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Saudi insurer Malath to capture greater efficiencies in managing Sharia Compliance

Malath Insurance announced today the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) certification and Sharia audit services to help maintain and supervise Sharia compliance. Malath offers comprehensive solutions covering classes of insurances like property, engineering, construction, health and medical for its retail and corporate customers. It currently has about 336 employees and 5 offices throughout Saudi Arabia. Malath CEO Fawaz A. Al Hijji believes that bringing Shariyah Review Bureau on board will strengthen trust in stakeholders and will provide significant scale with low input costs for certifying and auditing Sharia compliant products and investments.

Dar Al-Arkan lists $600m #Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai

Saudi Arabia's Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development announced the listing of a $600 million Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai. The five-year Sukuk was more than 2.5 times oversubscribed and received significant interest from Middle Eastern, European and Asian investors. This issue was Dar Al Arkan’s 10th issue since 2007 and the 6th tranche of its current $2 billion program. The issue is for a 5 year term due in February 2025 with a coupon rate of 6.75%. Dar Al-Arkan’s assets include about 12.4 million square meters of projects under development. The company has handed over 15,000 residential units in Saudi Arabia and holds a land bank with a book value of around SR17 billion.

Source: 

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/582710/BUSINESS/Dar-Al-Arkan-lists-$600m-Sukuk-on-Nasdaq-Dubai

SAMA updates actuarial regulations for insurance sector

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has updated actuarial regulations of insurance and reinsurance companies and is calling on the public and interested parties to provide their comments and views on the draft project. The regulator seeks to protect policyholders as well as develop and regulate the performance of actuaries in addition to the development of promising career and professional opportunities for young Saudis. Saudi Arabia said that actuary plays an important role in the design and pricing of products, in addition to work on financial reports and risk management and internal audit.

#Turkeys unexpected rise to the top of global crypto adopter

When thinking of countries that are ahead of the curve in crypto adoption, Turkey might not be the first place that springs to mind. However, Turkey has undoubtedly become a crypto giant, and with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently announcing that testing of the digital lira is to be finalized in 2020, crypto is destined to become even more popular. While the country’s government was initially reluctant to embrace cryptocurrencies, the people had always found utility in it. The online payment sector in Turkey had been ready to adopt crypto, but the first opportunity only came when PayPal was banned in the country. Turkey’s Ministry of Industry and Technology announced plans to establish a national blockchain infrastructure. Turkey has a vision of making Istanbul a financial center, and all institutions are working toward that end.

Institutionalizing Islamic banking practices

The Philippines's new Republic Act (RA) 11439 or the "Act Providing for the Regulation and Organization of Islamic Banks" allows the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to follow its regulatory mandate for supervision over the operations of Islamic banks, and to issue the implementing rules and regulations on Islamic banking. Currently, the country has only one Islamic bank, Al Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines. According to BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, the BSP looks forward to seeing greater participation in Islamic financing by both domestic and foreign banks. This is expected to widen opportunities for Muslim Filipinos in accessing banking products and services.

Saif bin Zayed to present #UAE fraternity model to 'Interfaith Summit on Promoting Digital Child Dignity' in Vatican

H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be attending the global interfaith Summit set to commence on 14th November in the Vatican under the theme ''Promoting Digital Child Dignity from Concept to Action 2017-2019''. His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, and His Eminence Dr. Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif will also attend the summit. The summit, which is attended by more than 80 international personalities, is a continuation of the global work in the fields of strengthening international efforts. The Summit also seeks to implement common global perspectives to develop and implement initiatives for tolerance and to strengthen the role of religious leaders such as the Interfaith Alliance For Safer Communities.

Beit Al Khair Society spends AED 53 million on ‘Aman Programme’

The Bait Al Khair Society donated AED 53.3 million to the "Aman Programme" through four major projects, titled "Monthly Cash Assistance for Families," "Monthly Food Assistance," "Families of Orphans" and "Families of People of Determination." According to Director-General Abdin Tahir Al Awadhi, the Society selects the neediest families among the thousands registered in its database numbering over 52,000, including 4,194 registered families receiving monthly assistance. These families receive cash assistance on a monthly basis, and the Society has adopted an integrated system of social research to assess their needs in terms of debt and the assistance required to improve their conditions.

