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Potential Noor Bank acquisition 'positive' for Dubai Islamic Bank

According to Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes, the potential acquisition of Noor Bank by Dubai Islamic Bank would be a positive move for the buyer. Also, there is room for more consolidation among local lenders as the UAE is overbanked, with 22 local and 38 foreign banks, most of which have "sub-optimal" market shares. EFG-Hermes expects a potential transaction to be made through a share-swap. It estimates a share-swap of 1 DIB share for 7.8 Noor Bank shares that would lead to a 1% earnings per share dilution for DIB. The merged entity would have an assets market share of 10%, as Noor Bank's assets amount to Dh51 billion or 2% market share and DIB’s assets amount to Dh224bn or 8% as of 2018.

Gassner's picture

Running to fundraise for UNICEF !

Dear friends,

After participating in the fundraising challenge for UNICEF by Cycling in the Swiss Alps, Crans-Montana, this year I changed the discipline - I do my FIRST ever participation in a running event!

Would you mind to donate - even for a first time - to UNICEF to make my feet lighter running for the cause?

English:
https://action.unicef.ch/en/vous-aidez-ainsi/collecte-de-dons/harmony-ge...

Francais:
https://action.unicef.ch/fr/vous-aidez-ainsi/collecte-de-dons/harmony-ge...

Many thanks also on behalf of the kids!

Best regards,

Michael Gassner

n/a

#Morocco to Launch Islamic Insurance (#Takaful) in 2019

Morocco will launch Takaful next year after introducing Islamic banking services in 2017. In July 2017, the Moroccan Government Council adopted a draft decree paving the way for implementation of the Takaful Law. Insurers wishing to operate in the segment will be required to offer exclusively Islamic products. Some big insurers such as French AXA and US Atlanta have already shown an interest. The Moroccan conventional insurance sector is thriving as shown by the growth of its turnover, which increased in 2017 by 10.9% to $4.1 billion. Insurance penetration increased in Morocco by one percentage point to 3.7% of GDP in 2017, against 2.1% in Tunisia and 1.7% for the MENA region.

Pope Francis Ditches Charity in Favor of Impact Investing

After decades of giving to charity, a growing number of Catholics are starting to put their philanthropic billions into profitable investments instead. The new aid model is also backed by Pope Francis. Catholic investment funds are increasingly investing in projects in emerging economies and earning a return while also doing good. Impact investing is growing in popularity among investors who want to support development goals such as clean energy, education and healthcare. According to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), $228 billion was managed in impact investments worldwide in 2017, double that of 2016. An organisation spearheading the new mission is Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CRS has lent $1 million to banks in El Salvador that lend on to city authorities to spend improving and expanding their erratic water services. CRS aims to give 300,000 people reliable water access in the next three years while also earning single digit returns from the loans.

IRTI and Dar Al Sharia Sign MOU to Develop Solutions for Islamic Financial Institutions

The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and Dar Al Sharia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for strategic collaboration. The MOU was signed by IRTI Director General, Dr. Humayon Dar, and CEO of Dar Al Sharia, Mian Muhammad Nazir. IRTI and Dar Al Sharia will jointly provide Islamic finance advisory services to Islamic financial institutions, multilateral financial institutions, sovereigns and quasi-sovereigns, corporate entities, development funds, regulators, Fintech companies, educational institutions and other clients offering Sharia-compliant products and services. Nazir said the strategic collaboration with IRTI was a landmark initiative towards the development of a sustainable platform for innovation in the Islamic finance industry.

#Egypt to get $1bln for basic goods from Islamic Bank - ministry

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) will provide Egypt with $1 billion to support the provision of basic goods. The financing is part of a $3 billion agreement with the ITFC, which is part of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Egypt's economy was battered after a 2011 uprising ushered in political instability that scared off tourists and foreign investors.
Earlier this week Egypt signed contracts with two global banks to hedge against fluctuating global oil prices. The investment ministry said the ITFC financing was part of a new cooperation strategy between Egypt and the IDB lasting until 2021.

