been stunted by the absence of a framework to guide the creation of laws that recognize the particular manner by which Muslims transact and do business.

Under traditional Islamic banking, loans to clients or customers must not carry interests. Because of this condition, Islamic banks in the Philippines serve more as an equity partner than a deposit-taking and lending institution, Reverente said.

This, in turn, puts the banks at a disadvantage when it comes to fulfilling tax obligations, he said.

The government earlier said it hopes to develop a market for the Islamic banking industry in preparation for the ASEAN economic integration in 2015.


(GMA News Online / 20 April 2014)
---
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Kazakhstan and Bahrain to promote Islamic banking in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan and Bahrain will be working to promote Islamic banking in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports, citing President Nazarbayev’s official website.
“The two sides have expressed their intention to promote Islamic banking in Kazakhstan. We are interested in Bahrain’s practices in this realm as the country is a major center of Islamic finances”, President Nazarbayev said following his talks with King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa in Astana April 14.
The two sides condemned terrorism and extremism in all its manifestations, called to strengthen measures to counteract transnational and organized crime, illicit turnover of narcotic drugs and weapons, as well as to counteract other types of crimes posing threats to the global peace and stability.
Kazakhstan and Bahrain have agreed to place a priority emphasis on cooperation in investments, trade, agriculture, banking, and to further ties in education, culture and science. They have agreed to encourage interaction between universities and culture entities and facilitate exchange of students.

(Tengkri News / 15 April 2014)
---
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

Global sukuk market down by 15.2 pcnt in 1Q14 - report

KUWAIT, April 18 (KUNA) -- The international sukuk market saw a modest volume of USD 31.1 billion in new sukuk issuances in the first quarter of 2014, according to a newly released report "Global Sukuk Report 1Q2014" by Kuwait Finance House Research Limited (KFHR).

This volume represents a drop of 15.2 percent as compared to the USD 36.73 billion in issuances during 4Q13 and 9.82 percent short of the USD 34.53 billion worth of issuances in 1Q13, it said.


The drop in issuance volume stems from a noteworthy slowdown in the GCC sukuk issuances in 1Q14, particularly in the month of March when the only GCC sukuks issued were the short-term liquidity management sukuks by the Central Bank of Bahrain, it said.


The volume of sukuk issuances in the GCC fell by 12.5 percent in 1Q14 as compared to the volume in 1Q13. Meanwhile, the commencement of tapering by the US Federal Reserve in its quantitative easing (QE) programme since January 2014 is another critical factor behind the decline in 1Q14's issuance volume, the report added.


The US Fed's tapering has led to higher funding costs for issuers, particularly in emerging markets, and this has potentially kept the issuers on hold to observe the market first.


Consistent with the trend over past several quarters, the primary sukuk market was led by sovereign and quasi-sovereign issuers who collectively accounted for 81 percent of the global primary sukuk market issuances in 1Q14.


Notably, the sovereign issuers accounted for 68.6 percent or USD 21.3 billion of the total issuances in 1Q14 and this is the highest absolute volume for the sovereign sector since 3Q12 when sovereign issuers had generated USD 25.6 billion in raised proceeds, the KFH report noted.


The corporate sukuk issuances share in 1Q14 declined to USD 5.7 billion which represents a 29.8 percent decrease in comparison to USD 8.1 billion volume during 1Q13 and a 57.1 percent decrease in comparison to the record USD 13.29 billion volume during 4Q13.


Among the notable jurisdictions issuing sukuk in 1Q14 included Maldives as a debutant issuer in the global sukuk market with an inaugural 10-year corporate sukuk issuance worth USD 3.9 million, it added.


(Kuwait News Agency / 18 April 2014)
---
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Dubai Islamic Bank records Rs 211 million profit before tax

The Board of Directors of Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited (DIBPL) recently held a meeting to approve its financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2013. DIBPL is a fully owned subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank UAE, the world's first Islamic Bank. 

The year 2013 marked numerous achievements for DIBPL. On the financial side, the bank reported a year-end profit before provisioning of PKR 668 million and due to provisioning of PKR 456 million against non-performing Islamic Financing assets the bank now has a profit before tax of PKR 211 million. Furthermore, a 27 percent deposit growth was achieved in comparison to 2012, taking total deposits to PKR 68 billion in 2013. On the asset side, DIBPL's asset base rose by 26 percent in contrast to 2012 increasing the asset base to PKR 80 billion in 2013. The bank's investments grew substantially by 17 percent over the year, taking total investments to PKR 25 billion. 

