Ahram Online

#Russia’s Sberbank structures Islamic finance deal to supply wheat to #Egypt

Russia’s Sberbank has structured its first trade finance deal with an Islamic bank to supply Russian wheat to Egypt. The deal with Saudi Arabia’s International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) was implemented through Sberbank’s subsidiary in Switzerland. Egypt’s state-run General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) acted as the buyer in the deal. The Russian bank said ITFC will enable it to significantly increase its share in Russian wheat exports to Egypt.

#Egyptian CEO of Abu Dhabi Islamic bank found murdered in Cairo home

The CEO of the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Nevine Loutfy was found murdered at her home in Cairo. An investigation and forensic team arrived at the murder scene shortly after the incident. With over three decades of banking experience, Loutfy had a diverse background and had worked across the corporate, SME and retail sectors. She had extensive international experience gained in the US, Europe and emerging markets. Nevine Loutfy was the first ever female head of an Islamic bank.

Egypt expects $425 mln from Islamic Development Bank

Egypt said on Sunday it expected to receive around $425 million in funding from the Islamic Development Bank to develop an oil refinery in Assiut and an airport in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The first agreement is for $198 million earmarked for the refinery. A further $226.8 million (not $8.23 million) will go towards the first phase of the Sharm el-Sheikh airport project. Egypt has requested a further $223.2 million for the second phase of the project. The Islamic Development Bank made financing contributions worth about $1.85 billion in Egypt between July 2013 and August 2014. The country will also seek external sources of funding for other development projects.

Industry body launches manual for Islamic credit unions

The US-based World Council of Credit Unions has launched a manual discussing how to establish and operate sharia-compliant credit unions in developing countries, which could help to broaden the Islamic finance industry's retail customer base. The council hopes the manual will help to develop Islamic credit unions across a wide range of markets. The guide is considered complete but the council also recognises that this is an ongoing project as Islamic finance spreads to other credit union systems. The council used its nine-year experience establishing cooperatives in Afghanistan to create a manual that follows Islamic principles. According to the council, there are now 30 sharia-compliant credit unions in Afghanistan, comprising the world's youngest credit union movement and the only one to claim full compliance with Islamic law.

Islamic Development Bank considers $10 billion funding for Egypt

The Islamic Development Bank is considering a recent request by Egypt for $10 billion in funding for infrastructure development projects, to be provided over the next five years. On Monday, Egypt received a $300 million loan from the IDB to the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation. The loan is part of a total $1 billion loan agreement signed by Egypt with the IDB in July of last year aimed at funding food and energy imports. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, head of the Islamic Development Bank Group reiterated the bank’s commitment to helping Egypt surmount its formidable economic challenges, having already granted it $6 billion in funds. Ali pledged to send an IDB team to Cairo to begin discussions on the requested $10 billion loan in September.

Sudan's Bank of Khartoum to restart Islamic bond sales

Bank of Khartoum's plans include selling Islamic corporate bonds since after an oil deal with South Sudan the economic outlook for Sudan becomes better. This year's profit of the bank is expected to reach record amounts due to strong lending and a substantial windfall from the devaluation of the Sudanese pound. Several sukuks have already been started. According to the bank's general manager, issues worth $100 million in bonds for local companies are a realistic is a realistic goal to be achieved by early 2013.

Read more on: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/56460/Business/Economy/Suda...

Tunisia's Islamic finance push has political echoes

Tunisia's ruling party has set to turning Tunisia into a regional centre for Sharia-compliant finance. However, critics claim that by putting scarce resources into the sector the economy could be harmed. People suspect that the leading motives of the governments initiatives are political rather than economic and that they mostly endeavour to win the support of voters. Even though change in policy might benefit the economy of Northern African countries after the Arab Spring by enabling access to a huge pool of Islamic investment funds from the Gulf, Tunisia faces serious political complications.

Egypt-based Islamic finance firm eyes $100m investment

Ridge Islamic Capital announced it had $100 million which will be used to raise the company's capital and invest in funds over the next two years. Thus, it aims to tap a growing market for Islamic finance. The launch of Ridge Islamic Capital took place after Ridge Solutions International Holdings acquired El Rashad.

More on: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/53336/Business/Economy/Egyp...

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