QIB opens new branch at Dar Al Salam Mall in Abu Hamour

Qatar Islamic Bank ( QIB ), Qatar’s leading Islamic Bank, has opened a new state-of-the-art branch at Dar Al Salam Mall in Abu Hamour area as part of its expansion strategy to be at the center of thriving new communities in the country.

QIB opens new branch at Dar Al Salam Mall in Abu Hamour

QIB opens new branch at Dar Al Salam Mall in Abu Hamour

The newest branch in QIB ‘s rapidly growing network will welcome customers seven days a week from 9am to 9pm, barring Fridays, when it opens from 4pm to 9pm.

Bringing a diverse range of premium QIB products and services to the doorsteps of customers in the area, customers at QIB ‘s Dar Al Salam Mall branch will be able to open a variety of Bank accounts, apply for a suite of financing, debit and credit cards, discuss a host of Takaful services, and consult on other Islamic banking services with a dedicated team of staff.

To further enrich customers’ banking experience, QIB has also installed a cash deposit machine, allowing customers to make deposits at all times through direct access to accounts.

In keeping with QIB ‘s vision to offer immersive banking experience, the new branch is designed with customer convenience as the singular standout feature. The open-plan layout provides more welcoming space while the use of colors adds to the modern business environment. Most importantly, the branch features latest technology, which, along with the new looks and experience, reflects QIB ‘s identity as a progressive Islamic Bank.

With the addition of Dar Al Salam Mall branch, QIB branch network has increased to 32 Qatar-based locations and more than 175 ATMs across the country. This expansion in physical locations complements on-going investments in electronic channels such as an innovative internet banking system, QIB mobile banking applications, and a 24/7 customer service call center.

” QIB takes pride in supporting customers to succeed financially. Nothing is more exciting than to bring our range of banking services closer to customers to meet their financial expectations. The QIB Dar Al Salam Mall branch has been designed with simplicity and convenience in mind and represents the latest state-of-the-art in banking, allowing our customers to enjoy a seamless banking experience,” said D. Anand.

According to Anand, the Bank has made impressive strides in upgrading its electronic banking channels, adding a host of new features to its internet banking site, introducing a new QIB mobile application that is available for use with all smart phones and operating systems; including iOS, BlackBerry, Android and windows, and increasing the number of ATMs across the country to 175.

The Bank’s commitment to be an institution of excellence has received global recognition with QIB winning a number of awards in 2013. Euromoney, The Banker, Islamic Finance News and World Finance have all recognized QIB as the Best Islamic Bank in Qatar. In addition, QIB was awarded the “Excellence in Banking” from the International Alternative Investment Review, and the Bank was awarded the “Best Sukuk Deal” by the World Finance Magazine.

Qatar Islamic Bank ( QIB ) – Established in 1982, the first Islamic financial institution in Qatar. Since then, QIB has emerged as a force in the local and international markets. Today, the Bank plays a leading role in developing competitive and innovative Shari’a-compliant financial products and services worldwide. Overseen by a Shari’a board, QIB has amassed a paid-up capital of QR2.36 billion and holds 37% of the Islamic banking market in Qatar, and an overall market share of 11% in the banking sector as a whole. This makes QIB the biggest Shari’a-compliant bank in Qatar and one of the top five globally.

Media Contacts
Anwar Al Malki, PR Account Manager,
Snow Communications
Al- Diwan st, Fereej Abdulaziz , 5th Floor, Office 502, P.O. Box 377,
Doha, Qatar
M: (+974) 66536494
[email protected]

Lauren Bolton, Senior Account Executive,
Snow Communications
Al- Diwan st, Fereej Abdulaziz , 5th Floor, Office 502, P.O. Box 377,
Doha, Qatar
M: (+974) 55426405
[email protected]

© Press Release 2013

http://www.zawya.com/story/QIB_opens_new_branch_at_Dar_Al_Salam_Mall_in_Abu_Hamour-ZAWYA20131130094409/

Qatar Islamic banks seen growing to $100 bn by 2017

Driven by demand for infrastructure and investment financing, Qatar’s Islamic banks are expected to grow to $100bn by 2017, a report has shown.

Qatar Islamic banks seen growing to $100bn by 2017

Qatar Islamic banks seen growing to $100bn by 2017

“Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar will all increase their global importance as centres of Islamic finance in the coming years, as the three markets experience rising international demand for financing,” said Euromoney citing a recent report by global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s.

Qatar is the fastest-growing of the three markets and the balance sheet of the country’s Islamic banks is expected to grow to $100bn by 2017, it said.

