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East Africa’s biggest economy is positioning itself to become a regional hub for Islamic banking. Kenyan finance minister Henry Rotich said on March 30 that the government would propose amendments to the financial laws and issue new regulations to facilitate a Sharia-compliant retirement scheme. It will also amend the public finance management act to provide for the issuance of sukuk. In the past, Kenyan regulators found it hard to issue new regulations, as the government was battling the jihadist fundamentalist group al-Shabaab. Regulatory agencies say Kenya is now ready to allow Islamic finance and banking to thrive. In fact, Kenya is already a regional leader in Islamic banking. The country has two fully-operating Islamic banks. There’s also one takaful Islamic insurance company, a sharia-compliant mutual fund and two cooperatives. In December, Kenya joined the Islamic Financial Services Board based in Malaysia.
The Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman, has assured that the bank’s loan profile is very healthy. Jaiz Bank, he noted, was not heavily or significantly exposed to the oil sector, but the bank’s exposure is to real estate. While justifying the listing of the bank’s shares in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), he said Jaiz Bank’s activities remain transparent and open. Jaiz Bank has challenges like any growing institution. One of such challenges has to do with perception, as many people thought it was a charity organization. Other challenges include the enabling environment like infrastructure for non-interest banking like liquidity instruments. Another challenge is the limited number of qualified trained manpower to manage Islamic banking. Inspite of these challenges, Jaiz Bank has proved itself to be sustainable. It has grown into a national franchise with branches in South and South West and is also opening more branches in other parts of the country.
In #Nigeria Jaiz Bank has accumulated funds and is now ready to massively invest in Sukuk to finance in specific infrastructure projects in the country. Managing Director Hassan Usman said that the bank, being an Islamic bank, could not invest in interests yielding instruments and therefore had to wait until Sukuk was ready. He added that there are off-shore funds held by those who share similar non-interests philosophy of Jaiz Bank which could be brought into the country. Usman said that from a capital base of N5 billion, the bank has grown its capital base to about N50 billion. From a deposit of N3. 5 billion, it has grown to about N60 billion. From the initial three branches as a Regional Bank, Jaiz Bank has grown into a National Bank with 30 branches across the nation.
The Kenyan Treasury will push through the country’s first Sukuk bond in the coming year. The changes will see the Public Finance Management Act amended to allow the issuance of the bond, which has been in the works since 2014.
Treasury CS Henry Rotich said that the Capital Markets Act, the Co-operatives Societies Act and Sacco Societies Act are also lined up for ammendment.
The government plans to borrow up to Sh256 billion from external sources in the next fiscal year, to plug a budget deficit of Sh524 billion. The State has in the recent past taken up foreign loans in form of the Eurobond and syndicated loans from commercial lenders. Kenya has been mulling over a Sukuk bond for the past two fiscal years, given its highly discounted nature, which would provide cheaper financing compared to commercial loans. The lack of the necessary regulatory framework has, however, delayed this option. In the current fiscal year, Kenya has turned to syndicated loans to finance part of her budget deficit. These loans include the just signed $800 million loan from four international banks, and a similar $500 million facility taken from the African Export-Import bank.
Kenya's government has unveiled a package of initiatives under its latest budget to develop Islamic finance in the country, as part of efforts to mobilise local funds and set Nairobi as a regional hub for the sector. The moves could spur Kenya's decade-old Islamic banking sector and help the government fund infrastructure in a country where Muslims account for about 10% of the population of some 44 million.
Finance Minister Henry Rotich outlined the steps as part of the country's 2017/2018 budget, released on Thursday, aiming to level the playing field between Islamic and interest-based transactions. Amendments to the Public Finance Management Act will also allow the government to issue Islamic bonds, or sukuk, as an alternative funding source. This could prove useful for a government that has set aside billions for infrastructure, with a fiscal deficit set at 524.6 billion shillings ($5.10 billion).
A #Kenyan college yesterday signed a three-year memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysian training university to develop curriculum on Islamic Finance. Coast International College (CIC) also signed a letter of collaboration with the Inceif, the global University for Islamic Finance owned by the Central Bank of Malaysia. The MoU was signed by college principal Loise Gichuki, Inceif president and chief executive Daud Vicary Abdullah. The programme will offer Diploma in Islamic finance. The Malaysia University will provide curriculum, course materials and lectures related to Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic Law of contract, financial accounting and fundamentals of Islamic Banking.
