Zawya

IRTI #Conference Discusses Poverty Alleviation through Islamic #Microfinance

The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) is organizing a seminar to discuss the role of Islamic microfinance in poverty alleviation on 14-15 May 2016 in Bogor, Indonesia. IRTI is organizing the event in conjunction with the 41st Annual Meeting of the IDB Group. The event features the launching of the Islamic Microfinance for Poverty Alleviation and Capacity Transfer (IMPACT) Program, which aims to disseminate the best practices in Islamic microfinance.

Egyptian #Takaful Non-life, Hannover Re to start reinsurance talks in June

Egyptian Takaful Property and Liability Insurance (EGTAK) will soon start talks to renew its reinsurance agreements with Hannover Re SE. Head of the Reinsurance Department Hamed Mahmoud said he expects the German reinsurer would renew its agreements without placing any additional conditions.

Shariah #investments bullish

Shariah investing is forecast to grow very rapidly, following the long-term trends of emerging markets. Executive Chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, Dr. Mark Mobius found that emerging markets outperformed US and world markets in 17 out of the last 28 one-year periods. Islamic stocks in Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey are doing particularly well. Dr. Mobius said 40% of world GDP is in emerging markets, currently Muslim majority countries have a GDP growth of 8%, up from 4% in 1987.

#Privatefunding will be "critical" for MidEast projects - survey

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has calculated that, if oil prices remain low, the fiscal deficits of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Algeria will total almost $900 bn between 2016 and 2021. The non-oil sector in the GCC is projected to grow at an average rate of 3.25% per year over the next five years, compared to an average of 7.75% between 2006 and 2015. Thus, regional governments are being forced to review their expenditure plans. A recent PwC survey found that 75% of the more than 130 owners have already been impacted by funding constraints, while 65% forecast they will have less to spend next year.

First Energy Bank Appoints Mr. Khaleefa Butti Omair as a new chairman of the Bank

#Bahrain-based First Energy Bank (FEB) appointed Khaleefa Butti Omair as the Bank's new chairman, following the recent departure of the Bank's former chairman, Khadem Al Qubaisi. Mr. Khaleefa is a national of the United Arab Emirates with over 13 years experience in investment management. He serves as Chairman and board member of several companies.

Bank Negara #Malaysia Governor maps out strategies to elevate Islamic finance to a new level

Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim called on the Islamic finance sector to embrace the financial technological revolution. Technologically-driven applications have spread to every segment of the financial sector, with the number of fintech start-ups having doubled in one year. He noted that the potential impact can be significant, with 10 to 40 % banking revenue possibly at risk by 2025 due to fintech innovations outside banking institutions that are able to offer significant pricing advantage. Bank Negara is reviewing the changes needed to its regulatory framework to ensure that it remains appropriate to manage the risk while encouraging productive innovation.

Al Baraka Banking Group Achieve US$ 38 million Net #Income Attributable to Equity Holders of the Parent in the First Quarter of 2016

The #Bahrain based Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) announced that it achieved a substantial increase in total operating income of 16%, and net profits before tax and provisions by 13% during the first quarter of 2016. President & CEO Adnan Ahmed Yousif said the group opened 20 new branches in the first quarter of 2016 to bring total branches to 607 branches with total staff of 11,458. Additionaly, ABG obtainied official approval to establish a banking unit in Morocco, which means a higher diversification in assets and income sources for the Group.

SAMA to obtain FATF full membership in June '18

Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) is expected to obtain a full membership at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June 2018. At the 8th Compliance & Anti Money Laundering Seminar in Saudi Arabia SAMA Vice Governor Abdulaziz Al-Furaih said several new assessments have emerged including the set of recommendations by FATF and the MENA Financial Action Task Force (MENA FATF). Thomson Reuters Managing Director Nadim Najjar noted that compliance costs are set to increase in 2016.

In Line With "Ishraq" Initiative - Back to Basics 2016 and for More Empowerment of #Bahraini Women

Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has announced the appointment of Nada Ishaq Abdul Karim as Executive Secretary to its Board of Directors. The appointment of the first Bahraini woman in this position comes within the Bank's strategic plans in line with the "Ishraq" Initiative- Back to Basics 2016. CEO Hassan Amin Jarrar said this shows the bank's continuous support for qualified Bahraini women and promotion of Bahraini personnel.

Ziraat Participation's First #Syndication

On 27 April 2016 Ziraat Participation Bank closed its first Syndicated Murabaha Financing Facility. The debut transaction received a strong response from the market. Due to the significant oversubscription, Ziraat Participation Bank increased the facility size to US$155 mn. CEO Osman Arslan said the proceeds from the facility will be used to support the funding requirements of SMEs and the financing of trade related businesses.

AAOIFI Convenes its International #Conference Tomorrow in Madinah, Marking its 25th Anniversary

Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) holds on 4 May 2016 its International Conference, marking its 25th anniversary. Dr. Hamed Hassan Merah, Secretary General of AAOIFI said time is proper to revisit the 40 years history of the Islamic finance industry to evaluate its experience and contemplate the way forward.

