The Nation

#Workshop on enhancing poor’s capability, financial #inclusion begins

An international workshop on "Enhancing the poor’s capability and financial inclusion from Islamic perspective" took place in Islamabad, Pakistan. On the first day, experts discussed the role of Islamic micro-finance in socio-economic development and economic empowerment of women. President of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), Dr Ahmed Yousif said Islamic financial institutions would have to play their role as objectives of value orientation. He called upon the Muslim world to stay united and include Islamic teachings in the economic system. Dr Atiq-uz-Zafar, director general of the International Institute of Islamic Economics of the IIUI, said that the session of the workshop would also include detailed research papers of the experts. The workshop will conclude today at Faisal Mosque campus.

Cleric to parents: Encourage children to study Islamic finance

Tajudeen Yusuf, President at the Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals (IIFP), has advised parents to encourage their children to study Islamic finance. Yusuf gave the advice on Sunday at the 34th Triennial Conference of the Muslim Association of Nigeria (MAN). The theme of the national conference was "Path to National Economic Recovery, Growth and Development – The Islamic Perspective". According to Yusuf, Islamic Finance helps to redistribute wealth and reduce income inequality, as well as promotes inclusiveness through stakeholders participation. At the conference a new national executive was elected to run the affairs of the organization for the next three years. They include Alhaji Tajudeen Ojikutu (President), Dhikrullah Yagboyaju (Vice President), Ganiu Salawu (Secretary) and Nurat Adebayo (Public Relations Officer).

SECP okays Shariah-compliant trading counter at PSX

The Shariah Advisory Board (SAB) of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has reviewed the proposal of Shariah-compliant trading counter. The main feature of the proposal is to convert the T+2 settlement into T+0 settlement mechanism in the Shariah-compliant securities listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). The Shariah Advisory Board has granted approval of the proposed trading counter. The board also reviewed and granted approval of three AAOIFI standards: Shariah Standard No 17 - Investment Sukuk, Shariah Standard No 18- Possession and Shariah Standard No 23 - Agency and the Act of an un-commissioned agent.

#Pakistan all set to generate $3b through euro, #sukuk bonds

Pakistan is all set to generate up to $3 billion by issuing euro and sukuk bonds in the international debt market. Road shows for introducing bonds will soon start in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Europe and United States. The government’s plans to raise loans from the international market by issuing bonds would support the foreign exchange reserves, which are under pressure due to widening trade deficit. The deficit surged by 100% to $5.013 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year as compared to $2.259 billion of a year ago. Both Sukuk and Eurobond are expected to be offered with tenures ranging from 5 to 30 years. The S&P earlier has assigned preliminary B rating to Pakistan’s proposed dollar bond issue.

#Sukuk has great potential, says Jaiz Bank chief

Many West African countries and companies may fall back on Sukuk to finance infrastructural development and corporate growth plans. Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman, said there could soon be a frenzy of the facility issuance in West Africa. Nigeria recently issued its maiden sovereign Sukuk. It successfully raised N105 billion for its N100 billion Sukuk. Usman added that with a population of about 329 million people, the emerging middle-class segment of the region is expected to boost demand for retail banking, takaful and Islamic funds. According to him, as the market for Islamic Finance develops in Nigeria, each segment of the market will provide potential career paths for young and middle-level professionals. He also noted it might take some time because the ecosystem is currently narrow with only one full-fledged bank, one window operation, one capital market operator and two Takaful operators.

Al Baraka Bank issues Rs1,500m tier-II #Sukuk

Al Baraka Bank Pakistan Limited (ABPL) has announced the successful issuance of its A rated privately placed tier-II Modaraba Sukuk. The Rs 1,500 million Sukuk issue was subscribed by a diversified investor base, in total, a number of 12 institutional investors participated in the issue. The Sukuk has a 7 years tenor, is redeemable at maturity and has a Call Option which is exercisable after 5 years with SBP’s consent. ABPL’s first tier II Sukuk issue of Rs 2,000 million was launched in 2014, as the first of its kind transaction in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Shafqaat Ahmed, CEO of Al Baraka Bank Pakistan, expressed his thanks to all the investors for showing their continued confidence in the bank. He also appreciated the support and guidance extended by the State Bank of Pakistan.

