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Regulating AI in Finance: Putting the Human in the Loop

Globalization, digitization and technology are propelling Artificial Intelligence (AI) forward in finance at an ever increasing pace. Despite the fact that finance is where some of the greatest investment is taking place, little has been written about potential financial regulatory concerns. Traditional financial supervision, focused on external supervision, is generally unlikely to be highly effective in addressing the risks created by AI. The most effective path forward involves regulatory approaches which bring the human into the loop, enhancing internal governance and personal responsibility through external regulation. The most effective are AI-tailored manager responsibility frameworks, augmented in some cases by independent AI review committees.

Report Calls for Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships to Accelerate SDGs

A new report from Philanthropy University, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and GSVlabs offers recommendations for strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships focused on advancing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. According to the report, SDG Partnerships Agenda 2030: Accelerating Progress, According to the report, the global community faces a $2.5 trillion annual funding gap with respect to the SDGs and no nation is on track. Studies have shown that only about a quarter of existing partnerships are meeting their objectives, while many participants in such partnerships are concerned about their costs. Taking steps to partner differently will enable stakeholders to leverage the untapped potential of philanthropy as not only a funder but a facilitator, of government as not only an approver but a builder, of civil society organizations not only as implementors but experts, and of the private sector as an accelerator of rather than a barrier to SDG efforts.

Nasdaq Dubai welcomes listing of $2 billion Sukuk by Islamic Development Bank

Nasdaq Dubai welcomed the listing of a US$2 billion Sukuk by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). The sukuk was priced at a profit rate of 1.809 percent payable on semi-annual basis. This Sukuk makes IsDB the leading Sukuk issuer by total value on Nasdaq Dubai at $15.64 billion. The first of IsDB’s 12 current Sukuk listings on the exchange was a $1 billion instrument that listed in 2015. The other IsDB listings are three Sukuk of $1.5 billion each, a $1.3 billion Sukuk, four Sukuk of $1.25 billion each, a EUR650 million Sukuk and a EUR1.1 billion Sukuk.

Saudi's Fawaz Abudulaziz Alhokair secures $800mln Islamic finance

Saudi-listed retail group Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Company has signed a Murabaha facility and a revolving credit facility agreement with a syndicate of Saudi banks. The $800 million debt facility is composed of two tranches, including a $650 million Murabaha to be fully utilized in refinancing existing debt, and a $150 million revolving standby credit facility to finance the business’ operational and expansion needs. The Murabaha matures in 7 years, while the revolving credit facility’s tenure is 3 years. The banks participating in the loan agreement are: Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation, the National Commercial Bank, Samba Financial Group, Arab National Bank, Mashreqbank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

Digital platform to drive takaful demand

Malaysia has firmly established itself as an Islamic hub in the world through leadership and innovative product offerings. As such, the creation of an Islamic finance-enabling ecosystem is the key driver of the Malaysian takaful industry’s growth. The takaful sector continues to enjoy faster growth than the conventional insurance sector. Family and general takaful premiums rose by 29.6% and 16.4% respectively in the first half of 2019 (1H19), compared to 12.2% in conventional life and -1.3% in general insurance. However, surverys show that almost half of the Malaysian population does not have protection due to a lack of awareness. According to Fitch Ratings, takaful operators should rethink the way these products are positioned to entice a larger crowd looking for general protection through the use of digital applications.

#Kenya: Djibouti's East African Bank Distance Self From Kenya Registered Bank

The East Africa Bank based in Djibouti has written to the Central Bank of Kenya raising concerns of a fraud using the bank's name and logo. Curiously, the logo, colours and the information on the website of the East African Savings Bank (EASB) are similar to those of the East Africa Bank based in the capital city of Djibouti. Both East Africa Bank and East Africa Savings Bank are apparently Sharia compliant. The East Africa Bank has already reported to the Central Bank of Kenya as well as the Banking fraud investigations unit for further action. The East Africa Bank believes this is a fraudulent misrepresentation and urges all customers to avoid dealing with the said entity.

