Turkey

#Turkey holds great potential for Islamic finance

According to Abdelilah Belatik, secretary general of the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), Turkey's potential for Islamic banks is very big. Turkey has three participation banks, Al Baraka, Kuwait Turk, and Turkiye Finans, which are operating overseas already. Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) started developing comprehensive regulations for participation banks. Belatik said countries like Bahrain and Malaysia have developed their entire system of infrastructure for Islamic finance, which is very important for the development of the industry. This year, CIBAFI chose Turkey to host its annual Global Forum. The Forum is focusing on how the industry will fulfill its obligations while remaining competitive and relevant within global financial markets.

Islamic Development Bank finalizing 4-year investment plan with #Turkey

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is working on finalizing a four-year partnership strategy plan with Turkey. Walid Abdelwahab said the IDB aims to invest in various sectors that will fuel growth, such as infrastructure, energy, transportation and education. He said the bank aims to support value chain development in Turkey to enable the country to become more competitive through linking it with global value chains. He added that the bank appreciates Turkey's experience with high-speed railways. IsDB is preparing a documentary on this topic for other member countries of the Group that are interested in this technology.

Al Baraka Turk to exercise call option on $200m #sukuk

Albaraka Türk Participation Bank has sent a notice of redemption to its certificate holders on 06 April 2018 for its US$200,000,000 outstanding sukuk. Albaraka General Manager Meliksah Utku said the early redemption of the sukuk before its maturity in 2023 reflects the bank's partnership-centric approach to sukuk investors. The redemption date of the sukuk will be 07 May 2018 and will be redeemed at the aggregate of the outstanding face amount plus accrued but unpaid periodic distribution. Issued in May 2013 as a Tier 2 subordinated and USD-denominated sukuk al murabaha, the certificates were rated CCC+ by S&P and carried a coupon of 7.75% per annum.

Islamic bank to meet business world in Izmir this month

Turkey's Aegean province of Izmir will host an Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) event between 26-27 April. The announcement was made by Turk Eximbank CEO Adnan Yildirim, who said that Turkey aims to boost trade relations with the IDB's 57 member countries. He added that Turk Eximbank wants to raise Islamic countries' 10% share of world trade to 20%. Turkey's current trade with IDB member countries is around $45 billion and the bank hopes to raise it to $100 billion within 10 years. Turk Eximbank aims to double its support to companies in IDB member countries. The lender ranks second globally after South Korea's Eximbank in terms of financing exports.

Turkiye Finans gets regulatory nod for $450 mln #sukuk

Turkish Islamic lender Turkiye Finans has been granted regulatory approval to raise $450 million via dollar-denominated sukuk. It previously issued dollar-denominated sukuk in 2013, a $500 million five-year deal that matures in May. The bank has been a frequent issuer of sukuk in the domestic market and has also tapped investors in Malaysia through ringgit-denominated deals.

'#Turkey can play a leading role in Islamic finance'

According to Abdelilah Belatik, secretary-general of the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), Turkey can play a leading role in Islamic finance. Belatik sees Turkey as a bridge between the Muslim world and the West. He said through Turkey's support Islamic finance was discussed among G20 countries, which was a milestone. Belatik added that Turkey had a key role to play in raising awareness about Islamic finance. CIBAFI expects the volume of the sector to reach $4 trillion by the end of 2020.

#Kuwait Finance House to split shareholding of Turkish asset manager

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) will divide the ownership structure of its Turkish asset management firm between local and Kuwaiti units, as the Islamic lender continues to build on its Turkey franchise. KT Asset Management will transfer 5 million shares representing a 50% stake to KFH Capital. Both Kuveyt Turk and KFH Capital are subsidiaries of KFH. KFH Capital is the main investment arm of KFH, which has restructured activities in recent years to streamline operations and focus on growth markets such as Turkey.

