Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has reaffirmed its Shari'a Quality Rating of AA (SQR) assigned to Jordan Islamic Bank ( JIB ). This rating indicates JIB 's conformance to very high standards of Shari'a compliance in all aspects of Shari'a quality analysis. The bank is supervised by an eminent Shari'a Supervisory Board, which comprises both Jordanian residents for ease of access, and those present on the group's Unified SSB, for international reach. The SSB regularly reviews activities of the bank to ensure Shari'a compliance. Transparency of financial reporting vis-à-vis investment accounts and corporate governance disclosures are mainly in line with the recommended best practices by IFSB.
As uncertainties over the management of the Islamic lender Bank Asya continue, auditors from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) who are uneasy about a possible penalty that they may be subject to, have warned the agency, since the takeover decision was not made at a general assembly meeting of the bank. A news report in Bugün daily on Monday said the BDDK's auditors are worried about a possible fine for the takeover decision and had called on the agency's top officials to convene a Bank Asya general assembly meeting. The report further claims that the auditors expect a penalty of around TL 8-10 billion for the failure to gain a general assembly decision in the handing over of the management of the bank.
Maybank Islamic has launched its Shariah Centre of Excellence (SCOE), which focuses on research and education, talent development, thought leadership and community welfare. Its chief executive officer Muzaffar Hisham said the center was a virtual centre, which aimed to be a repository of Shariah knowledge and reference point on best practices for industry players, academic fraternities and the general public. The bank has collaborated with INCEIF, the Global University of Islamic Finance, including sponsoring the university’s auditorium and post-graduate students. Maybank Islamic has also rolled out other programmes under the SCOE initiative, including a public lecture series as well as Islamic finance publications.
Warba Bank has announced that it successfully arranged $150 million Shariah-compliant one - year receivable backed syndicated financing facility for the International Bank of Azerbaijan. The Bank reported that it participated with a stake of $20 million in this transaction along with J.P. Morgan Bank, Citigroup, Barwa Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Noor Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank. he IBA concluded last year with $526 million sharia compliant assets compared to the Islamic Banking assets at the level of $220 million at the beginning of 2014. Behnam Gurbanzade, Director of the Islamic Banking Department of the IBA, recently said that the Bank is planning to increase the amount of Islamic financing in Azerbaijan in 2015.
Greece’s new Syriza government has two major economic challenges to address: a Resolution of Greece’s unsustainable debt burden followed by a Transition to a long term sustainable economy. Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis' proposal is for a conversion of the existing dated ‘debt’ liabilities into a modern form of the undated credit instruments (‘stock’). Firstly, Greece would dedicate an agreed proportion of tax income to long term funding. Greece then issues stock at a discount, each of which is returnable in payment of Greece’s taxes. This new issuance would then be allocated between the different creditors in a way reflecting the repayment date and interest rate of Greek liabilities. From then on Greece would use part of its tax income to buy back this stock for cancellation.
Kuwait's Warba Bank has successfully arranged a US$150 million, Sharia-complaint syndicated finance facility for the International Bank of Azerbaijan ("IBA"). The facility has a tenor of one year with a bullet repayment due at maturity. Warba Bank has participated in this transaction with a stake of US$20 million in a consortium of six regional and international banks: J.P Morgan Bank, Citigroup, Barwa Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Noor Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank. In addition, Warba Bank has also announced its contribution of US$15 million in an Islamic Sharia-complaint facility amounting US$80 million arranged by HSBC for the Turkish Ozun Group. Moreover, the Bank sold its real estate investment in West Bromwich in the United Kingdom achieving net profit of KD 640 K.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finalised plans to opt for a centralised approach to regulate Islamic Banking in Nigeria. The CBN will set up an advisory body,known as the Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts, that will oversee the industry in Nigeria. The council will be tasked with ensuring all banking products that are designated as Islamic conform to sharia principles. The advisory body will comprise a minimum of five members who will serve renewable two-year terms, and are restricted from working for any other financial institution supervised by the central bank. Moreover, the Council will be guided by the principles of sharia governance issued by the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board.
L'Etat du Sénégal a été retenu par un jury composé de banquiers, de journalistes, de professeurs d’universités, de spécialistes de la Finance islamique, à l'issue d'une table ronde, mi-janvier 2015 à Kuala Lumpur, en Malaisie. La réunion de janvier dernier en Malaisie vient de décerner un satisfecit à l'Etat du Sénégal. Après son émission obligataire islamique sur le marché international d'un montant de 100 milliards de f CFA (premier du genre au sud du Sahara), menée par la BIS (Banque islamique du Sénégal) et arrangée par Citibank Dubaï et ICD, la signature du portefeuille de l'Etat prend ainsi de la voilure auprès des investisseurs et prêteurs "halal".
Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is set to meet fixed income investors starting Sunday ahead of a potential dollar-denominated sukuk transaction. The AAA-rated IDB has picked nine banks to arrange investor meetings in the Middle East and Asia, a benchmark offering will follow, subject to market conditions. CIMB, Dubai Islamic Bank, GIB Capital, HSBC, Natixis, NCB Capital, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, RHB Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered have been chosen to arrange the sukuk sale. IDB, which last issued $1.5 billion in five-year Islamic bonds in September, is looking to increase its issuance of sukuk, partly to raise its profile among international investors and to secure similar pricing levels to other development banks.
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.
In Egypt, 20% of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have indicated a preference for Sharia-compliant products, according to an IMF working paper issued this month. The paper said there is a substantial demand for Islamic banking among the MENA region’s SMEs, with approximately 35% expressing their interest in financing by Islamic banks. Islamic banks need to make adjustments in the structure of their work to improve their ability to reach consumers. They also need to sell their products to the global Muslim population segment that does not currently have a bank account, according to the paper. Moreover, banks need to focus on SMEs and pursue private equity and venture capital initiatives.
Indonesia seems to push ahead with its plans to create a new $8bn Islamic bank that would mainly arise from the merger of three large domestic Shariah-compliant lenders. According to the chairman of Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority, Muliaman Hadad, the merger between the Islamic finance units of government-controlled Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Negara Indonesia, as well as a small unit of Bank Tabungan Negara, could happen as early as this year. The idea behind the mega-merger is to create an Islamic banking institution that would be able to face the growing foreign competition, as well as to boost the currently quite small market share of Islamic finance in the country. The new Islamic mega-bank would also be a catalyst for new products for retail customers and businesses.
Weak economic conditions scuppered plans for a tie-up of Malaysia’s CIMB Group Holdings Bhd with RHB Capital Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB). It would have created Southeast Asia’s fourth-largest bank with assets of US$190 billion (RM692.63 billion). MBSB, a non-bank lender and the smallest of the three firms, is now studying a plan to convert itself into a full-fledged Islamic lender. It said last week it would convert existing conventional financial products into Islamic ones while introducing new ones to close the gap with competitors. Meanwhile, both CIMB and RHB Capital have established, domestically focused, Islamic units.
Iran's Bank Mellat is suing the British government for almost $4 billion in damages after the Supreme Court quashed sanctions imposed against it over alleged links to Tehran's nuclear programme. The lender wants compensation for the "significant pecuniary loss" and substantial reputational damage it sustained as a result of sanctions imposed in 2009, according to a claim filed in London's High Court. It claims the UK government also successfully lobbied other authorities to impose their own sanctions that ultimately caused and continue to cause the loss of profitable business, customers, banking relationships and dealing services.
Qatar Islamic Bank said on Monday its shareholders had approved the issuance of up to 5 billion riyals ($1.37 billion) of Tier 1-boosting sukuk. The sale would be in accordance with Basel III banking rules and the final amount and currency of the offering would be decided by the board at a later date, the bank said in a bourse filing. The bank said on Jan. 18 it planned to raise up to 2 billion riyals through a sukuk which enhanced its Tier 1 – or core – capital.
Cameroon's Afriland First Bank has launched the Central African state's first Islamic window. Afriland, which has offered an Islamic deposit account since 2000 to help Muslims perform their pilgrimage to Mecca, will offer a range of common types of Islamic financing contracts. These include murabaha, musharaka, mudaraba and ijara. The lender developed the Islamic window with assistance from the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD). Afriland, founded in 1987, now operates subsidiaries in Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Zambia, South Sudan, and Guinea.
The Thomson Reuters Global Sukuk Index is at 117.50283 points, up from 117.48601 at the end of last month and 115.79726 at the end of last year. The Thomson Reuters Investment Grade Sukuk Index is at 115.60967 against 115.34912 at the end of January and 113.69014 at end-2014. Sukuk in the pipeline include: Emirates airline hired banks to help it arrange a sukuk issue of up to $1 billion, backed by UK Export Finance. The Malaysia-based International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp will auction $490 million worth of three-month sukuk and $500 million of six-month sukuk on Feb. 24. Oman's government is expected to conduct its first sukuk issue, for 200 million rials ($520 million), this year.
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.
The Turkish Treasury said on Wednesday it issued a lira-denominated sukuk with a volume of 1.8 billion lira ($736 million). The instrument will mature on Feb. 15, 2017, the Treasury said on its website. With the latest sukuk, the Treasury's outstanding lira-denominated sukuk amount has increased to 6.8 billion lira. Treasury also has $3.75 billion worth of outstanding dollar-denominated sukuk.
Global assets under management by Islamic funds grew slightly last year and are likely set for rapid growth in coming years as the relatively young Muslim population of the world ages, hedge fund analysis firm Eurekahedge says. Assets under management peaked at about $91 bn in the second half of 2012, but are still up sharply from less than $50 bn at the beginning of 2007, Eurekahedge data shows. The firm says the Islamic finance industry globally now measures about $2 tn, including Islamic banking, sukuk (financial certificates), takaful (insurance) and Islamic funds. Islamic banking accounts for about 80 percent of the sector, while sukuk issuances account for about 15 percent.