RAM Places Lekas’ Bonds On Rating Watch, With Negative Outlook

RM785 million (rated at AA3), Junior Sukuk Istina’ of up to RM633 million (rated at A1), RM240 million Redeemable Convertible Unsecured Loan Stocks Programme (rated at B3) and RM50 million Redeemable Unsecured Loan Stocks (rated at B3) on rating watch with a negative outlook.

 The rating watch is premised on the cessation of construction works on the Kajang-Seremban Highway in the Taman Bukit Margosa area, and potentially lower traffic plying the highway as a result of the delay in completion of the Taman Bukit Margosa area, RAM said in a statement on 30th of Dec, 2009.

 On 12th of Nov, 2009, LEKAS was directed to stop construction works of the highway in the Taman Bukit Margosa area, where the Seremban High Court allowed the application of an injunction order to stop work by residents of Taman Bukit Margosa against LEKAS and 11 others.

 On Dec 10, 2009, the hearing for the defendants’ application to strike out the civil suit which includes compensation claims of RM112 million by the plaintiffs was deferred to March 1, 2010.

 LEKAS has thus been unable to resume construction of the highway in the Taman Bukit Margosa area.

 In the meantime, LEKAS is in the midst of applying for a stay on the injunction order while the next hearing date remains to be fixed.

 “We highlight that there will be downward rating pressure if LEKAS is unable to complete and open the highway to the public by mid-June 2010, which will result in loss of tolling revenue, or if the company is found to be liable for compensation to the plaintiffs,” RAM said.

The rating agency said it will continue to monitor the traffic volume of the highway.

 “We have highlighted that it is imperative for the traffic volume to reach 65,000 average daily traffic during the first full year of operations, with long-haul commuters who travel from Seremban to Kuala Lumpur city or vice versa making up at least 50 per cent of the total traffic volume,” it said.

 “There will be downward rating pressure if the traffic volume build-up is slower than expected,” it added.

source : bernama

Malcolm Wall Morris joins Sharia Capital board

Islamic financial services provider Shariah Capital has appointed commodity and derivatives expert Malcolm Wall Morris, 38, as a non-executive director.

He replaces David Rutledge, who has stepped down from the board from 29th of Dec, 2009.

Wall Morris, formerly CEO of DGCX, the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange, has also replaced Rutledge as CEO of the Dubai Multi Commodities Center. Rutledge recently retired after six years at the DMCC.

Shariah Capital is a U.S.-based company that creates and customizes Shariah compliant financial products and platforms and provides selective Shariah consulting and advisory services primarily to global financial institutions and investment firms with product initiatives directed to Islamic investors.

source : ibtimes

Islamic Emirates and Sudan Bank gets approval

Sudan’s central bank has given its approval for the fully Islamic US$200 million Emirates and Sudan Bank to be set up in Khartoum, the country’s capital; it was announced on Dec 28th, 2009.
 

The new bank, which is backed by a number of leading Islamic financial institutions, is expected to begin operations in January 2010 and plans to quickly expand out of its Khartoum headquarters and create a network of branches throughout the country. All its operations, services and products will be fully Shariah compliant.

The crucial backing of Sudan Bank, the central bank, has opened the door to the full establishment of Emirates and Sudan Bank with a declared capital of $200 million and paid capital of $100 million. Dr. Mohammed Khalfan Bin Kharbash, UAE Finance and Industry minister and chairman of the founders’ committee of Emirates and Sudan Bank, said: “Our aim in setting up this bank is to support the economic development of Sudan.” Dr Kharbash, who is also Chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), added: “The creation of the new bank draws tighter the historically close ties between Sudan and the UAE, a great supporter of economic and trade cooperation between Arab countries. He added: “UAE investors reacted enthusiastically to the opportunity to set up the bank.

“Sudan’s economic indicators are generally positive and forecasts for gross domestic product, balance of payment, balance of trade, exchange rates, and foreign investments suggest that the country is poised for an economic upswing, particularly after the latest developments to do with the peace treaty.