Casablanca : Des experts étudient l'impact de la finance participative sur les ODD

La Société Islamique pour le Développement du Secteur Privé (ICD) et Al Akhdar Bank organisent les 20 et 21 février 2020 à Casablanca une conférence de l’impact de la Finance Participative sur les Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD). Les Master Classes de cet évènement ont pour but d’appuyer les différentes potentialités agissant directement ou indirectement dans le secteur de la Finance participative dans la compréhension des mécanismes islamiques permettant de financer le développement durable, tel que les Green Sukuk par exemple. Ces séances de formation ciblent plusieurs catégories d’acteurs, entre autres, les investisseurs institutionnels, les sociétés de capital-investissement, les firmes de capital-risque, les institutions du secteur privé concernées par le développement durable.

Sukuk Islamique: La Côte d’Ivoire remboursera une dette de 19 milliards de fcfa le 7 mars

L’Etat de Côte d’Ivoire procédera le 7 mars 2020 au paiement des profits semestriels et au remboursement partiel du capital de son Sukuk Etat de Côte d’Ivoire 5,75% 2016-2023 pour un montant global net d’impôt de 18,488 milliards de FCFA (27,732 millions d’euros). Les profits s’élèvent à 3,488 milliards de FCFA et le principal à 15 milliards de FCFA. L’Etat ivoirien avait lancé durant la période du premier au 31 août 2016 un appel public à l’épargne le sur le marché financier de l’Union monétaire ouest africaine (UMOA), pour un montant de 150 milliards de FCFA (225 millions d’euros). Le montant levé était destiné au financement de projets de développement économique et social de la Côte d’Ivoire.

KYC Blockchain consortium in Dubai: possible implications?

The Know Your Customer or KYC blockchain consortium in Dubai is due to happen soon in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Banks and financial authorities have come together to form a consortium that would be sharing the KYC information not just between the banking giants of the country but also the financial regulatory authority. KYC is among the most hated protocols in the cryptocurrency universe; given the fact that the very idea of KYC stands for everything against the cryptocurrency. Ironically enough, the KYC blockchain consortium in Dubai would be using the very technology that powers the cryptocurrency sphere to keep the user information. KYC information includes the identification of the user and other details that would allow the authorities to track the finances back to the user.

Algérie : Vers la création de banques islamiques (Finance Islamique)

Sous le thème « L’avenir de la finance islamique à la lumière des développements contemporains en Algérie », le colloque international sur la finance islamique s’est tenu à l’Université de Tipaza les 18 et 19 Février. Le colloque a appelé les autorités Algériennes à accélérer la cadence, notamment sur le volet des dispositifs financiers, afin d’établir des lois relatives à la création de banques et de compagnies d’assurances islamiques. Le ministre délégué chargé des Statistiques et de la Prospective, Bachir Messaitfa avait annoncé lors de l’ouverture du séminaire organisé à l’Université de Tipaza le 18 février, que l’avenir des banques islamiques en Algérie est pionnier et prometteur, qui s’inscrit dans la vision du gouvernement à l’horizon 2035.

Meezan Bank Shariah Board endorsed guidelines for digital mobile account

Meezan Bank's Shariah Board endorsed new guidelines related to digital accounts, supply chain financing and a housing finance facility. The Shariah Supervisory Board showed its overall satisfaction on the Shariah-compliance environment and operations of the Bank. Guidelines for the digital Meezan Asaan Mobile Account based on Mudarabah were approved during the board meeting. From now on a customer can open his digital mobile account at Meezan Bank without the hassle of visiting any physical branch. The customer will be entitled to receive halal profit based on actual returns of Shariah-compliant financings on monthly basis. Furthermore, the customer can use this account to deposit and withdraw funds digitally or from any Meezan Bank branch all over Pakistan.

Standard Chartered commits USD75bn towards Sustainable Development Goals

Standard Chartered announced new business targets for supporting its clients as they transition to a low carbon economy. By the end of 2024, the Bank commits to providing USD40 billion of project financing services for infrastructure that promotes sustainable development. Standard Chartered also intends to reduce its emissions across its global properties by 2030. In October 2018, the Bank created the Sustainable Finance team and has since launched sustainable deposit products in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York. In addition, a EUR500 million Sustainability Bond was also launched, the proceeds of which will be used to provide finance in areas aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, including clean energy projects, smaller business lending and microfinance loans.

