Sharia-Compliant Finance for MSMEs in Algeria

Algeria hopes to stem high unemployment rates among its young population by promoting the development of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs). Key to that effort, of course, is the provision of financial services. Therefore, the Algerian government set out to make a Sharia-compliant product available that is both affordable and scalable. In collaboration with several national and international institutions the Algerian Ministry for Industry, piloted one such product in the Ghardaia region of Algeria. Four years later, this musharaka product has provided new opportunities for 167 MSMEs. Given the success of this product, musharaka is now available through Al Baraka branches nationwide. The bank is also working with its nationwide branches to test other Sharia-compliant products, including, murabaha and qard hassan as well as Sharia-compliant micro-insurance products.

Still springtime in North Africa? [Banker Middle East]

North Africa is moving towards the development of the Islamic financial industry as a response to the protests in several countries of the Arab world. Although there are some difficulties to overcome like low banking penetration and limited development of retail banking in general, there ist still potential for growth and progress. However, until a more stable political environment is provided, Shari'ah-compliant banking will be a niche market in North Africa.

Al Baraka planning to buy bank stake

Bahraini Islamic bank Al Baraka Banking Group set its purpose for 15% growth in net profit this year and wants to buy a 75pc stake in an unlisted Indonesian bank as part of its global expansion plan.
Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Al Baraka's chief executive, revealed that they are discussing with Chinese shareholders of an Indonesian bank.

Al Baraka had a 2011 full-year profit of $212m, up 10pc on the profit registered in 2010. The bank plans to open 50 more branches this year throughout the world, out of which 20 will be in Turkey and five in Algeria, respectively Egypt.

ICD poised to boost activity with SR1 billion SME fund

It seems that the private sector funding arm of the IDB Group, is entering a new strategy to take its financing directly to its constituencies and to make its financing impact more on the real economy through the generation of employment and promoting growth.
This contains opening regional offices; setting up two new departments at the ICD; launching more Ijara (leasing companies) in diverse markets such as Albania, Saudi Arabia and Algeria; establishing SME investment funds including a SR1 billion fund for Saudi Arabia; and establishing a mortgage finance company in Saudi Arabia in anticipation of the long-awaited mortgage law.

Islamic Banking and Finance in North Africa

In its new publication, Islamic Banking and Finance in North Africa, the African Development Bank assesses the state of Islamic banking in the region and explains why its use has been limited. The report considers the future potential of Islamic finance, including its possible alignment with North Africa’s development goals, particularly its ability to increase the diversification of funding sources.

The report takes into consideration the effect of Islamic banking’s focus on the equitable distribution of risk and returns between suppliers and users of funds. Islamic Banking and Finance in North Africa goes further by exploring whether Islamic-style finance contracts could contribute to the development objectives of North African countries.

full report for free download:

Algerians seek expanded Islamic banking options

Bankers and business experts concluded that Algeria needs legal reforms in order to encourage the growth of sharia-compliant finance.
Islamic finance currently accounts for 1% of banking activity in Algeria.
Fouaz Sid, a bank clerk working for the Algerian arm of the French bank Société Générale, stated that in order to encourage them to diversify finance products in Algeria, every product which conforms to sharia law must be able to compete with the more traditional products.

Islamic finance in Algeria has 15 % market share

Currently three Islamic financial institutions exists with a market share of 15 %: El Baraka Bank, Salem Banque and Salama Assurance. The figures are quoted by Hideur Nacer, secretary general of El Baraka, saying that the sector is about Dinar 100 bn annually, 15 % of the private market and 1.5 % of the public sector market.

Two foreign entities, Abu Dhabi Islamic and Haider Islam are said looking to enter the Algerian market. Main obstacle is supposedly the partnership rules in regulation (49-51 %) and high capital requirements of Euro 100 mn.

Albaraka Sees Indonesia Purchase in First Quarter

Albaraka Banking Group BSC, the biggest publicly traded Islamic lender in Bahrain, expects to complete an acquisition in Indonesia in the first quarter of 2011 as part of an expansion.
The bank has identified targets for the planned transaction in the Asian country. Albaraka has also identified an acquisition target in Malaysia.
Albaraka this year acquired Pakistan’s Emirates Global Islamic Bank Ltd., which boosted its network in the country to about 90 branches. It also began operations in Syria this year.
The Manama-based bank has received approval to set up a representative office in Libya to benefit from the country’s strong trade ties with other markets where the bank operates, such as Egypt, Turkey, Algeria and Jordan.
The bank expects total loans to increase 20 percent in 2010.

AlBaraka: Algerian subsidiary posts strong results

Bahrain Tribune reported on 9 April that, Banque Albaraka D'Algerie, a subsidiary of Bahrain-based Albaraka Banking Group (ABG), announced a net income increase to USD 19 mn in 2007, which is a 34 % growth.

Mohammed Seddik Hafid, Board Member and General Manager of the bank. Adnan Ahmed Yousif is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Banque Albaraka D'Algerie and President and Chief Executive of Albaraka Banking Group.


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