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Gassner's picture

Call for Sponsors and Media Partners

Dear Visitors,

The Global Donors Forum is being conducted since 2008. Now, for the first time it is coming down to Geneva, scheduled for June 22-24 2020.

Geneva is an unique cluster of international organisations (UN, WTO, WHO, ICRC, IFRC ...), private banks, family offices and foundations, trading companies, art & culture and also lifescience and food.

The working title of linking Muslim Philanthropy to Inclusive Capitalism allows donors and impact investors from the Muslim world and beyond to network with direct access to representatives of the Geneva community.

Please find more background and partnership options below:

Profile: https://globaldonorsforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/GDF_PROFILE2020.pdf
Proposal: https://globaldonorsforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/Partnership_Propos...

Best regards,

Michael Gassner
Editor, IslamicFinance.de
Convener, GlobalDonorsForum.org

Qatar- Malaysia builds framework for digital Islamic banks

Malaysia's central bank Bank Negara Malaysia is pushing the financial sector to join the digital banking revolution. It is preparing the issuance of the country's first five digital banking licences. Digital banks also named virtual banks, neobanks or challenger banks predominantly deliver banking services through digital channels such as Internet portals and smartphone apps with minimal, if any, brick-and-mortar presence. Among the largest standalone digital banks globally are currently N26 from Germany, Monzo, Starling and Revolut from the UK, Chime from the US, Tangerine from Canada, Nubank from Brazil, Neat from Hong Kong and WeBank from China. In the Islamic financial industry examples are insha, a co-operation of Turkey's Albaraka Turk Participation Bank with German solarisBank, and some others such as Boubyan Bank. Adding to this, Qatar Islamic Bank as part of its digital transformation has developed a fully digital financing services arm. Malaysia could potentially join with digital Islamic banking services in case Maybank and CIMB receive digital banking licences.

#Kuwait's KFH plans to drop assets of about 100 million dinars this year - CEO

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) plans to shed assets worth about 100 million dinars ($329.5 million) in 2020 as it finalises the acquisition of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank. KFH has sold assets worth 137 million dinars in 2019 and achieved a profit of 40.1 million dinars. Kuwait's largest Islamic bank registered a net profit of 60.5 million dinars in the fourth quarter last year, up from 58.3 million one year earlier. After the acquisition of Ahli United Bank, the new entity will have assets of $101 billion and shareholder equity of $10.5 billion, with an annual forecast profit of $1.5 billion. This merger will be the Gulf’s first major cross-border bank merger in recent years.

#Indonesia's financial inclusion index increased in 2019: Jokowi

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) drew attention to Indonesia's financial inclusion index (FII) having risen from 67.8% to 76.19% in 2019. However, the index is yet below that recorded of neighboring countries in the ASEAN, with Singapore standing at 98%; Malaysia at 85%; and Thailand at 82%. Jokowi has highlighted the importance of prioritizing easy access to formal financial services for all people. He has called to develop internet-based digital financial services, as internet users in Indonesia had reached 170 million, or some 64.8% of its total population. He also called to expand access to formal financial services through non-banking services, such as insurance, stock market, and pension fund, to support funding from domestic investors.

#Turkey's Islamic banking assets expected to double in 10 years - Moody's

According to Moody's Investors Service, Turkey's Islamic banking assets are expected to double in the following 10 years as a result of government initiatives and new regulation that push the sector's expansion. With just over 5.8% of banking assets at the end of September, Turkey's Islamic finance sector is currently smaller than other large Muslim countries. Evolving regulation and supervision, as well as plans to equalise tax treatment for equivalent financial activities of commercial and Islamic finance institutions are expected to boost the sector. Turkey established three new state-owned Islamic banks from 2015 to 2019. Furthermore, the state-funded $2.6 billion (2.36 billion euro) International Financial Centre in Istanbul (IIFC) is scheduled to open in 2023.

Lack of awareness behind low demand for Sharia-compliant mortgages

Specialist Sharia Islamic mortgages are available with certain lenders but take-up is currently low. According to Lilla Dilliway, mortgage and protection adviser at BlueWing Financials, the low demand is because applicable borrowers are unaware that a Sharia-compliant mortgage is a possibility, especially in the UK. When compared, a Sharia mortgage’s part rent, part capital repayment aspect means that borrowers may find it difficult to meet the affordability criteria and/or have eligibility issues based on their credit history. Sharia-compliant mortgages are often also more expensive due to the higher administration costs of the lender. Dilliway suggests that if Sharia-compliant mortgages were advertised and promoted in the same way as mainstream mortgages, an increase in take-up might be seen.

