Islamic banking feels ripple



Islamic bankers are learning the hard way that no financial market is immune to international turmoil. A report yesterday by the Islamic Finance Information Service said that the issuance of Islamic bonds had fallen 54 per cent in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year. "The drop in issuance confirms that Islamic finance has become intertwined with global financial markets and is in no way an isolated market," the report said.

The knock-on effect of ailing financial institutions has been felt across the GCC, with some institutions in the region directly linked to failures on Wall Street. Amiri Capital, an Islamic asset management company, has delayed its planned Shariah fund of hedge funds because of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Lehman was lined up to act as prime broker for the fund, the first of its type. Richard Ellis, the co-founder of Amiri Capital, said the fund would still go ahead, once new partners were found.

"No one is immune or insulated from the pressures abroad - the international finance community is more inter-related than ever," said David Pace, the chief financial officer of Unicorn Investment Bank, a Shariah-compliant firm based in Bahrain, with offices around the world. "Even in Islamic banking, where demand has not waned, it now takes longer to do deals, everything has slowed down, but at least we can still can get deals through."

However, financial institutions are continuing to press ahead with Shariah-compliant products. Salama, part of the Takaful Group, an Islamic brokerage, partnered with BNP Paribas Investment Partners last week to launch BNP Paribas's first Shariah-compliant fund, the Global Equity Optimizer. The first Shariah-compliant hedge funds, valued at US$250 million (Dh918m) were launched in June on the Al Safi alternative investment platform by Barclays Capital and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority.

And yesterday, Commercial Bank of Dubai launched its own Islamic banking services. "There's been a shift in public demand over the past two years for simpler product structures that are clear, unlike the riskier products that were repackaged over and over, and have now caused chaos in the financial world, said Peter Baltussen, the bank's chief executive. "And in distressed times, we are now able to offer financial products that are in line with people's thinking as the Islamic finance market continues to develop."

Mr Baltussen said that the Shariah-compliant sector should make up 10 per cent to 15 per cent of business for the Commercial Bank of Dubai next year. As financial institutions brace themselves against troubled markets in the region, many agree that the credit crisis is likely to continue for at least another six months. And some are congratulating themselves that they did not get caught by the subprime credit crunch.

"Part of it was luck and part lack of understanding," said Ahmed al Janahi, the deputy chief executive of Noor Investment Group. Foreign and domestic financiers alike are hoping for a return to normality. "There's no doubt that western institutions will revert back into sukuk and pension funds in a big way once liquidity returns, but it's still disappointing that in the region people continue to invest outside rather than inside, even during these difficult times," Mr Pace said.

shamdan@thenationl.ae

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Rest

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Tips for entertaining with ease

·         Set the table the night before. It’s a small job but it will make you feel more organised once done.

·         As the host, your mood sets the tone. If people arrive to find you red-faced and harried, they’re not going to relax until you do. Take a deep breath and try to exude calm energy.

·         Guests tend to turn up thirsty. Fill a big jug with iced water and lemon or lime slices and encourage people to help themselves.

·         Have some background music on to help create a bit of ambience and fill any initial lulls in conversations.

·         The meal certainly doesn’t need to be ready the moment your guests step through the door, but if there’s a nibble or two that can be passed around it will ward off hunger pangs and buy you a bit more time in the kitchen.

·         You absolutely don’t have to make every element of the brunch from scratch. Take inspiration from our ideas for ready-made extras and by all means pick up a store-bought dessert.

 

Friday’s fixture

6.15pm: Al Wahda v Hatta

6.15pm: Al Dhafra v Ajman

9pm: Al Wasl v Baniyas

9pm: Fujairah v Sharjah

.

