Asia

Will BIMB be reorganised soon?

After the listing of RHB Bank, attention is now on whether BIMB will do the same with Bank Islam Malaysia. Bank Islam is the oldest and largest standalone Islamic bank in Malaysia with an asset size of RM55.46 bn as at March 31. It also owns a 59.9% stake in insurer Syarikat Takaful Malaysia, while its other core business is BIMB Securities. BIMB, in turn is 53.6% controlled by pilgrim fund Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH). It is believed that the bank still holds the dream to move into the big league and grow market share. However, it will not be able to achieve mega Islamic bank dream unless it mergers.

Bank Muamalat Appointed as Official #Zakat Collector Agency

Bank Muamalat Indonesia was appointed as the National Zakat Collector Agency through its affiliation called Baitulmaal Muamalat (BMM). Bank Muamalat has distributed assistance fund to 4,500 orphans across Indonesia, which amounts to Rp1.35 billion (US$100,000) worth of zakat collected by BMM. The fund is distributed through a number of programs, namely community empowerment programs, like Orphan Kafala and educational programs, like the Islamic Solidarity School (ISS). The fund is also distributed through the B-Smart program that provides scholarships for accomplished students, and the Fi Sabilillah program that provides scholarships for orphans finishing their undergraduate studies.

#Malaysia: #Succession Planning Of Family Businesses From An Islamic Perspective

There is evidence both in the Quran and Hadith that supports wealth succession planning and management. A starting point for a discussion on Islamic wealth management would be the Quranic verses in Surah al-Kahf (Surah no. 18). There are lessons that we may draw from these Quranic verses. These verses indicate that although a person cannot foresee future events, he/she should take measures and have plans to manage their unfavourable effects on life and family welfare. That parents may have a succession plan through which the wealth earned could be transferred to children in the safest possible way.

#Malaysia approaches #fintech with Islamic twist

Malaysia is adapting to fintech revolution by adjusting its financial regulatory guidelines with an Islamic angle. According to Muhammad bin Ibrahim, governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia, the recent Islamic finance initiative could be the next game changer. The Investment Account Platform (IAP) is a platform that connects lenders, banks and enterprises seeking funds, one that could shift the role of Islamic lenders to investment intermediaries. Serving as a central marketplace to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the IAP was launched by six Malaysian Islamic banks: Affin Holdings, Bank Islam Malaysia, Bank Muamalat Malaysia, Maybank Islamic, Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia and Bank Simpanan Nasional.

#1MDB: #Malaysia’s biggest scam?

Malaysia has been rocked for more than a year by a financial scandal involving Prime Minister Najib Razak, a state investment firm, and an alleged frenzy of embezzlement. Authorities in a half-dozen countries have launched investigations into suspicions that several billion dollars was looted from complicated financial transactions involving 1MDB and parked around the world. Over the past year, Najib has purged 1MDB critics from his cabinet, curbed domestic investigations, and moved to prevent further discussion of the scandal. Najib has dramatically strengthened his control of the country. A state-level election and two parliamentary by-elections were won handily by Najib's ruling coalition, further bolstering his position.

Chellam Plantations’ RM300 million #sukuk gets Danajamin guarantee

In #Malaysia Danajamin Nasional is guaranteeing a 17-year sukuk murabahah programme amounting to RM300 million for Chellam Plantations. The first tranche of the programme amounting to RM150 million with a tenure of up to 17 years, was issued and subscribed last Friday. Funds from the sukuk issuance will support Chellam Plantations’ new planting in Kalimantan and expansion in Indonesia. Proceeds from the sukuk will also be used to refinance its outstanding borrowings and finance its capital expenditures. Joint lead arrangers of the transaction are RHB Investment Bank and OCBC Al-Amin Bank.

#Malaysia’s Sarawak Hidro Said to Plan $1.3 Billion #Sukuk Sale

Sarawak Hidro, the state-owned developer of Malaysia’s biggest hydropower project, plans to offer 5.5 billion ringgit ($1.3 billion) of sukuk without a government guarantee. The electricity generator is weaning off government guarantees to ease the nation’s fiscal burden. Sarawak Hidro’s plant on Borneo island is part of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s $444 billion development plan to become a developed economy by 2020. Malaysia aims to cut its ratio of debt to gross domestic product to 45% by 2020, from 54.5% at the end of last year.

