Asia

Sime lists RM4.5b sukuk programme

Sime Darby Bhd yesterday listed its Ringgit Malaysia Sukuk Programme on Bursa Malaysia with a combined master limit of RM4.5bil under the Exempt Regime.

The World's Sukuk Markets are good medium-term growth prospects, says S&P

Medium-term growth prospects for the world's sukuk market are good, said Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in a report published today. In addition, we understand from unofficial market sources that about US$10 billion more could potentially enter the pipeline. If that comes to market, total sukuk issuance in 2010 could approach the current 2007 record of US$34.3 billion. The main uncertainty this year is market conditions.

Brunei Battles Credit Card Debt With Tighter Rules

Financial regulators in Brunei have placed restrictions on how small the amounts credit card issuers can set for monthly repayment of credit card debts, according to a directive from the country’s Ministry of Finance. Cardholder incomes also will determine credit card spending limits, the directive states.

India banking reforms focus on Islamic finance

India is planning to overhaul regulation of its financial system to attract investments from the Gulf and to encourage its largely unbanked Muslim population to save money in a way compliant with their religion, a senior government adviser has said. K Rahman Khan, deputy chairman of India's upper house of parliament, told the Financial Times that the ruling Congress Party is proposing reforms to the finance ministry, the Reserve Bank of India and Securities and Exchange Board of India to allow for the introduction of Islamic financial services.

Faysal Bank Plans to Compete for Purchase of RBS Pakistan Unit

Faysal Bank Ltd., a Pakistani lender, plans to participate in the process to acquire a majority stake in the Pakistan unit of Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, according to a notice issued today.

ICD to set up Islamic bank

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), said it was committed to ensure that its plan to set up an Islamic bank in the Maldives in partnership with the government of the island would materialize soon.

First Islamic Finance pilot tentative by Bank of Ningxia

Islamic Finance Expert reported that Ningxia Bank has been identified by the relevant ministries in China to develop a pilot project in Islamic finance.

UPDATE 1-Indonesia retail sukuk priced at 8.70 pct

Indonesia has set the yield on the retail sukuk due to be issued next month at 8.70 percent. Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population and wants to develop the domestic Islamic finance market, plans to sell 3 trillion rupiah ($321.2 million) worth of retail sukuk next month.

Malaysia likely to give Islamic licence to Abu Dhabi bank

The government is likely to approve an Islamic banking licence for the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The move comes before the administration unveils its new economic model in which the services sector, and in particular Islamic finance, is given more emphasis.

Bank Negara pressing ahead with Shariah guidelines

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the central bank, is pressing ahead with developing a series of Shariah parameters that would provide a standard guidance on applying the respective Shariah contracts in Islamic finance.

In fact, BNM in December 2009 published its latest draft concept paper -- a Shariah Parameter Reference 3 (SPRC 3) -- on the Mudarabah contract. The paper has been sent to various market players in the Islamic finance industry for feedback. This follows the publishing in October 2009 of "Concept Paper -- Guidelines on Takaful Operational Framework" which outlines the parameters governing the operational processes of the Takaful business.

Building a Viable Microfinance Sector in Afghanistan

The microfinance sector in Afghanistan is going through a period of reform which is largely due to the consequence of an early emphasis on rapidly achieving operational sustainability.

AREU researched on the impact of microcredit on informal credit systems and rural livelihoods illustrated by the viability of challenges faced by MFIs. These challenges were linked to having invested little effort in determining the viability of clients by understanding the social and economic contexts in which they were to invest their loans or in offering loan products meeting client needs.

MISFA's reforms have initially targeted MFIs' internal structures, capacity, and control systems. However, they also recognise the need to consider greater diversity of loan products and methodologies to meet client needs. To support diversification in the future, after internal reforms are in place, MISFA has committed to an action research agenda to investigate demand for savings products, agriculture and livestock loans, and Islamic finance products.

Full report at: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/retrieveattachments?openagent&shorti...)

Report on Social Responsibility Trends at Islamic Financial Institutions

The report on Social Responsibility Trends at Islamic Financial Institutions presents the results of an extensive survey on Social Responsibility at Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) carried out during summer and fall of 2009 by DinarStandard and Dar Al Istithmar with the support of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).

Some key findings of the survey were:

Clients: 100% of respondents answered yes to having a policy to screen prospective clients which is actively implemented. Similarly 97% have an organizational policy that deals with client responsibly.