“It is crucial to the country’s further progress that it has solidly established banks and financial institutions with the resources and facilities to offer a service that can facilitate international transactions.” Dr. Kharbash confirmed the bank would soon begin to offer a full range of Shariah-compliant services and products that meet the needs and requirements of all sections of the Sudanese community, both business and retail.
 
He added that the bank would perform a crucial role in inter-bank and regional financial transactions and investment. A range of retail and corporate banking services will be offered and Emirates and Sudan Bank has confirmed it will invest in developing local staff to service its planned branch network. Sudan has become a magnet for investors, businesses and financiers since the signing of a peace treaty between the north and south of the country. It is believed to have large reserves of oil.

source : ITP

Opennings : Head of Asset Management

Jobs in Islamic finance industry

This bank is a top 5 institution in Saudi Arabia with a very good network and client list.  They have about $1bn in funds under management and need to hire someone who knows the Saudi market and also can speak Arabic.  This is an excellent opportunity to join a firm that is growing and building a very strong brand name in the GCC region.

http://jobs.efinancialcareers.com/job-4000000000586348.htm/keywordAny=islamic%20banks/

Islamic Banking and Finance Education – Sri Lanka

First Global Knowledge Centre (FGKC), the pioneer in Islamic Banking and Finance education in Sri Lanka has introduced another innovative programme of study in this rapidly expanding field.

Branded as iBanker, this is a unique diploma level course which covers not only Islamic Banking and Finance but also conventional banking, risk management, and investments.

The emerging industry of Islamic Finance needs qualified people who can contribute positively towards the success of the field. But unfortunately statistics show there is an acute shortage of such a knowledgeable workforce at present. One objective of the introduction of this course by FGKC is to assist the industry by filling this void. For those who wish to pursue higher studies in Islamic Banking or Finance the course will be a stepping stone; which is another objective of the course designers.

Another feature of this course is that it covers the syllabus of the popular world recognized Islamic Finance Qualification exam (IFQ) of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, UK. Therefore, this can be considered as a two-in-one programme which allows a student to get a recognized diploma and also to sit the IFQ (UK) exam.

FGKC is the only accredited training provider in Sri Lanka for the prestigious Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), UK which offers the Islamic Finance Qualifications (IFQ). It is also accredited to offer IFQ in the Maldives, Qatar, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (UK) is the largest and most widely respected professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry. Formed as the “Securities Institute” in 1992 by the members of the London Stock Exchange, the Institute got charter status in November 2009.

For those who are interested in obtaining professional membership of an internationally recognized body in the shortest possible time, IFQ is the ideal route. The IFQ course at FGKC is of 3 months’ duration and at its conclusion, one can sit the exam which is conducted in collaboration with the British Council, Colombo.

The faculty of First Global comprises of practising and highly qualified experts and academics with a flair for teaching. The students immensely benefit by the lecturers’ industry exposure as they gain an insight into the real life applications of theory learnt.

The facilities of the institution include comfortable AC classrooms, a comprehensive library, IT facilities with access to numerous valuable E-Materials related to Islamic banking, finance and related subjects.
Islamic Banking Finance is an ideal discipline for those who are interested in pursuing a career in a dynamic and vibrant environment.

A world of opportunities awaits those who have the vigour and passion to take up the challenge.
The financial and other career benefits that can accrue from one’s involvement in the industry are tremendous.

source : muslimguardian.com

Azerbaijan to sign agreements worth $200m with Islamic Development Bank

 
Azerbaijan is preparing a set of agreements to be signed at the 35th annual meeting of the governors of the Board of the Islamic Development Bank.

The agreements on two projects are estimated to be worth $200 million, according to a government source.

“We are also working on a project with the Saudi Development Fund, which may be signed during the annual IDB meeting as well,” the source said.

The annual meeting of the Islamic Development Bank will take place on 23-24 June 2010 in the Gulustan Palace in Baku.
A specialist mission of the bank is to visit Baku this week to work on preparations for the meeting.

The chairmanship of the IDB Board of Governors will be held by Azerbaijan for the first time in 2010.
Since Azerbaijan entered the IDB Group in 1992, the bank has given the country financial support of $280 million.

source : AZ news