Daily News Egypt

EGP 11.7bn funding portfolio of #corporate finance in Abu Dhabi Islamic bank by end of June 2017

The corporate sector in #Egypt acquired EGP 11.7bn of the total loans portfolio in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank-Egypt until the end of June 2017. The bank continued its programme to fund small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The sector continued its growth also in the field of retail banking, reaching EGP 4.3bn, whereas the volume of the portfolio managed by the treasury sector in the bank is estimated at EGP 12.2bn. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank-Egypt revealed its business results for H1 2017, where total net profits during that period reached EGP 339m with EGP 148m increase by 78% compared to H1 2016. Total revenues reached EGP 1.841bn compared to EGP 1.225bn, with a growth of 50%. The volume of growth in total assets reached 30% by the end of June 2017 compared to June 2016. In its report the bank stressed its commitment to developing the technological infrastructure and investing in human resources.

Banking representatives gather in Khartoum for financial inclusion forum

Representatives from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) gathered in Khartoum for the Financial Inclusion Forum: the Strategic Approach Towards Financial and Social Stability, held from 23 to 24 February. More than 350 people from 11 Arab countries participated in the forum’s events, namely Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman. Financial inclusion was framed as a measure to support financial and social stability in the Arab region. The participants issued a series of recommendations that would better enable the banking sectors in each respective country to ensure economic financial inclusion.

Egypt to introduce sukuk, revisit international capital market soon: Finance Minister

Egypt is planning to introduce sukuk and revisit the international capital market to help finance its $36bn financing gap during fiscal year (FY) 2015/2016, Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian said. In June, the Egyptian government sold 10-year international bonds worth $1.5bn, with revenue of 6%. Dimian added that the best bet to bridge the financing gap is to continue reforming the economy. The Suez Canal Zone that was entirely a military zone now is opening to everyone, Dimian added. The oil sector is also opening up to new private investors, Dimian noted. Moreover, having a fully fledged VAT system will increase competitiveness, he added, highlighting that competitiveness will help stabilise the pound.

Faisal Islamic Bank's volume of business increases 10%

The volume of Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt’s (FAIT) business increased to LE52.8 bln at the end of April 2015, compared to LE47.9 bln in the same period last year, the bank announced. The increase marks a rise of 10.3% in comparison to last year. Additionally, the total assets of the bank increased by 9.8%, from LE47.4 bln in March 2014 to LE52 bln in April 2015. Meanwhile the bank’s net profits reached LE196.97 m in the first quarter of 2015, compared to EGP 172.3m during the same period in 2014. The bank’s capital is worth LE66.8bln, divided into 13.36 m shares at LE5 per share.

20% of Egyptian SMEs prefer Sharia-compliant products: IMF

In Egypt, 20% of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have indicated a preference for Sharia-compliant products, according to an IMF working paper issued this month. The paper said there is a substantial demand for Islamic banking among the MENA region’s SMEs, with approximately 35% expressing their interest in financing by Islamic banks. Islamic banks need to make adjustments in the structure of their work to improve their ability to reach consumers. They also need to sell their products to the global Muslim population segment that does not currently have a bank account, according to the paper. Moreover, banks need to focus on SMEs and pursue private equity and venture capital initiatives.

Islamic banking takes upward trend in Egypt

Head of the Egyptian Islamic Finance Association (EIFA), Mohamed El-Beltagy, said that Islamic banking clients in Egypt estimated approximately 2.5 million, constitute about 20% of the Egyptian banks clients. After the 2008 global financial crisis, international interest in the Islamic banking and finance industry increased. With the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power in 2012, Islamic banking’s importance grew once more. The move towards Islamic banking encouraged some conventional global and local commercial banks into setting up branches offering Islamic banking services. El-Beltagy said that the size of Islamic deposits as of 30 June 2014, about EGP 115.8bn, accounting for 8.3% of the Egyptian banking market size.

