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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Islamic finance & management events in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Date: 19-20 May 2015
Event: KL International Conference on Islamic Wealth Management & Financial Planning
Event site:

Date: 9-10 June 2015
Event: KL International Conference on Shariah & Legal Aspects of Islamic Finance 2015
Event site:

Date: 18-19 August 2015
Event: KL International Conference on Islamic Finance
Event site:

To register or reserve a seat online, please go to:

Organizer: Alfalah Consulting

Malaysia's Successful Sukuk Issuance Reflects Its Position As Leading Islamic Finance Hub

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 (Bernama) -- The success of Malaysia's US$1.5 billion sukuk issuance on Wednesday not only boosted investor sentiment but also reflects the country's position as the world's leading Islamic financial hub.

Affin Hwang Investment Bank Vice-President/Head of Retail Research Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan said the bond was sold at a very reasonable rate and was well absorbed by global investors after the last issuance in 2011.

"Despite the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) concerns, weakening ringgit and other uncertainties, we were still able to sell the sukuk with a very good yield," he told Bernama today.

The fact that the sukuk was able to attract global investors, particularly from the Middle East has suggested that the government's economic fundamentals remained healthy despite the ringgit trading at around 3.65 against the greenback.

On a possible downgrade, Nazri said it was not a consensus among the three main rating agencies, namely, Moody's Investors Service, S&P Ratings and Fitch Ratings.

Despite saying that Fitch was entitled to its own opinion on a possible downgrade, Nazri hoped it would not materialise as palm oil offtake were improving, the ringgit was strengthening and the government's tax restructuring plan was expected to boost the export sector.

The success of Malaysia's sukuk issuance, after a lapse of almost four years, has drawn positive response from international investors who have reaffirmed their confidence in the country's long-term economic fundamentals.

(Bernama.Com / 17 April 2015)
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur:
Islamic Investment Malaysia:

Babacan promotes Islamic finance in US

Economic risks that arose after the crisis in 2008 were better managed under Islamic finance models when compared to other schemes, as they offered additional financial instruments with shared risks and less uncertainty, Deputy Prime MinisterAli Babacan said in Washington on Friday.
Speaking on the sidelines of annual spring meetings held jointly by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, Babacan stressed that Islamic finance models are compatible with other financial models used across the world.
Highlighting that Turkey, as the rotating chair of the G20 group, appreciates the virtues of the Islamic finance models, Babacan also pointed to the inclusiveness of these models, referring to the millions of people in Muslim countries who are sensitive to Islamic rules but who avoid entering the global financial system due to a lack of options.
Previewing the G-20 discussions, Babacan told reporters on Thursday that the G-20 countries needed to do more to carry out commitments they made last year to jumpstart growth by investing in infrastructure projects and removing barriers to trade. "Growth is there, but it is weak ... and uneven," he said.
The finance ministers will produce a plan of action to be discussed by US President Barack Obama and other G-20 leaders at a scheduled summit in Turkey in November, as they attempt to boost global economic output by more than $2 trillion over the next five years. These finance officials from the world's major economies are searching for a mix of policies that will bolster a still-weak global recovery, nearly six years after a recession, while confronting a range of new threats from a soaring US dollar to a big drop in oil prices. The financial officials from the group of 20 nations also expressed concerns regarding potential market instability once the US Federal Reserve starts increasing a key interest rate which has been at a record low, near zero, since late 2008.
The discussions were being held among finance ministers and central bank presidents representing traditional economic powers such as the United States, Japan and Germany, as well as emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen represented the United States at the meetings, which began with a dinner on Thursday night and concluded with a news conference on Friday afternoon. Ali Babacan will sum up the group's discussions.
The G-20 talks came ahead of the spring meetings of the 188-nation IMF and its sister lending organization, the World Bank.
In addition to concerns about boosting global growth, the meetings were also to address issues including a plea for more aid to fight the Ebola outbreak in the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The presidents of those three nations were scheduled to meet with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday.
The meetings took place when much of the global economy remains stuck in a prolonged period of sluggish growth following the 2008 financial crisis and a recession that was the worst in seven decades. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told reporters on Thursday: "The good news is that the global recovery continues. The not-so-good news is that growth remains moderate and uneven." She said the goal of this week's talks was to produce a revamped plan of action that will "prevent this new mediocre [growth] from becoming the new reality.”
The IMF's latest economic forecast predicted only modest overall growth and downgraded the prospects for some nations, including the United States, forecasting US growth of just 3.1 percent this year, a half-point lower than its January estimate. The reason: IMF economists believe the sharp rise in the value of the dollar will hurt American companies trying to export goods overseas. Growth prospects in oil-exporting nations are being hurt by the big drop in oil prices over the past year, but those declines are expected to boost prospects in many oil-importing countries.
This week the IMF also raised new concerns that severe volatility in financial markets could be triggered if the Federal Reserve moves, as is widely expected, to start raising interest rates later this year. If the Fed's rate hikes after a prolonged period of ultra-low rates, causing investors to rush for the exits, it could cause stock prices to tumble and interest rates to rise sharply.
(Todays Zaman / 17 April 2015)
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur:
Islamic Investment Malaysia:

