Islamic Development Bank grants $63.3 million to #Sudan

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) signed a grant agreement worth $63.3 million for the establishment of facilities and services in South Darfur, Sudan. Earlier this month, the IDB agreed to lend Tunisia $185 million to finance developments including an electricity project. The bank agreed to finance an electricity link worth $150, as well as the construction of hospitals in Kasserine and Kef worth $34 million. The IDB is a Jeddah-based multilateral development financing institution. It began its activities in 1975. The present membership of the bank consists of 57 countries.

CIBAFI technical #workshops schedule announced

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) has announced the schedule of its Technical Workshops on Product Development for Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs). The workshops will start on August 30 and will be organized in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. The three-day Technical Workshops aim to provide participants with hands on technical knowledge and skills pertaining to product development, with a focus on Islamic financial services. CIBAFI, as the voice of the industry, aims to provide platforms such as these to develop human capital and bring industry professionals together.

Banking representatives gather in Khartoum for financial inclusion forum

Representatives from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) gathered in Khartoum for the Financial Inclusion Forum: the Strategic Approach Towards Financial and Social Stability, held from 23 to 24 February. More than 350 people from 11 Arab countries participated in the forum’s events, namely Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman. Financial inclusion was framed as a measure to support financial and social stability in the Arab region. The participants issued a series of recommendations that would better enable the banking sectors in each respective country to ensure economic financial inclusion.

Islamic International Rating Agency Assigns National Scale Investment Grade Ratings for Al Baraka Bank Sudan (ABBS), a majority owned subsidiary of Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG)

Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) has announced that Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has assigned national scale investment grade credit ratings of 'A- (SD)/A-2 (SD)' (A Minus/A Two) to Al Baraka Bank Sudan (ABBS or 'the bank'), its majority owned subsidiary in Sudan operating since 1984. Outlook on the assigned rating is 'Stable'. IIRA observed that ABBS maintains sizable liquid reserves, with solid liquidity and that asset quality indicators have improved and are better than the banking sector average. The bank achieved a general improvement in profitability, driven by consistent increase in gross revenue supported by low cost of deposit funding. The rating has taken into account the various economic and financial challenges faced by banks in Sudan.

IIRA assigns Fiduciary Ratings to Al Baraka Bank Sudan

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has assigned national scale credit ratings of 'A- (SD)/A-2 (SD)' (Single A Minus/A Two) to Al Baraka Bank Sudan (ABS). Outlook on the assigned rating is 'Stable'. Ratings derive strength from the bank's franchise and an overall conservative approach to business. Its retail presence in Sudan, is reflected in a cost effective deposit base. Ratings take into account the various economic and financial challenges faced by banks in Sudan. ABS derives strategic guidance from its parent's international experience and established banking processes and systems. The fiduciary score has been assessed in the range of '71-75', whereby rights of various stakeholders are adequately defined.

IIRA assigns Fiduciary Ratings to Al Baraka Bank Sudan

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has assigned national scale credit ratings of ‘A- (SD)/A-2 (SD)’ (Single A Minus/A Two) to Al Baraka Bank Sudan (ABS). Outlook on the assigned rating is ‘Stable’. Ratings derive strength from the bank’s franchise and an overall conservative approach to business. While impairment is high in absolute terms, overall asset quality indicators have improved on a timeline basis. The bank features general improvement in profitability, with revenues growing consistently. Capitalization levels remain notably higher than the minimum required and industry average. However, given risks in the general environment, reinforcement of capital as envisaged under the bank’s strategy would strengthen its risk profile and support future balance sheet growth.

Powerhouse partners from across global Islamic financial ecosystem joining World Islamic Banking Conference

More than 1200 distinguished guests from more than 45 countries and 300 organizations participating this December, Bahrain

Key players from the global Islamic finance industry will be participating with the 22nd annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) 2015, taking place on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of December at the Gulf Hotel, Bahrain. Focusing on 'New Realities, New Opportunities', WIBC will play host to more than 1200 leaders including Central bank governors, regulators, C-suite bankers & asset managers, policy makers, Fintech entrepreneurs and contemporary thought leaders.
WIBC 2015 will host 5 central bank Governors and deputy governors and feature speeches and discussions by the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, H.E. Rasheed Al Maraj, the Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, H.E. Hamood Sangour Al Zadjali, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Riaz Riazuddin and the Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, Nurlan Kussainov.

