Tk9.9bn scam by Bismillah Group

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Bangladesh has filed 12 cases against 53 officials of five banks and the Bismillah Group for their alleged involvement in the embezzlement of funded loans worth over Tk9.9bn. The list of the accused included 13 people from Bismillah Group, 12 Janata Bank officials, eight Prime Bank officials, seven Premier Bank officials, five Jamuna Bank officials and eight Shahjalal Islami Bank officials. According to the probe report, Bismillah Group, in association with the bank officials, embezzled the money through loans against trust receipts using names of fake foreign buyers. They secured cash incentives against fake export documents, taking advantage of inland bills purchases and overpricing non-existing export items. The inquiry also found that the group laundered money abroad.

MoU inked between SJIBL, CPTU

Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding e-GP (Electronic Government Procurement) system with the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU), Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED), Ministry of Planning. Under this Memorandum, Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd. will provide e-GP (Electronic Government Procurement) service within the territorial jurisdiction of the Bank. CPTU of the Ministry will provide e- GP Portal Dashboard and training to nominated focal persons of the Bank for the use of payment system under e- GP. On the other hand, CPTU Ministry of Planning will publish the names of the Bank in e-GP portal link to the Bank as the e-payment service provider.

IFSB and BB Spearhead Discussions on the Prospects and Challenges in the Development of Islamic Finance for Bangladesh

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and Bangladesh Bank has successfully organised a "Seminar on Prospects and Challenges in the Development of Islamic Finance for Bangladesh" on 23 and 24 September 2013 in Dhaka. The seminar aimed to create greater awareness on the latest developments on the Islamic financial services industry, and to discuss the issues in further augmenting its role in Bangladesh. The meeting consisted of five sessions where recent developments in the Islamic capital market, regulatory frameworks, microfinance among others were discussed. At the end of the one and a half day seminar, IFSB assured Bangladesh Bank of its constant support for the various initiatives to strengthen the Islamic finance in its member countries.

Cash Waqf gets popularity

Cash Waqf is a voluntary endowment of money, deposited to the banks perpetually. Profit paid on this deposit is spent in different people's welfare purposes according to instructions of the account holders. These include education, health, food, utility and rehabilitation services as per instruction of the donors. The product is still at primary stage of its flourishing in Bangladesh. When a considerable amount of investment will be injected into the scheme, it might significantly contribute to a stable and sustainable economy. Banking insiders attributed the rising popularity of the scheme mainly to the opportunity to donate cash-money during the present time of land scarcity, and to the flexibility of distributing cash-benefits anywhere. Anybody can open this account by depositing total money of declared Waqf amount once or by installments.

ICIEC and The Bangladesh Bank sign MOU

The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) and the Bangladesh Bank (The Central Bank of Bangladesh) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The objective of the MOU is to establish a basis for the exchange of information between the two institutions on banking industry's condition and operating performance and ICIEC exposures on the banks operating in Bangladesh. It is expected that the MOU will help pave the way forward for ICIEC in meeting its objectives under the IDB Group Member Country Participation Strategy (MCPS) for Bangladesh, through enhance letter of credit coverage and support in terms of political risk insurance coverage of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The signing of the MoU should enhance ICIEC's ability to support exporting companies operating in Bangladesh, and also will help to attract more FDI.

IIDFC reappoints managing director

Md Asaduzzaman Khan has recently been reappointed as managing director of IIDFC. A career central banker, Khan joined IIDFC after taking voluntary retirement as executive director of Bangladesh Bank in 2008. He is an MA in economics from Dhaka University and an MA in banking and finance from the University of Wales, UK. He was appointed as administrator of the then Oriental Bank Ltd (now ICB Islamic Bank Ltd) in July 2008. He was also the managing director of the security printing press of the central bank at Gazipur. He is also a director of ICB Capital Management Ltd, a member-cum-director of IIDFC Securities Ltd and a former director of the Dhaka Stock Exchange.

Conventional banks looking for a piece of the Islamic banking pie

Most of the conventional banks in Bangladesh are increasingly becoming interested in starting Islamic banking to get more deposits. Bangladesh Bank (BB) is not, however, allowing banks to convert into Islamic banking or even open such branches because of not having a central sharia council to regulate this particular brand of banking. NCC Bank and Southeast Bank have applied to the central bank for permission to convert into full-fledged Islamic banking. Several other banks have sought permission to open Islamic banking branches. The central bank decided not to allow it until formation of a central sharia council. The norms of the Islamic banks in Bangladesh vary as each bank is following sharia rules according to their choice since sharia laws vary from country to country.

IDB reviewing govt measures on Padma Bridge to revive fund

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is reviewing the government's recent measures on the Padma Bridge Project to take a decision on revival of its committed funding support for it. As part of the original deal, it was supposed to to provide US$ 140 million for the approach road on the bridge's Jajira side. The ministry of finance is hopeful of getting the fund from the lender. However, IDB is observing what steps the government takes on the main bridge construction and river training work. So far, the project has not yet matured enough for IDB to reconsider its decision on it.

