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Islamic banks ready to support SMEs

According to the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM), local SMEs are not fully utilising various solutions provided by Islamic banks despite credit availability. AIBIM has 26 members comprising of 11 domestic banks, 5 development financial institutions and 10 locally incorporated foreign banks. A recent survey of its members shows that about 10,000 SMEs received more than RM10 billion in funding. AIBIM stated several Islamic financial institutions provide supply chain financing, also known as supplier finance. Supply chain financing is a set of solutions that improves cashflow by allowing businesses to lengthen their payment terms to their suppliers while providing the option for their large and SME suppliers to get paid early.

Is return to gold standard imminent?

The Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 called for a common cryptocurrency to be implemented among Muslim nations to avoid dependence on the US dollar. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also called for the use of gold among Muslim nations particularly for trade settlement. The return to some form of gold standard globally is going to be among the greatest events that will take place in this century. The Movement for Monetary Justice Malaysia (MMJ) believes the best form of money for the modern world is gold-based cryptocurrency with a netting arrangement. Gold would bring about a fixed exchange-rate regime and eliminate speculation, manipulation and arbitrage in the foreign-exchange market and thereby would bring back stability and sustainability.

Malaysia Plans Digital Banking License Launch

Malaysia becomes the latest to capitalize on the rising trend of digital banking with plans to issue up to five licenses.

Islamic banks ready to support SMEs

The local Malayesean small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are not fully utilising various solutions provided by Islamic banks despite credit availability. The Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) took a survey in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor and about 10,000 SMEs received RM10 billion in funding.

Islamic finance gains ground in UK despite confusion about offerings

The UK Islamic finance sector holds an estimated £15 billion ($19 billion) of assets, the largest outside the Middle East and Asia. The Gatehouse Bank is intent on developing the Islamic finance sector in Britain.

Africa: Striking the Right Balance Between Sustainable Development and Sustainable Debt

Over the past two decades sub-Saharan Africa has made considerable economic progress, as extreme poverty levels have declined by one third; life expectancy has increased by a fifth; and real per capita income has grown by about 50 percent on average. Still sub-Saharan Africa is only half-way to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. To achieve its goals, sub-Saharan Africa will need financing.

QFC and UN Sign MoU to address global humanitarian issues

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General. The MoU, will see increased collaboration between the QFC and the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General and aims to assist with the promotion of humanitarian challenges, raise awareness amongst the greater business community, and increase mobilization of Qatar's private sector on key global humanitarian issues.

KFH signs partnership agreement with international platform to Showcase Kuwaiti Youth's initiatives

A strategic partnership agreement had been signed, between Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and Entrepreneur Magazine. (KFH) asumes that they will sponsor the Entrepreneur platform for Kuwait with “Entrepreneur Middle East” which specializes in business entrepreneurship and young people’s initiatives.

Experts say the odds are against gold dinar

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad brought an idea of a gold dinar as an international reserve currency for Muslim countries in preference to the US dollar as the dollar was sometimes unstable. Nazari Ismail, a professor of economics at Universiti Malaya thinks, that the idea is not reliable, as countries as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan and Indonesia would be not interested in the prime ministers proposal.

Islamic finance body IILM names new CEO

The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) has announced on monday that Dr. Umar Aimhanosi Oseni is their new CEO. (IILM) is an international consortium that issues short-term Shariah-compliant financial instruments to facilitate cross-border liquidity management for institutions that offer Islamic financial services.

Islamic finance legal framework coming

The goverment is setting up regulatory frameworks for the Islamic financing, that is growing fast. In Tanzania at the time, it is only one bank that provides sharia-compliant financial products and services but other three conventional banks habe opened a window for Islamic banking.

BIMB group restructuring to finally unfold

The BIMB Holdings Bhd group is set to finally unfold. BIMB announced a series of proposals that will ultimately see it transfer its listing status to its wholly-owned subsidiary Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd. In the first step, BIMB will undertake a private placement of new shares to raise RM800 million to fully settle outstanding sukuk held by Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH). BIMB had, December 2018, done an early partial redemption of RM609.9 million, helping reduce the outstanding amount.