IIUI holds international moot on Islamic finance

Speakers at a conference have urged the financial institutions and civil society to play their role by supporting an inclusive financial sector policy framework for equal access to financial services.
The workshop, which was attended by the scholars of Indonesia, Nigeria, Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Sudan and US, is focused on bringing forth recommendations that will help in devising sustainable strategy for development of inclusive finance.
The two-day moot is jointly organised by International Institute for Islamic Economics of IIUI in collaboration with Islamic Research and Training Institute, Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Islamic International University Islamabad President Dr Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh stressed on the Muslim economic researchers to work for devising strategies for an interest-free transparent economic system. He was of the view that financial issues be observed in the light of Islamic teachings. The IIUI president hoped that conference would bring beneficial and significant recommendations pertaining to the financial and economic issues.

Making Islamic microfinance happen

Professor Badr El Din A. Ibrahim, President of the Microfinance Unit at the Central Bank of Sudan, discusses ways to implement Shari'ah-compliant microfinance. There are some options to introduce it in the existing conventional microfinance institutions (MFIs). Hence, separate windows for conventional MFIs, not banks, are necessary to extend interest-free finance. Challenges for the Islamic windows-based business model are Shari'ah compliance and the need for changing regulatory requirements to allow for this model. The choice of Islamic windows requires raising new capital exclusively for the window.

Will US$50 Million Help Microfinance Institutions Combat Poverty?

To contribute effectively to the financing of microfinance projects at the grassroots level, the CBOS has signed microfinance contracts with 15 microfinance institutions from the first installment with 50% of the loan of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) of a total $ 50 million used mostly for funding microfinance projects. This loan will be used in the rural projects that contribute to combat poverty among the economically active poor classes.The first phase will fund small and micro projects through 4 microfinance institutions providing funds for customers in the localities of Khartoum State and 11 other state institutions that provide finance for microfinance customers in most of the other States of the Sudan.

IIRA Reaffirms Fiduciary Ratings assigned to Bank of Khartoum

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has reaffirmed national scale credit ratings of Bank of Khartoum (BOK) at 'AA-/A-1' (Double A Minus / Single A One). Outlook on the assigned rating is 'Stable'. The fiduciary score has been assessed in the range of '70-75', reflecting adequate fiduciary standards wherein rights of various fund providers are adequately defined and protected. Ratings derive strength from the bank's strong franchise and retail presence in Sudan, with an established history of rapid assets growth since acquisition by the present shareholders and into 2014. The bank maintains sizable liquid reserves, though liquidity management is constrained by systemic concerns.

UN, World Bank and Islamic Development Bank commit 8 billion dollars in Major New Development Initiative for the Horn of Africa

Leaders of global and regional institutions pledge political support and major new financial assistance for countries in the region, totaling more than $8 billion over the coming years. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the World Bank Group (WBG) President, Jim Yong Kim, as well as the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group and high level representatives of the African Union Commission, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD) are combining forces to promote stability and development in the Horn of Africa. The initiative covers the eight countries in the Horn of Africa -- Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.

The Central Bank of Sudan and the Insurance Supervisory Authority of Sudan Host IFSB Events in Khartoum

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) successfully organised four events in Khartoum, Sudan on 18 - 20 February 2014. The Insurance Supervisory Authority of Sudan hosted the 6th Seminar on the Regulation of Takaful and the Facilitating the Implementation of the IFSB Standards (FIS) on Takaful while the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) was the host for the IFSB Meet the Members Session and the FIS Workshops on Banking. In addition, two workshops were held in Khartoum: the Facilitating the Implementation of the IFSB Standards (FIS) Workshops on Banking and the FIS Workshop on Takaful.

Sudan names new Central Bank Governor

Abdul Rahman Hassan Abdul Rahman Hashim has been named Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan, replacing former Finance Minister Mohamed Khair al-Zubair who served as Central Bank Governor since 2011. Abdel Rahman Hassan took on the post after being General Manager of state-owned Omdurman National Bank since 2006. He had previously held a number of positions in Omdurman National Bank and before that with Faisal Islamic Bank. Both the new Governor and the former Governor are members of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party.

