general

empty Description of term "general"

Call for Good Practices on Islamic Finance and Impact Investing Activities

Click here to apply http://bit.ly/2tN5RAZ

Purpose of this call is to invite private and public sector to share their good practices on
•Islamic finance funded impact investments and dedicated vehicles
•impact investment vehicles in the OIC region
•Islamic social finance vehicles

for the mapping study that is being carried out under the Global Islamic Finance and Impact Investing Platform (GIFIIP). The selected cases will be analysed by the research team managed by IICPSD and IRTI. Subsequently the good practices, information on vehicles and further findings will be published as part of the study.

Investment Focus

Over One Fifth of Student Borrowers Used Loans to Gamble on #Cryptocurrencies

According to a study by The Student Loan Report, over one-fifth of current university students with student loan debt indicated that they used their student loan money to invest in digital currency such as bitcoin. While school administrators may look down upon the practice of using borrowed funds for non-school expenses, Student Loan Report indicates that there are currently no rules against it. College students are able to use loans for "living expenses", a flexible category that covers a wide range of potential necessities. This sort of thing does not help the image of student borrowers, although it does strengthen the case for regulating cryptocurrencies far more strictly.

The race to become the world’s leading leading Islamic fintech hub

According to Pew Research, the demand for Islamic financial technology is set to grow siginificantly, as the global Muslim population is expected to explode from less than two billion in 2015 to almost three billion by 2060. Malaysia, the UK and Indonesia are leading the race, ranking first, second and third respectively by number of Islamic fintech startups. However, fierce competition from Middle Eastern countries threatens their supremacy. In January, Bahraini banks created a consortium aiming to create fifteen fintech providers in five years. Last year, the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) launched an accelerator called FinTech Hive. The UK has recently launched the crowdfunded property investment platform Yielders adding to established players including InsureHalal and Ethos Asset Facilitation Platform.

It's cool to be kind: family offices and impact investing

The Global Family Office Report 2017 (GFOR) shows that more than a quarter of family offices (28%) report being engaged in impact investing, and two-fifths plan to increase their allocations in 2018. This investment method is now being practised across nearly every asset class, with 63% partaking in direct private investment, 57% in private equity funds, and 38% in venture capital. According to the GFOR, some family offices have trouble understanding how to source and implement impact investments. Environmental and social analytics providers can help by providing data-driven analysis for a practical measurement of impact. The rising influence of socially-conscious millennials in wealthy families means impact investing is only set to skyrocket. Family offices should get ready to be swept into the mainstream.

#Saudi tycoon auctions off 900 vehicles to clear debt

Thousands of people attended the first day of an auction of vehicles owned by indebted Saudi Arabian tycoon Maan al-Sanea. Officials say the sale will go towards repaying about 18 billion riyals (US$4.8 billion) owed to creditors. The businessman was detained by authorities last year for unpaid debt dating back to 2009 when his company, Saad Group, defaulted on payments. The first phase of the auction was launched this week, with around 900 vehicles including lorries, buses, diggers, forklift trucks and golf carts. Later stages of the process will include property, as well as machinery, ceramics and furniture. Prospective buyers were mainly businessmen from local construction companies and other contractors. Money raised from the first phase of the auction will go towards repaying creditors. Priority for the repayment will first go to repaying unpaid workers, vendors and other companies owed money will be given next priority, with banks at a later stage.

Crypto vs. Cash - How the Numbers Stack Up on Drugs, Guns, Murders

There was a time when Bitcoin was used often for buying of illegal substances, from drugs to guns and even hitmen. It was decentralized, anonymous and digital. As Bitcoin has organically grown and been adopted into more mainstream markets, the use of the digital currency as a Darknet tool has been declining. According to a recent analysis conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, weapons represent a very small portion of the overall trade on anonymous marketplaces. Drugs are far more common. Specifically, MDMA and marijuana each account for about 25% of sales on the dark web. Yet, the vast majority of drug users still purchase illicit substances via more 'traditional' methods. According to a 2017 Global Drug Survey, the global median for a percentage of drug users who use the darknet is 10.1%. The ease and convenience of buying online extends to the illegal markets, and just because there is a tool to do it with, doesn’t mean that the tool is the enemy.

#Cybercriminals Launder Up to $200B in Profit Per Year

Cybercriminals launder an estimated $80-200 billion in illegal profit each year, which amounts to 8-10% of all illegal proceeds laundered around the world. Virtual currencies are the most common tool used for money laundering, but Bitcoin isn't quite as trendy among hackers. The data comes from Into the Web of Profit, an independent academic study conducted by Dr. Mike McGuire, senior lecturer in Criminology at Surrey University in England.
There are several reasons why cybercriminals are turning to cryptocurrency. They're easily acquired, for one, and they have a reputation for enabling anonymous transactions. According to McGuire, there's almost a wholesale movement away from Bitcoin because Bitcoin's blockchain technology means all transactions are transparent, even if the users' identities remain concealed. Now cybercriminals are adopting more anonymous currencies like Monero and Zcash.

