Emirates NBD 'names banks to plan Swiss franc bond issue'

Emirates NBD is planning to issue a Swiss franc-denominated bond, four sources said yesterday.

The lender has appointed banks for the issue, one banking source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

“The bank is looking at it [and] has appointed banks,” source said, declining to name the mandated banks.

Emirates NBD has just over Dh8 billion in debt maturing this year, including a $1.5-billion (Dh5.50 billion) loan due in October.

The bank reported a sharp fall in quarterly profit on Wednesday for a second consecutive quarter on provisioning for bad loans. Its Islamic subsidiary, Emirates Islamic Bank, reopened Gulf bond markets this year with a $500 million Islamic bond, or sukuk, in January, which carried a profit rate of 4.72 per cent.

In 2007, Emirates NBD completed a 100-million Swiss franc (Dh399.20 million) three-year guaranteed floating rate bond which paid 7 basis points over three-month Swiss Libor, according to Thomson Reuters data. Under the terms of a guaranteed bond, the principal and interest is paid by someone other than the issuer.

In the last two years, other Gulf banks have sought to take advantage of a favourable swap rate between the Swiss franc and US dollar, the currency most Gulf currencies are pegged to. Commercial Bank of Qatar, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and First Gulf Bank have all tapped Swiss liquidity since 2010.


Emiratis get thousands of job offers


Emiratis get thousands of job offers


ABU DHABI – Thousands of immediate job placements are being offered by 114 companies to Emiratis at the Capital’s recruitment show opened on Tuesday.


Hayete Jemai, Exhibition Director of the Tawdheef Recruitment Show, said that at least 2,000 vacant positions are being offered by 30 per cent of this year’s employer exhibitors from different sectors covering defence and security, healthcare, finance, insurance, IT, telecommunications, transport and logistics, oil and gas, aviation and government entities.


Telecommunications giant Etisalat opened up over 100 vacancies for UAE nationals, according to Hatim Al Nuaimi, Vice-President, HR-Talent Management at Etisalat.


“We have dedicated over 100 vacancies for the Emiratis plus if there is any turnover. These include the front level, marketing, IT, engineering and overseas projects,” he told Khaleej Times.


The General Holding Corporation will recruit 198 UAE nationals to fill in various positions at its diversified companies including Ducab, Emirates Steel, Arkan, Agthia and the  and the National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) while Tawazun has 90 positions available. UAE’s homeland security company, Advanced Integrated Systems, has posted 200 vacancies.


For its various employer partners, the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council has posted nearly 400 positions including 67 from the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, 47 from the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, 23 faculties from the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research and 17 from Abu Dhabi Motorsports.


This year’s Tawdheef has seen a 40 per cent increase in exhibitor participation compared to last year’s show.


This includes a large number of private employers which comprise 35 per cent of the exhibitors.


“We have much more private companies exhibiting, which is really good. Earlier, the private companies were not putting much importance on Emiratisation, but now they understood that they need to do it as part of the strategy of the country, and they are keen to do it,” said Jemai, noting that private sector participation last year was only 15 per cent of the 71 exhibitors.

NBAD participates in Tawdeef Career Fair

WAM Abu Dhabi, Jan 30th, 2012 (WAM) — The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) is platinum sponsor of Tawdeef Career Fair staring from tomorrow at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

NBAD’s sponsorship and participation in Tawdeef is part of the Bank’s Emiratisation drive to attract, retain, and continuously develop the skills of UAE nationals.

During the career fair, NBAD will offer onsite interviews with the candidates. It will also bring representatives from Abu Dhabi National Islamic Finance (ADNIF), the Islamic finance and banking arm of NBAD, to give insight into ADNIF and career opportunities available.

“Participating in career fairs gives us a great opportunity to meet job seekers and identify and recruit promising candidates,” said Ehab Anis Hassan, the Group Chief Human Resources Officer at NBAD. “NBAD’s Emiratisation strategy goes beyond hiring UAE’s nationals; developing skills and education is at the heart of this strategy which made the Bank an employer of choice for UAE nationals.

” NBAD has launched several Emiratisation programme which aim to develop and maximise the potentials of Emiratis in different stages. For instance, under the AFAQ Management trainee Programme, NBAD sponsors a Master of Science in Finance by recruiting recent university graduates who exhibited great motivation and the potential to grow into future leaders.

The recruits complete post graduate certificate which is equivalent to half of the Master’s requirement in the first year by studying fulltime at the academy. During this period, they receive full employment salary. After the first year, AFAQ recruits are assigned to their permanent position. While they work fulltime, they continue studying part-time toward the completion of the Master’s Degree.

“NBAD is committed to Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision and plays a vital role in diversifying the economy. This is why we design sustainable Emiratisation programmes to empower UAE nationals to contribute effectively in the development of the economy and the Bank,” explained Suaad Al Shammari, the Emiratisation Manager at NBAD.