Insurance Firm Takaful Launches MyCyberCare Tool to Protect Businesses from Online Fraud

Takaful Insurance of Africa developed a new product, a digital data protection tool that will enable individuals and businesses to secure their online presence. Known as MyCyberCare, the product will cover users on all forms of online fraud and virus attacks. During the presentation, Takaful representatives reiterated the importance of the recently signed Data Protection Bill that details a lot of measures that can be enforced to protect personal data. Takaful, which says it processes cybercrime claims in under 72 hours, will avail the product to interested companies and people. Plan prices will range from KES 50000 to KES 3 million.

Chubb in talks to merge Chubb Arabia with AlAhli Takaful Company

Property/casualty insurer Chubb's Saudi Arabian division, Chubb Arabia Cooperative Insurance Company, has entered into preliminary discussions with AlAhli Takaful Company to explore the possibility of merging the two companies.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank to cut jobs as it seeks to save $136m

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) is considering cutting jobs and closing branches as part of a series of cost-cutting measures. The cutbacks come as ADIB announced a growth of 4% in net profit for 2019 to AED2.6 billion while group net revenues increased by 2.5% to AED5.9 billion. Net profit margin was 4.25%, despite lower rates in the market, helped by the positive impact of the low cost of funds. The UAE economy is coming under pressure from regional geopolitical tensions and weak domestic demand, while business conditions worsened for the first time in over a decade. ADIB joins competitors such as First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and Emirates NBD in cutting jobs.

Dubai Islamic Bank hires banks to arrange dollar #sukuk issuance - document

Dubai Islamic Bank has hired regional and international banks to arrange a potential long five-year or seven-year dollar sukuk issuance. The bank hired Bank ABC, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, ICBC, KFH Capital, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank to lead the potential Islamic bonds sale. They will arrange an investor call on Thursday and investor meetings in London on Tuesday.

$26mln Islamic financing for #Oman copper-gold project

The Omani-Australian partnership Al Hadeetha Resources has secured funding to the tune of RO 10 million from Alizz Islamic Bank, which will support the financing of the formers copper-gold project. Australian-based mining firm Alara Resources is a majority investor in the project, which centres on the commercialization of an estimated 16 million tons of copper. These new financing arrangements signify another key milestone for the flagship Al Hadeetha Copper-Gold project in Oman. The funds will be used to procure major equipment for the copper processing plant at Washihi. Meanwhile, Al Hadeetha Resources has named Chinese state-owned enterprise China National Geological & Mining Corporation (CGM) as its Engineering Procurement Construction contractor. The project is expected to come into operation by Q1 2021.

Al Baraka Bank leveraging a robust global network

In this interview Adnan Ahmed Yousif, President & Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group reviews the group’s 2019 results. Overall, Al Baraka Bank maintained its healthy financial performance despite the lower-income. However, Al Baraka's adherence to its conservative approach to set aside hedging provisions for all its units resulted in a 14% decrease in net income attributable to shareholders during the third quarter. In 2019 the bank launched the Al Baraka Global API website, a step towards innovation in open banking. Al Baraka Banking Group also inaugurated a new fintech company which focuses on e-payments ‘alneo’ in Turkey through its Turkish subsidiary. The bank’s units opened six new branches, taking the total number of branches to 703. Yousif is planning to enter new markets in the coming period through the presence in the Indonesian and Chinese markets, expansion in East Asia, as well as Africa.

Saudi art organisation acquires vast collection of Middle Eastern art from Dubai's bankrupt Abraaj firm

The private Saudi art organisation Art Jameel has bought a vast collection of works by leading artists commissioned by the now defunct, Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj. The collection had been planned to go on long-term loan to Art Jameel’s Dubai space, Jameel Arts Centre, before the financial company went bankrupt in 2018. It will now be managed as part of the Art Jameel Collection and part will be housed at the centre in Dubai. The 29 pieces, created over ten years from 2008 as part of the annual Abraaj Group Art Prize, are by artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia including Kader Attia, Shezad Dawood, Rana Begum and Wael Shawky.

Islamic Development Bank starts marketing dollar #sukuk

Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank began marketing a five-year dollar sukuk at high-40s basis points over mid-swaps. The bank has hired Citi, Dubai Islamic Bank, HSBC, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, LBBW, Natixis and Standard Chartered Bank to arrange the potential debt sale. The issuance is under Islamic Development Bank’s $25 billion trust certificate issuance programme and is expected to be of benchmark size. Benchmark size generally means upwards of $500 million.

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