Azerbaijan

How can Islamic finance benefit #Azerbaijan?

Islamic finance is still a nascent industry in Azerbaijan, even though the country’s large Muslim population indicates great potential demand for its services. The key hurdle that limits any meaningful expansion of Islamic finance in the country is the absence of a comprehensive regulatory framework. It is therefore important to develop a full-fledged legal framework that is specifically tailored for monitoring, guiding, and supervising the Islamic banking system. Islamic finance, as an ethical form of finance, can do an enormous amount of good. Islamic finance forges a closer link between real economic activity that creates value and financial activity that facilitates it. Islamic finance can attract investors from GCC and Asia to Azerbaijan. However, the country continues to face multiple challenges, such as a lack of public awareness and a talent shortage in Islamic finance. Still, favorable regulation remains the key to Islamic finance growth in Azerbaijan.

#Iran to Establish Bank in #Azerbaijan: Report

Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Valiollah Seif said the country plans to establish a bank in Azerbaijan with 100% Iranian ownership. The plan involves turning a branch of Bank Melli Iran in Azerbaijan into an independent Azerbaijani bank. Seif added that all the shares of the new bank will be owned by Bank Melli Iran and that the details would be discussed next week during the visit of the Azerbaijani delegation to Tehran. Seif emphasized that certain plans were on agenda for Iran and Azerbaijan to use their national currencies in mutual transactions. Currently 32 banks operate in Azerbaijan and 36 banks operate in Iran.

Islamic #microfinance fund may be created in #Azerbaijan

The Islamic fund on microfinance may be soon created in Azerbaijan. Recently, a mission of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), which included the ICD Senior Regional Manager of for CIS and Europe countries Samir Taghiyev and the Microfinance Advisor at the ICD Bassem Khanfar, visited Baku. Azerbaijan has become one of the two countries, where the ICD starts negotiations with participants of the microfinance market. The second country is Kazakhstan. Earlier, during the 8th Micro-finance Conference in Baku, Executive Director of Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA) Zhale Hajiyeva said that businessmen of post-Soviet countries also showed interest in the market. Currently, loan portfolio of Azerbaijan’s microfinance organizations amounted to $485.16 million, according to AMFA.

IDB’s ICD to study potential of #Azerbaijan's #microfinance market

During the visit, the ICD delegation will meet with representatives of Azerbaijan's financial sector to study the potential of micro-finance market and works done in this sphere. The conference will also be attended by representatives of Germany's KfW Group.

ICD ready to expand agricultural project financing in #Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan and Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) will discuss the opportunities of financing the country's agriculture. The topic will be discussed by ICD's general driector Khaled Al-Aboodiin during his visit in Baku on May 31. The agricultural projects will be financed through the new Food and Agribusiness Fund with an authorized capital of $600 million. The fund will mainly focus on the production optimization of the companies working in agriculture and a decrease in their logistics inefficiency.

Azerbaijan and Iran to establish joint bank

Iran is working on a plan to establish a joint bank with Azerbaijan. Elman Rustamov, the chairman of Azerbaijan's Central Bank (CBA) is discussing the matter with Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia. The two neighbors are also discussing the opening of branches of the two countries’ banks in Baku and Tehran. The Iranian minister said the main obstacle on the way of banking cooperation is the existing sanctions against Iran's financial sector.

Azerbaijan determined to apply Islamic banking instruments

The government of Azerbaijan announced that it is in talks with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on application of Islamic banking instruments in the country. Deputy Economy Minister Sahil Babayev also said that the Bank is ready to provide technical assistance to Azerbaijan, which has a predominantly Muslim population. The primary scope of our model’s project has already been outlined, he added. Azerbaijan, alongside Kazakhstan, is among several central Asian countries creating a more welcoming framework for sharia-compliant banking to attract investments and financing from the Islamic capital market. Babayev faced difficulty to name the exact date of introduction of Islamic banking model in Azerbaijan, explaining it with the number of issues to be solved.

Azerbaijan looks to new Islamic bank as sector rules progress

Azerbaijan could see the launch of its first standalone Islamic bank as early as next year as the government makes progress to introduce legislation to facilitate interest-free finance. Azerbaijan, alongside Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, are among several central Asian countries creating a more welcoming framework for sharia-compliant banking with the help of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank. A working group of cabinet minsters and the IDB is making progress on the legislation, which would allow the proposed Islamic bank to launch next year, said Behnam Gurbanzada, chief executive of Islamic finance consultancy BEST Solutions.

CORRECTED-Azerbaijan looks to new Islamic bank as sector rules progress

Azerbaijan could see the launch of its first standalone Islamic bank as early as next year as the government makes progress to introduce legislation to facilitate interest-free finance, Behnam Gurbanzada, an advisor to the new venture said. Azerbaijan, alongside Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, are among several central Asian countries creating a more welcoming framework for sharia-compliant banking with the help of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank. A working group of cabinet ministers and the IDB is making progress on the legislation, which would allow the proposed Islamic bank to launch next year, said the independent Islamic finance consultant. The proposed Islamic bank would be able to launch operations as soon as the legislation is passed, said Gurbanzada.

Azerbaijan’s largest bank abolishes Islamic financing

The International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) has decided to liquidate the Islamic financing department, head of the liquidated department Behnam Gurbanzade said. The bank's portfolio in Islamic financing amounts to nearly $526 million. By the end of the year, the department was planning to introduce new products and services. It was also planned to allocate long-term loans designed for each industry and to pay particular attention to agriculture. In addition, it was planned to introduce certain forms of financing for the construction, light and food industries. However, the decision on liquidation of the department was made last week.