PROFILE OF SWVL

Started: April 2017

Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh

Based: Cairo, Egypt

Sector: transport

Size: 450+ employees

Investment: approximately $80 million

Investors include: Dubai’s Beco Capital, US’s Endeavor Catalyst, China’s MSA, Egypt’s Sawari Ventures, Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures, Property Finder CEO Michael Lahyani

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

SHALASH THE IRAQI

Author: Shalash
Translator: Luke Leafgren
Pages: 352
Publisher: And Other Stories

In the Land of Saints and Sinners

Director: Robert Lorenz

Starring: Liam Neeson, Kerry Condon, Jack Gleeson, Ciaran Hinds

Rating: 2/5

T20 World Cup Qualifier

Final: Netherlands beat PNG by seven wickets

Qualified teams

1. Netherlands
2. PNG
3. Ireland
4. Namibia
5. Scotland
6. Oman

T20 World Cup 2020, Australia

Group A: Sri Lanka, PNG, Ireland, Oman
Group B: Bangladesh, Netherlands, Namibia, Scotland

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Ejari
Based: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Founders: Yazeed Al Shamsi, Fahad Albedah, Mohammed Alkhelewy and Khalid Almunif
Sector: PropTech
Total funding: $1 million
Investors: Sanabil 500 Mena, Hambro Perks' Oryx Fund and angel investors
Number of employees: 8

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Scoreline

Bournemouth 2

Wilson 70', Ibe 74'

Arsenal 1

Bellerin 52'

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

'Brazen'

Director:+Monika Mitchell

Starring:+Alyssa Milano, Sam Page, Colleen Wheeler

Rating: 3/5

Company profile

Company: Zywa
Started: 2021
Founders: Nuha Hashem and Alok Kumar
Based: UAE
Industry: FinTech
Funding size: $3m
Company valuation: $30m

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Company profile

Company name: Shipsy
Year of inception: 2015
Founders: Soham Chokshi, Dhruv Agrawal, Harsh Kumar and Himanshu Gupta
Based: India, UAE and Indonesia
Sector: logistics
Size: more than 350 employees
Funding received so far: $31 million in series A and B rounds
Investors: Info Edge, Sequoia Capital’s Surge, A91 Partners and Z3 Partners

Scores in brief:

Boost Defenders 205-5 in 20 overs
(Colin Ingram 84 not out, Cameron Delport 36, William Somerville 2-28)
bt Auckland Aces 170 for 5 in 20 overs
(Rob O’Donnell 67 not out, Kyle Abbott 3-21).

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champioons League semi-final:

First leg: Liverpool 5 Roma 2

Second leg: Wednesday, May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

TV: BeIN Sports, 10.45pm (UAE)

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

How will Gen Alpha invest?

Mark Chahwan, co-founder and chief executive of robo-advisory firm Sarwa, forecasts that Generation Alpha (born between 2010 and 2024) will start investing in their teenage years and therefore benefit from compound interest.

“Technology and education should be the main drivers to make this happen, whether it’s investing in a few clicks or their schools/parents stepping up their personal finance education skills,” he adds.

Mr Chahwan says younger generations have a higher capacity to take on risk, but for some their appetite can be more cautious because they are investing for the first time. “Schools still do not teach personal finance and stock market investing, so a lot of the learning journey can feel daunting and intimidating,” he says.

He advises millennials to not always start with an aggressive portfolio even if they can afford to take risks. “We always advise to work your way up to your risk capacity, that way you experience volatility and get used to it. Given the higher risk capacity for the younger generations, stocks are a favourite,” says Mr Chahwan.

Highlighting the role technology has played in encouraging millennials and Gen Z to invest, he says: “They were often excluded, but with lower account minimums ... a customer with $1,000 [Dh3,672] in their account has their money working for them just as hard as the portfolio of a high get-worth individual.”

NBA Finals results

Game 1: Warriors 124, Cavaliers 114
Game 2: Warriors 122, Cavaliers 103
Game 3: Cavaliers 102, Warriors 110
Game 4: In Cleveland, Sunday (Monday morning UAE)

CONFIRMED LINE-UP

Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan)
Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
Maria Sakkari (Greece)
Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic)
Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)
Jeļena Ostapenko (Latvia)
Liudmila Samsonova
Daria Kasatkina 
Veronika Kudermetova 
Caroline Garcia (France) 
Magda Linette (Poland) 
Sorana Cîrstea (Romania) 
Anastasia Potapova 
Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine)  
Jasmine Paolini (Italy) 
Emma Navarro (USA) 
Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine)
Naomi Osaka (Japan) - wildcard
Emma Raducanu (Great Britain) - wildcard

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now


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