Shahjalal Islami Bank's AGM and EGM held

The 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and 12th Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of Shahjalal Islami Bank was held on the 26th of June 2016 in Dhaka. The meeting approved 13% cash dividend for the shareholders for the year 2015. The chairman of the bank, A. K. Azad said the entire index of the bank, including deposit, investment and profit are in a stable position even prevailing severe competition in the banking sector. The program was conducted by Md. Abul Bashar, VP and company secretary of the bank.

#Islamic #banking will be most relevant to SME sector: Interview with Zafar Sareshwala

Interview with director and head of Islamic Corporation for Development's India operations.
For the first time, the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank has forayed into a non-member country by announcing setting up of a non-banking financial company in India through its 100% subsidiary Islamic Corporation for the Development of the private sector. Based on the Islamic principle of not charging interest on loans, ICD will operate through a registered office in Mumbai, with prominent businessman from Gujarat, Zafar Sareshwala, heading its India operations as director. In an interview with Vinay Umarji, Sareshwala talks about how the NBFC will play a catalyst for small businesses by sharing their profits and losses instead of charging interest on finance extended.

What kind of entity is Islamic Development Bank setting up in India? How will it function?

#EPF allocates US$24.64 billion to #shariah #fund

Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund is allocating an initial fund size of 100 bn ringgit (US$24.64 bn) – equivalent to 14.67% of 681.71 bn ringgit in total AUM as at March 31, 2016 – to shariah investments, making the Shariah-compliant allocation the largest in the world thus far.
The move is in accordance with the EPF’s plan to roll out its shariah-compliant fund – also known as EPF-i – in January 2017. What sets the fund apart from its conventional counterpart is that the former is not exposed to banking and insurance stocks. Meanwhile, contributors are free to choose from among the two schemes.
Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, chief executive officer of EPF, says the fund has been investing in shariah-compliant assets for more than five years and about 45% of its existing total assets – worth 295 bn ringgit – already conform to Islamic principles.
In fact, prior to the launch of EPF-i, the EPF had assured investors that its investment considerations are in line with ESG practices, as it does not invest in businesses related to gambling, adult entertainment and alcohol.

World’s leading financial institutions in Hall of Shame for #investments in #cluster munitions producers

From Canada, CI Financial, Manulife Financial, Royal Bank of Canada and Sun Life Financial are also included in the Hall of Shame. Jointly, these Canadian financial institutions invested US$565 million in cluster munitions producers between June 2012 and April 2016.

The report by Dutch peace organisation PAX was released today in Ottawa, together with the Cluster Munition Coalition and Mines Action Canada, to put pressure on Canada and other governments to put an end to these investments.

“It is an absolute outrage that financial institutions are investing billions into companies that produce weapons which are banned under international law”, says Suzanne Oosterwijk, author of the PAX report. “Canada has also banned these weapons. It is time for financial institutions to stop disregarding the international norm with these explosive investments into producers of illegal weapons that maim and kill civilians.”

#Philippines may join Asian sovereigns testing #Sukuk market

Plans by the Philippines to sell Islamic bonds could open a new source of financing for the incoming government of Rodrigo Duterte. Governments across Asia are increasingly viewing sukuk as a viable funding option, with Hong Kong open to tap the market for a third time while Sri Lanka and the Maldives consider debuts. A sukuk from these debutante countries could widen the Asian market that is dominated by sovereign deals from Malaysia and Indonesia. The Duterte government would have to work on a legal framework to facilitate sukuk, which could prove difficult in a busy agenda. Ashraf Mohammed, Assistant General Counsel of Asian Development Bank, said despite the concerns, interest is growing in the region to use Sukuk for infrastructure financing.

Aberdeen Says Time Ripe for New Hong Kong Islamic Bond Offering

The worst time for global markets may be the best time for Hong Kong’s government to carry out its planned third Islamic bond sale. Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management says the time is ripe for a sukuk. The yield on the city’s five-year Shariah-compliant bonds sold in September 2014 has fallen 32 basis points to 1.56% since February. Sales of dollar sukuk are at an all-time high for this time of year, suggesting there’s appetite for an issue by Hong Kong, rated AAA by S&P Global Ratings.