#Kenyan financial regulators expect new guidelines in 2017 for the supervision of the entire sector. Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) supervisor Mary Nkiomu said the Islamic Finance Project Management Office established in December 2015 has submitted policy proposals to the National Treasury. The guidelines will enable the financial sector regulators to incorporate Islamic finance regulatory frameworks. Islamic finance institutions are largely operating in a self-regulatory environment governed by religious principles, backed with regulations for conventional operations. The guidelines, drafted in 2015, are set be rolled out to the public for consultations this year. The delay in the roll out has been attributed to terrorist attacks over the years.
Nigerian CEOs have hinged the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on partnership by businesses. This was stated by CEO of the Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, who delivered a keynote address at the CEO roundtable organised by First Bank of Nigeria in Lagos. Adesola Adeduntan, managing director of FirstBank, said the bank had put in place an environmental, social and governance management system to drive responsible lending and its commitment to financial inclusion. The bank CEO noted that engagement through programmes included over 16 executive education programmes, organised 16 workshops and three international conferences. The bank also empowered over 3,000 Small and medium Enterprises (SMEs). He called on business leaders to consider such partnership for the enhancement of sustainable development.
The Central Bank of #Kenya (CBK) announced it was in final stages of licensing two banks, DIB Bank Kenya, which is owned by Dubai Islamic Bank, and Mayfair Bank which is owned by Kenyan investors. The two firms had received an "approval in principle" before the indefinite suspension of new banks. CBK suspended the licensing of new banks on November 17, 2015 saying it needed to strengthen oversight. The moratorium stalled entry of international banks into the country, where commercial banks have come under closer scrutiny from the regulator because of increasing bad debts. CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said the local banking sector has made huge improvements over the past year, adding that CBK’s supervision department has improved its monitoring capacity.
The Kenyan capital markets regulatory authority and the Nairobi Securities Exchange today visited the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) and signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation between the two exchanges. The two sides will share information and technical assistance in respect of processes and procedures relating to listing, trading, depository operations, clearing and settlement. Mr. Samuel Kimani, Chairman of the Nairobi Stock Exchange, said that his is a young exchange looking for further development and cooperation opportunities. Rashid bin Ali Al-Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange, expressed his happiness and hope that the MOU will help enhance the economic cooperation between the two countries.
Metito is the largest privately held water treatment company in the Middle East. Metito’s African operations account for nearly about a third of its revenues and the current backlog is around $300 million. Metito approached Islamic banks in early 2014 to tap on their resources to support the Group’s growth. As of today, a major of the long-term financing that the group has received in GCC region is comprised mostly of Shari'ah-compliant financing tools. The total size of Islamic financing facilities currently in use stand at around $150 million and the share is expected to increase over the next 12 months. The Group has so far availed three types of Islamic finance financing tools, Musharakah, Ijarah and Murabahah. CFO Wafic Ghanem said Metito has not yet considered tapping into Sukuk issuance for its African business given the infancy of Sukuk market in the continent.
Corrigenda: Wafic Ghanem has been reported being Group CEO before.
Jaiz Bank is now a public quoted company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. To commemorate the listing, Jaiz Bank’s Executive Management, led by Chairman Dr Umaru Abdul Mutallab, were honoured with a closing gong ceremony to officially close trading on the bourse for the day. Hassan Usman, Jaiz Bank's CEO noted that the listing of the bank’s shares was a fulfillment of an earlier promise made at inception of the Bank. He added that the listing would elicit public confidence that Non-Interest Banking provides alternative model that contributes to the socio-economic development of the country. Oscar Onyema, CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, said this listing would promote liquidity for the bank, enhance its value and increase its transparency.
