CPI Financial

QInvest and Carnegie Mellon Qatar sign MoU

QInvest and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), a branch of Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, USA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate and coordinate in the fields of research and education.
The MOU will offer QInvest the opportunity to use CMU-Q’s educational programs, research and strategic studies, as well as those from select schools at Carnegie Mellon’s US campus. QInvest in return will provide CMU-Q’s new graduates and students in their final year the opportunity to spend one month working at QInvest under the bank’s QTALENT initiative.

Shari’ah scholars and industry stakeholders meet at IFSB-ISRA Shari’ah roundtable

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) have successfully organised a Shari’ah Roundtable themed, ‘Financial Safety Nets: Striking a Balance between Shari’ah Requirements and the Soundness of the Islamic Financial System’. The Roundtable was held on 5 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Roundtable aimed to provide a platform to Shari’ah scholars, legal practitioners, regulators and market players for having in-depth deliberations on key aspects of financial safety nets such as Lender of the Last Resort (LOLR) and Deposit Insurance Schemes from the Shari’ah perspective.
Over 70 delegates from nine jurisdictions among the IFSB members and non-member organisations – representatives from market players, regulatory bodies, and international agencies – Shari’ah scholars as well as academia attended this Roundtable.

i-VCAP introduces MyETF-AGRI to tap into long-term potential of agribusiness

The launch of MyETF-AGRI, the firm’s second Islamic ETF issued this year, brings the number of Shari’ah compliant ETFs in Malaysia to four and 18 in total in the world.
The global ETF market has closed in on the $3 trillion mark with Shari’ah-compliant ETFs only registering about $320 million of that total. In Malaysia, Shari’ah-compliant ETFs make up of over 30 % of the ETF market.
Malaysia does lead the pack, however, with the most Shari’ah-compliant ETF products in the world. Malaysia’s four Shari’ah-compliant ETFs account for some $75 million or 23 % of the global Shari’ah-Compliant ETF segment.
The launch of this landmark Fund represents many firsts for the industry including being the first agricultural-related Islamic ETF globally and the first sectoral Islamic ETF in the region while reinforcing Malaysia’s position as the global hub for Islamic finance and investment products.
MyETF-AGRI will look to invest in the 30 constituent companies that make up the Thomson Reuters Asia Pacific ex-Japan Islamic Agribusiness Index and in substantially the same weightings as they appear on the benchmark index.

ISRA and Thomson Reuters launch joint publication on Islamic commercial law report 2016

The International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) and Thomson Reuters, the world's leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals today launched an inaugural joint publication on Islamic Commercial Law Report 2016.
The Islamic Commercial Law Report 2016 was launched by the Deputy Minister, Prime Minister’s Department YB Senator Dato’ Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dato’ Dusuki at the International Shari’ah Scholars Forum (ISSF), organised by ISRA and the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) in Westin Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 3 November 2015.
The Islamic finance industry has witnessed exponential growth over the last three decades, and has become one of the fastest growing segments of the global financial industry with estimates of the current market size ranging from $1.66 trillion to $2.1 trillion. One key factor that has contributed to this progressive development is the flexible nature of Islamic commercial law, which has imbued Islamic finance with the same core characteristic of flexibility, as the legal maxim says: “the original ruling in Islamic financial transactions is permissibility”.

Al Baraka Islamic Bank’s foreign currency ratings lowered

Capital Intelligence (CI) said that following the recent downgrade in the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Sovereign Ratings in September 2015, it has lowered Bahrain-based Al Baraka Islamic Bank’s (AIB) Long and Short-Term Foreign Currency Ratings to ‘BB’ and ‘B’, respectively (from ‘BB+’/‘A3’/‘Stable’). Accordingly, the Outlook for these ratings is revised to ‘Stable’ from ‘Negative’. The Support Level of ‘2’ is maintained on the grounds of the high likelihood of support from the parent ‘Al Baraka Banking Group’ (ABG), also in Bahrain.

Bahrain EDB hosts IIFM Consultation on Islamic Credit Support Arrangement

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) hosted a Market Consultative Meeting on Islamic Credit Support Arrangement in association with the International Islamic Financial Markets (IIFM) and its Islamic hedging joint-partner International Swaps & Derivatives Association (ISDA) in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Credit Support Arrangement (CSA) is one of the key documentations for risk management where counter-parties transactional risk is managed through collateral and margin maintenance mechanism. The Islamic CSA will be developed under the already published ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut Master Agreement for Islamic hedging transactions.