From only 36 locations (36 branches) in October 2010, today DIBPL stands at 150 locations (125 branches and 25 branchless banking booths) in 40 cities across Pakistan. The bank added over 40,000 more customers in 2013, taking full customer base to over 140,000. As per the permission of State Bank of Pakistan, the bank is now to be considered MCR compliant. DIBPL enjoys a short-term credit rating of "A-1" and long-term credit rating of "A" with a "positive" outlook, indicating the bank's robust position in the industry. The bank continues to reaffirm its commitment to Pakistan with new branches and absolutely Halal and Sharia compliant new products and services. 

DIBPL intends to keep the momentum going for 2014 as well, aiming to take the branch network to 175 branches along with 50 branchless banking booths. This would enable an overall footprint of 225 outlets in 50 cities nation-wide. DIBPL continues to strive and expand its sphere of world class banking expertise in Retail, Corporate, Trade and Investment Banking services across Pakistan. 

The bank's endeavour since inception has been to provide a variety of unique and Sharia compliant products and services to all customers. In this respect, DIBPL has had first-mover advantage in a variety of banking services such as Banca Takaful, Branchless Banking and Cash Management Services. DIBPL is the first Islamic bank in Pakistan to offer Priority and Platinum Banking and the most extensive and innovative portfolio of Alternate Distribution Channels (ADCs) which includes VISA ATM/Debit Card, Internet Banking, SMS Banking, Phone Banking, Mobile Internet Banking, InterBank Fund Transfer and over 65 ATMs and CDMs across Pakistan.


(Business Recorder / 18 April 2014)
---
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

This Islamic bank wants to get Britain building

BRITAIN could become the first truly global Islamic finance centre if the government sets its mind to attracting infrastructure investment, according to Gatehouse Bank’s chairman.
The sector holds plenty of promise – Fahed Faisal Boodai estimates the industry is worth $1.5 trillion, and the sector is growing at around 20 per cent per year.
Chancellor George Osborne is raising £200m with a sharia-compliant bond, a sukuk, and is trying to encourage investors to move to London.
Gatehouse Bank expects this bond issue to show the extent of pent up demand in Britain. The bank alone expects to buy £30m to £40m of the sukuk, and predicts bids for the debt to run into the billions of pounds.
But one sukuk is not enough by itself to bring a flood of Islamic investment into the wider UK.
In part the problem is finding investment opportunities which meet stringent sharia standards. This requires the return on investment to be based on a hard, tangible asset – for instance, a rental property, or industrial machinery.
This should be perfect for the British government which wants to find private investors to pump cash into infrastructure and construction.
But constantly shifting political aims mean it is difficult for investors to have any certainty of the long-term income flows from big projects.
“The UK is in the lead – support from the government puts Britain at the forefront, it is very good relative to other governments,” Boodai told City A.M.
But more certainty is needed if the government wants to unlock Islamic investment into infrastructure on the grand scale needed.
“We could invest in toll roads, in highways, in power generation, but only if the dynamics are right.”
“I have been at the UK embassy in Kuwait and Bahrain where UK Trade and Investment and the UK ambassador talk about it, but it takes so long to happen. We need a more proactive approach with an action plan and deadlines set, and you will see that commitment coming.”
But even the uncertainty of Britain’s policies will not stop the sector’s sustained growth, Boodai predicts.
Historic instability in the Middle East is one factor – for example, Kuwaitis sent increasing amounts of money abroad after the Iraqi invasion of 1990 hit the country’s wealthy hard.
And recent turmoil has also had an effect, with Boodai noting the Arab Spring has pushed investment into London.
As a result the bank yesterday opened a new office in Mayfair, giving its wealthy clients a West End base.
It comes as big banks sell off or slim down their own private banking arms, which has given the boutiques a chance to take on new customers.
“Since the financial crisis our clients are more interested in wealth preservation, and they want to know what they are buying,” Boodai said.
“The clients used to get reports from the big banks without a real relationship. Now there is an opportunity for banks that go back to the basics.”
On the other hand, that direct input from investors can create more work and difficulties for the bank.
When overseas investors put their money in London they often see prime property and other assets in the capital as the safest place for their funds.
If Gatehouse wants to invest elsewhere – 90 per cent of its UK projects are outside London – that means it has to try harder to convince the cautious backers.
“They see London is a strong city to preserve wealth, even in times of distress,” he said.
“We are trying to educate investors to move outside of London, and there should be an increased focus on encouraging them to put investment where it is needed around the UK.”
That could explain part of the reason Boodai is so keen for the government to push on with infrastructure development – guaranteed income streams are a lot easier to sell to customers.
“It has got to have the support of the government, we have to know the source of the cash flow.
(City A.M / 10 April 2014)
---
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

Alfalah Consulting's facebook