Minister of Finance Calls On Islamic Institution for Investment Insurance to Provide Security for Exports

The Minister of Finance and National Economy, Ali Mahmoud, has called on the Islamic Investment Insurance and Export Credit to provide collateral for the security of the Sudanese exports and investment in Sudan in all fields.
He added that providing of security for these products will enable Sudan to provide food security to the Arab and Islamic worlds, urging coming out with an obvious vision in coordination with the Sudanese institutions to benefit from security provision availing by the the Islamic institution for the exporters and investors from the member countries.

Retakaful firm Best Re sees growth in Africa, South America

Sharia-compliant reinsurer Best Re will grow its business in Africa and eventually expand into South America to diversify its sources of income which is mainly derived from Asia.
Asia, specifically countries such as China, Indonesia and Malaysia, accounts for three-quarters of Best Re's income and the company wants to bring this share to about 60 percent within five years.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Farz Foundation Hosts First National Islamic Microfinance Conference in Lahore, Pakistan, Promotes Farz Meth

The Farz Foundation recently hosted the first National Islamic Microfinance Conference in Lahore, Pakistan, in an effort to develop solutions for the microfinance industry in Pakistan.
Among the ideas proposed to move away from lending practices that “create overindebtedness and violate the principles of customer’s ethic” is the Farz Methodology, a microfinance model promoted by Farz. The methodology, based on Islamic principles, offers free business and health education to clients, prior to offering funding, in deference to Sadqae Jariah (social responsibility). Farz offers loans to clients for the purchase of assets, such as real estate and business equipment. The loans, called murabaha, are interest-free but stipulate that the lender be entitled to a 24-percent profit on the proceeds from the asset.

Uganda set for Islamic banking

Uganda has received applications from three Islamic banks in the Middle East to offer Shariah-compliant financial services in the country.
The African nation is changing its banking rules to allow lenders to operate under Islamic law and representatives from its central bank are in Jakarta to learn from Indonesia’s experience.

Conference Report: The First National Islamic Microfinance Conference in Pakistan on Poverty Alleviation

The first National Islamic Microfinance conference was held on 29th of January 2011 in the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry . The conference was attended by Iftikahr Malik, Vice Presiden Sarrc Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tahir Malik, Chairman Trafco Group of Companies , Mr. Zulfiqar Khokhar Additional Direcroe Islamic Banking & Finance Department State Bank of Pakistan, Mufty Iftikhar Baig, Sharia Advisoe of Albaraka bank Mufty Mahmood, Sharia Advisor Farz Foundation , Tariq Shafi, Regional Chairman FPCCI.and Ms Humera Awais Shahid, member Provincial Assembly.

Mauritius to open first Islamic bank

Mauritius's first Islamic bank will be operational by the end of the first quarter of 2011.
Mauritius is seeking to tap into the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry, and the central bank also plans to offer sharia-compliant short-term liquidity tools.

A.T. Kearney: Mergers and Acquisitions in Islamic Banking

Islamic banks—financial institutions based on Islamic law—in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have made impressive gains against the region’s conventional banks in recent years. However,
the need for consolidation in this industry is increasing as the economic crisis continues to hamper growth and the market becomes more crowded

Qatar Charity launches drive to help flood victims

Qatar Charity is spearheading a campaign to collect funds to be donated to relief initiatives benefiting flood victims from Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The “Fight the Floods” campaign was launched offering the people in Qatar the opportunity to directly deposit to the authorised Qatar Charity "Fight the Floods" bank account: A/C Number: 100024470 at Qatar Islamic Bank.

Islamic banking gaining foothold in Nigeria

The banking sector in Nigeria has hardly had time to digest the "Guidelines on Shariah Governance for Non-interest Financial Institutions in Nigeria" and the "Framework for the Regulation and Supervision of Institutions Offering Non-interest Financial Services in Nigeria" published by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Dec. 31, 2010 and Jan. 12 2011. The regulator has already been forced to defend its action of introducing Islamic banking into the country.

ITS signs deal with Libya’s Gumhouria Bank

Gumhouria Bank has selected ITS to help drive the transformation of seven branches to Islamic windows.
After conducting a rigorous selection process in which a number of leading suppliers were considered. Gumhouria bank selected ETHIX core banking, ETHIX financial solution and ETHIX branch automation to support and automate its Islamic business transformation.

