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Abdulkader Thomas To Speak on Islamic Trade Finance: Challenges and Opportunities in #Nigeria

WebTV's Islamic Finance Weekly will be featuring a robust conversation with Abdulkader Thomas on Islamic Trade Finance, Challenges and Opportunities in Nigeria and Africa. Key discussion points include: understanding the concept of "Islamic Trade Finance"; how the Islamic Trade Finance Framework is helping to boost Intra-African trade; challenges and opportunities for integrating Islamic Trade Financing to support African businesses and SMEs; how Islamic Finance can be adopted to support the development of the economy and lift millions of people from poverty.

Islamic fintech industry sets strategic priorities to drive financial inclusion

The stakeholders of the Islamic fintech space have determined nine strategic priority areas that will further reinforce and enhance financial inclusion in Malaysia. These include the setting-up of a national Islamic fintech taskforce; the renewed focus of enhancing digital and Islamic financial literacy, especially within B40 segment; developing smart partnerships among ecosystem players; and ensuring there was greater readiness among Islamic institutions to embrace digitalisation. The priority areas were drafted during the Islamic Fintech Dialogue 2020: Driving Financial Inclusion through Islamic Fintech held virtually in May. Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) CEO Surina Shukri said the end-goal was to empower the B40 group and the micro, small and medium enterprises.

#Algerie : Aymen Ben Abderrahmane, la finance islamique lancée en août

Le ministre algérien des Finances, Aymen Ben Abderrahmane, a annoncé la mise sur le marché des produits de la finance islamique. Ben Abderrahmane a dévoilé que deux banques publiques ont achevé les procédures d’obtention d’une fatwa, afin de faire adapter les produits à la charia et que ces produits seront mis sur le marché à compter du début du mois d’août prochain. Il s’agit de la Banque nationale d’Algérie (BNA) et de la Banque de l’Agriculture et du développement rural (BADR). L’Algérie compte 30 établissements bancaires, dont sept publics, et plus d’une vingtaine d’institutions étrangères, en provenance particulièrement des pays du Golfe et de la France ainsi qu’une banque britannique et une autre espagnole.

CIMB hunts for marcomms and CSR lead for group Islamic banking

CIMB Bank is looking for a director, Islamic marketing, communications and CSR, group Islamic banking (GIB). The appointed individual will develop and enhance the CIMB Islamic brand platform in line with business aspirations. The individual will also offer strategic marketing and communications support to GIB consumer banking, commercial banking, transaction banking, wholesale banking and asset management. The individual is expected to have at least 10 years of experience of relevant banking background in established banks or financial institutions, in-depth knowledge of Islamic marketing, communications and corporate responsibility, and working knowledge of Shariah and governance.

Emirates Islamic announces First Half 2020 Financial results

Emirates Islamic announced its financial results for the half year ending 30 June, 2020. The Bank reported a net profit of AED 12 million for the first half of 2020. The total income is of AED 1.1 billion, lower by 15% year-on-year. Funded Income margins are lower by 25 bps year-over-year due to lower profit rate environment. Total assets stand at AED 64.2 billion, decreased by 1% from end 2019. Customer accounts stand at AED 45 billion, broadly flat from end 2019, while current and savings accounts balance up 10% from end 2019.

#UAE’s personal wealth shoots past $400 billion mark

According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), personal wealth held by UAE residents surged to $400 billion between 2014 and 2019, with 48.5% of it held by millionaires in 2019. The consultancy reckons the ranks of UAE’s millionaires are expected to grow by 4.2% annually over the coming four years. The UAE represented 7.1% of the share of personal wealth pool in 2019 in the Middle East and Africa, having grown by 3.8% annually to $400 billion between 2014-19. The consultancy says the wealth management industry's value proposition will change over the next two decades, new forms of interaction will evolve, as well as new business models.

Faisal Islamic Bank's profit down 54% in Q1 2020

The consolidated financial results of Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt showed a 53.6% year-on-year (YoY) drop in its net profits to EGP 483.53 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 from EGP 1.043 billion. Meanwhile, the bank’s revenues fell to EGP 2.63 billion in the January-March period, compared to EGP 3.22 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier. It is worth mentioning that in 2019, Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt reported consolidated net profit of EGP 2.78 billion, up from EGP 2.56 billion in 2018, including minority shareholders’ rights.

