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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/

Islamic Funds Industry shows impressive growth market

In #Pakistan Al-Ameen Funds hosted an awareness session on Shariah Compliant Investment. The meeting was organised by Al-Ameen Funds and UBL Fund Managers in collaboration with Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX). Speakers agreed that the Islamic Funds Industry has shown impressive growth in recent years. Yasir Qadri, CEO of UBL Funds said that the local investors are more aware about the equity market than ever before. However, Islamic funds offer opportunities of investment for a vast audience which is yet to be tapped. Shahid Gul Motiwala, CEO Al-Ameen Islamic Financial Services said that there is a lot of awareness required in Pakistan regarding the benefits of making sound investment choices.

#Saudi builder Khodari renews $35.2m Islamic facility

Saudi Arabian construction firm Abdullah Abdul Mohsin Al Khodari and Sons has renewed an existing 132 million riyal (Dh129.2 million, $35.2 million) Islamic credit facility with Samba Financial Group. The facility will provide bonding commitments as well as capital and working capital requirements for projects and general business. Credit limits for projects covered by the facility will range from 36 to 60 months. Khodari has also won a 69 million riyal contract from the kingdom’s Ministry of Environment, Water & Agriculture for the maintenance of water networks. The financial impact of the project is expected to start in the third quarter.

#Sukuk pipeline - Issue plans around the world

Following are major Islamic bond issues in the global pipeline. Pakistan plans an international issue of sukuk and is asking banks for expressions of interest in managing the sale. Sharjah Islamic Bank said it would begin investor meetings on Aug. 29 for a potential benchmark U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk issue. Ahli United Bank Kuwait has obtained approval from Kuwait's central bank to issue capital-boosting sukuk worth up to $200 million. Ivory Coast plans to complete a sale of 150 billion CFA francs ($263 million) worth of seven-year sukuk on Aug. 31.

Islamic Development Bank to finance TAPI pipeline

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will take part in financing of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline’s construction. Economic feasibility of the TAPI project is confirmed by experts of the countries participating in the project and independent international experts. They testify to the guaranteed capacity of Turkmenistan to ensure long-term gas supply via this route. The development of Galkynysh field envisages 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. Turkmengas state concern has announced a tender for the provision of services on project management, which will be implemented with the participation of the IDB. The project is expected to be completed in late 2019.

Bahrain Islamic Bank plans £166m sale of non-core assets

Bahrain Islamic Bank is seeking to sell about 82m dinars (£166m) of unproductive assets such as land and shares as part of a five-year plan to boost growth. The lender sold 14m dinars-worth of these assets in the first half and plans the sale of a similar amount in the remainder of the year. S&P Global Ratings downgraded Bahrain in February because its vulnerability to slumping oil prices has increased since 2009. Fitch Ratings expects Bahrain’s general government debt to rise to almost 80% of GDP this year, from 62% in 2015. According to CEO Hassan Jarrar, Bahrain Islamic Bank plans to boost revenue by 20 to 25% annually, achieve a return on equity of 15% to 16% and cut its cost-to-income ratio to mid-40% from 60% over two years.

Khazanah Said to Weigh $500 Million Exchangeable #Sukuk Sale

Khazanah Nasional, the Malaysian sovereign fund, is considering selling as much as $500 million of exchangeable sukuk. The state-owned firm is currently choosing banks for the potential offering. Khazanah has been reducing stakes in listed Malaysian companies through Islamic debt offerings that can be converted into shares. The fund last sold $500 million sukuk that can be exchanged into shares of Tenaga Nasional, the country’s biggest power producer, in 2014. It is also the largest shareholder of IHH Healthcare, Asia’s biggest hospital operator. Sales of Islamic bonds in Malaysia surged 60% this year to 45.8 billion ringgit ($11.4 billion), while offerings of global sukuk climbed 19% to $28.1 billion.

#Indonesian #fintech event IFFC 2016 is set to champion financial inclusion

Indonesia is all set to host the Indonesia Fintech Festival & Conference 2016 (IFFC 2016). The event is organised by Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK) in association with Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) and will be held in Tangerang from August 29 to 30. IFFC 2016 will focus on several issues related to fintech, including financial inclusion. A series of workshops and conferences for fintech players will be conducted. Also, a startup competition will take place as part of the event. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands will be special guests. According to the organising committee, up to 2,000 tickets have been sold so far.

Moody’s upgrades #ratings of Masraf Al Rayan

Moody’s has upgraded Masraf Al Rayan’s long term issuer ratings to A1 from A2. Counterparty Risk Assessment is changed to Aa3 from A1. The outlook on the long-term ratings has changed to stable from positive. The upgrade of Masraf Al Rayan’s ratings reflects continued business diversification as a result of growth and profitability of the UK subsidiary. Moody's expects these diversification trends to continue as the bank’s UK subsidiary grows further. The rating agency also expects that Masraf Al Rayan will maintain strong capital ratios, as healthy internal capital generation supports the needs of future asset growth.

Poll: helping #sukuk take off

JP Morgan's plans to include sukuk in its major bond indices from October will be a boon for the market. Sukuk is commonplace in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. But only a handful of western governments have issued one, with the UK in particular making headlines in 2014. This month's poll is asking readers exactly what's holding back the global sukuk market.

Islamic Development Bank to finance TAPI pipeline

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will take part in financing of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline's construction.

CIBAFI technical #workshops schedule announced

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) has announced the schedule of its Technical Workshops on Product Development for Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs). The workshops will start on August 30 and will be organized in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. The three-day Technical Workshops aim to provide participants with hands on technical knowledge and skills pertaining to product development, with a focus on Islamic financial services. CIBAFI, as the voice of the industry, aims to provide platforms such as these to develop human capital and bring industry professionals together.

