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Dubai's Emirates REIT gives initial price guidance for 5-yr dollar #sukuk - lead

Dubai's Emirates REIT has given initial price guidance in the low-to-mid 5% for its debut U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk. The issuance of the sukuk is expected to be of benchmark size, which conventionally means the higher side of $500 million. The senior unsecured deal, with an expected BB+ rating by Fitch, will price later in the day.

REFILE-Islamic banks lag on corporate #governance -report

A report by the World Bank and the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) aims to encourage the sector’s governance. The findings are based on a survey of 77 Islamic banks across 22 countries, covering the industry’s core centres in the Gulf region and Southeast Asia and extending to Islamic banks in Africa and Europe. The report found risk governance was a weak spot for Islamic banks, recommending increased use of independent directors and strengthening the role of risk management officers. Sharia governance is another area of relative weakness, the big issues being the lack of diverse experience of the members on the sharia board and the infrequency of sharia board meetings. The report recommends the development of a new or revised standard for corporate governance that is specific to Islamic banks.

Global #Sukuk issuance to gain momentum in 2018 as new players enter market

Moody's estimates that total Sukuk issuance will reach around $95 billion by the end of this year, after more than $85 billion in 2016, including more than $50 billion of Sukuk issuance by sovereigns. According to Moody's Vice President Christian de Guzman, sovereign Sukuk issuance volumes will continue to grow in 2018 as governments look to diversify their financing mix and satisfy the liquidity needs of Islamic retail banks. A number of factors will support sovereign Sukuk issuance, including high borrowing needs for GCC sovereigns, which Moody's expects to reach around $148 billion in 2018. Malaysia remains the largest Sukuk market with an estimated 43% of total sovereign Sukuk outstanding, followed by Indonesia with 30%. Indonesia's issuance will likely grow with the government's efforts to develop the Islamic finance sector.

The disruptive impact of #Islamic #fintech

Fintech is fast gaining traction in the financial services industry, as both start-ups and traditional companies proactively incorporate methods to stay in the lead. In Malaysia, the national bank itself supports the role of fintech in Malaysia’s overall finance industry. According to Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor Marzunisham Omar, the next growth phase of Islamic finance requires the industry to ride the fintech wave. AmInvestment Bank CEO Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz said Islamic banks do not have an option not to adopt fintech. The only way that Islamic banks or Islamic funds or Islamic crowdfunding can reach out is to adopt mobile technology. She revealed that AmInvestment Bank is currently experimenting with its clients to use Distributed ledger technology (DLT) for the issuances of bank guarantee.

Cleric to parents: Encourage children to study Islamic finance

Tajudeen Yusuf, President at the Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals (IIFP), has advised parents to encourage their children to study Islamic finance. Yusuf gave the advice on Sunday at the 34th Triennial Conference of the Muslim Association of Nigeria (MAN). The theme of the national conference was "Path to National Economic Recovery, Growth and Development – The Islamic Perspective". According to Yusuf, Islamic Finance helps to redistribute wealth and reduce income inequality, as well as promotes inclusiveness through stakeholders participation. At the conference a new national executive was elected to run the affairs of the organization for the next three years. They include Alhaji Tajudeen Ojikutu (President), Dhikrullah Yagboyaju (Vice President), Ganiu Salawu (Secretary) and Nurat Adebayo (Public Relations Officer).

Diyanet against Bitcoin

Diyanet, the Turkish religious authority has ruled that bitcoin is not in accordance with Islam at this point of time.

“Buying and selling virtual currencies is not compatible with religion at this time. Because of the fact that their valuation is open to speculation, they can be easily used in illegal activities like money laundering and they are not under the state’s audit and surveillance,” according to Diyanet, as quoted by local newspapers. Noteworthy it said is also that the digital currencies are not under a central authority or under guarantee of a state or financial institution.

A recently released 55-page research paper by Faraz Adam of Amanah Finance Consultancy on the topic, it was concluded that bitcoin is “not ideal as a long-term investment, and neither should the Islamic finance industry consider its use in exchange, unless there is a specific need, until a regulated and transparent framework is established”.

http://darulfiqh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Research-Paper-on-Bitcoi...

It’s difficult to divert funds raised through #Sukuk bond – Usman

In this interview the Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman, speaks about Islamic banking in Nigeria. One of the main challenges is the high operating cost of banks, but Jaiz Bank managed to grow to a national bank. Starting in 2012 with only three branches, the bank expanded to 30 branches all over the country. The Nigerian government recently issued a N100bn Sukuk bond and Jaiz Bank was part of the process from the inception. The proceeds of the Sukuk will be dedicated to building roads across the country. Sukuk can ensure that projects are managed properly and there is no diversion. In terms of profitability, Jaiz Bank made profit in 2015 and even in 2016 in spite of the difficulty witnessed in the economy. According to Usman, 2017 looks even better because the fundamentals have started to improve and so the bank's performance will follow the trend of improved fundamentals.

