Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB)

IFSB: Islamic #FinTech Finance Bigger in Asia than First Thought

Islamic fintech finance in Asia is anticipated to be bigger than originally thought. According to the secretary-general of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), Zahid ur Rehman Khokher, Islamic finance has the potential to expand further into the Asian market. He noted that the IFSB has been closely monitoring global developments in fintech. Yet, he feels there is a shortage of staff with the appropriate skills. Earlier this month, it was reported that Malaysia was the idea test bed for developing fintech solutions. According to Marzunisham Omar, assistant governor at the Bank Negara Malaysia, even though Islamic finance is still growing within the country, now is the time for the sector to embrace the fintech wave.

Asia ripe for Islamic finance as #fintech comes to the fore

According to Zahid ur Rehman Khokher, secretary-general of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the growth potential of Islamic finance in the Asian market is much bigger than might be expected. He emphasized the developing role of fintech within the sector and the IFSB's role in setting standards. He noted the importance of Islamic microfinance in addressing issues of financial inclusion and improving participation in the financial sector. With the range of new services that are emerging, Zahid feels that capacity building is the biggest challenge at the moment. He feels there is a need for developing human resources and appropriate expertise within central banks, Shariah boards, as well as in commercial financial institutions.

New release of IFSB’s Prudential Database from 17 countries shows improved #Islamic #banking #performance

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has announced new country-level data on growth of the Islamic banking systems for Q4 of 2016 and Q1 of 2017 from 17 IFSB member jurisdictions. IFSB Secretary-General Zahid ur Rehman Khokher said the IFSB’s Prudential and Structural Islamic Financial Indicators (PSIFIs) database project has reached 14 quarters, and that it would soon be extending to four new jurisdictions. He added that the IFSB also plans to release sector level balance sheets of entire jurisdictions for the Islamic banking market starting next year. The PSIFI project currently compiles data from 17 member countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. The IFSB is now in the process of collecting Islamic banking data from these new contributors: Qatar Central Bank, Bank of England, Central Bank of Lebanon and Palestine Monetary Authority.

IFSB #Engagement #Session with the #Indonesian Islamic Finance Stakeholders

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), Bank Indonesia and the Financial Services Authority of Indonesia (OJK) organised an Industry Engagement Session. The event was entitled "The Global Islamic Finance Industry and the IFSB" and took place on 2 October in Jakarta. Anwar Bashori, Head of Islamic Finance at Bank Indonesia, shared his optimism that there is strong potential for further growth of this sector in Indonesia. He also touched on the importance of Halal tourism and food industry, and the various challenges and opportunities related to Fintech. In the panel discussion Prof. Volker Nienhaus commented on the emerging trend which is expected to enhance financial inclusion through the greater use of fintech. Ahmad Buchori shared the current issues of Islamic finance in Indonesia. Dr. Rifki Ismal’s presentation focused on developing the Islamic social sector to enhance the Indonesian economy. The session ended with discussions between the participants, where the industry players reaffirmed the important role of regulators. There was a request for more platforms to address and discuss key issues and concerns of the Islamic finance players.

Islamic finance industry hampered by global economic conditions

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) released its IFSB Industry Stability 2017 Report. It states that global economic volatilities, consistently low oil prices and reduced demand for credit are among the factors that currently weigh on the Islamic financial service industry. The study says that 2016 marked another year of slower growth amid adverse macro-economic conditions. They include adjustments in the value of global Islamic banking assets in US dollar terms on the back of exchange rate depreciations in countries such as Malaysia, Turkey and Indonesia, as well as the persistent lack of global standardisation, and lower liquidity and profitability compared to the conventional banking sector. According to the IFSB, the global size of the Islamic financial service industry has not changed much, with total Islamic finance assets just slightly increasing to $1.89tn from $1.88tn. Another factor that affected asset growth was the currency depreciation in Iran, the world’s largest Islamic finance jurisdiction in terms of assets.

#Fintech and Islamic #Crowdfunding

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) in its annual report highlighted developments in the Islamic Finance Fintech space. To identify relevant crowdfunding platforms with a focus on equity- and loan-based platforms located in the Muslim world, the database of Crowdsurfer was consulted. It lists in 32 of the 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) a total of 108 crowdfunding platforms. After some corrections, the Crowdsurfer database identifies 14 equity-based and 13 commercial loan-based crowdfunding platforms with an active status. The number of platforms in OIC member states that explicitly refer to Islamic finance or Shariah and offer investors financial returns is very small. There are two more Islam-oriented active platforms of this type outside the OIC: Ethis Crowd (Singapore) for real estate, and KapitalBoost (Singapore) for SME financing.

