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Islamic Finance Changemakers Competition is now open

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in partnership with the Saudi-Spanish Center for Islamic Economic and Finance have launched an Islamic Finance Changemakers Competition to support social entrepreneurs, innovators and business leaders seeking to create a better society.

Through this initiative, IsDB and Saudi-Spanish Center for Islamic Economic and Finance hopes to support changemakers by giving them visibility of what they are developing. The Islamic Finance Changemakers Challenge will give Changemakers the opportunity to win awards to help grow their initiatives.

The awards for the top three winners are:
•1st position: $ 15,000 + 1-year IE Mentoring Program
•2nd position: $ 10,000
•3rd position: $ 5,000

Gassner's picture

Book annoucement for German readers: Q1 / 2021

Dear Reader,

for Q1 / 2021 a second book is to be published in German after the successful standard reference for financial professionals in German.

A first interview is online (in German!!):

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9sOXVxd28ucG9kY2FzdGVyLmRlL0l...
https://podcasts.apple.com/ch/podcast/islamicmediaclub/id1503189930?i=10...
https://open.spotify.com/episode/7BkZS8KVt3EWlkmvcyu5WM?si=2bRPowl1RdO9F...

The new book targets the consumer rather than the professional as for a couple years an Islamic bank and some investment funds are offered in Germany - hence it is time for consumer education.

Best regards,

Michael Gassner
www.islamicwealthmanagement.com

Gassner's picture

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Dear reader,

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Best regards,

Michael Gassner
Editor, IslamicFinance.de

The Islamic Development Bank and The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation hold a webinar on AgriTech & Digital Supply Chain

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) jointly held a live webinar entitled "The Role of AgriTech in Food Security & Sustainability" to discuss sustainable climate-smart agricultural technologies for achieving food and nutrition security. The webinar highlighted the most promising AgriTech solutions to enhance efficiencies of agricultural value chains at the national, regional and global level. The webinar, which was presented in English and included French, Arabic and Russian interpretations, featured panel discussions and presentations by industry experts in the field of Agriculture, AgriTech and Trade Finance. The ITFC will provide technical assistance to farmers and associated agribusinesses to build their capacities to use the digital tools to enhance agricultural productivity. The 2nd webinar, entitled "Digital Supply Chain" will be held on the 25th of November 2020.

Bank Negara: Mismatch in green funding demand, supply decelerates sustainable projects

Malaysia’s pledge to minimise its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is facing challenges in terms of a mismatch in demand and supply of fundings. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) assistant governor Fraziali Ismail said that considerable funding gaps remain in sustainable projects, despite the roll out of green financing schemes. Fraziali emphasised that there is a need to find a way to bridge the language and information gap between scientists, government and financiers. He also emphasised the role of the financial sector, particularly that of the capital market, in driving Malaysia’s sustainable development through the sukuk market.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launches #UAE's first virtual banking sales platform

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has launched a remote sales platform allowing customers to converse with the bank and apply for personal finance, covered cards, takaful, and other banking products without having to leave their homes. A first of its kind in the UAE, the platform is equipped with virtual banking tools, including online application and electronic signature services. The platform also integrates virtual communications tools, including video conferencing and real-time screen sharing, to boost collaboration between customers and sales representatives. ADIB has seen a significant surge in customer demand for its digital banking services in 2020. Around 94% of ADIB’s banking transactions are conducted digitally and 65% of customer updates are made through the bank’s digital channels. In addition, 50% of new ADIB customers have opened their accounts digitally.

#Indonesia gains heft in Islamic banking with 3-way merger

The Indonesian government announced that it would merge the syariah units of three state-owned lenders to create the country’s seventh-largest bank. Pending approval by regulators, the syariah units of Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bank Mandiri and Bank Negara Indonesia will join forces by February to form a lender with roughly 215 trillion rupiah (S$19.8 billion) in assets. The move is part of an ongoing effort among Indonesian officials to capture a bigger slice of the market of religiously observant Muslims.

“Abu Dhabi Islamic” launches a platform for banking – economic –...

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launched a sales platform that allows customers to communicate remotely with the bank and apply for personal finance products, covered cards, takaful products and other banking solutions without having to leave their homes. This platform is the first of its kind in the UAE, and it is equipped with a set of virtual banking tools, including an electronic application and electronic signature services. Since its launch, more than half of the bank’s card sales are executed via the platform remotely.