SIBL allowed to sell entire shares of Islamic Charitable Society, Shahir Abdulraouf

The 2nd Joint District Judge Court, Dhaka has given its verdict on Social Islami Bank Ltd's plea to dispose off the entire shares and delist the names of Islamic Charitable Society and Shahir Abdulraouf Batterjee from the bank's Share Register Book. The order depicts that the Islamic Charitable Society and Shahir Abdulraouf Batterjee being banned and non-existent entity, and hence, SIBL is entitled to sell the aforesaid shares and deposit the sale proceeds thereof in the special reserve account / suspense account. The Court also empowered SIBL to delete the names of both Islamic Charitable Society and Shahir Abdulraouf Batterjee from the bank's Share Register Book after selling of the aforesaid shares.

Islamic Development Bank’s Dhaka office on anvil

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will set up its country office in Dhaka, Bangladesh soon, according to its President Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani. Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Dipu Moni, expressed satisfaction at the progress made with the Member Country Partnership Strategy (MCPS) for 2013-16 covering a number of important infrastructural, agricultural and human development projects. She also hoped that IDB would support several projects in the country. The IDB President assured of growing cooperation in power generation, including rural electrification and renewable energy use. He also shared his optimism about Bangladesh’s development pursuits to become a middle income country by 2021.

‘US, UK banks refusing Islami Bank’

Banks in the United Kingdom and the United States are not accepting transactions made through the Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited after allegations surfaced about its alleged funding of militant groups across the globe. The matter came to light when a team of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) met the central bank Governor. According to BGMEA, banks in the United Kingdom and the United States are not accepting export bills and documents through the Islami Bank Bangladesh. Apparel sector’s apex body has requested Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman to resolve the issue, saying many of its members were facing troubles. The bank posted a clarification on its website and denied the charges.

Al-Arafah offers scholarship to students

Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd has provided scholarship worth more than Tk 1.85 million to the poor and meritorious students of Kurmitola High School recently under its corporate social responsibility activities. Chairman of the Bank Badiur Rahman handed over the scholarship cheques to the students. The ceremony was addressed by founder Chairman of the Bank Alhajj A Z M Shamsul Alam among others.

DSE plans to launch 'Islamic Shariah Index'

The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) is planning to introduce an 'Islamic Shariah Index' to increase investment of Islamic Shariah-based banks in the stock market. A meeting was held with the representatives of Islami Bank Bangladesh in order to prepare a guideline for its introduction. According to DSE president and coordinator of the Stock Market Coordination Committee Rakibur Rahman, the DSE is also talking with the Standard and Poor's (S&P) for introduction of the new index.

'Sukuk' an alternative source of financing for constructing Padma Bridge

Islamic 'Sukuk' could be an alternative source of financing for constructing Padma Bridge. A day-long international conference on Islamic finance, titled 'Islamic Finance news Roadshow' held Tuesday in the city discussed on the issue. Moreover, key issues pertinent to the country's Islamic financial market and its challenges and opportunities were addressed. The growth potential for Bangladesh's Islamic finance industry is high, and coupled with a steadily growing economy and financial reforms.

Customer Service Officer - Islamic Banking

•Managing the Teller Services functions at the counter and in the branch to ensure the delivery of quality service to customers.
•Help project a professional and warm image of the bank.
•Maintenance of operational controls and continuous improvement in operational efficiency.
•Maximize new business opportunities by building new relationships and Cross Selling.
•Assist the BSSM/BRM to ensure that all the Group & Local Regulatory guidelines are followed in operations of the branch.

S&P Indices Launches Shariah Index with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

S&P Indices made an anouncement that a new Index will be launched due to increase in the demand for a shariah-compliant benchmark in Islamic countries. The new S&P/OIC COMCEC 50 Shariah Index will measure the performance of 50 leading Shariah-compliant companies from members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Eligible countries and territories for the Index are: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Bangladesh launches Islamic interbank money market

Bangladesh has launched an Islamic interbank money market, having the purpose to help sharia-compliant banks administer their short-term funding.
Apparently the market would supply Islamic banks with a channel to use surplus money. Islamic banks are responsible for over 15 percent of the country's banking sector.
This will help banks who apply Islamic sharia will have the possibility to overcome any funding crisis like the conventional banking system.

Bank Islam Eyes Expansion In Indonesia, Bangladesh

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd is noticing opportunities for expansion in Indonesia and Bangladesh, which have sizeable Muslim populations and adequate Islamic banking regulatory policy and supporting infrastructure in place to speed up Shariah-based financing and banking operations.
Managing Director Datuk Seri Zukri Samat stated that although the two countries have been recognized as "very interesting countries" that fit into the bank's expansion plan, such plans would have to take into consideration the current global economic situation and its effect in this region.

3-day workshop to empower Muslim NGOs opens at IDB

The Islamic Development Bank’s community development workshop has the purpose to empower Muslim NGOs in different parts of the world by offering them necessary training to boost their leadership skills.
Prominent leaders of Muslim organizations and institutions in 14 countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, c and the Philippines who had come to the Kingdom to perform Haj this year, including professor Siddique Hassan, vice president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, will be included in the program.

MENA countries lead Sharia-compliant Takaful growth

At the recent International Takaful Summit 2011 the experts from Takaful stated that they expect to reach $12 billion by the end of this year.
Ernst & Young think that emerging markets will be the key actors leading Takaful’s growth.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Malaysia are currently the top three Takaful markets. They are followed by c, Bangladesh, Sudan, and Pakistan.

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