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El-Gamal claims lender violated sharia terms on Tribeca tower loan

Sharif El-Gamal put together one of the most unusual financing packages when he secured a sharia-compliant construction loan four years ago for his Tribeca condo tower. El-Gamal is now claiming that the Malaysian bank that made the loan has violated the sharia terms. El-Gamal argues Maybank violated the terms of their agreement by refusing to release construction funds to complete the project at 45 Park Place. He is seeking damages equal to the projected sellout of the development about $245 million. Maybank claims El-Gamal defaulted on his loan when he failed to repay the $108 million balance when it came due in April.

International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation Signs US$15 million Murabaha Financing Facility to support SMEs in Bangladesh

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has approved a US$15 million Murabaha Financing Facility in favour of City Bank Limited in Bangladesh to support the Bank’s private sector businesses. The financing comes at a critical time as SMEs in Bangladesh and other OIC member countries face the social and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The financing is part of the COVID-19 Response Package through the provision of medical supplies, staple foods and fertilizer for agricultural production to OIC countries including Bangladesh, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives and Senegal.

Humania’s US$125 Million Islamic Financing Facility

Clifford Chance has advised four international development finance institutions on a US$125 million Islamic financing facility to Humania. Led by International Finance Corporation (IFC), the institutions involved in the consortium were: the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation (Finnfund), and OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund). Humania is a private healthcare company within the Bait Al Batterjee Group. The financing will be used to develop greenfield general hospitals in Alexandria (Egypt), and Casablanca (Morocco).

‘Hibah’ best tool to resolve Muslim inheritance issues: Experts

When Muslims fail to draw up a will outlining the proportion of distribution of their assets to their heirs, families resort to faraid, the Islamic law of inheritance, which can lead to disputes. According to sociologist Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Shatar Sabran, many Malays are still not aware of the importance of naming the heirs to their estate beforehand. The concept of hibah would be an alternative and more effective way. It refers to the transfer of legal and beneficial ownership of assets from the donor to the beneficiary on a voluntary basis, with the proportion and distribution to heirs and non-heirs being determined by the donor. Money left in accounts without the hibah instrument is categorised as part of the estate of the deceased account holder and, as such, the heir will have to go through a lengthy application process to claim the money.

Shariah-compliant #gold trading platform to launch in #UK

A digital gold-trading platform compliant with Islamic finance norms is about to get launched in the UK. Minted is a start-up domiciled in London that aims at making gold trading simple, secure and affordable. Minted launched the beta version of its platform in early May and plans to introduce a full-fledged version in mid-June and a mobile app by the end of July. With a total of £1mn in seed funding, of which it already received half from a venture capital investor, Minted plans to expand to Germany and France and, later on, to Turkey, the US, South Asia and Africa.

‘It’s beyond our dreams to have Islamic banks all over the world’ – Shaikh Saleh Kamel, 1941 – May 18, 2020

Shaikh Saleh Kamel, founder of Al Baraka Banking Group, passed away on May 18. He was one of the pioneers of Islamic banking, having set up one of the first of the modern-day Shariah-compliant banks in the late 1970s that became the Al Baraka Banking Group today. Shaikh Saleh was also President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and he served as the Chair of the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions. Shaikh Saleh said his satellite and internet channel, which he opened in 1998 and that largely presents religious content, was one of the things in his life he was most proud of.

Dantata, Dangote et Indimi : qui sont les oligarques derrière la banque islamique Jaiz du milliardaire Umaru Mutallab ?

Le vétéran de la banque et ancien ministre Umaru Mutallab s'est reconverti dans la finance islamique avec d'autres notables et magnats du nord du pays, tels qu'Aminu Dantata, Aliko Dangote et Muhammed Indimi. Ils sont soutenus par la banque publique saoudienne Islamic Development Bank.

Al Baraka Bank appoints new chairman

Al Baraka Banking Group announced the appointment of Abdullah Saleh Kamel as the board's new chairman. Previously, the chairman position was held by the late Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, the group's founder who passed away last month. Kamel served as the board's vice chairman and chairman of the executive committee for several years, contributing to the group's expansion strategies.

