Environment, Social, Governance

empty Description of term "Environment, Social, Governance"

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and African Export-Import Bank

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) has signed an agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to cooperate in the development of the private sector in ICD member countries in Africa. ICD and Afreximbank will share information on projects and business opportunities in Africa and on participation in the arrangement of syndications or investment in funds. They will also cooperate in structuring sukuk/debt capital market transaction opportunities, co-invest in Islamic leasing companies and support local financial institutions in Africa through the raising of capital via lines of finances. In addition, they will exchange information aimed at upgrading knowledge and expertise about Islamic finance, among others.

10th Durham Islamic Finance Summer School - 24-28th August 2015

Why an Islamic Finance training programme?

The Islamic banking and finance (IBF) sector has experienced substantial and unprecedented growth in recent years: growing at a rate of 10-15% per year. Today, more than 500 IBF institutions are operating worldwide, which are claimed to manage assets worth no less than $1.2 trillion, while the assets held in IBF institutions were only less than $10 billion in 1985. In Malaysia the IBF institutions are planned to capture the 25% of the market share, in terms of assets owned, by 2012, while it is expected that Islamic finance will be the mainstream finance in the Gulf region in the next decade.

Such immense growth has brought Islamic finance to the attention of the international banking and finance community, prompting the major banks to set up Islamic financial windows to take advantage of demand for Shari'ah compliant finance.

Dr. Kaldari Surgi-Art Centre partners with Tajmeel

Dr. Kaldari Surgi-Art Centre, a cosmetic surgical facility in Qatar, has tied up with Tajmeel, the Qatar International Beauty Academy, for the sharing of expertise to both the Centre’s staff and Tajmeel’s students. As part of their collaborative effort, Tajmeel will be hosting staff members of Dr. Kaldari Surgi-Art Centre in attending some of its sessions, while the Centre will be providing students of Tajmeel with an Observer Program that will enable them to observe, witness and attend procedures and treatments at the facility.

GCC spearheads investment in education for 21st century knowledge economy: Eduware

Eduware, a provider and integrator of comprehensive technology-based learning products and services in the MENA region, said Wednesday that 21st century education is inevitable and should undergo a paradigm shift to prepare children for the jobs that have not yet been invented. The company, which will be addressing challenges facing educators, parents and businesses at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum taking place in Dubai on Feb. 22-23, said the new generation has to be armed with a different set of skills than their parents did if they were to enter the emerging job market. The company will present its 21st Century edu-digital tools at the forum.

Bank Albilad signs agreement with Waad Holding Co.

Bank Albilad has entered into agreement with Waad Holding Company to finance the construction of the company’s academy schools project in Jeddah city. Amounting to SR 150 million, the project represents one of largest deals in the sector. The agreement has been signed by Mr. Saleh bin Suleiman Alhabeeb, the bank’s Director General of Banking for Corporate Sector and Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Aljazaeiri, the CEO of Waad Holding Company, owner of Waad Academy Schools. Waad Academy Schools are one of Waad Holding Company branches. They offer specialized educational programs for students (boys and girls) ranging from grade 1 primary up to grade 3 secondary. The opening of the academy is scheduled to take place in the middle of the current 2015 year.

North Africa: UK Partners With Islamic Development Bank On Arab Women's Business Initiative

The UK and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to help boost business opportunities and create jobs for thousands of women across the Middle East and North Africa. The Arab Women's Enterprise Fund will see the IDB and the Department for International Development working together to improve the competitiveness of women entrepreneurs in the Arab world. It will also address legal and cultural barriers that block women getting ahead in business. DFID will contribute £10 million to provide grants to help poor women access markets. IDB will match this with a further £10 million in Sharia-compliant Islamic finance.

Standard Chartered Saadiq Launches Islamic Financial Education Modules

Standard Chartered Saadiq has launched an Islamic financial education programme this month. This programme aims to educate the UAE Community in the ways of responsibly handling their financial future in a Halal way. This programme comprises of a basic and an advanced module which focus on the prohibition of transactions which involve riba, fair distribution of profit and loss as well as prohibition of transactions which involves uncertainty or speculation. This is an extension of the Financial Education for Youth programme which Standard Chartered Bank has been running since 2013.

Mind, Society, and Behavior – and Financial Inclusion

The World Development Report “Mind, Society, and Behavior" was recently released. In the Overview alone, the reader is met with an abundance of findings related to consumer protection, financial capability, savings and other key topics involving financial inclusion. The report highlights that psychological impulses such as present bias, loss aversion and cognitive overload can lead to poor financial decision-making. For those in or on the edge of poverty, the ramifications of these poor decisions can be devastating. Yet, as outlined in Chapter 6, there are a range of interventions that have been shown to help address behavioral constraints on financial decisions in a developing-country context.

Dubai Chamber CSR Label recognises sustainability efforts of 18 companies

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry honoured 18 companies for their corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts during a recognition ceremony held at its premises on Tuesday. The CSR Label is open to all organisations, private or public, regardless of their size, sector or operations and can make a major difference to a company’s reputation, efficiency and productivity and its success depends on how the CSR objectives are set and communicated to all of their stakeholders. Some of the honourees inlcuded BETA Information Technology, Zulekha Hospital and Qurum Business Group.

