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#Education #Crowdfunding - A direct and effective way of #Giving with #Givology

Dear Reader,

For some time I did private research on crowdfunding and fintech for the social good. Only recently I found the long existing platform givology.org - it allows to donate specifically for education to individual pupils in poorer countries and getting in touch with them! Personally this one of the causes important to me, because it ensures that the funds are being spent on education, and therewith building a future.

My questions to you are the following:

1. Would you donate for education via an internet platform, then you can conveniently check a profile from Somaliland just here:

https://www.givology.org/~tfscholarship/

2. If you are *not* interested to donate now, could you share what exactly, if anything, would make you donate? This would be exetremely helpful and I will share the information with givology.org to find a way to do just that.

3. If you any other ideas please feel free to share them. You can also directly suggest to volunteer: http://www.givology.org/get-involved/

In case you wish to receive further updates on Givology please register your email here: https://www.givology.org/register/

OJK speeds up Islamic #REITs to attract Middle East investors

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) is considering providing a legal basis for Islamic real estate investment trustees (REITs), hoping that it will attract more property investors, especially from the Middle East. OJK deputy director of sharia market Muhammad Touriq said Takaful companies are interested in investing in the REITs, but have failed to do so as the existing REITs are not sharia-compliant. The Indonesian government is working on an incentive for the Islamic REITs that allows investors to pay only 0.5% income tax. So far 11 developers have expressed their interest including Ciputra, Summarecon and Ciptadana Asset Management.

ICD ready to expand agricultural project financing in #Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan and Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) will discuss the opportunities of financing the country's agriculture. The topic will be discussed by ICD's general driector Khaled Al-Aboodiin during his visit in Baku on May 31. The agricultural projects will be financed through the new Food and Agribusiness Fund with an authorized capital of $600 million. The fund will mainly focus on the production optimization of the companies working in agriculture and a decrease in their logistics inefficiency.

Islamic finance becomes popular for affordable #housing schemes

Home financing resembling Islamic finance structures is becoming popular to solve the housing affordability crisis in Western countries. Housing cooperatives began using profit-and-risk-sharing schemes modelled after ijara or musharaka to help home buyers purchase properties. In the UK the idea based on the Islamic contract of ijara came up in 2015. The rent-to-own scheme was proposed by the Liberal Democrats party and involves an Islamic bank or another intermediary, who purchases the property for a customer. In Canada various cooperative frameworks are providing home financing loans to members of their cooperatives in a Shariah-compliant manner. In the US the Ijara Community Development provides Shariah-compliant home financing for both US clients and customers in Canada.

Swiss Bank Is Charged Over #1MDB Dealings

Authorities in #Switzerland and #Singapore took action against Swiss private bank BSI for failing to prevent money laundering and bribery related to its dealings with Malaysian development fund 1MDB. Switzerland's Attorney General opened criminal proceedings against the bank. The country's Financial Market Supervisory Authority ordered BSI to pay back 95 mn Swiss franks Swiss Bank Is Charged Over ($96 mn). Singapore’s central bank revoked BSI’s banking license there and fined it 13.3 mn Singapore dollars ($9.7 mn). The cross-border investigation related to 1MDB involves at least seven countries.

Global calls for Najib's head to roll: #1MDB triggers massive shake-up in financial world

#Malaysia could find fame for triggering a new, more effective level of regulatory cooperation between the financial centres of the world. This can be the positive result from landing at the centre of the world’s biggest money-laundering investigation. Investigators are working closely to trace the US$7 bn gone missing from the 1MDB fund into a network of off-shore companies before emerging once again in the bank accounts of politically connected Malaysians. Meanwhile, the Government of Malaysia is continuing to act as if nothing has happened. Prime Minister Najib has been impeding investigations at home, but worldwide he is a smaller player. His political connections cannot save him from the independent justice departments of the various financial centres involved.

