Africa

Jaiz to commence disbursement of $20m SMEs #fund

The Managing Director of Jaiz Bank Hassan Usman has said the bank would soon begin the disbursement of the $20m facility for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The bank had in March signed the agreement with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector to finance SMEs with $20m (N6.1bn). Usman said the bank would soon begin the disbursement, adding that the fund would be disbursed before the end of the year. He said the bank had commenced a five year strategic plan to provide better services to its customers. For example, the bank had increased its visibility in Lagos by opening more branches and plans to extend to other regions of the country as well.

Sigma Pensions’ Sharia funds to drive private equity investments

Sigma Pensions has commenced plans to boost investments in private equity through Sharia Funds. Chairman Mark Collier stated this in a conference hosted by the firm recently in Lagos. According to Collier, there is huge interest in Sharia Funds, and Sigma is interested in providing greater choices for its investors and contributors. Sigma CEO David Uduanu said it was vital to discuss ways to increase the penetration of pension funds in private equity. He said Sigma Pensions has started a conversation between the pension funds and the private equity industry that would lead to more investments of pension funds in private equity and more investment of private equities in Nigerian SME’s.

Enact legislation tailored to Islamic finance sector, CBK urged

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is asked to enact a sector-specific legislation tailored to Islamic finance sector to monitor and regulate transactions. According to Jacqueline Wangui, Partner at MMC Africa Law, the absence of specific legislation on Islamic finance is in itself a hindrance to the realization of the financial benefits. Wangui proposed that embedding a Shariah council within the structure of the CBK could go a long way. The Sharia council would constitute of local and international Islamic scholars to sit in an advisory capacity with the aim of producing a congruent regulatory framework for Islamic financing. Currently, there is no overall regulator at the level of the CBK appointed to specifically oversee the management of Islamic financing and its products.

La Société internationale islamique de financement du commerce fait le point de son portefeuille au #Cameroun

La Société internationale islamique de financement du commerce du Groupe de la Banque islamique de développement (BID) est satisfaite de sa coopération avec le Cameroun. Aliou Barki Kane et le ministre camerounais en charge de l’Economie, Alamine Ousmane Mey ont passé en revue le portefeuille de coopération avec la BID. Aliou Barki Kane a déclaré que 560 millions de dollars ont été tous décaissés, remboursés et les bénéfices ont été mesurés à travers les intrants agricoles et également la commercialisation du coton à travers la Sodecoton. Barki Kane a ajouté que la coopération avec le Cameroun a été fructueuse et les fonds ont été mis à la disposition des bénéficiaires finaux.

Why we rejected N21.5bn #Sukuk bond – #Niger speaker

Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Alhaji Ahmed Marafa Guni, has explained why the house rejected to access N21.5 billon Sukuk bond for infrastructure development. He said the house discovered a lot of discrepancies in the bond deal and, therefore, decided to send it back to the Executive. He added there were hidden costs in the loan which would tie down the state for several years. The speaker said the sukuk request could still be re-presented if those discrepancies are addressed. The government said it had asked the assembly to stay action on the request because of insinuations that the money was meant for the 2019 general election campaign.

Banks want 'costly' Islamic banking regulations adjusted

Banks in Uganda have petitioned the central bank to review key regulations in Islamic banking to make it less costly for the banks. According to Patrick Mweheire, the chairman of Uganda Bankers' Association (UBA), the current regulation requires that a commercial bank that applies to offer Islamic banking must have its own sharia panel comprising nine muftis. Mweheire suggested that UBA should instead have one panel which can be used by all its members when advancing Islamic banking products to the public. UBA CEO Wilbrod Owor said there were a lot of issues in the sector that affect them and need their attention: money laundering, terrorism finance, and digital technologies etc.

Why Islamic finance is yet to realise its full potential in #Kenya

Kenya's Islamic finance industry is over a decade old but is yet to realize its full potential. The uptake of Shariah compliant financial products has been adversely affected by the absence of supportive legal and regulatory infrastructure, lack of skilled Islamic finance professionals, poor perception and lack of awareness. One other challenge is the lack of harmonisation of the Shariah standards. Industry stakeholders need to undertake a comprehensive training of the Shariah scholars and enhance public awareness in Islamic finance. Aqeel Consulting takes the initiative to organise a technical workshop for the Shariah scholars between July 11 -12, 2018 at the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club.

BoG must use Islamic banking to promote financial inclusion – Dubai Chamber

The Head of Dubai Chamber-Ghana Office, Cyril Darkwa, is encouraging the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to see Islamic banking as a way to promote financial inclusion in the country. Mr. Darkwa stated that this type of finance is being utilised by banks, companies and start-ups to tap into the large unbanked population in Africa. An executive member of the Ghana Muslim (GM) Ambassadors, Dr. Abubakar Muhammad Marzuq, said Islamic banking will be of great benefit to the country as a whole. He said although regulations are necessary to attract investors, awareness is more important to ensure a vibrant Islamic banking regime. He therefore called for effective collaboration between the Islamic banking industry and the media in order to create awareness.

East Africa rides the Islamic finance train; #Uganda next to join

Countries in East Africa are increasingly joining the Islamic finance industry as their Muslim population grows and demand for Shariah-compliant banking and finance rises. In Ethiopia the central bank is planning to develop Islamic finance in order to improve financial inclusion, while Somalia’s central bank has given licences to six Islamic Banks and two takaful companies. Both Tanzania and Kenya have recognised the potential of Islamic finance, in Rwanda Islamic finance made its debut in 2016 with an Islamic microfinance Institution. Only Burundi, South Sudan and Eritrea don’t have ambitions to set up Islamic banks. The latest regional entrant in the Islamic finance sector is Uganda. Finance minister Patrick Ocailap said that a framework for the implementation of Islamic banking in the country has been developed and will be operational by October 2018.