Employees: 83% of respondents’ state having policies that provide equal opportunity to all their employees, 93% have policies that ensures merit-based salary and promotion, and 86% having policies that specifically prohibits any kind of discrimination. However, when it comes to having policy to monitor employees from different backgrounds and gender, the response was mix with only 52% admitting to having such a monitoring policy and 48% not having any such policy.

Philippines to miss Islamic finance boom in Asia this year

DEBT WATCHER Standard & Poor’s said Islamic finance growth will stay strong this year, as demand for financial products that comply with Islamic or Sharia law continues to increase with Southeast Asia driving expansion.

The Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank wants to educate the public of the difference between Islamic Banking and Conventional Banking while creating the regulatory framework for Islamic Finance and ironing out the taxation issues relating to islamic finance.

Jamsostek's subsidiary to acquire local sharia banks

State insurance company PT Jamsostek plans to acquire stakes in two local sharia banks this year through a joint agreement with the Jeddah-based Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

The new investment arm of the company, the Jamsostek Investment Company (JIC), expected to be established in the first semester of this year, will purchase the stake of the country's biggest sharia lender BNI Syariah and Bank Syariah Bukopin by the end of this year, Jamsostek president director Hotbonar Siaga said on Friday.

Gassner's picture

Congrats to Brunei for the new credit card rules

Dear Reader,

I am very glad to read the news that the first Muslim country is taking a strict policy against credit cards in its country. Brunei shows courage and leadership and shall be congratulated by the whole community of Islamic finance.

http://www.collectionscreditrisk.com/news/brunei-battles-credit-card-deb...

Even the US ambassador is supporting and defending the rules which for a transition period makes life of consumers more difficult, but he reminds for the good effect it has on the long run:

http://www.brudirect.com/index.php/Columnist-Column/bruneians-better-off...

Remember: Credit cards are a major part of the world financial crisis, hundred of thousands of people went into debt and even worse in a vicious circle of debt. There is barely on consumer level a financial product spreading more harm, whether or not it is Islamically replicated.

See my previous blog on it: http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=node/582 and the entry in the Islamic Finance WIKI: http://wiki.islamicfinance.de/index.php/Credit_Card

Best regards,

Michael Saleh Gassner

Khurshid backs Islamic banking concept of Kerala

The Centre has offered a helping hand to Kerala in revoking a stay order by the state high court against setting up of an Islamic bank.

Noting that the court order could hamper investment opportunities in the country, Union minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid said the Centre would coordinate with the state government in dealing with the issue legally.

The Kerala government cleared the project after a feasibility study found that Islamic bank was a viable proposition in Kerala. A company was also registered to take the process forward. The share capital of the proposed bank had been fixed at Rs 1,000 crore.

According to the Islamic banking concept, the bank will not pay any interest to customers. A Sharia board can decide what sort of investments the bank can make. The bank will also have Sharia-compliant banking products.

Profits made out of the investments will be distributed to shareholders.

Sharia banking grows strong in Indonesia

The people of West Java also showed their support by injecting Rp 106 billion into the bank. Although its business was not too bright in its early days, the bank recorded a profit of Rp 372.5 billion in the second quarter of 2009. The achievement of Bank Muamalat is proof of the great potential of sharia banking in Indonesia. Sharia banking is based on Islamic law.

Bank Indonesia data reveals there are currently five sharia banks operating in the country, namely Bank Syariah Mandiri, Bank Muamalat Indonesia, Bank Syariah Mega, Bank Syariah Bukopin and Bank Syariah BRI. Twenty-six other banks have sharia banking units, such as Bank Permata, Bank BNI, Bank CIMB-Niaga, Bank Danamon and BPD DKI.

The Acting Governor of Bank Indonesia said that banks based on Islamic law are predicted to enjoy further growth in 2010. Darmin added that sharia banks would continue to flourish due to the organic growth within existing banks and the establishment of new sharia banks and unit.

Ingress gets 6-mth sukuk extension

Ingress Sukuk Bhd has obtained its sukuk holders’ approval to extend the maturity date of about RM48 million in Islamic bonds, the company said today.

Bank Islam taps into IPO business

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd is expanding its corporate investment banking business to include initial public offerings (IPOs) as part of its expansion drive.

CIMB Wealth Advisors Targets RM25 Million Premium This Year

CIMB Wealth Advisors Bhd aims to secure RM25 million premium this year from insurance and takaful products, chief executive officer Tan Beng Wah said on Monday.

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