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Qatar eyes debut Islamic bond issue

Qatar eyes debut Islamic bond issue

Qatar is planning to issue its first international Islamic bond, or sukuk, IFR Markets, a unit of Thomson Reuters reported on Wednesday.

May 9, 2012 4:44 by

Qatar has sent a request for proposals to banks and is close to mandating arrangers, IFR said, citing sources it did not identify. The sukuk is expected some time in the second quarter, before the summer break, the sources said.

The world’s biggest natural gas exporter last tapped global debt markets with a $5 billion conventional multi-tranche bond in November, capitalising on investor appetite for safe havens amid market uncertainty. (Reporting by Rachna Uppal; Editing by Amran Abocar)

Bahrain’s Al Baraka posts 7 percent  Q1 profit rise
Bahrain-based Islamic lender Al Baraka Banking Group posted a 7 percent increase in first-quarter net income, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

The bank, which has operations in 15 countries including Turkey, Syria and Egypt, made a profit of $57.4 million for the first-quarter, compared with $53.5 million in the first three months of 2011.

The increase in profit came despite continuing political and economic upheaval in a number of the markets in which the group operated, as well as the impact of debt issues in the euro zone, Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, chairman of Al Baraka, said.

Total assets at the end of March stood at $17.5 billion, up 1.7 percent from the $17.2 billion figure at the end of 2011 and 7.4 percent higher than the $16.3 billion at the same point last year.

Deposits at the bank were worth $15 billion at the end of Q1, up 2 percent from $14.7 billion at the end of last year and 7.9 percent higher than the $13.9 billion at March 31 2011.

The bank is aiming to open 50 branches across its network in the next three years to take the total number to over 500, the statement added.

Al Baraka is aiming for a 15 percent growth in net profit in 2012, as well as acquiring a 75-percent stake in an unlisted Indonesian bank this year, Adnan Ahmed Yousif, its chief executive, told Reuters in an interview in March. (Reporting by Mirna Sleiman,; Writing by David French; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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