The Financial Express

External Shariah #audit in Islamic banks

The external Shariah audit is the latest development in the area of Shariah governance of the global Islamic banking industry. Traditionally, Islamic banks appoint a Shariah supervisory board with the mandate to oversee Shariah compliance. An additional layer of assurance by an independent party will provide greater assurance to the Islamic banks' stakeholders. Several central banks are already using the external Shariah audit in their governance system, for example the Central Bank of Kuwait or the central banks of Oman and Pakistan. Several other jurisdictions, including Bahrain, are also likely to do the same. The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Institutions (AAOIFI) recently issued an Exposure Draft specifically on external Shariah audit. Availability of human resource can be a challenge in implementing external Shariah audit. This can be overcome by taking initiatives to train both the professional accountants and Shariah experts to conduct an external Shariah audit.

First Sharia-compliant #fund to focus on #realestate

#India’s first fully Sharia-compliant fund launched its third investment fund, Realty AIF 1 (Alternative Investment Fund). The fund is meant for the real estate sector with IL&FS Trust Company acting as trustee for the fund and Secura Investment Management as promoter. According to managing director Mehaboob, the fund will raise 200 crore and the minimum investment under the scheme is 1 crore. The tenure of the fund is seven years from the final closing. Mehaboob added that an annualised RoI of 15-20% is expected, with a profit share post hurdle of 80:20 with catch-up. Company officials said the investments under the fund will be made in the modes of investment in equity, quasi-equity and equity-related instruments. Other modes include investment in a co-investment capacity with development companies or other promoters of a portfolio company, and investment in special purpose vehicles created by the company.

Shahjalal Bank to issue #bond worth Tk 4.0b

The board of directors of Shahjalal Islami Bank has approved for issuance of Mudaraba Subordinated Bond worth Tk 4.0 billion. The new issuance is part of a process of inclusion in Tier-II Capital for a period of 7 years through private placement. The bond issue is subject to approval of the regulatory authorities – Bangladesh Bank, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission. The bank’s paid-up capital is Tk 7,346.88 million and authorised capital is Tk 10,000 million, while total number of securities is 734,688,133.

ACC quizzes Islami Bank director

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) on Wednesday interrogated director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited and its audit committee chairman ANM Burhan Uddin in connection with a graft allegation. ACC deputy director Shamsul Alam questioned him for two hours from 11 am at the ACC head office in the capital, ACC Public Relations officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya said. According to the allegation received by the national graft watchdog, Burhan Uddin influenced the bank management in hiring a deputy general director by concealing information, and also misused his power in resolving audit objections of the bank for his personal interest, according to UNB.

6 more banks sign deal with BB to back WB-funded project

Bangladesh Bank (BB) signed separate agreements with six more private banks on Wednesday to facilitate long-term financing under the World Bank funded Financial Sector Support Project (FSSP). Under the agreements, the six banks - Dutch Bangla Bank Limited, IFIC Bank Limited, South East Bank Limited, Standard Bank Limited, Trust Bank Limited, and Standard Chartered Bank - would provide long-term financing for projects in manufacturing sectors. The central bank earlier signed similar agreement with ten other banks. BB Deputy Governor Nazneen Sultana said that the BB under the auspices of International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank would provide $300 million through FSSP to meet the growing demand for long-term financing for productive sectors in the country.

Al-Arafah donates CSR fund

Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd has donated a fund worth Tk 2.0 million for development of research on constructing crop cold storages at affordable costs. Professor Dr M Monjur Hossain of Rajshahi University received the fund from the bank under its CSR activities. Chairman of Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd Badiur Rahman and the bank’s managing director Mohammad Habibur Rahman were present in a ceremony arranged on the occasion, according to a statement.

Taxing the Islamic bond

The Islamic banks wanted for long some sort of bonds from the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to invest in to the fulfilment of the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR), as required by the regulator. But only in 2014, did the BB come out with an offer of interest-free bonds to the Islamic banks, which now control one-fourth of the deposit market. If the Islamic branches of the interest-based commercial banks are included, then the deposit share will go up. Though the Islamic banks were permitted in the middle of the 1980s, the regulatory framework to oversee this activity and the conditions they were to fulfil with respect to compliance with the regulations were not there.

Brunei plans long-tenor sukuk in ‘very near future': Regulator

Brunei's financial regulator is preparing to issue long-term Islamic bonds in the "very near future" while widening the eligible list of buyers of its issuance programme. The Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) wants to develop the local capital market to help shift the economy away from oil and gas exports, with plans to launch a securities exchange as early as 2017. The AMBD did not give a specific timeframe or potential size for the deal. Since 2006, the AMBD has issued sukuk in maturities of up to 1 year for use by the country’s seven domestic commercial banks, but never in longer tenors. The new sukuk will be available to buyers outside the domestic banking sector.

Product structure of Islamic banks in Bangladesh

Since the Islamic banking industry is still emerging in Bangladesh, it is essential to know at this stage if the products and services of Islamic banks are consistent with the practices that have been developed and universally accepted by the practitioners of Islamic banks across the globe. It is really important for Islamic banking industry in the country not only for the sake of outreach but also for the regulators to formulate policy which will enhance the credibility and international stakeholder's confidence. Until today, the development of Islamic financial products has generally been limited to the re-engineering of the conventional products to meet Shariah requirements. But there is a still scope for product innovation and differentiation.