Featuring Over 2,000 Participants from 90 Countries, Seventh Annual G20 Interfaith Forum Concludes with Strong Focus on COVID, Inequalities and Climate Change

The seventh annual G20 Interfaith Forum concluded its meetings on Saturday after five days of sessions that addressed the COVID-19 emergencies, climate change, social, racial, and economic disparities, environmental challenges, the preservation and safeguarding of sacred sites, and other pressing issues. Originally intended to be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, host of the 2020 G20 Summit, the conference was conducted virtually in response to the global pandemic. Attendance exceeded 2,000 participants from more than 90 countries. The crisis posed by the COVID-19 pandemic played a central role in the discussions at the Forum. The discussions offered vivid testimony to the need for the world's political leaders to include religious actors in policymaking processes including notably the November 2020 G20 Leaders' Summit in Riyadh. Formal recommendations resulting from the Forum will be shared with G20 leadership in the coming weeks.

Shariah Compliance Expert Says Cryptocurrencies Are Legit Commodities

Cryptocurrency adoption and investments remain low in Muslim countries as people are still unsure of its compliance with Islamic law. At the SCxSC Fintech Conference 2020 last week, shariah expert Datuk Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar said that investors need more time to understand cryptocurrency from the shariah perspective. In Malaysia, the SC Shariah Advisory Council has declared that it is permissible for Muslims to invest in and trade cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, on government-registered crypto exchanges. Bakar explained that cryptocurrency is not regarded as legal tender, but it is a legit commodity that can be exchanged within the market, as long as it is not backed by “ribawi items,” like gold and silver. Bakar added that the Securities Commission of Malaysia has also made it possible for companies to issue coins as a method of raising capital, subject to certain restrictions through its fatwa resolution.

Launch of #UK’s first Islamic Finance undergraduate degree

A university has announced the launch of the first Accounting and Islamic Finance undergraduate course in the UK. The BSc (Hons) Accounting and Islamic Finance degree at Birmingham City University will see students study Islamic economics, whilst developing an understanding of 'corporate social responsibility'. Course leader Shaista Mukadam said students on the course will be taught the philosophy around the principles and will be encouraged to find ways to implement them in real-world scenarios. It’s not just a course for Muslims, it’s about an ethical way of doing finance based on the teaching of Islam.

Islamic banks “vital in accelerating #UK fintech transformation” according to expert

Al Rayan Bank, the UK’s oldest and largest Islamic bank, has announced that more than 20,000 of its customers are now using its digital banking services for their day-to-day banking. According to Dr Samir Alamad, Sharia compliance expert at Al Rayan Bank, Islamic finance institutions have a significant growth opportunity in their hands by making the digital shift, catering not only for Muslim communities but mainstream audiences alike. Their role is vital in reinforcing the UK’s position as a fintech hub and in growing awareness of Islamic finance overall. The Al Rayan Bank Mobile Banking app is available on the App store and Google Play – as well as through its desktop portal, which users can access using the app, through a separate authenticator app or using a hard token device. From 2021, customers will also be able to use the app to validate online purchases made using an Al Rayan Bank debit card.

#UAE's Dana Gas raises loan, avoids another restructuring

United Arab Emirates energy firm Dana Gas has raised a $90 million loan allowing it to redeem $309 million in bonds due at the end of October and avoid a third debt restructuring. The company has obtained a one-year $90 million loan from Mashreq Bank. The new loan will be repaid when Dana completes a planned sale of its Egyptian assets. The firm shook the global Islamic finance industry in 2017, when it said it would not redeem its $700 million sukuk, arguing they were no longer valid under UAE law because of changes in Islamic financial practice. After a protracted legal battle, it reached an agreement with creditors in 2018. That restructuring followed an earlier one in 2012.

#Indonesia's 3-way Islamic bank merger to build scale, raise competitiveness

Indonesia's planned merger of three state-owned Islamic banks will create an entity with scale comparable with the biggest local lenders. The proposed merger between Bank BRIsyariah, Bank Syariah Mandiri and Bank BNI Syariah will create an entity with between 220 trillion rupiah and 225 trillion rupiah in assets. Bank BRIsyariah will be the final entity after the merger, expected to be completed by February 2021. It will be Indonesia's seventh or eighth biggest bank by assets. Analysts expect more M&A activity within the Indonesian banking space, mainly for smaller banks to remain competitive. Currently, the nation's biggest banks are Bank Central Asia, Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Negara Indonesia.

