IslamicFinance.de mission is to support the Islamic finance, banking and takaful industry with news abstracts, opinions, a free encyclopedia, a Twitter page and networking.

#Kuwait's Noor to Weigh Stake Sale of #Pakistan's Meezan Bank

#Kuwait’s Noor Financial Investment is considering the sale of its 49% stake in Pakistan’s largest Islamic lender Meezan Bank. The stake has a market value of about $396 million at the current market price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Noor Financial hired advisers to assess opportunities, but it has not tasked the consultants with either increasing or decreasing its stake in Meezan Bank. Shares in Noor Financial gained 5.9% by 12:30 p.m. in Safat, Kuwait, the highest since April 16. Meezan advanced 3.6% in Karachi trading to a record high.

#Morocco opens first Islamic bank branch months after approval

The first Islamic bank in Morocco, Umnia Bank, has opened its doors five months after the central bank's approval. The North African country long rejected Islamic banking because of concern about Islamist movements, but its financial markets lack liquidity and investors. Umnia Bank is a joint venture of Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) and Moroccan lender Credit Immobilier et Hotelier (CIH Bank). Umnia recently opened a total of three agencies, two in Casablanca and one in Rabat. The bank plans to open more branches throughout the country. Morocco is the most advanced of North African neighbours in developing Islamic finance. Tunisia and Algeria are also starting to explore the sector.

Islamic finance is making a case for ‘impact investment’

Islamic finance is increasingly being discovered as a vehicle to support sustainable development goals by a method called "impact investing". For this the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development launched the "Global Islamic Finance and Impact Investing Platform". A report was also launched which sheds light on the potentials of Islamic finance in impact investment. The basic idea is that ethical values within finance are deeply rooted in Islamic theology and jurisprudence. Ethical and sustainable investment products can tap a wider range of demand if they are made Shariah-compliant to appeal to Muslims. At the same time, non-Muslims may embrace them if they are designed for an ethical purpose. Malaysia was the first to announce guidelines for the issuance of socially responsible sukuk as early as 2014. Meanwhile, Islamic finance companies from the UK, Canada, Hong Kong and GCC countries joined impact investing through Islamic finance.

Amana Bank gets regulatory nod to bring in fresh capital with exception to single shareholder limit

As an exception to the banking sector single shareholder limit, the Central Bank has allowed one of the shareholders of Sri Lanka’s Amana Bank to own up to 30% of the issued shares of the bank. Currently IDB has 120.4 million shares or 9.62% stake in Amana Bank, Sri Lanka’s first non-interest based Islamic bank. In recent times, the Central Bank had allowed several banks to have their key shareholders own even beyond 70% such as in the case of Union Bank and Cargills Bank. But they must gradually bring those stakes down to the regulatory limits over time. Amana Bank is required to meet its minimum regulatory core capital of Rs.7.5 billion by June 30, 2017. Given the performance of the share price and the non-receipt of dividends, shareholders may not show appetite to contribute for any fresh capital calls by the bank.

VEB to build bridge to Islamic world through Abu Dhabi, Iran and Bahrein

The 9th international economic summit is taking place in Tatarstan, Russia. The plenary session was dedicated to the discussion of partnership financing to develop relations between Russia and Organisations of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Islamic Finance World Leader Ashruff Jamal was the moderator of the plenary session. Tatarstan's President Rustam Minnikhanov said Tatarstan was making its first steps in Islamic banking. One year ago Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Evgeny Bushmin claimed the Bank of Russia and legislation were not ready to spread Islamic banking. In answer to that, Sberbank Deputy Chairman Oleg Ganeyev replied many questions are arising while implementing Islamic banking, but it is possible to work even within the acting Russian legislation. Vnesheconombank (VEB) Chairman Sergey Gorkov announced the appearance of VEB bank offices in Abu Dhabi, Iran and Bahrein.

#Oman starts marketing seven-year US dollar #sukuk

The Sultanate of Oman has started marketing a seven-year US dollar benchmark-sized sukuk offering at 270bp area over mid-swaps. Books are open for pricing via Alizz Islamic Bank, Citigroup, Dubai Islamic Bank, Gulf International Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered. The sovereign had signalled the possibility of an additional 12-year sukuk in its mandate. Expected issue ratings are Baa1 by Moody's and BBB by Fitch.