Source: 

https://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/cybercriminals-launder-up-to-$200b-in-profit-per-year/d/d-id/1331298?_mc=rss_x_drr_edt_aud_dr_x_x-rss-simple

GCC’s alternative equity funding set to grow

A major type of alternative equity investment is through venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE), which represent an ownership stake in a private company. With the assistance of VC and PE, some companies may grow and become public companies through initial public offerings (IPOs). In 2017, the UAE and Saudi Arabia led IPO activity in the GCC, with five listings in the UAE, four in Saudi Arabia, three in Oman and one in Qatar. Much of the activity has been in the region's relatively new Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) market. IPO activity in the region has been focused mainly on large state-owned enterprises, while public equity markets are still classified as ‘frontier’ and ‘emerging’. Throughout the region there is a growing ecosystem of economic free zones, business incubators, co-working spaces, conferences and awards for start-up companies. There is no doubt that the level of VC and PE activity will continue to grow in the region just as the public markets will continue to evolve.

ICD Committed to Private Sector in #Cote d’Ivoire Through Direct Investments

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) hosted a delegation from Cote d’Ivoire composed of 40 entrepreneurs, the Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire in Saudi Arabia, the President of Chamber of Commerce of Cote d’Ivoire and the Vice president of the Confederation of Corporation of Cote d’Ivoire. The B2B Meeting was an opportunity to exchange on the opportunities of doing business in Cote d’Ivoire. ICD re-emphasized its commitment to support the private sector in Cote d’Ivoire through Direct Investments, Investments in dedicated Funds and through Line of Financing to financial institutions.

Food Security’s Social Network

The number of chronically undernourished people in the world is rising. In 2016, the number of people without enough to eat increased to 815 million, up from 777 million the year before. Ending global hunger is not just about breeding drought-resistant corn, it is also about having a plan for when that corn fails anyway. It is as much about reimagining social networks as it is about deciding what goes into the ground. It is crucial to invest in new technologies that enable farmers to connect with information and institutions that can decrease uncertainty and mitigate risk. With access to data, markets and financial services, farmers can plant, fertilize, harvest and sell products more effectively. For example, in Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, local extension services are delivering real-time weather data to vegetable farmers via SMS. In West Africa, private companies such as Ignitia are expanding the accuracy and precision of SMS weather alerts to remote farmers.

#Bahrain Counts on #Fintech, #Saudi Ties to Revive Indebted Economy

Bahrain FinTech Bay is part of the kingdom's drive to revive its reputation as the Middle East's top banking and business center. After the plunge of oil prices in 2014, state revenues fell, credit ratings fell and debt soared. Large debts still pose a risk as interest rates rise, but Bahrain is starting to see initial signs of recovery. PayTabs, a Saudi company specializing in online payment solutions, will set up a base in Bahrain FinTech Bay in May. Tap Payments, a mobile payment company founded in Kuwait, moved to Fintech Bay last month. CEO Ali Abulhasan said Bahrain had regulatory advantages when compared to other Gulf Cooperation Countries. Foreign investment from 71 companies was $733 million last year, up from $281 million and 40 companies in 2016. This contributed to an average annual GDP growth of more than 3.5%. Central bank governor Rasheed Mohammed al-Maraj said that growth could accelerate further, as strong oil prices have bounced to around $65 a barrel from below $50 in mid-2017.

Islamic finance is key to closing sub-Saharan infrastructure gap

The infrastructure gap is nowhere more pronounced than in sub-Saharan Africa. The Boston Consulting Group/Africa Finance Corporation report of May 2017 states that the sub-Saharan Africa infrastructure gap amounts to about $100bn in yearly infrastructure investment. Islamic finance is fundamentally aligned with economic and social development, poverty alleviation and advancement towards the UN sustainable development goals. The asset-based approach of Islamic finance is in line with traditional infrastructure-financing models that involve the procurement or construction of a tangible asset. In the past decade, Islamic finance has been growing steadily in sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa was the first African sovereign to issue sukuk, followed by Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo and Nigeria. Most Islamic funding for infrastructure development is flowing through governmental channels. In sub-Saharan Africa large infrastructure investment is still mainly the preserve of the public sector and public-private partnerships are still in their infancy.

Africa: Will #Fintech Grow Financial Inclusion?

Financial technology investors are calling for policies that promote development to achieve the World Bank target of universal financial access by 2020. Financial experts who attended the Africa Payments Innovation Summit in Nairobi said digital disruption could increase the continent's banked population. The emergence of mobile money services over the past decade has contributed to financial inclusion in Africa. According to the mobile operators association GSMA, there were 277 million registered mobile money accounts in sub-Saharan Africa at the end of 2016. But despite the progress, at least 85% of transactions in the region are still in cash. There is a mistrust between banks and telcos about whose customer they are serving, who owns the infrastructure, and the loading of additional costs on transactions between the two. Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge warned innovators against getting carried away by technology.

