MENA

Bank Asya's shareholders to receive funds remaining after liquidation

According to Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) Chairman, Sakir Ercan Gül, Bank Asya's shareholders need to wait until the end of the bank's liquidation process to receive their remaining funds. Gül said the process of paying deposits would not be immediately initiated and the finalization of the liquidation process would be delayed. The law regarding deposits grants a three-month period for payments, which will expire this month. There are nearly TL 2 billion ($653 million) worth of deposits in the bank, including TL 950 million worth of insured deposits. If the bank has any remaining funds after the liquidation process, these will be distributed to the bank's shareholders in accordance with the percentage of their shares. According to Gül, the bank is now hovering between bankruptcy and liquidation.

L’UIC lance un Executive MBA en finance islamique

L’Executive MBA en finance islamique a été lancé par l’Université Internationale de Casablanca (UIC) en partenariat avec et Al Maali Consulting Groupe (ACG), filiale d’Al Maali Consulting Group. Ce MBA permettra aux cadres et managers de la finance, particulièrement du secteur bancaire, d’être former aux métiers de la banque, de la finance, de l’assurance et de la gestion d’actifs. Notons que la formation est assurée pendant les week-ends, répartie sur 12 mois. Elle comprend des séminaires animés par des experts nationaux et internationaux, des dirigeants d’entreprise et des influenceurs. Mais aussi des projets intégrés en relation avec les business stratégiques de la finance islamique; des séances de coaching et d’encadrement des projets professionnels.

CBJ to release Islamic #sukuk worth JD34m

The Central Bank of #Jordan (CBJ) announced it will release the first sovereign issue of Islamic sukuk to fund the government's special purpose vehicle projects. The CBJ said the value of the new issue is JD34 million for a five-year term, to be issued on October 17, 2016 and due on October 17, 2021. The CBJ expected these sukuks' revenues to stand at 3%, with paying revenues, after adding a percentage of the sukuk value, via 10 equal payments on April 17 and October 17 of each year. The issuance is released in cooperation between the government, Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector. The CBJ is the issuance manager, while the Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank is the secretary of the issuance.

#Qatar-backed fund seeks to improve lives in Muslim countries

The Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) was officially launched on Thursday. It was first announced two years ago by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and is now supported by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The decision-making body approved projects worth $363mn for the first of the five years that the fund will be operational. These projects will be primarily in the Middle East and several Islamic and African countries. The funds will be used to protect communities from the risk of malaria and HIV/Aids, increase access to water and primary healthcare, and empower poor farmers to grow more food. Administered by the IsDB, the fund combines $2bn of IsDB financing with $500mn in grants from donors.

Turkish Private Equity Deals Signal Investment Appetite After Failed Coup

Turkey’s biggest casual dining chain, Big Chefs, sold a minority share to an internationally backed private-equity firm, a sign that resilient consumer demand is drawing some investors to the country, despite July's failed coup rattling the economy. Meanwhile, leading Turkish ice-cream maker Mado is in advanced discussions with Bahrain-based Venture Capital Bank to sell a sizable minority stake, said Mr. Kotan, who is advising the Kahramanmaras-based deserts-and-food company.

Credit Agricole to Open #Morocco’s First Islamic Bank

Moroccan state-owned bank Credit Agricole (CAM) received the approval of the Ministry of Finance to open an Islamic subsidiary with The Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Credit Agricole will reportedly own 50% of the Islamic banking window as a joint venture with the IDB with an initial capital of 200 million dirhams. The two institutions have expressed plans to raise it to 400 million dirhams eventually. The central bank said earlier this year it had received seven requests to open Islamic banks and three to open windows selling Islamic finance products.

Better Understanding the Demand for Islamic #Microfinance

To close the severe gaps in financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa, more and more governments are starting to develop national financial inclusion strategies driven by evidence-based studies. So far, demand studies on Islamic finance have produced mixed results. To examine the distinction between preference and actual choice, CGAP, Yale University and Tamweelcom took a novel approach to the study of demand for Islamic and conventional loans in Jordan. According to the experiment, more people opt for the Islamic microloan than the conventional one when offered both (17% versus 2%). Sharia certification appears to have no significant impact on loan take-up at all. The study found that in Jordan people who are more religious are willing to pay a higher price for an Islamic microloan.