38% increase in sales in 2014: Tokio Marine Family Takaful MD

Tokio Marine Family Takaful’s newly appointed Managing Director Masaya Inagaki comes to Egypt with great expectations for the Egyptian insurance market. Inagaki said that providing a service with high quality at a reasonable price for customers is a core concept in Japanese culture, and that he is determined to apply that in Egypt. His goal is to make Tokio Marine Family Takaful the number one Takaful company in the country, he added. The company also intends to cooperate with banks in light of the new regulations issued lately by the Central Bank to activate banking insurance.

‘Long Live Egypt Fund’ receives over EGP 400m in donations

Two weeks after the launch of the 037037 bank account to collect donations to help Egypt’s economy, the total value of donations exceeded EGP 400m, the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) informed. The latest donation was from a Saudi businessman who contributed EGP 214m to the fund. The CBE announced in a Tuesday statement that donations from banks operating in the Egyptian market have increased to record around EGP 160m, including EGP 20m from State-run Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and National Bank of Egypt each. Other contributing banks include the Commercial International Bank (CIB), Arab African International Bank, Emirates NBD, the United Bank, QNB Al-Ahli, Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, SAIB, Egyptian Gulf Bank and Arab International Bank (AIB).

Islamic banking remains unpopular in Egypt: Gallup poll

A recent Gallup survey reported that Islamic banking remains unpopular in Egypt, with only 3% of adults using Islamic banking services and only 49% who have heard of Islamic banking in the country. The poll also found that 45% of all respondents preferred a more expensive loan from an Islamic bank to a cheaper loan from a conventional bank. Identifying the reasons for this lack of demand will require extensive research. However, there is no reason why Islamic banking could not increase in the future if its demand increased, given that the only barrier to its use is the lack of its popularity. The survey was conducted in 2012 through face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults aged above 15 years in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Yemen.

Finance minister: Laws and regulations governing Islamic Bonds set to continue

Laws, legislative rules and regulations governing Islamic bonds will be implemented as planned, as part of government efforts to revive the economy, according to Egyptian Finance Minister Ahmed Galal. However, he refused to say who would assume the role of Chairman of the Islamic Bonds Division within the ministry, after the sacking of previous chairman Ahmed Al-Nagar. Ahmed Al-Gabali, Advisor to the Minister on Islamic Bonds, is reportedly interested in the position but will need to be made aware of the nature of the job before applying. Galal previously published a decision to dispose of a number of legal advisors and chairmen of financial units due to their affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, among them Ahmed Al-Nagar, previous Chairman of the Ministry of Finance’s Islamic Bonds División.

Jump in bank profits in the last six months

Egypt’s banking sector witnessed a jump in profits during the first half of the current fiscal year in comparison to the same period last year, and even in comparison to the first quarter of this year. The Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt stated that its profits for the first half of the current fiscal year totalled EGP 370.8m (nearly $53m), a 30.7% increase compared to the same period last year. Bankers throughout the country expect that other institutions will also soon announce increases in their profit margins for the first half of this year, due to their subscription to government debt instruments, which have brought high returns over the last six months. The stabilisation of the country is expected to allow banks to begin lending once again at higher rates, to both individuals and companies, which would help stimulate the economy, support banks and help them achieve higher profit margins.

The fate of Islamic bonds remains vague after the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood

Ahmed Al-Gabali, Technical Advisor for Islamic bonds at the finance ministry. temporarily left his post at the Ministry of Finance due to his conviction that not enough political and economic support currently exists to push Egypt’s Islamic bonds law. This, he said, will cause returns on any Islamic bonds that are issued to be significantly less than previously estimated. He stated that the fate of Egypt’s Islamic bonds law changed after the events of 30 June and the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. He maintained, however, that Islamic bonds would remain a powerful finance tool in the future, since sukuk have existed in a number of countries that do not operate under an Islamist or a Brotherhood regime. Abdullah Al-Adali, chairman of the taxes division at Price Waterhouse Coopers, stated that he supported keeping the country’s Islamic bonds law as it was despite the removal of Morsi.

