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Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launches #UAE's first virtual banking sales platform

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has launched a remote sales platform allowing customers to converse with the bank and apply for personal finance, covered cards, takaful, and other banking products without having to leave their homes. A first of its kind in the UAE, the platform is equipped with virtual banking tools, including online application and electronic signature services. The platform also integrates virtual communications tools, including video conferencing and real-time screen sharing, to boost collaboration between customers and sales representatives. ADIB has seen a significant surge in customer demand for its digital banking services in 2020. Around 94% of ADIB’s banking transactions are conducted digitally and 65% of customer updates are made through the bank’s digital channels. In addition, 50% of new ADIB customers have opened their accounts digitally.

“Abu Dhabi Islamic” launches a platform for banking – economic –...

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launched a sales platform that allows customers to communicate remotely with the bank and apply for personal finance products, covered cards, takaful products and other banking solutions without having to leave their homes. This platform is the first of its kind in the UAE, and it is equipped with a set of virtual banking tools, including an electronic application and electronic signature services. Since its launch, more than half of the bank’s card sales are executed via the platform remotely.

#UAE's Dana Gas raises loan, avoids another restructuring

United Arab Emirates energy firm Dana Gas has raised a $90 million loan allowing it to redeem $309 million in bonds due at the end of October and avoid a third debt restructuring. The company has obtained a one-year $90 million loan from Mashreq Bank. The new loan will be repaid when Dana completes a planned sale of its Egyptian assets. The firm shook the global Islamic finance industry in 2017, when it said it would not redeem its $700 million sukuk, arguing they were no longer valid under UAE law because of changes in Islamic financial practice. After a protracted legal battle, it reached an agreement with creditors in 2018. That restructuring followed an earlier one in 2012.

Saeed M. Al-Ghamdi, CEO and MD of the newly formed bank following the merger of NCB and Samba

Saeed M. Al-Ghamdi is managing director and CEO of the new bank that resulted from the merger between the National Commercial Bank (NCB) and the Samba Financial Group. Before that, he was chairman of the NCB, building up more than 31 years of experience in the Saudi financial and banking sector. He has also been chairman of NCB Capital and the Saudi Credit Bureau. He serves on the board of the Real Estate General Authority and Misk Foundation and is a member of the consultative board of the College of Industrial Management at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

#Qatar- HBKU webinar discusses Zakat financing for achieving SDGs

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) co-organised a three-part webinar series with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority. The first instalment of the HBKU-UNDP Webinar Series: Islamic Social Finance and SDGs on October 6 showcased National Zakat Board Indonesia's (BASNAZ) innovative application of Zakat funds for local SDG projects. Consideration was also given to how the BAZNAS Zakat Model for development can be replicated and utilised within and beyond the Islamic world.

Shuaa Capital launches new shariah funds

Dubai-based asset manager Shuaa Capital has launched three new sharia-compliant funds on the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The open-ended funds – Shuaa High Yield Sukuk Fund, Nujoom Aggressive Fund and Nujoom Balanced Fund – are backed by US$75 million in capital. Shuaa Capital is targeting long-term institutional investors including pension funds and insurers and will offer the funds via the Allfunds Bank platform. According to Shuaa Capital chief executive, Jassim Alseddiqi, the supply of sharia funds still lags the demand among investors.

HE Essa Kazim: Sukuk Sector Underlines Resilient Economic Performance Of UAE And Dubai - Emirates Islamic Chairman Rings Market-Opening Bell To Celebrate Listing Of USD 500 Million Sukuk On Nasdaq Dubai

Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, Chairman of Emirates Islamic rang the market-opening bell to celebrate the listing by Emirates Islamic of a 500 million US dollar Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai. The Bank achieved a profit rate of 1.827%, the lowest for a Sukuk issued by a UAE bank for 10 years, with subscription of 2.4 times. The issuance was rated A+ by Fitch Ratings. The nominal value of Sukuk currently listed in Dubai has reached 73.99 billion US dollars, one of the largest totals of any listing centre in the world. Following Emirates Islamic’s latest listing, 46% of Sukuk listings in Dubai by value are from UAE issuers and 54% from overseas issuers.

Tezos Blockchain granted Shariah certificate

Tezos Gulf received a Sharia Certificate from Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB). Tezos’ platform is backed by a global community of validators, researchers, and builders and is considered one of the first pure proof-of-stake blockchains. The Tezos blockchain has been utilised by numerous issuers of digital securities but mostly on the conventional side of the financial market. Tezos Gulf is a subsidiary of the Swiss-based Tezos Foundation. It was established to foster ecosystem development in the GCC region for the Tezos network, an open-source public blockchain for assets and applications.

#Kuwait central bank gives nod to Shariah committee for Islamic finance

The central bank of Kuwait’s board of directors has approved the establishment of the Higher Committee of Shariah Supervision for Islamic finance. The Committee’s key roles are to: give its opinions and advice to the central bank on Shariah compliance of financial transactions; propose general guidelines for products and services; propose controls to regulate the business of Shariah supervision bodies; conduct internal and external Shariah audits; give final decisions where deliberations of Shariah supervision authorities are inconclusive. Several countries have Shariah committees for Islamic finance at their central banks including Malaysia, Pakistan, Oman and the UAE. However, their powers differ from country to country.

GCC Islamic asset managers stay resilient

According to Moody's Investors Service, net inflows into some large Islamic funds in the GCC countries have remained positive despite weaker markets and lower oil prices. The ratings agency said it expects growth in Islamic assets under management to slow between 2% and 4% this year. According to the Global Islamic Finance Markets Report, Shariah-compliant assets represent a significant portion of total banking assets of the GCC. While in the Middle East and North African region, Islamic banking assets represent 14% of total banking assets, in the GCC this market share crossed the 25% threshold. Globally, Islamic finance assets are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5% to hit $3.4 trillion during the next five years. Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are the largest Islamic financial service in the world, accounting for almost two-thirds of Islamic assets under management between them.