State fund probes 1.6 mln Bank Asya accounts for Gülen links

Turkey’s Saving Deposits Insurance Fund (TMSF) has probed more than 1.6 mn bank accounts because a number of public institutions wanted to learn whether any of their employees had an account with Bank Asya. The bank was linked to the controversial Gülen movement, which was believed to be the mastermind behind the failed July 15 coup attempt. In line with these probes, some 700,000 people have been searched since the end of 2013. When suspending public officials after the failed coup attempt, one of the main criteria under consideration was whether they were a Bank Asya customer and if they had made financially suspicious banking transactions. Turkish regulators canceled the banking license of Islamic lender Bank Asya on July 24.

Credit Agricole authorised to establish Islamic banking unit

Moroccan state-owned bank Credit Agricole (CAM) has won authorisation to create an Islamic subsidiary with The Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Morocco’s central bank is in the final stages of launching an Islamic finance industry. The North African kingdom adopted legislation allowing Islamic banks and insurers in the domestic market, and the central bank has set up a central sharia board to oversee the new industry. IDB and CAM will inject 200 million dirhams ($20.55 million) of capital into the offshoot of the new subsidiary before doubling it to 400 million later. The Moroccan bank will hold 51% stake in the new banking unit.

Coup and wars no deterrent for #Turkey realty

Developer of Istanbul financial hub Burak Kutlug says the coup and the conflicts are strictly short-term concerns in Turkey. The property market remains a magnet for investors from the Middle East or other Islamic countries. In recent years, Turkey has been going all out to pull in such investors, particularly through legislations such as the "reciprocity law", whereby anyone who commits to a certain level of funding gets to have citizenship rights. According to a survey by CBRE of the living factor in major cities, Istanbul has seen its real estate recording 25% annual growth. Kutlug believes there’s still headroom for Istanbul prices to grow. The city’s all-round development with the new airport expansion and Eurasia tunnel will more than ensure that.

Islamic Development Bank backs #Turkey's steps for stable growth

Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani has said they are ready to support Turkey to maintain the country's stable investment environment in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt. Al Madani said that the Turkish government has continued to promote domestic and foreign investments by boosting the liquidity of its markets to minimize short-term risks since the coup attempt. He noted that the establishment of the Sovereign Welfare Fund (SWF) is an extremely important development as it will help the government transfer its achievements to strategically important sectors. Al Madani remarked that Turkey will maintain its 3 to 4% growth rate despite its dependency on foreign energy.

Stability, of a Sort: #Turkey’s Islamic Bonds

Islamic entities known as participation banks offer bonds with potentially greater upside and more stability than standard government debt. According to a recent report from Standard & Poor’s, participation banks doubled their share of the country’s overall banking assets to about 5% between 2005 to 2015. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s support for further integration of Islamic law into all walks of life means participation banks are likely to grow. The system’s assets could reach some $300 billion by 2025, according to the Participation Banks Association of Turkey.

#Iraq Islamic banks see opportunity for expansion

Despite all the instability and continued sectarian violence in parts of Iraq, the country’s few Shariah-compliant lenders see chances to expand their business. As a result of the ongoing internal conflicts since the toppling of the regime in 2003 by the US, Iraq has been widely reduced back to a cash economy. Cash payments keep dominating the economic system because the majority of the population does not have a bank account. According to World Bank data, just about 11% of Iraqis use the services of formal banking institutions. However, Islamic banks reckon that the majority of the Iraqi population does not use banking services because most of them fail to comply with the provisions of Islamic law. Islamic banks currently account for 1.5% of total assets of Iraqi banks, amounting to nearly 3tn dinars ($2.55bn), this could grow to nearly 6% in the coming years if the political and economic environment improves and the necessary legislation gets introduced.

IsDB, Gates Foundation Support New Program for Women Scientists in Middle East, North Africa

The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) launched today a new major regional program to empower young Arab women scientists. Funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Young Arab Women Scientists Leadership (Tamkeen) Program is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. IsDB Department Director Osman El-Feil said that empowering women with the right skills in agricultural research will contribute to alleviating poverty and making food available to the poor. The Program will also help to identify and empower groups of women champions and build a critical mass of pathfinders.