Is bitcoin permissible in Islam? Muslims disregard clerics’ warnings and invest

#Turkey has witnessed a rise in interest in bitcoin and the hundreds of other cryptocurrencies that have been modeled on it. Bitcoin trade here has gone from about 9,000 transactions a month in May 2017 to 42,000 in December 2017. A handful of companies in construction, education and the food industry have begun accepting cryptocurrencies for payment. The value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fluctuates widely, leading some to caution against investment. Diyanet, Turkey’s religious affairs directorate, said in December that bitcoin and Ethereum had no intrinsic value like gold, nor were they backed by a government, so they did not meet the standards of reliability to make them a currency. Another ruling in January said the factors driving the value of cryptocurrencies were too shrouded in secrecy, exposing investors to fraud and use by criminal networks. According to Onur Baran Caglar, a FinTech consultant and lecturer at Istanbul Aydin University, the debate over bitcoin misses the real potential of the underlying technology. That real potential is the blockchain, a digital ledger that keeps track of all bitcoin transactions worldwide.

#Turkey mulls 'national' bitcoin

Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is proposing to develop a national bitcoin called "Turkcoin". According to MHP deputy chair and former Industry Minister Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, missing out on blockchain would be a serious mistake. The politician stressed that cryptocurrencies were already in use in Turkey, despite the lack of a legal framework, so there is a clear need for regulation. Tanrikulu's report also proposes the creation of a state-controlled bitcoin bourse. Though the government maintains its stance toward bitcoin and other digital money, the idea for a national cryptocurrency seems to have better prospects. A Turkish company has already invested in a project to create a local cryptocurrency and is reportedly planning to make the money available soon.

Albaraka Turk raises $205 million via Tier 1 #sukuk

#Turkey's Albaraka Turk has raised $205 million via Tier 1 perpetual sukuk. It has a 10% profit rate, is sold as a private placement and issued through an Irish-domiciled special purpose vehicle. Albaraka Turk previously secured a $213 million murabaha-based loan syndication in April of last year. Malek Temsah, assistant general manager of treasury at Albaraka Turk said the latest transaction could serve as an example for other banks, which had previously issued sukuk as Tier 2 capital only. The lender appointed Standard Chartered Bank as global coordinator for the deal with Bank ABC, Emirates NBD, Qinvest and Noor Bank as lead managers.

#Turkey: Lease Certificates As #Sukuk Financing Model In Turkey

Although Turkey had its first sukuk issuance in 2011, Sukuk has not been used as a financing model due to deficiencies in its legal framework. In 2013 new types of lease certificates have been introduced. Lease Certificate is defined as a security which is issued by an asset lease company (ALC) for the purpose of financing all kinds of assets and rights. Lease certificates may be issued by sales through or without public offering or in the form of private placement or sales to qualified investors. The lease certificates may be issued by ALCs, which have to be formed as joint stock companies. Lease certificates, sale of movables, immovable and intangible assets to ALC, sale back of these assets to the originator, all the hypothec transactions, the papers issued due to the lease of such assets are exempted from the stamp tax. Gains from the sale of the asset by Originator to ALC, and later by ALC to Originator, are exempted from corporate tax, regardless of the holding period of the asset.

#Turkey issues #detention warrants for 68 Bank Asya shareholders in post-coup probe: police

Turkish authorities have issued detention warrants for 68 shareholders of Bank Asya. The police operation targeted the network of the cleric accused for orchestrating last year’s failed coup attempt. The targeted shareholders all had voting rights to determine the bank’s administrative board. So far 49 of the 68 suspects had been detained. Bank Asya was founded by followers of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and was seized by the state in 2015. According to the Turkish government, Gulen masterminded the 2016 attempted coup, in which more than 240 people were killed by rogue soldiers. Gulen has denied the charges and condemned the coup. Since the abortive putsch, more than 50,000 people, including civil servants and security personnel, have been jailed pending trial and some 150,000 suspended or dismissed from their jobs.

Islamic #microfinance necessary for poverty eradication

The 7th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum successfully concluded in Istanbul between 24–28 November, 2017. The first two days of the conference focused on topics like Islamic microfinance financial technology, financial inclusion, Micro Takaful, Waqf and Zakat as Supportive Elements for Islamic Microfinance. In the next two days, Islamic Agriculture and Rural Finance, the role of Islamic finance in the rural development and micro takaful came under discussion. While addressing the inaugural ceremony, Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), said that Islamic microfinance was a core element of Islamic financial industry. Dr Amjad Saqib, Founder of Akhuwat Pakistan welcomed the guests and participants. He further announced that the next time such an event would be organised would be in London next year in October.

