MENA

#Turkey's banking watchdog temporarily shuts down Bank Asya

The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) announced that the operations of Bank Asya will be temporarily frozen. According to the official announcement, the decision was made by the Fund Council in accordance with Article 107 of the Banking Law. The tender for the sale of Bank Asya's shares was scheduled for Friday and TMSF announced that no bid had been offered for the tender. Although shares were planned to be opened to transactions following the bank's sale, Bank Asya's shares are now closed for transactions. Bank Asya is believed to be the main financial institution for the controversial Gülen Movement, which is accused of large-scale cheating and nepotism.

Turkish regulator shuts down Gulen-linked bank

The Turkish Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) announced it would temporarily suspend operations in Bank Asya, which is closely associated with the cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed Gulen and his supporters for the coup attempt on Friday in which more than 200 people have been killed. The coup attempt was suppressed by early Saturday as 103 army generals and admirals were detained. The arrests now amount to a third of the country’s top military officials.

Politics of Islamic finance in #Turkey

For over three decades Turkish governments did not dare speak the name Islamic banking for fear of being branded radical. These institutions were officially named special finance houses, profit-and-loss banks, interest-free banks and more recently, participation banks. Now Islamic finance public policy is elevated to a pivotal position in the official management of the Turkish economy.
Ankara has recently embarked on a wholesale restructuring of its participation banking sector, which has seen the entry of three new banks including Ziraat Participation Bank, Halk Participation Bank and Vakif Bank. This brings the total number of participation banks in Turkey to seven including the four established ones, Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank, Albaraka Turk Participation Bank, Turkiye Finans and Asya Bank. Ankara is also keen in making Turkey a leading proponent of Islamic finance and developing Istanbul into an international financial centre.

Bank Asya sale scheduled for July 14

The tender for the sale of Bank Asya is set to take place on July 14. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli stressed the importance and the magnitude of the sale, as Bank Asya was subject to financial maladministration by the previous management. While sunken credit totaled TL 2.2 billion ($750 million), credit volume in September 2015 reached TL 6.5 billion. The bank's capital dropped to TL 1.2 billion in 2015. Upon inspection of the actual amount of sunken credit, Bank Asya's cumulative losses totaled TL 1.6 billion.

#Algérie: La finance islamique est complémentaire et non une alternative

Kader Merbouh, expert en finance islamique penser que la finance islamique est la solution pour capter l’épargne dormante et en dehors du circuit bancaire en Algérie. L’Algérie a été un point d’encouragement à la finance islamique. Tant par les banques conventionnelles qui proposeront dans les prochaines années des produits de la finance islamique pour capter leur clientèle et tant par les banques islamiques comme Salam ou Baraka. Il y a aussi l’arrivée de nouveaux acteurs qui voudront être présents sur le marché algérien. Cela va créer une triple dynamique. L’Algérie est un marché formidable. La loi de modernisation bancaire en Algérie va introduire quelques règlements pour faciliter la finance islamique.

#Morocco to start approving Islamic banks for business to begin in 2017

Morocco's central bank will start issuing approvals for Islamic banks this year so that they can begin business in early 2017. The North African country had long rejected Islamic banking due to concerns about Islamist movements. Now the central bank has set up a central sharia board with the country's body of Islamic scholars to oversee the new industry. Lhassane Benhalima, the central bank's head of banking supervision said it was absolutely wrong that some banks had been pushing to delay the process. The central bank received seven requests to open Islamic banks and three to open windows selling Islamic finance products. According to Benhalima the bank is planning an Islamic interbank market and is encouraging the government to issue regular sukuk to ensure liquidity.

UPDATE 1-#Morocco to start approving Islamic banks for business to begin in 2017

Morocco's central bank will start issuing approvals for Islamic banks this year so that they can begin business in early 2017. The North African country had long rejected Islamic banking due to concerns about Islamist movements. Now the central bank has set up a central sharia board with the country's body of Islamic scholars to oversee the new industry. Lhassane Benhalima, the central bank's head of banking supervision said it was absolutely wrong that some banks had been pushing to delay the process. The central bank received seven requests to open Islamic banks and three to open windows selling Islamic finance products. According to Benhalima the bank is planning an Islamic interbank market and is encouraging the government to issue regular sukuk to ensure liquidity.

The IFSB, World Bank and Turkish Treasury Organise a Joint #Conference on Value Proposition of #Takaful Industry in Istanbul

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), The World Bank Group (WBG) and the Republic of Turkey have organised a joint conference focusing on the takaful sector. This conference, themed "Realising the Value Proposition of Takaful Industry for a Stable and Inclusive Financial System" was held in Istanbul on May 30-31, 2016. The Keynote Address was delivered by Ramazan Ulger, President of the Turkish Insurance Association and Ozgur Koc from the Association of Participation Insurance. Mr. Ulger highlighted that there are 60 insurance companies and one reinsurance company operating in Turkey. He suggested for the takaful industry to develop a wider range of products to address the needs of individuals. Ozgur Koc reiterated the country's vision to establish Istanbul as an Islamic financial centre.

#Islamicbanking market in #Turkey to get major boost

According to Standard & Poors recent government initiatives will spur momentum for Turkey’s fast-growing Islamic banking market. Islamic banks in the country have doubled their share of overall banking assets over the past decade to roughly 5% or $42.2 billion at year-end 2015. The annual volume of sukuk issuance in the country increased nearly 20-fold over the same period, growing from $100 million in 2010 to almost $2bn by year-end 2015. Credit analyst Mohamed Damak said Turkish Islamic banks’ market share is expected to double to more than 10% by year-end 2025.