Islamic banking association launches index of bourse’s Sharia-compliant shares

Islamic banking experts have called on the Central Bank of Egypt to tailor its policies regarding Islamic banking services to be more in line with those of Islamic banks themselves. The call came during the fourth annual conference of the Egyptian Islamic Finance Association, during which the association launched its index of shares compatible with Islamic law, measuring the performance of those shares traded on Egypt’s stock exchange by their compatibility with Sharia standards.Mustafa Ibrahim, forensic audit manager for the National Bank for Investment, said the index was unique in that it was founded upon Sharia standard number 21, released by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions.

Shura Council Economic Committee set to accept $50m from Islamic Development Bank

The Economic Committee at the Shura Council is set to accept the $50m development loan from the IDB to encourage the growth of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), with $320,000 set aside for logistical aid and worker training programs. Repayment will begin three years after the grace period for withdrawal. Ghadi Wali, secretary general of Egypt’s Social Fund for Development (SFD), said that the SFD will employ a number of international experts in order to review the potential outcome and effects of the IDB loan. She said that the SFD’s goal would be to distinguish between real losses and those suffered as a result of Egypt’s depreciating currency.

Seventeen PPP projects to be financed using sukuk: Panel

Panelists at the 2nd Annual PPP Investment Summit called the new sukuk law ‘quantum leap’ towards introducing Sharia-compliant products to the Egyptian market. It was confirmed at the Summit that seventeen upcoming Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects will be financed using sukuk. The Ministry of Finance is considering using sukuk to finance a number of PPP projects including silos projects, developing roads, and the Ain Shams -10th of Ramadan city train line in order to link the industrial sites along the way. However, panelists explained that infrastructure projects require more than one method of financing and that there are various Islamic financing methods available.

Shura council approves sukuk draft law

The Shura Council approved the sukuk draft law during its general session on Monday. The final draft law consists of the council’s economic and financial committee proposal, the government’s proposal and the Shura Council’s joint committee proposal. The Shura Council modified 13 articles in the draft law. The final report from the committee mentioned that there are some items that have been further developed and modified. Its adjudication will be enforceable and binding on administrative authorities after approval by the Egyptian Cabinet.

The Egyptian government agrees to leasing agreement with Islamic Development Bank worth $250m

The Egyptian government has signed a $250m leasing agreement with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to purchase equipment for a power plant to generate electricity in South Helwan. The deal will be finalised after presidential approval. The Minister of Planning Ashraf ElAraby signed the agreement in mid-January with the IDB president Ahmed Mohamed Ali. The project aims to meet the growing demand for energy in Egypt.

Sukuk law to be deliberated by Shura council, Wednesday

The new Egyptian Sukuk law will be approved on Wednesday by the cabinet before being referred to the Shura Council on the same day. It is fully Sharia-compliant, and it will have a special Sharia committee to oversee its implementation, said Ahmed El-Najjar, member of the economic committee at the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and advisor to the minister of finance. The sukuk revenues will be used to bridge the budget deficit gap in an indirect way. However, they will not be used as an alternative to regular debt instruments, but will, rather, function more within a complimentary capacity.

Banking and Insurance Special: Conventional banks enter Islamic banking sector

There has been growing interest recently among conventional banks in Egypt who own licences to provide Sharia-compliant services, to restructure their branches which offer such services. Banque Misr, National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and The Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit (PBDAC) are among the traditional banks that offer Sharia-compliant services. Meanwhile, Islamic banks themselves are preparing to apply their new investment plans. Financing for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) has also seen a spike in interest so far this year, with conventional banks aiming to strike agreements with the Social Fund for Development (SFD) in order to increase their presence within the SME segment.

Banking and Insurance Special: Takaful and the insurance industry

Leaders within the takaful insurance industry have predicted continued high rates of growth within the sector ranging between 15% to 20% over the next several years. This has enabled the sector to secure high profits as demand increases for financial services in Egypt’s banking industry. However, takaful insurance companies also suffer from many of the same problems plaguing commercial insurance companies, such as an overall decrease in the amount of salaries and wages, in addition to other factors associated with the general slowdown of Egypt’s economy. Since 2003, five takaful property insurance companies and three takaful life insurance companies have been established. These companies combined have come to represent nearly 30% of the Egyptian insurance market.

Syndicate content