Daily Sabah

#Turkish participation banks' #profit #soars 36 pct in first half

The Participation banks achieved a profit of approx. $223.29 million in the first half of 2017 with an increase of 36 % compared to the same period the year before. According to information put together by the non-consolidated financial statements of Albaraka Türk, Kuveyt Türk, Türkiye Finans Participation Bank, Vak?f Participation and Ziraat Participation, the total assets of participation banks increased by 7.7 % compared to the end of last year, exceeding $41.52 billion. In the first half, the net profit of the sector increased by 36 %.
Among the participation banks, Kuveyt Türk achieved the highest net profit in the first half, followed by Türkiye Finans Participation Bank, Albaraka Türk, Ziraat Participation and Vak?f Participation. By the end of June, Kuveyt Türk was the leader of the sector, followed by Türkiye Finans Participation Bank and Albaraka Turk.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency regarding the first half results and expectations of the participation banks, Melik?ah Utku, chairman of the Participation Banks' Association of Turkey (PBAT), stressed that the participation banking sector is in a significant development process and has serious potential in Turkey.

Interest-free #insurance expected to draw #investments from Gulf

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the economy Mehmet Simsek announced that they have established the infrastructure of the interest-free insurance system. He noted that there have been no separate regulations for Islamic insurance or insurers so far, adding that the regulation is of great importance. He suggested that many questions in the framework of Islamic insurance will be answered with the new regulation. Simsek informed that in addition to serving interest-sensitive citizens, the system will also attract capital from the Gulf countries to Turkey. The system is based on the UK model, which is seen as an opportunity for Turkey as well. The Deputy Prime Minister also pointed out that one of the most important opportunities that the system brings to citizens is the balance return.

Islamic Development Bank plans to buy stake in Borsa Istanbul

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) plans to take at least a 10% stake in Turkey's state-run stock exchange, Borsa Instanbul. Abdulhakim Elwaer, IDB's director of cooperation, said negotiations are expected to finalize in two to three months as part of wider efforts to develop Islamic finance in Turkey. Elwaer emphasized the bank's wish to help develop Turkey as a global Islamic financial center. IDB and Borsa Istanbul signed a cooperation agreement in November, with discussions currently ongoing to decide on a specific size and time frame. The bourse has a share capital of 423 million lira ($115.6 million), implying a value of 42.3 million lira for a 10% stake. Elwaer added that a gold trading platform is also in discussion, although the equity stake remains the bank's biggest priority.

#Turkey's SWF to focus on securitization

The first act of business by the Turkish Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) will be the issuance of securities, while it will also focus on Islamic finance products in securitization. The fund will contact local and foreign investors for securitization over the next few months. Even though the Treasury announced that the transferred asset size was approximately worth $160 billion with an equity size of $35 billion last Friday, an endeavor is currently underway concerning the valuation and auditing of the transferred assets by the fund. According to a Turkish daily, Dünya, the fund is exploring various types of instrument models, especially in Islamic finance. For this reason, the issuance of sukuk is a major focus of the agenda for the fund.

Bank Asya payments being made through Vakif Participation Bank

In #Turkey the insured participation funds at the Bank Asya are being paid to the rights holders through the state-owned Vakif Participation Bank. On May 29, 2015, the Banking Supervisory and Regulatory Authority (BDDK) ruled for a complete takeover by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) of all Bank Asya shares. According to yesterday's announcement, up to TL 100,000 ($28,247) of the total of insured participation funds at the Asya Participation Bank have been paid to the right holders in Turkish liras. The banks operating permit has been abolished. It was put on sale by the Fund Board, but did not receive any offers despite the extension of the bidding period.

ITFC plans to provide $1B in funds for #Turkish SMEs

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has signed an agreement with Turkey's Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) to support SMEs. The group plans to provide $1 billion for Turkish companies. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by ITFC CEO Hani Salem Sonbol and KOSGEB President Recep Bicer. The MoU also examines the possibility of providing Islamic Trade Finance solutions to SMEs in Turkey. The suggested cooperation program includes developing joint programs for capacity building activities for SMEs in Turkey and Reverse Linkage Programs for transferring KOSGEB's know-how to other OIC member countries.