BRIEF-Kuwait Finance House denies any decision to merge with Ahli United Bank

Kuwait Finance House denies any decision to merge with Ahli United Bank. Kuwait Finance House is currently studying many other strategic alternatives to enlarge its profitability and marketshare among local and regional banks.

Islamic Development Bank to buy more stock in #Sri Lanka's Amana

The Islamic Development Bank will invest more cash in Sri Lanka's Amana Bank through an investment vehicle. Approval has been recently given for the investment group to go up to 29.9% of the stock by subscribing to a cash call. The investment vehicle IB Growth Fund (Labuan) will buy stock in in an upcoming rights issue. The investment deal was inked on May 18 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Ongoing row among Islami Bank board of directors

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said that the board of directors of Islami Bank Bangladesh has been engaged in an internal row. The row is over the appointment of new staff, that Islami Bank Vice-chairman Professor Ahsanul Alam claims were made on paying bribes. Due to the row between him and chairman Arastoo Khan, two groups in the board have also been created with the 21 directors supporting either Arastoo or Ahsanul, and each group calling the other a liar. In a statement released on May 20, nine directors threatened to resign from their posts. Professor Ahsanul Alam has claimed that three directors who are abroad have also opted in support of this statement.

#Nigeria May Become IsDB Regional Hub for Africa

Nigeria may become the regional operational hub of the 43-year old Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in Africa. IsDB is considering a proposal to expand its existing country gateway office in Abuja to serve as a key regional office. The office will coordinate the operations of the Bank in its West and Central African member-countries. According to the Ministry of Finance, the Abuja gateway office will serve Nigeria, Gabon, Niger, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, the Republic of Cameroon, Uganda, Senegal, Djibouti and Guinea Bisaau, among others. IsDB President Bandar Mohammed Hajjar said the Bank would enhance the development impact of its projects through comprehensive development solutions that integrate services and products in its member-countries.

Wifak Bank, une 3e banque islamique tunisienne

Le lancement officiel des activités de Wifak International Bank s’est tenue dans le hall du nouveau centre d’affaires au nord de Tunis. Wifak Bank a eu son agrément de la Banque centrale de Tunisie (BCT), le 8 octobre 2014. Selon M. Mellousse, Wifak Bank va, dans une première étape, mener ses activités à travers 9 agences réparties dans diverses régions du pays. La nouvelle banque proposera à ses clients un bouquet de services et produits bancaires modernes et innovants conformes aux dispositions de la finance islamique. Il convient de noter que les 3 banques islamiques tunisiennes ambitionnent d’atteindre, d’ici 2022, 15% des actifs bancaires contre 7% actuellement. La concurrence entre les banques islamiques et classiques est donc sérieusement lancée.

#Oman To Sell $2 billion In Islamic #Bonds To Close Oil Crisis Budget Deficit

Low oil revenues are prompting the government of Oman to sell $2 billion in Islamic bonds to raise funds for the national budget. The hole in Oman’s national budget will measure 12% of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, though forecasts predict the shortfall will decrease in coming years. Oman is also considering forging public-private partnerships to balance the cost burdens of nationalized industries. The country announced earlier that it would sell stakes in state-owned oil and gas downstream companies, but no concrete action has been taken. S&P Global Ratings lowered the monarchy’s credit rating from BBB- to BB+. As a response, finance minister Darwish Al Balushi said that Oman was confident of its economy and the country's reserves were still in a comfortable position.

Dana Gas receives partial payment of $50m from #Egypt

Dana Gas has received an initial payment of $50 million (Dh184 million) from the Egyptian government as partial payment of its outstanding receivables. This payment represents 18% of Dana Gas Egypt’s total overdue receivables of $283 billion (Dh1.038 billion) as of the end of first quarter 2017. Dana Gas, which pumps most of its gas at fields in Egypt and Iraq, is seeking to recover payments from both countries for overdue bills. The company was owed $1 billion from Egypt and the self-governed Kurdish region in northern Iraq. CEO Patrick Allman-Ward had previously said that the company will not make any new investments in Egypt due to delay in receiving payments. In the first quarter 2017, Dana Gas reported gross revenues of $118 million and net profit of $11 million. Overall group production was 69,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day, 16% higher compared to first quarter of 2016.