#Estate planning: The benefits of Islamic estate planning (Pt 1)

In #Malaysia estate planning is an often forgotten element in a Muslim’s financial plan. According to Abdul Aziz Peru Mohamed, CEO of as-Salihin Trustee, estate planning is how we protect the assets we have spent a lifetime accumulating. He says 85% of the local Muslim population have not done any estate planning. There had been an estimated RM60 billion worth of unclaimed assets since the country’s independence in 1957. This is a substantial increase from RM42 billion worth of frozen assets in 2011. By having a will or trust, the issue of unclaimed assets will not arise as the settlor will appoint an executor or trustee to manage the deceased’s assets.

#China Turns To Islamic Finance To Drive Economic Initiative

The Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road initiative, now known as One Belt One Road (OBOR), was designed in 2013 to develop economic cooperation between China and Eurasia. The Chinese government has now decided to speed up the operation of the Silk Road fund. Proposals to strengthen the cooperation of China-ASEAN Interbank Association have also been completed. Also a High Speed Rail project in China is considering using Islamic securities to raise a fund for almost 30 billion Chinese yuan (US$4.7billion). In addition, Hainan Airlines Group is planning to raise US$150 million for ship purchasing and to raise offshore Islamic securities.

Manila plans to raise debt via #sukuk, yuan borrowings

The #Philippines’ incoming finance minister is looking at raising debt via sukuk bonds and yuan borrowings in a bid to diversify its debt profile. The Philippines last went to the debt market in February selling $2bn of 25-year bonds. Minister Carlos Dominguez is also planning to impose new taxes on more unhealthy products to compensate for a planned cut in income taxes. He also said he would put casinos under an anti-money laundering legislation to avoid a repeat of the Bangladesh Bank heist. Dominguez is returning to the Cabinet after 27 years and will assume office on June 30.

Islamic finance looks for a second wind

At a conference on Islamic finance in Singapore many experts warned that the industry depends too heavily on oil and gas for revenue. According to expert Rushdi Siddiqui the industry saw a 43% drop in sukuk issuance and he argued for the need to 'delink' Islamic finance from oil and gas. Other participants noted that the industry's growth is slowed by the 'perception price' that comes with political volatility in the Middle East and Malaysia.

Islami Bank reappoints CEO for third term

Mohammad Abdul Mannan has been reappointed as the chief executive officer of Islami Bank Bangladesh for a third term. Mannan recently received 'The Asian Banker CEO Leadership Achievement Award-2016' and the bank was judged as 'The Best Managed Bank in Bangladesh' for the same year.

RHB #Sukuk Weekly: #Turkey Sukuk to be within the 5y tenor in range USD1-1.5bn

In the USD sukuk pipeline, DP World and Noor Bank have selected banks for a possible benchmark issuance. Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek mentioned plans of an issuance within 1H16. Bloomberg Malaysia Sukuk Ex-MYR Total Return (BMSXMTR) and Dow Jones Sukuk Total Return (DJSUKTXR) indices closed lower at 103.55 (-0.26%) and 159.18 (-0.44%) respectively. Malaysia’s revenue fell slightly to MYR1.54bn (-0.7%) in 2015 while income tax revenue increased by 7.8%. Turkey's unemployment rate declined to 10.9% and its government budget balance improved to TRY5.36bn in April. Indonesia’s trade balance rose to USD667m in April mainly due to the larger than expected decline in imports.

1MDB Pays Coupon on Debt After Missing Two Interest Payments

#Malaysia’s state investment company 1MDB paid the coupon on its Islamic debt after missing two payments on other securities earlier. The company undertook the scheduled payment of 143.8 million ringgit ($34.9 million) on its 5 billion ringgit 5.75% notes due 2039. President Arul Kanda said 1MDB has ample liquidity to make interest payments and service its current debt obligations. 1MDB’s separate $1.75 billion of 5.99% notes due 2022, which are guaranteed by IPIC, rose 0.1 cent to 103.7.

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