Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

#Innovation in Islamic finance is better cultivated from the roots than the branches

Although Islamic banking and Sukuk comprise the lion’s share of Islamic finance assets, there are significant untapped opportunities in the securities, equity markets, investment funds, insurance and microfinance markets. For Islamic finance to flourish, time would be more valuably spent creating new financial products that are Shari'ah-based rather than adapting existing conventional products to become Shari'ah-compliant. The innovative magic is in the roots, not the branches. On 14 November 2017, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will host the Global Financial Forum (GFF). The invited industry experts are set to provide valuable insights on the progression of the sector and innovation in Islamic finance.

Dubai’s Arqaam Capital launches specialist fixed income #funds in DIFC

Dubai-based investment bank Arqaam Capital has announced the launch of two specialist fixed income funds located within Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The high income fund will invest in emerging markets with a focus on the MENA region and will include a mixture of fixed and floating rate investments. The Islamic fixed income fund will invest in sukuk issued by sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns and corporates. Arqaam Capital said the funds are denominated in US dollars and pegged currencies and will target annual returns of 6 and 7%. The new funds will be co-managed by Abdul Kadir Hussain, head of fixed income asset management, and Zeina Rizk, director of fixed income asset management.

Collaboration Between DIFC And DIEDC Set To Launch Islamic #FinTech

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC). Earlier this year, DIFC launched FinTech Hive, a 12-week accelerator programme which allows tech start-ups to test and develop FinTech related business ideas. As part of the agreement, the programme will include institutions such as Emirates Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, to mentor participants in the field of Islamic finance technology. Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC said this MoU was an important step for FinTech, for the Islamic economy and for FinTech Hive. For his part, Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said FinTech Hive at DIFC will go a long way towards developing segments like mobile banking and payment systems, as well as SME financing.

DIFC home to the first Equity #Crowdfunding platform

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is home to the first Equity Crowdfunding platform in the region, Eureeca. It is the first multi-regulated global Equity Crowdfunding platform and has over 12,000 investors from 42 countries. It enables entrepreneurs and high growth businesses to raise much needed expansion capital and create new partnerships for growth. The platform's co-founder Chris Thomas said Eureeca creates a corridor of investment opportunities between Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It recently raised $400,000 in 12 days on its self-funding campaign with the funds being used to fuel Eureeca’s international growth plans and continued development of their product offering.

Islamic lenders take advantage of falling costs

Islamic lending companies from Dubai’s DIFC Investments LLC to Saudi Arabia’s Etihad Etisalat take advantage of falling borrowing costs. As a result, Islamic syndicated lending in Europe, the Middle East and Africa rose to a four-year high this year. Shariah-compliant transactions this year are as high as $8.37 billion (Dh30.74 billion). The largest share belongs to Etihad Etisalat and is worth 10 billion-riyal ($2.67 billion). This year’s lending is over $3 billion higher than last year's.

NASDAQ Dubai and DFSA hold bond and Sukuk listing forum for bankers and lawyers

Dubai Financial Services Authority highlighted the advantages of listing conventional bonds and Sukuk on the region's international exchange, at a forum attended by leading investment banks and law firms.
After the transfer of NASDAQ Dubai's Official List of Securities to the DFSA in October 2011, the event that took place at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) gave away details of the new listing and admission framework, giving issuers the ability to list debt in a streamlined manner under an aggressive timetable, comparable to listing regimes on other international exchanges.
NASDAQ Dubai is the only exchange in the Middle East that has direct access to Euroclear, an International CSD, supplying an easy transaction process with the NASDAQ Dubai CSD for international and regional investors.

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