Pakistan

#Pakistan's Summit Bank eyes Burj Bank for #Islamic #banking entry

Summit Bank has received approval from Pakistan's central bank to conduct due diligence on Burj Bank. Burj Bank held 4.4 billion rupees ($42 mn) in paid up capital as of December, compared with the regulatory minimum of 10 billion rupees. Burj Bank said it had shortlisted three financial institutions to conduct due diligence on a non-exclusive basis. It also received an extension from the central bank to meet the mimimum capital requirement until June 30.

Islamic banking has to increase investment in agri, SME

Dr Ishrat Hussain, Chairman Center of Excellence for Islamic Finance emphasized that Islamic Finance should not be restricted to a faith based segment and the banking sector has to increase investment in agriculture, SME and Islamic Microfinance. He stated that the share of Islamic Banks is 13pc growing at the rate of 28%, however, there are still regulatory and legal challenges which need to be addressed to make a real shift in lending profiles.

DIB brings growth agenda to Pakistan

Dubai Islamic Bank’s Group Chief Executive Officer Dr. Adnan Chilwan, on his first visit to Pakistan, outlined the detailed growth strategy for the franchise in the country. This newly defined strategy repositions the Bank’s medium term plans alongside the transformational growth the Group has achieved as part of their 2014-2016 strategic agenda. The event also marked and celebrated the successful 10 years of the Bank’s operations in the country.

Shariah-compliant: Islamic financing increases for infrastructure deals

Shariah-compliant financing is emerging as a viable alternative to conventional banking in order to fund infrastructure deals, which could help promote use of longer-term transactions in Islamic finance. This month Pakistani banks arranged Rs100 billion ($955 million) worth of 10-year Islamic bonds (sukuk) for a hydropower plant, the largest infrastructure deal to use Islamic financing in the country. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Pakistan wanted to make Shariah-compliant financing its first choice for infrastructure and long-term financing needs.

The New Financial Phenomenon for Pakistani Entrepreneurs: Crowd Funding

Pakistan has great potential of starting its own sustainable, digital turnaround. The country is embracing digital technology as a powerful tool which is not just limited to simple communication anymore rather it has become a life-changing catalyst. According to Alliedcrowd statistics, Pakistan currently ranks 22 among developing countries on the crowdfunding market with annual estimated business of $5.4M. The prospects for crowdfunding are quite positive in Pakistan as small businesses and young entrepreneurship is gaining popularity in the country.

Islamic banking unclear on conventional arbitration: scholars

The Islamic finance industry is still searching for a stance on to what extent conventional international law should be accepted in arbitration cases. Conservative scholars argue that non-Muslim courts should not be written into contracts as a reference for arbitrations. Islamic scholar Sheikh Saleh Abdulla al-Haidan said contracts, in which both parties agree that British law should be reference for the contract and therefore any arbitrations, violates Islamic law. According to the scholars contract parties should include arbitration centres compliant with sharia law as reference in contracts.

Maybank Islamic says not eyeing strategic partner

Maybank Islamic, Asia Pacific's largest sharia bank, is not currently seeking a strategic partner, its acting chief said after earlier talk that it would merge with the country's second Islamic bank. Acting CEO Ibrahim Hassan said Maybank Islamic is only interested in partnerships for specific business products such as the joint issue of credit cards. Malaysian financial group BIMB Holdings also denied that it was in talks to merge its sharia banking subsidiary Bank Islam with Maybank Islamic.

Sukuk takes record share in Q1

According to Fitch Ratings the total new Sukuk issuance (with a maturity of more than 18 months) in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Singapore and Pakistan was around US$11.1 billion (RM42.9 billion) in the first quarter of 2016. Fitch said that Sukuk issuance was up 22% from Q4’15 and 21% from a year earlier, while non-Sukuk bond issuance of US$17.1 billion was down 23% quarter-on-quarter and 45% year-on-year. Sukuk represented 39.3% of total bond and Sukuk issuance in these countries during the quarter – the highest proportion in the past eight years.

Pakistan Microfinance Network commits to reaching 50 million new depositors through UFA2020 initiative

Two billion people worldwide still lack access to formal and regulated financial services. In 2015, the World Bank Group with private and public sector partners committed to promoting financial inclusion and achieving Universal Financial Access by 2020. According to the Pakistan Microfinance Network
the estimated potential market size for microfinance is 20.5 million in Pakistan, yet the current Microfinance outreach is close to 3.7 million active borrowers, showing there is a long way to go.

Shariah compliance : Al Meezan launches asset allocation scheme

Al Meezan Investments CEO Mohammad Shoaib announced the launch of the Meezan Asset Allocation Fund (MAAF), an open-end Shariah compliant asset allocation scheme. MAAF has an initial offering from April 18- 20, 2016 with no load and would be open for subscripion subsequently. MAAF aims to earn a potentially high return through asset allocation between Shariah compliant equity, fixed income and money market instruments. MAAF has an initial offering from April 18- 20, 2016 with no load and would be open for subscripion subsequently.

Sharif helps Sharia banking to spread

Islamic banking is growing fast in predominantly Muslim Pakistan, thanks to the growing popularity of its Sharia compliant structure and a helping hand from the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. According to the State Bank of Pakistan most of Pakistan's conventional banks have now opened Sharia-compliant branches and many are working on full conversion to Islamic banking, which is growing at an annual rate double that of the country's Western-style banking sector. Pakistan's 250 million people are served by 22 local and foreign banks, five of which are Islamic. With a few exceptions almost all local and foreign conventional banks also offer Islamic financing services.