Boubyan Bank announces a successful offer for BLME Holdings plc (BLME)

Boubyan Bank had received valid acceptances in respect of a total of 73,263,270 BLME Shares. On 27 January 2020, Boubyan Bank announced that all conditions to the offer were either satisfied or waived and the offer became unconditional. The offer will remain open for acceptances until 1.00 p.m. (London time) on 19 February 2020. Following completion of the offer, Boubyan Bank intends that BLME will continue to operate as a standalone group within the wider Boubyan Bank business.

Al Baraka Bank Egypt confirms its intent to launch digital bank

Al Baraka Bank Egypt is establishing a digital bank, as it decided to increase the capital to EGP 5 billion through 3 years abiding by the Central Bank of Egypt's (CBE) new act. The bank injected EGP 1.7 billion joint funding to the national projects aiming to reach EGP 5 billion in 2023, as well as it will provide in principles 100 Automated Teller Machines (ATM), targeting to reach 200 ATMs during the upcoming period.

Interest-Free Banking in #Sweden: How much is it Islamic? – Dr. Akmal S. Hyder

This study goes into the depth of a European bank which entirely practices interest-free banking for its saving and lending operations. The study shows that there are some similarities between JAK and Islamic banks but differences are many. One difference lies in the service offerings as JAK only deal with savings and lending and does not get involved in profit-loss sharing which is central to Islamic banking. Islamic banks can learn from JAK how to educate their customers so that business gets clear to them. By comparing with Islamic banking, the European bank management can have the idea how far they do Islamic banking and what is unique with their bank. The European bank management has to deal with new challenges how much they can grow of being a non-profit organization in the long run.

Stronger GCC appetite set to spur uptick in #sukuk issuance in 2020

A stronger appetite for sukuk issuance in some GCC countries is among the key factors that promise to spark an uptick in the market. S&P Global Ratings estimates a total sukuk issuance of between $160 billion and $170 billion this year, representing 5% growth on the $162 billion seen in 2019. The total estimated issuances include $40 billion-$45 billion of foreign currency sukuks. The expected upswing in sukuk issuances will be underpinned by high levels of liquidity in Indonesia, Turkey's efforts to tap all available financing sources, and the good performance in Malaysia. The green sukuk market will continue to expand, aided by opportunities related to energy mix diversification in the GCC/Malaysia and investor diversification. As GCC countries begin their transition toward less carbon-intensive economies, green projects are set to flourish. Some of these projects will likely be funded via the sukuk market.

AAOIFI partners with Turkish Islamic banks to promote Islamic finance

The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) has signed an MOU with the Participation Banks Association of Turkey (TKBB) to collaborate in the promotion of Islamic finance in Turkey. AAOIFI and TKBB agreed to work in areas of common interest, such as the meaningful exchange of information and conducting joint capacity-building programmes. Osman Akyüz, the Secretary General of TKBB, said that they would also focus on increased representation of Turkish experts in AAOIFI’s boards and committees. AAOIFI Secretary-General Omar Mustafa Ansari emphasized the role of TKBB for the growth of Islamic finance in Turkey and assured the full support of their initiatives and activities.

Bridging the gap between faith and investment discussed by investors, asset managers, developers, churches

Cooperation between different groups was the focus of recent a two-day conference held at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference titled: "FaithInvest: Impactful Cooperation" was sponsored by the Geneva Agape Foundation, World Council of Churches (WCC), and the UK-based group FaithInvest. The organizers of the conference said that churches and church-related institutions with their pension funds and capital invest billions of dollars worldwide. Bright Mawudor, head of finance and deputy general secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), spoke on sustainable church investments in Africa. He said the AACC has an ambitious plan to make the organization a 'donor' organization by 2025. Other speakers reflected on how to build innovative bridges using the United Nations and Geneva as a global center.

Dubai Islamic Bank completes the acquisition of Noor Bank

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has completed the acquisition of Noor Bank through a share swap deal. As part of the agreement, DIB has issued 651 million new shares to take its issued share capital to 7.2 billion shares. The new DIB shares have been listed and admitted to trading on the Dubai Financial Market. The GCC financial services industry is witnessing a wave of consolidation as banks seek ways to improve competitiveness. Earlier this week, the National Bank of Bahrain acquired a 78.8% stake in Bahrain Islamic Bank. Similarly, Alizz Islamic Bank’s Board of Directors approved a share swap ratio for the proposed merger with Oman Arab Bank.

