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Islamic Finance News: Islamic finance expanding its footprint in GCC

  • Oman: Sukuk (Islamic bonds) are helping drive growth in Oman’s Islamic banking sector, with sharia-compliant lenders gaining ground, according to a new report published by Oxford Business Group (OBG). The growth of Islamic banking is far outstripping that of the conventional banking segment with Islamic banking assets up more than 62 percent year-on-year at the end of March, according to a report issued by the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) in mid-May.
  •  DUBAI: Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of global trade enabler DP World, rang the market-opening bell today to celebrate the listing on Nasdaq Dubai of US$1.2 billion dollars Sukuk. The listing by DP World reinforces Dubai’s status as the global leader for Islamic bond listings, with a total nominal value of US$44.56 billion. more
  • Egypt: An Egyptian court suspended on Sunday the implementation of a central bank decree to limit the terms of bank chief executives to nine years, according to the lawyer who appealed the decision. Egypt’s central bank governor Tarek Amer set a 9-year term limit for all bank CEOs which would have forced eight of the country’s banking chiefs out of their jobs.
  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s market regulator raised the commission on trades on the kingdom’s Tadawul stock exchange, which is seeking to attract foreign investors and sell state assets. As well as raising the commission from 12 basis points to 15.5 basis points per transaction, Saudi’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) said on Thursday it had eliminated the fixed commission on equity transactions equal to or less than 10,000 riyals ($2,668). more
  • Morocco: Morocco’s Central Bank said on Thursday it would start approving Islamic banks this year with the aim of allowing business to begin in early 2017. The central bank said it had received seven requests to open Islamic banks and three to open windows selling Islamic products. Two Gulf banks want to establish fully owned subsidiaries while four others are partnering with local banks, an official said.
  • Malaysia: A unit of Malaysian mobile phone network operator Maxis Bhd is planning to raise as much as 10 billion ringgit ($2.49 billion) through Islamic bonds to finance asset purchases and capital expenditure. Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd said in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday the 30-year unrated Sukuk Murabaha programme was arranged by CIMB Investment Bank Bhd while the shariah law advisor was CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd.