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NBB diversifies its Murabaha service to clients by offering #Sukuk-based #Murabaha facility

The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) announced its subscription to Bahrain Bourse’s (BHB) newly introduced Murabaha service, which will be used by the Bank when transacting in Islamic Commodity Murabaha financing. NBB is one of the first banks in the Kingdom to execute a transaction using the new fully Shari’ah compliant service. The service employs Government of Bahrain Islamic Ijara Sukuk, whereby the lender in the financing transaction buys the Sukuk from the CBB and after the transfer of the ownership, sells them to the borrower, with a deferred sell as the underlying commodity.

Religion Meets Profit Generation in a Slew of New Faith-Based ETFs

Wahed Invest launched its first exchange-traded fund in the U.S. in July 2019. In June 2020, money manager Global X filed to launch a bond fund aligned to Catholic values. The surge in religious ETF offerings has come alongside the boom in responsible investing, often referred to by the shorthand ESG, for environmental, social, and governance. Global assets in ETFs under the ESG category have almost doubled in the past year, now reaching more than $110 billion. Wahed FTSE USA Shariah ETF tracks an index compiled by the FTSE Russell, which works with a board of experts that determines each company is compliant. Wahed’s ETF has seen inflows of about $35 million since its July 2019 launch.

Sharjah Islamic Bank lists USD500m #Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai

A USD500 million Sukuk has been listed by Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) on Nasdaq Dubai. The capital raised will support SIB’s activities and strategic development. The five-year Sukuk was subscribed 7.2 times by regional and international investors with 150 investors showing their interest. It brings the total value of SIB Sukuk listings on Nasdaq Dubai to USD2 billion following listings of 500 million US dollars each in 2016, 2018 and 2019. SIB’s latest USD500 million Sukuk listed on Nasdaq Dubai on 23rd June 2020.

Not enough Shari’ah experts, lack of tax neutrality hinder Islamic banking in PH

One of the challenges of developing Islamic banking in the Philippines is that there are not enough Shari’ah scholars or Islamic finance experts. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) also noted the lack of tax neutrality as a challenge. In order to have a clear information campaign, the BSP issued the latest FAQs or "Frequently Asked Questions". The BSP also issued "Simplified and concise discussions on lslamic banking fundamentals" that cover the following major points: core features of the lslamic banking law; accessibility of lslamic banking to both Muslims and non-Muslims; key distinctions between conventional and lslamic banking; and requirements for establishing lslamic banks or lslamic banking units (IBUs) in the Philippines.

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain tops key performance indicator rankings for GCC banking sector

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain (Al Salam Bank) has achieved the highest reduction in non-performing financing (NPF) amongst 55 GCC listed banks in 2019. According to KPMG, the Bank also ranked sixth in the region for Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), with a strong standing of 20.9%. The KPMG report notes that the region’s positive results were coupled with an increased focus on digitisation. Al Salam Bank has come to be recognised as one of the key institutions driving the digitisation of financial services in Bahrain. Al Salam Bank is continuing the successful roll-out of its three-year strategy, focused on giving customers a virtual branch and an onboarding app that enables clients to open their accounts within minutes.

#Indonesia is finally waking up to Islamic finance

Despite its potential in sheer numbers of underbanked Muslims, Indonesia has been a slow starter in Islamic finance and is about a decade behind Malaysia. Only in the last few years, there have been some visible steps to support Islamic finance and lift its market share in terms of asset volume beyond the current 6%. The government of Indonesia on June 17 issued its latest Islamic bond, a $2.5bn global sukuk, amid strong interest from investors especially from other Asian countries and the Middle East. The sukuk was issued in three tranches, one of which was a five-year green sukuk worth $750mn. Thomson Reuters sees high future potential for foreign direct investment in Indonesia’s Islamic banking industry, for both the retail and the corporate sector.

