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Property financing campaign launched by #Bahrain-based Al Baraka Islamic Bank

Al Baraka Islamic Bank has launched a promotional campaign to provide property financing to the beneficiaries of the Housing Ministry’s Mazaya programme. Under the campaign, profit rates will be calculated at competitive rates, there will be no down payments, and zero banking fees. The bank will also cover the fees of life insurance for the beneficiaries and will provide fire insurance for the property. Also, there will be instant prizes for the executed deals. The financing is up to BD120,000 with maximum duration of 25 years.

Islamic Development Bank Group in partnership with the #UAE Ministry of Economy and Annual Investment Meeting Hosted a Live Webinar To Discuss Challenges Facing Co-VID 19

The Islamic Development Bank Group in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy conducted a live webinar entitled "IsDB Group Private Sector Action Response to COVID-19". The webinar discussed the future outlook to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the webinar highlighted the IsDB Group’s US$2.3 billion Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme. During the webinar, 3 online initiatives were launched: Digital Country Presentations, Startups Virtual Pitch Competition and the MADE IN…..SERIES, which is a digital platform for SMEs who want to showcase and present their local products, project and services to an international audience.

ADIB continues its support to customers impacted by COVID-19

ADIB has launched a series of special offers exclusively to healthcare professionals as a tribute for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. These offers include reductions and discounts on ADIB products: special reduction on the profit rate of personal and auto finance; AED500 reduction in fees for ADIB covered cards or a voucher from Amazon or Noon when applying for cards; fixed profit rates on home finance starting from 2.99% per annum on home finance; 20% fee reduction on all wealth management products; Smartaccount welcome pack and no minimum balance requirement for Smartbanking; an iPad with every Life and Savings Takaful plan, if an AED 1,000 monthly contribution is made. ADIB was among the first UAE financial institutions to launch relief measures for customers during COVID-19, including the postponement of monthly installment payments and the reduction of certain fees.

#Saudi Arabia’s mortgage lender Amlak to start trading on Tadawul from Monday

Saudi Arabia’s mortgage lender Amlak International for Real Estate Finance starts trading shares on the Tadawul stock exchange. The company is floating 27.18 million shares, or 30 per cent of its total, with an indicative price range set at 15-17 Saudi riyals (Dh14.7-Dh16.6) per share. Proceeds of the offer are being used to repay selling shareholders. Amlak International was set up in 2007 and is a non-bank lender, mainly of property loans. Shares in Amlak International's IPO will be allocated on a pro-rata basis to individuals who subscribed to the offer, depending on the size of their request.

FinTech can help the Islamic finance sector to innovate and grow

FinTech has spurred the evolution of the Islamic finance industry over the last year. It helps to address the need for simplification and innovation in the sector. It also provides a great opportunity for the sector to streamline services and attract new segments, with the key being digital-savvy millennials. Dubai and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) are key players in the Islamic finance sector. DIFC and Dubai Financial Market have launched the first Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group to create a sustainable financial hub in the region in line with the UAE Sustainable Development Goals 2030. They are encouraging the use of green financial instruments and responsible investing.

The impact of Saudi Arabia's VAT increase on Islamic financial institutions

Value added tax ("VAT") was pioneered by the European Union, but is gradually spreading worldwide. Saudi Arabia recently tripled its rate of VAT. While VAT in Saudi Arabia is only a couple of years old, the Saudi VAT law follows widespread international precedent by also exempting financial services. Accordingly, all financial institutions will suffer a hit to their profit and loss account. All purchases of goods and services which are subject to VAT increase in cost by 9.5%. This may lead to an increase in bad debts in the Saudi banking sector. Islamic financial services are not expected to suffer more (or less) than conventional financial services.

UAE Islamic Banks: 2019 Results Dashboard

According to Fitch Ratings, Islamic financing and deposits accounted for 27% of total sector financing and deposits at end-2019. Growth in Islamic financing slowed significantly in 2019. Asset-quality metrics deteriorated in 2019, particularly due to pressures in the real estate and contracting sectors, but also in entertainment, hospitality, and retail and wholesale trade. The operating profit/risk-weighted assets ratio also deteriorated due to increased financing impairment charges. Capital ratios have increased over the past four years, while core capital ratios remain below those of conventional banks but the difference has narrowed.

#Qatar- #Merger was a smooth affair: Barwa Bank Chairman

Barwa Bank held yesterday its Ordinary General Assembly and approved all the agenda of the meeting. The annual general meeting was presided over by the Bank's Chairman and Managing Director Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani. It was held via video conferencing. The focus of the meeting was on completing the full merger process with International Bank of Qatar, in addition to statistics and financial results for the year 2019 as well as the Bank's future plans. The merger took place in a record time that did not exceed 11 months. Barwa Bank recorded remarkable growth, as its total revenue increased by 43% to reach QR3.3bn, while total assets reached QR77bn, supported by financing assets that exceeded QR51bn.

The Hajj Pilgrimage Is Canceled, and Grief Rocks the Muslim World

The cancellation of the Hajj pilgrimage sent shock waves of sadness and disappointment across the Muslim world. Performing the pilgrimage at least once for those who are physically and financially able is one of the five pillars of Islam. Making the trip is a sacred milestone for the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims. The Saudi government announced on Monday that no pilgrims from outside the kingdom could perform the hajj this year. On Tuesday, Saudi officials narrowed the order, saying that only about 1,000 pilgrims would be permitted this year, a tiny fraction of the 2.5 million who came last year. The cancellation weighs particularly heavily on older Muslims who have been waiting for years to go in hopes that they can fulfill their religious obligation before death.

