Wasim Saifi

Digitisation, it’s all in the family

Emirates Islamic is targeting balance sheet growth and improved profitability along with digitisation. According to Deputy CEO Wasim Saifi, these objectives are complementary. The speedier technology adoption comes naturally due to the bank's close links with Emirates NBD, a technology leader in consumer banking in the UAE. As a subsidiary of Emirates NBD, it has access to all the innovations the parent company adopts. Emirates Islamic has upgraded its core banking platform and introduced an improved mobile banking app with 25 new services. Emirates Islamic is the first and only Islamic Bank in the UAE to support both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. As part of the new product roll out, the bank has launched QuickRemit to India and will launch the service to Pakistan and other remittance corridors soon.

Standard Chartered expects 2014 to be good for sukuk industry

Standard Chartered Saadiq expects 2014 to be good for the Malaysian sukuk industry, driven by the strength of the economy. Chief Executive Officer and Global Head, Consumer Banking, Standard Chartered Saadiq, Wasim Saifi, said the bank is already in discussions with several customers in looking at setting up specific sukuk issuances. Despite expectations of a further hike in Malaysia’s key interest rate, he said it would not hold back issuances, as borrowers are unlikely to defer raising money even if the cost of doing so goes up. Malaysia’s Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) was raised by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent on July 10, the first increase for the past three years.

Kenya leads African Islamic finance charge

With Islamic financing growing significantly in Kenya over the last five years and now accounting for 2% of the country's total banking industry, it's not surprising that Standard Charted chose Kenya as the first African nation in which to launch its Sadiq suite of Islamic banking products. Trade Finance caught up with Wasim Saifi, Standard Chartered's global head of Islamic banking, to find out what Islamic trade products it has planned for Kenya and why the bank sees Africa as the new growth frontier for the $1 trillion plus Islamic finance market.

Islamic banking nears its big breakthrough in Africa

While Islamic banking assets have grown rapidly around the world to stand at more than USD1.3 trillion at the end of 2012, the industry has remained in its infancy in Africa. However that could be about to change. By the end of this decade it’s quite possible that banking complying with Shariah law could grow to account for up to 10 per cent of banking assets in five or six sub-Saharan African countries, including Kenya and Nigeria. Behind the buzz is real demand from African domestic consumers for the choice to bank in accordance with their faith. Governments and regulators in Africa no longer view Islamic banking as a niche industry, but actively seek to encourage its development. There’s also growing awareness of the significant liquidity pool now available in Islamic finance, particularly across the Middle East, as a source of funding for crucial infrastructure investment. Sub-Saharan Africa has a great opportunity to develop a healthy Islamic banking eco-system much faster than other regions of the world.

Standard Chartered to launch Islamic banking in Kenya, Indonesia

Standard Chartered Plc will start offering Islamic banking in Kenya as a springboard into the rest of Africa, Wasim Saifi, its global head of Islamic consumer banking said. Moreover, it may expand services in Indonesia. He said the bank would offer the services through its Islamic banking brand, Standard Chartered Saadiq, targeting the country’s official Muslim population of 4 million people, as well as non-Muslims. The new products will first be launched in Kenya, then in other countries in east Africa and west Africa, as well as further afield. Especially Indonesia is interesting to the bank because Islamic finance is set to triple or quadruple in the next five-ten years in the country. Standard Chartered currently offers Islamic banking in Indonesia through associate Bank Permata

‘Convergence in global syariah interpretation’

Differences seen in interpretation of syariah compliance among various Islamic finance markets are disappearing as there has been inter-market convergence of respective interpretations on a global scale moving forward. According to the chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Saadiq Bhd (Saadiq) Wasim Saifi, convergence between Middle East interpretation of syariah compliance and the interpretation seen in Islamic finance institutions in Malaysia is happening. Many transactions are being structured using Islamic structures which have strong Middle Eastern acceptability. Furthermore, convergence is also happening regarding the syariah-compliant filters announced by the Securities Commission for equities.

Standard Chartered launches first Saadiq branch in S’wak

Standard Chartered Saadiq Bhd (Saadiq), a wholly-owned Islamic bank subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, launched its first branch in the state Sarawak. Saadiq chief executive officer (CEO) Wasim Saifi opened the branch located in Kuching, which was witnessed by Standard Chartered Malaysia consumer banking country head Sonia Wedrychowicz and government officials as well as the bank’s customers, partners and staff. Saadiq stated that the new branch opened seven days a week, extending its operations to weekends in order to improve customer access to the bank’s facilities and services.

Banks 'need to attract GCC wealth'

The next area Islamic finance sets as a goal to develop is wealth management. So far, Muslim high net worth individuals have very limited possibilities in terms of availability of suitable products and services. According to consumer banking global head of Standard Chartered Saadiq, Wasim Saifi, the Gulf region in particular has accumulated a lot of wealth in the conventional space. Provided that customers are offered a Sharia-compliant option that can provide them with a diversity of risk and manage it properly, their wealth would be able to move into the Islamic space.

Standard Chartered Saadiq to offer PruBSN Takaful products in Malaysia

Standard Chartered Saadiq is offering Takaful products to Prudential BSN: three new Takaful investment-linked plans at eight of its branches. In addition, these Takaful products will soon be available at the 32 conventional Standard Chartered branches in the country. Customers can count flexibility to secure protection and investment plans which correspond to their lifestyle and financial needs.

Standard Chartered’s Wasim Sees Singapore Islamic Market Growth

Wasim Saifi is the Singapore-based global head of Islamic and consumer banking at Standard Chartered Plc (STAN). He affirmed that Singapore is very well positioned to influence with its considerable talent to help innovate Islamic wealth management. He also claimed that once Islamic products will be launched in Singapore, demand will come along.

Dubai’s Tamweel CEO resigns, firm to appoint new chair

The chief executive of Tamweel, Wasim Saifi, has resigned and the Islamic mortgage lender will appoint a new chairman having convened a new board.
Varun Sood, the current chief executive of Tamweel’s home finance division will act as the chief executive.

Tamweel successfully closes USD 235 mn syndicated bank facility

Tamweel PJSC, a Dubai-based real estate financer has closed a 3-year USD 235 mn syndicated bank facility.

ABN AMRO and Noor Islamic Bank served as lead arrangers and joint bookrunners for the transaction, which has been priced in both US dollars and UAE dirhams, and will reach maturity in three years.

Wasim Saifi is Chief Executive Officer of Tamweel.
Gaurav Agarwal is Chief Financial and Support Services Officer, Tamweel.
Hussain Al Qemzi is Chief Executive Officer of Noor Islamic Bank.
Vishnu Deuskar is Head of Global Markets ABN AMRO UAE.

Source: http://www.albawaba.com/en/countries/UAE/226249

Tamweel sets up holding - plans Sukuk

Parag Deulgaonkar reported on 7 April about the extraordinary shareholder meeting of Tamweel, deciding to restructure Tamweel as a holding firm. The UAE mortgage business, property investment, escrow management services and Tamweel International will be the first four operating units.

The company also plans to raise Dh 5.1 bn through sukuk in 2008. This total amount includes Dh 1.1 bn of convertible sukuk and Dh 4 bn of non-convertible sukuk.

Further Tamweel has signed a joint venture agreement with Al Oula Development Company in Saudi Arabia, where the company expects to open a subsidiary later this year. Other expansion plans include Egypt.

Wasim Saifi is CEO of Tamweel.
Zayed bin Saqer Al Nehayan is Chairman of Tamweel.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

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