Malaysian Digest

Sultan Nazrin Says Relentless Support For #Islamic #Finance Is Critical

The Sultan of Perak State, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, spoke at the opening ceremony of the 14th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF) 2017. He said Islamic finance has come far but there are at least six challenges at the moment. He said challenges at present include lower oil prices and changes in the global regulatory and supervisory framework. Sultan Nazrin said Islamic finance managed to cope better than its secular counterpart in terms of growth, albeit from a smaller base. Sultan Nazrin addressed the six challenges faced by the industry. In his view, the Islamic banking industry needs to improve profitability, the industry needs to maintain high standards of loan quality and corporate governance. Islamic capital markets need to grow at a faster pace, the negative trends of corporate issuances of sukuk need to be reversed. The Islamic equity market and takaful insurance need more development. Sultan Nazrin reminded that Islamic finance community must not be deviated from the objective of doing good.

Islamic Development Bank Provides #Jordan With US$100 Mln In Aid

The Islamic Development Bank signed an agreement with Jordan to provide the Kingdom with US$100 million in loans and grants. Jordan's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury said that the deal included a US$79 million loan and a US$21 million grant, adding that the amount would be used to finance projects in the field of health. The minister also highlighted pressure on Jordan in various fields of energy, education and infrastructure since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011. The minister urged all countries to provide further support to Jordan to help it cope with the challenges, noting that such support is vital for Jordan. Between 1975 and 2017, the bank provided Jordan with US$975.6 million in loans and grants to support projects in various fields.

#Malaysia-#Bahrain Should Lead World's Islamic #Fintech

Malaysia and Bahrain should take the lead in exploring the potential of introducing the world’s first Islamic financial technology (fintech). According to Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) Director David Parker, the favourable initiatives undertaken by regulators from both countries provide a positive edge for Islamic fintech. In Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor, Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said a regulatory framework to enable the adoption of fintech would likely be announced by year-end. During the 23rd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference held here, Bahrain Central Bank Governor Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj hinted that the bank would soon issue regulations to facilitate fintech solutions. Bahrain Islamic Bank CEO Hassan Amin Jarrar described the need to introduce Islamic fintech to the world Islamic financial market as "critical" and if Malaysia and Bahrain do not take the first step, other big countries will snatch away the advantages.

Bank Negara Launches Educator's Manual On Shariah Standards

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) launched the Educator's Manual on Shariah standards and operational requirements in accordance with the Murabahah principle. BNM Governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said the manual serves as an important material towards enhancing the quality of Islamic finance education. The manual was developed by BNM together with the International Shari'ah Research Academy for lslamic Finance (ISRA) and the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM). A panel of 20 experts in various fields contributed to its content.

#Sukuk Issuance Expected To Increase In 2016, Says IFSB

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) sees a potential for an increase of sukuk funding in 2016 in line with regulatory reforms in the industry such as Basel III and Guidance Note 6 (GN-6). Secretary-General Jaseem Ahmed said sovereign sukuk sector might gain momentum this year on the back of increased budget deficits, particularly in the energy-exporting countries. He added that Islamic banking assets showed a positive association with oil revenues while the liquidity and profitability of Islamic banks might be adversely affected by low oil prices.

1MDB Admits In Default, Welcomes Dialogue With All Bond And Sukuk Holders

1MDB has confirmed the default in IPIC guaranteed bonds but assured that there are no cross defaults on the bonds guaranteed by the Malaysian government. 1MDB explained the limited default from the non-payment of USD50.3 million interest on the Langat Notes is due to non-payment by International Petroleum Investment Company and reassured investors of the company's intention to meet its financial obligations.

HSBC Amanah Turns Focus On Social Responsibility In Islamic Unit Trusts

HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd has launched its Islamic Socially Responsible Unit Trusts, the first of its kind in the Islamic banking landscape in Malaysia. The company said the unit trusts are tailored for customers who want to invest and at the same time make a difference in the communities they live and work in. A portion of profits earned from the Socially Responsible Unit Trust proposition will be channelled to the Teach For Malaysia foundation. A contribution of RM10 will be made for every customer placement below RM50,000 into selected funds of the unit trusts and will double to RM20 for placement above or equal to RM50,000. Chief Executive Officer Rafe Haneef said the unit trusts may provide a good return on investment for customers while extending the benefit to children who suffer from education inequity in Malaysia.

CIMB Islamic Signs Mou With INCEIF

CIMB Islamic Bank today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Global University of Islamic Finance (INCEIF) to build a collaborative framework towards establishing a research centre for Islamic banking studies. CIMB Islamic Bank chief executive officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani said the bank had allocated RM1.5 million as sponsorship over the three-year collaboration period. He said the MoU also aims to enhance and strengthen Malaysia's position as a globally recognised marketplace for Islamic banking and Islamic finance. INCEIF is the only institute in the world that focuses solely on Islamic finance education and research.

Khalid Ibrahim VS Bank Islam: March 18 Fixed For Case Management

he High Court fixed case management on March 18 to allow possible settlement between Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and Bank Islam Malaysia over two suits linked to a RM66.67 million loan to purchase Guthrie shares 13 years ago. According to Khalid's counsel S. Selvarajah, his client and Bank Islam are seeking to reach a global settlement over the matter. In 2007, Khalid had filed a suit against the bank to seek a declaration that the Al-Bai Bithaman Ajil(BBA) facility entered between them in 2001 was null and void. Khalid also sought a declaration that Bank Islam had breached the collateral contract and the BBA facility. Bank Islam then countersued Khalid, claiming that Khalid had breached its contract in the loan agreement over his purchase of the Guthrie shares.

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