A new day for Islamic finance in Iran

The lifting of sanctions has not only enhanced Iran's economy but has also provided an opportunity for Shari'ah-compliant investment with diversification opportunities. Iran's Islamic banking assets are $482 billion, according to Dubai Government data from 2014. Islamic finance in Iran can benefit from the sheer volume of the post-sanction investments and such projects are reportedly high. This will in turn support the market growth and create growth opportunities for the banking system in Iran.

Qatar's banks relatively resilient; outlook positive: KPMG

The regional banking sector has entered a new paradigm with margin compression, tightening liquidity, moderate asset and profit growth, limited capital market activity, greater focus on cost reduction and a widespread need for greater capital and funding. KPMG, which analysed the results of 56 leading listed commercial banks in the GCC, noted Qatar's listed banks remain relatively resilient and their long-term outlook remains positive. Omar Mahmood, Head of Financial Services for KPMG said Qatar experienced the second highest growth rate in the region thanks to an increase in corporate lending as a result of the infrastructure boom.

Huge rise in GCC sovereign issuance to support Takaful stability

According to Kuwait Finance Centre Markaz the Middle East will see $58 billion in bond and Sukuk issuance in 2016 and $385 to $390 billion through 2020. The excess allocation towards real estate has been exasperated by the shortage of Shari'ah-compliant fixed income. The next few years may be challenging for the GCC and its Takaful companies if energy prices stay low because the low penetration rate of insurance and Takaful has led to an extremely competitive market. A pipeline of around $60 billion per year for the next five years will support banks and Takaful operators to manage their balance sheets and support growth.

Dubai sukuk listings reach $42.61 billion

Khalid Al Aboudi, Chief Executive Officer of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), rang the market-opening bell to celebrate the listing of a 300 million US dollar Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai. The total nominal value of Sukuk currently listed in Dubai has now reached $42.61 billion, more than the value listed in any other centre. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group has seven other Sukuk currently outstanding on Nasdaq Dubai that have listed since 2014, with a total nominal value of $8.05 billion.

13th Islamic Financial Stability Forum on Consumer Protection in Islamic Finance

The 13th Islamic Financial Stability Forum (IFSF) was successfully organised by the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) on 12 April 2016 and was held in Cairo, Egypt on 10-12 April 2016, hosted by the Central Bank of Egypt. The theme of Forum was Consumer Protection in Islamic Finance, and the main presentation was by Professor Volker Nienhaus, the Former President of Marburg University. He stated that while most of the issues in consumer protection cover both conventional and Islamic segments of the financial system, there are some risks pertinent to Islamic finance sector, such as Shariah non-compliance risk.

'Greater Paris' woos Qatari investors

Paris is wooing potential Qatari investors to be the part of a huge infrastructure development project, 'Greater Paris', to which the government of France has already committed €50bn. Chiara Corazzara, Managing Director of the Greater Paris Investment Agency said the state-sponsored investment in infrastructures is designed to trigger €80bn private investment and the response that they get from Qatari investors is really encouraging.

Islamic finance in Oman poised for solid growth: Bank Nizwa CEO

Dr Jamil El Jaroudi, chief executive officer of Bank Nizwa, expects Islamic finance to grow above 15-20 per cent of the total banking sector activities in Oman. Speaking about the bank's growth, he said, breakeven was reached in December after three years of operation. Over the next few months, a mobile branch will travel around the Sultanate offering a host of products, services and also make the people aware on the benefits of Islamic banking. According to bank officials mobile branch will help customers to open new accounts, activate debit cards, receive account balances and mini statements, deposit cash and cheques.

IIRA Assigns Fiduciary Ratings to AlBaraka Bank Lebanon S.A.L

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has assigned investment grade, national scale ratings of BBB-(lb)/A3(lb) (Triple B Minus / A Three) to AlBaraka Bank Lebanon S.A.L (ABBL). Outlook on the assigned ratings is 'Stable'. The fiduciary score has been assessed in the range of '71-75', reflecting adequate fiduciary standards wherein rights of various stakeholders are adequately protected. ABBL was incorporated in 1992 as the first Islamic bank operating in the Republic of Lebanon. ABBL has sought to diversify its financings outside Lebanon, thereby mitigating the effects of the slowdown in the Lebanese economy. Owing to the market dynamics and management caution, ABBL maintains a highly liquid asset profile.

A figure of prominence

Professor Datuk Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, PhD, PJN is an authority in the Islamic financial services industry (IFSI) both at the professional and academic levels. He has played a pioneering role in the development of Islamic finance, while his leadership in setting accounting, auditing, governance, Shariíah and regulatory standards has been instrumental in establishing the position of the IFSI in the mainstream of global financial services. He believes that some of the major internal barriers have emanated from a lack of a proper understanding of the specificities of Islamic finance. Many tend to interpret Islamic finance transactions either from their conventional knowledge or their perspective of understanding Islamic Fiqh.

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