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Many teenagers struggle to understand money matters: OECD

The latest OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test shows that around one in four students are unable to make financial decisions. Some 48,000 15-year-olds took part in the test, which evaluated teenagers' personal finance skills. OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said young people often lack the education, training and tools to make informed decisions on financial matters. Beijing had the highest average score, followed by the Flemish Community of Belgium, Canada, the Russian Federation, the Netherlands and Australia. Students who do well in financial literacy are also likely to perform well in the PISA reading and mathematics assessment. The survey also revealed that, on average, 56% of students hold a bank account, but two out of three students do not have the skills to manage an account.

Emirates NBD launches #edutainment mobile simulation game to promote financial literacy

Emirates NBD has launched the new edutainment mobile simulation game Banki in its efforts to promote financial literacy in the #UAE. Banki will target the country’s youth to become economically aware at a young age and consider careers in the banking and financial services sector. Banki allows users to play five engaging games that help them understand the concept of savings, trading, simple financial transactions and digital banking. They can learn about the basics of banking products, financial services, stock markets, economics and additional topics aligned to the Ministry of Education’s curriculum. Husam Al Sayed, Chief Human Resource Officer at Emirates NBD said the launch of Banki aims to communicate the benefits of being financially literate to the next generation of customers. Available on both the Google Play and Apple stores, the edutainment game can be downloaded for free and can be used by registering with an email ID.

DIFC home to the first Equity #Crowdfunding platform

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is home to the first Equity Crowdfunding platform in the region, Eureeca. It is the first multi-regulated global Equity Crowdfunding platform and has over 12,000 investors from 42 countries. It enables entrepreneurs and high growth businesses to raise much needed expansion capital and create new partnerships for growth. The platform's co-founder Chris Thomas said Eureeca creates a corridor of investment opportunities between Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It recently raised $400,000 in 12 days on its self-funding campaign with the funds being used to fuel Eureeca’s international growth plans and continued development of their product offering.

Sheikh Mohammed says Islamic Economy has proved its efficiency over the years

Vice President and Prime Minister of the #UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the Islamic Economic system offers a real opportunity for economic, commercial and financial growth. He added that the Islamic Economic system has been tested by various international financial institutions and the UAE has started reaping the benefits of this system. Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said Dubai is set to launch ambitious projects as part of a plan to transform the city into the capital of the Islamic Economy by 2021. Sheikh Hamdan made these remarks ahead of the start of the third Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai. He expressed his hope that the Summit would also discuss how Islamic Economy instruments can stimulate the development of the private and public sectors.

National Bonds website now offers up-to-date financial planning advice

#UAE based National Bonds has started providing financial planning tips and tools via its website. The new financial planning section offers valuable information in both Arabic and English to help customers achieve their financial objectives. Topics cover planning for retirement and children’s education, debt management, investment solutions, takaful and estate planning. In addition, the website offers practical financial planning tips on goal setting, cash management and budgeting, financial health, and the rule of 72. The portal also includes online calculators for accurately computing expenses, commitments and budgets. Mohammed Qasim Al-Ali, CEO of National Bonds, said the new online tool will save time and effort for those looking for simple and straightforward financial planning.

DP World to list new $1.2bn #sukuk on Nasdaq #Dubai

DP World has raised $1.2 billion in a new seven-year sukuk which is set to be listed on Nasdaq Dubai. The issue received strong investor interest and was 2x oversubscribed receiving more than $2bn in bids. The new sukuk is priced at a fixed coupon rate of 3.91% maturing in 2023, replacing over $1.1bn of the 2017 6.25% coupon sukuk. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World said Nasdaq Dubai gives this new listing global visibility to position Dubai as the capital of the Islamic economy globally.

Scammers cloning DIFC registered firms, warns DFSA

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) issued a warning about scams which have cloned firms registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The scammers use the names, the registration numbers, and the addresses and contact details of genuine firms registered in the DIFC to create false websites. The purpose of the creation of these false websites is to facilitate advanced fee scams by adding legitimacy to the scam.

Dubai set to become world’s Islamic economy capital

Dubai has the resources to become the capital of the world’s Islamic economy following an initiative by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, according to Mohammed Al Gergawi, chairman of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC). Gergawi added that Islamic economy is expected to have a potential value of nearly seven trillion (Dh25 trillion) in 2020. In his opinion Dubai possesses the resources that make it the capital of the world’s Islamic economy, such as experience, the strategic location and the necessary infrastructure.

Dubai, Chinese firms to launch Islamic fund to invest in China

Shariah-compliant firm Mawarid Finance and Fullgoal Asset Management from Hong Kong will launch an Islamic fund later this year in order to tap opportunities in China. Michael Chow, Managing Director and Head of International Business at Fullgoal Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited, said his company tied up with the Dubai-based firm, hence opening door for the investors here to capitalise on the business opportunities offered by the world’s second largest economy. Chow expects Mawarid to design Shariah-compliant products for the investors over the next couple of months and the two entities will launch an Islamic fund later this year.

Sharia regulator will cut costs of Islamic banks: Al Mansoori

The proposed Shariah regulatory authority in the UAE will greatly benefit the local Islamic banking and finance industry an also help reduce the cost of institutions offering Islamic financial services, said Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, Governor of the UAE Central Bank. The proposed Shariah authority will have the key objective of – among others – issuing fatwa for products and services; introduce new and adopt existing international standards; documents regulations related to Islamic financial services; advise central bank on Shariah bank regulations to conduct monetary and financial surveillance. Al Mansoori said banks in the UAE have been innovative and creative in terms of introduction of the new Islamic products.