3rd Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum to take place in Spain

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions and the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) and the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona are co-organising the 3rd Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum, themed “Building Bridges” on the 27th of November 2015, at Casa Llotja de Mar in Barcelona, Spain. This 3rd Edition will play a key role in building bridges for capital flows between Europe, the Middle East and beyond. It will bring together business leaders, policy makers and regulators to discuss challenges and opportunities for the Mediterranean region to tap into Islamic finance as a key source for Infrastructure projects and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) financing.

QNB in preliminary talks to buy Turkey’s Finansbank

In a statement to the Qatar Exchange, QNB revealed its involvement as a potential bidder for Finansbank, the National Bank of Greece’s Turkish banking subsidiary. Established in 1987, Finansbank operates 654 branches and has more than 12,000 employees. The bank’s total assets in H1 2015 reached TRY 82.45 billion. The bank was acquired by National Bank of Greece in 2006. QNB has also recently investigated the possibility of taking over KFH Malaysia. However, a bourse statement on 22 September said the bank had stopped preliminary talks to acquire Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) without reaching an agreement.

King & Spalding advises on largest Sukuk programme to date

King & Spalding has advised the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on the establishment of a $25 billion Sukuk programme, triple listed on the London Stock Exchange, Nasdaq-Dubai and Bursa Malaysia. The programme is rated “AAA” by S&P and Fitch and “Aaa” by Moody’s. King & Spalding’s Kanji advised the IDB on the transaction with assistance from Dubai-based senior associate Hamed Afzal and Washington, D.C.-based transaction specialist Gina Bunker. The lead manager on the transaction was Standard Chartered Bank plc and dealers included CIMB, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Natixis and Standard Chartered Bank.

Demand for Islamic Finance qualifications increases, reports CISI

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has announced a significant increase in the number of Islamic Finance qualifications taken in the Arabian Peninsula over the last 12 months. CISI recorded 111 of its Islamic Finance Qualification exams taken between August 2014 and August 2015, compared to 82 taken in the same period in 2013 -2014. The UAE was the country which saw the biggest increase in people undertaking the exams, with a 35 per cent increase from August 2014 to August 2015. As Dubai invests in the Islamic finance industry, this will accelerate the sector’s development in the rest of the region.

EIIB-Rasmala expands real estate investment business, acquires property in UK

European Islamic Investment Bank plc (EIIB-Rasmala) has announced the expansion of its real estate business. Simultaneously, the Group has also announced the acquisition of a commercial office building for GBP 11.8 million ($17.9 million, AED 65.9 million), located on the Doxford International Business Park. The real estate division will focus on identifying high quality, income generating opportunities in the UK, Europe and the United States. The primary focus will be on the UK. The Group expects to invest approximately $1.5 billion in a broad mix of real estate transactions over the next three years, with $750 million being allocated for investments in the UK.

HBMSU’s Dubai Center for Islamic Banking and Finance launches Takaful report

The Dubai Center for Islamic Banking and Finance (DCIBF) released an extensive report entitled ‘Takaful: Global Challenges to Growth Performance and Governance’ during the 2015 Global Islamic Economic Summit in Dubai. There are still critical gaps that need to be addressed by industry practitioners and experts in cooperation with government. The report reveals that the GCC region currently dominates the Takaful business, with Southeast Asia and Africa as the next biggest markets. The report notes that the future rate of growth of Takaful sales is being inhibited by the relative under-development of insurance distribution channels in several emerging markets into which Takaful is being launched.

KFH primary dealer for Sukuk issued by IILM worth $1.85 billion

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) participated as a primary dealer for short-term Sukuk issued by the International Islamic Liquidity Management IILM worth $1.85 billion. KFH is considered as the most active dealer in the market in terms of acquisition and volume traded. AbdulWahab Al-Roshoud, Acting Chief Treasury Officer at KFH, said that the average trading of IILM's previous three issuances in the secondary market surpassed 50 per cent of their volume which is considered high in comparison with the rest of Sukuk, indicating that this reflects the market’s strength and its contributions in increasing the liquidity. KFH forecasts that several local and global banks will participate in IILM’s upcoming Sukuk.