Al Baraka Bank aligns to United Nations Development Programme

Al Baraka Bank, the islamic financial institution has joined several traditional banks in South Africa in aligning its Corporate Strategy and Social Investment responsibilities with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Al Baraka Bank has become part of the alignment with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Saudi hardware retailer and wholesaler signs 100 mln riyals Islamic financing

The Saudi Company for Hardware has signed 100 million riyals ($26.67 million) worth of Islamic financing. The finance was obtained from the Gulf International Bank in a five-year Shariah-compliant facilities. SACO Hardware posted 14.64 million riyals in net profit for July-September, a decrease of some 40% compared to the same quarter in 2018.

Global Refugee Forum: Multilateral Development Banks vow to support forcibly displaced people

The Multilateral Development Banks are set to support for refugees and people affected by forced displacement. The African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank Group have made the pledges. Over 70 million people are forcibly displaced globally, with African countries hosting about 8 million refugees and 16 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). To help resolve the situation, the African Development Fund donors committed USD 7.6 billion to help and stimulate inclusive growth in 37 African countries. The African Development Fund is the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group.

#Pakistan, the Lives and Livelihoods Fund Partners and Islamic Development Bank re-affirm commitment to support the polio programme

A high-level delegation of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) re-affirmed their commitment to support Pakistan in their fight against polio. The LLF has prioritized the eradication of polio and contributed over US$ 100 million to the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme. During the visit, the LLF and IsDB team visited the outskirts of Islamabad Capital Territory and participated in the nationwide vaccination campaign which started on December 16, 2019. During this campaign 39.5 million children under the age of five were vaccinated. The LLF is the largest development initiative of its kind and donor partners include the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center and Qatar Fund for Development.

Leaders call for use of alternative currency among Muslim countries against US Dollar

At the ongoing Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019, leaders of the Muslim world have pressed for alternative currency for use in trade and seek independence from US Dollar. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Muslim countries should try to create new transaction systems. He added that Islamic finance needs to be part of the agenda just like in Malaysia. Meanwhile, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani was of the view that Muslim nations should come up with a new own cryptocurrency. Malaysia's Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also believes that a united cryptocurrency is needed for Muslim states, as a cryptocurrency can cut through bureaucratic and market fluctuations. He added that utilising cryptocurrency or national currency would help attain independence from over-reliance on the US dollar.

Shareholders of Dubai Islamic Bank approve acquisition of Noor Bank

Following the conclusion of its General Assembly Meeting, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) announced that the assembly has approved the acquisition of Noor Bank. With this acquisition, DIB is set to position itself as one of the largest Islamic Banks in the world with total assets exceeding AED 275 billion. Furthermore, this move will strengthen Dubai’s position as a global centre for Islamic finance. In addition to being the first and largest Islamic bank in the UAE, DIB has a significant international presence as a torchbearer in promoting Shari’ah-compliant financial services. The Bank’s ultimate goal is to make Islamic finance the norm, rather than an alternative to conventional banking worldwide.

#Cameroon bets on Islamic financing to boost financial inclusion and attract Middle Eastern investors

In Cameroon, only one bank (Afriland First Bank) and three microfinance institutions practice Islamic financing. Yet, the appropriation of this type of financing can considerably contribute to the development of financial inclusion in Cameroon. To raise awareness about the topic, the Ministry of Finance and the UNDP organized a forum on the theme "Islamic financing: contribution to Cameroon's economic growth and to the achievement of sustainable development goals". According to Finance Minister Louis Paul Motazé, Islamic financing promotes financial inclusion and it can also constitute a complementary lever for economic growth by attracting foreign investment from Middle Eastern countries.

Dr. Mabid Al-Jarhi, IsDB Prize Laureate, Delivers Lecture on Gains of Switching from Conventional to Islamic Finance

Winner of the 2019 Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Prize in Islamic Economics, Dr. Mabid Al-Jarhi, has delivered a lecture on the gains of switching from conventional to Islamic Finance. He argues that mainstream economics has many limitations, and therefore economists need to be able to identify the weaknesses and propose alternative frameworks. The principles of Islamic Economics provide such a framework. Prohibiting interest on money is not sufficient from an Islamic Finance point of view. Financing through trade contributes to addressing the inefficiency arising from search for trade partners. Together, prohibition of interest and financing through trade would improve allocation of resources in the economy. Dr. Al-Jarhi warns that there is a lot to be done to have a proper Islamic financial system in place. Proper regulations and governance are neccessary to address other kinds of inefficiencies arising from partnership of equity financing.

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