Monday, August 3, 2015

Noripah teaching Islamic finance at Drake University

By Habhajan Singh

Datuk Noripah Kamso, who played a key role in shaping the asset management business at CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, including setting up its Islamic asset management business, is now a regular feature at the US-based Drake University.

Since 2013, Noripah has been engaged by the Iowa university for Islamic finance-related programmes.

At the moment, Noripah is the global practitioner in resi- dence at the university’s Principal Financial Group Centre for Global Citizenship, where she handles one semester on the Islamic capital markets for an executive MBA programme. She also handles some under- graduate programmes.

“The students are brilliant. We cannot just do a smoke and mirrors or merely provide them some motherhood statements. They challenge you,” she tells The Malaysian Reserve when met at the Securities Commission Aidilfitri open house last Friday.

CAPTION: Noripah (centre) holding her book with Larry Zimpleman (right), the chairman of the PFG and his wife. Zimpleman wrote a foreword in the book authored by Noripah.

The Principal Financial Group Centre for Global Citizenship educates students to function effectively in differ- ent cultural contexts, and to see their own culture from the perspective of others, according to information on its website.

In 2011, the Principal Financial Group (PFG) provided a gift of US$2.5 million (RM9.55 million) in support of the centre, hence the addition of the corpo- ration’s name to the centre.

In Malaysia, PFG made its presence with its tie-up with the CIMB Group on the asset management front.

Aside from teaching, Noripah said she is also involved in mentoring students and pro- viding Islamic finance knowl- edge to the local community of Des Moines, the capital and most populous city in the US state of Iowa.

Noripah was the CEO of CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd from 2008 to 2012.
During this period, she had established a global platform for the firm to extend its reach to the UK, Europe, Gulf Coop- eration Council, Asia, the US and Australia, according to information on her LinkedIn profile.

Prior, she was the CEO of CIMB-Principal Asset Man- agement Bhd from 2004 to 2008.

She is the author of “Investing in Islamic Funds — A Practitioner’s Perspective” published by Wiley & Sons in 2013.

[This article first appea in The Malaysian Reserve on 27 July 2015]

Tunisian firms prepare to issue Islamic bonds - Reuters

Tunisian firms are preparing to issue Islamic bonds as the government finalises rules covering the sector, creating a new funding option for companies in an economy buffeted by labour unrest and militant attacks, reports Reuters dated 3 Aug 2015.

Islamic finance - which bars interest payments in accordance with Islamic, or sharia, law - accounts for just 2.5 percent of Tunisia's financial sector and was a low priority under autocratic leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, who was toppled in 2011.

But successor governments have been seeking to develop the industry, partly as a way to gain access to pools of sharia-compliant capital in the wealthy Gulf.

With the encouragement of regulators, the country's first Islamic lender Banque Zitouna - founded in 2009 by Ben Ali's son-in-law - plans to open 100 branches over the next five years and El Wifack Leasing aims to become the country's third full-fledged Islamic bank by August.

The government is preparing to issue its first sovereign sukuk - Sharia-compliant bonds - this year and has worked out rules for the sector, Amel Azzouz, Tunisia's secretary of state in charge of international cooperation, said.

"We are now finalising an integrated legal framework dedicated solely to Islamic finance, to serve as a regulating mechanism," Azzouz said during the annual meeting of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank Group, according to a transcript.

The IDB is helping to establish an Islamic microfinance institution in Tunisia, she said.

Mohamed Frad, board member at Tunis-based Best Lease, a commercial leasing firm, said finance ministry rules covering issuance of corporate sukuk were expected within months.

Best Lease aims to raise up to 30 million dinars ($15.6 million) to finance its growth, with Banque Zitouna and El Wifack Leasing also considering sukuk issues, said Frad, also general manager of United Gulf Financial Services North Africa, a Tunisian company which provides corporate finance services.

"A law exists but we need the practical rules. When this is done then these financial institutions will issue sukuk," said Frad, adding aggregate issuance of Tunisian corporate sukuk could initially reach 100-150 million Tunisian dinars ($51-$76 million).

"Before the end of the year, Zitouna and Best Lease will be able to issue."

Australia's Waratah Resources to launch Islamic commodities venture

Sydney-based Waratah Resources Limited plans to launch an Islamic commodities trading business as it shifts focus from Asian markets to the Middle East, the company said in a statement.

The move adds to a growing number of firms keen to tap into an Islamic finance market that is developing beyond its traditional homes in the Middle East and southeast Asia, reports Reuters (15 April 2015).



Following the announcement on 31 March 2015, Waratah Resources Limited (ASX:WGO) (“Waratah” or “the Company”), is pleased to announce that it has signeda Joint Venture Agreement with Amanie Holdings Ltd (“Amanie”), a global Shariah advisory and investment group, for the purpose of funding its commodity trading business.