Is bitcoin permissible in Islam? Muslims disregard clerics’ warnings and invest

#Turkey has witnessed a rise in interest in bitcoin and the hundreds of other cryptocurrencies that have been modeled on it. Bitcoin trade here has gone from about 9,000 transactions a month in May 2017 to 42,000 in December 2017. A handful of companies in construction, education and the food industry have begun accepting cryptocurrencies for payment. The value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fluctuates widely, leading some to caution against investment. Diyanet, Turkey’s religious affairs directorate, said in December that bitcoin and Ethereum had no intrinsic value like gold, nor were they backed by a government, so they did not meet the standards of reliability to make them a currency. Another ruling in January said the factors driving the value of cryptocurrencies were too shrouded in secrecy, exposing investors to fraud and use by criminal networks. According to Onur Baran Caglar, a FinTech consultant and lecturer at Istanbul Aydin University, the debate over bitcoin misses the real potential of the underlying technology. That real potential is the blockchain, a digital ledger that keeps track of all bitcoin transactions worldwide.

Dubai launches #incubator to boost ethical Islamic start-up firms

Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has announced the launch of Goodforce Labs, a startup incubator focused on supporting ethical startups in the fields of Islamic economy and Halal industries. Goodforce Labs will select a group of startups and small and medium enterprises and support them towards a $50 million in annual revenues and measurable social impact. Most Islamic economy startups face many problems and struggle to grow and survive. A number of startups have joined the incubator like Growmada, an e-platform for selling handicrafts from developing countries, Waqf 2.0, a cloud-based platform for managing Awqaf, Zileej, a company specializing in disciplined entertainment products and Rabia Z, which designs modest women’s clothing.

Two Essential Volumes on #Corruption

In this article Rick Messick recommeds two recent books on corruption: Dan Hough’s Analysing Corruption and Alina Mungui-Pippidi and Michael Johnston’s Transitions to Good Governance: Creating Virtuous Circles of Anti-Corruption. Hough's book is an introduction to the study of corruption for those new to the field. Mungui-Pippidi and Johnston's volume covers Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Estonia, Georgia, Qatar, Rwanda, South Korea, Taiwan, and Uruguay. In this book experts explain how these countries progressed from a situation where corruption is the norm to one where it is becoming the exception. In these countries the governance norm has changed from a biased resource distribution to a society where the state is largely autonomous towards private interest and the allocation of public resources is based on ethical universalism. Readers looking for practical approaches and innovative moves will find much of value in these books.

How much does Amazon’s rumoured bank account threaten MasterCard and Visa?

Amazon is planning to provide a product similar to checking accounts to bypass MasterCard and Visa for purchases on its platform. Card issuers stand to lose wallet share, if Amazon can convince people to change payment behaviour and open checking accounts with them for Amazon purchases. The bank of choice will win by growing deposits. It would also mean that smaller ecommerce merchants will need to work harder to attract sales away from Amazon. This strategy doesn’t have to be limited to Amazon and their bank of choice. For example, Amex Shop Small is an attempt at community purchasing mentality with small businesses. However, Amex Shop Small does not help the small business on the fee front. If the new bank account feature is introduced, revenues could be pocketed by Amazon as additional profit, or passed through to merchants to reduce sales fees and payment costs.

What’s the demand for #gold in Islamic markets?

The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) plans to introduce a physically-backed Shariah-compliant spot gold contract. Trading is expected to begin March 29. This comes at a time when the global demand for gold dropped 7% to 4,071.7 tonnes in 2017. Among key Muslim-majority economies in 2017, Turkey saw the biggest demand for investment bars and coins, at 52.4 tonnes, representing 5% of global demand. Indonesia follows with 20.2 tonnes, equivalent to around 2% of global demand for investment bars and coins. Saudi Arabia leads Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, with 9.9 tonnes, representing around 0.96% of global demand. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) saw a demand of 5.5 tonnes, equal to around 0.53% of global demand. Globally, Greater China and India were the biggest markets for investment bars and coins, at 313.8 tonnes and 164.2 tonnes, respectively.

MIMOS and INCIEF sign MOU for collaboration in the area of Islamic #Fintech

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Malaysia’s Applied Research and Development Centre MIMOS and the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), to develop a blueprint for an Islamic finance-based investment technology platform. The MOU was signed by INCEIF President Dato' Dr Azmi Omar and MIMOS President Ahmad Rizan Ibrahim. Under the MOU, the two institutions will collaborate in research and development, in particular the areas of Big Data Analytics, Deep Learning and Fintech. Further, INCEIF and MIMOS may also cooperate in field-testing, technology transfer and commercialisation of technological products.

GFH joins as a founding partner in #Bahrain’s #fintech hub

GFH Financial Group said its recent partnership with Bahrain Fintech Bay (BFB) as a founding partner will drive innovation and create opportunities for growth. The partnership reflects GFH’s strategy to strengthen the integration of Fintech in the region. According to GFH Financial Group's CEO Hisham Alrayes, GFH provides new entrants access to a sophisticated network and gives advice on how to reach regional and international capital and markets.

Syndicate content