Islamic Banking

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Islamic finance is becoming so attractive that even non-Muslims want in

Islamic finance has traditionally been dominated by Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It has transformed from a niche corner of global banking to a growing source of funding for the rest of the world. The government of Singapore was one of the earliest non-Muslim entrants into the space, followed by the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Hong Kong, which issued their first sukuk in 2014. African nations such as South Africa, Nigeria and Ivory Coast have made legal and tax changes to make it easier for borrowers to issue sukuk. Islamic finance is seen as a more stable alternative to the conventional banking system and offers a more ethical approach to managing money. The industry's size is expected to expand further to $3.5 trillion by 2021 as countries and companies look for alternative funding sources.

#Malaysia seeks to catapult Islamic finance to the next level

Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry has grown tremendously since 2004, when Bank Negara Malaysia began issuing Islamic banking licenses to foreign Islamic banks. The strong growth is also reflected in the country's Islamic asset management industry, with Malaysia accounting for 34% of the US$78 billion global Islamic assets under management as at the end of 2016. Malaysia strongly believes that Islamic finance must continue to appeal to the broader community.

Experts for strategy to use #fintech in Islamic finance

Islamic banks have been urged to adopt a strategy to make effective use of financial technology. At a seminar held recently, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, director of Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance at IBA, said there has to be a strategy for Islamic finance in the digital world. According to fintech expert Ashar Nazim, Pakistan is doing well in Islamic finance, but the country's finance industry has to adapt to fintech. Market Link Executive Director Ishan Kanji said that using fintech will support the agricultural sector by providing easy access of loans and facilities to farmers. He stressed on the need to tap into the informal economy, which is twice the size of formal economy in Pakistan. At the seminar Hasan Bilgrami, CEO of BankIslami, shared the success story of BankIslami being the first bank in Pakistan to use biometric technology.

#Malaysia begins Islamic stock lending

Malaysia’s stock exchange (BMSC) has launched a framework for Islamic stock lending. The introduction of Islamic stock lending aims to provide a Shariah-compliant alternative to the securities borrowing and lending negotiated transaction framework (ISSBNT). According to Bursa Malaysia, Islamic stock lending will provide a more facilitative trading environment and improve trading liquidity. Any person approved by BMSC to be an approved supplier may enter sell its own securities. An approved user is required to have a minimum of RM 50 million (USD 12.2 million) in shareholders funds. Initially, close attention will be given to extending Islamic exchange traded funds in particular, as well as enhancing levels of liquidity.

Experts call for strategy to use #fintech in Islamic finance

Islamic banks have been urged to adopt a strategy to make effective use of financial technology. At a seminar held recently, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, director of Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance at IBA, said there has to be a strategy for Islamic finance in the digital world. According to fintech expert Ashar Nazim, Pakistan is doing well in Islamic finance, but the country's finance industry has to adapt to fintech. Market Link Executive Director Ishan Kanji said that using fintech will support the agricultural sector by providing easy access of loans and facilities to farmers. He stressed on the need to tap into the informal economy, which is twice the size of formal economy in Pakistan. At the seminar Hasan Bilgrami, CEO of BankIslami, shared the success story of BankIslami being the first bank in Pakistan to use biometric technology.

Realising SDGs through Islamic finance

According to Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, Islamic finance has a variety of social finance tools which can be used to increase funds and mobilise donations from a diverse range of sources. Through zakat, sadaqah and waqf, Islamic finance enshrines sustainability, responsibility and generosity. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is now looking to the tools of Islamic finance for humanitarian funding. The United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are also concerned with protecting the planet and conserving the environment. Malaysia has paved the way for green sukuk and this may become the catalyst for further responsible investments all over the world.

#Tax neutrality for Islamic Finance needs refinement

For countries wanting to enable Islamic finance within their borders, a key requirement is tax legislation to provide for tax neutrality. Without a waiver, Islamic finance would incur costs that would render it prohibitive. While the debt like contracts of Islamic finance, contracts such as Ijarah, Murabaha, Bai Bithamin Ajil (BBA), Salam and the like dominate Islamic finance, the risk sharing contracts like Mudarabah and Musyarakah remain unused. Yet, it is the risk sharing contracts that truly provide the value added of Islamic finance. Removing the tax impediment to risk sharing contracts can help rejuvenate both Islamic banking and capital markets. The biggest advantage to the movement away from debt to risk sharing at the micro level is the macro level benefit of reduced vulnerability.