Azerbaijan's biggest bank closes Islamic banking department

The International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), the country's largest and the only state-owned bank, has closed its Islamic banking department. Behnam Gurbanzade, IBA's director of Islamic banking, said the department was closed last week, but did not give the reasons. The department started the service in April 2013. The decision was reportedly linked to structural changes in the bank.The bank's Islamic assets rose to $526 million at the end of 2014 from $160 million a year earlier. "The agreements signed with international financial institutions within the framework of Islamic banking, as well as the bank's liabilities in this area will remain in force.

Iran, Azerbaijan to establish joint bank - minister (EXCLUSIVE)

Iran and Azerbaijan discuss creation of a joint bank and the opening of branches of the two countries' banks in Baku and Tehran. There is a branch of Bank Melli Iran in Azerbaijan, but it is not active, Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi said, adding that preliminary talks on these issues were already held. Branches of the new bank will operate in both Azerbaijan and Iran.

Iran asks to return money from bankrupt bank in Azerbaijan (exclusive)

Iran has asked the government and the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) to return the assets of Iranian entities remaining on the accounts of bankrupt Azerbaijani Royal Bank. Officials have appealed to the Azerbaijani government and CBA on the issue of solving the problem with the money of the Export Development Bank of Iran and other entities of the country, which remained on the accounts of Azerbaijani Royal Bank, which has declared its bankruptcy.

Two more Iranian banks willing to enter banking market of Azerbaijan (exclusive)

Two Iranian private banks – “Parsian” and “Pasargad” are interested in opening branches in Azerbaijan, the head of the secretariat of the Azerbaijani-Iranian intergovernmental commission on cooperation in trade, economic and humanitarian spheres Mehdi Mohtasham said.

Islamic Private Sector Development Corporation ready to expand its operations in Azerbaijan

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) is considering options for support of the private sector in Azerbaijan. According to the Ministry of Economy and Industry, Minister Shahin Mustafayev has received Khaled Mohammad Al Aboodi, ICD CEO. During the meeting, the Minister proposed to cooperate in the industrial and agricultural sector including the project of the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park and establishment of agricultural parks in Azerbaijan, the Ministry said. Aboodi expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation with Azerbaijan and proposed to expand it.

Islamic Development Bank may send MDPS to Azerbaijan

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) plans to expand its cooperation with Azerbaijan in respond to the request of the national government. In this regard the bank may send the MDPS to the country. The material is distributed only on private subscription conditions. If you are interested in it please contact the Marketing Service of Fineko Agency.

Azerbaijan’s Islamic banking skills to drive Russian Islamic finance development

Russia hopes to learn from the experience of Azerbaijan in the field of Islamic banking, said Sergey Drobyshevsky, the scientific director of the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy in Baku. He said the presence of IBA Moscow, a Russian subsidiary of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, must contribute to this. Drobyshevsky believes it will be easier for the Azerbaijani banks and businessmen to work in Russia than the Malaysian specialists of that sphere. Behnam Gurbanzada, the director of Islamic banking at the IBA, earlier called Russia a "promising" platform to further the development of Islamic finance.

President Ilham Aliyev met with the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group VIDEO

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with President of the Islamic Development Bank Group Ahmad Mohamed Ali in Jeddah. They expressed their satisfaction with the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Islamic Development Bank. It was noted that the ongoing development processes in Azerbaijan gave a push to the expansion of the bilateral relations. Azerbaijan and the IDB cooperate in the fields of oil and gas, power industry, water supply, road construction, implementation of infrastructure projects, agriculture and industry, and investment making. The parties exchanged views over the issue of involving other partners in the bilateral cooperation.

Azerbaijan's top bank attracts $150 mln Islamic loan

Warba Bank has announced that it successfully arranged $150 million Shariah-compliant one - year receivable backed syndicated financing facility for the International Bank of Azerbaijan. The Bank reported that it participated with a stake of $20 million in this transaction along with J.P. Morgan Bank, Citigroup, Barwa Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Noor Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank. he IBA concluded last year with $526 million sharia compliant assets compared to the Islamic Banking assets at the level of $220 million at the beginning of 2014. Behnam Gurbanzade, Director of the Islamic Banking Department of the IBA, recently said that the Bank is planning to increase the amount of Islamic financing in Azerbaijan in 2015.

Warba Bank Successfully Arranges a US$150 Million Syndicated Murabaha Facility for a Year for the International Bank of Azerbaijan & Participates by US$15 Million in a Finance for Ozun Group of Turkey

Kuwait's Warba Bank has successfully arranged a US$150 million, Sharia-complaint syndicated finance facility for the International Bank of Azerbaijan ("IBA"). The facility has a tenor of one year with a bullet repayment due at maturity. Warba Bank has participated in this transaction with a stake of US$20 million in a consortium of six regional and international banks: J.P Morgan Bank, Citigroup, Barwa Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Noor Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank. In addition, Warba Bank has also announced its contribution of US$15 million in an Islamic Sharia-complaint facility amounting US$80 million arranged by HSBC for the Turkish Ozun Group. Moreover, the Bank sold its real estate investment in West Bromwich in the United Kingdom achieving net profit of KD 640 K.

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