CIMB Islamic and UIM funds MYR 2 million in developing higher education

Universiti Islam Malaysia (UIM) and CIMB Islamic have put in place agreements for their cooperation in promoting the development of higher education through a special endowment grant to establish the Chair for Waqf and Islamic Finance Management Studies as well as the establishment of CIMB Islamic Primary Resources for Islamic Finance Special Library. UIM President, Tan Sri Prof. Dr. Mohd. Yusof Noor and Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Islamic, Badlisyah Abdul Ghani signed two documents of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Both initiatives aim to enhance knowledge and capacity in the field of Islamic Finance and Waqf management.

Social stock exchanges – do we need them?

While securities exchanges have been facilitating financial market transactions for centuries, the first social stock exchanges were officially launched only recently. These sorts of exchanges aim to connect social enterprises with so-called "impact" investors. Broadly, such an exchange enables private capital to be mobilised for public good. Yet we also need to recognise criticisms of such exchange platforms, as well as unintended consequences. We also need to ensure that mobilising private capital does not lead governments to shirk their responsibilities in dealing with those social and environmental problems that will not be addressed through market mechanisms.

InFocus Inaugural newsletter of the General Council for Islamic banks and financial institutions

Inaugural issue reporting about the work and new strategic plan of CIBAFI, the General Council for Islamic banks and financial institutions.

SEDCO Holding Group showcases its CSR visionary roadmap ‘Towards Sustainability’ at Dar Al-Hekma University

SEDCO Holding Group presented its ‘Towards Sustainability’ CSR umbrella during the annual business and law faculty week held at Dar Al-Hekma University. The presentation underlined the Group’s major achievements since its launch in 1976 in the fields of commerce and investment, and focused on its sustainability and CSR platform. SEDCO Holding Group CSR platform stands on 3 main pillars – “Our Environment, Our People, Our Community”. The presentation demonstrated a set of initiatives under each pillar, developed by SEDCO Holding Group.

Caring side of Islamic finance

In November last year, the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) issued a US$500 million sukuk using the funds to buy vaccines. As an added bonus, the sukuk pays, in quarterly coupons, a Sharia-compliant profit rate equivalent to the US 3-month London Interbank Offered Rate plus 0.5 per cent. IFFIm’s sukuk indicates a growing similarity between two heretofore disparate areas of asset management: Islamic finance, and the largely western socially responsible investment (SRI) tradition. Islamic finance-SRI crossover products will appear if investor demand requires it, although the level of cross over suggests there may not be a need for separate Shariah-compliant SRI products.

Countries with very high religious diversity - including China - outpace world in economic growth

The Weekly Number's analysis of a new Pew Research Center report - a study based on methodology developed by Brian J. Grim - finds that the 12 countries identified in the study as having very high religious diversity each outpaced the world's economic growth between 2008 and 2012.

Full Report: http://www.pewforum.org/2014/04/04/global-religious-diversity/

Western Union launches financial literacy programme for UAE migrant workers with support from UAE Labour Ministry

The Western Union Company has launched “Apna Sapna”, a Financial Literacy Programme for migrant workers in the UAE to help them develop the awareness and skills to manage their finances and plan for the future. “Apna Sapna”, which in Hindi means “Our Dream”, is endorsed by the UAE Labour Ministry and aims to address the challenges of migrant workers who are often unsure about how to achieve their long-term financial goals. With the “Apna Sapna” programme, Western Union intends to train 3,000 people over two months through face-to-face training sessions which will take place across a number of labour camps in the UAE.

NCB Capital sponsors financial education lab at Effat University

NCB Capital has sponsored a new fully equipped lab at Effat University in Jeddah as part of its commitment to spread financial literacy among Saudi Youth. The lab comprises of 25 computer machines and includes hardware and software which help students to monitor financial markets and train them on making sound investments. Sarah Al-Suhaimi, CEO of NCB Capital, said that education sector is a key part of NCB Capital’s corporate social responsibility activities. By sponsoring this initiative, NCB aims to forge a collaborative relationship with Effat University in order to support financial knowledge among the students, and to also introduce them to the world of investment, she added.

Islamic finance turns socially responsible

Last week an immunisation programme secured a $500 million issuance of sukuk, under a broader trend to use bond markets to fund development and humanitarian projects. The sukuk from the International Finance Facility for Immunisation Co (IFFIm), for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager, is a break from the predominantly commercial nature of most Islamic finance transactions. Future sukuk from IFFIm could help reinforce that change by financing other high-profile immunisation efforts, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) is actively in discussions over taking a role in fighting Ebola when a vaccine becomes available.

Beyond the square: changing dynamics at the World Social Forum

The World Social Forum (WSF) will hold its next global gathering in March 2015 in Tunis. Since 2001, the forums took place annually around the same dates as the World Economic Forum in Davos. Organized every two years since 2007, the event has now become somewhat less visible. Some of the reasons for the frustration with the WSF are related to dilemmas of representation. For the activists that reject representation as a political principle, the forums have been too embedded in traditional politics. For those who want to build global political parties, the WSF’s open space has lacked the capacity for action. These are some of the questions that need to be debated on the road to the next WSF in Tunis.

World Innovation Summit For Education highlights Qatar Foundation’s commitment to Innovation among Young People

The sixth World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), which recently concluded in Qatar’s capital city of Doha, tackled a number of education issues on a global level. In recent years, WISE has launched a series of on-going initiatives, including the Learners’ Voice Program. It is designed to equip young people aged 18 to 25 with the relevant soft skills, tools, and know-how to address global education issues. This year, 34 young men and women were chosen from hundreds of promising applicants to take part in the 2014-2015 Learners’ Voice Program , launched at WISE 2014 with a series of workshops.

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