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APICORP Issues $500 Million, 5-Year #Sukuk

The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) has launched a USD 500 million 5-year sukuk off its USD 3 billion Trust Certificate Programme. APICORP undertook extensive investor meetings at the beginning of October in Asia, in the UAE and in London. The extensive marketing explains the successful outcome which included a book in excess of USD 3.45bn from 215 investors. The final distribution was 41% MENA and 59% in Europe, Asia and off-shore US. CEO Ahmed Ali Attiga said that with over 200 investors APICORP had firmly planted its flag in the capital markets. He added that the success of this transaction was testament to APICORP’s impressive 40 year track record and Aa3 credit rating. Abrar Hussain, Head of DCM at Credit Agricole CIB, mentioned that the extensive set of investor meetings also contributed to the oversubscription of the sukuk.

Detention of Saleh Kamel does not impact Al Baraka Bank #Egypt

Ashraf Ahmed Mustafa El-Ghamrawy, CEO of Al Baraka Bank Egypt said that the bank’s activity was not impacted by the detention of the Saudi businessman Saleh Kamel. Kamel is the chairman and founder of the Dallah al Baraka Group (DBHC) which owns Al Baraka Bank Egypt. The anti-corruption committee set up by Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz has recently detained a number of Saudi princes, ministers and businessmen for corruption charges. According to El-Ghamrawy, what happens with Kamel in Saudi Arabia will have no effect on the bank’s performance in Egypt. He also notified the Egyptian Stock Exchange that Kamel is not a member of the board of directors. Therefore, there is no impact on the bank.

Holistic Finance, a movement launched in Switzerland!

In this article Efi Pylarinou shares a few takeaways from the Impact Summit-Faith in Finance held in Zug, Switzerland. Takeway number 1 is that Finance can become Holistic. Blockchain is the enabler for investing and managing all kinds of Digital Assets. The second takeaway is that Finance can become Holistic through the alignment with Faiths. The conference showcased a diverse selection of SDGs and ventures that are in alignment with the movement. Example ventures include: Equileap, focused on gender diversity, TBLI Group, educating asset managers about impact investing, MicroVest, a wholesale microfinance solution with a Faith alignment, SweetBridge, a blockchain solution for the inefficiencies in the Supply Chain, the Seratio Faith Coin, GoBeyond, angel investing empowering women, ThinkYellow, a gender led investing platform, Symbiotics, financing social SMEs, Kompotoi, the rentable composting toilet and 1Bank4All, the global social bank.

#Malaysia's MBSB agrees to buy Asian Finance Bank for $152 mln

Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) plans to acquire Asian Finance Bank (AFB) from its foreign shareholders for 645 million ringgit ($152.5 million). Malaysia Building Society agreed with AFB's shareholders to pay 396.9 million ringgit in cash and the issuance of 225.5 million new shares at 1.10 ringgit per share. The deal values AFB at 1.3 times book value, MBSB said. MBSB has sought to become a full-fledged bank in the last few years. In 2014 a three-way merger deal with CIMB Group Holdings and RHB Bank was planned, but the plan fell through in early 2015. Talks with Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd in the last quarter of 2015 also collapsed.

The resurgence of Islamic social finance

The growth of the global Islamic finance has provided a niche market with solutions through a well-defined Islamic ethos. Unfortunately, Islamic finance has been criticised for having diverted from its core principles of socio-economic empowerment. As a model, Islamic finance has advocated the narrative of a sharing economy through risk-sharing and fairness. However, the growth of Islamic finance has been witnessed primarily in wealthy nations without equally impacting those that are less fortunate. International organisations such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are now actively considering Islamic finance solutions. In terms of sukuk, the era of the 'Green' Sukuk is upon us. With regards to research, the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) initiated a whole unit dedicated to Social Finance.

APICORP lists $500 million #Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai

Nasdaq Dubai has welcomed the listing of a $500 million Sukuk by APICORP, the development bank of the Arab world’s oil and gas industries. The transaction is APICORP’s second Sukuk listing on Nasdaq Dubai, as the first was in January 2016. The Sukuk was issued under a $3 billion Sukuk programme and is aimed at diversifying its funding sources. APICORP’s activities include equity investment, debt financing, financial advisory and energy research services. Sukuk listings in the Emirate currently totals at $52.97 billion. 11 Sukuk listings have taken place so far in 2017 on Nasdaq Dubai with a total value of $10.25 billion.

Dana Gas Is Said to Miss Payment on $700 Million #Sukuk Today

Dana Gas has no plans to repay the two mudaraba sukuk of $350 million in size each due Oct. 31. The company shocked the Islamic finance industry when it said it no longer considered its sukuk Shariah-compliant. The missed payment will be the second time in five years the company fails to settle bonds at maturity. In June Dana Gas offered to replace the existing sukuk with four-year bonds that pay less than half the current rate. It retracted that offer in July, adding that it will seek a court-driven solution. A UAE injunction has barred Dana Gas from taking part in the trial in London, but British judge George Leggatt will hand down a ruling on the 13th of November.

