Finance statistics

Adb to help in adoption of islamic finance standards


Oct 5 The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement with the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) to help member countries adopt the IFSB's prudential standards. The five-year agreement, signed earlier this week, will see the ADB support member countries in legal and regulatory aspects of meeting the IFSB's standards, Ashraf Mohammed, assistant general counsel at the ADB, told Reuters. IFSB guidelines are widely used in the Islamic finance industry, but they are not mandatory - it is up to national regulators to decide whether to adopt them.

"The real test of all this is for financial institutions to apply these standards," Mohammed said. "We will review mid-term in two years to see how it has been effective."At present, the IFSB's membership of regulatory bodies and private institutions such as banks and law firms is concentrated on more developed countries; the majority of its 187 members come from the Gulf and Malaysia.

In contrast, only seven IFSB members come from Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the world's three most populous Muslim-majority countries. These are some of the countries where the ADB is most active, as its main objective is poverty alleviation.

In the short term the agreement will focus on Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Maldives, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and the Philipinnes, Mohammed said. Islamic finance can help to bring people in such countries into the banking system, he said. The agreement includes encouraging countries to align their infrastructure financing needs with Islamic finance, which could help meet Asia's enormous needs for infrastructure spending, said Bindu Lohani, the ADB's vice president for knowledge management and sustainable development. The ADB provided its first fully sharia-compliant financing in May, assisting the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank with two partial credit guarantees worth up to $66 million for two wind farms in Pakistan.

Boeing forecasts first $100 billion aircraft finance market


* Global jet sales value seen around $104 bln in 2013* Boeing, Airbus account for 95 percent of sales* Sales to hit $132 bln by 2017NEW YORK, Dec 4 Buyers of commercial jetliners are likely to draw more financing from capital markets in 2013, as the value of jet sales rises about 9.5 percent to a record $104 billion, Boeing Co said Tuesday. Capital markets will account for about 14 percent of total jet financing, up from 10 percent this year, Boeing said in an annual forecast. About 95 percent of the total is divided between Boeing and Airbus.

The credit markets are filling a gap caused by diminished lending by export-credit agencies, which will finance only about 23 percent of total sales in 2013, down from 30 percent this year, the report said. Buyers also will rely more on commercial banks, the report said.

The share of financing by commercial banks is expected to grow to 28 percent from 21 percent, with cash purchases staying steady at about 25 percent of the total."This year began amid concerns that Europe's commercial banks, a primary aircraft financing source, would pull out of the market due to the continent's economic crisis," said Kostya Zolotusky, managing director of capital markets development at Boeing Capital Corp.

But the fears did not materialize, and Boeing expects Europe's banks will remain active in 2013 because the aircraft finance "is one of the most attractive and high-performing sectors for bank investments," Zolotusky said. Regional commercial banks in China, Japan, Australia, the Middle East and North America also either entered or got back in to aircraft financing in 2012 and are expected to be active 2013. The added financing by banks and capital markets "is necessary to gradually reduce reliance on export credit as higher fees and equity requirements" required by new rules take effect, he said.2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 $95 bln $104 bln $116 bln $125 bln $128 bln $132 bln Source: Boeing Capital

British holidaymakers hold off travel money buys as pound languishes


British travellers' appetite for dollars and euros has sunk in the three weeks since Britain voted to leave the European Union, as they seemingly wait as long as possible in the hope that the pound's exchange rate will rebound. Both Thomas Cook and Travelex said that travel money business had jumped in the run-up to last month's referendum on EU membership, as those with summer holidays booked in Europe or the United States worried the pound might be worth less afterwards. And since Britain voted to leave, with sterling now down 11 percent against the dollar and 9 percent against the euro, orders have dried up, and are well down on the equivalent period in previous years."After a rush from customers for foreign currency pre-Brexit, we've seen a slowdown," said Fraser Millar, head of financial services at Thomas Cook.

"We think customers are doing their own personal hedging, buying a bit now but holding off to buy the rest until just before they travel, to see whether the rate improves."Some providers said business had not been helped by reports of rates at airports - normally among the most expensive places to buy foreign currency - that put the pound close to parity with the euro, a huge mark-up on the rate of around 83 pence at which travel money firms can buy euros from banks."These sort of reports have probably frightened people off," says Sandy Perera, who runs a network of small foreign exchange booths ranked by comparison sites as among the cheapest places to buy currencies in London.

"This time last year was our peak period and we are down at least 10-12 percent on that. We'll probably get a rush of people next week, which is a big headache for us (because) managing the availability of some currencies is the hard bit."The development of electronic payment infrastructure across Europe has steadily brought down the cost of using major cards abroad to as little as 2-3 percent with major banks and credit card companies.

But when fees for drawing money out of foreign cash machines are added, using a broker to buy cash before travelling can still prove far cheaper. At the start of this year, when many people will have paid for package holidays, the pound was worth around $1.50. On Friday, it was worth just $1.32."The pound's volatility since the Brexit announcement has impacted people's desire to buy the euro and the U.S. dollar," a spokesman for Travelex said."Our rates have had to take the pound's volatility into consideration in order to be able to continue to provide our services to those who needed them."