US Senator refutes fake press release targeting Kuveyt-Turk bank

An unknown group of people have purposefully leaked new allegations surrounding the Turkey-based bank Kuveyt-Turk. A press release published on Nov. 19 claimed that US Senator Dick Durbin would hold hearings to investigate two key banking institutions in Kuwait and whether they helped fund terrorism. The press release read that Durbin would target Kuwait Finance House and its subsidiary in Turkey, the Kuveyt-Turk participation bank. A spokesman at Senator Durbin's office flatly denied the report and said it was completely false. The fake report has surfaced amidst an ongoing court case in California against the two banks on the terror funding charges. Kuveyt-Turk's lawyers dismissed the charges by saying the allegations have no merit because banks are not responsible for the allegations. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the allegations over Kuveyt-Turk and Kuwait Finance House were proof of Western double standards.

IRCIEF: An important step toward Istanbul becoming world's Islamic finance and banking capital

Istanbul's Sabahattin Zaim University established the International Research Center for Islamic Economics and Finance (IRCIEF) in order to produce relevant research to guide policy design and implementations. It also organizes workshops and training programs to provide society with opportunities toward a better understanding of Islamic economics. According to IRCIEF director Prof. Dr. Arif Ersoy, the center will also intensify its research activities on finding new solutions for the problems encountered by SMEs, who are the main consumers of Islamic banks. IRCIEF offers graduate studies on Islamic Economics and Finance, furthermore post graduate studies on Islamic Economics and Law in Arabic. For next year the center is planning to open the programs in English as well.

Istanbul-based university opens Center for Islamic Economics building

Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University (IZU) is opening its International Research Center for Islamic Economics and Finance (IRCIEF) on Oct. 28. The IZU hopes to become a center for academic studies in the field. Launched by Kuwait, Turk and Albaraka Turk participation banks, the International Research Center for Islamic Economics and Finance will offer market-based education to its students. By offering courses in Turkish and Arabic, the IZU will enable Turkish and foreign students to be specialized in the field. University rector and professor Mehmet Bulut said the center will train equipped students in undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate programs. He promised that students will be educated in this center with the understanding of making Turkey stronger and noting that the accomplished projects will be carried out in collaboration with the participation banks.

#Turkey seeks huge piece of Islamic finance pie

Deputy Prime minister in Charge of the Economy Mehmet Simsek said the size of the Islamic banking sector globally was projected to grow to $3.5 trillion in the next five years and Turkey aimed to manage a sizeable portion of this huge sector. He said the government was committed to help the sector thrive in Turkey. Furthermore, he indicated that the total size of assets of participation banks reached $183.93 billion by the end of 2015. Pointing out that the participation banks' share in the overall banking sector was 5.1%, he stressed the goal set by the representative of the sector was to attain 15% by 2025. The Turkish Treasury elaborated on the action plan called "Strengthening Interest-free Finance and Participation Banking" as a component of the Istanbul International Financial Center (IFC Istanbul) program. It was decided that the board would work on the issues raised at the meeting to develop the interest-free finance sector.

Finance Ministry initiates works on legal infrastructure of Istanbul's Finance Center

#Turkey's Finance Minister Naci Agbal said the ministry initiated studies on a draft law on the Istanbul International Finance Center (IIFC). Agbal stated that the government introduced new financial instruments step by step, including the founding of the Sovereign Welfare Fund (SWF), real estate certificates and Islamic finance tools, in an attempt to intensify Turkey's financial markets. The draft law on the IIFC aims to offer opportunities to financial players and attract international financial institutions to Turkey. At the IIFC 50,000 people will be employed and it will have 25,000 daily visitors once opened. The joint infrastructure work of the financial center includes an administrative building, a police station, a health center, fire department, continuing education center, various academic courses, a mosque, a nursery, an underground parking lot and a trestle.

Bank Asya's shareholders to receive funds remaining after liquidation

According to Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) Chairman, Sakir Ercan Gül, Bank Asya's shareholders need to wait until the end of the bank's liquidation process to receive their remaining funds. Gül said the process of paying deposits would not be immediately initiated and the finalization of the liquidation process would be delayed. The law regarding deposits grants a three-month period for payments, which will expire this month. There are nearly TL 2 billion ($653 million) worth of deposits in the bank, including TL 950 million worth of insured deposits. If the bank has any remaining funds after the liquidation process, these will be distributed to the bank's shareholders in accordance with the percentage of their shares. According to Gül, the bank is now hovering between bankruptcy and liquidation.

