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Liechtenstein Islamic Finance Conference

October 28, 2014, Tue 09.00 - 16.45 h

At the first Liechtenstein Islamic finance conference, the Financial Market Authority (FMA) and the Propter Homines Chair for Banking and Securities Law at the University of Liechtenstein will examine the challenges to and opportunities for Islamic finance structures and sharia compliant financial intermediation for Liechtenstein. We believe that Liechtenstein’s expertise as a renowned private and family wealth centre with a strong preference for non-leveraged long-term investments, well-developed trust and foundation laws, as well as a competitive financial regulation may provide the starting point for offering services in the Islamic domain. We are delighted that experts in the field of Islamic finance and sustainability will assist us in answering the questions on how Liechtenstein may benefit from Islamic finance, and how Islamic investors and clients may benefit from Liechtenstein.

We would like to advise you of the coming Liechtenstein Islamic Finance Conference and would appreciate your participation. The conference concerning

Bank Asya fights back against Erdogan attack

Ahmet Beyaz, the chief executive of Turkey’s government-besieged Bank Asya, says his bank is the victim of a political campaign waged by Turkey’s powerful president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Beyaz and his executive vice-president Feyzullah Egriboyun claim the repeated attacks on the bank clearly constitute a crime under Turkey’s strict banking legislation. The Turkish president has denied any orchestrated campaign against Bank Asya. He went on to say "this bank has already failed", without naming Bank Asya. Such claims are wrong, Beyaz says, insisting Bank Asya is among the three strongest banks in Turkey, boasting a capital adequacy ratio at about 20%. Bank Asya supporters argue that the Erdogan attacks on Bank Asya pose a systemic risk to the wider Turkish banking system.

Massive housing shortage expected in GCC

A rapid rise of young population in the GCC is causing a surge in demand for housing that could lead to a massive shortage. There could be a scarcity of more than one million units by 2018, reveals a study by management consultancy Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), and governments need to pursue more holistic policies to better meet people’s housing needs. Governments should drive sustainable development, promote public-private partnerships, establish prudent real estate laws and facilitate greater access to housing finance to revitalise the sector, the study adds. GCC countries are currently experiencing a shortage of housing, particularly for their large and growing populations of low-income residents.

Islamic Bank of Britain changes name to Al Rayan Bank

Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) plans to change its name to Al Rayan Bank PLC, subject to formal shareholder approval. The change will be completed in December 2014. The rebrand follows IBB's acquisition, earlier in the year, by Qatar-based Masraf Al Rayan (MAR). Rebranding activity will involve the introduction of a new Al Rayan Bank logo and brand identity. It will continue to operate as a UK regulated bank, and customers' deposits will remain protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. With an increased focus on corporate and real estate finance, Al Rayan Bank will develop its presence in London. Its retail banking and operational head quarters will remain in Birmingham.

Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network members organise a campaign to fight world hunger

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Sustainability Network members, in cooperation with the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP), took part in a 'Rice Bowl Challenge' to raise awareness amongst employees on the issue of hunger and mobilise funds for WFP in the fight against world hunger on World Food Day. The Rice Bowl Challenge was a call to corporates to replace their regular lunch with a bowl of plain rice for the day. It was carried out under the umbrella of 'Eat and Feed' a fundraising initiative by the Al Aroud Group a member of the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network. The funds collected will go to the WFP to provide food assistance to families most in need across the Middle East.

Banks and Sustainability Principles Reporting

As part of efforts to ensure that the ecosystem was preserved, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) about two years ago rolled out guidelines on the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP). The central bank had directed that sustainability reporting would commence in June 2014 with the submission of the one-off report (first quarter) not later than July 7, 2014. The CBN also instrcted that the second quarter one-off report should be submitted to it, not later than October 7, 2014, while the third quarter report should reach the CBN not later than January 7, 2015. Nonetheless, there are indications that some banks are having challenge complying with the reporting template because they are required to implement a sustainable banking principles and the respective management approach.

AAOIFI widens its global role to better serve and develop Islamic finance

AAOIFI was invited to and took part as a member of the External Advisory Group of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Over the course of 8- 14 October 2014 in Washington and New York AAOIFI held a number of successful top-level meetings with relevant departments from the IMF and World Bank, the International Federation of Accountants and with senior representatives of central banks, monetary authorities, and financial institutions. AAOIFI represents shari’a scholars industry-wide on its boards, hailing from more than 14 nationalities and across various schools of thought. In addition, AAOIFI has more than 24 years of experience, during which the institution has issued 88 standards so far.

Morocco's BMCE prepares to launch Islamic unit as Gulf ties grow

Morocco's BMCE Bank is preparing to launch an Islamic subsidiary as a joint venture with a major Islamic financial institution from the Middle East. Moreover, the Moroccan parliament is discussing a bill that would regulate Islamic banks and sukuk issues; approval is expected before the end of this year. Meanwhile, Tunisia is gearing up for its first sovereign sukuk issue, and in July, regulators in Jordan introduced rules for sukuk. Banks from Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have expressed interest in entering Morocco when its Islamic finance bill comes into force. Moroccan authorities are expected to guide the foreign banks toward partnering with local banks rather than establishing fully owned Islamic subsidiaries.


Due to unavoidable circumstances, the date of the 8th ISDEV International Conference on Islamic Development Management (IDMAC 2014) themed Islamic Political Economy previously scheduled on 2nd-3rd December 2014 is now changed to 9th-10th December 2014. Venue and time remain. ISDEV apologizes for any inconveniences that this change of date may cause.

Three banks want more time to remove same-family directors

National Bank, City Bank and Premier Bank have failed to comply with the central bank's directive to bring down the number of directors from the same family to a maximum of two. The central bank last week asked four private banks to cut the number down in seven days. Only First Security Islami Bank complied with the directive within the deadline, according to Bangladesh Bank. The three other banks sought one to three more months to comply with the directive, but the regulator extended the deadline till October 30, a BB official said. National Bank has five directors from a family. City Bank has nine directors from two families. Four directors of Premier Bank come from one family.

“Investments into private sector is our primary goal”

Caspian International Investment Company CJSC (CIIC) is a private equity investment firm founded in March 2008. CIIC's shareholders are Azerbaijan Investment Company OJSC;Aref Investment Group; Al-Ahmar Group for Trading, Industrial and General Agencies; as well as The Islamic Corporation For The Development of The Private Sector and Islamic Development Bank. The main goal of CIIC is to serve as an investment vehicle in order to receive exposure to the growing Azerbaijani economy. Orkhan Aghalarov, the acting General Manager of CIIC, said that investments into the private sector is CIIC's primary goal, and thus, the company is one of the main supporters of realization of the President's economic policy.

ETFs Lag $2.3 Trillion Market as Options Scarce: Islamic Finance

Almost a decade since the Islamic world’s first exchange-traded fund started operating, assets account for less than one percent of the total $2.3 trillion ETF market, according to Falah Capital LLC. The U.S. fund manager set up its inaugural Shariah-compliant ETF this month. While the Philippines is set to become the latest nation to start an index of Shariah-compliant stocks this year, a lack of investment options in equities and bonds that comply with religious tenets is hindering growth in ETFs, Falah Capital’s CEO Thom Polson said. The Falah Russell-Ideal Ratings U.S. Large Cap exchange-traded fund has a market capitalization of $2.4 million and covers Shariah-compliant American companies.

PM: Muslim world needs to develop method in Islamic finance

The Muslim world needs to develop a revolutionary method in Islamic finance to allow entrepreneurs and financiers to leverage each other to contribute to the nation's economic growth sustainability, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said. The prime minister said Islamic countries had made remarkable progress and became a significant group in the global economy as the total gross domestic products of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries had grown to US$9.4 trillion in 2012 from US$7.5 trillion. Moreover, he said as an Islamic finance pioneer, Malaysia could and must play an influential role in ensuring the sector's future development. The government aimed to increase the SME macroeconomic contribution to 41% of the GDP, 62% of employment and 25% of exports by 2020, he added.

K&L Gates | The Year in Islamic Finance

The year in Islamic finance 16/10/2014 Banking & Finance analysis: As we head towards the start of the new Islamic year, we ask a panel of experts to consider the development of Islamic finance and the future of this growing sector. They were asked about important developments within Islamic finance during the past year, as well as commonly used Islamic finance structures. Moreover, they gave their opinion about the development of the sector in the next 12 months. Another question concerned the international standard setting bodies and their divergences in applying Shariah law.

Big in Brunei

Asia Asset Management’s 10th Annual Brunei Roundtable took place on Monday, October 13, themed “A Decade of Progress and Growth: The Roadmap Ahead”. The Borneo Bulletin reported about the event, saying Brunei’s biggest advantage is its capital. However, the ountry needs to slowly get the right infrastructure, the right air links and the right niche for people to actually want to come here. The insurance sector on the other hand is a bit easier as it is all about preparations, regulations, how much they are willing to do it and opening an investment. Brunei in itself is a very liquid market in the sense that it really doesn’t need foreign bonds.

Saudi bank in $6 bn IPO

Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank is going ahead with an initial public offering worth $6 billion despite opposition from Muslim clerics. The IPO from Sunday, making NCB the last Saudi bank to go public, is expected to be one of the largest in the world this year. However, Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the kingdom's official Council of Senior Ulemas, said that the IPO is haram, or forbidden under Islamic tenets which ban usury. On the other hand, NCB's sharia advisory council on Thursday declared the share offer to be acceptable under Islamic law. An NCB prospectus says the bank will offer 300 million shares to the public at 45 riyals ($12) each, for a value of $3.6 billion, while another 200 million shares will be allocated to the state pension agency bringing the total to $6 billion.

African states interested in Islamic finance

African markets are gradually opening to Islamic finance, buoyed by governments’ debut sales of sovereign sukuk and legislative efforts to make the sector more attractive for companies across the region. Despite the strong growth of Islamic finance in its core markets of the Middle East and south-east Asia, the industry has lagged behind in Africa, which is home to one in four of the world’s Muslims. Governments across the continent are using sukuk as a way to attract cash-rich Islamic investors, with South Africa making a $500 million (R5.6 billion) issue last month.

Guyana possibly joining Islamic Development Bank

Guyana is currently exploring the option of fostering closer cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank, including giving active consideration to the possibility of joining that Bank. Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh recently met with the leadership of the Bank. Guyana is already a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and is home to a large and vibrant Muslim population.

Islamic banks - FIs asked to participate in Shariah-based refinancing scheme

The central bank has asked Islamic banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) to participate in its newly introduced Shariah-based refinancing scheme. The advice came at a meeting with the senior executives of the Islamic banks and NBFIs with Deputy Governor of the Bangladesh Bank Abul Quasem in the chair.
At the meeting, the central bank assured the Islamic banks and NBFIs that it would provide extra fund in the scheme if necessary. Five Islamic banks have already deposited Tk 3.75 billion with the BB's newly opened account for introducing the refinancing scheme exclusively for Sharia-based banks and NBFIs.

FAAIF Brings Islamic Finance to the United States

FAAIF CEO Camille Paldi says the potential for Islamic finance, sukuk, and takaful is huge in the United States. Paldi conducts two Islamic Finance, Banking, and Sukuk workshops in New Orleans and New York, USA in association with Al Huda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics and University of New Orleans. Paldi says that the USA participants were enthusiastic about learning Islamic finance concepts despite negative imagery in the media. Paldi explains that in general, educated Americans are excited to learn about new alternative financial structures and investment opportunities.

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