Rising international demand for infrastructure and investment project financing is likely to stimulate growth in the three markets.
In particular, there is set to be strong demand from the government sector, which is increasingly working to ensure that at least a proportion of large project financing is structured in compliance with Shariah law.

The Euromoney Qatar 2013 Conference, which will be held under the patronage of HE the Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani will provide a major platform for discussion of the direction of the Islamic financial sector, and the models for co-operation and competition that will help sustain it.

Co-hosted by the Qatar Central Bank, the Euromoney Qatar Conference 2013 will see a major presentation on “Islamic markets and economic growth”, presented by Dr Khaled al-Fakih, secretary general and CEO of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).

It will be the first time that a representative of AAOIFI has addressed the Euromoney Conference, and reflects the growing global interest in Shariah-compliant financing and investing.

Qatar has one of the fastest-growing Islamic banking sectors in the world, driven by the demand for local credit to finance government infrastructure and investment projects.

This in turn is having an impact on the assets of Qatar’s Islamic banks, increasing their share of the country’s banking system. The Islamic banks’ market share in domestic credit increased from 13% in 2006, to 25% at the end of 2012, according to the S&P report.

Global interest in the Islamic financing sector was demonstrated in October 2013, when Britain announced that it would become the first non-Muslim country to sell a bond that can be bought by Islamic investors. Prime Minister David Cameron said that the UK Treasury is drawing up plans to issue a £200mn sukuk, a form of debt that complies with Islamic financial law.

The new Shariah-compliant gilt will enable Britain to tap the growing pool of Islamic investments, which is set to exceed $1tn by 2014.

As a meeting point for international financial players and major decision-makers from the region, the Euromoney Qatar Conference will provide an ideal opportunity for both sides to learn more about expectations and predictions for the local, global and international markets.

© Gulf Times 2013

http://www.zawya.com/story/Qatar_Islamic_banks_seen_growing_to_USD100bn_by_2017-ZAWYA20131110035705/

Qatar to emerge as major centre for Islamic finance

DOHA: The size of Qatar’s Shariah-compliant banking is expected to grow to over $100bn (QR365bn) by 2017.

Qatar to emerge as major centre for Islamic finance

Qatar to emerge as major centre for Islamic finance

 

And, given the rising global demand for interest-free financing, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will emerge as the major centres of Islamic finance in the coming years, said a press statement, yesterday, issued by ‘Europmoney Conferences’, a leading organiser of financial events.

The Europmoney also forecast that the growth will be largely driven by high demand for infrastructure and investment financing.

In particular, there is set to be strong demand from the government sector, which is increasingly working to ensure that at least a proportion of large project financing is structured in compliance with Shariah law.

“As the fastest-growing of the three markets, the balance sheet of Qatar’s Islamic banks are expected to be worth more than $100bn by 2017, according to a recent report by global credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s”, said the statement.

The Euromoney Qatar 2013 Conference, to be held here under the patronage of H E Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior, from December 10 to 11 at The Ritz-Carlton, will provide a major platform for discussion of the direction of the Islamic financial sector, and the models for cooperation and competition that will help sustain it.

Co-hosted by Qatar Central Bank (QCB), the Conference will see a major presentation on “Islamic Markets and Economic Growth”, presented by Dr Khaled Al Fakih, Secretary General and CEO of The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), a Bahrain-based non-profit organisation.

It will be the first time that a representative of AAOIFI has addressed the Euromoney Conference, and reflects the growing global interest in Shariah-compliant financing and investing.

Qatar has one of the fastest-growing Islamic banking sectors in the world, driven by the demand for local credit to finance government infrastructure and investment projects.

This in turn is having an impact on the assets of Qatar’s Islamic banks, increasing their share of the country’s banking system. The Islamic banks’ market share in domestic credit increased from 13 percent in 2006, to 25 percent at the end of 2012, according to the S&P report.

Global interest in the Islamic financing sector was demonstrated in October 2013, when Britain announced that it would become the first non-Muslim country to sell a bond that can be bought by Islamic investors. Prime Minister David Cameron said that the UK Treasury is drawing up plans to issue a £200m (QR1.17bn) Sukuk, a form of debt that complies with Islamic financial law.

The new Sharia-compliant gilt will enable Britain to become the first non-Muslim country to tap the growing pool of Islamic investments, which is set to exceed $1 trillion by 2014.
The Peninsula

http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/business/260294-qatar-to-emerge-as-major-centre-for-islamic-finance.html

Gulf International Services lines up $170 million Islamic facility

Gulf International Services announced that it has entered into a joint Islamic financing agreement of $170 million to fund acquisition, investment.

