Bank unveils Sharia product

A further Sharia-compliant product for corporate customers was recently launched by Barclays bank. It is called La Riba Asset Finance and serves customers to buy assets locally as well as internationally. The product is meant for Muslim clients.

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Barclays Kenya to Offer Shariah-Compliant Corporate Finance

Barclays Bank of Kenya Ltd. announced the beginning of Shariah-compliant asset-finance product offer for corporates companies. This way it attempts to meet the growing demand of those companies. Barclays set aside $30 million for the so-called Corporate La Riba Asset Finance product. The latter includes fixed pricing and repayment periods of up to five years.

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IFC to invest $5 million in Gulf African Bank

International Finance Corporation (IFC) proposed an equity investment in Gulf African Bank (GAB) worth $5 million. The investment is expected to improve the bank's strength and provide additional capacity for growth. under IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP), an additional $3 million trade line will be made available by IFC to the bank.

Diplomat to start Horn of Africa’s first stock market

Somali Ambassador Idd Mohamed wishes to establish a stock exchange in neighbouring Kenya in order to allow other east Africans access to companies in Kenya. This should encourage priavate capital to develop across the continent.

Kenya Re appoints Sharia board

In preparation to assume risks of firms offering Islamic Insurance cover known as ReTakaful, Kenya Reinsurance Corporation (Kenya Re) has decided upon a Sharia board. This way, the establishment of a dedicated ReTakaful window has been brought closer within the corporation. The board of Muslim scholars and people conversant with the Quran will contribute to the preservation of Kenya Re's responsiveness to requirements of its clients and to its development of solutions that satisfy the takaful industry demands for Sharia-Compliant reinsurance services.

Islamic banking in Africa

KFH Research made a report about the future of Islamic finance in Africa that shows that there are various promising opportunities for the growth and development of Islamic banking in Africa; especially North African countries, in addition to Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.
In addition, the report noted that Africa hosts 38 Islamic finance institutions, and stressed that most African countries have amended their legislations to allow Islamic institutions to operate.

Kenya freezes new Takaful licenses

Kenya has blocked the licensing of new Takaful companies until a suitable law to manage them is completed. This gives Kenya’s existing Takaful firms the opportunity to grow unrestrained by new competition. But the regulator’s strategy risks losing its position as the leading IF hub in East Africa to neighbors Tanzania and Uganda, who have put no such restrictions on new local and foreign firms entering their markets.
At present Kenya’s insurance law does not admit Takaful as a standalone product, although the law empowers the IRA to launch ad hoc regulations authorizing individual operators on a case-by-case basis to sell Takaful products. The insurance law also does not permit companies to invest in offshore assets, locking out Kenyan Takaful entities from established capital markets in the Middle East and Asia.

Africa looks to Islamic finance

Africa is mooving its economic attention away from the west to the Middle East and Asia as a primary source of capital raising. This shift in alignment partially explains the expected launch of a number of Sukuk across the continent in 2012.
Countries that have announced sovereign Sukuk to raise capital for their budgets are: South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria and Kenya. This move is especially welcomed by sovereign wealth and Islamic finance institutions - especially in the GCC.

CIC sees business sense in Takaful

Takaful Insurance for Africa’s largest shareholder, Cooperative Insurance Company (CIC) is admiring its decision to invest in Kenya’s first Takaful company.
CIC’s GM, Kenneth Kimani, noted TIA’s strong progress and the fact that Takaful in Kenya offers better opportunities for growth than conventional insurance. CIC owns 20% of TIA which saw more than $1m of premiums raised in the first four months of operations.

Africa looks to Islamic finance

Africa has begun to move its economic attention away from the west to the Middle East and Asia as a primary source of capital raising. This shift in alignment partially explains the forthcoming launch of a number of Sukuk across the continent in 2012.
South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria and Kenya have all divulged sovereign Sukuk to raise capital for their budgets, a marked move away from aid and loans from the economies of Europe and the US and a move broadly welcomed by sovereign wealth and Islamic finance institutions – especially in the GCC.
Senegal, for exmaple will issue a $200m Sukuk, initially planned for this year but now most likely for the begin of 2012. Finance minister Abdoulaye Diop stated that proceeds from the Sukuk will be used for budgetary support.

