Europe

Zurich Insurance moves into takaful with Malaysia buy

Zurich Insurance is set to take full ownership of Malaysia's MAA Takaful after the deal received regulatory approval, giving Europe's fifth-biggest insurer a foothold in the world's second largest Islamic insurance market. MAA Group said it had received central bank approval for the sale, a deal which was first proposed in November of last year. No size for the transaction was given. MAA Takaful held 1.2 billion ringgit ($306.7 million) worth of assets as of June 2015, a 5 percent increase from a year earlier.

United States Tops Philanthropic Giving According to the 2016 BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index

According to the fourth annual BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index by Forbes Insights, the United States remains the leader globally in personal philanthropy. Europe comes in as a close second, followed by Asia, with the Middle East achieving the sharpest increase in philanthropic giving. Almost all countries were focused on Health as the top area of philanthropic giving (United States at 60%), while Asia as a region chose Environment.

An interview with the Eurozone’s first Islamic bank

KT Bank AG, a subsidiary of Kuveyt Türk Katilim Bankasi A.S., is the first Islamic bank in the Eurozone. CEO Kemal Ozan said his bank has officially established a previously unknown business model in this region. As location for the registered office he chose Germany where only 5% of the German Muslim population adheres to Islamic banking. When this is measured against the number of more than four million Muslims in Germany, a huge growth potential can be anticipated. The economic exchange between Germany and the Gulf region opens new opportunities for the mid-tier segment with regard to sales markets, and for Europe as a recipient for Arabic investors. In this respect KT Bank AG wants to serve as a bridge between Germany and the MENA region.

'Greater Paris' woos Qatari investors

Paris is wooing potential Qatari investors to be the part of a huge infrastructure development project, 'Greater Paris', to which the government of France has already committed €50bn. Chiara Corazzara, Managing Director of the Greater Paris Investment Agency said the state-sponsored investment in infrastructures is designed to trigger €80bn private investment and the response that they get from Qatari investors is really encouraging.

Prêt halal sur 20 ans : l'offre financière de 570 easi qui pourrait changer la donne

L'agence 570 easi, pionnière en finance islamique en France vient de proposer une nouvelle offre de crédit halal permettant au client d’effectuer un achat immobilier sans avoir à contracter un emprunt portant un intérêt, selon le principe murabaha. L'offre actuelle est désormais disponible sur 20 ans, un crédit inédit en France. Le Conseil de la fatwa de l’Union des Organisation Islamique de France (UOIF) avait émis un avis juridique dans lequel il exemptait sous conditions, au nom du concept de nécessité, l’emprunteur musulman de l’interdiction de recourir au prêt bancaire à intérêt lorsque l’investissement vise l’achat d’une résidence principale.

Bank of England fines QIB’s UK unit nearly $2m

The Bank of England has fined Qatar Islamic Bank’s UK, a subsidiary of Qatar Islamic Bank, for failings in reporting its financial resources to the regulator in 2011 and 2012. The Bank’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) imposed a fine of 1.385 million pounds ($1.95 million) on QIB for failing to undertake a regular assessment of its capital. Guy Priestley, QIB UK’s interim chief executive, said the problems identified by the PRA have been remedied.

Turkish central banker is social scientist with roots in Islamic finance

Turkey's cabinet has approved Murat Cetinkaya as the next central bank head, giving some initial relief to investors who had feared a battle between Erdogan, who equates high interest rates with treason, and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's more orthodox economic team. Despite the initial relief in markets, the 40-year-old Cetinkaya remains something of an unknown quantity, lacking the experience of his predecessor, Erdem Basci, an engineer turned economics Ph.D. whose term as governor expires next week. The new Central bank governor must now convince investors that he can tame inflation while resisting political pressure to cut rates.

Investcorp hosts leadership program for young Arab business leaders at University of Oxford

Investcorp organised its annual Investcorp Leadership Program at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. The four-day program, held between 29 March and one April 2016, was attended by 41 aspiring young business leaders from the GCC. The program officially began with a keynote address by Mohammed Al Ardhi, Executive Chairman of Investcorp, who spoke about the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship. Faculty from Oxford Saïd delivered a series of interactive sessions on shaping the markets in which companies operate, embedding entrepreneurship in organizations and scaling family businesses. Demonstrations of the latest research in bioresearch and microscopy were also organised at the University’s Advanced Bioimaging Unit.

Gatehouse launches residential property finance offering

Gatehouse Bank plc has announced its entry into the residential property finance market. With a focus on greater London, Gatehouse will offer Shariah-compliant financing solutions for clients seeking to acquire or refinance residential properties. This new product was developed following strong client demand for residential property finance solutions. Gatehouse will offer clients bespoke property finance products, from simple single residential investment finance to more complex company structures including property portfolio and short lease finance. Abdulaziz AlDuweesh, Chief Investment Officer of Gatehouse sees significant opportunities to grow Gatehouse's presence in this market.

GFH signs £100 million deal for Northacre's 1 palace street

GFH Financial Group (GFH) has signed an agreement with Palace Revive Developments Limited worth £100 million to be a partner in the No. 1 Palace Street development in central London, a project being developed by Northacre. Under the agreement, GFH will become an anchor partner for more than 30% of the units in the development, which is located opposite Buckingham Palace. Located in Buckingham Gate, No. 1 Palace Street includes 271,051 square feet of space adjacent to Buckingham Palace in the area between St James's, Mayfair and Belgravia, the development of 72 luxury apartments, a restaurant and health centre. The development is expected to be completed in 2018.

Too important to fail—addressing the humanitarian financing gap

UN study paper on the humanitarian financing gap.

Excerpt:
"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.