Wahed Invest robo-adviser expands with new Islamic index funds

New York-based Wahed Invest has launched two sharia compliant index-tracking funds under its robo-adviser platform. According to CEO Junaid Wahedna, the company's goal is to make every asset class available to Muslim investors. The new equity funds launched by Wahed will track indices that are screened by Standard & Poor's. The funds have no lockup period and only charge an advisory fee rather than a management fee. Wahedna added that a recurring deposits tool has proven to be popular among clients, most of whom are first-time investors. Wahed raised $5 million in seed capital last year. The investment firm is backed by Gulf investors and venture firms including Boston-based Cue Ball Capital and Dubai-based BECO Capital.

Islamic GCC Bond Sales Fall by 32 Percent Due to Oil Price Hike

According to Moody’s Investors Service, the GCC region's sukuk issuance fell by 32% to reach $16.7 billion in the first half of 2018. This contributed to a reduction in the Gulf’s overall share of the global sukuk issuance to less than a third (30%) compared with 39% a year earlier. The GCC also dragged down total global issuance which fell by 12% to reach $55 billion in the first six months of the year. Recovery in the oil price has reduced pressure on Gulf government’s budget deficits and helped lower their borrowing requirements. While Islamic bonds have fallen out of favour in the Gulf, their appeal remains strong in Malaysia. The South-East Asian country increased its issuance by 9% in the first half of the year to reach $22.4 billion, making it the world’s leading Sukuk issuer.

ADIB's Riad Sees Strong Uptick in #Sukuk Activity in Second Half

In this interview Amir Riad, head of corporate finance at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) talks about the UAE's economy and the lender's sukuk business. Riad sees a positive traction as the oil price is stabilising and the capital markets are deepening. ADIB has just announced the issuance of a new tier 1 sukuk, which replaces the bank's issuance in 2012. He expects a strong sukuk activity in the second half for the whole GCC region.

#Fintech: Democratising #ESG investing

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has made it easier for retail investors to access investments that adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. According to Omar Selim, CEO of Arabesque Asset Management, technology is democratising ESG investing. Nowadays, both large and small financial institutions are able to extract and analyse ESG-related data using AI, which is cheaper and faster. One advantage of using AI is the ability to tap a larger pool of information and monitor the ESG performance of companies on a daily or monthly basis. Selim believes that ESG investing will gain more traction in the future as people’s views on investments change. More and more people want to invest in companies that have good corporate governance and sustainable business models.

#Saudi Arabia sells 4 billion riyals of domestic #sukuk

Saudi Arabia's finance ministry sold 4.0 billion riyals ($1.1 billion) of domestic Islamic bonds in its monthly auction. The issuance is actually a re-opening of the issue originally made in July. The ministry sold 2.25 billion riyals of five-year sukuk, 500 million riyals of seven-year and 1.25 billion riyals of 10-year, bringing the total issue size to 7.465 billion riyals.

Gassner's picture

Global Donors Forum London - Registration closes soon!

Please note that registration is about to close soon for Global Donors Forum 2018:

Registration: https://globaldonorsforum.org/register-delegate/

Draft agenda: https://globaldonorsforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/GDF2018_DraftAgend...

Looking forward to meeting you in person!

Paper by Torkel Brekke: Halal Money: Financial #inclusion and demand for Islamic banking in #Norway

Financial inclusion is high on the agenda for governments as well as for organizations such as the World Bank.

Research has pointed out that Muslims worldwide are less included in the formal financial system than non-Muslims, but there is no knowledge about the extent to which religious norms (most importantly the ban on interest on money) lead to financial exclusion among Muslims in the West.

In this article I approach the issue of financial exclusion and inclusion through three interrelated questions that will be answered with data collected in Norway 2015 and 2016.

The questions are:
(a) To what extent do Muslims see conventional banking as a problem in their own lives?
(b) Do level of education, age, national background or level of religiosity predict demand for Islamic banking?
(c) Is demand for Islamic banking changing?

This article is a first step in what should be a broader research program to find out whether and how religious norms cause financial exclusion of Muslims in the West.