Islamic Windows of Coris Bank International pave the way to achieve SDG goal by ensuring financial inclusion and shared prosperity

Islamic banking is gaining a strong footing in Africa with the launch of Islamic banking windows of Coris Bank International in Mali, Senegal, Benin and Côte d’Ivoire. The official launch of Coris Bank Baraka Senegal took place in the presence of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) representatives, the Minister of Budget of Senegal, the Deputy CEO of Coris Bank International group and the CEO of Coris Bank International Senegal. The Minister of Budget of Senegal showed appreciation to Coris banking group for launching the Islamic window. ICD as a technical advisor facilitated the launch of Islamic windows in Senegal, Benin and Mali. Further, Coris Bank International and ICD are collaborating together to launch one more Islamic window in Côte d’Ivoire by end of June, 2018.

Lotus Halal Fixed Income #Fund Listed On NSE

Lotus Capital, a full-service, Halal investment management company listed its Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The listing event was commemorated with a Closing Gong ceremony.

We can’t wait for Islamic Banking - bankers

In #Uganda more than half of the 24 licensed conventional banks have expressed interest in providing Islamic banking products. The latest to show interest is EXIM Bank. Raj Banerjee, the deputy chief executive of EXIM bank, said they cannot wait to offer this service to their wide range of customers. At the moment they are going about installing the software and assembling a team that will be directly involved offering the Islamic Banking. Mr Banerjee believes this will be good for everybody. The bank is preparing to launch its Sharia compliant products as soon as the proposals are approved by the Bank of Uganda.

Regulations are hindering growth of Islamic finance

The steady growth in Islamic banking in Kenya was unexpected when Islamic finance started in Kenya in the last decade. The Finance Act of 2017 made amendments to the Co-operative Societies Act to facilitate shariah compliant products and enhance financial deepening. It also amended the Public Finance Management Act to recognise Sukuk as one of the national government securities. Despite this growth, there is still much to be done in developing regulations. Kenyan Islamic banks have tried to embed shariah governance within their governance frameworks. However, the mechanism lacks to ensure parity in shariah interpretations, product development and advisory and regulations at an industry level. Islamic capital markets remain hugely untapped in Kenya.

Group roots for deepening of Islamic finance

In #Kenya a lobby group has called for the review of regulations governing Islamic banking and Sharia'h compliant products offered by conventional banks so as to resolve the issue of interest rates. The group, Bayt-ul-Maal has commenced gathering signatures to petition Kenyan Muslims scholars to deliberate and craft a modern day Bayt-ul-Maal (Islamic Treasury) catering for the needs of Muslims. They embarked on a door-to-door campaign sensitizing the Muslim community on the importance of Bayt-ul-Maal. The group claims that since February this year debate has raged concerning the validity of Islamic banking and Sharia'h Compliant windows, as offered by some conventional banks.

Muslims demand Islamic banking

The Muslim community of Uganda asked the Government to speed up the process of providing regulations for Islamic banking. According to Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, the laws for Islamic banking have been passed but Bank of Uganda is reluctant to draft the regulations as well as issuing licenses for Islamic banking. Financial experts have often criticised Islamic banking for higher creating costs and bigger risks, a situation that has not been remedied over the years. The lack of unique frameworks by the Government to regulate Islamic banking is the other challenge, leaving the Islamic banks to be regulated as other conventional banks.

Regulators meet to explore ways of expanding Islamic financing

The National Treasury of #Kenya and the International Financial Services Board organized a three-day forum on Islamic finance. The country's five financial regulators met to explore ways of expanding Islamic finance and discuss the challenges they are facing. Challenges include low levels of awareness among the public as well as inadequate manpower to disseminate information.

DMO lists FG’s N100bn #Sukuk on NSE

The Nigerian Stock Exchange announced the listing of the N100bn, seven-year, Federal Government Ijarah Sukuk with a rental rate of 16.47%. Director General of the Debt Management Office Ms. Patience Oniha said that the FGN Ijarah Sukuk was designed to finance critical road infrastructure across the country. She added that the proceeds would be used to further support the construction and rehabilitation of 25 roads across the six geopolitical zones of the country. According to Oscar Onyema, CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the listing has strong implications for emerging and frontier markets, which continually seek to unlock dormant pools of capital needed for economic growth and development.

#Sukuk proceeds being well utilised, says DMO DG

The proceeds of N100 billion Sukuk are being applied to infrastructure development across Nigeria. Director General of Debt Management Office (DMO) Ms. Patience Oniha said that the proceeds were designated for the financing of 25 road projects across the six geopolitical zones of the country. An inspector team visited Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja Road, Obajana-Okene Road, Suleja-Minna Road and Kaduna Eastern Bypass Road. During the inspection, the team assessed progress on the work that had been done as well as ongoing rehabilitation and construction works on the roads. Of particular significance is the fact that the funds from the Sukuk had made it possible to construct the Okene Bypass, which reduces congestion on the roads within the town.

Islamic Development Bank grants $63.3 million to #Sudan

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) signed a grant agreement worth $63.3 million for the establishment of facilities and services in South Darfur, Sudan. Earlier this month, the IDB agreed to lend Tunisia $185 million to finance developments including an electricity project. The bank agreed to finance an electricity link worth $150, as well as the construction of hospitals in Kasserine and Kef worth $34 million. The IDB is a Jeddah-based multilateral development financing institution. It began its activities in 1975. The present membership of the bank consists of 57 countries.

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