Faisal Islamic Bank's mortgage portfolio hits $112k for middle-income housing units

#Egypt-based Faisal Islamic Bank's portfolio of mortgage finances pursuant to the central bank's initiative has reached around two million Egyptian pounds ($112,598). Faisal Bank is applying the Islamic financing structure Murabaha in providing mortgage finances as pursuant to the central bank's initiative. Through the new initiative, the central bank would lend Egypt's working banks 20 billion pounds for 20 years to be lent to people of low-income and average-income at 7 and 8% interest in order to buy housing units in new urban communities.

Al Baraka Bank earmarks $112.6 mln for energy, Suez Canal projects in 2016

Al Baraka Bank Egypt is planning to pump one billion Egyptian pounds ($112.6 million) into vital energy projects with economic feasibility. Chairman Ashraf El-Ghamrawy said the money will go for energy businesses in addition to projects in the high-profile Suez Canal development axis. Al Baraka Bank Egypt reported a first half net profit worth 255.390 million pounds, up from 140.291 million pounds in the first half of 2015. Deposits surged to 29.578 billion pounds by the end of June 2016, compared to 25.351 billion pounds by the end of December 2015.

IIRA reaffirms ratings of Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank: August 2016

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has reaffirmed the ratings of Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank (KTPB) at "AA(tr)/A1+(tr)" on the national scale. Ratings on the international scale have also been reaffirmed, with foreign currency rating at "BBB-/A3" and the local currency rating at "BBB/A3". Outlook on the assigned ratings is "Stable". Ratings of KTPB are underpinned by its strong institutional ownership, which is led by Kuwait Finance House. The impact of regional instability on Turkey’s banking industry has been manageable so far. However, the industry may face challenges in the coming periods.

Kuveyt Türk closes H1 2016 with a profit of TRY 256 million

Kuveyt Türk Katilim Bankasi has closed the first half of 2016 with a net profit of TRY 256 million with an increase by 24.4% compared to the same period last year. The bank's total assets have reached 44,1 billion increasing by 4.9% and its shareholders equity has reached TRY 3.7 billion increasing by 8%. Ufuk Uyan, the CEO of Kuveyt Türk, said the bank added 30 new branch offices to its network throughout 2016. Kuveyt Türk aims at becoming one of the top three banks opening the highest number of branch offices in the banking sector.

Al Baraka Banking Group Increase its Total Operating Income by 7% to US$ 538 million and Total Assets Reach US$ 25 billion in the First Half of 2016

The #Bahrain based Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) announced that it achieved an increase in total operating income of 7% and net profits before tax and provisions by 4% during the first half of 2016. Total assets increased by 2%, total finance and investments by 4%, deposits by 1% while total equity increased by 2% as at the end of June 2016. Total operating income reached US$ 538 million in the first half of 2016 compared to US$ 502 million during the same period of 2015. Al Baraka's CEO Adnan Ahmed Yousif said the Group opened 24 new branches in the first half of 2016 to bring total branches to 611. He considers the entry of the Group to Morocco market a very important achievement, because it represents one of the main markets in the Arab Maghreb and Africa. Also, it means a higher diversification in assets and income sources for the Group.

Kuveyt Turk claims 37 per cent share of #Turkey's participation banking

According to Group CEO Mazin Saad Al-Nahedh, the market share of Kuwait Finance House-Turkey (KFH-Turkey) accounts for 37% of the participation banking in Turkey. The total assets of participation banks as percentage of the total assets of banks in Turkey account for 5-6% and is expected to surge. Growth rates in KFH-Turkey have outpaced the rates in Kuwait, Bahrain and Malaysia. Noting that all Kuwaiti banks were strongly capitalised, Al-Nahedh mentioned that KFH Group’s own capital adequacy ratio surpassed 17% as of end Q1. Commenting on Kuwaiti sovereign debt issuances to Islamic banks, he said that KFH’s share of the debt was 50 per cent, mirroring its market share among Islamic banks in Kuwait.

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