QInvest LLC acquires ERGO Portfoy and launches QInvest Portfoy

QInvest L.L.C. has announced the acquisition of ERGO Portfoy, one of the largest and fastest growing asset management companies in Turkey. Following the completion of this acquisition, QInvest Asset Management will have assets under management close to $1 billion. ERGO Portfoy has been rebranded as QInvest Portfoy and is a subsidiary of Qatar’s QInvest. The senior management of QInvest Portfoy will remain with the firm and will be led by Mr. Murat Vanli, the General Manager of ERGO Portfoy, and will continue to operate from Istanbul. The company has been granted its license to operate by The Capital Markets Board of Turkey (CMB) and is licenced to offer portfolio management to both individual and institutional investors.

Scottish ‘Kirk’ ?joins Islamic faith on cash and morals

The Church of Scotland has joined forces with Islamic finance experts to draw up a “practical ethical financial solution” to help the poor while sticking to the principles of both faiths. The agreement, which was announced on Tuesday, marks an unusual attempt to promote cross-religious financial innovation. Backers say it is too early to say what “solution” the initiative could yield, but possibilities include the creation of a new financial institution with cross-faith legal articles. The Scottish initiative is supported by international Muslim clerics and experts including Lamido Sanusi, a former Nigerian central bank governor famed for cleaning up the banking sector and now one of the country’s highest Islamic authorities.

Formation en finance islamique en Suisse : Genève accueille l’IBQ – Islamic Banking Qualification

Organisé régulièrement dans plusieurs pays, l’Islamic Banking Qualification Program IBQ ® se délocalise à Genève pour une session exceptionnelle les 13-14-15 juin 2016. L’IBQ est une certification internationale dédiée aux principes et pratiques bancaires islamiques. Cette formation en langue française vise à permettre aux professionnels de la finance de comprendre et/ou d’intégrer le secteur bancaire islamique. La formation est d’une durée de 25 heures structurées sous le mode de workshop interactif avec des présentations et études de cas précédées par des lectures.

The IFSB and Banco De Espana to Organise Seminar on Islamic Finance: The Real Economy and the Financial Sector

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is organising a Seminar on Islamic Finance with the theme, "The Real Economy and the Financial Sector" on 24 May 2016 in Madrid, Spain, supported by the Banco de Espana and in collaboration with the IE Business School, Spain. This Seminar is part of the IFSB European Forum series, held in prominent financial centres in Europe. The one-day 'Seminar on Islamic Finance' is designed to encourage broad interaction among the delegates to explore the potential re-alignment of economic policy frameworks in a manner that strengthens the linkages between the real economy and the financial sector.

BCCI case: The Luxembourg Court of Appeal refuses to reopen the liquidation proceedings

On 2 March 2016, the Luxembourg Court of Appeal has denied an appeal filed by Dr. Adil Elias, Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt and a handful of other creditors of BCCI against a judgment previously rendered by the Luxembourg Commercial Court, which had refused to reopen the liquidation proceedings of Bank of Credit and Commerce International S.A. (“BCCI S.A.”) and BCCI Holdings (Luxembourg) S.A. (“BCCI Holdings”). Back in July 1991, the Luxembourg, English and Cayman Islands regulators undertook a joint action to close down the operations of the BCCI banking group, and in all three jurisdictions, joint liquidators were appointed to deal with one of the largest bankruptcies of a banking institution ever.

Call for Papers: Global Donors Forum, Istanbul May 2016, 24-25

Resetting Priorities - Redefining Roles

Five years ago, the Global Donors Forum was convened in Dubai to take on a challenging task: to define the roadmap for Muslim giving into the next decade. As a growing network of philanthropists, grantmaking foundations and socially responsible corporations, the Forum lead a consultative dialogue among the thought leaders from which, it was hoped, a new social compact could emerge.

Half a decade on, with the world having changed dramatically as events in the Middle East would attest, the Global Donors Forum 2016, has a new set of issues to focus upon. Foremost among these is the need to rigorously analyse the past decade in order to ascertain how best to formulate strategies to counter emerging challenges. The GDF 2016 will, therefore, attempt to set new priorities as it looks to redefine the role of philanthropy, with a focus on the Muslim world in a radically changed global landscape.

Indonesia likely to defeat Turkey to host IDB's HQ

Indonesia is likely to defeat Turkey to host the Islamic Development Bank’s (IDB) headquarters, a spokesman of the bank has said. Indonesia's strategic position and role during the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit were two driving factors behind the decision. IDB Indonesia country director Ibrahim Shoukry said the bank had committed to investing US$1.2 billion on projects in Indonesia over five years. Indonesia, he further said, had some advantages over Turkey due to its prospective market in Asia, which is healthier than Turkey's main market, Europe. Indonesia’s market will be broader due to the ASEAN Economic Community.

Ziraat Islamic bank follows parent bank to loans

The Islamic subsidiary of Turkey's Ziraat Bank has launched a bitesize $75m murabaha deal, as the bank itself refinances $1bn of loans. Ziraat Participation (Ziraat Katilim Bankasi), which is wholly owned by Ziraat Bank, launched a $75m dual currency loan earlier this week — its first ever syndicated deal, according to a lead banker. Banks can make commitments in euros and dollars. ABC Islamic Bank is co-ordinator.

IFN CIS & Russia Forum on 15th of March 2016 in Moscow

Islamic Business and Finance Development Fund and REDmoney Group are jointly organizing IFN CIS & Russia Forum on 15th of March 2016 in Moscow. Islamic finance should become one of the strongest driving forces toward effective development of an international market that unites more than 182 million people of the Eurasian Economic Union. Participation in the Forum has already been confirmed by representatives of the largest Russian and international financial institutions.

http://www.ifncisrussiaforum.com

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