Local sukuk sale: NCB picks 4 banks

Updated 30 January 2014

Local sukuk sale: NCB picks 4 banks

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank has chosen four banks to arrange a local currency sukuk, joining a trend of lenders in the kingdom using Islamic bond markets to top up their capital reserves.
NCB had mandated its own investment banking arm, NCB Capital, as well as that of Gulf International Bank and the Saudi Arabian units of HSBC and JP Morgan to arrange the transaction, those arranging banks announced.
Meetings with Saudi investors will take place next week, with pricing of the Islamic bond expected toward the end of February, a source with knowledge of the matter said.
The sukuk will enhance the bank’s Tier 2 — or supplementary — capital and will have a 10-year lifespan with an option of the bank redeeming the instrument after five years.
The size of the issue has yet to be determined.
NCB is the latest Saudi bank to announce plans for a capital-boosting sukuk. Many banks have been selling such instruments to strengthen their reserves after a period of sustained lending growth.
Riyad Bank completed a SR4 billion ($1.1 billion) issue in November, and Saudi Hollandi Bank priced a 2.5 billion riyals offering in December.
NCB’s chairman was quoted in October as saying the bank was planning to issue a capital-boosting sukuk worth up to SR4 billion.
The bank’s capital adequacy ratio, an indicator of financial health, would drop to around 15 percent after the distribution of dividends for 2013, Mansour Al-Maiman said at the time.
Saudi banks are generally well capitalized compared to their Western peers.

Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

Updated 23 min 25 sec ago

Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

  • Kingdom is home to three quarters of region's foundations
  • Combined asets of global foundations is $1.5 trillion

Nearly three quarters of philanthropic foundations in the Middle East are concentrated in Saudi Arabia, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Hauser Institute with funding from Swiss bank UBS, also found that resources were highly concentrated in certain areas with education the most popular area for investment globally.

That trend was best illustrated in the Kingdom, where education ranked first among the target areas of local foundations.

While the combined assets of the world’s foundations are estimated at close to $1.5 trillion, half have no paid staff and small budgets of under $1 million. In fact, 90 percent of identified foundations have assets of less than $10 million, according to the Global Philanthropy Report. 

Developed over three years with inputs from twenty research teams across nineteen countries and Hong Kong, the report highlights the magnitude of global philanthropic investment.

A rapidly growing number of philanthropists are establishing foundations and institutions to focus, practice, and amplify these investments, said the report.

In recent years, philanthropy has witnessed a major shift. Wealthy individuals, families, and corporations are looking to give more, to give more strategically, and to increase the impact of their social investments.

Organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have become increasingly high profile — but at the same time, some governments, including India and China, have sought to limit the spread of cross-border philanthropy in certain sectors.

As the world is falling well short of raising the $ 5-7 trillion of annual investment needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UBS sees the report findings as a call for philanthropists to work together to scale their impact.

Understanding this need for collaboration, UBS has established a global community where philanthropists can work together to drive sustainable impact.

Established in 2015 and with over 400 members, the Global Philanthropists Community hosted by UBS is the world’s largest private network exclusively for philanthropists and social investors, facilitating collaboration and sharing of best practices.

Josef Stadler, head of ultra high net worth wealth, UBS Global Management, said: “This report takes a much-needed step toward understanding global philanthropy so that, collectively, we might shape a more strategic and collaborative future, with philanthropists leading the way toward solving the great challenges of our time.”

This week Saudi Arabia said it would provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid in Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The UAE also this week said it had contributed $192 million to a housing project in Afghanistan through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.