Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Goldman Follows HSBC, GE to Tap Muslim Wealth

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is aiming to follow HSBC Holdings Plc and General Electric Co. to the Islamic bond market as the investment bank seeks to diversify sources of funding, reports Bloomberg (Oct 24, 2011).

Global sales of sukuk, or Islamic bonds, have jumped 48 percent so far this year to $18.8 billion from $12.7 billion in the year-earlier period, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Goldman Sachs’ $2 billion Islamic bond program was approved for listing on the Irish Stock Exchange by the Central Bank of Ireland last week.

"Since you are a new name in the market, everybody is interested, and as a debut issuer your chances of getting the deal done is higher than in currently stressed European or U.S. bond markets," Sergey Dergachev, who helps manage $8.5 billion of emerging-market debt at Union Investment Privatfonds in Frankfurt, said in an e-mailed response to the wire service.

HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. in May sold $500 million of sukuk, or notes that comply with Islam’s ban on interest, while GE Capital Corp., a unit of General Electric Co., issued $500 million of Islamic bonds in 2009. Malaysia, the world’s largest market for Islamic bonds, and the Middle East are the main centers of the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry, it added.

CIMB Niaga plans to grow Islamic lending

PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk plans to grow its Islamic lending, micro-financing and rahn service and will continue to retain its position as the fifth largest bank in terms of third party deposits ans assets in the country, its president director Arwin Rasyid said in a press release (Oct 24, 2011).

"CIMB Niaga will continue to maintain a sound balance in all aspects to the business – corporate, commercial, retail and Islamic banking. We will invest in our infrastructure to bring quality banking solutions to our customers and stakeholders," he added.

The bank posted a 33% year-on-year in net profit to Rp2.38 trillion or Rp95.1 per share for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2011 on the back of strong double digit loan growth to the commercial, corporate and retail market in Indonesia.

Network expansion has been aiding the growth in its business as it channel network has grown to 859 as at the end of September from 711 a year ago. Its Islamic banking business has grown to 23 branches from 21 last year as has its ATM network that stands at 1,645 machines as at the end of September. - The Malaysian Reserve (Oct 25, 2011)

5th Islamic Financial Intelligence Summit in KL

Noor Islamic Bank CEO Hussain Al-Qemzi is slated to be one of the speakers at the one-day fifth annual Islamic Financial Intelligence Summit in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 19. He will speak on 'Cross Border Opportunities in Asia: The Role of the Regulator'.

Participate at the function will get a dig into The Banker magazine's Top 500 Islamic Financial Institutions Report, now running into its fourth year.

The session on 'Harnessing the potential of Islamic funds' will feature three panelists: Amundi Islamic Malaysia MD Mohamad Damshal Awang Damit, Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management MD Gerald Ambrose and Islamic Wealth & Asset Management private consultant John Sandwick.

The event is organised by The Banker Magazine and Financial Times, and hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).