“The Bank has successfully increased Emiratisation from 30% in 2008 to 39% by end of 2011 and this year we aim to recruit over 100 UAE nationals to meet the Government’s mandate of 40% Emiratisation,” she added.


Dubai's Majid al Futtaim announces sukuk roadshow

Dubai’s Majid al Futtaim will begin meeting investors on Sunday ahead of a potential Islamic bond, or sukuk issue, a statement from the lead managers said on Tuesday.

The mall developer, which is the sole franchise for Carrefour in the Gulf, will meet investors in Abu Dhabi and Dubai on January 29, before a second day of roadshows in London and Kuala Lumpur on January 30, it said.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank , HSBC and Standard Chartered are the lead managers for the potential transaction, which would be the company’s first debt capital markets issue.

The company has been eyeing global debt markets for several months, completing a series of roadshows for a conventional bond in June but not going ahead with a print because of the impact of market volatility on pricing.

It then set up a sukuk programme to have the option to tap Islamic liquidity and take advantage of healthy demand for sharia-compliant assets amid ongoing global risk aversion.

A senior executive told Reuters in November the company hoped to raise between $350 million and $500 million from its debut sukuk offering.

This would be the first issuance by a private corporate firm in the Gulf and is regarded as a vanguard for other private sector companies in the region who, hit by limited liquidity in the loan market, are searching for new finance streams.

The unlisted firm raised $1 billion loan from a group of banks in July which was used for refinancing of a $1 billion loan maturing later this year.

MAF’s revenues grew by 10 percent year over year to 18.7 billion dirhams ($5.09 billion) last year and its net debt was around 7.5 billion dirhams.The developer expects to open around 15 new Carrefour hypermarkets and about 25 to 30 new supermarkets in 2012.


UAE: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s Financial Strength Rating Affirmed – Foreign Currency Rating Downgraded

Global Arab Network  – Capital Intelligence has announced that it has affirmed Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s (ADCB) Financial Strength Rating at A- with the Bank’s large domestic franchise,

Improved operating profitability and capital adequacy being major factors supporting the rating, Global Arab Network reports according to a press statement.  Despite the Support rating of ‘1’, which reflects the extremely high likelihood of official support from the government of Abu Dhabi in case of need, the Bank’s Foreign Currency (FC)?

Long-term rating is adjusted downwards to ‘A+’ from ‘AA-‘ (a two-notch difference between FSR and FC as per CI methodology) to reflect continuing high credit risks in the UAE and their likely impact on the Bank’s weak asset quality and tight liquidity.  The FC Short-term rating is maintained at ‘A1’.  A ‘Stable Outlook has been assigned to all the ratings on the assumption that the remainder of 2011 and H1 2012 will see improvements in both asset quality and liquidity.

ADCB is a major retail and corporate bank in the UAE with strong customer franchises and a comprehensive range of products and services that generate multiple revenue streams.  The Bank’s earnings have been impacted by high impairment provision charges in recent years; however, operating profitability remained reasonably high, buoyed by good net interest and non-interest income.

The 2010 impairment provision charge included provisions on the Bank’s sizeable exposure to a Dubai government-related entity, which was classified as impaired and was subsequently restructured.

The Bank’s return on average assets (ROAA) strengthened in the first nine months of 2011 owing to lower impairment charges compared to the corresponding period of the previous year as well as extraordinary income arising from the sale of shares in an overseas associate.  The operating profitability ratio also improved on the back of higher net interest.

The Bank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) strengthened in 2011.  This was partly due to the sale of the Bank’s stake in an overseas associate, which led to substantially lower deductions from regulatory capital for the purposes of calculating the CAR.  The Bank has received substantial increases in capital from the government of Abu Dhabi and the federal government in recent years.

Despite improvements, ADCB’s liquidity remains tight. While the Bank’s access to Abu Dhabi government funds is a mitigating factor here, given the uncertain global economic outlook, a higher level of liquid assets would provide more comfort.

The ratio of loans to customer deposits remains high, although the customer deposit base has grown substantially in recent years primarily due to the aggressive marketing of Islamic savings products.  The Bank also regularly raises medium/long-term resources from regional and international markets, but any dependence on such funding could be a point of vulnerability in current market conditions.

ADCB was created in 1985 by the government of Abu Dhabi through the merger of three distressed retail commercial banks.  The government, through the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, owns 58% of the Bank.  ADCB is the third largest bank in the country with total assets of AED169 billion at end 2010.

The Bank has a moderately large network of branches spread across the emirates.  ADCB offers a comprehensive range of retail and corporate banking products and services and overseas operations are limited to two branches in India.


Al Hilal Bank using digital pen solution

Al Hilal Bank has deployed new digital pen technology, to help cut document processing costs, improve authentication and speed up workflow.

