World Bank

Donor base widens as World Bank-linked IFFIm plans second sukuk

The International Finance Facility for Immunisation Co. (IFFIm) has hired banks for a return to the Islamic bonds market, a funding exercise that has helped add Muslim countries to the donor base of its immunisation programmes. This year, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar have pledged to donate a combined $38 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), the first Muslim nations to so. This follows the debut issuance of sukuk from IFFIm, which raised $500 million in November after attracting bids of $700 million. The second sukuk from IFFIm, for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager, has a three-year tenor and could raise $200 million to $250 million, said IFFIm Board Chair Rene Karsenti.

World Bank's IFC gets preliminary top rating for $100 mln sukuk

The International Finance Corp (IFC), the World Bank's lender to the private sector, has received a preliminary AAA rating from Standard & Poor's for a proposed $100 million issuance of sukuk. Proceeds of the sukuk would be used to purchase a portfolio of diversified sharia compliant receivables and other assets, the credit rating agency said in a statement. The transaction would match the size of the last sukuk issued by IFC in 2009, a five-year deal which was listed on the Dubai and Bahrain bourses. The latest sukuk from IFC would rank on the same level as other senior unsecured financial obligations from the multilateral lender, S&P said.

World Bank's IFC to meet investors on sukuk issue

International Finance Corp (IFC), a unit of the World Bank, plans to meet fixed income investors starting on Monday ahead of a potential issue of U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk. IFC, rated Aaa/AAA by international rating agencies, has picked Dubai Islamic Bank, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered Bank to arrange the investor meetings. The meetings will be held in the Middle East, with a possible sukuk issue to follow subject to market conditions. No details about the size of the issue or maturity were given. The sukuk will be listed on Nasdaq Dubai and an application will also be made for a subsequent listing on the London Stock Exchange.

CIBAFI and World Bank bring Islamic Finance stakeholders together to discuss Corporate Governance

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) and the World Bank are pleased to announce their joint international conference on "Corporate Governance for Islamic Financial Institutions: Lessons from Recent Global Developments", which is due to take place in Amman, Jordan on 15th and 16th September 2015. The one and half day conference aims to bring together various stakeholders from the private sector, multilateral development institutions, international and national regulatory bodies, policy-makers, and academia to discuss the issue of corporate governance in the Islamic financial services industry (IFSI).

World Bank in deal to foster cooperation on Islamic finance

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), the global umbrella of Islamic financial institutions, and the World Bank have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The MoU will help foster the development of Islamic finance globally and expand its use as an effective tool for financing development worldwide, including in non-Muslim countries. The MoU serves as the foundation for future cooperation in the areas of knowledge generation and dissemination; distilling and sharing lessons of experience; encouraging research and promoting awareness; and enhancing capacity in the Islamic financial services industry.

World Bank's IFC plans sukuk sale after Gulf summer

The International Finance Corp (IFC), the World Bank's lender to the private sector, has started work on a return to the market for Islamic bonds, with plans to issue sharia-compliant debt after summer in the Gulf region. Details such as currency, tenor and size were not yet available. The IFC, which aims to spur private investment in developing countries, last sold a $100 million five-year sukuk in 2009, listing it on the Dubai and Bahrain bourses. Its first sukuk came in 2004 in Malaysia, a 500 million Malaysian ringgit ($134 million) three-year deal. In December, the International Finance Facility for Immunisation Co (IFFIm), for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager, issued a $500 million debut sukuk.

Sukuk for vaccine fund ushers Islamic finance into ethical sphere

Last week, an immunisation programme secured a $500 million (£319.4 million) issuance of sukuk, in the largest debut issue ever by a global non-profit organisation. The sukuk from the International Finance Facility for Immunisation Co (IFFIm), for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager, is part of a broader trend to use bond markets to fund development and humanitarian projects. IFFIm, backed by nine sovereign donors including Britain and France, will use the proceeds of its sukuk to finance projects for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI). The sukuk could encourage other non-profits to consider this funding tool.

MENA region will witness 4.2 percent growth in 2015

World Bank and IMF annual meetings began in Washington. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagardes opening remarks addressed inclusive growth for the MENA region. The growth is projected to average 4.2 percent in 2015, up from 3.5 percent this year. The World Bank adds though, that violent conflicts in the region in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Yemen and Libya, as well as their effects into neighboring countries like Lebanon and Jordan, were seriously hampering regional growth. The region is said to thus have “great potential”.

World Bank-linked IFFI picks banks for debut sukuk issue

The International Finance Facility for Immunisation Co. (IFFI), for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager, has picked four banks for a potential U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk. Rated AA by Standard and Poor's and AA+ by Fitch, IFFI has mandated Qatar's Barwa Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, and Standard Chartered to arrange investor meetings in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. A potential sukuk offer may follow the roadshows - for which a schedule has not been given - subject to market conditions before the end of the year.