BusinessJUNE 23, 2020 8:06 AM AESTShare World Bank Approves $US500 Million to support Morocco’s financial and digital inclusion reforms

The World Bank approved a US$500 million Financial and Digital Inclusion Development Policy Financing (DPF) program, which will support key policy reforms to promote digital transformation. The current DPF seeks to improve financial inclusion and access to more competitive digital infrastructure and services. In addition to promoting microfinance, the program will support access to foreign currency for startups. The DPF also paves the way for the Intelaka entrepreneurship program by supporting reforms conducive to startups’ development and creating new asset classes for early-stage financing for innovative enterprises.

BisB signs #murabaha financing pact

Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has signed an agreement with Bahrain Bourse for a murabaha financing framework using a Sharia-compliant lending service. The underlying asset is Ijara sukuk provided by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). Adding this Murabaha service introduces a new underlying asset to the bank’s existing commodity murabaha facility structure, currently conducted via local and international brokers. This further diversifies the structure and enhances its framework given that it is actioned via a digital system which decreases the processing time exponentially.

Dubai Islamic Bank expected to sell over $200 mln in tap of 2026 #sukuk - document

Dubai Islamic Bank is expected to sell more than $200 million of its existing sukuk issuance due in 2026. The bank set final price guidance at 240-245 basis points over midswaps, tightening from initial price guidance of around 250 bps. DIB received more than $500 million in orders for the deal.

Gatehouse Bank Review – Islamic Mortgage: a deep dive

Gatehouse Bank’s Home Purchase Plan (HPP) is the cheapest option available in the home purchase space for a number of the HPP products. The structure is identical in legal form to the Al Rayan HPP. The Gatehouse HPP uses a combination of freehold and leasehold to deliver a diminishing musharakah/ijarah model. Gatehouse buys the freehold title in the house at the closing of the transaction, and it is its name that appears on the title. But the buyer gets an equitable interest in the freehold by way of the contract (Diminishing Musharaka Agreement) and also gets a leasehold alongside Gatehouse. Time passes, the Buyer continues paying rent and buying further equity in the house until eventually he owns 100%.

NBB diversifies its Murabaha service to clients by offering #Sukuk-based #Murabaha facility

The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) announced its subscription to Bahrain Bourse’s newly introduced Murabaha service, which will be used by the Bank when transacting in Islamic Commodity Murabaha financing. NBB is one of the first banks in the Kingdom to execute a transaction using the new fully Shari’ah compliant service. The service employs Government of Bahrain Islamic Ijara Sukuk, whereby the lender in the financing transaction buys the Sukuk from the CBB and after the transfer of the ownership, sells them to the borrower, with a deferred sell as the underlying commodity.

New #UK waqf fund to start investing in real estate with eye on other asset classes

The recently established UK-based National Waqf Fund (NWF) will start investing in real estate, according to CEO and co-founder Umer Suleman. NWF will be focused on the charity and social aspects of waqf. The three main aims of NWF are to establish a central fund, manage awqaf on behalf of other organisations as well as create a virtual centre of excellence for Islamic endowments. NWF will invest in real estate and through its investment committee decide on how and where to deploy the funds. Suleman noted that the upcoming property portfolio will primarily focus on London, Birmingham and Manchester, without the exclusion of other areas. NWF aims to raise £10 million ($12.37 million) within the next 1 to 2 years. Within the next decade, Suleman hopes NWF will have around £150 million of assets under management.

DP World hires banks for perpetual Islamic bonds - document

Dubai-based port operator DP World has hired a group of banks for a potential sale of perpetual U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk. Citi, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan will arrange investor calls in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, to be followed by the issuance of perpetual U.S. dollar-denominated Islamic bonds non-callable for 5-1/2 years. Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Crédit Agricole, Samba Financial Group, Scotiabank and Standard Chartered Bank are also working on the deal.