Saudi SRC buys $67mln mortgage portfolio from Bank Aljazira

The Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC), a subsidiary of the Saudi Public Investment Fund signed an agreement with Bank Aljazira to buy a SAR 250 million mortgage portfolio. The two entities signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that allows SRC to buy more mortgage portfolios from the bank. SRC seeks to inject more liquidity into the Saudi mortgage sector through the acquisition of mortgage portfolios. Bank Aljazira’s net profit increased by 3.8% to SAR 256.9 million in Q3-19, compared to SAR 247.4 million in Q3-18.

Alizz-OAB #merger to provide customers with better services

The upcoming proposed merger between Alizz Islamic Bank and Oman Arab Bank (OAB) will provide customers with better services and more outlets. Al Yusr Islamic Banking, Oman Arab Bank’s Islamic window with all its branches and staff will become part of Alizz Islamic, which will remain as a fully licensed Islamic bank. Under this merger, Alizz Islamic Bank will be fully owned under Oman Arab Bank and will see the former continue to operate as an Islamic bank, with its services available to all existing customers, as well as OAB customers. The latter, however, will continue to function as a conventional bank.

UK: Inaugural Meeting for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamic Finance

There will be an inaugural meeting for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamic Finance held on Tuesday 4th February in the Grimond Room in Portcullis House at 4pm.

At the meeting, the office bearers will be elected and a brief plan for the Group’s activities in the coming year will be put forward.

The purpose of the APPGIF is to give the Islamic finance industry a voice in Parliament; to address issues as they arise such as Sukuk issuances, inclusivity, regulation and taxation whilst positioning the UK as the European hub of Islamic financial services, and also to play a wider role in promoting ethical finance. The Group is a robust body and has enjoyed cross-party support and in addition there are over 90 stakeholders.

Kuwait Finance House Shareholders Give Green Card to AUB’s Acquisition

Kuwait Finance House has affirmed plans to purchase Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank. The merger can possibly become the Gulf’s sixth-biggest lender with $101 billion in assets. Reaching the value of about $101 billion, the acquisition will generate the largest Islamic banking entity in the world in terms of assets. Based on its past performance, the annual forecast profit of the merger is $1.5 billion. The shareholder equity of the new entity will be $10.5 billion. Besides Kuwait Finance House, Dubai Islamic Bank in the UAE has also received shareholders’ approval for purchasing Noor Bank via capital increase and share swap. The merger will potentially be valued at AED 275 billion.

One of Germany’s senior Muslim diplomats, Murad Hoffman, returns to his Lord

The well-known scholar and diplomat, Murad Hoffman, has passed to meet his Lord. May Allah have mercy upon him. Murad Hofmann was born a Catholic in 1931 in Aschaffenburg, Germany. He later studied at the University of Munich and Harvard University. Hofmann converted to Islam in 1980 as a result of witnessing the Algerian War of Independence, in addition to his admiration of Islamic art. His reversion was met with political resistance due to his high profile in the German government. Hofmann served as a diplomat for Germany for 33 years, beginning in 1961. He served as ambassador to Algeria and Morocco from 1987 to 1994, and was director of information for NATO.

Results of global family philanthropy survey released

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) and Campden Wealth published the report "Global Trends and Strategic Time Horizons in Family Philanthropy 2020". The report is based on a survey of 201 families of significant wealth who are engaged in philanthropic giving. According to the report, education is the top cause families give to globally, constituting 29% of the average philanthropic portfolio, followed by health at 14%, and the arts, culture and sports at 10%. Just 8% of giving goes towards the environment global concern for climate change. According to Dr. Rebecca Gooch, Director of Research at Campden Wealth, we are in the early stages of a significant transition in which vast sums of wealth are changing hands between generations. The emerging generation is acutely aware of the largescale global challenges it will face, such as climate change.

Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education appoint Dr. Sonia Ben Jaafar as CEO

The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE) has appointed Dr. Sonia Ben Jaafar as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Ben Jaafar’s experience in the education development sector spans over 20 years in Canada, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Her leadership roles working on major educational development projects include engagement with the American Institute of Research, Ericsson, UNESCO, UNICEF, and War Child UK. His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said that her commitment to inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning makes her an excellent addition to the AGFE team.

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