GCC corporate, infrastructure #sukuk outlook uncertain

According to Standard & Poor’s, favourable market conditions supported the growth of corporate and infrastructure sukuk issuance across the GCC in the first nine months of 2017, but the outlook for 2018 is uncertain. Issuance in this segment increased to $6.8 billion (Dh24.97 billion), up from $2.8 billion during the same period of 2016. This growth suggests improvement in overall capital market activity, even though the number of corporate sukuk issuers remains low. Rising infrastructure needs and relatively low interest rates were the two support factors for corporate and infrastructure sukuk. GCC banks traditionally operate with high levels of capital, but analysts expect Basel III to make less of it available for project finance. That could make issuers consider capital market options in the form of conventional project finance debt or sukuk as an alternative to bank finance.

FINTQ to digitize Islamic #microfinance in Southern #Philippines

At the 7th Global Islamic Microfinance Summit, FINTQ Managing Director Lito Villanueva noted that there is a need to push for an enabling framework for Islamic microfinance in the Philippines. In the Philippines around 5.6% of the population are practicing Islam, with a geographic concentration in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Villanueva says despite its resource-rich landscape, ARMM remains largely underdeveloped with less than 70% of the adult population either unbanked or underserved. There are only 20 banks and 28 ATMs servicing almost 4 million ARMM residents. Not a single bank there is Shari'ah compliant. For its part FINTQ launched a national initiative called KasamaKA, which provides greater access to financial services, such as micro savings via agent banking, lending, micro insurance, remittances, micro investments and payments to every Filipino via a bottom-up approach.

What is holding back #corporate #sukuk issuers in the GCC

In the GCC there are only a few corporate entities that currently issue sukuk. GCC governments have so far prioritised external capital market funding for plugging fiscal deficits rather than for corporations. Prevailing subdued oil prices continue to lead to fiscal deficits for GCC nations. According to S&P analysts, governments are yet to be fully convinced of the merits of the private finance model for infrastructure. The GCC corporate and infrastructure sukuk market has yet to exceed double-digit growth in issuance or to attract a wider variety of entities. The Dana Gas restructuring announced in May also influenced sukuk activity in the third quarter of 2017. At the moment, it remains unclear what ramifications the Dana case would have for the sukuk market.

How loyal are Islamic banking customers?

Islamic banking is a growing industry, however still much smaller than conventional finance, even in Muslim majority nations. In the UAE, 76% of residents are Muslim, yet Islamic banks only hold 19% of banking assets. The question is: why would Muslims choose conventional banks when Halal options are available? Research has found that the chief reason was a better rate of return. A recent study shows that 25% of Islamic banking customers preferred conventional banks and products when interest rates were the same. When conventional banks offer 1% better interest rates, the share that would switch to conventional banks rose from 25% to 44%. About 25% of Islamic banking customers came to it because of their employers, while 35% use both Islamic and conventional banks. A group of about 40% of Islamic banking customers are truly loyal to Islamic banking, most likely for religious reasons.

Dana Gas says #UAE court allows it to appeal British #sukuk ruling

Dana Gas announced it will appeal against a British court’s ruling on its $700 million sukuk, after a UAE court lifted an injunction preventing it from participating in the British proceedings. Dana previously said the sukuk was invalid under UAE law and refused to repay holders of the sukuk which matured at the end of October. The energy producer sought a declaration on the sukuk’s lawfulness at courts in the UAE and Britain. Last month, a British court ruled in favour of Dana creditors, deciding the purchase undertaking was valid and enforceable. Dana has said it aimed to appeal against the ruling because it could not take part in proceedings. A hearing in Sharjah on the validity of the sukuk under UAE law is scheduled for Dec. 25.

#SECP notifies #Shariah #Standards No 17, 18 and 23 of AAOIFI

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has notified for public consultation three Shariah Standards of Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions. These are: Shariah Standard No 17 - Investment Sukuk, Shariah Standard No 18- Possession and Shariah Standard No 23 - Agency and the Act of an un-commissioned agent.
The SECP has been playing an active role in the Islamization of the economy. It endeavored to replicate the best international practices in the Islamic financial services. In order to ensure harmonization and standardization in the business practices of Islamic financial institutions, it has been gradually adopting Accounting and Shariah Standards issued by Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions as a benchmark for Islamic financial services while keeping in view the local business context.

#Islamic #banking drives #CIMB’s better-than-expected #results

9 months of financial year 2017 core net profit of RM3.415 billion is above our expectations and in line with consensus expectations accounting for 84% and 77% respectively of full-year estimates. This better-than-expected performance was driven by Islamic banking income which grew by 19% year-on-year. Although a slight dip had been expected. The rest was within our expectations with loans at about 7%, cost to income ratio <52%, and credit costs of about 65 basis points.

