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Islamic finance

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Late-year flurry could boost the sukuk market

Sukuk issuance fell in the first nine months of 2023 – but this year’s total could yet equal that of 2022, Fitch Ratings’ Islamic finance chief told AGBI.  Gulf governments and corporations are issuing sharia-compliant bonds to diversify their funding and ease their reliance on bank borrowing. Sukuk were developed as an alternative to conventional […]

Investors at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

Strong upsurge in UAE green sukuk ahead of Cop28

The UAE has witnessed a strong push for sukuk to finance green projects, according to data released by Fitch Ratings. Sukuk are sharia-compliant bonds that were developed as an alternative to conventional bonds, which are not considered permissible by many Muslims as they pay interest, and also may finance businesses involved in activities not allowed […]

Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company said the issuance had garnered interest from institutional investors

PIF’s Saudi Real Estate issues $933m sukuk

Sukuk worth SAR3.5 billion ($933.17 million) to expand funding in Saudi Arabia’s real estate sector has been issued by the Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company. The offering from the company, which is wholly owned by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, makes up the final two tranches under its SAR20 billion government-guaranteed sukuk programme.  The issuance […]

ADIB headquarters building ADIB’s earnings increased by almost half during the first nine months of 2023

ADIB expects profits to keep rising after stellar year

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s net profit margin will expand further, according to its group chief financial officer Mohamed Abdelbary. The sharia-compliant lender has enjoyed a bumper first nine months of 2023 in which its earnings increased by nearly half. “We’ve managed to capitalise on the increase in interest rates in the market because of the […]

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu said the country has serious deficits in infrastructure and agriculture

Nigeria in talks with Saudi bank for project funding

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu met top officials of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to negotiate a “multi-billion-dollar infrastructure finance facility” to help build ports and power plants, his spokesperson said on Tuesday. Tinubu held talks with IsDB vice president Mansur Muhtar late on Monday in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale said in a […]

Israeli gas exports Egypt

Israeli gas exports to Egypt resume in small volumes

Israeli natural gas exports to Egypt have resumed after a disruption last weekend but in small volumes, an official in Egypt’s petroleum ministry said on Thursday, without specifying the current flow. Three people with knowledge of the matter also told Reuters on Tuesday the flow had resumed, with two saying it had only been reduced, […]

Turkey's President Erdoğan on a recent visit to the UAE, during which the UAE government commited to investments totalling $51bn over three years

Stronger GCC relations a boon to Turkey’s Islamic banks

Improving relations between Turkey and the GCC could lead to more investment in the country’s Islamic banking system, which the government is keen to expand. The Turkish authorities have set a target for Islamic banks to reach 15 percent of total sector assets by 2025, up from 8.5 percent this year. Top-down support has been […]

Flag outside the Bank of Israel

S&P revises Israel’s outlook to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’

S&P Global revised Israel’s outlook to “negative” from “stable” on Tuesday, blaming risks that the Israel-Hamas war could spread more widely, with a more pronounced impact on the economy and security situation in the country. Last week another big credit ratings agency, Fitch, placed Israel’s sovereign debt rating of “A+” on rating watch negative and […]

PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said the kingdom has ample funds to foster AI's development

PIF’s sukuk may test investor appetite for Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is planning to issue its first dollar-denominated Islamic bonds, but the move could be a test of investor appetite as regional tensions rise over the conflict in Gaza.  Citi, HSBC, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered Bank have been nominated as global joint co-ordinators to organise a series of investor calls […]

There is a lack of regulation in the green bonds sector, with over a thousand different standards available around the world Video length: 05:10

Explained: Green bonds and how they work

The aggregate listing value of green bonds and sukuks on Nasdaq Dubai stands at around $24 billion, according to Christian Kunz, DIFC’s chief strategy, innovation and ventures officer. Regional conglomerates, as well as global companies, have recently used the exchange to raise funds to finance their green projects. Retail giant Majid Al Futtaim raised $500 […]

Expat employees in the UAE traditionally leave with a "golden goodbye" bonus. But this is starting to change

Expats in UAE get ready to leave ‘golden goodbye’ behind

The “golden goodbye” has long been a staple of UAE office life. Expat staff are handed a lump sum by their employer when they leave, based on a percentage of their salary and length of service.  But the practice is starting to change. More companies are looking to set up workplace pension and saving plans instead.  […]

Philippines minister of finance Benjamin Diokno

Philippines reveals plan to issue first sovereign sukuk

The Philippines government intends to issue its first sovereign sukuk before the end of the year, as it ramps up investment and trade opportunities in the Gulf. Discussions are ongoing about the sukuk’s potential structure, Rosalia de Leon, national treasurer, told reporters during the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing in Dubai on Tuesday. She said it […]

Emirates NBD sustainable finance

Emirates NBD to expand sustainable finance offering

Dubai’s largest lender Emirates NBD plans to increase its provision of sustainable finance, including directly issuing green debt and other instruments to support social and environmental aims.  The bank previously issued ESG-linked debt instruments via its investment banking arm, EmCap (Emirates NBD Capital), in 2019 for what it claims was the region’s first corporate green […]

The World Dubai

Bahrain bank exits investment on Dubai’s The World

A Bahrain bank has sold its investment in a manmade island on The World development off the coast of Dubai. Venture Capital Bank (VCBank), an Islamic wholesale bank licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, announced this week that it has sold a 900,000 square foot island plot on The World, which it owned along […]

Ahli United Bank is converting to Islamic finance

Islamic finance tops $3.3trn but growth challenges remain

Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest player in Islamic finance and the appetite for it in the kingdom is only growing. It has $830 billion of assets out of a global market estimated to be worth $3.3 trillion, according to Ayman al Sayari, the governor of the Saudi Central Bank. Just last week, when Saudi […]

Emirates NBD's board has proposed a dividend of 120 fils per share

Six UAE banks allocate $52bn for renewable projects

A total of AED190 billion ($51 billion) was allocated by six UAE banks for the financing of renewable energy, waste-to-energy and green technology projects in the years leading up to 2022. The banks are First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, Mashreq and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the UAE […]

Aurum sukuk

First Group parent signs standstill deal on sukuk

Aurum, parent company of Dubai developer The First Group, has signed an interim standstill agreement with an “ad-hoc” group of creditors while discussions continue on restructuring its Islamic bonds, or sukuk, that are due to mature next year. Aurum is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). It received the approval of holders of its […]

Islamic assets in Saudi Arabia exceed $827bn says Sama

Saudi Arabia’s total Islamic assets exceed SAR3.1 trillion ($826.58 billion), said Ayman Al Sayari, governor of the Saudi Central Bank (Sama). “Saudi Arabia has a deep-rooted and historical relationship with Islamic finance. The Islamic banking sector alone accounts for 33 percent of the global Islamic bank assets,” Al Sayari said at the Islamic Financial Services […]

ESG sukuk investors are funding clean energy projects such as wind farms

Cop28 tipped to feed appetite for green sukuk

The Cop28 climate conference in the UAE is expected to boost interest in green sukuk as the market gathers momentum in the GCC, Malaysia and Turkey. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) sukuk – sharia-compliant instruments used to fund renewable energy and other green projects – are set to be a central issuance theme for the remainder […]

Saudi sukuk

Saudi Arabia issues $9.6bn sukuk

Saudi Arabia has issued new local currency sukuk worth SAR35.9 billion ($9.57 billion) after completing the early purchase of some of its SAR35.7 billion existing sukuk, the National Debt Management Center (NDMC) said. The sukuk redeemed early were set to mature in 2024, 2025 and 2026, state-run SPA reported, citing NDMC.  The new issues were […]