#Banque Misr obtains $105 mn #murabaha facility from #UAE banks

Banque Misr, Egypt's second-largest state lender, has obtained a $105 mn murabaha financing facility from three United Arab Emirates banks, Chairman Mohamed Mahmoud Eletreby told Reuters Tuesday.
Egypt has been struggling since a 2011 uprising drove away tourists and foreign investors, putting pressure on foreign reserves which halved to $17.5 bn in May.
Eletreby said the facility was obtained from three of the largest UAE banks, but declined disclose their names. He said the facility will strengthen Banque Misr's foreign currency resources and will be paid back in two years.

What a #Brexit could mean for the UK’s aspiring #Islamic #finance #market

As the referendum on whether to leave or remain in the European Union looms in the UK, voices are getting louder, particularly in the country’s financial industry that it would not necessarily be a good idea to vote for a Brexit. Since the weight of the UK in the global financial market is substantial – the financial sector of the City of London has a 20% share in the global market for trading foreign securities and a sizeable part of it depends on the UK’s access to the internal EU market – such a strong position would be certainly threatened.
This could have serious impact on the growing role of Islamic finance in Europe which is entrenched in the UK and from there makes its way into the continent. Since the 1990s, when the first mortgages in the UK were set up in line with Shariah law, the country has aggregated the most advanced experience in Shariah-compliant finance in the Western world. Corporate sukuk followed a decade later, and in 2014, the UK became the first country in the EU to issue some sovereign sukuk and listed them on the London stock exchange. From then on, Islamic finance steadily entered the rest of Europe.

Ramadan #Sukuk deal flow as tightest spread for a year issued by #Qatari Bank’s $750m print

A Riyal denominated Sukuk has been issued by the Saudi International Petrochemical Company. The company announced the successful completion of the issuance amounting to SAR 1.0 bn on June 16, 2016. The Sukuk was priced at 235 bps over six months SAIBOR for tenor of five years maturing on June 16, 2021. Riyadh Capital and NCB Capital helped to arrange the private issuance.
In the hard currency space, the Commercial Bank of Qatar issued a Eurobond which achieved the tightest spread for a MENA financial institution this year, conventional or Sukuk.
Whilst the issuance was not a Sukuk, demand for bond indicates strong investor appetite, a good sign of market demand which is likely to be tested with several large planned issuances post Ramadan. Most eagerly anticipated is a potential sovereign issuance by Saudi Arabia, as well as by Aramco, the Saudi national oil giant.

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.”

Pre-selection process for Bank Asya sale extended for Saudi bank

The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) decided to extend the deadline for the preliminary qualification to offer bids in the sale of Bank Asya. Al-Rajhi Bank, Bank Al-Jazeera (BAJ), Al-Bilad Bank and Alinma Bank are the possible banks that asked for the one-week extension of the deadline from June 10 to June 17 to prepare the documents. According to Moody's, in the case that Bank Asya is sold to a well-known bank and strengthens its financial strength, it will be in a better condition to pay its debts to its creditors.

#Algeria plans to launch #Islamicfinance, push banking reform

Algeria is preparing to launch Islamic financial services as the OPEC member seeks new ways to raise money after a sharp fall in energy earnings. Algeria’s outdated financial system has been a barrier to investment as the government seeks to diversify its economy away from oil and gas, which account for 60 percent of the state budget. Boualem Djebbar, head of the state-run Banks and Financial Institutions Association, said a legal framework would need to be finalized before introducing Islamic financial services. Djebbar said developing the banking system had become inevitable, with a particular focus on electronic payment systems, which are still little used in Algeria.

#UNICEF Needs $860 Million to Save 18 Million Children in #Yemen and #Syria

The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has revealed the urgent need to provide humanitarian aid to 8 million of Syria’s children, who are suffering from the ravaging civil war. The aid is estimated to be around $800 million and according to UNICEF there are more than 14 million children in war zones in the MENA region. Furthermore, there are around 10 million Yemeni children who are in need for urgent humanitarian aid. UNICEF spokesperson Juliette Touma pointed out that Saudi Arabia has donated $30 million to aid Yemeni children, but there is still a $60 million shortage of humanitarian funding.

Al Baraka Bank #Egypt reports net income of EGP 127 million for Q1 2016

Al Baraka Bank Egypt announced that the net income of the bank jumped by 101% for the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. Total assets also increased by 4%, financing and investments portfolio by 4%, deposits by 5% and equity by 6% at the end of March 2016. Chairman Adnan Ahmed Yousif said the bank has an ambitious branch expansion and geographical spread plans. It is on track to complete its new headquarters building in the New Cairo area. The bank's rolling expansion programme envisages a network of 42 branches by 2020.

New Islamic Bank to open in #Palestinian territories

A new Islamic bank will open in the Palestinian territories later this year. Al Safa Bank, founded locally, will be based in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian government in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. It will be capitalised at $75 million. Co-founder Abdel-Rahim Al-Hassan said the bank has already bought some 37 million shares, valued at $37 million, with another 38 million shares now on sale to the public. Al Safa will be the third bank in the West Bank to operate under Islamic law. The bank's services will include project-funding, foreign currency trading and real estate investment.

#Turkey Raising $1 Billion in First Dollar #Sukuk Since 2014

Turkey is issuing $1 billion dollar-denominated sukuk after a 18-month absence from the Islamic finance market. The government is offering five-year notes at 290 basis points above the midswap rate, aiming to sell debt before the Federal Reserve acts on its stated intention to increase interest rates. Turkey has already raised $3 billion in capital markets this year, completing two-thirds of its planned borrowing program for 2016. Turkish government debt is rated Baa3 at Moody’s Investors Service, the lowest investment grade.

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.

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