The Abu Dhabi-headquartered Islamic bank is using the pen technology to digitize documents and record data using handwriting, then back up digital copies of the documents online.

The system, which was provided by BSTechnologies,is being used by Al Hilal’s direct sales team, and staff in Credit Finance, Finance Operations, and Sales Coordination. The device includes a camera and a GPS that digitize written documents to Al Hilal’s systems.

Al Hilal personnel simply write on a specially-printed copy of a particular document with the digital pen, which automatically records the handwriting in its memory. The recorded ink is then downloaded and matched with the image of the original document.

It also creates a new, exact copy of the handwritten document in PDF format, just as if it had been scanned or photocopied. The digital copy can then be easily saved, sent, archived, copied, deleted or retrieved depending on the bank’s requirements.

“Our digital pen -based system reflects our commitment to using technology to increase services and convenience for our customers.

Al Hilal Bank intends to adopt more digital systems offered by industry leaders such as BSTechnologies in line with our efforts to tap modern tools for the convenience of our mutual customers. We shall continue to redefine and raise the standards of modern, Shariah-compliant banking,” said Mohamed Zaqout, Head of Personal Banking, Al Hilal Bank.

“We are thrilled to bring to Al Hilal Bank a cutting-edge technology that reduces client waiting time, improves the management of business workflow queues, and drives down the costs involved in forms processing.

The technology is so simple and natural so it can be instantly and effortlessly used by young and old alike. Knowing how to write with a pen on a paper is enough to be able to use this technology,” added Abdullah Al Kaabi, CEO, BSTechnologies.


Dubai's Islamic bonds rebound on economic outlook

Abu Dhabi: Dubai’s Islamic bonds are rallying to a record as the rebounding economy boosts company profits.

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The yield on the emirate’s 6.396 per cent dollar- denominated Sukuk due in 2014 has fallen 58 basis points since the end of June to an all-time low of 4.289 per cent on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The decline cut the yield gap with Abu Dhabi’s non-Islamic debt to 288 basis points, the smallest since June 1.

Dubai is experiencing a revival in investor interest after the International Monetary Fund said in April the emirate’s economy will grow about 3 per cent this year.

Safe haven appeal

“There has been a marked improvement in sentiment as Dubai’s core economy is booming,” Akbar Khan, a director at Al Rayan Investment in Doha, said in an interview on August 2. “It has benefited greatly from regional unrest. Deposits, tourists and trade have flowed into Dubai in a classic flight to safety.” Continue reading

Malaysia, Abu Dhabi lead dollar sukuk rally

Kuala Lumpur: Investment-grade bonds in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi are leading a rally in dollar sukuk, driving average yields to the lowest level in six years, as rising prices of commodities shore up economic growth.

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The yield on Malaysia’s 4.646 per cent note maturing in July 2021 dropped 26 basis points, or 0.26 percentage point, this month to 4.4 per cent yesterday, according to prices from Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The rate on the Abu Dhabi-backed Tourism Development & Investment Co’s 4.949 per cent debt due in October 2014 fell 21 basis points since June 30 to a 1 1/2-month low of 2.81 per cent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Increasing prices of crude, palm oil and soybeans are spurring gains in Sharia-compliant bonds even as the extra yield investors demand to hold emerging-market securities over US Treasuries widened this month. Investment-grade sukuk are appealing given Europe’s debt crisis and demand for safety in dollar assets, Jakarta-based PT MNC Asset Management said. Continue reading

ADIB Opens 60th Branch in Jumeirah

Abu Dhabi, 17 October 2010: Tirad Mahmoud, CEO of Abu Dhabi Islamic BankAbu Dhabi Islamic Bank , a top-tier Islamic financial services group, has announced the opening of ADIB ‘s new branch in Jumeirah. ADIB ‘s branch network now has 60 branches across the UAE of which 10 are in Dubai. The opening of this new branch is part of ADIB ‘s expansion plan initiated last year that aims to enhance physical presence for its services in the UAE.

The new branch is strategically located in Umm Suqeim to provide easy access for ADIB ‘s growing customer base in the surrounding areas. Like ADIB ‘s other branches, the Jumeirah branch will remain open from 8 am to 2 pm to offer customers its portfolio of Shari’a compliant products and services.

“Our branch rollout is progressing as planned to reach our objectives of having 70 branches in the future. A major part of our expansion plan entails strengthening our presence in Dubai and Northern Emirates as we aim to be closer to our current and potential clients. Since the beginning of this year, ADIB has launched four branches in Dubai and we will continue expanding in the Emirate to reach a maximum number of customers,” said Sameh Al-Awadallah, Head of Branches of ADIB .

The Jumeirah branch will be managed by Yaqoob Yousuf Ahli. He and his team of talented UAE nationals are distinguished by their training and deep knowledge of ADIB ‘s culture in Islamic banking services.