The Banker's Top Islamic Financial Institutions – 2019

The Banker’s 2019 Top Islamic Financial Institutions rankings show overall asset growth in the sector. The Middle East saw a bifurcation during 2018, with the six countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) witnessing very different growth to the rest of the region. While the number of Islamic finance institutions continues to grow worldwide, none of these new institutions broke ground in virgin territory. This suggests the geographic spread of sharia-compliant banking has come to an end, or at least a temporary halt. Sharia-compliant assets worldwide rose by 8.05% to $1656bn over 2018. Asia and sub-Saharan Africa have posted strong gains, from very different positions. Sub-Saharan Africa saw its sharia-compliant assets grow 18.2% to $18.79bn in 2018, overtaking Australia/Europe/Americas in the process.

Al Baraka bank announces second #Sukuk issuance to raise R400m

Al Baraka bank announced the raise of R400m via its second Sukuk issuance. The Sukuk issued by Al Baraka will pay a variable return over its 10-year life and qualifies as tier 2 capital for the bank. Al Baraka SA financial director Abdullah Ameed said the intention is to raise the R400m in tranches of R100m. The first tranche should be completed by the end of the year, then the lender will look to raise R300m over the course of 2020. Al Baraka CEO Shabir Chohan says the proceeds will allow the bank to continue growing its advances book, despite the weak economy.

The 1st IFSB Innovation Forum: Revitalising creativity and sustaining competitive value

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Innovation Forum was inaugurated in Jakarta to showcase innovative Islamic finance products and services with a strong impact on financial inclusion, economic growth and sustainable development. The forum took place on 12 November 2019 along with the 14th IFSB Summit at the Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta, Indonesia. The IFSB Innovation Forum is a new biennial event to enhance knowledge about latest technological developments. It provides a platform for regulators, policy makers, Islamic Financial Institutions, start-ups and FinTechs, academic and research institutions, financial services providers, legal practitioners, Shariah advisors and other stakeholders to cultivate innovative thinking and dialogue.

AFN To Participate In African Islamic #Fintech #Summit on 29th and 30th, November 2019 In #Senegal

The Africa Fintech Network will take part in "The African Islamic FinTech Summit (SAIFI)" as a Community Partner. The event takes place at the Radisson Blu Plaza, Dakar (Senegal) on the 29th & 30th of November. The summit will host the POC and the launching of innovative FinTech Solutions and will include Keynote Sessions and Regulatory discussions between Government Agencies, Financial Institutions and Startups. In addition, a certified training session on "Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering (AML)" will be organised and facilitated by international experts from West African Financial institutions.

When Religion Tangles With Tax Law: Things to Consider (Podcast)

In this podcast Sam Brunson, professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, talks about accommodating religious practice with United States Tax Law. In his book, 'God and the IRS', he lays out a three-question framework when considering tax exceptions based on religious practice. The first is: Does an individual’s religion cause them to act in a tax disadvantaged way. The second is: If it does, what kind of accommodation would put them in a similar after-tax position as someone without the religious constraints. And third, it asks whether there’s an extrinsic reason not to grant the accommodation. The book tries to provide a basis for deciding when an accommodation makes sense and when an accommodation doesn’t make sense.

Symposium on Islamic Art to open at VCUarts #Qatar

The 8th Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art takes place at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) on November 10 and 11. The Symposium takes place every two years and this year's theme is, 'The Seas and the Mobility of Islamic Art. Panel discussions will take place on subjects such as Islamic Art in 11th-14th century Chinese port cities, Muslim-centred design, and architecture in the 20th and 21st centuries. The Symposium will include an exhibition at the University's Gallery titled 'The Sea is the Limit'. The exhibition will bring together works by international artists who are addressing the issues of refugees, borders, migration and national identity.

Dubai Islamic Bank hires banks for dollar #sukuk

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has hired lenders to arrange meetings with investors ahead of a potential issue of five-year dollar denominated sukuk. The selected arrangers include Bank ABC, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, Maybank, Sharjah Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Warba Bank. Investor meetings will take place in Hong Kong and London starting on Nov. 11.