Halk REIT issues #Turkey's first #sukuk

Halk Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) has issued Turkey's first sukuk with a nominal value of TL 100 million ($26.12 million) through Halkinvest. The return of the 87-day lease certificate will be realized at 13.25% at the end of the maturity period. Halk REIT General Manager Feyzullah Yetgin said that the widespread use of real estate-based financial products would make a great contribution to the real potential of the sector. Halkinvest General Manager Serdar Sürer said that the lease certificate issuance transaction executed on behalf of Halk REIT was their 60th capital market issuance transaction this year. He also said that they would continue to add value to their business partners with products based on the real economy.

Diyanet against Bitcoin

Diyanet, the Turkish religious authority has ruled that bitcoin is not in accordance with Islam at this point of time.

“Buying and selling virtual currencies is not compatible with religion at this time. Because of the fact that their valuation is open to speculation, they can be easily used in illegal activities like money laundering and they are not under the state’s audit and surveillance,” according to Diyanet, as quoted by local newspapers. Noteworthy it said is also that the digital currencies are not under a central authority or under guarantee of a state or financial institution.

A recently released 55-page research paper by Faraz Adam of Amanah Finance Consultancy on the topic, it was concluded that bitcoin is “not ideal as a long-term investment, and neither should the Islamic finance industry consider its use in exchange, unless there is a specific need, until a regulated and transparent framework is established”.

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Public awareness key to boost Islamic finance in #Turkey

According to the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), Turkey should raise public awareness of Islamic finance to boost the sector's market share. CIBAFI's secretary general, Abdelilah Belatik, called Turkey's target of raising Islamic banks’ share to 20% by 2023 ambitious but achievable. The council’s annual gathering to discuss Islamic finance will be held in Turkey next April. Belatik said that countries like Turkey and Indonesia and regions such as Central Asia and Africa are important as they have a great growth potential in the Islamic finance sector. Belatik said they work with countries which lack the infrastructure and regulation for Islamic finance to show them its role in the economy. He also underlined Islamic finance's significance for financial stability.

Islamic Development Bank forms $500M science fund

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) announced it had formed a $500-million fund for scientific research. President Bandar Hajjar said the fund would find solutions to economic adversity using scientific innovations. He was speaking at the 33rd Ministerial Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) in Istanbul. Hajjar added that the bank had received 100 million Saudi riyals ($26.6 million) as contribution. He also added that to address the issue of youth unemployment a five-year program has been launched to improve cooperation between universities, research centers, non-governmental organizations and government departments.

Istanbul court rules FETO-linked Bank Asya bankrupt

An Istanbul court has declared bankruptcy of Bank Asya, affiliated with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). Bank Asya’s banking license was cancelled on July 22, 2016 by Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK). The agency had ruled for complete takeover of all shares of Bank Asya by the state-run Insurance Fund in May 2015. FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

QINVEST bullish on #Turkey, bets on EM equities

Qatar’s QInvest is set to reinforce its presence in Turkey. Head of Asset Management at QInvest, Dr Ataf Ahmed is seeing huge opportunities in various asset classes in Turkey. In 2016, QInvest acquired ERGO Portfoy, rebranded as QInvestPortfoy and became a leading asset management group in Turkey. The company is also seeing opportunities within Emerging Markets (EM) equities, despite the inherent volatility of the asset class. Inflation is coming in under control and there are a number of positive surprises in economic growth. There is also exposure to broader EM within some of the global funds and mandates, however this represents approximately 10% of total assets across all QInvest funds. In the GCC region businesses have adjusted to low oil prices. According to Ahmed, GCC nations are reinforcing their plans to diversify the economies, moving into sectors like finance, trade and tourism.

Turkey to issue gold-backed bonds and #sukuk from Oct 2

Starting from October 2, Turkey will issue gold-backed bonds and sukuk to attract into the economy gold savings held by households. According to the Turkish treasury, the maturity of the bond and sukuk will be 728 days, with a 6-month interest of 1.20%, index-linked to gold prices.

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