Bank Alfalah launches book on Islamic finance

Aimed at raising awareness of and promoting Islamic finance in the country, Bank Alfalah has organised the launch of a book titled ‘Shariah Minds in Islamic Finance’ by the scholar Dr Mohammadd Daud Bakar. The book presents insights into the life of an international scholar, discusses stakeholders’ expectations and defines the ultimate role scholars should play in shaping the industry’s future. Dr Bakar currently serves as Chairman of the Shariah Advisory Council at the Central Bank of Malaysia, the Securities Commission of Malaysia, Labuan Financial Services Authority and the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM). He is also a Shariah board member of various financial institutions.

BankIslami signs strategic alliance with Honda

Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited and BankIslami Pakistan Limited have joined hands to offer their customers with valuable Honda products coupled with Shariah compliant Auto financing solutions. Yasser Abbas, Section Auto Ijarah BankIslami and Nadeem Azam, General Manager Sales & Marketing Honda signed the agreement. Maqsood Rehmani Vice President, M. Afzal Senior Manager Sales & Marketing and Shahzad Wahla Deputy Manager Sales & Marketing from HACPL and Syed Jibran Ali Unit Head Auto Ijarah, Hafiz Shabir HSM Central Region and Rizwan Haider TL Retail Central from BankIslami were also present on the occasion.

MLCFL repays Rs 8 billion Sukuk loan ahead of time

Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCFL) Monday paid Rs 8 billion Sukuk loan much earlier than scheduled. The company has been able to pay off much earlier than scheduled, its entire Sukuk loan of Rs 8 billion in the third quarter of the current financial year, said Muhammad Ashraf, MLCFL's company secretary, in a stock filing Monday. The payment, he said, was made against the agreed repayment schedule till December 2018. Improved profitability, better cash flow, cost curtailment initiatives and efficient financial discipline made it possible to repay the debt in advance.

Can imams drive action on climate change in Pakistan?

Imams and other religious leaders are an under-used means of pushing action to combat climate change, experts and religious scholars say. Religious leaders have the moral standing to call on people and businesses to consider the environmental impact of their activities and take a bigger role in reducing their own carbon footprints and finding ways to cope with the growing impacts of climate change, experts said at a multi-faith meeting in Islamabad. But first, they need training to both understand and communicate the issues accurately in a country hard-hit by climate-related drought, flooding, crop losses and other problems.

Standard Chartered Saadiq enhances offering

Standard Chartered Saadiq has announced to enhance its offering for clients looking for Shariah-compliant banking products and services. The enhanced Saadiq product suite includes Home Finance with fixed pricing for up to three years so the clients can benefit from prevailing low market rates and the Saadiq World Miles Credit Card. In order to address the needs of its business banking clients, Saadiq has also launched a new product: Saadiq Business Term Finance, a Shariah compliant solution for clients to manage their business expenditures by availing financing against their existing property.

Al Baraka, Al-Ghazi Tractors to promote agri financing

In order to promote the SBP initiative for SME sector and for Agri Financing, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Al Baraka Bank (Pakistan) Limited & Al-Ghazi Tractors Limited, for the facilitation of ‘Tractor Financing’ at Al Baraka House, Karachi. This MoU will allow the farmers and agriculturists to avail Shariah compliant financing options for rural financing including financing of tractors and other credit facilities, with quicker processing and flexible payment options. Al Baraka Bank (Pakistan) Limited (ABPL) is a part of Al Baraka Banking Group, Bahrain, and has a network of 150 branches spread over 94 cities & Towns across Pakistan.

SECP amended investment parameters for Islamic mutual fund industry

In order to foster the growth of Islamic mutual fund industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has revised the investment parameters for Shariah Compliant open end collective investment schemes. The Commission allowed the Islamic mutual funds to include the Government of Pakistan Ijarah Sukuk not exceeding 90 days remaining maturity in cash and near cash instruments requirement. Shariah Compliant open end collective investments schemes has not seen the issuance of short term Islamic Government papers like T-Bills, therefore, Government Ijarah Sukuk having remaining maturity of 90 days or less is the only viable and available avenue for investment in cash and near cash equivalent.

Ithmaar Bank's retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited, reports record growth in 2015

Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank has announced that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited, has registered a record profit for 2015. Faysal Bank registered a profit, after tax, of US$ 41mn (PKR 4.2bn) during 2015, a 70 percent increase over the profit reported for 2014. During the year, the bank's operating income increased by 95 percent, growing from US$ 35mn (PKR 3.5bn) in 2014 to US$ 67mn (PKR 6.9bn) in 2015. Total assets increased by 11 percent to US$ 4bn (PKR 430bn) as of 31 December 2015, compared to US$ 3.7bn (PKR 388bn) as at 31 December 2014. Faysal Bank also announced a cash dividend of PKR 1 per share (10 percent of share par value) for 2015.

Sharia Compliant Micro Financing in Pakistan

Thousands of Pakistani households are turning to microfinance institutions which provide loans based on Islamic law, or Sharia. The available video looks at micro financing solutions in Pakistan provided by Achuwat which provides interest free loans. Religious lending is expected to grow in the coming years, and this video looks at case studies of a school teacher and tailor. The majority of clients of micro financing solutions are women.

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