IILM reissues $600mln #sukuk; GCC banks act as primary dealers

Malaysia-based International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) has reissued A-1 short term sukuk worth $600 million in two series. The reissuance came in the form of $300 million with 1-month tenor at a profit rate of 1.85% and $300 million with 3-month tenor at a profit rate of 1.91%. Primary dealers include Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Barwa Bank, Boubyan Bank, Kuwait Finance House and Qatar Islamic Bank. The non-GCC banks that participated in the reissuance include Maybank Islamic, Standard Chartered Bank, Al Baraka Turk and CIMB Bank. The demand for the 1-month and 3-month Sukuk series reached a bid-to-cover ratio of 208%, and 255%, respectively.

IFSB issues revised draft ED-RCAS for Shari’ah compliant institution

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has issued the Exposure Draft on Revised Capital Adequacy Standard for Institutions Offering Islamic Banking Services (ED-RCAS) for public consultation. The IFSB is inviting comments from central banks, regulatory and supervisory authorities as well as international organisations, Institutions offering Islamic Financial Services (IIFS) and academics. The standard seeks to assist the IIFS in the implementation of a capital adequacy framework that will ensure effective coverage of risk exposures. Additionally, the exposure draft also addresses some specific concerns in the course of implementation of the earlier IFSB capital adequacy standards and guidance notes.

National Bank of #Bahrain offers to acquire Bahrain Islamic Bank

The National Bank of Bahrain, which owns a 29% stake in Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB), has made an offer to acquire the entire Islamic lender. Lower oil prices over the past five years are forcing Gulf lenders to consolidate for scale and to better compete in a crowded market. Subdued credit growth, competition for deposits, higher cost of funds and deteriorating asset quality are driving consolidation in the regional banking sector. In the UAE, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank merged with Union National Bank and the combined entity acquired Al Hilal Bank, creating a banking group with AED 423 billion in assets in May 2019. Similarly, in Saudi Arabia, National Commercial Bank is in the process of merging with Riyad Bank to create the Gulf’s third-largest lender with $193 billion in assets.

Islamic banking penetration in the #UAE hits new high

According to the Islamic Banking Index by Emirates Islamic, Islamic banking penetration in the UAE has reached its highest level for five years. The survey showed that three out of five respondents now have at least one Shari’a compliant product. The perception of Islamic banks has improved steadily from 26 percent in 2015, with significant improvements in key areas relating to technology and customer service. However, knowledge or awareness of Islamic banking terminology has not seen clear improvement since 2015. The 2019 edition of the Islamic Banking Index indicates that the sector continues to widen its appeal to an increasing number of both Muslim and non-Muslim customers.

Emirates Islamic: "The time for Islamic banking to come to the forefront of the finance sector is now"

The 2019 edition of the Islamic Banking Index by Emirates Islamic demonstrates significant progress made by the Islamic banking sector. Islamic banking penetration has reached its highest level since the inception of the Index five years ago. The Islamic Banking Index is a benchmark survey revealing the progress, penetration and perception of the Shari’a-compliant banking sector in the UAE. The 2019 edition indicates that the sector continues to widen its appeal to an increasing number of both Muslim and non-Muslim customers. Knowledge of Islamic banking terminology has not seen clear improvement, but has risen for some products, such as Takaful, that have become successful in the financial sector. Perception of Islamic banks has improved steadily, with significant improvements in key areas relating to technology and customer service.

Faith-based institutions answer The Call for impact investing (audio)

Agents of Impact aligned with Catholic, Jewish and Muslim institutions found common ground in using capital to usher in a fairer economy. Last month, the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative announced a half-dozen institutions with $40 billion in assets have signed a “Catholic impact Investing pledge.” The Catholic impact pledgers are among a number of Catholic institutions carving out portions of their portfolio for direct, private impact investing strategies. Billion-dollar Catholic Relief Services allocates capital to direct investing, blended finance, technical services and capacity building. Other faith institutions are seeing impact investing as a way to complement their philanthropy. A faith-based organization that supports a nonprofit that helps poor farmers in India can complement that work by also investing in a business that buys from those farmers.

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