#OIC celebrates 47th #anniversary in Istanbul

The 47th anniversary of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was celebrated on Saturday in Istanbul. The event was organized by the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA). Halit Eren, general director of IRCICA, said the organization had two main goals, one to restore Islamic cultural heritage in Muslim regions in war and the other to struggle with radicalism. Eren said the OIC works on projects to restore the historical structure in the walled city of Jerusalem and in war-torn Syria. OIC General Secretary Iyad bin Ameen Madani was the main speaker of the organization. In his speech, Madani said the OIC made important steps in social, cultural, economic, technologic and educative domains.

Islamic Development Bank backs #Turkey's steps for stable growth

Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani has said they are ready to support Turkey to maintain the country's stable investment environment in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt. Al Madani said that the Turkish government has continued to promote domestic and foreign investments by boosting the liquidity of its markets to minimize short-term risks since the coup attempt. He noted that the establishment of the Sovereign Welfare Fund (SWF) is an extremely important development as it will help the government transfer its achievements to strategically important sectors. Al Madani remarked that Turkey will maintain its 3 to 4% growth rate despite its dependency on foreign energy.

#Turkey's banking watchdog temporarily shuts down Bank Asya

The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) announced that the operations of Bank Asya will be temporarily frozen. According to the official announcement, the decision was made by the Fund Council in accordance with Article 107 of the Banking Law. The tender for the sale of Bank Asya's shares was scheduled for Friday and TMSF announced that no bid had been offered for the tender. Although shares were planned to be opened to transactions following the bank's sale, Bank Asya's shares are now closed for transactions. Bank Asya is believed to be the main financial institution for the controversial Gülen Movement, which is accused of large-scale cheating and nepotism.

Bank Asya sale scheduled for July 14

The tender for the sale of Bank Asya is set to take place on July 14. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli stressed the importance and the magnitude of the sale, as Bank Asya was subject to financial maladministration by the previous management. While sunken credit totaled TL 2.2 billion ($750 million), credit volume in September 2015 reached TL 6.5 billion. The bank's capital dropped to TL 1.2 billion in 2015. Upon inspection of the actual amount of sunken credit, Bank Asya's cumulative losses totaled TL 1.6 billion.

Pre-selection process for Bank Asya sale extended for Saudi bank

The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) decided to extend the deadline for the preliminary qualification to offer bids in the sale of Bank Asya. Al-Rajhi Bank, Bank Al-Jazeera (BAJ), Al-Bilad Bank and Alinma Bank are the possible banks that asked for the one-week extension of the deadline from June 10 to June 17 to prepare the documents. According to Moody's, in the case that Bank Asya is sold to a well-known bank and strengthens its financial strength, it will be in a better condition to pay its debts to its creditors.

Bank Asya sale set for June 24

The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) announced the sale of Bank Asya shares for June 24. The TMSF will sell 183.6 million of the total 360 million preference shares, pricing each share for TL 0.70 ($0.23). This represents 51% of the total preference shares, that is the controlling power of the bank. According to the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) the troubles in Bank Asya's financial structure, administration and operations pose risks to depositors as well as the security and stability of the financial system.

Turkish gov't to meet with investors, promote Islamic bond exports

Deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, Mehmet Simsek, has said Turkey will hold meetings to increase sukuk exports in the first half of 2016. The country is preparing a draft law which would bring balance to the taxation of Islamic financial contracts and encourage long-term loans. Simsek said that the Ministry wants this system but implementation depends on investor interest. Regarding the establishment of a megabank in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Simsek said the probable scenario includes two megabanks, one in Indonesia and the second in Turkey.

Banking watchdog finds it hard to sell debt-ridden Bank Asya

The head of the Savings and Deposits Insurance Fund said the deadline for the sale of Bank Asya is May 29. If a buyer cannot be found, the bank will be liquidated. The bank started reporting huge losses throughout 2015, while its shares were suspended from trading in Borsa Istanbul. Later it was taken over by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund. According to the audit report on Bank Asya the bank's shareholders signed blank transfer contracts and a large number of dubious transactions were carried out.

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