UPDATE 1-#Maybank posts 4th straight quarterly #profit gain on #Islamic #banking growth

Malayan Banking Bhd is Malaysia’s biggest lender by assets. It made higher profits for a 4th quarter in a row, which was driven by rising net interest income and growth at its Islamic banking operations.
Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy has recovered in 2017 after a challenging 2016, when growth slumped to its slowest pace since the global financial crisis in 2009. The turnaround has buoyed business for banks. Maybank posted a net profit of $496.70 million for the 3rd quarter ended September, up 13% a year ago. Its net interest income rose 8.6% while Islamic banking income increased by 24.3%. Revenue climbed 2.7%.
Earlier, CIMB Group Holdings, the number two lender of the country, reported a surprise rise in quarterly profit, helped by an improving domestic economy.
Malaysia‘s central bank has said the economy was on track to register growth of 5.2% to 5.7% this year, and may even exceed that estimate.

#Tanzania: Bank of Tanzania Dispels Islamic Bank Closure #Rumours

The Bank of Tanzania has come in motion in order to prevent a possible run on deposits at the sharia-compliant Amana Bank. This happend after reports went publich on social media of the financial institution's imminent closure.
Bank of Tanzania‘s Governor Florens Luoga stated that Amana Bank and other lenders were very stable and there was really no reason for panic over deposits. He confirmed that the bank is continueing with normal operations, and warned anyone speading false information about the future of some banks, including Amana. In these cases stern legal action would be taken. Additionally the Head of marketing and business Dassu Mussa said Amana Bank has sufficient liquidity. "All we can do is to make sure that our business is running efficiently and properly and we are very confident it is doing so."

#Pakistan raises $2.5 bln from #sukuk, #Eurobond sales, sees solid demand

Pakistan gained $2.5 billion from selling two U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk and Eurobond issues in New York, according to senior official. These issues had attracted total offers of $8 billion in the process.
Pakistani authorities however decided to only sell $2.5 billion at, according to officials „affordable rates“. In an interview an delegate said: "We have raised $1 billion through five-year sukuk at rate of 5.625% and $1.5 billion from a 10-year Eurobond maturity at a rate of 6.875%," Federal Secretary Finance Shahid Mehmood said.
These two deals have been the largest in the country's history so far. The 10-year bond was the cheapest bond ever launched by Pakistan. Last year the country borrowed $1 billion in the global sukuk market at 5.5%. It also floated a 10-year, $500 million Eurobond at 8.25% in 2015.
The government appointed a consortium of Standard Chartered Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Bank as the lead managers for conducting sukuk transactions. Noor Bank thereby will manage the Middle East sukuk bond.

#UAE #Islamic #banking #assets #surge 6% to $146bln in 10 months

Assets of the Islamic banks operating within the UAE totalled to 535 billion AED by the end of last month. That is around 6% growth since the beginning of this year. And it accounts for 20.2% of the total banking assets in the country. These are valued at around 2.639 trillion AED during the first 10 months of 2017, according to figures of the UAE Central Bank.
This obvious growth in Sharia-compliant financial operations in the UAE mirror the significant development of these kind of banking products which have been enjoying impressive growth across the whole region in the last few years.

According to Central Bank figures, the value of credit provided by the Islamic Banks since the beginning of 2017 until October surged to 361 billion AED, a growth of 7.7% against that of December 2016.
Loans and credit facilities provided by Islamic banks make up 22.8% of total loans provided by the entire banking system in the UAE, valued at 1.584 trillion AED by the end of last month.

Public awareness key to boost Islamic finance in #Turkey

According to the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), Turkey should raise public awareness of Islamic finance to boost the sector's market share. CIBAFI's secretary general, Abdelilah Belatik, called Turkey's target of raising Islamic banks’ share to 20% by 2023 ambitious but achievable. The council’s annual gathering to discuss Islamic finance will be held in Turkey next April. Belatik said that countries like Turkey and Indonesia and regions such as Central Asia and Africa are important as they have a great growth potential in the Islamic finance sector. Belatik said they work with countries which lack the infrastructure and regulation for Islamic finance to show them its role in the economy. He also underlined Islamic finance's significance for financial stability.

In expanding role, IILM plans longer tenor Islamic bonds programme

The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM) plans to expand issuance of sukuk beyond its current short-term programme to address latent demand from Islamic banks. Establishing a new medium-term programme would allow the IILM to offer a wider range of highly liquid financial instruments. The IILM currently has around $3 billion in outstanding sukuk and it could gradually increase this to between $3.5 to $4 billion, depending on consistency of demand. Around 60% of demand for IILM sukuk comes from Islamic banks in Gulf countries with the rest split across Asia and international banks. But there is also potential for IILM sukuk in non-member countries, such as Oman and Britain as well as jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

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