Microfinance

RHB Islamic To Disburse RM50 Million For #Entrepreneurs

RHB Islamic Bank is expecting to disburse at least RM50 million this year to facilitate the development of entrepreneurs. The fund is part of the Teras Fund programme provided via the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju). According to RHB Islamic Bank's CEO Datuk Adissadikin Ali, the collaboration with Teraju had so far disbursed RM200 million as of 2016 from the total fund raised of RM400 million. He said the original fund for the programme was RM80 million, but RHB Islamic managed to raise the fund by leveraging on resources to RM400 million.

Al Rayan Bank & Islamic Relief partner to support Sharia-compliant #microfinance

Al Rayan Bank has appointed Islamic Relief as its exclusive charity partner for 2017. The bank will work with Islamic Relief by supporting Sharia-compliant microfinance projects through fundraising activities. The projects will help people living in poverty to establish social enterprise businesses in their home countries and become financially independent. One of the projects is in Mali, West Africa. The project helps local women by making money available using the Islamic finance principle of Qard Hasan (loan without benefit). The women are then able to use the money to commercially harvest the nut of the African Shea tree and create Shea Butter, which they can then use to make various products. Seema Khan, head of major gifts at Islamic Relief UK, said the microfinance partnership with Al Rayan Bank is an intelligent solution to helping people around the world out of poverty.

#Zurich: #Responsible #Finance & Investment Summit 3-4 May 2017

Summit will explore intersection of #fintech, #ESG and #Islamicfinance. #RFISummit17

January 24, 2017, Zurich, Switzerland –

Bringing together a diversity of perspectives is critical for continuing the growth occurring within responsible finance. On this premise, the Responsible Finance & Investment Summit 2017 will convene in Zurich, Switzerland from 3-4 May 2017 around the theme “Building Bridges, Expanding Impact”.

Recent estimates from industry stakeholders show continued growth in responsible finance assets in many geographies and sectors. Responsible investment in Europe grew by 42% during the past 2 years, while in the U.S., assets grew by 33%. In Islamic finance, which has a global presence with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, growth in the last 2 years has been 21%. Identifying actionable areas for collaboration will support continued growth towards a more sustainable financial system.

#Microfinance islamique: une solution pour élargir l’inclusion financière?

Lors du 37e Midi de la microfinance Mohammed Kroessin, chef de l’Unité mondiale de microfinance islamique à l’ONG Islamic Relief Worldwide, et Fadoua Boudiba, chargée d’investissement senior de la région MENA et Afrique à la banque Triodos, ont expliqué les enjeux du développement de ce secteur dans le monde. Malgré le développement croissant, avec des nouveaux marchés qui s’ouvrent également à ce besoin, comme le Tadjikistan et les pays du Moyen-Orient, le secteur rencontre de nombreux défis, de par le manque de régulation. Paradoxalement, les pays comme l’Arabie Saoudite ne reconnaissent pas encore les produits de la finance islamique.

Islamic #microfinance fund may be created in #Azerbaijan

The Islamic fund on microfinance may be soon created in Azerbaijan. Recently, a mission of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), which included the ICD Senior Regional Manager of for CIS and Europe countries Samir Taghiyev and the Microfinance Advisor at the ICD Bassem Khanfar, visited Baku. Azerbaijan has become one of the two countries, where the ICD starts negotiations with participants of the microfinance market. The second country is Kazakhstan. Earlier, during the 8th Micro-finance Conference in Baku, Executive Director of Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA) Zhale Hajiyeva said that businessmen of post-Soviet countries also showed interest in the market. Currently, loan portfolio of Azerbaijan’s microfinance organizations amounted to $485.16 million, according to AMFA.

SBP aims to achieve 50pc financial inclusion by 2020: deputy governor

The State Bank of #Pakistan (SBP) is pursuing a three-pronged strategy to achieve the goal of 50% financial inclusion by the year 2020. According to Saeed Ahmed, deputy governor of the central bank, twenty million households need microfinance in Pakistan. The forum, organised by Shamrock Conferences International was held to strive for the expansion of financial services. Dr Mohammad Amjad Saqib, chairman of Akhuwat Foundation, delivered the keynote address and stressed the importance of microfinance. Speakers agreed that the microfinance specialists must create a sustainable model by offering competitive microfinance products, reducing costs and expanding their outreach.

IDB’s ICD to study potential of #Azerbaijan's #microfinance market

During the visit, the ICD delegation will meet with representatives of Azerbaijan's financial sector to study the potential of micro-finance market and works done in this sphere. The conference will also be attended by representatives of Germany's KfW Group.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Islamic #Microfinance #Summit, September 26-27, 2016, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Islamic Microfinance Summit takes place on September 26-27, 2016 in Dubai and is organized by Uniglobal, a Prague-based provider of workshops and conferences. The theme of this conference is "raising awareness and ensuring compliant and targeted product development to aid poverty alleviation." Its goal is to promote Islamic microfinance, particularly to the international donor community.

