Dubai Islamic Bank's shares fall further

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) fell for the third time after the UAE’s largest Sharia-compliant lender said it will cut its dividend payment in accordance with Central Bank advice.

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) fell for the third time after the UAE’s largest Sharia-compliant lender said it will cut its dividend payment in accordance with Central Bank advice.

The DIB shares declined 1.4 per cent to Dh2.19 in Dubai. The benchmark DFM General Index dropped 1.64 per cent. The dividend for last year will be 10 fils a share instead of the 15 fils the bank proposed last month, it said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai yesterday.

Gulf Finance House

Gulf Finance House, a Bahraini investment bank, yesterday reported a narrower year-on-year net loss in the fourth quarter of last year of $3.76 million (Dh13.79 million). The loss compared to a $186.6 million net loss in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Gulf Finance House has restructured and paid down debt and shored up its capital in recent years as it transitions to a new business model focusing on the development of Islamic financial institutions in the region.

The company’s Dubai-based unit, G Capital, last year partnered with Gurmen Group to buy Turkey’s Adabank for $75 million. GFH said full-year net profit last year reached $381,000, compared to a loss of $349 million in 2010.

Egypt telephony

Mobile telephone subscribers in Egypt grew 18 per cent year-on-year to 83 million in 2011, the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), said on its website Thursday.

Subscribers of Egyptian mobile telecom operators Vodafone Egypt, Mobinil, and Etisalat Misr, a unit of etisalat, reached 36.7 million, 32.9 million, and 13.8 million respectively by the end of 2011, the MCIT data showed.

“This represents a penetration rate of around 104.4 per cent, up from 90 per cent at end-2010,” said Ahmad Adel, a telecom analyst at Cairo-based Naeem Brokerage.

“We forecast 15 per cent subscriber growth in 2012 to 96 million, which would take penetration to 116 per cent.”

National Electricity

Saudi Electricity Co’s unit National Electricity Transmission Co plans to tender local power transmission projects this year worth more than 12 billion Saudi riyals, pan-Arab daily Al Hayat reported yesterday citing an executive. National Electricity Transmission is currently implementing, in cooperation with contractors, more than 200 projects valued at more than 25 billion riyals, Saleh Al Onaizan, the company’s chief executive, told the paper.

Equate Petrochemical

Kuwait-based Equate Petrochemical Co, whose two major shareholders are the local state-run Petrochemical Industries Co and US-based Dow Chemical Co, said on Wednesday its 2011 full-year net profit rose 20 per cent to $1.05 billion compared with the previous year.

“These profits were realised due to operational excellence at all production units, as well as the increase in prices of petrochemical products globally as a result of stability in demand,” Hamad Al Terkait, the company’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Sales exceeded $2.5 billion last year which is unprecedented in Equate’s history, he added. In other news, Equate said in the statement that in April Terkait will be succeeded by Mohammad Husain as its CEO.


Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company yesterday announced financial results for the year ended December 31, 2011. Takaful posted a net profit of Dh24.4 million for 2011 compared to Dh21.0 million for 2010, an increase of 16.2 per cent.

Total cash and bank balances for the year were Dh170.2 million compared to Dh159.0 million for 2010, an increase of seven per cent.

United Arab Bank

United Arab Bank Thursday approved the distribution of a cash dividend equal to 20 per cent of the paid up capital. The bank said that the dividend reflected its strong financial performance, which was Dh330 million for 2011.

Islamic finance industry set for ‘a big leap’ in Oman

MUSCAT: Oman’s First Islamic Finance and Banking Conference opened yesterday with a call to stake holders to take effective steps in promoting Islamic finance in their countries.

Speaking as the chief guest, Darwish bin Ismail bin Ali Al Balushi, minister responsible for financial affairs, said, “with an annual growth of 20 per cent and total assets worth a trillion US dollars the Islamic finance industry is poised for a leap in the coming years and time is opportune to lend it a push.

He said that a study conducted in Oman revealed that 85 per cent of people favoured buying Islamic products and 70 per cent would opt for deposits in Islamic savings account whenever they are made available. This suggests the volume of interest shown by people in Oman in pursuing Islamic finance.”