Gulf International Services lines up $170 million Islamic facility

Ibrahim Al Mannai, Chief Coordinator of Gulf International Services, said, “In line with its ambitious vision, Gulf International Services Company entered into a joint Islamic financing agreement with the following banks: Qatar Islamic Bank, Barwwa Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank and. Gulf International Services will utilise the financing facility for:

  • AMWAJ Catering Company acquisition from Qatar Petroleum. AMWAJ will be fully owned by GIS effective 1/6/2012. The deal was announced in March with a price tag of QAR353.1m ($97m).
  • The other part of the financing facility shall be used to increase Gulf International Services share in Gulf Drilling International Company’s capital increase with the aim of financing GDI’s expansion plan.

Gulf International Services was incorporated as a Qatari shareholding company on 12 February 2008, by Qatar Petroleum (QP).  GIS has significant investments in national and international oil and gas industry, including well support services, offshore and onshore drilling services, helicopter maintenance and transportation services, insurance and reinsurance services.

AMWAJ was established in 2006 to provide catering services to Qatar Petroleum and its subsidiaries and affiliates. It has experience of catering for large volumes of industrial workforces, in addition to offering corporate hospitality and VIP dining services.

URL: http://www.cpifinancial.net/news/post/14298/gulf-international-services-lines-up-170-million-islamic-facility

Qatari banks see good growth

Qatari banks performed well in 2011 and are projected to record double-digit growth in their net profits this year due to rise in domestic credit, according to a Kuwait investment bank.

“For 2012, we forecast a 20.4 per cent increase in the net profit of Qatari National Bank (QNB) while for Commercial Bank of Qatar growth is expected to be 19.2 per cent and Doha’s to be 12.6 per cent….for the two Islamic banks, growth is expected to be 14.5 per cent,” Global Investment House (GIH) said in a study.

The study said Qatari banks so far have enjoyed one the best asset qualities in the region, with the non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of banks covered by the report amounting to 1.3 per cent and provisioning coverage standing at 103.6 per cent.

“Strong government support and timely intervention by the state has meant asset quality has remained supreme, GIH said.

“As a result, provisioning has not had a big impact on bank results. And following the salary increase in September, the outlook for retail loans – a key driver of the increase in NPLS for the banking sector in the past – looks better with across the board improvements in retail asset quality.”

At the corporate end, despite NPL increases, credit quality deterioration was relatively contained, the report said.

It said this was a consequence of Government intervention in the real estate sector through a buy-out of real estate loans at the onset of the global financial crises.

As a result, the otherwise stretched property sector did not escalate to become a significant problem area for banks, it said.

The report noted that the capital adequacy of Qatari banks has remained consistently above 10 per cent over the last few years, and has become even stronger with Qatar Investment Authority’s (QIA) final capital injection in the local Qatari banks in 2011.

QIA injected QR1.6 billion in CBQ, QR737mn in Doha Bank and QR1.9bn in Qatar Islamic Bank.

Turning to credit, it said the government’s focus on developing the physical and social infrastructure will continue over the medium-term. “This is expected to spur loan growth and sustain it at high levels. Among the sectors, we expect Qatari banks’ proportion of loan books to the public sector to expand over the near term, after which we expect public sector loan growth to slow as the large hydrocarbon projects reach completion,” GIH said.

“Nevertheless, we still expect public-sector-related loan growth to remain at double digits in the medium term. Within the private sector, near-term growth has been forecast to be mainly in the real estate sector and eventually trickle down to the contracting sector as projects get underway.”

On the retail front, the report expected a slight pickup in consumer lending following wage increases for Qatari public sector employees, with Qataris still accounting for the bulk of banks’ retail business. “Overall, we assume 2012 net loan growth of 16.2 per cent for the sector,” it added.

http://www.emirates247.com/business/qatari-banks-see-good-growth-2012-03-15-1.448527

Qatar's Economic Outlook Bright in 2012

 

Qatar’s banking sector is in rude health, as evidenced by the Gulf emirate’s position as the regional leader in terms of bank lending growth. According to the Qatar Central Bank, overall bank credit rose to QR368.9bn as of end-November 2011, representing a 23.5% year-on-year increase.