World Bank eyes up to $500 mln via immunisation sukuk -official

The World Bank plans to raise as much as $500 million worth of sukuk this year to help fund an immunisation programme, one of several initiatives from the multilateral body in the Islamic finance sector. The World Bank, acting as treasurer of the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), would help issue the sukuk. The World Bank has hired Standard Chartered and National Bank of Abu Dhabi to arrange the transaction, which could happen as early as this month although a specific timeframe has yet to be finalised. The size is expected to be between $300 million to $500 million, depending on market conditions. Since 2006, IFFIm has raised $4.5 billion through bonds, its last issuance was a $700 million bond in June of last year.

ABG, WB form partnership in Islamic banking

Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) on Sunday announced its collaboration with the World Bank (WB) to begin a research partnership that would be beneficial to the global Islamic banking industry. The partnership's first initiative, part of a planned series of research projects, will be a study examining the risk-management challenges facing Islamic banks, with a particular focus on Musharaka and Mudaraba under the profit-and-loss-sharing system. The project will not only collect data from a number of countries where Musharaka and Mudaraba are being used in banking transactions, but the project will also examine what enabling legal and regulatory environment would be needed to support the adequate risk management of Musharaka and Mudaraba. The research's preliminary findings are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2015.

Governance remains a challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa - World Bank report

The latest World Bank review of policies and institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa shows an overall stable environment for growth and poverty reduction despite divergence across countries. The review is part of the annual World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) that rates the performance of poor countries. The scores of 11 countries rose by 0.1 points or more, reflecting a strengthened policy agenda, and the indexes of another 12 countries declined by at least 0.1 points. Cape Verde and Kenya had the highest scores. The upward trend of scores assessing social reforms shows that they are taking hold in Sub-Saharan Africa. Governance scores continue to lag all other areas assessed by the CPIA, reflecting the deep-rooted challenges facing African countries in this important area.

Egyptian CSOs submit recommendations on Bank’s Safeguard Policies

A group of Egyptian civil society organizations have submitted their recommendations to the World Bank as input to Phase 1 of the Social and Environmental Safeguard policy review process. The document was endorsed by many of the same organizations that pushed the Bank to hold a civil society consultation in Cairo since such a meeting had not originally been scheduled to take place. In the submission, the groups emphasized the need for transparency, shared responsibility and accountability between the Bank and borrowing governments, and the need for the Bank to align its standards with those of international standards and conventions, while remembering that safeguards should contribute to the Bank’s overarching goal of reducing poverty.

The Latest Way to Solve Poverty in the Middle East

The US Agency for International Development has been trying in the past two years to increasingly alleviate the poverty in the Middle East. In the course of this approach, Arab Non-profit organisations was forced to rethink their strategic orientation to focusing rather on US strategic interest than on their own local needs. The following article gives detailed insight on this issue.

World Bank publishes book on mutuals and takaful

World Bank has published a new book concerning Takaful and Mutual Insurance. The book shall increase the understanding, appreciation, and discussion of the challenges and solutions which concern development and implementation of takaful.

International Conference in Indonesia: poverty alleviation: Islamic microfinance termed best solution

CEO of AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics - Zubair Mughal - explained at an International Microfinance Conference in at an International Microfinance Conference that in the time of the global financial crisis even developed countries are making efforts to fight the global issue of poverty. The conference was organised by the Government of Indonesia together with the World Bank. 600 people took part in the conference, among them delegates and experts from 30 different countries. Some of the prominent participants were President of Indonesia Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Noble Prize Winner Dr Muhammad Yunus, Director of Global Microcredit Summit Campaign Dr Larry Reed, and Mayada El. Zoghbhi from the World Bank.

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World Bank and IDB sign Islamic finance deal

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). It will provide a framework for collaboration between the two parties and support global, regional and country efforts in the development of Islamic Finance. The common objectives of the two banks include fostering, encouraging, and studying the expansion of Islamic finance worldwide. Some of the leading principles of the MoU are sharing knowledge sound practices in the Islamic financial services industry and cross fertilization of ideas.

Bahrain's Al Baraka ties with World Bank for Islamic finance push

An agreement was signed by Al Baraka Banking Group with the World Bank in order to launch joint programmes under a set of new Shari'ah-compliant finance initiatives.
The programmes have the purpose to foster sustainable development of Islamic economics and finance, through the design and delivery of activities like identifying and disseminating sound practices in the Islamic financial services industry.

Yemen plans debut sukuk

Yemen is the latest country that announces the possible raise of the much-needed financing from the financial markets through a debut sovereign sukuk issuance sometime in the first half of 2011.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are assisting Yemen on the technical aspects of issuing commercial paper under a technical agreement which the World Bank Group has with the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group to assist its member countries to help formulate policies to raise financing for infrastructure, development and budgetary support.

World Bank launches $1b Mena infrastructure plan

The World Bank Group, in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), is setting up a regional initiative that could raise up to $1 billion to close the Mena infrastructure gap, which will undermine the region's growth if not addressed.
Private sector investment in infrastructure in Mena countries is limited, especially outside the Gulf countries, despite huge unmet demand for infrastructure services.
The $1 billion initiative aims at addressing this shortfall through a regional investment vehicle to support both conventional and Sharia-compliant investment in infrastructure.

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