Woori Bank launches service desk in #Iran

#SouthKorea’s Woori Bank has launched a Korea Desk in Iran to help Korean companies with their business activities in the Islamic Republic. Central Bank of Iran's deputy Gholam-Ali Kamyab said this move could prepare the ground for the opening of Woori branches in Iran. Korean companies will be able to use Woori Bank’s service in the Iranian bank or the Korean bank’s outlets in neighboring cities of Bahrain and Dubai for their businesses in Iran.

Unlocking innovation in the #MiddleEast through financial inclusion

The Middle East remains the most financially excluded region in the world despite being a middle income region. When the World Bank conducted its first Global Findex survey in 2011, the Middle East had the lowest bank account ownership rate of the six developing regions. In the Middle East only about 14% of adults have an account, virtually unchanged from 2011. The World Bank has made substantial efforts to ensure that SMEs obtain access to finance over the past six years – with large line of credit operations in Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco.

Inside #lraq’s Cash Economy: Fully Reserved #Banking in a Monetary Dystopia

In Iraq the private sector is primarily cash-based. Bank financing is unavailable for all but the largest companies and even then is limited mainly to overdraft facilities. Private banks are subject to large and unpredictable demands for cash from depositors, while money transfer companies do not take deposits at all. The majority of households do not have a bank account, those with savings often hold them in the form of US dollar hoards in private safes.

Finance participative : conférence de presse du Salon SIFEP 2016 à Casablanca

La 1ère édition du Salon International de la Finance Ethique et Participative SIFEP 2016 se tiendra du 20 au 22 octobre 2016 au Parc d’Expositions de l’Office des Changes à Casablanca.
Dans le cadre de la préparation de cet évènement majeur pour le développement de la finance islamique au Maroc, une conférence de presse consacrée à la présentation du Salon SIFEP 2016 sera organisée le mardi 17 Mai 2016 à 17h à l’hôtel Goden Tulip Farah – Casablanca.
La conférence de presse sera l’occasion de revenir sur le contexte du démarrage des institutions de finance participative et de l’émergence de la finance islamique au Maroc.
M. Reda EL HADDAJ, Directeur Général du SIFEP et M. Abderrahmane LAHLOU, Commissaire Général du SIFEP, effectueront une présentation du SIFEP 2016 et du Forum du SIFEP organisé en marge du Salon.

Funding Social Expenditure with Risk-Sharing Sukuk

While the use of risk-sharing instruments for the funding of revenue-generating infrastructure projects is easy to understand, such instruments can also be used for the funding of non-revenue generating infrastructure. The principle of risk-sharing would require that the government's repayment of the obligation created be linked to some proxy or indicator of government revenue. Given today's conundrum with debt and the need to deleverage, GDP-linked securities are being revisited. Replacing the benchmark to LIBOR (London Interbank Offer Rate) with a benchmark to nominal GDP makes eminent sense, especially from a Shariah viewpoint.

Fitch: Turkish banks still resilient to economic shocks

Fitch Ratings expects Turkish banks to have continued resilience to economic shocks as they still retain reasonable capitalization and liquidity. According to Fitch Financial Institutions Director Lindsey Liddell the agency expects their performance to remain reasonable, however the banks will face some challenges given the slower growth environment and margin pressure from competition. There will be further asset quality pressures, particularly considering the sector's high level of foreign currency lending and the sharp devaluation of the local currency in 2015.

Kuveyt Turk Issues Sukuk Linked to Turkish CPI

Sukuk linked to Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate will provide investors protection against rising inflation in Turkey. The short term sukuk, known as rental certificates in Turkey was issued with a maturity of 729 days. The issue was subscribed by means of a private placement at a profit rate of 3.39 % above the CPI rate.