Al Hilal Bank Group CEO Jamil Berro resigns

Abu Dhabi-headquartered Shariah-compliant lender Al Hilal Bank has announced resignation of Mohamed Jamil Berro as the CEO, a position he has held since the bank’s establishment in 2008. Berro explained that his resignation is due to personal reasons. The bank’s Board of Directors further revealed that Sarie Asaad Arar will be appointed as Acting Group CEO, who currently holds the position of Chief Business Officer at Al Hilal Bank, and possess over 25 years of banking experience in the UAE.

Middle East investors looking to buy properties in Australia

Middle East investors are increasingly looking at Australia as a destination to expand their real estate portfolios, according to IP Global. A stable economy coupled with strong population growth continues to underpin the property markets in cities such as Brisbane and Melbourne, the property investment firm said in its latest quarterly global real estate outlook. While there are signs that property prices are overheating in traditional investor hot spots like Sydney, pockets of value still exist in suburbs of Brisbane and Melbourne. Paul Preston, Director, Head of EMEA at IP Global, which has offices in the UAE, said that a rising population and big infrastructure spending programs support the outlook for real estate returns in areas beyond the more well-known, traditional investment locations.

DIB prices $750m sukuk at 2.921%, oversubscribed 3 times

Dubai Islamic Bank on Sunday said its $750 million sukuk issuance maturing in June 2020 carries a profit rate of 2.921 per cent and saw a strong oversubscription. The bank had held road show in London, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for the issuance which is part of its $2.5 billion sukuk programme. The order book was driven by strong demand across the globe, and given the fact that it was oversubscribed nearly three times. Dubai Islamic Bank, First Gulf Bank, HSBC, Maybank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, and Standard Chartered Bank acted as joint lead managers. Arab Banking Corporation, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Union National Bank acted as co-lead managers.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank eyes capital-boosting measures

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank will convene shareholders on June 21 to vote on a rights issue worth Dh504 million ($137.2 million) and raise its sukuk limit to $3 billion from the existing $2 billion ceiling. Under the rights issue plan, 168 million shares will be offered at a price of Dh3 per share, equating to a 40 per cent discount to Wednesday's closing share price. Shareholders will be allowed to subscribe for 56 new shares for every 1,000 they currently own. Adib will also seek shareholder assent to expand its existing Tier 1 sukuk programme to $3 billion from $2 billion.The bank wants to keep expanding its retail network in the UAE, as well as its financing in the SME, large and emerging corporate segments.

UAE residents to Islamic banks: Why no new products?

In EY’s World Islamic Banking Competitiveness report, EY monitored 55,884 Islamic banking customer sentiments in the UAE on social media as part of a wider study. According to the study, UAE banking clients were most satisfied with customer service. Customer feelings were mixed with respect to branch experience, online banking and phone banking. The study of social media comments has revealed an improvement opportunity for Shariah-compliant banks with respect to products and services, which were ranked the lowest in terms of customer satisfaction.

Mohammed meets scholars attending Islamic Economic Forum

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, received an elite group of professors and scholars in the presence of Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The scholars are attending the Islamic Economic FIQH Forum, which kicked off earlier today at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event will conclude on Tuesday. Sheikh Mohammed and the scholars exchanged views on the importance of Islamic economy in banking, trade and financial transactions.The forum will focus on instilling Islamic jurisprudence in these transactions. It will issue resolutions on the Islamic economy.

Azerbaijan bank to target UAE for $300m sukuk

International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) plans to target the UAE and other Gulf investors as it plans to issue $200-$300 million debut sukuk this year, its senior manager Behnam Gurbanzade said. He further said the bank would issue sukuk in the second half of this year in order to widen its credit policy, develop business and attract alternative sources of financing. The bank, 50.2 percent owned by the Ministry of Finance, holds 40 percent of banking assets in the country. In 2014, IBA raised $252 million through an Islamic syndicated loan from UAE-based Al Hilal Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Bank.

Endowments are ‘sleeping giant’ in Islamic economy

The role of Islamic endowments need to be further streamlined and redefined to unlock their true potential, experts said during a panel discussion on ‘Mobilising Capital from Waqf, Pension Funds and Unit Trusts’ at the the 10th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in Dubai. Abdullah M Al Fouzan, Founder and Chairman of the Investor for Securities Company in Saudi Arabia, called endowments 'a sleeping giant', which suffer from a state of negligence with annual returns at less than 3 per cent. He called for tapping the true potential of endowments through a structured and concerted effort. The panelists were unanimous on the role of Islamic endowments in driving social growth and urged to explore innovative, Shariah complaint ways to further build asset base and value.

Fitch upgrades Al Hilal Bank, affirms 8 others’ ratings

International ratings agency Fitch on Thursday upgraded Al Hilal Bank and affirmed 8 other banks and one non-bank financial institution rating. Fitch said it had upgraded Al Hilal Bank's (AHB) Viability Rating (VR) and affirmed the VRs of the other seven banks and all other ratings. The affirmation of the banks' Long-Term IDRs, Support Ratings and Support Rating Floors, reflects the extremely high probability of support available from the UAE authorities and governments, if required. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Mashreqbank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, RakBank, Sharjah Islamic Bank, Bank of Sharjah and Dunia have been rated in the report.

More Islamic banks to issue AT1 sukuk: S&P

More Islamic banks are expected to issue sukuks eligible for Additional Tier (AT1) capital over the next two years as countries start to implement Basel III, according to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. Over the past two years, there have been Tier 1 sukuk issuances from three UAE Islamic banks that reportedly qualify as Additional Tier 1 (AT1) capital under Basel III. The oversubscription rates of these three Tier 1 sukuk and their tight pricing suggest a very strong market appetite, which S&P expects to linger unless market conditions shift over the next few months. The introduction of a liquidity coverage ratio might address some of the industry's long-standing weaknesses, particularly the lack of high quality liquid assets.

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