The IFSB releases the Islamic Financial Services Industry #Stability #Report 2017

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has released the fifth edition of its annual Islamic Financial Services Industry Stability Report 2017. The Report finds that despite subdued growth conditions, the global IFSI has been able to sustain its total assets value at approximately $1.9 trillion in 2016. The Report illustrates areas that could be further strengthened across all sectors of the IFSI (banking, capital markets and Takaful), many of which will require measured efforts by the national authorities to address the emerging risks. Secretary-General of the IFSB, Zahid ur Rehman Khokher, stated that Islamic financial services industry withstood the challenging operating environment. However, it moved away from the double digit growth trajectory witnessed in the previous years. He added that this slowdown underscores the importance of strengthening the resilience of the Islamic financial system.

The IFSB and DFSA Organise Joint #Seminar on the Role of #Sukuk and Securitisation to Support New Financial Regulations

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) successfully organised a Joint Seminar themed "The Role of Sukuk and Securitisation to Support New Financial Regulations". Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA welcomed the IFSB and the Joint Seminar’s participants. He discussed the need for the industry to think laterally to address the shortage of liquidity management tools at Islamic institutions. The panel offered insight into sukuk instruments and the Islamic capital market developments. A panelist mentioned that there is expected to be 70bn USD of new issuance during 2017; however this is not enough to keep up with the projected growth of the Islamic finance industry. To resolve the impediments, the industry needs more standardisation in terms of legal documentation and Shariah interpretations. The Joint Seminar ended with the panel emphasising the need for liquidity generation initiatives to be supported at the regulatory and government levels.

Islamic Banking: Bank Al Maghrib Interested in IFSB Prudential Standards

Bank Al-Maghrib and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) co-organized a regional workshop entitled "Facilitating Implementation of IFSB Standards" in Rabat. The workshop focused on 3 standards for participatory banking: IFSB-15 "Revised Capital Adequacy Standard" on Prudential Capital and Solvency Standards, IFSB-16 "Revised Guidance on Key Elements in the Supervisory Process" on Supervision Standards, and GN-6 "Quantitative Measures for Liquidity Risk Management" on prudential liquidity standards. This event is part of the measures taken by Bank Al-Maghrib to finalize the regulatory framework governing participatory banking activities in Morocco.

#Kenya: Islamic Finance Roots Grow Deeper in Kenya

The Insurance (Amendment) Act 2016 signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to enhance Kenya's position as the premier Islamic financial hub in Africa. The move came a week after the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) was admitted by the Council of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) as an associate member of the board. The new law provides for the licensing and regulation of Takaful insurance business in Kenya in order to encourage international investment in this sector. The decision to admit CMA was made at the 29th IFSB Council meeting held in Cairo, Egypt on December 14. In October, the government launched the Islamic Finance Project Management Office (PMO). CMA's Chief Executive Paul Muthaura said the authority membership in IFSB is a key step towards the development of Kenya as an Islamic finance hub. The Insurance (Amendment) Act 2016 now enables the operationalisation of risk-based solvency requirements for insurers that were introduced in the Finance Act 2013. Among those proposals is a requirement that an insurer should maintain a 100% capital adequacy ratio at all times.

#Iran to chair Islamic finance body IFSB in 2017

Iran's central bank will take chairmanship of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) for the year 2017. Shut out of the global system by sanctions, Iranian banks are eager to resume business with foreign lenders with deals ranging from funding infrastructure to insuring foreign trade. The IFSB Council said late on Wednesday it had appointed Iran's central bank governor Valiollah Seif as chairman, with Bangladesh Bank governor Fazle Kabir as deputy chairman. Iran's entire banking system follows Islamic principles, there are 34 Islamic banks that held total assets of 14,451 trillion rials ($448 billion) as of March. This represents around a third of total Islamic banking assets globally, although Iran's version of Islamic finance can differ with what is observed in other Muslim-majority countries.

IFSB issues Exposure Draft on Disclosure Requirements for Islamic Capital Market Products

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has issued its Exposure Draft of Guiding Principles On Disclosure Requirements for Islamic Capital Market Products (ED-19) for Public Consultation running from 31 October 2016 to 31 December 2016. ED-19 categorises a set of general principles that are common to the disclosure of both Sukuk and Islamic Collective Investment Schemes (ICIS), as well as specific principles applicable to each sector. The ED outlines disclosure requirements for Sukuk and ICIS, covering the main stages of disclosure and point-of-sale disclosure. The IFSB will organise a Roundtable on Disclosure Requirements on 30 November 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and a Public Hearing on ED-19 on 13 December 2016 in Cairo, Egypt. ED-19 will be revised based on the written and oral feedback received during the public consultation process and is planned to be submitted for final approval of the IFSB Council in April 2017.