#Indonesia government partners with biggest Islamic organization to set up 10,000 grocery stores

Indonesia’s Ministry for Economic Affairs is teaming up with the country’s largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) to set up 10,000 grocery stores in the next 4 years. The ministry’s vice deputy Gede Edy Prasetya estimates that it will cost around 40 million rupiah to establish a new grocery store under the new partnership. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak this year, the government is seeking new potential eligible beneficiaries for its micro credit schemes. This year, it aims to disburse 190 trillion rupiah ($13.6 billion) as part of the scheme. It has already disbursed 34.2 trillion rupiah in loans as at the end of April, with a non-performing loan rate of 1.23%.

DIFC invests in four FinTech start-ups through $100m fund

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) said it invested in four innovative FinTech start-ups on Monday. The companies receiving funding are: Sarwa, a roboadvisory wealth management firm; FlexxPay, a cloud-based B2B employee benefits platform and two financial services platforms for migrant workers, Now Money and Go Rise. DIFC CEO Arif Amiri said the investments strengthened the free zone’s position as one of the world’s top 10 FinTech hubs. DIFC has rolled out a number of changes in recent months to attract top financial firms and strengthen its credentials.

International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) supports Senegal’s COVID-19 Plan with EUR 8 Million disbursement for the Private Sector

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has approved a Murabaha Financing of EUR 8 million for the Senegalese bank Banque Islamique du Sénégal (BIS). The Murabaha facility is expected to support around 1,000 jobs within the private sector, including companies in food and distribution. The swift disbursement of this financing by ITFC has enabled local private companies to procure urgent food staples, and support national response efforts to ensure food security.

Elon Musk bekommt 765 Millionen US-Dollar

Elon Musk ist berechtigt, eine etwa 765 Millionen US-Dollar hohe Vergütung zu beziehen, weil der Börsenkurs von Tesla eine vorher vereinbare Zielmarke über längere Zeit gehalten hat. Auch Gewinn und Umsatz haben die vereinbarten Zielmarken erreicht. Musk erhält kein Gehalt, sondern nur Optionen, die aufgrund von vorher definierten Zielen gezogen werden können. Diese beziehen sich auf das Umsatz- und Gewinnwachstum. Die Zielvereinbarung zwischen Tesla und Elon Musk ist so ambitioniert, dass es als nahezu unmöglich gilt, dass Musk sie vollständig erfüllen kann. Tesla muss Musk allerdings den Mindestlohn von rund 37.000 US-Dollar jährlich zahlen. Die Schecks soll Musk angeblich jedoch nicht einlösen.

The angel network looking for halal opportunities

Muslims concluded the celebration of Eid Al Fitr this week, marking the end of Ramadan in lockdown. Governments in the GCC region urged people to give presents instead of the traditional Eidiyah (cash) to children in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19, further prompting online purchases and money transfers. Tausif Malik, an American-Indian social entrepreneur launched the world’s first halal angel investors network in May this year with the aim to promote innovation and halal entrepreneurship. The network is looking to invest in startups of all sizes in the core sectors of the Islamic economy such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverages and fashion. In addition, the network is also taking an interest in startups operating in future technologies - including blockchain, cryptocurrency and financial technology. The biggest markets for the Islamic economy are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia and the Halal Angel Network plans to set up offices in the Middle East and North Africa.

UN chief calls for solidarity in Eid Al Fitr message

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for solidarity and unity in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic in his Eid message. He called for solidarity for a large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive health response, guided by the World Health Organization, with a focus on developing countries and vulnerable people. He called for solidarity in tackling the devastating socio-economic dimensions of the crisis - keeping households afloat and businesses solvent, and prioritising the most affected: women, older people, children, low-wage earners and other vulnerable groups.

