The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of #Kenya is banking on introduction of non-conventional financing options. According to CEO Paul Muthaura the move aims to absorb anticipated economic shocks arising from capping of interest rates. Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Banking Act 2015, which will cap interest rates to not more than 4% above the Central Bank of Kenya rate. The CMA plans to introduce Sharia financing where interest rates don’t feature but have an element of risk management. The CMA is also working on establishment of a Sharia Board that would screen all the products being offered so that it can determine their suitability to be treated as Sharia products.
Takaful Insurance of Africa is banking on product diversification and opening of more shops to establish itself better in the region. The insurer has already acquired an operating licence from the Retirement Benefits Authority to start a Shariah-compliant pension scheme while the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) allowed it to transact long-term insurance business or family Takaful known in conventional insurance as life insurance. Moreover, TIA is planning its expansion, especially in regions of Kenya with a high Muslim population. The company posted profits of Sh26 million for the year 2012.
The two Islamic banks in Kenya posted growth in their profits last year as the faith-based banking concept becomes entrenched in the country's financial sector. Gulf African Bank and First Community Bank were able to break even in a fairly short time — Gulf African in two years and First Community in three years. Last year, Gulf African registered 154 per cent after-tax profit growth to Sh242 million. First Community Bank, on its part, recorded 239 per cent growth in profit-after-tax to Sh241.3 million last year. According to the Central Bank, by December 31, 2010, the two Islamic finance banks collectively commanded 0.9 per cent of the banking sector net loans and advances of $115 million (Sh9.7 billion) and deposits of $171 million (14.5 billion).
The Kenya Reinsurance Corporation is planning to venture in sharia-compliant business and confirmed that it will start ReTakaful insurance in the country and the areas where it already has a presence in West Africa and the Middle East markets. According to the firm’s managing director, Mr Jadiah Mwarania, the development is part of Kenya Re’s 2013-2017 core strategic areas that touche on market expansion and development of products. The firm elected a sharia-based supervisory board last year to advise the firm on acceptable aspects of the ReTakaful.
Chase bank in Kenya has launched Shariah compliant products writes Mwaniki Wahome in the Daily Nation.
Known as Imam Banking, products are tailored for corporate, small-and-medium enterprises, as well as individuals. The accounts will include current accounts, savings accounts and fixed period investments. Together with Genghis Capital Limited and Winton Investment Services Sharia compliant investment banking and wealth managements products are planned. Further the management studies to introduce Takaful.
Zafrullah Khan is the MD of Chase.