Millennium Development Goals in Rural Africa Get $100 Million Boost

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and its poverty reduction arm, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), have now extended more than $100 million in financing to help eight African nations combat extreme poverty, improve public health and achieve more sustainable development. In each of these projects, host governments will partner with the IsDB, the Earth Institute and Millennium Promise to carry out the projects. The combined $104 million will finance three major programs: The ISFD’s new flagship Sustainable Villages Program (SVP) in Chad, Mozambique, and Sudan ($40 million), Scale-ups of the Millennium Villages Project in Mali, Senegal and Uganda ($29 million), Implementation of the Drylands Initiative in Djibouti, Somalia and Uganda ($35 million). The $104 million will be provided in the form of Islamic finance to the recipient countries, except in the case of a grant provided to Somalia. All of these countries are members of the bank.

Jeffrey Sachs' Millennium Villages to expand with £67m loan

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is to provide $104m (£67.3m) in loans to African governments to fund an expansion of Millennium Villages, the controversial project led by Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University's Earth Institute. About $40m of the money will go towards a flagship sustainable villages programme (SVP) in Chad, Mozambique, and Sudan. In addition, $29m will support the extension of existing Millennium Village projects (MVPs) in Mali, Senegal and Uganda, while $35m will be used for a drylands initiative in Djibouti, Somalia and Uganda. Governments will team up with the IsDB, the Earth Institute, and its partner, Millennium Promise, to carry out the projects. The Millennium Village project covers more than 500,000 people in 14 areas of 10 countries in different environments across Africa. Each site was considered a "hunger hot-spot" at the time the project began in 2006. The concept works on the principle of interventions across several key areas – health, education, enterprise and agriculture – over a 10-year period.

President of the Republic Agrees to Sell Al-Neilain Bank to Expatriates

The President of the Republic of Suan, Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir agreed to sell al-Neilain Bank to expatriates, confirming the state's interest and keenness to provide all facilities for expatriates to employ their money inside the country in support of the national economy. Al-Bashir noted that the economic situation in the country is moving to the better, despite all the talk about the large external migration. He said that gold native mining and extensive migration from African and Asian countries to Sudan, demonstrate that there is an economic activity in a way to improve the situation, hoping that expatriates will pay attention to investing their money in Sudan to support the economy. Al-Bashir said that the state supports livestock development by focusing on the export of meat rather than the export of live cattle, by building a modern slaughterhouse in this regard to take full advantage of the slaughtered animals.

A National Experiment: Sharia-Compliant Finance in Sudan

In Sudan, Sharia-compliant microfinance is the government-mandated rule, not the exception. That’s because the country’s banking system went fully Islamic in the 1980s, legislating Sharia principles. In 2007, the Central Bank of Sudan established a dedicated microfinance unit to foster a conducive policy environment, a regulatory framework, and the intellectual, human, and financial capital to provide those services effectively. Moreover, the Central Bank introduced various Shariah-compliant products, such as musharaka, mudaraba, salam financing and istisna, to meet specific needs of potential customers. Banks were required to channel at least 12% of their total loan portfolio toward microfinance clients. Out of this have emerged several exciting programs that are offering early evidence that the country’s strategy is paying off.

Al Bashir Inaugurates Faisal Islamic Bank Centre in Riyadh

President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Al Bashir inaugurated Tuesday evening the Riyadh Centre of Faisal Islamic Bank in Khartoum. It includes the Electronic Branch, Banking Branch and Faisal Cultural Centre and is located in the Riyadh neighborhood of Khartoum. A speaker at the ceremony pledged going ahead with enhancing the work of the Bank to contribute to sustaining Sudan's economic growth through using modern technologies in transactions. Besides, the President of the Republic and the Governor of Khartoum State were honoured during the ceremony.

Khartoum must establish banking presence in South Sudan, bank manager says

The lack of Sudanese banks in South Sudan is an impediment to trade between the two countries which could potentially reach a volume of $2 billion annually, according to the general manager of Sudan’s Export Development Bank (EDB) Mohammed Rashid Mohammed Salem. Therefore, he called for the swift signing of cooperation protocols between the central banks in Khartoum and Juba which would allow for a Sudanese banking presence in South Sudan. The Sudanese banker emphasised the readiness of the EDB to contribute to the development of trade and exports to South Sudan in order to support the banking system there.

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