ICD and KIMB signed a MoU to cooperate in Islamic #Microfinance

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Al Kuraimi Islamic Microfinance Bank (KIMB) have entered into a Joint Strategic Collaboration to implement Islamic Microfinance Institutions. The memorandum was signed by the CEO of ICD, Mr Khaled Al Aboodi and the CEO of KIMB, Mr. Yousuf Al Kuraimi. The collaboration will focus on the implementation of Islamic Microfinance Institutions and Banks. KIMB will make equity investments conditioned upon ICD and its affiliates co-investing alongside. Special focus is on the provision of required technical and advisory services by ICD for the global expansion and diversification of KIMB’s current operations beyond Yemen.

ICD Signs MOU with the City Bank Limited to Strengthen Collaboration

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with City Bank Bangladesh in order to strengthen their collaboration. The signing ceremony was held at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the IDB Group in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The MOU was signed by the CEO of ICD, Mr Khaled Al Aboodi and Mr Sheikh Mohammed Maroof, Deputy Managing Director and Mr Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman, Chief Financial Officer of City Bank. The collaboration will encompass the areas of Term Finance, Public Private Partnership transactions, Lines of Finance and other areas. The signing ceremony was also attended by Mr Farid Masmoudi, Director of ICD, Mr Mahbub Jamil, Head of Structured Finance of City Bank and other high officials of both institutions.

Egyptian central bank to launch a #microfinance initiative next Tuesday

Egypt’s central bank is launching its anticipated microfinance initiative to support the country’s small and medium-sized businesses. According to the new initiative, the banks will not be obliged to establish a special unit for microfinancing; as they can provide both direct and indirect lending to clients. The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) plans to allocate 20 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.2 billion) for the microfinancing activities in the country. CBE deputy governor Gamal Negm announced earlier that the central bank is preparing the ground to launch an initiative dedicated for the microfinance sector before the end of this month.

Middle East WEF to focus on building jobs for young people

The World Economic Forum’s Middle East and North Africa meeting takes place this year at the Dead Sea in Jordan. The meeting’s formal programme has the theme: Enabling a Generational Transformation, and is based on three interrelated pillars: two long term and one urgent. The first long term pillar focuses on how to enable innovation and youth empowerment by using new technologies like bio-tech, nano-tech and artificial intelligence. These new technologies will continue to develop, so training people in these areas will be a long-term solution in creating new jobs for young people. The second pillar is about finding a framework for an inclusive economic transformation. The third and more urgent pillar is the search for how to best cope with the vast humanitarian crisis in the region. The common thread in all three strands is an optimism that anarchy and sectarian chaos can be defeated.

Gulf African banks on Shariah compliant #insurance scheme

#Kenya’s first fully Shariah compliant bank Gulf African is banking on a Shariah compliant insurance premium financing facility. The regular Insurance Premium Financing (IPF) enables customers to cover costs of immediate insurance premiums while spreading repayment over an agreed period. This Shariah compliant IPF enables the lender to enter into an agreement with both the insurer and the insured. The bank pays the full insurance premium of the insured immediately while operating under the Tawarruq model. Gulf African Bank CEO Bdalla Abdulkhalik said this policy will act as security for the bank and customers will also enjoy effortless renewals as agreed upon. Gulf African Bank will also act as the billing and collecting agent.

ICD, the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group (“IDB”) cooperates with Coris Bank International to launch Islamic windows

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Coris Bank International have entered into a Joint Strategic Collaboration to establish Islamic windows. ICD is assisting Coris Bank International’s subsidiaries in launching four dedicated Islamic windows in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal and Benin. The advisory agreement was signed by the CEO of ICD, Mr. Khaled Al Aboodi and Mr. Idrissa Nassa, CEO and Chairman of Coris Bank International. Mr. Nassa stated that the signature of this advisory agreement with ICD aims to achieve the bank's objectives. The current strategy of the group is to implement an Islamic Window in all its banking network. In midterm the group aspires to create sharia compliant subsidiaries.

Islamic Development Bank Provides #Jordan With US$100 Mln In Aid

The Islamic Development Bank signed an agreement with Jordan to provide the Kingdom with US$100 million in loans and grants. Jordan's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury said that the deal included a US$79 million loan and a US$21 million grant, adding that the amount would be used to finance projects in the field of health. The minister also highlighted pressure on Jordan in various fields of energy, education and infrastructure since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011. The minister urged all countries to provide further support to Jordan to help it cope with the challenges, noting that such support is vital for Jordan. Between 1975 and 2017, the bank provided Jordan with US$975.6 million in loans and grants to support projects in various fields.

Syndicate content