Islamic finance becoming strong support factor for agricultural development

Islamic finance is making further inroads in agricultural sectors globally. The trend is increasingly adopted in Central and Westerns Asian countries, in Southeast Asia and in Sub-Saharan Africa. Firstly, the impact of Islamic finance can be higher than that of other financial products due to its asset-based structure. It can be applied in many fields, starting from the purchase of farming machines and equipment, seeds and pesticides, warehouses, as well as in the dairy, livestock and fishery sectors. Ijara contracts can be used for leasing or renting farm machines and other equipment. Other structures such as musharaka or mudaraba can be used for long-term developments such as rural housing, reforestation or irrigation. Secondly, Islamic finance can help broaden financial inclusion by establishing cooperatives or partnership-based financing structures. In Pakistan the state bank has now issued guidelines on Islamic agricultural finance. In Indonesia, the government has launched a new national master plan and has explicitly included agriculture as a field for Islamic finance.

US law firmS hired to advise on Islamic fund

Ivorian Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan has appointed US law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton to advise his government. The Abidjan branch of Deloitte, led by Marc Wabi and appointed by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), will serve as auditor. Deloitte's job will be to certify the value of the Abidjan International Trade Centre's buildings.

Emirates NBD's Islamic arm cuts over 100 jobs - sources

Emirates Islamic, the sharia-compliant arm of Dubai's largest bank Emirates NBD (ENBD), has laid off more than 100 people to adjust to a cooler economy. Growth in much of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has slowed this year because of low oil prices. Earlier this year, Emirates Islamic cut around 200 jobs. Most of the latest jobs to go were in the department servicing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Chief Executive Shayne Nelson said the bank continued to focus on cost control. The bank had already made cuts in April when it made around 100 people redundant from its subsidiary Emirates Money to save costs. National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah said in January it would cut up to 250 jobs, while Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank and the UAE operations of HSBC have reduced their headcounts since late 2015.

Sharjah Islamic Bank plans benchmark dollar #sukuk issue

Sharjah Islamic Bank will begin investor meetings on Aug. 29 for a potential benchmark U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk issue. The meetings will be held in Asia and Europe and the issue would be subject to market conditions. Bank ABC, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, HSBC, KFH Capital, Maybank, Noor Bank, QNB Capital and Standard Chartered will arrange the meetings.

Fitch: Index move boosts #sukuk; frameworks & standards still key

According to Fitch Ratings the inclusion of sukuk in major bond indexes would be a significant boost for the product, but initiatives to harmonise standards and improve transparency remain key to its long-term development. Reuters reported that JP Morgan would include eight sovereign and corporate sukuk in various bond indexes from 31 October. This may encourage issuers to supply index-eligible sukuk and support secondary market liquidity. However, Fitch Ratings believes the sukuk market's growth rate will be determined by two factors. Firstly, product-specific initiatives around regulation of sukuk issuance, which have been noteable in some jurisdictions, but have not always been harmonised across jurisdictions. Secondly, the broader attempts to deepen the investor base and improve transparency in the relevant capital markets. Sukuk issuance from key markets in 1H16 rose 11% from a year earlier to USD21.74bn, representing 30% of total issuance. Overall, Fitch expects this year's sukuk issuance to at least match 2015 issuance of around USD32bn.

6th Global Islamic #Microfinance #Forum

The 6th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum (GIMF) will convene in Nairobi, Kenya on November 8-9, 2016. Muhammad Zubair Mughal, the CEO of Al-Huda, said the GIMF will explore how new and effective strategies can alleviate poverty. He said the most alarming situation is that major chunk of poverty exist in Muslim countries, as it is considered the number one agenda of "financial inclusion." In these countries a proper platform is needed, valuing their cultural and social values, which is possible only through Islamic Microfinance. Amjad Saqib, Executive Director of Akhuwat declared that Akhuwat has so far distributed almost Rs. 25 billion among 1,323,586 families. He presented the "Qarz-e-Hassan" model as a true model of Islamic Welfare oriented Microfinance system. The Forum will be followed by two days post event workshop, How to Develop, Operate and Sustain Islamic Microfinance Institutions planned for November 10-11, 2016.

Amana #Takaful Life shares debut on Colombo Stock Exchange

Amana Takaful Life Limited (ATLL) rang the opening bell to commence trading and celebrate the listing of its shares on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). Speaking at the event, ATLL Director Dato' Mohd Fadzli Yusof stated that the listing brings ATLL to the mainstream of the financial landscape in Sri Lanka. Chairman of CSE Vajira Kulatilaka congratulated ATLL for achieving a successful listing. He also added that while listing on the CSE adds immense value and prestige, it also comes with obligations to investors and other stakeholders. Amana Takaful Life Limited and its parent, Amana Takaful PLC are fully fledged Takaful companies, offering life and general insurance solutions. ATLL distributes its products through an island-wide network of 26 branches, covering 22 districts.

Nakheel confirms talks to tap new funds

Having cleared all of its historical debts, Nakheel confirmed talks are on with banks to tap 'cheap' funds for its ongoing and future projects. But there is no intention to seek such funds through another sukuk or via a share offer. Nakheel is now completely off debts, having paid off Dh4.4 billion to trade creditors via a sukuk. It had in 2014 paid off Dh7.9 billion to its banking lenders, four years before they were due. Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said he is hopeful of netting a new funding agreement before the year end. The funds can come in handy with Nakheel’s existing roster of projects. This includes a mega-mall, with an estimated development cost of Dh4 billion plus.

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