The conference is organised by Al Iktissad Wal Amal Group (Lebanon) in association with the Central Bank of Oman.Delivering a key-note address, Dr Ahmed Mohamed Ali, president of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), said that the conference provides a good opportunity for business leaders and decision-makers from different countries to interact and offer effective solutions to some challenges facing the Islamic finance industry.

He pointed out that major international agencies — Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s — have given IDB the highest ‘AAA’ credit rating. He said that the IDB had provided total finances of more than $800 billion towards short-term and long-term projects in member countries since its establishment in 1975.

Dr Ahmed said, “The Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investments and Export Credits (ICIEC) was formed with the objective to enlarge the scope of trade transactions and investment flows among the member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC);

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) was established to complement IDB through the development and promotion of the private sector, as a vehicle for economic growth and development in member countries while the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI).

IRTI was established to help the Bank in discharging its functions in the fields of research and training assigned to it by its Articles of Agreement.” Mohammed Jamil Berro, chief executive officer, Al Hilal Bank, focused on Islamic banking growth by international expansion.

He said, “Al Hilal Bank has 28 branches in the UAE and its revenue crossed Dh1.73 million.” The bank has around 50,000 customers. With 10 per cent Muslim GDP and only one per cent global Islamic assets penetration, the global Islamic finance presents significant growth opportunities.”

Abdel Kader Askalan, CEO, Oman Arab Bank, said, “A central authority on Islamic Finance has to be established under OIC (Organisation of Islamic Countries) to develop regulatory legislation. Islamic finance has achieved remarkable growth in the past few years in the GCC region with 450 institutions worldwide of which 40 per cent are based in the Arab region.”

“GCC alone takes two-third of the world assets worth $ 700 billion. Islamic finace should be ready to face requirements of globalisations.”

Top Oman Islamic banks to float shares

Oman’s two Islamic banks will float 40 per cent of their shares by June, the Sultanate’s central bank executive president Hamood Sangour al-Zadjali said on Monday.

Both banks, which are currently under formation, were awarded sharia-compliant banking licences last year – Bank Nizwa in May and Al Izz in August – after the Sultanate reversed its position as the only Gulf state which did not allow banks to specifically offer products and services complying with Islamic law.

‘Bank Nizwa will issue an initial public offering of 40 per cent of its capital of RO150 million ($389.61 million), while Al Izz International Bank will issue 40 per cent of its RO100 million capital by June this year,’ Zadjali told reporters on the sidelines of an Islamic finance conference.

Bank Nizwa has picked Oman Arab Bank as the issue manager for its IPO, an Omani banking source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is not public.Al Izz has not mandated anyone to lead its offering, the source added.

Conventional lenders are also allowed to establish Islamic banking windows in the non-Opec oil producer.Both Bank Muscat and National Bank of Oman have said they would do so, while Standard Chartered is considering whether to offer sharia-compliant services.

United Arab Bank launches Islamic Credit Card

United Arab Bank (UAB) announces the launch of its first global Islamic Credit Card with a distinctive vertical design that makes it unique to the Islamic Credit Card arena in the UAE.

UAB had launched its Islamic Banking Services in March this year with three products initially covering Current Accounts, Investment, and Goods Murabaha. Soon after, the bank introduced two more products before the launch of its Islamic card, namely Vehicle Murabaha and Savings accounts. The new Credit Card comes to complement and strengthen the Bank’s Islamic product offering in line with its strategy to build a progressive portfolio of reliable banking products that can meet the growing needs and requirements of its Islamic banking customers.

United Arab Bank launches Islamic Credit Card

Announcing the new product, Paul Trowbridge, UAB’s CEO, commented:

“Recognizing and respecting the desires of a growing number of our valued clients to conduct their banking and financial transactions in accordance with Shari’ah principles, UAB has launched Islamic Banking. Focusing on client needs coupled with building long-lasting relationships with them will

continue to be the drivers of UAB’s future growth and success. Our new Shari’ah compliant products and services, including the newly launched Credit Card, will cater to the needs of a wide segment of our customers and will confirm our position amongst the leading banks in the region offering a comprehensive range of Islamic banking services.”

Continue reading