Better Understanding the Demand for Islamic #Microfinance

To close the severe gaps in financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa, more and more governments are starting to develop national financial inclusion strategies driven by evidence-based studies. So far, demand studies on Islamic finance have produced mixed results. To examine the distinction between preference and actual choice, CGAP, Yale University and Tamweelcom took a novel approach to the study of demand for Islamic and conventional loans in Jordan. According to the experiment, more people opt for the Islamic microloan than the conventional one when offered both (17% versus 2%). Sharia certification appears to have no significant impact on loan take-up at all. The study found that in Jordan people who are more religious are willing to pay a higher price for an Islamic microloan.

The Role of Financial Services in Reducing Hunger

For the majority of the 1.4 billion of the world’s poor agriculture is the main source of income and employment. Many farmers live in areas lacking access to basic financial services, leaving them vulnerable to shocks and prone to low-risk, low-return investments. Improving access to financial services can help farmers make profitable investments that increase their yields. At a macro level, higher yields increase the total global supply of food. At a micro level, higher yields increase household income and food security for the world’s 1.5 billion living in smallholder households.

6th Global Islamic #Microfinance #Forum

The 6th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum (GIMF) will convene in Nairobi, Kenya on November 8-9, 2016. Muhammad Zubair Mughal, the CEO of Al-Huda, said the GIMF will explore how new and effective strategies can alleviate poverty. He said the most alarming situation is that major chunk of poverty exist in Muslim countries, as it is considered the number one agenda of "financial inclusion." In these countries a proper platform is needed, valuing their cultural and social values, which is possible only through Islamic Microfinance. Amjad Saqib, Executive Director of Akhuwat declared that Akhuwat has so far distributed almost Rs. 25 billion among 1,323,586 families. He presented the "Qarz-e-Hassan" model as a true model of Islamic Welfare oriented Microfinance system. The Forum will be followed by two days post event workshop, How to Develop, Operate and Sustain Islamic Microfinance Institutions planned for November 10-11, 2016.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Releases Categorization System for “Non-interest Islamic Microfinance Banks”

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently released a new categorization system for "Non-Interest Islamic Microfinance Banks" (NIMFBs). CBN organized NIMFBs into three categories: "Unit", "state" and "national". Unit NIMFBs must have a minimum capital of NGN 20 million (USD 71,000) and may open one branch location within the same municipality as the organization’s headquarters. State NIMFBs may operate in one state if they maintain minimum capital of NGN 200 million (USD 350,000). Institutions in this category may open multiple branches in the state within which their headquarters are registered. A national NIMFB is permitted to operate in any state or territory of Nigeria so long as it holds NGN 2 billion (USD 7 million) in capital.

Islamic #Crowdfunding as a Solution for SMEs

The current use of Islamic Finance has mainly benefited large corporations. Despite the Shariah focus on community support and involvement, the sector’s contribution to SMEs and social projects is minimal. Combining Islamic Finance with crowdfunding has the potential to address financing issues faced by SMEs. One factor which may boost the growth of the sector is the increased introduction of Islamic finance structures. Most crowdfunding platforms currently use Murabaha and Mudharabah contracts. Other structures which may be considered includes Salam, Ijara and Diminishing Musharaka.

Interest-free loans steer people away from dangers of credit cards, #microfinance organisations say

In #Australia microfinance organisations are expecting a growing demand for financial help. Every year about 20.000 Australians obtain such loans and the figures are expected to double by the end of 2017. For example Good Shepherd Microfinance has partnered with state and federal governments and the National Australia Bank to provide the loans. Manager Adam Mooney said the increasing availability of no-interest loans of up to $1.200 would steer people away from credit cards and high-interest, short-term loans. He also said Good Shepherd was looking for more support to expand its programs.

Source: 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-07/interest-free-loans-'giving-low-income-people-hope'/7485160

IRTI #Conference Discusses Poverty Alleviation through Islamic #Microfinance

The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) is organizing a seminar to discuss the role of Islamic microfinance in poverty alleviation on 14-15 May 2016 in Bogor, Indonesia. IRTI is organizing the event in conjunction with the 41st Annual Meeting of the IDB Group. The event features the launching of the Islamic Microfinance for Poverty Alleviation and Capacity Transfer (IMPACT) Program, which aims to disseminate the best practices in Islamic microfinance.

CBN unveils guidelines for non-interest #microfinance banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released guidelines on the regulation and supervision of non-interest microfinance banks (MFBs) in the country. In the document the banking sector regulator placed the NIMFBs into three categories namely Unit, State and National. A Unit NIMFB is required to have a minimum paid-up capital of N20 mn, a State NIMFB is required N100 mn, while a National NIMFB required N2 bn.

#Microfinance Institution Alif Capital of Tajikistan Receives Banking License

Alif Capital has been approved by the National Bank of Tajikistan to provide banking services in both hard currency and somoni, the currency of Tajikistan. Alif Capital is marketed as the first regulated microfinance institution in Tajikistan that offers Sharia-compliant finance. Its loan terms vary from four to six months, with an average size of $4,000 as of 2015.

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.

Islamic banking has to increase investment in agri, SME

Dr Ishrat Hussain, Chairman Center of Excellence for Islamic Finance emphasized that Islamic Finance should not be restricted to a faith based segment and the banking sector has to increase investment in agriculture, SME and Islamic Microfinance. He stated that the share of Islamic Banks is 13pc growing at the rate of 28%, however, there are still regulatory and legal challenges which need to be addressed to make a real shift in lending profiles.

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