Saeed M. Al-Ghamdi, CEO and MD of the newly formed bank following the merger of NCB and Samba

Saeed M. Al-Ghamdi is managing director and CEO of the new bank that resulted from the merger between the National Commercial Bank (NCB) and the Samba Financial Group. Before that, he was chairman of the NCB, building up more than 31 years of experience in the Saudi financial and banking sector. He has also been chairman of NCB Capital and the Saudi Credit Bureau. He serves on the board of the Real Estate General Authority and Misk Foundation and is a member of the consultative board of the College of Industrial Management at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

Ethiopie : ZamZam Bank devient la première banque islamique du pays

En Ethiopie, ZamZam Bank exercera désormais l’activité de banque islamique après avoir obtenu la licence à cet effet auprès du régulateur du secteur. L’institution est la première du pays qui proposera exclusivement des services financiers conformes à la charia. En mai 2019, Abiy Ahmed, le Premier ministre éthiopien, s’était officiellement prononcé en faveur de la mise sur pied d’institutions financières entièrement dédiées à la finance islamique. Plusieurs établissements ont manifesté un intérêt pour l’activité, parmi lesquels ZamZam Bank qui a déposé sa demande auprès de la Banque centrale. Elle a été autorisée à ouvrir son capital à des investisseurs afin de lever des fonds dédiés à la mise en place de sa banque islamique, et a vendu des actions pour un montant d’environ 18,3 millions $.

#Indonesia's state banks seek to spark sharia sector via mergers

Indonesia's three state-owned banks will merge their sharia banking units to create one of the country's biggest lenders. Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bank Mandiri and Bank Negara Indonesia have signed a conditional merger agreement for their Islamic banking units. The new bank will have combined assets of 207 trillion rupiah ($14 billion), making it the eighth-largest lender by assets in the country. The merger is slated to complete next year and is still subject to approval from regulators and shareholders. Indonesia is keen to position the country as the hub of the region's Islamic economy. The country's five-year master plan aims to increase the market share of Islamic financing in the country to 20% by 2024.

First Abu Dhabi Bank denies merger talks with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) said it was not in merger talks with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported in April 2019 that Abu Dhabi was considering merging the two lenders to create the Gulf region's largest lender. There has been speculation over the past year of more banking tie-ups in light of a wave of consolidation sweeping Abu Dhabi. With around 50 banks, the crowded UAE banking sector has been squeezed by lower government spending and thinner profit margins.

L’arrivée de la première Banque Islamique d’Australie retardée, mais confirmée très bientôt

Alors qu’elle avait trouvé son point d’ancrage sous le ciel ensoleillé de l’Australie, la finance éthique par excellence s’est heurtée à un écueil majeur, difficilement contournable. Si elle n’a pas encore largué les amarres sur l’îlot lointain du multiculturalisme, Covid-19 oblige, la première Islamic Bank for Australia (IBA) devrait toutefois prochainement, à l’horizon 2021, en faire son nouveau port d’attache. Loin de la France et de ses cris d’orfraie contre « l’halalisation » de l’Hexagone qui se perdent dans l’immensité des océans, la première banque islamique d’Australie se prépare à accoster sur les rivages de ce grand pays exportateur de produits Halal qui, demain peut-être, sera la nouvelle place forte de la finance éthique à l’autre bout du monde.

ZamZam Bank becomes #Ethiopia’s first Islamic bank

ZamZam Bank has obtained a license from Ethiopia’s banking regulator to carry out Islamic banking activities in the country. In May 2019, Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, expressed his approval in favor of the establishment of financial institutions entirely dedicated to Islamic finance. Several institutions have expressed interest in the activity, including ZamZam Bank which filed its application with the Central Bank. The bank was authorized to open its capital to investors to raise funds for its plan. As part of this process, ZamZam sold $18.3 million worth of shares. According to the National Bank of Ethiopia, the presence of institutions entirely dedicated to Islamic finance will improve financial inclusion in the country.

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