Amanah Raya to help set up Islamic bank in Kazakhstan

Malaysian trustee company Amanah Raya Berhad is joining forces with Fattah Finance and the state-owned Development Bank of Kazakhstan to conduct a feasibility study to establish the second Islamic bank in the CIS country. Their purpose is to submit an application for an Islamic-banking license later this year under new legislation introduced by Kazakhstan in 2009 to facilitate the establishment of Islamic banks and the introduction of Islamic financial products in the country.

Neil D. Miller to retire from Norton Rose, three regional heads to lead Islamic Finance practice

Norton Rose (Middle East) LLP confirms that Dubai-based partner and Global Head of Islamic Finance, Neil D Miller will be retiring from the practice on 2 April 2011.
Neil will be joining one of the big four professional services firms in Dubai, where he will lead the establishment of a global Islamic financial advisory business.
Norton Rose Group’s award winning global Islamic practice will be led by three partners who will act as regional heads. Mohammed Paracha, based in Bahrain, will be responsible for the Middle East and Africa, Farmida Bi in London for Europe and Davide Barzilai in Hong Kong for Asia Pacific.

Kenya’s first Takaful company licensed

Takaful Insurance of Africa has been licensed and launched in Nairobi.
The company was registered by the Kenyan industry regulator, Insurance Regulator Authority, this month. It is backed by the Cooperative Insurance Company of Kenya.
The launch of Takaful Insurance of Africa follows on from the granting of two Islamic banking licenses to Kenyan authorities in 2007 to Gulf African Bank and First Community Bank.

Sharia-based insurance licensed

Takaful Insurance of Africa will be launched in Nairobi on Tuesday, joining a market currently served by more than 45 conventional insurance companies.
The company, the first such operator in East Africa, was founded in 2008 and registered by the industry regulator, Insurance Regulator Authority, this month.

Islamic micro lenders set up global network

Islamic Microfinance Network (IMFN) has been set up to assemble the international Islamic Microfinance organisations on one platform.
The IMFN head office is in Lahore and its regional offices will be in Ghana, Mauritius and Middle East.
The board members of IMFN are Farida Tariq, Chairperson, Amjad Saqib, Vice Chairman, and Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer.

Call for ECO Cooperation In Islamic Banking

The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) can play a significant role in the establishment of a joint Islamic bank by the Muslim countries, head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mines.
Head of the Iranian Committee at the ECO Chamber Alinaqi Khamoushi underlined the key role of ECO in defusing the West-sponsored economic sanctions against Iran.

Islamic Microfinance Network instituted in Pakistan

To assemble international Islamic Microfinance organizations under one platform, Islamic Microfinance Network (IMFN) has been established in Lahore – Pakistan. The initial member countries of Islamic Microfinance Network are Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Ghana, Mauritius and Kazakhstan.
The objective of this network is to provide best methodologies of Islamic microfinance, Shariah guidelines, and lasting relations and manpower to the industry.

Islamic finance growing in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is aiming to become a Central Asian hub for Islamic finance, with plans to launch its first corporate sukuk this year and a new Sharia-compliant bank.
Kazakhstan is seeking foreign investment to help diversify its economy into areas including petrochemicals, renewable energy, tourism and agriculture. The UAE and Kazakhstan also have "good potential" for cooperation on food security.

Kazakhstan to pass legislation on corporate Islamic bond issues

Kazakhstan’s government expects to pass legislation within the next two months. This legislation will enable companies to sell Islamic bonds.
Kazakhstan has reportedly identified two prospective issuers for its flagship corporate sukuk, one a South East Asian company registered in Kazakhstan, and a local company, Yerlan Baidaulet.

Meezan Bank: A Role Model

Meezan Bank Ltd (MBL) has emerged as the tenth largest bank in terms of branches. She is the first full-service Islamic bank of Pakistan. Its subsidiary, Al Meezan Investment has also attained the status of the largest private sector asset management company with Rs25 billion assets under management.
Globally and locally Islamic banking in one of the fastest growing segments of the banking sector and without being prejudiced towards conventional banks, it is evident that during difficult times globally Islamic banks have performed better as compared to conventional banks mainly because each transaction in Islamic banking is backed by assets and is designed to cater a real economic transaction. On top of this more prudent risk evaluation and willingness to help the client avoiding a default in difficult times keeps the delinquency rate low.

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