'Trash banking' boosts savings while cleaning #Indonesia's cities

In Indonesia communities are embracing 'trash banking' as a way of allowing their poorest citizens access to savings and credit. In Makassar on the island of Sulawesi the city of 2.5 million people produces 800 tons of rubbish each day. It ends up at the five-story high landfill, where scavengers work alongside cows foraging for food. Here residents bring recyclable trash such as plastic bottles, paper and packaging to the collection points, known as banks, where the rubbish is weighed and given a monetary value. Like a regular bank, customers are able to open accounts, make deposits and periodically withdraw funds. At other trash banks in the country, account holders can exchange their rubbish directly for rice, phone cards or paying their electricity bills. The local authorities in Makassar are supported by a local non-governmental organization that receives funding from PT Unilever Indonesia.

Taking Islamic social finance to the world

Sultan Nazrin Shah will lead a special session on Islamic Social Finance at the United Nation’s inaugural World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul. The summit is calling for a 'Grand Bargain' on finance and aid organisations will be told to stop competing for resources. The UN fell short of US$7.5bil (RM30.6bil) in funding needs last year, 30% of what it required. IDB’s research on zakat in 2015 shows an estimated US$600bil (RM2.4 trillion) available to meet humanitarian needs. If 1% of this is made available, it can meet the global funding deficit for 2015.

Dentons advises Boubyan Bank on world's first public fully Basel III-compliant Tier one #Sukuk

Dentons advised #Kuwait's Boubyan Bank on its issuance of $250 million Perpetual Tier one Capital Certificates, which completed on 16 May 2016. The transaction represents the world's first public fully Basel III-compliant Tier one Sukuk, while also being the first ever public Sukuk from a Kuwaiti bank, and the first public Sukuk out of Kuwait since 2007. Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC and Boubyan Capital acted as joint global co-ordinators, together with Emirates NBD Capital, Dubai Islamic Bank, KFH Capital and National Bank of Kuwait as joint lead managers on the issuance of the Capital Certificates. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Ajman Bank and Noor Bank acted as co-managers.

Ignorance and fear are big obstacles for Muslim startup founders

The U.S. startup scene has been marked in recent years by an influx of money from venture capitalists. Despite the free-flowing cash, some Muslim entrepreneurs feel they have been excluded, particularly those whose startups focus on the Muslim market. There are fashion startups, food startups, and finance startups. There’s a career website known as Executive Muslim in the works. The Muslim community is diverse, so startups in the market can’t approach consumers with a one-size-fits-all mentality. Many of these companies rely on their networks to promote products, advertising in mosques and online communities. Affinis Labs founder Shahed Amanullah argues that focusing solely on the Muslim consumer isn’t scaleable. If companies appeal to a wider base, everyone wins.

Steady demand for Islamic bonds expected to lend support to #sukuk market

The recovery of the sukuk market is expected to continue as the threat of a steep increase in US interest rates is quickly diminishing. Based on the view of lower interest rates for a longer period, CEO of Maybank Islamic Asset Management, Ahmad Najib Nazlan has a cautiously optimistic outlook on the sukuk market. Following a renewed positive sentiment, Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (OJK) recently called on state-owned firms to issue more Islamic bonds. In Malaysia the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is also calling on the government to increase the supply of ringgit sukuk as it gears up for the launch of its shariah-compliant option for contributors in January 2017.

1MDB Bond Fates Diverge as Abu Dhabi Vow Trumps Najib Support

The fates of 1MDB bonds are diverging this month: those guaranteed by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund have rallied, while notes with support from Malaysia’s own government have dropped. 1MDB's 4.4% 2023 notes, backed by the government, slumped 6.4% in May, set for the worst slide in 16 months. The fund’s 5.99% 2022 bonds, backed by Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment gained 1.9%. The contrast reflects growing investor concern about the Malaysian government backing as Najib grapples with an economy forecast to expand at the slowest pace in seven years amid a collapse in oil prices.

