Noor Islamic Bank, DMCC Offers UAE gold bullion coins investment

Noor Islamic Bank has rolled out sales of the UAE gold bullion coins for retail buyers in denominations of one, half, quarter and one/tenth ounce in 99.99 per cent purity (24 karat). Noor is the first Islamic bank in the UAE to offer a fully-fledged product in the precious metals segment. The initiative has been launched in partnership with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), which designed and launched the UAE gold bullion coins in April 2012.

Noor Islamic Bank, DMCC Offers UAE gold bullion coins investment

Noor Islamic Bank, DMCC Offers UAE gold bullion coins investment

Chamieh Ahmad Yaseen Al Mokdad (second right) receives the first kilo gold bar purchased under Noor Islamic Bank’s physical gold product offering, from Omar Anwar, Acting Head of Treasury, Noor Islamic Bank. Also pictured are Ahmad Yousef (left), Senior Manager – Treasury Sales and Tamer Mohamed (right), Relationship Manager – Wealth Management, at Noor.

Omar Anwar, Acting Head of Treasury, Noor Islamic Bank, said, “Gold is primarily a long-term investment that holds the potential to offer multiple returns. However, most investors are wary of gold securities, which do not give the same assurance as physical gold as there is always a question on the ratio of global gold stocks and the issuance of certificates. On the other hand, storing physical gold has always posed a critical concern for investors. With the option of storage facilities, our product effectively extends a safe investment option to individuals looking for profitable yet secure avenues to park their funds.”

The coins are minted by Swiss refinery Argor-Heraeus, one of the world’s largest processors of precious metals and are accredited by DMCC’s Dubai Good Delivery Standard (DGD). Noor also offers gold kilo bars for larger trade quantities, which could be sourced from suppliers of choice including Argor-Heraeus, Swiss Gold, Emirates Gold and Al Etihad Gold Refinery.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC, said, “We congratulate Noor Islamic Bank on becoming the first Islamic bank distributor of the UAE Gold Bullion Coins. These coins celebrate the accomplishments of the UAE’s visionary rulers. We are proud to see the UAE Bullion Coins further contribute to the growth of the Islamic economy in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s Islamic Economic Strategy to make Dubai the Capital of Islamic Finance.”

As a value-added service, Noor is also offering storage custody through an insured third party vault operator. In return, clients will be provided with certificates for physically-backed gold product. Alternatively, clients can take delivery of the gold, both coins and bars, through an agreed third party delivery method. The bullion can also be collected directly from the vault with prior confirmation.

Gautam Sashittal, Chief Operating Officer, DMCC, said, “DMCC is proud to partner with institutions such as Noor Islamic Bank, which are committed to developing innovative Islamic banking solutions. Noor represents the culture of change that is taking place in Dubai by incorporating bullion trading into its activities.”

Dubai’s Noor Islamic Bank Seeks Business In Singapore, Malaysia

Noor Islamic Bank, a lender controlled by Dubai’s government, said it’s seeking business in Singapore and Malaysia as it aims to benefit from growth in Southeast Asia.

Dubai’s Noor Islamic Bank Seeks Business In Singapore, Malaysia

“I’ll be interested in any transaction that comes up,”Hussain Al Qemzi”, chief executive officer of the United Arab Emirates-based lender, said in an interview in Singapore today. “Malaysia is the world’s biggest sukuk market. I understand companies are looking to finance infrastructure projects.”

Malaysia, which is aiming to become a global hub for Islamic finance, has a $444 billion program to build roads and power plants over the next 10 years. Sukuk, or Islamic bonds, pay asset returns to comply with the religion’s ban on interest.

Al Qemzi said yesterday at the World Islamic Banking Conference in Singapore that the European debt crisis offered Islamic lenders a “golden opportunity” to capture a bigger share of the world banking market.

Noor Islamic helped clients raise $2.1 billion of syndicated loans in Turkey in the past 18 months and it plans similar ventures in Southeast Asia, he said.