#Sukuk Market Developing Fastest in #Saudi Arabia

Launched in 2017 with the aim to diversify funding, the Saudi finance ministry had planned to raise US$31.5 billion of Sukuk in 2019. A new ‘primary dealer’ scheme for local-currency government sukuk was launched in 2018, under which five local banks buy the sukuk directly from the government and then make a market by quoting two-way prices to other investors. Additionally, Saudi regulators introduced a number of incentives in 2019 for corporate sukuk issuers and investors to encourage further issuances. Lower regulator fees and zero tax/zakat on investments in domestic sovereign sukuk also promise a more active and liquid secondary market.

Sukuk Issuance Cross $1 Trillion Mark

Since the issuance of the first modern sukuk in 1996, cumulative issuance of sukuk has crossed the US$ 1 trillion mark. As of the end of 2018, outstanding sukuk were valued at US$ 469.7 billion across 2,887 sukuk. The Saudi and Malaysian governments were the largest issuers in 2018, at US$ 17.1 billion and US$ 13.9 billion. Malaysia maintained its lead position in terms of issuances, boosted by the return of short-term murabaha sukuk from Bank Negara Malaysia. The central bank resumed sukuk issuances after a three-year hiatus. It issued US$16.1 billion in shortterm sukuk during the second half of 2018.

Siraj Holding completes deal for Al Hilal Bank's Islamic insurance business

Private investment firm, Siraj Holding, has officially acquired Al Hilal Takaful, the Islamic insurance business and operations of Al Hilal Bank. The transaction, which was initially expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2020, was given the green light by shareholders, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and the Insurance Authority. The firm plans to rebrand and align with the new leadership and group operating model following the completion of regulatory formalities. A new group of board members was appointed as part of the acquisition, while the operations of the company will be led by Thomas Joe as chief executive officer.

Une deuxième émission de #sukuk se prépare en #Egypte

Sarwa Capital finalise une opération évaluée à 152,2 millions $. Ce sera la deuxième émission de ce type de produits financiers sur le marché financier égyptien après celle de Talaat Mostafa Holdings en avril 2020. Sarwa Capital est aussi en train de mener des discussions avec de potentiels arrangeurs et garants de l'opération. Pour l'heure, seules deux entreprises financières égyptiennes sont habilitées à émettre des sukuk. Il s'agit de Sarwa Capital et EFG Hermes. Celle-ci est cotée sur la Bourse du Caire.

#UK gets its first Islamic P2P crowdfunder for SMEs

A new UK-based Shariah-compliant crowdfunding platform providing business financing to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) launched at the end of June. Qardus is an appointed representative of Share In Ltd. According to founder Hassan Daher, Qardus is a peer-to-peer platform for everyone, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, open to investors seeking to generate superior returns as well as having a social impact. Qardus connects SMEs and investors. The platform offers the unsecured financing for a period of up to two years in the form of commodity murabahah. The minimum investment size is £100 and investors can expect over 10% return per annum but capital is at risk. Looking ahead, Qardus plans to offer more than peer-to-peer lending. It will look to raise £1.5 million by the end of this year and may consider VC funding or equity crowdfunding.

The Asset webinar: ESG, Islamic finance help shield economies during pandemic

In Malaysia Islamic finance has demonstrated its resiliency in this difficult time with continuing issuances of green and sustainable sukuk, a trend that will continue over the short-to-medium term. To this end, Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is enhancing its focus on integrating different ESG initiatives into its investment strategy. EPF conducts negative screening and excludes those stocks that it considers unethical. It engages very closely with the investee companies, regulators and asset managers, and has a rating tool to assess the quality of ESG adoption. Banks in Malaysia are also pushing various ESG initiatives. This comes as Bank Negara Malaysia, is coming up with a taxonomy that defines a green loan and ensures that banks indicate whether certain loans are green and, if so, how green they are.