The average rate of increase in the three months to end-November 2011 was an impressive 22.3%, while private sector credit growth in November reached QR227.85bn, up 22.3% year-on-year, and public sector credit rose by an astonishing 28.6% year-on-year to QR141bn. Particularly telling is the growing role of the national banking sector in funding public sector projects and other activities: according to Central Bank statistics, around 38% of overall bank credit is disbursed for these purposes.

Such activity is unlikely to dim in 2012. According to Dubai-based Rasmala Investment Bank, the Qatari banking sector is likely to grow at a rate of as much as 20% in 2012-14, with underlying returns on total capital of around the same level. The investment bank believes that the sector’s medium-term dynamics are solid, although it does warn that eventually there could be concerns regarding where capital will be deployed.

For now, however, the prospect of contracts being awarded for 2022 projects leads analysts to forecast broad-based growth for 2012. With tenders for World Cup 2022 projects nearing the award stage, the public sector is poised to begin disbursing funding and contracts, and is also likely to allow the private corporate sector to contribute more heavily towards loan growth.

According to Rasmala, the announcement in September 2011 that the government had raised public sector pay by 60%, and the salaries of defence personnel of officer rank by 120%, is likely to fuel retail sector growth, in turn providing headroom for future consumer credit expansion. These enormous rises have presumably been matched by banks in the Gulf state, as well as many other industries; banks will be paying their Qatari employees more, so costs in the sector will likely rise.

Nevertheless, while the oversupplied and over-priced property market had led to a dip in consumer lending, consumer lending portfolios are likely to continue their rebound in 2012.
Rasmala does warn that in 2012, a potential risk to banks in Qatar will be the new Islamic Banking regulations, which rocked the state’s financial sector when they were announced in January 2011.

The Central Bank ordered conventional banks to close their Islamic finance operations by end-2011, arguing that with the pending implementation of tailored Islamic banking regulations and capital adequacy regimes, commercial banks with both conventional and Islamic operations would struggle to follow the rules. The Islamic banking regulations, which were based on guidelines by the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board, an industry standards body, were formally introduced last year.

For the nation’s four Islamic banks — Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank, Masraf Al-Rayan and Barwa Bank – it’s very much business as usual; their conventional peers, however, are having to learn to cope with life after shariah-compliant finance.
At the Qatar Exchange, meanwhile, 2012 ended on a bittersweet note. The bourse broke back into positive territory, ending with a 1.1% gain for the year, and maintaining its position as the best performing market in the GCC and Arab region for the second consecutive year.

It was the only market in the Arab region with positive price return, and the exchange’s year-end market capitalization of more than QR457bn represented an increase of almost 1.6% from end-2010. In a year which saw the exchange extend its opening hours and implement a Delivery Versus Payment model to speed up settlement times, the bourse also saw the launch of its first new brokerages since 2006, and listed short-term T-bills.

However, it lost out on the big prize: along with the UAE, Qatar was denied a much-anticipated boost when index manager MSCI declined to upgrade the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) from ‘frontier’ to ’emerging market’ status.

According to MSCI the country’s strict foreign ownership limits, and the limited availability of shares to foreign investors, have made shares in large companies almost unobtainable for international investors.

“Large companies, such as Industries Qatar, have almost reached their foreign ownership limit and became quasi-uninvestable for foreign investors,” MSCI said in its report. “Under current conditions, the MSCI Qatar Index would not qualify for Emerging Markets on this criterion.”

The Qatari government will console itself with the knowledge that the Gulf’s landmark sovereign debt issue in 2012 belonged to its tri-tranche conventional Euro-bond in November. The US$5bn placement, which was broken into tenors of five, ten, and 30 years with yields of 3.12%, 4.5%, and 5.75%, respectively, was heavily oversubscribed and served to highlight Qatar’s attractiveness to investors.

The ratings agencies are on board – Qatar has an AA rating from S&P and Aa2 from Moody’s – and the bond, the country’s first since November 2009, should provide Qatar’s $10.3bn Barzan natural-gas field project, the most expensive energy project in the Gulf since 2006.
The Qatari government’s total infrastructure spending over the coming five years is estimated at US$150bn, and it’s this investment which will underpin much of the economic growth the country will enjoy over the period.

Just last month, energy minister Mohammed Al-Sada confirmed the country planned to more than double its annual petrochemical production capacity from 9.2 million tonnes now to 23 million tonnes by 2020, spending $25bn in the process. Already the world’s largest Liquefied Natural Gas exporter, Qatar has imposed a moratorium on further export development of its huge North Field until 2014; in the meantime, the state is pumping money into other projects such as a US$6.4bn petrochemicals complex at Ras Laffan industrial city, with Royal Dutch Shell.

