Investment Management, Islamic Finance Correspondent
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Mar 2, 2010

Toscafund to launch mid-cap UCITS III fund

LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge fund firm Toscafund, will launch later this month a UCITS III version of its mid-cap fund following demand from private clients, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The UCITS version fund will be launched in mid-March on a platform provided by Deutsche Bank <DBKGn.DE> and expects to close at $300 million, Martin Hughes told the Reuters Private Equity and Hedge Fund Summit in London.

Feb 18, 2010

France, UK must show sharia market mettle

LONDON (Reuters) – Paris and London, the financial centers vying for the lead on Islamic finance business in Europe, need to issue sukuk bonds soon to show commitment and keep competition at bay, experts told Reuters.

The market for Islamic bonds in Europe failed to push out deals after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, when credit was hard to come by and companies were yearning for alternatives to traditional financing methods.

Feb 17, 2010

France risks sharia credentials over sukuk delay

LONDON (Reuters) – France must host a sukuk issuance this year to show it is serious about Islamic finance and overcome the legal uncertainties that caused a delay to a 1 billion euro ($1.37 billion) issuance, a lawyer working on the deal said on Wednesday.

At least one French Islamic corporate bond, or sukuk, had been expected last year but was delayed by legal hurdles.

Feb 16, 2010

UK firm eyes first Halal industrial park

LONDON (Reuters) – A venture capital firm is raising funds to launch Europe’s first industrial park for Islamic goods, tapping an under-served market worth up to 4 billion pounds ($6.27 billion) a year in Britain, its chairman said.

The Super Halal Industrial Park (SHIP) will be based in South Wales and will take three to five years to launch, said Mahesh Jayanarayan, chairman of Halal Industries, who chose Wales for the project because of its meat industries and affordable land prices.

Feb 16, 2010

London sharia bank targets well-off Gulf clients

LONDON (Reuters) – Sharia-compliant Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME) is targeting the thousands of rich Gulf residents who spend part of the year in London, to boost its private banking arm, its head told Reuters.

Britain’s largest stand-alone sharia bank aims for deposits in the wealth management unit — launched a year ago — to make up 20-25 percent of its total, from 5-10 percent currently, Chief Executive Humphrey Percy said on Tuesday.

Feb 16, 2010

Investor ire to drive fund of hedge fund shake-up

LONDON (Reuters) – Firms that make money selecting hedge funds will have to conduct more checks on managers running the assets and show they know what they are buying in order to appease clients disgruntled by the Madoff fraud and poor returns.

The $570-billion fund of funds industry faces the headache of conducting tougher background checks on managers and third parties like prime brokers, as well as researching hidden risks, while at the same time fending off client demands for fee cuts.

Feb 15, 2010

Western sukuk left floundering after Dubai: lawyer

LONDON (Reuters) – The market for issuance of sukuk in the UK and Europe is struggling to reignite in the aftermath of the Dubai World standoff and a recovery in more traditional forms of financing, a specialist lawyer said on Monday.

Farmida Bi, a partner at the Norton Rose in London, said the pipeline for Islamic bonds in the UK, the most sophisticated Islamic financial market in Europe, was “not fantastic.”

Feb 15, 2010

Saudi IDB says rule change may cut debt issuance

LONDON (Reuters) – The Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is considering cutting the amount of cash it must keep on its books in a move which could reduce its need to tap the debt markets for funds, a senior official said.

Mohammad Tariq, advisor to IDB <ISDBA.UL> president Ahmed Mohamed Ali, said the IDB currently holds the equivalent of 40 percent of its investment commitments on its books, but will decide within four months whether to change this measure to a system more closely matching short-term inflows and outflows.

Feb 9, 2010

Major Dutch pension fund to offload western property

LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – The 35 billion euro ($48 billion)
pension fund for Dutch metal and mechanical workers plans to cut
western property exposure as it seeks to diversify through
higher allocations to emerging and Eastern markets.

Theo Jeurissen, Chief Investment Officer of the PMT scheme,
said it currently invests about 12 pecent of its assets in
property, mainly via direct investments in the Netherlands and
through partnerships with local managers in Germany, Austria,
Italy and Japan.

    • About Cecilia

      "In my professional capacity I canvass fund managers, consultants and pension schemes on investments issues and write analytical pieces on investment trends. I also consult investors on M&A matters. My brief includes Islamic finance, especially sukuk issuance and Islam-compliant asset management themes. I joined Reuters News in September 2008 from Thomson Financial News, where I was European pension correspondent."
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