“We will be interested in helping Southeast Asian clients with Shariah-compliant business in the Middle,” Al Qemzi said.

Malaysian companies have sold 15 billion ringgit ($4.7 billion) of Islamic bonds in 2012, 8 percent more than the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Assets of Shariah-compliant banks are expected to reach $1.1 trillion this year from $826 billion in 2010, according to an estimate published by Ernst & Young.


Islamic Banking will globalise with effort

If Islamic banking is to develop into a global alternative to conventional banking, the global financial industry must take responsibility for driving the sector forward and not rely on the regulators to lead the way, a top official said.

Hussain AlQemzi, CEO of Noor Islamic Bank and a leading Middle East authority on Islamic finance, speaking at the International Islamic Finance Summit in Kuala Lumpur, said the pace of development of the Islamic finance sector was too slow and that unless industry practitioners are more willing to challenge the regulators, whether Central Banks, legal structures or Shari’a scholars, the internationalisation of Islamic finance will continue to underperform and not reach its full potential.

“I am not saying that it is the regulators that have held us back. The brake on our development has been applied by ourselves,” said AlQemzi, a seasoned banker with over 26 years of extensive experience working with leading financial institutions in the UAE.

“But unless we, the practitioners, the industry itself, are more willing to challenge the regulators, we will not create the new, innovative products, based on the core principles and values of Islam that will entice customers away from conventional banks.

“It is our joint responsibility to sit together to develop these products and structures. It is our duty to leverage our collective expertise in order to push regional boundaries of understanding closer towards each other.

It is only when we commit to crossing these boundaries will the regulators be able to do what should essentially be their primary role, to protect customers, to reduce risk and to minimise disruption. All other aspects of the industry are our responsibility.”

AlQemzi told his audience of leading Islamic finance professionals, institutional investors and other senior executives from the financial world that in order for the Islamic finance industry to remain competitive, it must continually innovate and adapt.

“If we are to challenge the conventional banks’ entrenched position in international financial deals, we must develop the capacity to structure multi-currency and cross border transactions and to build scale.

To do that we need to build deeper relationships between the key markets and between individual banks, so that we are better placed to compete on a global scale.”

“The time has come for us to stop focusing on our differences as reasons for not doing business. It is time to talk about how Islamic finance can contribute to long-term inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic growth not just in Muslim countries, but in every country across the globe.

Instead of competing with each other, we (the industry) need to work together to build an Islamic finance industry which all of us can be proud to be a part of,” he added.

In order to iron out of the differences in interpretation of Shari’a compliance, between scholars in South East Asia and the Middle East, AlQemzi proposed the establishment of a joint Sharia Board, comprised of Shari’a scholars from both Malaysia and UAE.


The board would be mandated with finding common ground between the two schools of thought with the aim of developing new products and services, which would be acceptable to the widest possible customer base.

AlQemzi cited an innovative sukuk launched by Cagamas, Malaysia’s national mortgage company, as a prime example of how offerings can be created that are acceptable to investors in both South East Asia and the Middle East. One third of the inaugural $320 million sukuk was taken up by Middle East investors.

“If Cagamas can do it, it should not be beyond the capabilities of governments and other companies, in both our regions, to create sukuk offerings that are acceptable to the widest possible market,” AlQemzi told conference delegates.

Highlighting forecast high levels of infrastructure spending in both the ASEAN region and Middle East, he said offer Islamic finance an opportunity to establish itself in the global financial market.

“The combination of the asset-backed nature of Islamic finance and the concept of shared business risk make Islamic finance an attractive alternative source of funds.

In addition, sukuk investors typically have an appetite for longer tenors than bank loans and prefer stable predictable cash flow – traits that are typically associated with infrastructure projects,” AlQemzi said.

He added that the Euro zone crisis and the exposure of European banks to sovereign debt would almost certainly depress the European banks’ appetite for financing infrastructure projects, in both Asia and the Middle East. – TradeArabia News Service