While the race for World Cup 2022 is still a long way away for the world’s footballers, for the global investment community, not to mention the burgeoning Qatari business sector, the big kick-off is much closer.

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/131541/qatar-39-s-economic-outlook-bright-in-2012.html

Jakarta Becomes Magnet of Shari`ah Assets

Taking a share of the booming Islamic finance industry, Indonesia is becoming a magnet of Shari`ah-compliant assets from all around the globe.

“We are on the lookout for any good Indonesian acquisition, if the price is right,” Mohamed Azahari Kamil, the Kuala Lumpur-based chief executive of Asian Finance Bank Bhd, the Malaysian unit of Qatar Islamic Bank, told the Gulf Times on Thursday, February 9.

“We have to be quick as the Indonesian market is becoming more competitive.”

Several banks from the Middle East and Europe are seeking to open branches in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.

For instance, Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest, is mulling opening new branches in the country.

“The Indonesian market is certainly on our radar,” said Mudassir Amray, the bank’s head of wholesale banking in Kuala Lumpur.

“The size of the Muslim population, the country’s economic growth and investment-grade rating will help in attracting more diversified investors, particularly from the Middle East.”

Several Gulf banks as Qatar Islamic Bank, Kuwait Finance House and Standard Chartered Saadiq also have operations in the country.

Indonesia, the largest economy in South-east Asia, has been trying to develop its Islamic finance industry to catch up with neighboring Malaysia, the world’s biggest sukuk market.

Islamic finance in Indonesia has grown an average 38 percent annually over the past five years.

However, Islamic financial assets still account for less than 4 percent of total banking holdings in the country.

To help lure more Shari`ah-compliant assets, Bank Indonesia has proposed tax breaks to boost the Islamic finance industry in the country.

In 2010, the Indonesian government unveiled plans to issue billions of dollars of Islamic bonds (sukuk).

Sukuk, which conforms to Islam’s prohibition of usury, typically work as profit-sharing vehicles.

Firms that issue Sukuk make payments to investors using profits from the underlying business, instead of paying interest.

The money, however, can’t be invested in alcohol, gambling, tobacco, weapons or pork.

The sukuk market has reached $111.9 billion in the eight years to 2008, according to the International Islamic Financial Market.

Global sales of sukuk have reached $6.6bn in 2012, from $2bn a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Boom

Indonesian officials expect a boom in the Islamic finance industry in the country.

“We expect a Middle East bank to buy a big Islamic bank in Indonesia,” said Riawan Amin, chairman of the Indonesia Shari`ah Bank Association in Jakarta.

“This will change the face of Shari`ah-compliant banking in Indonesia.”

Dubai-based Standard Chartered Saadiq, an Islamic bank set up by the London-based lender in 2008, plans to add to the 11 branches offering Islamic services at PT Bank Permata, the Indonesian lender in which it owns a 44.5% stake.

“We have seen growth momentum in the Indonesia Islamic industry over the last two to three years,” said Wasim Saifi, the Singapore-based global head of Islamic and consumer banking.

“Along with capital, foreign banks can bring in expertise as Indonesia provides a very good opportunity looking at its population and growth.”

Starting almost three decades ago, the Islamic banking industry has made substantial growth and attracted the attention of investors and bankers across the world.

A long list of international institutions, including Citigroup, HSBC and Deutsche Bank, are going into the Islamic banking business.

Currently, there are nearly 300 Islamic banks and financial institutions worldwide whose assets are predicted to grow to $1 trillion by 2013.

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/455748-indonesia-becomes-magnet-of-shariah-assets.html

Qatar Islamic Drops as Earnings Miss Estimates, Dividend Cut: Doha Mover

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIBK) led declines in the nation’s banking stocks after profit missed analysts’ estimates and the Shariah-compliant lender reduced its dividend.

The shares of the Persian Gulf country’s biggest Islamic bank dropped 3.1 percent, the most since March 14, to 80.3 riyals, at the 1 p.m. close in Doha. Doha Bank QSC (DHBK) lost 2.9 percent after reporting earnings that matched estimates.

Qatar National Bank SAQ (QNBK), the country’s biggest lender, retreated as much as 0.5 percent. QIB and Doha Bank had the biggest percentage declines on the country’s benchmark stock measure, the QE Index, (DSM) which fell 1.1 percent.