Thomson Reuters and the ICD just released its study on Islamic Finance, find out what it says

Thomson Reuters and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) released the Islamic Finance Development Report and Indicator (IFDI) at the World Islamic Banking Conference 2017 held in Bahrain. The report studied key trends across five indicators: Quantitative Development, Knowledge, Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility and Awareness. The IFDI global average value recovered to 9.9 in 2017 from 8.8 in 2016. This reflected improved performances in each area. Malaysia, Bahrain and the UAE lead the IFDI country rankings for the fifth consecutive year, while the GCC remains the leading regional hub for the industry. The report also highlights how Islamic finance can help countries adapt to difficult economic conditions.

Islamic finance seen adapting to new economic conditions

The Islamic Finance Development Report and Indicator (IFDI) 2017 was presented at the 24th World Islamic Banking conference 2017 held from December 4 to 6 in Bahrain. The report was commissioned by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and put together by business intelligence provider Thomson Reuters. The report uses five indicators to measure the development of the $2.2tn Islamic finance industry, which are quantitative development, knowledge, governance, corporate social responsibility and awareness. This year, Malaysia, Bahrain and the UAE kept leading the IFDI country rankings for the fifth consecutive year, while the GCC remains the leading regional hub for the industry. Oman remained unchanged on rank four, while Saudi Arabia dropped two notches to rank seven, and Jordan, Qatar and Indonesia fell one notch each to ranks nine, ten and eleven. The big newcomer is the small Southeast Asian sultanate of Brunei, which made a jump from rank 14 to rank 9.

Bursa #Malaysia launches Islamic Securities Selling and Buying Negotiated Transaction

Bursa Malaysia launched the first Shariah-compliant alternative to the Securities Borrowing and Lending Negotiated Transaction (SBLNT) framework, called Islamic Securities Selling and Buying Negotiated Transaction (ISSBNT). The new ISSBNT framework is based on the SBLNT model and is expected to provide a more facilitative trading environment for securities. Bursa Malaysia CEO Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan said market participants would now have an alternative avenue which is compliant with Shariah principles. The model was chosen because it is more widely used by the market due to its flexibility. Tajuddin noted that ISSBNT is expected to bring an uplift of around 5 to 10% growth in funds transaction in the next 12 months.

Trustbank Amanah, the first Islamic Bank in #Suriname and region, to play an important role in the development of entrepreneurship and economic growth

Islamic banking has made its entry in Suriname with the approval of the Central Bank of Suriname for Islamic products and services in the banking sector. The official opening of Trustbank Amanah, the first Islamic Bank in Suriname, took place on Thursday 7th of December 2017. Trustbank Amanah aims to develop, support and encourage Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in accordance with Islamic Finance principles. After the official launch of Trustbank Amanah, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism and the Association for Surinamese Business (VSB) to stimulate, support and develop local SMEs.

Islamic finance assets will grow 72% to $3.78trn

The total size of the global Islamic finance assets is projected to grow by nearly 72% to $3.78 trillion (Dh13.87 trillion) by 2022 from $2.2 trillion (Dh8 trillion) last year. According to the Islamic Finance Development Report, Malaysia topped followed by Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Pakistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Brunei in terms of industry growth. The report studied key trends across five indicators: quantitative development, knowledge, governance, corporate social responsibility and awareness. Khaled Al Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, said Islamic finance was still tiny in comparison with the global financial industry, but the industry's rapid development suggested it would continue to grow.

VBI to take Islamic finance to next level of growth

#Malaysia is introducing value-based intermediation (VBI) to take its Islamic finance industry to the next level of growth. As a first step, Maybank Islamic initiated the pilot launch of its rent-to-own (RTO) home scheme, called HouzKEY, targeted at properties priced under RM1 million. For now, the product is limited to the bank’s employees but should become available to the public early next year. The bank is aiming for a portfolio size of RM1 billion within the first year. According to experts, this is just the beginning of more RTO schemes to come as several other Islamic banks are expected to launch their own versions. BIMB Holdings group CEO Malkit Singh Maan says the bank is hoping to launch its RTO product for affordable homes in the first quarter of next year. Other VBI products that banks may offer in the future are green technology financing and green sukuk.

The disruptive impact of #Islamic #fintech

Fintech is fast gaining traction in the financial services industry, as both start-ups and traditional companies proactively incorporate methods to stay in the lead. In Malaysia, the national bank itself supports the role of fintech in Malaysia’s overall finance industry. According to Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor Marzunisham Omar, the next growth phase of Islamic finance requires the industry to ride the fintech wave. AmInvestment Bank CEO Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz said Islamic banks do not have an option not to adopt fintech. The only way that Islamic banks or Islamic funds or Islamic crowdfunding can reach out is to adopt mobile technology. She revealed that AmInvestment Bank is currently experimenting with its clients to use Distributed ledger technology (DLT) for the issuances of bank guarantee.