Bridging the $300b #infrastructure #gap with Islamic finance

In #Nigeria about $300 billion (N108.75 trillion) is required to close the country's infrastructure gap. To close the gap, the Federal Government has turned to the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). Some financial analysts are warning that this is capable of undermining the nation’s constitution and its secularity. While insisting on the need to defend Nigeria’s secularity, some of them pointed out that there are other viable options and numerous non-religious lending institutions Nigeria can turn to for help. For example, public affairs analyst, Barr Obiora Akabogu, said Nigeria could fall back on the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) to raise cash. Nigeria’s pension fund, which stood at N6.02 trillion as at last November, is another viable option to build infrastructure. Others have recommended the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model for designing, building, financing and operating new infrastructure.

‘Jaiz Bank’s NPL within tolerable limits’

The Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman, has assured that the bank’s loan profile is very healthy. Jaiz Bank, he noted, was not heavily or significantly exposed to the oil sector, but the bank’s exposure is to real estate. While justifying the listing of the bank’s shares in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), he said Jaiz Bank’s activities remain transparent and open. Jaiz Bank has challenges like any growing institution. One of such challenges has to do with perception, as many people thought it was a charity organization. Other challenges include the enabling environment like infrastructure for non-interest banking like liquidity instruments. Another challenge is the limited number of qualified trained manpower to manage Islamic banking. Inspite of these challenges, Jaiz Bank has proved itself to be sustainable. It has grown into a national franchise with branches in South and South West and is also opening more branches in other parts of the country.

Islamic finance body drafts new #standard for centralised sharia boards

A global body for Islamic finance has issued a draft standard on centralized sharia boards, aiming to improve corporate governance in the industry. The proposed rules come at a time when Islamic banks are trying to widen their appeal in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, while opening up entirely new markets in Africa. The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) is seeking industry feedback on the proposed standard until the end of February. AAOIFI said the standard would encourage convergence of industry practices by avoiding contradictory rulings and fostering consistency across products and services. While the standard does not prescribe term limits for scholars, it does require sharia boards to implement a rotation policy for its members while including members with expertise in areas such as accounting and law.

Islamic banking witnessed slow pace in Arab region during 2016

Due to sharp declining trend in oil prices, slow economic pace and Arab spring, the trend of the Islamic Banking & Finance had been slow in 2016 in the Middle East and Arab region. A sufficient development was recorded in Africa, Central Asia and Far East, especially in the African market. Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Pakistan, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain are prominent where the contribution of their total assets of Islamic banking is 82% to the Global Islamic Banking market. According to a research by CIBE CEO Zubair Mughal, there will be a steady growth of approximately 13% to 15% in Islamic finance market during 2017 and the total volume of Islamic finance will cross $3 trillion figure by 2020, which will be accompanied by a definite addition of Sukuk along with Islamic banking. While the Sukuk market in Malaysia, Pakistan, UAE, Turkey, Central Asian countries and Africa seem determined in 2017.

#Sukuk bonds issuance will grow in West Africa, says Hogan Lovells

According to law firm Hogan Lovells, the launch of Sukuk bonds by three West African governments will open up a vast financing channel for the region. Hogan Lovells advised the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) as lead arranger on the issuance of three sovereign Sukuks in West Africa. These include Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and the Republic of Togo. The Sukuks were listed on the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM), Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Altogether with the debut issuances for Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, the combined listing value was CFA 766 billion. Imran Mufti, who led the Hogan Lovells’ team, said the landmark Sukuk bonds will enhance the development of Islamic finance in West Africa.

IDB offers to increase support for Jaiz Bank

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has promised to continue its support for Jaiz Bank Nigeria given that that Jaiz bank now has a national licence. IDB president Ahmad Mohamed Ali assured officials that IDB as an institution will continue to assist the Jaiz Bank. Chairman of the Jaiz Bank, Alhaji Umar Mutallab said with Jaiz bank’s newly acquired national licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the bank will soon start rolling out services nationwide. IDB is a shareholder in the Jaiz bank.

#Sukuk and Aregbesola’s education story

The State of Osun in southwestern Nigeria raised a sukuk bond worth 10 billion naira ($62 mn) from the capital market to fund educational development. After the recent trend of Eurobond issuance by African countries, Osun’s offering was sowing the seeds for more African sukuk. Prior to Osun, only Gambia and Sudan had issued local-currency short-term domestic notes. Osun's Governor Rauf Aregbesola believes that the potential of Islamic finance can also attract investors from the Middle East. Osun State’s planned multi-billion naira sukuk fund for education represents Nigeria’s most ambitious attempt to promote Islamic finance.

