Cambodia

Financial inclusion through Islamic #microfinance

According to statistics from the World Bank, an estimated two billion adults worldwide do not have access to basic financial services. Realising this fact, the World Bank has partnered with public and private sector institutions and established the Universal Financial Access by 2020 (UFA2020) initiative to promote financial inclusion. As the main aim of the microfinance industry is to alleviate poverty, Islamic microfinance is a branch of that with Islamic financial principles. In Cambodia the Islamic microfinance industry is still in the nascent stage. Recently, the Cambodian government has opened its doors to two Islamic microfinance institutions into Cambodia namely Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) and Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Islam Malaysia (YAPEIM). AIM is currently setting up its branch office in Cambodia while YAPEIM is slated to come in by the first quarter of 2018.

Islamic finance sharpens its profile in Southeast Asia

#Malaysia’s eastern region Sarawak will host this year’s World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) from November 21 to 23. According to Sarawak’s Deputy Chief Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, the state will use the forum as a platform to promote Islamic investment opportunities in various industries. He added that Sarawak was currently also undergoing a rural transformation programme and had designated 77,000 hectares of land for the development of a halal hub. The deputy minister said the WIEF will also focus on strengthening the partnership between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. The conference is expected to attract about 2,000 potential participants and representatives of various sectors. In another development, Islamic finance will soon make its foray into Cambodia, which is home to an estimated 300,000 Muslims. Two Malaysia-based Islamic financial institutions are expected to open their first branches by the end of the year and in 2018. Another recent highlight for Islamic finance was the Brunei Darussalam Islamic Investment Summit 2017 held on August 2 and 3.

Maybank Islamic targets SE Asia

Maybank Islamic, Asia-Pacific's largest syariah lender, is going to expand its business in the Asean region and may offer Islamic stockbroking services through Singapore stockbroker Kim Eng, which its parent recently acquired.
The bank's parent Maybank is embarking on an expansion drive to become a regional bank. It operates in 14 countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bahrain.

Malaysian body drafts standards to expand halal industry

The International Halal Integrity Alliance has begun its work on guidelines relating to the use of sharia-compliant pharmaceuticals, finance and processed food which would be completed by the end of the year.
Cief executive officer Darhim Hashim said that seven other standars, that include the regulation of sharia-compliant restaurants, cosmetics, lab testing and animal slaughtering, were elaborated.
Members from the alliance are from Europe, India, the Phillipines, Cambodia and Australia.

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