Takeover deadline extended for Islamic Bank of Britain

Updated 17 December 2012
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Takeover deadline extended for Islamic Bank of Britain

DUBAI: Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), the country's only Shariah-compliant retail lender, said a deadline for a Qatari bank to decide on a proposed takeover offer had been extended to January.
IBB is majority-owned by Qatar International Islamic Bank, which has been in discussions since June with Qatari lender Masraf Al Rayan to sell a controlling stake in the British bank.
A deadline for Masraf, the biggest Islamic bank in Qatar, to announce a firm intention to make an offer for IBB lapsed on Dec. 10; it has now been extended to Jan. 7.
In a separate statement released last week, IBB also said its lending growth for the first nine months of this year had been driven by two new home financing plans, and that it would look at ways to offer more products.
IBB is trying to revitalize its business after struggling to turn a profit since its inception in 2004; it reported a loss of 8.9 million pounds ($ 14.3 million) in 2011.
Management will focus on secured financing and targeting young savers, Iain Crawford, financial controller at IBB, told Reuters. "We are pretty optimistic for the UK market. The board is determined to grow the business."
IBB posted a 63 percent increase in home financing and a 43 percent increase in long-term savings deposits for the first nine months of 2012, the company said without giving monetary totals.
According to its 2011 annual report, income from home purchase plans rose 17.9 percent to 2.3 million pounds that year, while customer deposits of over one year's maturity jumped to 25.9 million pounds from 3.3 million pounds in 2010.


Saudi minister Al-Falih says Aramco IPO likely in 2019

Updated 24 min 30 sec ago
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Saudi minister Al-Falih says Aramco IPO likely in 2019

  • Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih: “We are ready, the company (Saudi Aramco) essentially has ticked all the boxes. We’re simply waiting for a market readiness for the IPO.”
  • Khalid Al-Falih: “Most likely it will be in 2019 but we will not know until the announcement has been made. All I could say is stay tuned.”

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is most likely to hold the initial public offering (IPO) of oil giant Aramco in 2019, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Friday, confirming a delay from the initial plan to list the company this year.

“The timing I think will depend on the readiness of the market, rather than the readiness of the company or the readiness of Saudi Arabia,” Khalid Al-Falih, who’s also the company’s chairman, said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia on Friday.

“We are ready, the company essentially has ticked all the boxes,” he said. “We’re simply waiting for a market readiness for the IPO.”

For almost two years, Saudi officials said the IPO was “on track, on time” for the second half of 2018. But for the first time in March they suggested it could be delayed until 2019.

“Most likely it will be in 2019 but we will not know until the announcement has been made,” Al-Falih said. “All I could say is stay tuned.”

The Aramco IPO would be a once-in-a-generation event for financial markets. Saudi officials said they hope to raise a record $100 billion by selling a 5 percent stake, valuing the company at more than $2 trillion and dwarfing the $25 billion raised by Chinese retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014.