Property financing campaign launched by #Bahrain-based Al Baraka Islamic Bank

Al Baraka Islamic Bank has launched a promotional campaign to provide property financing to the beneficiaries of the Housing Ministry’s Mazaya programme. Under the campaign, profit rates will be calculated at competitive rates, there will be no down payments, and zero banking fees. The bank will also cover the fees of life insurance for the beneficiaries and will provide fire insurance for the property. Also, there will be instant prizes for the executed deals. The financing is up to BD120,000 with maximum duration of 25 years.

Islamic Development Bank Group in partnership with the #UAE Ministry of Economy and Annual Investment Meeting Hosted a Live Webinar To Discuss Challenges Facing Co-VID 19

The Islamic Development Bank Group in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy conducted a live webinar entitled "IsDB Group Private Sector Action Response to COVID-19". The webinar discussed the future outlook to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the webinar highlighted the IsDB Group’s US$2.3 billion Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme. During the webinar, 3 online initiatives were launched: Digital Country Presentations, Startups Virtual Pitch Competition and the MADE IN…..SERIES, which is a digital platform for SMEs who want to showcase and present their local products, project and services to an international audience.

ADIB continues its support to customers impacted by COVID-19

ADIB has launched a series of special offers exclusively to healthcare professionals as a tribute for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. These offers include reductions and discounts on ADIB products: special reduction on the profit rate of personal and auto finance; AED500 reduction in fees for ADIB covered cards or a voucher from Amazon or Noon when applying for cards; fixed profit rates on home finance starting from 2.99% per annum on home finance; 20% fee reduction on all wealth management products; Smartaccount welcome pack and no minimum balance requirement for Smartbanking; an iPad with every Life and Savings Takaful plan, if an AED 1,000 monthly contribution is made. ADIB was among the first UAE financial institutions to launch relief measures for customers during COVID-19, including the postponement of monthly installment payments and the reduction of certain fees.

#Saudi Arabia’s mortgage lender Amlak to start trading on Tadawul from Monday

Saudi Arabia’s mortgage lender Amlak International for Real Estate Finance starts trading shares on the Tadawul stock exchange. The company is floating 27.18 million shares, or 30 per cent of its total, with an indicative price range set at 15-17 Saudi riyals (Dh14.7-Dh16.6) per share. Proceeds of the offer are being used to repay selling shareholders. Amlak International was set up in 2007 and is a non-bank lender, mainly of property loans. Shares in Amlak International's IPO will be allocated on a pro-rata basis to individuals who subscribed to the offer, depending on the size of their request.

FinTech can help Islamic finance sector to innovate

FinTech has spurred the evolution of the Islamic finance industry over the last year. It helps to address the need for simplification and innovation in the sector. It also provides a great opportunity for the sector to streamline services and attract new segments, with the key being digital-savvy millennials. Dubai and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) are key players in the Islamic finance sector. DIFC and Dubai Financial Market have launched the first Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group to create a sustainable financial hub in the region in line with the UAE Sustainable Development Goals 2030. They are encouraging the use of green financial instruments and responsible investing.

At least one in ten billionaires have donated for COVID-19 relief

More than 10% of the world's nearly three thousand billionaires made a philanthropic commitment in support of COVID-19 response and relief efforts between January and May. According to the Billionaire Census 2020, billionaires who have donated were more likely to be in the tech industry and were more likely to be under the age of 50, to be self-made and to be wealthier. The share of women was larger among COVID-19 donors and those women were more likely to be self-made. The seventh edition of the annual study also found that the number of billionaires globally rose 8.5% in 2019, to 2,825, while their combined wealth grew 10.3%, to $9.4 trillion.

FinTech can help the Islamic finance sector to innovate and grow

FinTech has spurred the evolution of the Islamic finance industry over the last year. It helps to address the need for simplification and innovation in the sector. It also provides a great opportunity for the sector to streamline services and attract new segments, with the key being digital-savvy millennials. Dubai and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) are key players in the Islamic finance sector. DIFC and Dubai Financial Market have launched the first Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group to create a sustainable financial hub in the region in line with the UAE Sustainable Development Goals 2030. They are encouraging the use of green financial instruments and responsible investing.

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