Jaiz Bank secures licence to deliver #Islamicbanking

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted Jaiz Bank national license to operate Islamic non-interest banking in all the states of the federation. Chairman of Jaiz Bank Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab said the bank intends to roll out in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in two or three months times. Alhaji Sa’ad Abubarkar III, the Sultan of all Muslims in Nigeria, congratulated and warned that Jaiz bank must conform with all rules and regulations of Islam.

Islamic banks must work for poverty alleviation

Financial experts and researchers at international conference on Islamic financing have emphasised the need for framing a holistic vision for inclusive growth and promotion of Islamic mode of financing essentially with focus on poverty alleviation, access to loans to small growers, and reducing income inequalities. The two-day international moot titled “Towards Financial Inclusion: Developments in Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance”, held under the auspices of Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance (CEIF), IMSciences, in collaboration with the State Bank of Pakistan, and the UK Department for International Development (UK-DFID), aimed at promoting academic, research, and best industry practices of Islamic finance as joint venture with commercial banks, regulators, universities, Islamic financial resources centers.

Islamic banking’ll boost economy if well harnessed, says Emir Sanusi

Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has said Islamic Banking institution can revitalise the troubled Nigerian economy if well adopted. According to him, one of the major benefits of the system is to reduce poverty. He spoke yesterday at the Third Annual Holiday Convention of the Guild of Muslim Professionals (GMP) at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Topo, Badagry in Lagos State. The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, who disclosed that non-Muslim countries including Cote d’Voire, Senegal and Gambia are picking interest in the Sukuk, the Islamic banking system, also called for increased awareness on the Islamic Banking system. He urged scholars to avail themselves of the opportunity of the training sessions organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

‘Islamic banking windows can benefit everybody’

Ambassador Adamu Babangida Ibrahim, a banker, has served as Nigerian Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Guinea. Ambassador Ibrahim is the pioneer Director-General, Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation, a charity arm of the Jaiz Bank. Jaiz Foundation uses the income that the bank cannot recognise under their profit and loss as Halal income for charity purposes. These monies are supposed to be used for charity and development purposes for interventions, especially in the poor and underserved people for economic empowerment, for intervention in health, education and so forth.

Pakistan to sell Islamic bons worth 49.5 billion rupees

Pakistan's central bank will sell 49.5 billion rupees ($503.8 million) of Islamic bonds, the country's first such issuance in 15 months, with pricing to be set on Wednesday. The sukuk will inject a much-needed liquidity management tool for the domestic Islamic banking industry. The appetite for local currency sukuk has grown with Islamic banks posting double-digit asset growth, but the government has been unable to match demand, constraining the sector's financing and investment capability. The government has not indicated whether it would issue more local currency sukuk this year, although the finance ministry has said it was considering issuing dollar-denominated sukuk.

IDB gives Pakistan 250m euro

Pakistan will reportedly receive 250 million Euros from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in the ongoing month of August, which is part of 750 million Euros loan. Similarly, the country will also avail the trade facility of $150 million for import of fertilizer and Petroleum products this month. The Islamic Development Bank had agreed to the loan and the trade facility in a meeting between the President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Ahmed Muhammad Ali, and Pakistan’s Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar in Jeddah last week. Pakistan will also receive $500 million from Asian Development Bank and $500 million from World Bank in the second half (January-June) of the ongoing financial year 2013-14. Moreover, Pakistan is expecting to receive $3.4 billion from IMF during the current financial year. The loans will help building the foreign exchange reserves, which are currently around $10.25 billion.

Emaan Islamic Banking officially launched

Emaan Islamic Banking, a division of Silkbank Limited, has been launched and is now available in 10 branches in 8 cities including Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Islamabad. M. A. Mannan, Executive Director at Silkbank, said that currently, the Islamic Banking Division offers a complete suite of liability based products and services including Current Account, Savings Account, Term Deposit (01 Month to 05 Years), Online Banking, 24/7 Phone Banking, Internet Banking, Visa Debit Card, Utility Bills Payment Service and Corporate Banking solutions including Musharka, Murabaha, Diminishing Musharka and Import Murabaha. Silkbank plans to open more Emaan Islamic Banking branches throughout the country and offer more products, both in Retail and Consumer Banking in Pakistan.

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