Thursday, May 10, 2007

KL branch of the ITFC, takaful to grow, new sukuk

The Malaysian government will open a branch of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) in Kuala Lumpur. The ITFC is a part of the Islamic Development Bank Group. IsDB members own 51% of the ITFC, while Organization of the Islamic Conference member states own the remaining shares.

Takaful expected to expand into the U.S. and Europe, predicts Ashraf Bseisu, the general manager of Solidarity, a Bahrain-based takaful company.

Kuwait-based International Investment Group announced it will sell 5-year convertible sukuk to finance "future expansion plans". No other details were given.

Pakistan state-run Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA) will issue Rp. 8 billion or more in 10-year sukuk next month to fund projects. The sukuk will "be priced at 25 basis points below the six-month KIBOR (Karachi Interbank Offered Rate) per annum". Part of the reason the sukuk will be issued is to provide investments for Islamic banks and takaful companies to meet their statutory liquidity reserves (SLR) using Shari'ah-compliant investments, which have been in short supply.

Two U.K. Islamic financial institutions are involved in a commercial real estate sale. The two IFIs are European Islamic Investment Bank and the ABC International Bank. It is one of the first Shari'ah-compliant real estate transactions involving two Islamic financial institutions both within in the U.K.

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