IFSB launches annual survey on implementation of IFSB Standards

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) launched its annual Survey on the Implementation of IFSB Standards. The Survey is directed to the member regulatory and supervisory authorities (RSAs) to assess their progress in implementing the IFSB Standards. According to Jaseem Ahmed, Secretary-General of the IFSB, the Survey is useful in providing feedback on the progress and major constrains faced by the authorities. In 2015 a total of 39 RSAs from 27 countries responded and overall 18 RSAs have implemented at least one IFSB standard. In the banking sector, nine RSAs have already implemented more than 50% of the standards. The results of the Implementation Survey 2016 are planned to be presented to the IFSB Technical Committee and Council in early 2017.

The World Bank-IFSB High-Level Seminar on Islamic Finance Attracts Large and Enthusiastic Audience

More than 100 participants participated in the World Bank-Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) High-Level Seminar on Islamic Finance and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on October 6. The Seminar was highlighted by a keynote address by his Royal Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Emir stressed the potential of Islamic finance to mobilise much needed capital to achieve the SDGs. Ms. Arunma Oteh, the Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank, similarly stressed the importance of Islamic finance as an agent for financial inclusion and for mobilising private investment in infrastructure. The panel discussion examined how countries are increasingly using Islamic finance to support developmental goals, and innovative sukuk structures supporting both physical and social infrastructure.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Executive #Forum: Financial Inclusion and Islamic Finance, November 11-16, 2016, Kuala Lumpur, #Malaysia

The Financial Inclusion and Islamic Finance Forum is scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur between the 11th and 16th of November. The event is hosted by the IFSB, a Malaysia-based standard-setting organization that issues guiding principles for banking, capital markets and the insurance sectors. The other host is the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, a university also based in Malaysia and centered around the Islamic finance industry. The standard fees to attend are USD 1,200 if registering by November 2, 2016, and USD 1,500 if registering after.

IFSB completes dissemination of two years quarterly data on #Islamicbanking from 17 countries

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has announced the fourth dissemination of data on financial soundness and growth of the Islamic banking systems from 17 IFSB member jurisdictions, covering quarterly data from December 2013 to Q3 of 2015. The 17 member countries include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. The total assets of the Islamic banking industry grew from $1,216 billion in 2014Q3 to $1,245 billion in 2015Q3. Total funding/liabilities declined from $1,007 billion in 2014Q3 to $946 billion in 2015Q3. Financing by Islamic banks from the jurisdictions participating in the PSIFIs project reached $710 billion in 2015Q3 from $681 billion in 2014Q3.

The IFSB, World Bank and Turkish Treasury Organise a Joint #Conference on Value Proposition of #Takaful Industry in Istanbul

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), The World Bank Group (WBG) and the Republic of Turkey have organised a joint conference focusing on the takaful sector. This conference, themed "Realising the Value Proposition of Takaful Industry for a Stable and Inclusive Financial System" was held in Istanbul on May 30-31, 2016. The Keynote Address was delivered by Ramazan Ulger, President of the Turkish Insurance Association and Ozgur Koc from the Association of Participation Insurance. Mr. Ulger highlighted that there are 60 insurance companies and one reinsurance company operating in Turkey. He suggested for the takaful industry to develop a wider range of products to address the needs of individuals. Ozgur Koc reiterated the country's vision to establish Istanbul as an Islamic financial centre.

Global prudential body to fine-tune #oversight of Islamic finance

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) plans to tighten oversight of market practices and revise capital adequacy and disclosure requirements. The new disclosure requirements would cover financial but also sharia-compliance aspects, and may include guidance on specific sukuk formats such as convertible instruments and those used for regulatory-capital purposes. Islamic finance has now systemic importance in 11 countries, these include Qatar, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Brunei, with the latest entrant Djibouti. Bahrain and Jordan are close to achieving that status as well.

Global prudential body to fine-tune oversight of #Islamicfinance

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) plans to tighten oversight of market practices and revise capital adequacy and disclosure requirements. The new disclosure requirements would cover financial but also sharia-compliance aspects, and may include guidance on specific sukuk formats such as convertible instruments and those used for regulatory-capital purposes. Islamic finance has now systemic importance in 11 countries, these include Qatar, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Brunei, with the latest entrant Djibouti. Bahrain and Jordan are close to achieving that status as well.

#Sukuk Issuance Expected To Increase In 2016, Says IFSB

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) sees a potential for an increase of sukuk funding in 2016 in line with regulatory reforms in the industry such as Basel III and Guidance Note 6 (GN-6). Secretary-General Jaseem Ahmed said sovereign sukuk sector might gain momentum this year on the back of increased budget deficits, particularly in the energy-exporting countries. He added that Islamic banking assets showed a positive association with oil revenues while the liquidity and profitability of Islamic banks might be adversely affected by low oil prices.

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