Annual Awards honoring the Best Islamic Financial Institutions in the world.

Author: Anita Hawser

Table Of Contents


Best Sukuk Bank | CIMB Islamic Bank

Over the past 12 months, CIMB Islamic Bank participated in 30% of Malaysian ringgit sukuk issuances (Islamic bonds). It lead-managed 15% of global sukuk, valued at $7.1 billion. The bank jointly lead-managed and arranged the first yen sukuk issuance by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFG Malaysia. It also acted as principal adviser, lead arranger, manager and bookrunner on the Export-Import Bank of Malaysia's $1 billion multicurrency sukuk program, the first US dollar sukuk by an ex-im bank globally.

Best Retail Bank | Maybank Islamic

Asean's largest Islamic bank by assets rolled out a number of retail banking innovations in 2014 across credit cards, deposits and investments, microfinance and longer-term investment planning, including an Islamic credit card with rewards deals for weekly winners in Malaysia. 

Best Islamic Private Bank | NCB

Saudi-based NCB Capital is a leading provider of Islamic asset management and private wealth management services. It boasts a wide range of funds (real estate, hedge and money market funds) to help high-net-worth individuals invest their money in a shariah-compliant manner. In 2013, NCB Capital grew assets under management by more than 13%, to 50 billion Saudi riyals ($13 billion).

Best Islamic Investment Bank | CIMB Islamic Bank

CIMB participated in a number of landmark sukuk issuances in 2014, including HM Treasury's £200 million ($315 million) sukuk and the first yen-denominated sukuk. It was also joint lead manager and bookrunner for Indonesia's first sukuk based on the wakala structure (in which another party acts as agent), which enabled the government of Indonesia to leverage a pool of underlying assets, including land and buildings.

Best Islamic Custodian | Deutsche Bank

The custody, or safekeeping, of assets is still a relatively underdeveloped area in the Islamic banking space. Deutsche Bank's Trust and Securities Services business has worked on this area with Islamic asset and fund managers for a number of years and received its Islamic banking license in Malaysia. Maybank Islamic has also recently announced its entrance into this space.

Best Takaful (Insurance) Provider | Etiqa Takaful

Etiqa Takaful is part of the Maybank banking group. It has a strong distribution network and a wide range of products and solutions encompassing automobile, family and general insurance. According to Fitch Ratings, in 2013, Etiqa Takaful captured 46% of the general takaful (shariah-compliant insurance) segment, in terms of gross contributions, and 29% of the family takaful segment, based on new business.

Best Retakaful Provider | Swiss Re Retakaful

Global reinsurer Swiss Re estimates that global takaful contributions could surpass $7 billion in 2015. Swiss Re has offered retakaful (shariah-compliant reinsurance) in the Middle East since 2006. It also has operations in Malaysia in the area of family and general retakaful. 

Most Innovative Institution | Noor Bank

The fifth-largest Islamic bank in the UAE, Noor Bank has pioneered a number of key innovations in the Islamic finance market, including work with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre's commodities trading platform, which the bank has leveraged to provide small and midsize companies (SMEs) and corporations with working capital solutions based on commodity murabaha (non-interest-bearing loans). Its pioneering Islamic factoring solution for both corporate and SME customers addresses the provision of credit facilities for an often overlooked customer segment. 

Most Innovative New Structure | Islamic Bank of Asia

Based in Singapore, Islamic Bank of Asia developed a 15 million Singapore dollar ($11 million) convertible murabaha (contract of sale) facility for a Singapore utilities infrastructure company. Facilities like this enable IBA to make private-equity-style investments in companies with attractive short-term yields, thereby enabling early-stage growth companies to more easily tap Islamic liquidity pools. The commodity murabaha can be converted into company shares at a later date.

Best Asset Management Company | CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management

With assets under management of $1.9 billion as of December 2014, CIMB-Principal Asset Management has spearheaded a number of key innovations among the Islamic asset management community. It is working with Turkish asset management company Rhea Asset Management to facilitate growth in the Turkish Islamic asset management market. On the funds side, it continues to innovate in the area of Islamic real estate investment trusts and with a Ucits (undertakings for the collective investment in transferable securities) global sukuk fund.

Best Shariah-Compliant Index Provider | Thomson Reuters IdealRatings Islamic Indices

Thomson Reuters IdealRatings says its Indices are accepted by most schools of shariah jurisprudence. Its screening process is research-based rather than automated. Its Islamic indexes include companies in more than 60 countries and key investment markets such as the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the Middle East and North Africa.

Best Law Firm with Islamic Services | Allen & Overy

Allen and Overy's Islamic finance practice has advised on a number of landmark deals. It advised Maybank Islamic on the largest syndicated Islamic facility in the Malaysian market, the $2.3 billion equivalent Islamic multicurrency commodity murabaha facility for oil and gas firm SapuraKencana Petroleum. 

Best Islamic Project Finance Provider | NCB

Saudi Arabia's largest bank based on assets, National Commercial Bank played a key role in a number of major project finance deals in 2013, including the $20 billion Sadara Chemicals venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical to build a giant chemical facility at the Jubail Industrial City II complex. NCB committed $350 million to the project. It also contributed $150 million to the $1.1 billion syndicated financing of Saudi Basic Industries and ExxonMobil's expansion and specialty-elastomer plant upgrade, and participated in the Saudi Electricity Company’s $7 billion Rabigh 2 independent power project.

Best Islamic Commodities Provider | Dubai Multi Commodities Centre

The Dubai-based Multi Commodities Centre's trade-processing platform, Tradeflow, automates the transfer of warrants of ownership of commodities, providing transparency in ownership of goods, which can then be used to facilitate Islamic finance transactions that leverage commodities as the basis for extending finance to companies.

Best Islamic Real Estate Finance Provider | QInvest

The Qatari investment bank says its deployment of capital in real estate investments yielded strong returns in 2014, a trend it expects to continue in 2015. Acting as both a principal and arranger in real estate transactions, QInvest in 2014 closed several deals with a combined value of $1.8 billion. Recent high-profile transactions include its investment in a retail complex and a mixed-use development in Manhattan. 

Best Islamic Fund Manager | Al Rajhi Capital

Al Rajhi Capital is one of Saudi Arabia's largest Islamic fund managers and a leading provider of mutual funds based on assets under management. Its funds often outperform industry benchmarks and encompass a wide range of assets, including sukuk, commodity murabaha, real estate and private equity.

Best Up-and-Comer | Itqan Capital

The Saudi-based investment company is majority-owned by the Al Baraka Banking Group, headquartered in Bahrain. Since its launch in 2007, it has developed innovative investment products in real estate and healthcare. It is working on the launch of a Saudi education fund, an SME fund and a Saudi healthcare fund.

Islamic Finance Deal of the Year | International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) $500 million sukuk, with proceeds used to buy vaccines

The World Bank is the treasurer for the International Finance Facility for Immunisation, which issues bonds to raise money for programs to protect children against dangerous diseases. In November 2014, IFFIm issued its inaugural sukuk, which raised $500 million to accelerate the availability of funds for immunization programs. Participating banks included Standard Chartered Bank as global coordinator, as well as Barwa Bank, CIMB Investment Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and NCB Capital, in collaboration with the World Bank. Described as “the first charity-driven sukuk” and the first sukuk from a “suprana- tional,” the offering attracted primarily Islamic investors from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.



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