Under the terms of the Joint Venture Waratah and Amanie will form an incorporated Joint Venture vehicle to be known as Ausmal Synergy Limited, which will be domiciled in Labuan, Malaysia, to develop and integrate a commodities trading business. The parties will be equal shareholders in the new joint venture company and will each hold 50% of the issued shares in the new company.
Waratah and Amanie look forward to a long, enduring and mutually beneficial relationship together as they create a global commodity trading business.

Ben Kirkpatrick, Executive Chairman Waratah Resources commented:

“The Waratah team has worked very hard to get to this stage and I am pleased that we have been able to sign the Joint Venture Agreement with Amanie so soon after entering into the non‐binding letter of intent.
I look forward to working with Amanie and feel that Amanie’s in‐depth knowledge, experience and business network will be extremely beneficial as we continue to grow our global commodity trading business.
Our next goal is to secure funding arrangements with partners who have been introduced by our Shariah partners over the past few months, to provide the required capital for our Joint Venture vehicle, Ausmal Synergy Limited.”


Waratah Resources Limited is an ASX Listed Company (ASX: WGO) that generates value for its shareholders by identifying and acquiring projects that have significant discovery and development potential. Waratah has two separate though synergized divisions: a commodities trading division which sources, manages and trades commodities from Indonesia to large scale end users throughout Asia, with a new focus on the Middle East; and a resource projects group which is discovering resources in iron ore, copper, gold and coal with a focus on Indonesia and Gabon in West Africa.


Founded by Datuk Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, Amanie Holdings consists of companies that are building its capacity to accelerate the growth of Islamic finance industry globally. With a wide range of associated companies under its wing, Amanie is well placed to take Islamic finance to the next level. Currently the team from Amanie comprises of a number of professionals from diverse background (Shariah, investment banking, legal, economics, capital market, funds management) across offices in Melbourne, Dubai, Luxembourg, Kuala Lumpur, Astana, Cairo, Dublin, Muscat, Seoul, Tunis and Casablanca that focuses on Shariah structuring , corporate and capital advisory. Amanie’s uniqueness is its independence and relationship‐driven business focus. Amanie currently serves institutional, corporate and financial institutional clients.


In September, Goldman Sachs raised $500 million in a debut sale of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, with proceeds of the deal to be used in its commodities business of J. Aron & Co.

Islamic commodity trading plays an important role in the sector as a source of short term funds for Islamic banks, which cannot use conventional interbank money markets because of Islam's ban on interest.

They have mainly used commodities from the London Metal Exchange to structure such short-term funding deals, typically through commodity murabaha contracts, a common sharia-compliant financing structure.

Islamic financing has struggled to get a foothold in Australia due in part to tax issues. Structures such as sukuk can attract double or even triple tax charges because they require multiple transfers of title of the underlying asset.



Waratah Resources Limited (ASX:WGO)(“Waratah” or “the Company”), announces that it has entered into a non‐binding letter of intent with Amanie Holdings (“Amanie”), a Global Shariah, boutique advisory house, to form a Joint Venture for the purpose of funding its commodity trading business.

Waratah is developing its presence in the commodity space and views the long term potential with Amanie very positively. The intention is for Amanie to assist in the provision of the necessary finance and other commercial relationships that will allow Waratah to rapidly expand its trading business.

Amanie is one of the global leaders in Shariah advisory and consultancy services, setting the standards in terms of performance, transparency and long term commitment to its business and clients.
Negotiations are underway with Shariah compliant institutions and foreign banks for the future funding of commodity transactions, undertaken by the Waratah and Amanie Joint Venture.

The parties intend to diligently work together to execute and complete a binding Joint Venture agreement that will contain, among other things, terms covering the following issues:

 Establishment of the Joint Venture vehicle;
 Voting rights in respect of the Joint Venture;
 Funding of the Joint Venture;
 The respective rights of the parties ‐ it is currently expected that each party will own 50% of the Joint Venture;
 Dispute resolution provisions; and
 Other terms normally associated with such agreements.

The parties anticipate that the Joint Venture documents will be agreed as soon as possible.

Waratah and Amanie look forward to a long, enduring and mutually beneficial relationship together as they create a global commodity trading business.

Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, Executive Chairman of Amanie Holdings commented:

“The Joint Venture is indeed a very exciting prospect for us at Amanie as it expands the reach of the Amanie Group into a business segment that we have always had a very high regard for and to do it with a reputable partner such as Waratah definitely adds more credence to this venture going forward”.

Ben Kirkpatrick, Executive Chairman Waratah Resources commented:

“We are pleased to update the market on this letter of intent and Joint Venture. We look forward to an enduring relationship with our Amanie colleagues, as together we build a truly global commodity trading house. The Board of Waratah has a diverse range of international business experience and coupled with Dr Daud and his exemplary team and their commercial acumen we have a most exciting future together”.

For further details or enquiries please contact:
Ben Kirkpatrick
Executive Chairman
Waratah Resources Ltd
T: (+61) 9232 6383

Halimah Hussain/Megan Ray
T: (+44) 207 138 3204
E: /