Cleric to parents: Encourage children to study Islamic finance

Tajudeen Yusuf, President at the Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals (IIFP), has advised parents to encourage their children to study Islamic finance. Yusuf gave the advice on Sunday at the 34th Triennial Conference of the Muslim Association of Nigeria (MAN). The theme of the national conference was "Path to National Economic Recovery, Growth and Development – The Islamic Perspective". According to Yusuf, Islamic Finance helps to redistribute wealth and reduce income inequality, as well as promotes inclusiveness through stakeholders participation. At the conference a new national executive was elected to run the affairs of the organization for the next three years. They include Alhaji Tajudeen Ojikutu (President), Dhikrullah Yagboyaju (Vice President), Ganiu Salawu (Secretary) and Nurat Adebayo (Public Relations Officer).

How loyal are Islamic banking customers?

Islamic banking is a growing industry, however still much smaller than conventional finance, even in Muslim majority nations. In the UAE, 76% of residents are Muslim, yet Islamic banks only hold 19% of banking assets. The question is: why would Muslims choose conventional banks when Halal options are available? Research has found that the chief reason was a better rate of return. A recent study shows that 25% of Islamic banking customers preferred conventional banks and products when interest rates were the same. When conventional banks offer 1% better interest rates, the share that would switch to conventional banks rose from 25% to 44%. About 25% of Islamic banking customers came to it because of their employers, while 35% use both Islamic and conventional banks. A group of about 40% of Islamic banking customers are truly loyal to Islamic banking, most likely for religious reasons.

#Islamic #banking drives #CIMB’s better-than-expected #results

9 months of financial year 2017 core net profit of RM3.415 billion is above our expectations and in line with consensus expectations accounting for 84% and 77% respectively of full-year estimates. This better-than-expected performance was driven by Islamic banking income which grew by 19% year-on-year. Although a slight dip had been expected. The rest was within our expectations with loans at about 7%, cost to income ratio <52%, and credit costs of about 65 basis points.

UPDATE 1-#Maybank posts 4th straight quarterly #profit gain on #Islamic #banking growth

Malayan Banking Bhd is Malaysia’s biggest lender by assets. It made higher profits for a 4th quarter in a row, which was driven by rising net interest income and growth at its Islamic banking operations.
Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy has recovered in 2017 after a challenging 2016, when growth slumped to its slowest pace since the global financial crisis in 2009. The turnaround has buoyed business for banks. Maybank posted a net profit of $496.70 million for the 3rd quarter ended September, up 13% a year ago. Its net interest income rose 8.6% while Islamic banking income increased by 24.3%. Revenue climbed 2.7%.
Earlier, CIMB Group Holdings, the number two lender of the country, reported a surprise rise in quarterly profit, helped by an improving domestic economy.
Malaysia‘s central bank has said the economy was on track to register growth of 5.2% to 5.7% this year, and may even exceed that estimate.

#Tanzania: Bank of Tanzania Dispels Islamic Bank Closure #Rumours

The Bank of Tanzania has come in motion in order to prevent a possible run on deposits at the sharia-compliant Amana Bank. This happend after reports went publich on social media of the financial institution's imminent closure.
Bank of Tanzania‘s Governor Florens Luoga stated that Amana Bank and other lenders were very stable and there was really no reason for panic over deposits. He confirmed that the bank is continueing with normal operations, and warned anyone speading false information about the future of some banks, including Amana. In these cases stern legal action would be taken. Additionally the Head of marketing and business Dassu Mussa said Amana Bank has sufficient liquidity. "All we can do is to make sure that our business is running efficiently and properly and we are very confident it is doing so."

#UAE #Islamic #banking #assets #surge 6% to $146bln in 10 months

Assets of the Islamic banks operating within the UAE totalled to 535 billion AED by the end of last month. That is around 6% growth since the beginning of this year. And it accounts for 20.2% of the total banking assets in the country. These are valued at around 2.639 trillion AED during the first 10 months of 2017, according to figures of the UAE Central Bank.
This obvious growth in Sharia-compliant financial operations in the UAE mirror the significant development of these kind of banking products which have been enjoying impressive growth across the whole region in the last few years.

According to Central Bank figures, the value of credit provided by the Islamic Banks since the beginning of 2017 until October surged to 361 billion AED, a growth of 7.7% against that of December 2016.
Loans and credit facilities provided by Islamic banks make up 22.8% of total loans provided by the entire banking system in the UAE, valued at 1.584 trillion AED by the end of last month.

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