Ziina launches #UAE's first social P2P payments solution

Ziina, the UAE's first licensed social peer-to-peer (P2P) payment application, has raised a pre-seed round of $850,000. The application will help the UAE bank account holders to use their smartphones to send and receive money as easily as sending a text message. Ziina is the latest addition to the Middle East's fintech ecosystem and is capitalising on the region's rapid adoption of fintech friendly regulation. Ziina's cofounders are Faisal Toukan, CEO, Sarah Toukan, Chief Product Officer, and Andrew Gold, VP Engineering. They are joined by a strong advisory board including serial entrepreneur Samih Toukan, and Emre Tok. The founding team recently launched the start-up's operations out of Dubai's In5 tech start-up incubator.

Egyptians pay tribute to Saudi businessman Saleh Kamel

Egyptians have been paying tribute to Saudi businessman Saleh Kamel who died in Jeddah on Monday after suffering a heart attack. Members of the country’s business, political, religious, and entertainment communities joined in mourning the passing of the prominent figure. Kamel, who was the chairman and founder of the Dallah Al-Baraka Group established part of his economic empire in Egypt including Arab Radio and Television (ART), and Al-Baraka Bank. He also used the ART Institution to fund charity projects throughout Egypt. Kamel had always been a strong supporter of Egypt and in March 2015 headed a delegation of 100 businessmen and investors at a major conference in Sharm El-Sheikh aimed at boosting the Egyptian economy.

The legacy of Saudi tycoon Saleh Kamel

Saudi billionaire Saleh Kamel died on Monday and has been buried in Makkah, but his legacy is sure to endure. Even at the age of 79, despite suffering from age-related health issues, Kamel remained active and busy. After graduating, he worked at the Saudi Ministry of Finance. After 10 years with the ministry, Kamel moved to the private sector. He founded his flagship Dallah Al-Baraka Holding Company in 1969 in Riyadh. He expanded the Group's acitivity to include financial and banking services, health care, manufacturing, real estate, tourism, trading and more. Dallah Al-Baraka Group also has the honor of being chosen to clean and sterilize the Two Holy Mosques. Kamel was also a well-known investor in the media and satellite television production. He established Arab Radio and Television and formed a partnership with the Arab MBC channel. Dubbed "the father of contemporary Islamic finance", he received Malaysia’s Royal Award for Islamic Finance in November 2010. The tycoon’s wealth was estimated to be about $2.3 billion. Kamel aspired to creating jobs. He believed that all people should have dignity and that all lives are precious and deserve to be honored.

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector signed a collaboration MoU with FINTERRA Pte Ltd

Mr. Ayman Sejiny, the CEO of The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Mr. Satesh Khemlani, the Managing Director of Finterra, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to achieve sustainable business growth. Both organizations have common beneficiaries and share similar social impact development goals. The collaboration with Finterra is based on its highly powered blockchain solutions for Islamic social finance under the names of SadaqahChain®, WAQFChain® and ZakatChain®. The MoU was digitally signed during a virtual signing ceremony. The parties will explore opportunities of blockchain in OIC member countries in close collaboration with national licensed crowd-lending/crowd-funding operators.

NMC Health administrators are said to have started selling off assets

Administrators of NMC Health have started selling off assets of the troubled Middle Eastern hospital operator as they seek funds to pay back creditors. Administrators are planning to start a sale process for NMC’s lucrative fertility business as soon as June or July. They are considering eventually selling most of the company’s assets, potentially including the flagship hospital business, which is the biggest private health-care provider in the Middle East.

BIBF and UK firm Cogneum developing platform to converge Shariah governance and UN SDGs

The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) is working with UK-based developer Cogneum on a Shariah governance software platform. The cloud-based platform is meant to allow Islamic banks and financial institutions to streamline their internal Shariah governance processes, facilitate the integration of Maqasid al Shariah and the UN SDGs in their workflow. The software will help reduce charitable write-offs by Islamic banks due to Shariah non-compliance issues. The partners will initially target the platform for retail Islamic banks. BIBF director Mujtaba Khalid said the Shariah governance framework of the software solution will be based on AAOIFI Standards but can also be customized as per the banks’ Shariah governance manual. He added that the platform can also help organisations in the areas of green bonds, sukuk and sustainability risk reporting.

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