Friday, 17 April 2015

Malaysia successfully prices US$1.5bil global sukuk

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has successfully priced US$1 billion of 10-year and US$500 million of 30-year benchmark Trust Certificates  (Sukuk) for a total deal size of US$1.5 billion.
The Ministry of Finance, in a statement, said, the 30-year tranche was the governments inaugural sukuk issuance which is the longest tenured sukuk ever by a sovereign. 
The deal was oversubscribed, attracting an aggregate interest of over US$9 billion from a combined investor base of over 450 accounts, it said.
The 10-year tranche was oversubscribed by almost seven times and the 30-year tranche was oversubscribed by approximately six times.
The sukuk, issued via a special purpose entity, Malaysia Sovereign Sukuk Bhd, employed a structure utilising Shariah-compliant commodities, leasable assets and non-physical income-generating assets (in the form of rights to participate in the provision of services), a world first for a sovereign sukuk. 
The ministry added that the offering marked the country's fourth US dollar-denominated sovereign global sukuk issuance, following its successful global sukuk issuances in 2002, 2010 and 2011.
Proceeds from the offering would be used by Malaysia for Shariah compliant general purposes, specifically for the redemption of 1Malaysia Sukuk Global Bhds US$1.25 billion Trust Certificates due in June 2015, as well as, to finance development expenditures.
"We are delighted to bring this ground-breaking Sukuk to the growing Islamic finance market. We are extremely pleased with the success of this deal and the confidence of the global investors in the Malaysian credit story", said  Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.
The 10-year tranche was allocated to investors in the Middle-East (24 per cent), Asia (50 per cent), Europe (16 per cent) and the United States (10 per cent), while the 30-year tranche was allocated to investors in the Middle-East (2 per cent), Asia (50 per cent), Europe (19 per cent) and the United States (29 per cent).
The deal was priced at the tighter end of the revised price guidance reflecting investors confidence, strong external position, monetary flexibility, fiscal sustainability, as well as, diversified and competitive Malaysian economy.
The sukuk are expected to be assigned ratings of A- by Standard and Poors Ratings Services and A3 by Moodys Investors Services Limited.

The deal was successfully priced following a global investor road show across key financial centres, comprising Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London and New York.
CIMB Investment Bank Bhd, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Standard Chartered Bank acted as the joint bookrunners and joint lead managers for the global Sukuk offering.

(The Star Online / 16 April 2015)
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur:
Islamic Investment Malaysia:

Malaysia exports Islamic Finance Expertise to Drive Russian Islamic Finance Ambitions

A rising domestic Muslim population estimated at 17 million, as well as ambitions to tap alternative sources of investment and funding is driving a Russian push to develop its expertise in Islamic finance.
Recent developments include a draft law supported by Russian banks who lobbied the central bank on allowing Islamic finance institutions to enter the Russian market, as well as a recent agreement between Russia’s National Rating and the Islamic International Rating Agency to jointly rate sharia-compliant products.
To provide a further push Russia is looking to Malaysia to assist and build its knowledge and human capital within the sector. In February a delegation from Malaysia, consisting of representatives of the state corporation MATRADE, a subdivision of the Central Bank of Malaysia for development of Islamic finance IBFIM and one of the leading universities University Tun Adbul Razak visited Russia. The legal and economic environment in Russia was assessed, with a view for the development of a feasibility study for opening Islamic windows and launching Islamic banking products in the Russian Federation.

Kazan Federal University and University Tun Adbul Razak Sign Agreement

A more recent development has seen one of the oldest universities in Russia, the Kazan Federal University, located in Kazan, Tatarstan this week sign a Memorandum of Understanding with University Tun Adbul Razak to develop cooperation in the field of Islamic banking law.
A delegation from Malaysia visited several Kazan Federal University units including the Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, and the Faculty of Law.

Malaysia Exports Islamic Finance Expertise

Malaysia has developed considerable expertise in Islamic finance being a pioneer in modern Islamic Banking boasting the world’s biggest sukuk market. It is looking to export its Islamic finance expertise and its banks have successfully assisted in Singapore and the Hong Kong government to issue sukuk.
A planned 2011 sukuk issuance by the Tatarstan Republic was postponed due to “technical difficulties” Bloomberg reported in 2014, and Vnesheconombank, Russia’s state development bank, is seeking advice from lenders in the Middle East on how to sell its first Islamic bonds, the RIA Novosti state-news service reported Dec. 16.
Malaysia was instrumental in the first sovereign Sukuk in the Russian Commonwealth with the issuance in 2012 of the Development Bank of Kazakhstan sukuk for 240 Million Malaysian Ringgit, which was issued in Malaysia.

(Islamic Finance.Com / 16 April 2015)
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur:
Islamic Investment Malaysia:

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