ISEI, Kadin eye 1 million farmers to join sustainable agriculture scheme

The Indonesian Economist Association (ISEI) and the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) have drafted a new scheme to improve the income of 1 mn farmers in various commodity industries by 2020. PISAgro, which stands for Partnership for Indonesia's Sustainable Agriculture, aims to reach more than 445,000 farmers in 2016. ISEI chairman Muliaman Hadad said farmers were currently experiencing stagnant productivity from inadequate access to finance, as well as good quality seeds and fertilizers. Kadin chairman Rosan Roeslani said the program would give support in plantation infrastructure, provision of seeds and fertilizers, mentoring and the strict implementation of good farming practices.

Russian Banks Prepare to Incorporate #IslamicBanking

Two of the largest Russian banks will soon incorporate Islamic banking rules into their line of work. The proposal was made by Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Tatarstan and banks are displaying real interest. Minnikhanov pointed out that should the two banks incorporate the new system of transactions, Russia would be forced to revise a score of fiscal laws and regulations. Sberbank's First Deputy Chairman, Maxim Poletaev, said the bank plans several pilot transactions in autumn 2016 in the Republic of Tatarstan.

Arab Monetary Fund calls for central banks to step up in #Islamicfinance

Central banks need to have a stronger role in setting regulations for the region’s Islamic banks. Abdulrahman Al Hamidy, the head of the Arab Monetary Fund, said regulators need to introduce new liquidity management tools. The region’s central banks have moved to offer Islamic banks new, Sharia-compliant liq­uidity facilities to help shore up their short-term financial positions. The UAE Central Bank introduced a Sharia-compliant short-term lending facility in March last year. It allows banks to sell and repurchase Sharia-compliant securities overnight at profit.

MIDEAST DEBT-Gulf bond feast fails to satisfy arranging banks

New bond issuance has swept the Gulf but there is still not enough volume to support the number of banks vying for the business. The number of banks hired to run deals in the Middle East is shooting up from the typical five or six arrangers. Qatar has hired 10 banks for an upcoming trade, DP World and Emirates Islamic Bank nine each while Noor Bank seven. For investors, having so many banks makes deals more cumbersome and potentially cuts into the allocation if each bank brings its own buyers.

#Russia’s VEB planning first deals with Islamic Development Bank

Russia’s VEB development bank plans to announce its first deals with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in the near future. VEB Chairman Sergey Gorkov said the bank may announce particular transactions in the autumn this year. However, there are several opposite viewpoints regarding the partnership. Russia’s Federation Council deputy speaker Yevgeny Bushmin said that the Central Bank and the Russian legislation are not prepared for promotion of Islamic banking in the country.

RAM Ratings assigns A3 rating to Bank Muamalat’s proposed subordinated #Sukuk

RAM Ratings has assigned an A3/Stable rating to Bank Muamalat Malaysia's proposed Up to MYR 1 billion Subordinated Sukuk Murabahahh Programme. The proposed Sukuk is Basel III-compliant and will qualify as tier-2 capital. The bank aims to continue concentrating on personal and corporate financing this year while de-emphasising its home-financing portfolio, given the competitive mortgage segment. Bank Muamalat has made significant strides in cost savings, which had contributed to higher y-o-y pre-tax profits in 9M FY Mar 2016. Profitability, however, remains weak compared to peers.

Manhattan tower secures $219m in sharia-compliant financing

Real estate developer Sharif El-Gamal has secured $219 mn in sharia-compliant financing for a luxury condominium tower in New York City. The financing is led by Maybank and Warba Bank, other participants include Intesa Sanpaolo and MASIC, the investment arm of Saudi Arabia’s Al Subeaei family. The financing comes seven years after El-Gamal purchased the property for $4.85 mn with the goal to build a centre for reconciliation between Islam and the west.

IDB’s $5.2b loan pledge until 2020 to aid RI’s priority projects

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has committed US$5.2 billion worth of loans until 2020 to aid Indonesia’s priority development projects. Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said the prioritized sectors include energy, transportation, urban development, higher education and skills development, private sector development and Islamic financial broadening. The IDB will work with other lenders, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Going forward, the IDB will prioritize efforts to shift away from dependency on commodities.

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