Latest News - Thursday, 29 September 2016
This Week’s Newsletter
This is a free content. Click title to see the full news. Daily Cover Story - Saudi insurers bracing for changes
SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi insurers are feeling the weight of tougher regulations which have pressured earnings and are bracing themselves for more regulatory changes that could cut further into profits. Collectively, the 34 cooperative insurers in the...
Indonesia’s enormous infrastructure requirements are no secret. According to the government, the country needs over US$413 billion between...
Editor's Note
Apart from its massive Muslim population, another compelling Islamic finance selling point for Indonesia is its huge...
Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Volume 13 Issue 39
E.g., 09/29/2016
E.g., 09/29/2016

Daily News Briefs

EGYPT: The Egyptian finance ministry has earmarked some EGP650 million (US$72.79 million) for the Takaful and Karama program as part of its budget allocated to the program for the 2016-17 fiscal year, according to MENA quoting Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali. The...


BAHRAIN: Fitch has assigned Bahrain's proposed US dollar-denominated sovereign global Sukuk trust certificates, to be issued by CBB International Sukuk Company 5 (CBB5), with an expected 'BB+(EXP)' rating, according to a statement. The rating agency has also assigned Bahrain's...


BAHRAIN: Islamic banks in Bahrain will soon be required to conduct external Shariah audits of their operations annually as per the new governance rules proposed by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), according to Reuters. The rules aim to address concerns of potential customers...


MALDIVES: The Bank of Maldives (BML) is due to open its first Islamic banking branch on the 29th September and will commence operations on the 2nd October 2016, according to Mihaaru.  


MALAYSIA: In a bid to facilitate Waqf activities, the Islamic Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Malaysia has proposed the enactment of a law allowing business or corporate Waqf to be implemented at the federal and state levels, according to Bernama. The ICC’s president, Muhammad Ali...


MALAYSIA: Permodalan Nasional (PNB), Malaysia’s largest fund management company which also offers Islamic products, plans to expand its exposure to private equity as part of its future investment strategy, The Star quoted Chairman Abdul Wahid Omar as saying. PNB currently...


UK: Shariah compliant real estate specialist 90 North has hired Paul Einum, a real estate veteran with more than 15 years of experience in the commercial real estate sector, as the firm’s new senior asset manager to help manage its expanding US portfolio, which is set to exceed...


INDIA: Secura Investment Management (India) has launched its third Shariah compliant investment fund, the Secura India Realty AIF 1, which will invest in privately identified realty and development projects, the firm informed IFN. The seven-year close-ended fund is registered...


UAE: A majority of the National Bonds Corporation’s investors do not have Takaful life coverage, the latest financial health check of the Islamic investment company showed. In the third quarter of 2016, it was found that 73% of UAE national respondents who participated in the...


GLOBAL: Gobi Partners, a Shanghai-based venture capital firm, has introduced a new business segment for Islamic ventures known as TaqwaTech in Malaysia in a bid to offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to tap the large Muslim population in the region. Thomas Tsao, the managing...


PAKISTAN: The IFN Pakistan Forum 2016 gathered over 300 delegates in Lahore on the 26th September. Fully supported by the regulators, the event saw lively discussions on a myriad of topics relevant to the Islamic finance industry in Pakistan by market elites.


PAKISTAN: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, with support from the Federal Board of Revenue, has granted 10 tax exemptions on the upcoming US dollar sovereign Sukuk, according to the Express Tribune quoting Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. These taxes include...


UAE: Jones Day has welcomed Nadim Khan as a partner in the firm’s projects and infrastructure practice based in the Dubai office, according to a statement. Nadim has more than 20 years of experience as an attorney, including 15 in the Middle East and has also structured and...


SAUDI ARABIA: Large Saudi Arabian banks continue to report liquidity coverage ratios (LCRs) above 100% despite a 30% outflow of government-related deposits from the sector since oil prices declined sharply in November 2014, according to Fitch in a statement. The rating agency...


KAZAKHSTAN: SK Leasing (SKL) has engaged GCC-based Shariyah Review Bureau in a bid to become the first leasing company in Kazakhstan to achieve Shariah compliance in its business activities, according to a statement. Committed to making its Shariah compliant programs work for...


MALAYSIA: RAM has reaffirmed the ‘AA2/Stable’ ratings on Lingkaran Trans Kota’s Sukuk Musharakah Islamic medium-term note (IMTN) I and II programs with a combined value of up to RM1.45 billion (US$351.22 million), according to a statement. The ratings reflect the robust traffic...


TURKEY: Moody’s has downgraded the government of Turkey’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured bond ratings to ‘Ba1’ from ