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The Islamic Development Bank lends Pakistan $ 386 million to purchase...

The State of Pakistan and the International Trade Finance Corporation of the Islamic Development Bank signed a financing agreement amounting to $ 386 million, to be used in importing oil and liquefied gas. The Pakistani side emphasized the importance of this agreement and its role in promoting economic and social development.
In another development, remittances from Pakistanis working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia amounted to 665 million dollars in September this year, an increase of 29%. On the basis of a total, remittances from the Gulf countries and Western countries reached 3 and 2 billion dollars in September this year.

#Pakistan unlikely to avail $4.5bn Islamic Trade Finance Corporation facility

Pakistan is unlikely to fully benefit from $4.5bn financing package it secured about two and years ago from International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC). Pakistan and the ITFC on Monday signed about $400 million worth of two facilities to finance oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports by December this year. Another $100m facility is expected to be arranged by December. This is part of a $4.5bn package Pakistan and ITFC had signed in April 2018 to cover oil and LNG imports over a period of three years. Last year, however, the facility could not go beyond $1.05bn owing to limitations of the partner banks of the ITFC.

#Qatar- HBKU webinar discusses Zakat financing for achieving SDGs

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) co-organised a three-part webinar series with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority. The first instalment of the HBKU-UNDP Webinar Series: Islamic Social Finance and SDGs on October 6 showcased National Zakat Board Indonesia's (BASNAZ) innovative application of Zakat funds for local SDG projects. Consideration was also given to how the BAZNAS Zakat Model for development can be replicated and utilised within and beyond the Islamic world.

Fintech Is viable vehicle for deepening Islamic finance in Nigeria: Jidda

According to Muhammad Jidda, Head Shari’ah Audit and Product Development, SunTrust Bank Nigeria, Fintech is a viable platform that can be leveraged to boost Islamic Finance in Nigeria. According to him, the pathway is harnessing the various spheres of Fintech and Digital banking to grow the market with innovative products and offerings. Providing further insight he said the Covid 19 pandemic made it imperative to deploy a digital technology strategy for financial services, and fintech was the way to go. He noted that through Fintech a lot of awareness and sensitization can be created on Islamic Finance, through the digital and mobile platforms across the country, which could have a wider reach to people in the rural communities.

ICD completes pricing for a 5-year USD 600 million #sukuk issuance

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) announced successful completion of the pricing of a five-year USD 600 million Sukuk issuance at MS + 140bps. This is the largest Sukuk issuance by ICD since inception and double the amount from its inaugural issuance in 2016 of USD300 million, despite the institution’s absence from the capital markets over the last four years. ICD attracted very strong investor response despite a slightly weaker market sentiment. The orderbook exceeded USD 1.5 billion and ICD released a price guidance at MS + 160 bps area. The Sukuk was priced 20 basis points from guidance pricing.

Al Meezan launches #Pakistan’s first Islamic ETF

Al Meezan Investments launched the country’s first Islamic ETF named Meezan Pakistan Exchange Traded Fund (MP-ETF). The ETF will trade at the stock exchange under the ticker ‘MZNP-ETF’. MZNP-ETF is an SECP-approved product which consists of a basket of securities which tracks Meezan Pakistan Index (MZNPI) as the underlying benchmark index of the fund. MZNPI tracks approximately 70% of KMI-30, on average. The ETF is available through stockbrokers (TREC Holders) and trade like stocks with real time pricing during trading hours on an exchange.

UN World Food Programme wins Nobel Peace Prize 2020

The United Nations food agency, the World Food Programme (WFP), won the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger and improve conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas. The Rome-based organisation says it helps some 97 million people in about 88 countries each year and that one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat. The prize is worth ten million Swedish crowns, or around $1.1 million, and will be presented in Oslo on December 10.

Shuaa Capital launches new shariah funds

Dubai-based asset manager Shuaa Capital has launched three new sharia-compliant funds on the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The open-ended funds – Shuaa High Yield Sukuk Fund, Nujoom Aggressive Fund and Nujoom Balanced Fund – are backed by US$75 million in capital. Shuaa Capital is targeting long-term institutional investors including pension funds and insurers and will offer the funds via the Allfunds Bank platform. According to Shuaa Capital chief executive, Jassim Alseddiqi, the supply of sharia funds still lags the demand among investors.

#Sukuk to raise RM800mil for cocoa grinder

The world’s fourth largest cocoa grinder Guan Chong (GCB) is undertaking a sukuk exercise for its future expansion plans. It is launching a sukuk wakalah programme of up to RM800mil in nominal value. According to managing diector Brandon Tay Hoe Lian, proceeds from the first tranche of issuance of RM300mil will go towards funding the ongoing construction of a new cocoa grinding facility in Ivory Coast, which is set to commence operations in the second half of 2021. The programme will also support the company's expansion in Europe, following the acquisitions of industrial chocolate provider Schokinag in Germany and the land and building in United Kingdom.

Financial Inclusion Rate in #Indonesia Reaches Record Highs, but Over 2,500 Illegal Fintech Businesses have been Shut Down

The role of Fintech platforms and services in supporting public services in Indonesia has become more prominent and relevant due to the global COVID-19 outbreak. Fintech service providers are now offering more digital payments options which allow Indonesians to pay for everyday expenses. Fintech investment platforms have also been launched. Financial tech startups have also announced that they’d like to help the nation’s government with disbursing Coronavirus related relief aid packages. Despite the efforts to establish a regulatory sandbox, there’s still a growing threat of illegal Fintech businesses. The Fintech sector in Indonesia remains focused on enabling greater financial inclusion by providing reliable payments and lending services to those who may be underserved by the traditional banking sector. However, these services must be well-regulated to ensure consumer protection.

HE Essa Kazim: Sukuk Sector Underlines Resilient Economic Performance Of UAE And Dubai - Emirates Islamic Chairman Rings Market-Opening Bell To Celebrate Listing Of USD 500 Million Sukuk On Nasdaq Dubai

Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, Chairman of Emirates Islamic rang the market-opening bell to celebrate the listing by Emirates Islamic of a 500 million US dollar Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai. The Bank achieved a profit rate of 1.827%, the lowest for a Sukuk issued by a UAE bank for 10 years, with subscription of 2.4 times. The issuance was rated A+ by Fitch Ratings. The nominal value of Sukuk currently listed in Dubai has reached 73.99 billion US dollars, one of the largest totals of any listing centre in the world. Following Emirates Islamic’s latest listing, 46% of Sukuk listings in Dubai by value are from UAE issuers and 54% from overseas issuers.

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector hires banks to arrange US dollar #sukuk

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) has hired banks to arrange a five-year US dollar denominated sukuk. It has mandated Goldman Sachs International, HSBC and Standard Chartered as the global coordinators. They will be joined by Bank ABC, Boubyan Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Gulf International Bank, Goldman Sachs International, HSBC, the ICD, KFH Capital, LBBW, Mizuho Securities, Samba Capital, SMBC Nikko, Standard Chartered Bank and Warba Bank as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners.

Tezos Blockchain granted Shariah certificate

Tezos Gulf received a Sharia Certificate from Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB). Tezos’ platform is backed by a global community of validators, researchers, and builders and is considered one of the first pure proof-of-stake blockchains. The Tezos blockchain has been utilised by numerous issuers of digital securities but mostly on the conventional side of the financial market. Tezos Gulf is a subsidiary of the Swiss-based Tezos Foundation. It was established to foster ecosystem development in the GCC region for the Tezos network, an open-source public blockchain for assets and applications.

Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus: Launch of the World Bank Sustainable and Inclusive Finance Forum

The pandemic has brought the global economy to its knees and the lives we once knew as 'normal' have been turned on their head. At the same time, displacement and disruptions due to climate-related events such as storms, flooding and droughts have persisted and intensified. While causing great upheaval, the pandemic has provided an impetus for us to reset and reprioritise resources to reconstruct our economies and financial systems to be more sustainable and inclusive. In the case of the climate crisis, trillions are needed to help reach the goal of The Paris Agreement. The role of green bonds will be key. Malaysia continues to be the forefront of green sukuk, which caters to the needs of investors that prefer investments with a positive environmental impact.

#Kuwait central bank gives nod to Shariah committee for Islamic finance

The central bank of Kuwait’s board of directors has approved the establishment of the Higher Committee of Shariah Supervision for Islamic finance. The Committee’s key roles are to: give its opinions and advice to the central bank on Shariah compliance of financial transactions; propose general guidelines for products and services; propose controls to regulate the business of Shariah supervision bodies; conduct internal and external Shariah audits; give final decisions where deliberations of Shariah supervision authorities are inconclusive. Several countries have Shariah committees for Islamic finance at their central banks including Malaysia, Pakistan, Oman and the UAE. However, their powers differ from country to country.

IdealRatings and FTSE Russell launch the FTSE IdealRatings #Sukuk Index

IdealRatings Inc. launched the FTSE IdealRatings Sukuk Index incorporating IdealRatings’ Sukuk Shariah compliance screening methodology into the existing FTSE Sukuk Index methodology. The FTSE IdealRatings Sukuk Index tracks the performance of US Dollar-denominated, investment-grade Sukuk that are issued in the global markets. The screening of Shariah compliance for global Sukuk is based on the authentic methodology developed by IdealRatings. The methodology incorporates more than 150 Shariah standards to assign a pass / fail score based on a pre-determined threshold, and Sukuk must pass any mandatory standards set by IdealRatings.

GCC Islamic asset managers stay resilient

According to Moody's Investors Service, net inflows into some large Islamic funds in the GCC countries have remained positive despite weaker markets and lower oil prices. The ratings agency said it expects growth in Islamic assets under management to slow between 2% and 4% this year. According to the Global Islamic Finance Markets Report, Shariah-compliant assets represent a significant portion of total banking assets of the GCC. While in the Middle East and North African region, Islamic banking assets represent 14% of total banking assets, in the GCC this market share crossed the 25% threshold. Globally, Islamic finance assets are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5% to hit $3.4 trillion during the next five years. Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are the largest Islamic financial service in the world, accounting for almost two-thirds of Islamic assets under management between them.

Arab #Philanthropic Support To Digitalization: Is COVID-19 A Turning Point?

COVID-19 has disrupted the status quo in a number of ways. Firstly, Arab philanthropy has stepped up support to digital solutions in online learning, healthcare and mental well-being and income generation. Educate–Me, a social enterprise and investee of Alfanar Foundation runs a community school and organizes curricula training for teachers in Cairo. The crisis triggered Educate-Me to conduct a mapping exercise of existing digital capabilities of communities and based on the findings it has created a simple and workable system. Alfanar Foundation has also acted on the crisis through the “Survive and Thrive Campaign” by stepping up marketing and fundraising efforts aimed to support its social enterprise investees in Lebanon. Embracing the idea that technology can potentially play a more enabling role in microfinance is another immediate effect of the COVID-19 crisis. It is important to give philanthropic support to innovation in new technologies and digital solutions for social problem-solving, which has been largely untapped in Arab countries.

Five members ousted from UN-backed responsible investment list

Five investors have been removed from the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), in the first such move by the group for those failing to meet its minimum requirements. The delistings follow criticism in recent years that the PRI was not doing enough to ensure members lived up to the principles, including to embed environmental, social and governance-related issues in their investment decision-making. The new standards require members to have a responsible investment policy covering at least half of all managed assets, staff responsible for implementing it and senior-level oversight. The PRI said it now plans to toughen membership requirements further and will launch a consultation at a meeting on Oct 21.

Saudi Arabia fortifies position as largest Islamic finance market

Moody's expects Islamic financing in Saudi Arabia to reach around 80% of system-wide loans in the next 12-18 months, up from 78% of loans in 2019 and 70% in 2013. Moody’s noted that corporates and households are increasingly using Islamic products amid the economic challenges posed by low oil prices and the coronavirus crisis. Saudi Arabia had a total of $339 billion in Islamic finance assets as of March 2020, leaving Malaysia in a distant second place with $145 billion. Increasing government Sukuk issuance supported by more lenient entry rules and deepening capital markets could boost foreign investment. Mergers and acquisitions across the region are also accelerating the shift to Islamic finance.

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