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FGB to set up $1.07b sukuk in Malaysia
March 07, 2014
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ABU DHABI: First Gulf Bank, the third-largest bank by assets in the UAE, will raise 3.5 billion ringgit ($1.07 billion) with Islamic bonds in Malaysia, according to a statement on Thursday by credit rating agency RAM Ratings.

The Islamic bond, or sukuk, programme will be issued by the bank’s funding unit, FGB Sukuk Company II Ltd. RAM rated the programme ‘AAA’ or Stable on the bank’s size and high likelihood of government support.

First Gulf Bank follows numerous institutions to find funding in Malaysia’s sukuk market, the world’s largest. More than two-thirds of global sukuk issuance in the first half of 2013 took place in Malaysia, followed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“The ratings also incorporate the bank’s excellent profitability, robust capitalisation, expanding franchise and moderate asset quality,” said RAM.

Funds from the programme will go toward expanding the bank’s day-to-day business. RAM did not indicate when the first issuance will take place.

Meanwhile, the bank’s AGM has recently approved a cash dividend of 100 per cent of the capital and 30 per cent bonus shares for the financial year ending 31 December 2013. Owners of FGB shares registered on Sunday 09/03/2014 (buyers on 05/03/2014) are eligible to cash dividends and bonus shares. The AGM also approved the financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2013.  Abdulhamid Saeed, Managing Director, First Gulf Bank, commented: “Following our outstanding financial performance for 2013, we are pleased to announce the distribution of 30 per cent bonus shares and cash dividend of 100 per cent, which represents 63% of full year Net Profit.

Reuters

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