#Indonesia issues $2.5 bln global #sukuk including $750 mln green tranche

The government of Indonesia issued $2.5 billion in wakalah global sukuk in three tranches. The 5-year paper of $750 million was sold as a green sukuk, while the other two tranches consisted of a 10-year tenor of $1 billion, and a 30-year maturity of $750 million. The sale was welcomed by investors with an order book that reached $16.66 billion, nearly 6.7 times the target amount. This global sukuk will be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Dubai and the settlement will be carried out on June 23, 2020, with yields of 2.30% for the 5-year tenor, 2.80% for the 10-year tenor and 3.80% for the 30-year tenor.

ESG, syariah stock indices slightly outpaced conventional counterparts on better management, lower leverage — Islamic finance heads

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) and Islamic stock indices have marginally outperformed their conventional counterparts this year, owing to their better management and lower leverage. Refinitiv head of Islamic finance Mustafa Adil said while syariah-compliant equity indices experienced identical volatility-induced declines to conventional stock indices, they had staged a better recovery so far. He added that these equities are expected to provide greater returns in the medium to long term as they are less leveraged.

Al Baraka signs #sukuk trading deal with BHB

Al Baraka Islamic Bank and Bahrain Bourse (BHB) have signed an agreement allowing the bank to buy and sell Sharia-complaint ijara sukuk through the exchange. Proceeds from the sukuk will contribute to facilitating the bank’s financing operations for its underlying clients. The agreement aims to diversify the commodities available for underlying clients when conducting a commodity-based murabaha transaction to include government-based sukuk issued by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Potential of Islamic capital market remains promising at home and abroad – Bursa chairman

According to Bursa Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, the potential of the Islamic capital market remains promising both in Malaysia and abroad. During his keynote address at the Shariah Investing Virtual Conference 2020 Abdul Wahid said that in Malaysia alone, the industry of Islamic funds had demonstrated impressive growth. As of March, syariah funds stood at RM170 billion, representing 23% of total industry assets under management (AUM). Syariah unit trust funds' net asset value (NAV) stood at RM99 billion. Abdul Wahid added that there are opportunities for further product innovation and development to provide investors with more syariah-based products.

World Bank: Islamic finance value proposition has to be clear

The World Bank said the Islamic capital market's (ICM) value proposition has to be very clear to show that its concept is more powerful than the environmental, societal and governance (ESG) investment schemes. World Bank financial sector specialist consultant Dr Mohamed Eskandar Shah said ESG's value proposition seems to be quite straight forward compared to Islamic finance. He noted that between 2007 and 2019, the ICM, measured in global shariah equities, saw a 4.3% growth a year compared to the 10.2% expansion in ESG equities. As such, Islamic finance could become a subset of ESG investing, or eventually people will brand Islamic finance in the context of ESG, rather than Islamic finance having its own identity.

#Malaysia’s Islamic finance sector to hit RM3t this year, says Bursa chairman

Malaysia’s Islamic finance sector is expected to sustain double-digit growth to reach almost RM3 trillion in 2020 under the second Capital Market Masterplan. The chairman of Bursa Malaysia, Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, said the country’s Islamic funds industry has demonstrated impressive growth. The country is the third-largest market for global Islamic finance products and the world’s largest Sukuk issuer. At Bursa Malaysia 79% of the listed companies are Shariah-compliant and Shariah market capitalisation makes up 70% of the total market capitalisation of RM1.6 trillion. Over the last ten years Shariah indices consistently outperformed its conventional counterparts. Thus, Shariah-compliant investments are an attractive source of value for investors.

Dubai outlines plans to unify legal framework for Islamic finance

The CEO of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) outlined the phases for the development of a unified legal framework for Islamic finance. Abdulla Al Awar said that once complete, the project would bring standardisation to the Islamic finance sector and reduce discrepancies in practices across the globe. The DIEDC signed an agreement with the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions for the use of its standards as a reference point in building the international legal framework. The Sharia-compliant segment of Dubai’s economy contributed Dh41.8 billion to the emirate’s gross domestic product in 2018. Dubai continues to pursue its goal of becoming the top Islamic economy hub in the world.

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