The Jaiz Foundation has expressed readiness to commence Islamic Takaful Insurance in 3 Nigerian states, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos, with the head office being in Abuja. This was disclosed by the Chairman of Jaiz Takaful Insurance, Dr Umaru Abdul Mutallab, who explained that the insurance products give equal opportunity for customers to be owners of the company as well. Also speaking on the operation of the insurance policy, the Managing Director of Jaiz Islamic Takaful Insurance, Momodou Musa Joof, said the company shares profit by 80% to its participants who have not suffered losses. In the meantime, those who suffer losses would have been paid first before the distribution of profit. The element which goes to the needy called Zakat is also distributed before profit is shared. Joof noted that the good thing in Takaful is that, if no loss occurs, the customer's contribution becomes an automatic investment.
The Jaiz Foundation is set to kick start Islamic ‘Takaful’ Insurance in Kaduna, Kano, Lagos with head office in Abuja. As part of the final preparation, the Foundation held a week induction training for the staff of the organization. The chairman of Jaiz Takaful Insurance advised Nigerians to take advantage of the new insurance concept. According to Mananging Director of Jaiz Islamic Takaful Insurance, Momodou Musa Joof, the company shares profit by 80% to its participants who have not suffered losses. In the meantime, those who suffer losses would have been paid first before the distribution of profit. The elements which goes to the needy, which is called Zakat is also distributed before profit is shared. Prominent scholars like Prof Muhammed Nasirudeen Maiturare, the Vice Chancellor of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, also participated in the induction training for the staff of Jaiz Takaful Insurance.
Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has carried out a 150 million US dollar Islamic financing transaction on the Murabaha platform of Nasdaq Dubai. Following high levels of investor interest, the initial target of 100 million US dollars was more than twice oversubscribed, resulting in a final order book of approximately 230 million US dollars. Banji Fehintola, Corporate Treasurer of AFC, expressed his gratitude to Nasdaq Dubai whose Murabaha platform greatly facilitated the issuance. AFC’s Sukuk, issued on January 24, 2017, is the highest rated USD Sukuk issuance from an African entity. The privately placed Murabaha Sukuk was awarded an A3 senior unsecured rating by Moody's Investors Service.
Jaiz Bank added N36 billion to the total market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The bank announced the official listing of its ordinary shares of N29.4 billion of 50kobo each at N1.25. The chairman of Jaiz Bank, Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab, debunked insinuation that the bank was designed to only service the Islamic community, saying it was a bank for all Nigerians interested in doing ethical business. Jaiz Bank commenced operations in 2012 with a N3 billion deposit base. Since then it had a growth rate of 30%, with a current workforce of 600 staff across 30 branches across the country. On the future outlook of the bank, CEO Hassan Usman said Jaiz Bank’s prospects are bright, adding that the projection for the next five years indicated a gross revenue of N16 billion by 2021.
The first workshop on the Sukuk Model Law was held in Dakar, Senegal. The event was organzied by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), in partnership with the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). A number of experts and finance officials from the eight BCEAO member countries participated in the event. The project aimed to create a model Sukuk law and guidelines that leverage global best practices. Subsequent regional consultations are planned for South East Asia, Central Asia and the MENA regions. Speaking on the occasion, IRTI Director Mohamed Azmi Omar said the workshop reaffirmed the importance of Sukuk as an increasingly significant instrument of resource mobilization.
The Emir of Gwandu Muhammad Iliyasu Bashar has commended Jaiz Bank for its banking policies and principles of making life better for people. The royal father made the commendation at his palace when the Managing Director of the bank, Malan Hassan Usman, the Regional Manager, Dr. Nurudeen Liman and Habibu Isa Muhammad, the branch Manager of Birnin Kebbi paid him a courtesy call. Malan Hassan Usman expressed his appreciation of the support rendered by the Emir towards the establishment of the bank. He said the bank started operation 5 years ago with provisional approval to open three branches in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano but now the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given full approval to the bank to open its branches nationwide. Currently the bank has 27 branches with 3 new ones coming next week.
The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have organised a regional consultation workshop on the Sukuk Model Law Project. Partner of the workshop was the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). The workshop was held at the BCEAO headquarters in Dakar, Senegal from 23-24 January 2017. The objective of the Project is to create a model Sukuk law and guidelines that leverage global best practises for creating a legal framework for Sukuk issuance and regulation. Subsequent regional consultations are planned for South East Asia, Central Asia and the MENA regions. IRTI Director General, Prof. Mohamed Azmi Omar, said the workshop reaffirmed the importance of Sukuk as an emerging instrument of resource mobilisation.