Islamic banking: History and development

The theory of Islamic banking as a new phenomenon started to appear during 1940s through 1960s, in Urdu, Arabic and English. Among the earliest proposal for Islamic banking, one was made by Qureshi (1946) in his book Islam and Theory of Interest. He suggests that both Islamic bank and entrepreneur can create partnership. Later contributions such as Uzair's (1955), Irshad (1964) and Al - Arabi (1966) also suggested that mudarabah should be the main principle for Islamic banking. While the first theoretical works began in 1940s, the experimental works in this regard did not start until 1960s. In 1975 the first private commercial Islamic Bank 'Dubai Islamic Bank' was established by a group of Muslim businessmen from several countries.

Islamic banking: History and development

While the first theoretical work began in the 1940s, the experimental work regarding Islamic banking did not start until 1960. In 1963, the Mit-Ghamr Islamic Savings Bank (MGISB) started in Egypt which is regarded as the first Islamic bank in the world. The first private commercial Islamic Bank 'Dubai Islamic Bank' was established in 1975 by a group of Muslim businessmen from several countries. Within ten years since the establishment of Dubai Islamic Bank, more than 50 Islamic banks came into being not only in Muslim countries but also in some of the Europe countries. The first Islamic bank in Bangladesh was set up in 1983.

Online corporate learning and development

In this 21st century the importance of corporate learning for continuous professional development requires little explanation. However, these corporate learning courses through the traditional brick and mortar model are no more realistic most of the time. Virtual learning can help address these time and cost challenges with more impactful learning in most of the arenas of corporate learning and development. Online delivery of knowledge and skill is going to be the next big disruption in education, training, learning and development of professional skills in the corporate sector. The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) phenomenon is having a significant impact on higher education - especially business education.

Social Islami Bank Limited

Social Islami Bank Limited (SIBL) arranged a Strategic Business Planning Session to evaluate business position and formulate future business strategy of some chosen branches of the bank at its corporate head office in the city recently. Chairman of the Bank Major (Retd.), Dr. Md. Rezaul Haque, was present in the session as the chief guest while Managing Director of the bank, Md. Shafiqur Rahman, presided over the programme.

The moral standard of Islamic banking

Since the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) commenced its journey in the late seventies, Islamic banking has been growing globally, with Islamic banking assets crossing the $ 1.8 trillion mark in 2013. The distinctiveness of Islamic banking in comparison with the conventional banks is not merely hypothetical. The aim, objective, policy and work strategy of this banking system are dedicated for the wellbeing of a wider section of people. This banking system does not attach preference to making only profit to satiate the greed of a few individuals. Rather, it gives priority to fulfilling the basic needs of all people in the society. Now all concerned should work collectively to present the theoretical and hypothetical issues of Islamic banking to the people easily.

BB to introduce Shariah-based refinancing scheme for SMEs

Bangladesh Bank (BB) will introduce Shariah-based refinancing scheme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and other thrust sectors, Governor Dr Atiur Rahman said. Referring to the Shariah compliant mode of refinance support from BB's Export Development Fund (EDF), the governor said introduction of similar Shariah compliant refinance support against SMEs and other thrust sector lending by Islamic banks is also underway. The central bank already issued guidelines for Islamic banking in Bangladesh using an approach that delegates to the Shariah-based financing community the self-regulation and oversight of its Shariah compliance practices.

Islamic Banks Forum leaders re-elected

Prof. Abu Nasser Muhammad Abduz Zaher, Chairman, Board of Directors of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited was re- elected as Chairman of Islamic Banks Consultative Forum (IBCF) while Md. Nazrul Islam Mazumder, Chairman of EXIM Bank and Badiur Rahman, Chairman of Al-Arafah Islami Bank were re- elected as Vice Chairmen of the Forum. The election for the year 2014 of IBCF was held recently at the Meeting Room of BAB's Office in the city.

BD becomes a role model of financial inclusion for Islamic world

Bangladesh has become a role model of financial inclusion for the Islamic financial world, said Mohammad Abdul Mannan, managing director (MD) of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd (IBBL). He came up with the observation while addressing the first ever ADB conference on Islamic finance for Asia held at the ADB Headquarters in the Philippines on 4-5 November.

MoU inked between SJIBL, CPTU

Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding e-GP (Electronic Government Procurement) system with the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU), Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED), Ministry of Planning. Under this Memorandum, Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd. will provide e-GP (Electronic Government Procurement) service within the territorial jurisdiction of the Bank. CPTU of the Ministry will provide e- GP Portal Dashboard and training to nominated focal persons of the Bank for the use of payment system under e- GP. On the other hand, CPTU Ministry of Planning will publish the names of the Bank in e-GP portal link to the Bank as the e-payment service provider.

Cash Waqf gets popularity

Cash Waqf is a voluntary endowment of money, deposited to the banks perpetually. Profit paid on this deposit is spent in different people's welfare purposes according to instructions of the account holders. These include education, health, food, utility and rehabilitation services as per instruction of the donors. The product is still at primary stage of its flourishing in Bangladesh. When a considerable amount of investment will be injected into the scheme, it might significantly contribute to a stable and sustainable economy. Banking insiders attributed the rising popularity of the scheme mainly to the opportunity to donate cash-money during the present time of land scarcity, and to the flexibility of distributing cash-benefits anywhere. Anybody can open this account by depositing total money of declared Waqf amount once or by installments.

IDB reviewing govt measures on Padma Bridge to revive fund

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is reviewing the government's recent measures on the Padma Bridge Project to take a decision on revival of its committed funding support for it. As part of the original deal, it was supposed to to provide US$ 140 million for the approach road on the bridge's Jajira side. The ministry of finance is hopeful of getting the fund from the lender. However, IDB is observing what steps the government takes on the main bridge construction and river training work. So far, the project has not yet matured enough for IDB to reconsider its decision on it.

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