Ibdar: Pioneering a Fully Digitised Islamic Investment Bank

Ibdar Bank is directing its FinTech strategies to position the bank as a fully-digitised Islamic investment bank. The Bank has USD277 million in paid up capital and a geographical reach that spans the GCC and Middle East North Africa Turkey (MENAT) region. The Bank also transacts in Southeast Asia and select developed markets. Ibdar Bank has significant expertise in areas including aviation, infrastructure, maritime, oil & gas, and real estate. According to CEO Ayman Sejiny, Ibdar has set out a comprehensive plan in 2018 for its engagement with global Fintech service providers. In the first phase, the bank is set to digitise its operations internally, the second phase will focus on implementing its service offerings in response to the needs of a Global Islamic Digitised Economy (GIDE). Sejiny added that the Central Bank of Bahrain has taken decisive steps towards a FinTech supportive environment in order to facilitate the growth of the sector.

Dubai Islamic Bank #Pakistan, Shahnawaz Ltd sign strategic alliance

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) and Shahnawaz have entered into a strategic alliance agreement. Shahnawaz is the authorized general distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Pakistan. This initiative will help in establishing Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan as the preferred financial services partner for Mercedes-Benz in the country. The signing ceremony was held in Karachi in the presence of M Naeem, CEO of Shahnawaz, Naseem Shaikh, General Manager of Shahnawaz and Junaid Ahmed, CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan. Junaid Ahmed said this alliance enables the bank's high net worth clientele to achieve their dream of driving their own state-of-the-art Mercedes.

#Workshop on #waqf management begins in Dhaka tomorrow

An international workshop on waqf management begins in Dhaka tomorrow. The event is jointly organized by the Islamic Research and Training Institute, Islami Bank Bangladesh and the Centre for Zakat Management. The workshop on the revival of waqf for socio-economic development will review the rules and regulations of waqf management in different countries. President Abdul Hamid is scheduled to inaugurate the event. Islami Bank Chairman Arastoo Khan stated that waqf could play a vital role in developing the country and there were many rich people in the country who want to donate for waqf. A total of 29,341 accountholders of Islami Bank has so far deposited Tk 104 crore under its waqf product called Cash Waqf.

How Financial #Inclusion Can Move People Out of Poverty

The theme of this year’s Financial Inclusion Week is how new products and partnerships can enable financial inclusion. Promoting inclusion is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also critical to the future of business. A good example can be found in the joint report by Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion and the Institute for International Finance, entitled "How Financial Institutions and Fintechs are Partnering for Inclusion: Lessons from the Frontlines". The report recognizes Mastercard's collaboration with Kopo Kopo, a fintech start-up, and Diamond Trust Bank. They managed to create a QR-payment ecosystem in Kenya that allows customers to pay with their phones, by simply taking a photo of a QR code and manually entering the transaction amount.

#Saudi's Jabal Omar picks two banks for #sukuk sale early next year -sources

Saudi Arabia’s Jabal Omar Development Company has hired two banks to manage a sukuk sale which could exceed 4 billion riyals ($1.07 billion). Bank Albilad and GIB Capital were hired to arrange the issuance, which is planned for the first quarter of 2018. The property developer's sukuk would be among just a few corporate debt sales expected over the next few months, as the Saudi market is still largely dominated by government bonds. The government has issued a total of 47 billion riyals through monthly sukuk sales since July, and is likely to continue. Jabal Omar’s flagship Mecca development project includes residential units, hotels and commercial malls. The company has raised a number of large bank loans over the past few years, and the sukuk proceeds would be used to refinance its existing bank debt.

Exclusive: First Islamic #robo-adviser to launch in Mena

The first Sharia-compliant robo advisers plans to start operations in the UAE soon, as it looks to a US$2 million funding boost this week from the Dubai venture capital firm Beco Capital. The digitally automated investment adviser Wahed Invest launched in the USA five months ago. CEO Junaid Wahedna said the company was in the process of moving to a new office in Dubai which will become the company’s new global headquarters. Wahed Invest expects to start regional operations by mid-Nov­ember, focusing initially on the UAE. According to Wahedna, the target for ethical, Sharia robo-advisory is the younger demographic, 25-35 years old, digitally savvy and educated millennials. The minimum investment of $100 enables it to tap into a broader customer base.