S&P lowers ratings on UAE's Takaful Re

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it lowered its long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on United Arab Emirates-based Takaful Re Ltd. (TRL) to 'BBB-' from 'BBB'. the ratings agency subsequently withdrew the ratings on TRL at its request. At the time of the withdrawal, the outlook was stable. The downgrade reflects the deterioration of TRL's business risk profile, mostly due to challenges within the Islamic insurance sector that have been exacerbated by the company's lack of scale, S&P said. The stable outlook at the time of withdrawal reflected S&P's view that TRL's risk-based capital would remain at extremely strong levels. This is supported by TRL's excess level of capital relative to its low level of premium income.

Ensuing financial inclusion

The Global Islamic Economy Summit, set for the 5-6 October, will heavily stress the importance of financial inclusion to the future of Islamic finance. Financial inclusion is an interesting subject because it has primarily been seen only from the perspective that Islamic finance is able to promote inclusiveness by offering a Shari’ah-compliant offering to people whose exclusion is driven by their reluctance or unwillingness to engage with the conventional financial sector. An infographic from the World Bank in 2013 highlighted the size of the unbanked population estimating it at 2.5 billion people (34 per cent of the global population). That means that while Muslims make up 22 per cent of the world’s population, they account for 46 per cent of the world’s unbanked.

Global Islamic finance industry to undergo assessment of 40-year history this December

The World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) continues to live up to its reputation after officially announcing today that its 22nd annual edition will provide industry leaders with an opportunity to critically assess Islamic finance’s 40-year history. This coming December, regulators, CEOs, scholars and other leaders from the Middle East, East Asia, Africa and Europe will assess and reflect upon the achievements, challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing Islamic finance industry, currently amounting to $2 trillion. Some of the industry’s preeminent leaders will address the core question of how the current system can converge with its original proposition.

Rising momentum of Islamic finance in China

A number of initiatives are demonstrating the rising momentum of Islamic finance in China. Chinese brokerage Southwest Securities forged a partnership with Qatar International Islamic Bank to pave the way for Islamic finance transactions in the country. The Qatari bank confirmed with IFN that it will leverage on this MoU to develop an Islamic finance framework for China. Chinese banking giant, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), through its leasing arm entered into a collaborative agreement with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), which is targeted to focus on multiple lines to develop Islamic capabilities and opportunities.

QCB to grant licences to GCC banks to open branches in Qatar

The decision to allow new licences came at a meeting of Qatar’s Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment on 9 September. The council reviewed developments in both energy and investment before turning to the proposal by Qatar Central Bank (QCB) to grant licenses to open branches for GCC banks in Qatar. The council approved the proposal, with licenses set to be granted according to QCB requirements. Qatar currently licences 11 domestic banks and seven foreign banks. Among the foreign banks, Mashreq is the only GCC-based institution to have a Qatari banking licence. Bahrain’s Ithmaar Bank has a representative office in Qatar but not a full licence.

Al Baraka Banking Group confirms expansion plans

Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group Adnan Ahmed Yousif has revealed that the bank has completed the procedures for obtaining the necessary licenses to operate in the Moroccan market. It already has operations in Libya, Tunisia and Algeria. He added that the bank has also obtained the necessary approvals for the opening of 20 new branches, and plans to open 25 branches by 2020. Al Baraka is also planning to establish a software company in partnership with European investors and Indians with capital of $15 million under the name Al Baraka Banking Software. The Islamic bank also plans to expand into India and Indonesia. It already has a representative office in Indonesia but sold out of an investment company in India.

MEPS partners with Cihan Bank for Islamic investment and finance in Iraq

Middle East Payment Services (MEPS) - a consortium of local and regional banks that serves as a payment services provider in the Middle East - has signed a partnership agreement with Cihan Bank for Islamic Investment and Finance. This step corresponds with the Bank’s goals to expand the range of banking products and services it offers in Iraq by adding new services in the electronic payment field. By virtue of the agreement, MEPS will provide various services comprising call centers and operating MasterCard point-of-sale (POS) devices. In addition, MEPS will issue the Bank’s payment cards at all its branches across Iraq, as Cihan Bank strives to provide all types of MasterCard including debit, credit and prepaid cards.

Syndicate content