Hill International to Provide Project Management for Bank Aljazira Project, Supporting #Saudi Arabia National Vision 2030

Hill International has received a three-year contract from Bank Aljazira to provide project management services for Aljazira’s Regional Management Office Building in Riyadh. The project will be one of Riyadh’s landmarks, reflecting Bank Aljazira’s image and its alignment with the Saudi Arabia National Vision 2030. The project location is planned to be north of the Capital, in the center of new major developments for the next 20 years. Hill International provides program management, project management, construction management and other consulting services to clients in a variety of market sectors. According to Engineering News-Record magazine, Hill International is the eighth-largest construction management firm in the United States.

AUB in push for #merger with KFH

Bahrain’s largest lender Ahli United Bank (AUB) has announced that two investment banks are evaluating a potential merger with Kuwait Finance House (KFH). HSBC and Credit Suisse are currently undertaking necessary valuations studies to assist AUB and to arrive at a fair share exchange ratio. If a merger proceeds, the total assets of the two banks would be $90.57 billion, making it the sixth largest bank in the Gulf. The major shareholders in the two lenders are Kuwait state-owned entities. The Public Institution for Social Security owns 18.59% of AUB, while KFH's largest shareholder is the Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA).

The IFSB Database Completes Five Years Data for Islamic Banking Systems in 21 Countries, including the United Kingdom for the First Time

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) published country-level data on financial soundness and growth of the Islamic banking systems for Q1 of 2018 from 21 IFSB member jurisdictions. This report includes the data from four newly joined countries, namely: Qatar, Palestine, Lebanon, and the first time for the United Kingdom. With the inclusion of new countries’ data, the total assets of the Islamic banking industry grew by 8.0% from USD 1,573 billion in 2017Q1 to USD 1,699 billion in 2018Q1. Financing by Islamic banks grew by 6.7% and reached USD 1,033 billion in 2018Q1 from USD 968 billion in 2017Q1. The number of full-fledged Islamic banks and Islamic windows of conventional banks in 21 IFSB member participating countries stood at 188 and 85 in 2018Q1 as compared to 184 and 84 in 2017Q1 respectively.

Will Global Fintech top guns help #Nigeria achieve 80% Financial Inclusion ?

Nigerian Fintech company Paystack has received an investment of $8 Million from Stripe, Visa, Y Combinator and Tencent. Over the last three years, Fintechs in the country have received funding, and that has increased steadily. Including Flutterwave’s $10 Million there was roughly $100 Million deployed into Fintechs. SureRemit, another Fintech raised $7 Million in an ICO this year. Over the last couple of years, more Nigerian Fintechs are being chosen for Y Combinator. All this activity and traction is also suitably backed by ecosystem players, policy makers and regulators. The rationale behind the investment from the Visa, Stripe and Tencent into Paystack is to help their expansion within Nigeria and to bring financial services to people who have so far been denied the opportunity.

ADGM’s aviation finance structure utilized in #sukuk issuance

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has facilitated the transaction of a 12 year Sukuk issued by Natixis and Noor Bank. It is the first instance where an ADGM structure has been used specifically to hold aircraft assets for issuing Sharia compliant bonds. The transaction follows the successful completion of the first aviation sale and leaseback transactions arranged by Natixis in ADGM in late 2016 and the registration of three international aviation leasing companies earlier this year. ADGM aims to position Abu Dhabi as an international aviation finance hub to deliver bespoke solutions for both Islamic and Conventional transactions.

Bricklane receives Shariah accreditation for its residential property investment #funds

Bricklane’s funds have been certified as compliant by the Shariah Committee of Minarah Consulting chaired by Sheikh Faizal Manjoo. Through Bricklane’s online platform, individuals can invest flexibly in geographically focussed funds that buy and let residential properties, one focussed on London, and another on the Regional Capitals of Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham. Available through ISAs and SIPPs, and with Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) tax status, it is the most tax-efficient way to invest in UK residential property. Performance for the Bricklane funds has been strong in both absolute and relative terms, with the Regional Capitals fund returning 8.7% to investors in its first year, and its London fund returning 10% at its first anniversary in July 2018.

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