#Bahrain’s GFH eyes #Saudi asset management moves

Bahrain’s GFH Financial Group is considering a listing in Saudi Arabia. CEO Hisham al-Rayes said the Group was also keen to participate in Saudi Arabia’s privatisation programme in sectors such as education and healthcare. He added that GFH was looking at asset management and private equity sector as sectors to acquire. Al-Rayes also disclosed that GFH was in talks with an unnamed financial services company in the Gulf. GFH's acquisition of Dubai-based Shuaa Capital was postponed due to a failure to reach acquisition terms and a lack of initial regulatory approval.

Business schools teach Islamic finance, and all are welcome

The world's growing Muslim population opens up near limitless potential for Islamic finance. However, the pool of talent is very limited at the moment. The International Center for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) welcomes students from all over the world. Since its opening in 2006, half of the 1,300-plus graduates have been Malaysians, but the other half have been from over 70 countries. The list includes predominantly Muslim nations, like Indonesia, Pakistan and Somalia, but one does not have to be Muslim to enroll. Malaysian authorities are encouraging other educational endeavors, too. The Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia will launch two new programs offering professional certifications in Islamic finance. The two certifications, chartered Islamic banker and chartered takaful practitioner, are the equivalent of conventional financial qualifications.

Unified industry practices key to Islamic finance growth: AAOIFI

The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) will prioritize wider adoption of its standards by engaging national regulators in key markets. Islamic finance has grown fast in part due to self-regulation, but the approach is now viewed as a barrier to growth. AAOIFI secretary-general Hamed Hassan Merah said wider adoption had a direct link to the qualitative growth of the industry. AAOIFI has recently signed Borsa Istanbul and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency as institutional members. Special attention will be given to Malaysia and the convergence of AAOIFI standards with the local rules. An AAOIFI survey of 213 scholars found 78% of respondents favour making AAOIFI sharia standards mandatory. On the other hand, 82% of respondents said Islamic finance institutions should adopt them on a voluntary basis.

IFSB: Islamic #FinTech Finance Bigger in Asia than First Thought

Islamic fintech finance in Asia is anticipated to be bigger than originally thought. According to the secretary-general of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), Zahid ur Rehman Khokher, Islamic finance has the potential to expand further into the Asian market. He noted that the IFSB has been closely monitoring global developments in fintech. Yet, he feels there is a shortage of staff with the appropriate skills. Earlier this month, it was reported that Malaysia was the idea test bed for developing fintech solutions. According to Marzunisham Omar, assistant governor at the Bank Negara Malaysia, even though Islamic finance is still growing within the country, now is the time for the sector to embrace the fintech wave.

Bridging Islamic Finance and Impact Investing

The 2017 Annual Impact Investor Survey from the GIIN showed that respondents committed more than $21 billion to impact investments in 2016 and planned to commit 17% more in 2017. Geographically, however, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) only makes up 2% of assets under management. Islamic finance is largely concentrated in three markets, Iran, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, but it spans nearly every part of the world. Globally there are largely untapped markets that show immense potential for Islamic finance, such as sub-Saharan Africa. There, the primary driver of the region’s Islamic economy is the need for quality infrastructure. For example, the Nigerian government recently announced the sale of a N100 billion ($326 million) debt sovereign sukuk on the local market, meant to fund road infrastructure in the country. The principles of Islamic finance and impact investing have many areas of overlap. Islamic finance can be a strong source to finance sustainable development in many areas around the world.

How To #Invest According To Your Religious Values: ETFs And Mutual Funds

There are investment products such as ETFs and Mutual Funds which are designed to hold investments that are compatible with religious values for Christians, Catholics, and Muslims. The Amana Growth Fund has an expense ratio of 1.10%, an SEC yield of 0.45% and a minimum investment of $250. The Amana Income Fund has an SEC yield of 1.07%, an expense ratio of 1.13% and has a minimum investment of $250. It has $1.39B in assets. There is also the Azzad Wize Capital Fund which invests in sukuk and Islamic banking deposits. It has a minimum investment of $4000 and an expense ratio of 1.29%. It has a 30-day SEC yield of 1.14% and comparable total returns to short term credit bond ETFs such as the iShares 1-3 Year Credit Bond ETF.

#Pakistan's Islamic banks show its conventional peers how it's done

While still quite new in Pakistan, Islamic banking is moving ahead in all segments of their operations. The network of Islamic banking institutions (IBIs) has expanded. Now it consists of 21 IBIs, five full-fledged Islamic banks and 16 conventional banks having stand-alone Islamic banking branches. IBIs have expanded their branch network to 2,320 branches. The number of Islamic banking windows, operated by conventional banks, is now at 1,255. Islamic banks' assets in overall banking assets were 11.6% at the end of June. Their asset base increased by Rs150 billion, or 8%, during the quarter to stand at Rs2,035 billion. The market share of IBIs in the overall banking industry was recorded at 11.6% and deposits 13.7% at end-June 2017.

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