NBB diversifies its Murabaha service to clients by offering #Sukuk-based #Murabaha facility

The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) announced its subscription to Bahrain Bourse’s (BHB) newly introduced Murabaha service, which will be used by the Bank when transacting in Islamic Commodity Murabaha financing. NBB is one of the first banks in the Kingdom to execute a transaction using the new fully Shari’ah compliant service. The service employs Government of Bahrain Islamic Ijara Sukuk, whereby the lender in the financing transaction buys the Sukuk from the CBB and after the transfer of the ownership, sells them to the borrower, with a deferred sell as the underlying commodity.

Sharjah Islamic Bank lists USD500m #Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai

A USD500 million Sukuk has been listed by Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) on Nasdaq Dubai. The capital raised will support SIB’s activities and strategic development. The five-year Sukuk was subscribed 7.2 times by regional and international investors with 150 investors showing their interest. It brings the total value of SIB Sukuk listings on Nasdaq Dubai to USD2 billion following listings of 500 million US dollars each in 2016, 2018 and 2019. SIB’s latest USD500 million Sukuk listed on Nasdaq Dubai on 23rd June 2020.

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain tops key performance indicator rankings for GCC banking sector

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain (Al Salam Bank) has achieved the highest reduction in non-performing financing (NPF) amongst 55 GCC listed banks in 2019. According to KPMG, the Bank also ranked sixth in the region for Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), with a strong standing of 20.9%. The KPMG report notes that the region’s positive results were coupled with an increased focus on digitisation. Al Salam Bank has come to be recognised as one of the key institutions driving the digitisation of financial services in Bahrain. Al Salam Bank is continuing the successful roll-out of its three-year strategy, focused on giving customers a virtual branch and an onboarding app that enables clients to open their accounts within minutes.

BisB signs #murabaha financing pact

Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has signed an agreement with Bahrain Bourse for a murabaha financing framework using a Sharia-compliant lending service. The underlying asset is Ijara sukuk provided by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). Adding this Murabaha service introduces a new underlying asset to the bank’s existing commodity murabaha facility structure, currently conducted via local and international brokers. This further diversifies the structure and enhances its framework given that it is actioned via a digital system which decreases the processing time exponentially.

Dubai Islamic Bank expected to sell over $200 mln in tap of 2026 #sukuk - document

Dubai Islamic Bank is expected to sell more than $200 million of its existing sukuk issuance due in 2026. The bank set final price guidance at 240-245 basis points over midswaps, tightening from initial price guidance of around 250 bps. DIB received more than $500 million in orders for the deal.

NBB diversifies its Murabaha service to clients by offering #Sukuk-based #Murabaha facility

The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) announced its subscription to Bahrain Bourse’s newly introduced Murabaha service, which will be used by the Bank when transacting in Islamic Commodity Murabaha financing. NBB is one of the first banks in the Kingdom to execute a transaction using the new fully Shari’ah compliant service. The service employs Government of Bahrain Islamic Ijara Sukuk, whereby the lender in the financing transaction buys the Sukuk from the CBB and after the transfer of the ownership, sells them to the borrower, with a deferred sell as the underlying commodity.

DP World hires banks for perpetual Islamic bonds - document

Dubai-based port operator DP World has hired a group of banks for a potential sale of perpetual U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk. Citi, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan will arrange investor calls in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, to be followed by the issuance of perpetual U.S. dollar-denominated Islamic bonds non-callable for 5-1/2 years. Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Crédit Agricole, Samba Financial Group, Scotiabank and Standard Chartered Bank are also working on the deal.

Al Baraka signs #sukuk trading deal with BHB

Al Baraka Islamic Bank and Bahrain Bourse (BHB) have signed an agreement allowing the bank to buy and sell Sharia-complaint ijara sukuk through the exchange. Proceeds from the sukuk will contribute to facilitating the bank’s financing operations for its underlying clients. The agreement aims to diversify the commodities available for underlying clients when conducting a commodity-based murabaha transaction to include government-based sukuk issued by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Dubai outlines plans to unify legal framework for Islamic finance

The CEO of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) outlined the phases for the development of a unified legal framework for Islamic finance. Abdulla Al Awar said that once complete, the project would bring standardisation to the Islamic finance sector and reduce discrepancies in practices across the globe. The DIEDC signed an agreement with the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions for the use of its standards as a reference point in building the international legal framework. The Sharia-compliant segment of Dubai’s economy contributed Dh41.8 billion to the emirate’s gross domestic product in 2018. Dubai continues to pursue its goal of becoming the top Islamic economy hub in the world.

IsDB eager to support development projects Madinah

IsDB President Dr. Bandar Bin Hajjar stated that the bank was working on a pioneering project to establish a "Global Waqf Centre of Excellence" in Madinah, with a capital of $50 million. The aim of the center is to build a global umbrella for the Waqf sector, linking and coordinating all those interested in Waqf. The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) is preparing to launch the first initiative of the center to grant an approved certificate of Waqf specialist. IRTI is also working on the "Ish’had" platform, which is an e-platform using blockchain technology, to document and protect Waqf properties.

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