Arab #Philanthropic Support To Digitalization: Is COVID-19 A Turning Point?

COVID-19 has disrupted the status quo in a number of ways. Firstly, Arab philanthropy has stepped up support to digital solutions in online learning, healthcare and mental well-being and income generation. Educate–Me, a social enterprise and investee of Alfanar Foundation runs a community school and organizes curricula training for teachers in Cairo. The crisis triggered Educate-Me to conduct a mapping exercise of existing digital capabilities of communities and based on the findings it has created a simple and workable system. Alfanar Foundation has also acted on the crisis through the “Survive and Thrive Campaign” by stepping up marketing and fundraising efforts aimed to support its social enterprise investees in Lebanon. Embracing the idea that technology can potentially play a more enabling role in microfinance is another immediate effect of the COVID-19 crisis. It is important to give philanthropic support to innovation in new technologies and digital solutions for social problem-solving, which has been largely untapped in Arab countries.

Saudi Arabia fortifies position as largest Islamic finance market

Moody's expects Islamic financing in Saudi Arabia to reach around 80% of system-wide loans in the next 12-18 months, up from 78% of loans in 2019 and 70% in 2013. Moody’s noted that corporates and households are increasingly using Islamic products amid the economic challenges posed by low oil prices and the coronavirus crisis. Saudi Arabia had a total of $339 billion in Islamic finance assets as of March 2020, leaving Malaysia in a distant second place with $145 billion. Increasing government Sukuk issuance supported by more lenient entry rules and deepening capital markets could boost foreign investment. Mergers and acquisitions across the region are also accelerating the shift to Islamic finance.

$ 73.5 billion in Sukuk on “Nasdaq Dubai”

The value of new sukuk listings on Nasdaq Dubai since the beginning of 2020 until mid-September reached $ 11.4 billion, an increase of 55% over the value of sukuk listed in the same period last year. The total value of the sukuk listed in Dubai (between Nasdaq Dubai and the Dubai Financial Market) currently stands at $ 73.49 billion, making the emirate one of the largest sukuk listing centers in the world. The sukuk issuers on Nasdaq Dubai this year varied between Emirati and foreign countries, including Sharjah Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Dubai World Ports, GFH (from Bahrain), Dar Al Arkan (from Saudi Arabia), the Indonesian government, and the Islamic Development Bank.

Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre hosts #webinar on Sukuk market

The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), in collaboration with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Refinitiv hosted the fourth session of the GIES Virtual Series webinar that examined the opportunities and challenges in the sukuk market. Moderator Tahir Mahmood, Head of Business Development at Nasdaq Dubai, discussed the emerging trends in the sukuk market and examined various outlooks for the sector. During the session, panellists agreed that the sukuk market has done well over the past year. The fifth session of the GIES Virtual Series, titled ‘The New Age of Digital Retail in light of the Pandemic', is scheduled for Tuesday, 13 October at 11am (UAE time).

QIIB becomes first Islamic bank in #Qatar to launch card for domestic work

QIIB has launched a card for domestic workers, which provides flexible and easy solutions for both workers and employers, and complies with the standards required and set by various government agencies. The employer can transfer the salary of the domestic worker directly to the card via QIIB mobile banking application or Internet banking. The card is also a secure and certified record of all monthly salary payments for domestic workers, and can be used in all ATMs and points of sale. The cardholder can also use it to pay for utility bills, make online purchases and transfer money to their home country.

Alizz Islamic Bank completes merger process with Al Yusr Islamic Banking

Alizz Islamic Bank has completed all processes related to the integration of Al Yusr Islamic Banking. This includes the integration and transferring of customers, services, employees, assets, and liabilities from the Al Yusr Islamic Banking window to Alizz Islamic Bank’s operating system. This merger has led to the formation of a larger Islamic banking entity that can effectively compete in the market. Alizz Islamic Bank now has a wider network of 17 branches in various governorates of the Sultanate. In addition to expanding the digital services, customers will have access to an award-winning mobile banking application. Alizz Islamic Bank is a wholly-owned and fully licensed Islamic banking subsidy of Oman Arab Bank, which is part of the extensive Arab Bank Plc network.

#Saudi fintech surges even as coronavirus bites private sector

Saudi Arabia is seeing a faster adoption of technology at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has weighed heavy on the private sector. The FSD programme, which was launched three years ago, has achieved 90% of its targets and the coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in the fintech sector, said Faisal al Sharif, director general of the Financial Sector Development (FSD) program. The FSD’s targets for Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) issuing fintech licences was three by end of 2020 but today there are eight such licences. Similarly, the target for cashless transactions was 28% e-transactions by end of this year, but today they make up almost 37% of the total.

Banks cannot charge fees on loan deferral says Central Bank of #Bahrain

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has clarified that no fees, except insurance, can be charged by lenders on the four-month loan deferral for Bahrainis and local companies. The regulator also said no late payment fees must be charged on credit cards’ outstanding balance due for payment this month. S&P noted that the measures carried out by the CBB have been effective so far. The measures include relaxation in prudential requirements and asking banks to defer instalments for six months, in a bid to help the private and retail sectors cope with the pandemic.

Chimera S&P UAE Sharia ETF adds three new companies listed on DFM, ADX

Amanat Holdings, Aldar Properties, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution (ADNOC Distribution) were added to the S&P UAE Domestic Shariah Liquid 35/20 Capped Index. In August the ADX and DFM listed Chimera Capital’s Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), designed to replicate the S&P UAE Domestic Shariah Liquid 35/20 Capped Index which tracks the performance of UAE-based Shariah-compliant liquid equities.

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