IFSB Seminar on Islamic Capital Markets: Supporting Development through Sukuk

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has organised an IFSB Seminar on Islamic Capital Market themed Supporting Development through Sukuk: Prospects and Initiatives on 10 April 2016 in Cairo, Egypt. This Seminar was held as part of the IFSB Annual Meetings and Side Events 2016, hosted by the Central Bank of Egypt. Sherif S. Samy, Chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, highlighted the importance of appropriate legal framework to support the issuance of Sukuk. He also emphasised the need for utilising Sukuk as a source of funding for social and infrastructure financing.

Tunisia: realization of Tunis Financial Harbour starts

Governor of Ariana, Mehdi Zaoui announced the start of work on the construction of the Tunis Financial Harbour. Zaoui said they finished the dispute regarding the expropriation for public use under habitat. The Tunis Financial Harbour, considered as a mega project developed by the Gulf Finance House in the northern suburbs near Raoued, extends over 523 hectares with a total investment of USD 5 billion.

IIRA Assigns Fiduciary Ratings to AlBaraka Bank Lebanon S.A.L

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has assigned investment grade, national scale ratings of BBB-(lb)/A3(lb) (Triple B Minus / A Three) to AlBaraka Bank Lebanon S.A.L (ABBL). Outlook on the assigned ratings is 'Stable'. The fiduciary score has been assessed in the range of '71-75', reflecting adequate fiduciary standards wherein rights of various stakeholders are adequately protected. ABBL was incorporated in 1992 as the first Islamic bank operating in the Republic of Lebanon. ABBL has sought to diversify its financings outside Lebanon, thereby mitigating the effects of the slowdown in the Lebanese economy. Owing to the market dynamics and management caution, ABBL maintains a highly liquid asset profile.

Daaboul Industrial Group: Governance and leadership in the Middle East

The Daaboul Industrial Group (DIG) was established in Syria by Mohammed Daaboul in 1976. After almost 40 years the family patriarch is still the acting chairman of the family-owned group and is considered as one of Syria's living legends. By increasing the revenues with consistent growth rates of 20%-25% per annum until 2013, Mohammed created one of the largest aluminum producers in the Middle East. The constant growth was not sustainable without someone clearly defining actual roles and responsibilities and creating a rigid reporting culture within the family. A future goal for DIG is to add senior professionals in key positions to the group.

GCC financial regulators encouraged to promote use of sukuk to fund infrastructure

The value of sukuk being issued in the GCC has been falling, but there is still opportunity in the market, Zamir Iqbal, lead financial sector specialist at the World Bank said. The potential lies in the huge infrastructure financing, but a proper legal and tax environment for the structuring of the sukuk and the SPV laws must be established. There’s already excess liquidity in the market, and banks are looking for high-quality, highly-rated sukuk, Iqbal noted. The International Monetary Fund said in November that the GCC region was suffering from a lack of availability of Sharia'a compliant financial instruments, or tradable assets, leading to excess liquidity and to an uneven playing field for Islamic banks.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS) Invests $15m in Sanad Fund for MSME to Deploy in Middle East, North Africa

Gemeinschaftsbank für Leihen und Schenken (GLS), a German bank that focuses on investing in socially responsible and ecological projects, recently invested EUR 13 million (USD 14.5 million) in Sanad Fund for MSME, a Luxembourg-based public-private partnership that provides debt and equity financing in the Middle East and North Africa. As of March 2016, Sanad has raised total investor commitments of USD 186 million. As of 2013, GLS had total assets of EUR 3.2 billion (USD 4 billion), deposits of EUR 2.8 billion (USD 3.5 billion), a loan portfolio of EUR 1.7 billion (USD 2.1 billion) and 165,000 customers.

Finance participative au Maroc Un écosystème en constitution

La dernière déclaration du gouverneur de la Banque centrale sur la création imminente des banques participatives rassure sur la marche des préparatifs, tout en marquant un report inattendu de l’échéance, que les opérateurs ainsi que le marché attendaient pour le 16 mars 2016, soit quatre mois après la date de dépôt des demandes d’agrément, conformément à l’article 34 de la loi 103-12. Bien sûr, le même article dispose que ledit délai ne court qu’après la réception de tous les documents et des réponses aux questions complémentaires de l’autorité monétaire, et le gouverneur a pris soin de rappeler que les entretiens étaient en cours.

