Friday, February 09, 2007

New sukuk, Retakaful, Brunei Islamic banking, RHB share price up as bidding war continues, U.K. Shari'ah-compliant home finance

French firm expands into retakaful

The Asia-Pacific division of French reinsurance company SCOR will apply to the Labuan Offshore Financial Services Authority (LOFSA) for a license to offer retakaful (Islamic reinsurance). The takaful markets are experiencing high growth, but there has been very little retakaful available. Many takaful firms are forced out of necessity to use conventional reinsurance so the decision by SCOR Asia-Pacific to expand into retakaful will cheer up firms offering takaful concerned about the reputational effect of using conventional reinsuarance.

Brunei sees increased competition in banking

The effect of rapid growth of Islamic banking in Brunei is lower margins for both conventional and Islamic banks, according to an article in BruDirect. However, some of the reduction of margins cannot be attributable to Islamic banking alone, particularly since all banks compete for a share of a very small market. Sources at Baiduri Bank, a conventional bank in Brunei, described how "we have a situation where too many banks are fiercely competing for a share of the small market. It is more the excessive number of banks rather than the development of Islamic banking that exerts pressure on pricing and operations."

MMC Corp subsidiary to issue $2.26 billion in sukuk

According to the Wall Street Journal (sub. rqd.), Nucleus Avenue (Malaysia) Bhd., a subsidiary of MMC Corp, plans to issue RM7.9 billion (US$2.26 billion) in sukuk this year.

New Shari'ah-compliant home finance product

Alburaq, a U.K. subsidiary of ABC International Bank, will expand its home finance products.

RHB share price rises

As the bidding war continues between Kuwait Finance House and EON Capital, the parent company of EON Bank, for the 32% stake in RHB currently held by Utama Banking Group Bhd, the share price of Rashid Hussain Bhd (RHB) closed at RM 1.73 per share, while RHB Capital share prices rose 6 percent to RM4.60 per share, the highest level since June 13, 2000

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