Confused in Kenya

It seems that although the planned introduction of Sukuk in Kenya is foreseen to expand the opportunities available in the capital market, fund managers stated that its impact will not be significant unless the Sukuk represent tangible assets to allow trading, or are deliberately structured to have a short maturity if they represent receivables of cash.
In Kenya, fund managers are used to trading bonds with commercial banks and will be searching for similar opportunities from Sukuk issues.

Islamic accounting standards in Kenya

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), wishes Islamic finance institutions to take responsibility for upgrading the skills level among their staff to guarantee that accounting standards in Shari'ah compliant companies are up to international financial reporting standards.
Kenya has experienced real growth in Islamic finance and questions are being asked on the availability of talent that comprehends Shari'ah compliant financial processes.
Kenya's Islamic finance industry consists of two banks and an insurance company plus several Shari'ah compliant windows of about a dozen conventional banks.

Kenya’s CMA in Sukuk call

The Capital Markets Authority of Kenya has just animated the blue touch paper for Sukuk issuance by recommending that all future bond issues have to posess a Shari’ah compliant component to them. This directs that Islamic finance institutions will have an ever-expanding pool of liquidity from which to expand. The ruling will also grant retail customers to buy into the Shari’ah compliant Sukuk market.
The recommendations came after a study by a group chosen by the CMA.
Islamic finance players stated that they are analyzing the recommendations before they issue their views.

Africa offers Sukuk a boon

Changes are planned in the financial regulations of Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. These will permit a launch of Sukuk and are allocated to deliver a rebound in the international Sukuk market, a market that has been declining since 2008.
The latest Global Sukuk Market report released by the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) shows that Africa accounted for only 0.3% of global Sukuk launches in the decade ending December 2010, all of which came from Sudan with some miniscule activity in The Gambia.
The report also adds that issuance trend displays that Islamic countries will continue to be the main drivers of the Sukuk market in the coming years while others from Europe, Africa, Central Asian Republics and the Far East may join if they see opportunity and advantage in issuing Sukuk.

Trade finance leads the line for FCB

Although FCB Capital, Kenya's first Shari'ah compliant Islamic investment bank, has carried out a modest amount of business in its first year of operations, it has prooved that East Africa has an appetite for Islamic finance.
The bank's results for the first six months show that it has only just begun receiving income in the last six months, mostly in administration and advisory fees. Their total income was $144,400.

East Africa turns to Tawarruq

The awash with Tawarruq deals as Islamic finance institutions, starvation of wealth creating opportunities and liquidity in the local market will allow East Africa to transact with the conventional financial sector.
Kenya's two existing Islamic banks, the Shari'ah compliant windows of conventional banks in East Africa and Takaful firms are constantly exploiting the Tawarruq window.
Abdalla Abulkhalik Sheikh, general manager and acting CEO of Gulf African Bank in Kenya, stated that they are using Tawarruq until the government will allow trading of Sukuk.

AFRICA: Sudan's Bank of Khartoum eyes up Kenya

The Sudanese Islamic Bank of Khartoum is planing to move into Kenya in what would be the first cross-border expansion of Islamic finance in East Africa.
Kenya is in the process of changing its finance laws to allow Islamic finance. enya has also reformed its capital markets laws to allow the launch of Sukuk.

Is Uganda ready for Islamic banking?

The OIC (Organisation of Islamic Conference) Business Forum was held on June 2008 in Uganda.
At that point it was declared that the National Islamic Bank would be set up in Uganda. This will bring Uganda in line with some other EAC member countries like Kenya that have already opened their doors to this form of banking. Such new banking products will increase the depth, breadth and range of finance products bank customers can use to access banking services and as an alternative to the current interest bearing financial products under the conventional banking system.

Sudan's Bank of Khartoum eyes up Kenya

The Sudanese Islamic Bank plans to move in the future into Kenya. This would be the first cross-border expansion of Islamic finance in East Africa.
Kenya is in the process of changing its finance laws to allow Islamic finance. Kenya has two Shari'ah compliant banks in operation, a Takaful company and an array of Shari'ah compliant banking products in conventional banks, leading the way.

Lack of Relevant Laws Constrains Growth in Islamic Finance Sector

Because of the amplification of Islamic banking and insurance, banking and insurance regulators expect a new legislation that allows ompanies to invest in Sharia-compliant securities.
Kenya's first Islamic insurance firm, Takaful Insurance, was initiated 3 weeks ago. The first branch was opened in Eastleigh, Nairobi. That is why an absolute change is needed.

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