Too important to fail—addressing the humanitarian financing gap

UN study paper on the humanitarian financing gap.

"The world today spends around US$ 25 billion to provide life-saving assistance to 125 million people devastated by wars and natural disasters. While this amount is twelve times greater than fifteen years ago, never before has generosity been so insufficient. Over the last years conflicts and natural disasters have led to fast-growing numbers of people in need and a funding gap for humanitarian action of an estimated US$ 15 billion. This is a lot of money, but not out of reach for a world producing US$ 78 trillion of annual GDP.

QIIB expects Morocco JV approval by third quarter

Qatar's Islamic lender QIIB achieved increase and growth in its various banking activities over the past year. The AGM approved the Board of Directors' proposal to distribute 40% cash dividends of the nominal value per share which is equivalent to QR4 per share. Besides, the bank is expecting approval from authorities in Morocco for its joint venture by the end of third quarter this year. The lender had signed a joint venture agreement with CIH Bank (Credit Immobilier et Hotelier), a Moroccan bank, for the establishment of a bank in Morocco in December last year. Under the agreement, QIIB will have 40% stake in the proposed bank.

World Bank Group, United Nations, and Islamic Development Bank Pledge Support for Stability in Middle East and North Africa

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of the Islamic Development Bank Group Dr. Mohamed Ali Al-Madani arrived in Lebanon today at the start of a joint visit to rally global support for the shared responsibility of promoting peace and development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The three organizations are jointly supporting an initiative to raise additional financing needed to help countries in the region cope with the immediate consequences of conflict, while laying the foundations for recovery and reconstruction. Following the Lebanon visit, World Bank President Kim and Secretary General Ban will travel together to Jordan and Tunisia.

Tokio Marine Egypt General Takaful plans 56% rise in investments this FY

Insurer Tokio Marine Egypt General Takaful plans to increase its investments in the country by 56 percent in the financial year 2015/16 to 46.8 million Egyptian pounds (5.3 million), its managing director said. Satoshi Furuya further said that the group's investments had surged to 30 million pounds by the end of the financial year 2014/15. Tokio Marine Egypt General Takaful's investments are Shariah-compliant, notably in governmental bonds, treasury bills, in addition to deposits in investment accounts with Islamic banks, Furuya added. The company is part of Japan-based Tokio Marine Group.

New Israeli Crowdfunding Platform Will Raise Zero-Interest Loans for Social Impact Enterprises

The main obstacle encountered by most social impact enterprises is a credit crunch. LivinGift wishes to solve this problem, by offering zero-interest loans to social impact enterprises through crowdfunding. The Israeli-based platform is now open for applications for all forms of organizations: non-profit organizations, NGOs, for-profit companies and cooperatives. The platform will be launched this upcoming April, in both English and Hebrew. Social impact enterprises will have to show double impact strategy: social or environmental impact, alongside a sustainable and profitable economic model and a fixed income.

CIH Bank accélère sa mutation

Année charnière pour CIH Bank qui compte étoffer davantage son périmètre de consolidation. 2016 marquera, entre autres, la naissance de la filiale dédiée aux OPCI (organismes de placement collectif immobilier). L’entité, créée conjointement avec la CDG, devra se concentrer sur la gestion de sociétés et de fonds investis directement ou indirectement dans l’immobilier locatif. L’entreprise devra attendre la promulgation de la loi 70-14, qui régit ce nouveau véhicule de placement ainsi que l’agrément du nouveau gendarme de la bourse. Entre temps, la banque se prépare pour le lancement de son autre filiale, dédiée à la finance participative

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