Africa

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.

Jaiz Bank grows profit by 161% to N894m

#Nigeria’s Jaiz Bank recorded significant growths in key performance indicators in 2017, making an average of a double of previous profit on every unit of transaction. The pre-tax profit-margin doubled from 5.5% in 2016 to 11% in 2017. Gross earnings rose by 40% from N6.18 billion in 2016 to N8.10 billion in 2017. Gross profit grew by 34% to N6.705 billion in 2017 as against N5.003 billion in 2016. Jaiz Bank had recorded another milestone on February 9, 2017 as the first non-interest financial institution to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Jaiz Bank Managing Director Hassan Usman attributed the impressive performance of the bank to the support from the board, management and staff of the bank. He assured that Jaiz Bank would provide a new future of wide-ranging financial services to all Nigerians.

Jaiz Bank, IDB Sign $20m SMEs Financing Deal

Jaiz Bank and Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector (ICD) have signed a $20 million line of agreement to finance the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) of Nigeria. The financing deal covers sectors such as industry, communications, technology, health, manufacturing and agriculture. Hassan Usman, Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, signed on behalf of the bank while Okan Altasil, the Regional Office Director of ICD, signed for the corporation. The ICD management said the reason for extending such financing to some Nigerian banks was because SMEs have crucial role to play in a country’s growth and development. The ICD had previously extended a total of $120 million line of financing facility for the development of SMEs in Nigeria.

Why Is Financial Inclusion in #Nigeria Lagging Compared to Its African Peers?

According to InterMedia’s Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) 2016 Annual Report, the number of adults who are considered financially included in Nigeria has not improved since 2014. Financial inclusion in Nigeria dropped slightly from 37% in 2015 to 35% in 2016, lagging behind the three other African countries of the program. In 2016, 69% of Kenyans, 54% of Tanzanians and 40% of Ugandans were financially included. The 2016 FII data found that more than half of Nigerian adults do not have access to financial services. FII data suggest that even when they have access, many Nigerians lack the basic resources and key skills that facilitate financial inclusion. In 2016, decreases in bank account ownership drove an overall drop in financial inclusion. In Nigeria, the population continues to work in the cash-based informal sector.

Call for Good Practices on Islamic Finance and Impact Investing Activities

Click here to apply http://bit.ly/2tN5RAZ

Purpose of this call is to invite private and public sector to share their good practices on
•Islamic finance funded impact investments and dedicated vehicles
•impact investment vehicles in the OIC region
•Islamic social finance vehicles

for the mapping study that is being carried out under the Global Islamic Finance and Impact Investing Platform (GIFIIP). The selected cases will be analysed by the research team managed by IICPSD and IRTI. Subsequently the good practices, information on vehicles and further findings will be published as part of the study.

Investment Focus

Jaiz Bank, others secure $50m for #SMEs financing

Jaiz Bank, Wema Bank and SunTrust Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and secured $50 million from the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) for lending to SMEs. Under the terms of the MOU, SunTrust bank will get a financing of $10 million for lending purposes, Jaiz bank $20 million and Wema bank $20 million. Jaiz bank Managing Director Hassan Usman expressed his optimism about disbursement of the fund and said the bank has been supporting SMEs since it was created five years ago. According to Segun Oloketuyi, the Managing Director of Wema Bank, the funds will help bolster the Bank’s vision of building a sustainable retail sector by supporting micro, small and medium scale enterprises.

Spreading Islamic Banking in #Uganda, One Sermon at a Time

Ugandan investors are set to start a fully fledged Islamic institute called Midsoc Bank. Its promoter, Haruna Sebaggala, says it may start operations in six months, depending on licensing and funds. Midsoc Bank aims to target the unbanked population of the country, including both Muslims and non-Muslims. Currently, only 40% of 19 million potential customers have bank accounts. About 14% of Uganda’s 41.5 million population are Muslim. The nation’s largest banks such as Stanbic Bank Uganda and Standard Chartered Bank Uganda haven’t committed to Islamic banking. So far only Tropical Bank has confirmed it will offer Islamic products. Tropical Bank plans to initially run a dedicated department before establishing a subsidiary.

Financial Inclusion Strategy For Marginalized Zimbabwean Muslims: Islamic Finance

In 2016 The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) introduced the Financial Inclusion Strategy to increase the banking population from 30% at the time it was implemented to at least 90% by 2020. The action targets groups such as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), women, youth, rural population and the small-scale agricultural sector. While the strategy seems overarching, it forgot to include Muslims. RBZ should initiate the introduction of Islamic Finance through setting up an Islamic financial institution and through "Islamic windows" at conventional banks. Also, banks as a whole could set up an Islamic Bank that models ZimSwitch’s structure, in which all the banks have a stake.

Orabank #Togo benefits from Islamic Development Bank’s support to SMEs

Oragroup received €40 million from the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD). The funds which will be dispatched to various subsidiaries of the group such as Orabank Togo, will mainly be used to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs). According to Binta Touré Ndoye, Managing Director of Oragroup, this financing will help the region by creating jobs, accelerating industrialization and local processing, creating value, redistributing wealth, fighting poverty and contributing to the emergence of the middle class.

ICD Committed to Private Sector in #Cote d’Ivoire Through Direct Investments

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) hosted a delegation from Cote d’Ivoire composed of 40 entrepreneurs, the Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire in Saudi Arabia, the President of Chamber of Commerce of Cote d’Ivoire and the Vice president of the Confederation of Corporation of Cote d’Ivoire. The B2B Meeting was an opportunity to exchange on the opportunities of doing business in Cote d’Ivoire. ICD re-emphasized its commitment to support the private sector in Cote d’Ivoire through Direct Investments, Investments in dedicated Funds and through Line of Financing to financial institutions.

#Nigeria: Muslim Scholars Highlight Benefits of Islamic Financing to Economic Growth

Reputable Muslim scholars participated at Forum For Islamic Education & Welfare in Nigeria. The President of MUSWEN, Alhaji Sakariyau Babalola said the adoption of the Islamic financial system was growing in the country. Central Bank of Nigeria expert Dr. Bashir Umar said that Islamic finance was the way to finance infrastructure projects and had an integrated cooperative model which can eradicate poverty and enhance economic empowerment. He noted that financial inclusion was the key element to achieve inclusive development needed for sustainable growth in the country. Umar added that the presence of Islamic banking in the country has brought the unserved and undeserved members of the society into the formal financial sector.

Islamic finance is key to closing sub-Saharan infrastructure gap

The infrastructure gap is nowhere more pronounced than in sub-Saharan Africa. The Boston Consulting Group/Africa Finance Corporation report of May 2017 states that the sub-Saharan Africa infrastructure gap amounts to about $100bn in yearly infrastructure investment. Islamic finance is fundamentally aligned with economic and social development, poverty alleviation and advancement towards the UN sustainable development goals. The asset-based approach of Islamic finance is in line with traditional infrastructure-financing models that involve the procurement or construction of a tangible asset. In the past decade, Islamic finance has been growing steadily in sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa was the first African sovereign to issue sukuk, followed by Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo and Nigeria. Most Islamic funding for infrastructure development is flowing through governmental channels. In sub-Saharan Africa large infrastructure investment is still mainly the preserve of the public sector and public-private partnerships are still in their infancy.

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