GIB named best sukuk arranger

Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank (GIB) was recently named the “Best Sukuk Arranger” for the year 2011 by Dubai’s Islamic Business & Finance magazine.

According to the magazine, which conducted a survey of the world’s best Sukuk arrangers, nominees for the awards were short-listed from hundreds of top Islamic financial services providers and professionals.

Tens of thousands of votes were cast by the readers of the magazine and the registered users of its website.

The magazine distributed its annual Islamic banking awards to the winning banks during a ceremony held recently in Dubai.

GIB has developed considerable expertise in originating and placing regional Sukuk issuances in the GCC, a statement said.

GIB’s strength in this area originates from long standing relationships with regional issuers and investors, experience of structuring Shariah-compliant instruments and the ability to distribute transactions regionally, it added.

Dr Yahya Abdullah Alyahya, GIB’s chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased to receive this prestigious award that recognizes our leadership and achievements in the field of Sukuk arrangement and issuance.

We are committed to further strengthen GIB’s status as a leading investment bank in the GCC.”“This new award comes as an addition to other awards the Bank has received during the past 12 months.

This reflects GIB’s leadership and the market’s confidence in its capability to provide innovative debt and corporate advisory solutions,” he added.

ITS ETHIX – Financial Solutions Awarded 'Best Technology Provider of the Year' by Islamic Business and Finance Award

Dubai – The International Turnkey Systems Group (ITS) has realized a new regional achievement by obtaining the “Best Technology Provider of the Year” award at the Islamic Business and Finance Awards ceremony.

This award was presented in recognition of ITS for providing the latest technological solutions and services that would meet banks present and future needs. ITS solutions also enabled Islamic banks to face growing challenges of competition in the local and regional financial markets.

ITS has provided banks with a number of ETHIX main banking services and solutions, including Islamic banking, automation of branches management, online banking services, and technological services related to treasury and management of Islamic in-vestments and documentary credits.

Khaled Jasim Al Amiri, Assistant General Manager of ITS, received the award at a prestigious ceremony at Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai.

Al-Amiri commented on being selected for this award: “Once again, ITS confirms its superiority by the testimony of others through obtaining one of the top regional awards and is highly recognized by companies and institutions in various sectors.”

He added: “For more than 30 years (the lifetime of the company), our human resources have played a prominent and important role in realizing these achievements. They have helped position the company to enable it to compete strongly within the market and most importantly, to distinguish itself through groups of solutions, products and services, which have ultimately become the hallmark of ITS.”

Subsequently, ITS also has been awarded “Systems Integrator of the Year” at the Ara-bian Business awards which is considered among the most notable and important awards presented to the business sector in the region.

Banking and Investment Sector

The ITS ETHIX financial solution is a recognized solution in meeting the requirements of Islamic and traditional banking and Islamic finance. ETHIX has assisted many banks and financial institutions to minimize their operational costs in responding to the increased demand of customers for both traditional and Islamic products and services.

In addition, through the use of the most advanced and developed technological solutions in the world, ETHIX Financial solutions is ranked globally as the premier total banking solution, fully compliant with Islamic Shari’a catering to Tier1 banks.

The successful strategy of the ITS Group has enabled the company to double the ceiling of its returns and achieve significant company growth. By increasing total returns and the company’s equivalent in profits, ITS have been able to make both regional and strategic expansions, highlighting the role of HR in ITS.

New award for ADCB Islamic Banking

ADCB Islamic Banking was named the “Most Improved Islamic Bank in the UAE” by the Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) committee at a recent ceremony in Muscat.

Keynote speaker Abdullah Badawi, former prime minister of Malaysia at the Oman Islamic Economic Forum (OIEF), presented the award to ADCB Islamic Banking.

Amr Al-Menhali, head of ADCB Islamic Banking, said the award recognizes the ADCB’s leading position and its success in raising the benchmark for Islamic banking in the region.

ADCB Islamic Banking offers a complete suite of Shariah-compliant products specifically designed to cater to the needs of consumers that are key to the health of the UAE economy.

This recognition is subsequent to the milestone ADCB Islamic Banking has achieved, which was acknowledged by the reputed worldwide Shariah governing body in an appreciation letter positioning ADCB Islamic Banking as a role model for Islamic Banks worldwide, said Al-Menhali.

The OIEF assembles a diverse number of financial practitioners, academicians, business leaders and policy makers in the industry.

The forum addressed issues including the regulatory challenges facing Islamic banking, the practice of socially responsible Islamic finance and the need for utilization of Islamic banking as a tool for global economic reform.

The forum, endorsed by the Fatwa office of the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, has received support from an array of leading financial institutions from the GCC, Canada, UK, Luxembourg and Malaysia.

Noor Takaful named Best Takaful Operator

Noor Takaful, the Islamic insurance arm of Noor Investment Group was named Best Takaful Operator in the GCC region, at the CPI Islamic Business and Finance Awards, held recently in Dubai.

It is the second time in three years that Noor Takaful has won the award. Noor Takaful has now won seven industry awards since it was launched in 2009.

Dr Ahmed Al Janahi, Managing Director, Noor Takaful said: “Despite the turmoil in the global financial system, Noor Takaful has achieved sustained growth over the past three years and it has consistently out-performed its takaful peers in terms of gross written premiums.

Awards, such as this, remind us of the importance of continuing to deliver on our brand promise of excellence in everything we do, which has been and remains the cornerstone of our success.”

Parvaiz Siddiq, CEO, Noor Takaful, who received the award from Abdulla Al Mansouri, Chairman of financial publisher CPI said: “We are honoured to have won this prestigious award, for the second time in three years.

The region’s insurance landscape is extremely competitive and this award is a testament to our commitment to the highest service levels and providing the most effective and innovative insurance solutions to our current and prospective customers.”

Noor Takaful has committed itself to being at the forefront of the Takaful sector in the Middle East. Its contemporary approach to Islamic insurance has seen it provide a series of innovative products and services for its customers, including the GCC’s first e-Takaful service providing instant quotes and online payment facilities.

Baito Tower wins 3 awards in Nasser Al-Sabah for real estate excellence

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Baitok Tower in Kuwait City won three awards from Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah’s awards for real estate excellence in 2011.

The awards were granted to KFH for best management and best operation of smart towers, in addition to being best commercial market.

KFH AGM for Finanace Sector Emad Al-Thaqeb stated that this award underlines KFH’s pivotal role in the real estate field; especially in the fields of residential and investment real estate through setting up world-class shopping malls and markets.

He noted that the Real Estate Association formed an unbiased committee from engineering professors and representatives of some academic authorities, and that this committee shouldered its responsibility professionally.

He congratulated the winners and thanked the association for taking this initiative. He went on to say that this award is expected to improve quality of real estate projects and encourage the private sector to abide by international construction standards.

It is worth noting that Baitok Tower is located in Kuwait City next to KFH’s main office. The tower consists of 33 storeys and is 165 meters high. It also has four levels for car parking, and was built by Al-Modeer Al-Kuwaiti Holding Company.

Moreover, Al-Thaqeb stressed that KFH’s keenness to expand and develop the real estate market through offering Islamic financial solutions that help Kuwaiti families purchase the house of their dreams.