QIB’s “net income missed consensus by a significant amount which is now being priced in,” said Ali Khan, London-based head of Middle East and North Africa equities sales at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. “The dividend has been reduced as well, which usually creates negative price action.”

The bank’s full-year net income was 1.37 billion riyals ($376 million) after 1.26 billion riyals a year earlier.

The mean estimate of eight analysts was for a profit of 1.46 billion riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The lender plans to pay a 4.5 riyal-cash dividend compared with 5 riyals a year earlier.Qatar’s QE Banking Index dropped 1.5 percent, bringing its drop for the year to 4.4 percent.

Doha Bank, the emirate’s third-largest bank by total loans, posted an 18 percent increase in 2011 profit to 1.24 billion riyals. The company may increase the size of a $500 million bond it plans to sell this quarter, said Chief Executive Officer Raghavan Seetharaman.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-19/qatar-islamic-bank-drops-as-earnings-miss-estimates-doha-mover.html

Banks drag Qatar to 3-mth low; UAE mkts end mixed

Financial stocks dragged down Qatar’s benchmark to its lowest close in nearly three months as investors sold-off on lower than expected cash dividends.

Shares in Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) dipped 3.1 percent to their lowest since Nov 23. The lender posted a 32.6 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday that missed analysts’ forecasts.The Gulf state’s second largest lender by market value proposed a 45 percent dividend distribution.

Doha Bank dropped 2.9 percent after its fourth-quarter profit jumped 49.4 percent but missed estimates. The board proposed a cash dividend of QR4.50 per share.

“Qatar has been losing ground because anticipations were high on dividend yield for the financial sector, which was proven to be the opposite,” said Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments.

“There is growth in the financial sector and hopefully the banking stocks will recover as people start looking forward to Q1 results which are still expected to be strong.”

Doha’s index ended 1.1 percent lower at 8,462 points, its lowest close since Oct. 25. The market extended losses to 3.6 percent so far this month, the worst performing Gulf market.Masraf Al Rayan fells 2.3 percent and Commercial Bank of Qatar declined 2.1 percent.

Elsewhere, UAE markets ended mixed with Dubai’s index halting two-days of gains, down 0.3 percent to 1,328 points.Dubai Financial Market, the only listed bourse in the Gulf, fell 3.4 percent. Bellwether Emaar Properties shed 0.4 percent and telecoms operator du dipped 1.4 percent.

The bourse hit an all-time low on Monday, extending a general downward trend since April 2011 as investors saw little improvement in performance of main representative sectors such as real estate and banking.

In Abu Dhabi, the index ticked up 0.2 percent to 2,337 points, up for a second session since Tuesday’s three-year low.Invest Bank climbed 6.3 percent, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank gained 1.4 percent and Dana Gas advanced 2.7 percent.

In Oman, Renaissance Services tumbled to a three-year low as foreign investors sold on concerns over low freight spot rates.Shares in Renaissance, which has marine industry subsidiaries, were down 4.2 percent, slumping to their lowest since April 2009.The Baltic freight index was at $926, its lowest since early 2009.

“The negative sentiment is simply over-whelming on Renaissance,” said Vickneswaran Gowribalan, a Muscat-based fund manager. “The Baltic index may signal low freight spot rates for Renaissance in its short-term fleet.”

These concerns have spurred foreigners to dump Renaissance shares, he added.Oman’s index declined 0.3 percent to 5,581 points, its lowest level since Dec. 11.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/banks-drag-qatar-3-mth-low-uae-mkts-end-mixed-441340.html

Qatar Islamic Bank to buy IBQ's Islamic assets

Dec 28 (Reuters) – Qatar Islamic Bank will acquire the sharia-compliant corporate portfolio of International Bank of Qatar(IBQ), the Islamic lender said on Wednesday.

The agreement will see IBQ’s Islamic corporate financing facilities and its deposit accounts transferred to Qatar’s largest sharia-compliant bank by assets, according to a statement.

No value for the acquisition was given.The move comes ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline, imposed by the Qatar central bank, for conventional banks to stop offering sharia-compliant banking services amid worries of overlaps between the two.

The ban, announced in February, calls for conventional institutions to close their Islamic banking arms – although they could continue to manage existing assets beyond the deadline.

In August, IBQ sold the retail portion of its Islamic banking operations to Barwa Bank, the first such sale of assets by a conventional bank since the edict.

IBQ is 30 percent owned by the National Bank of Kuwait , Kuwait’s biggest lender.QIB’s shares closed down 0.1 percent, before the announcement came.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/28/qib-ibq-idUSL6E7NS0XC20111228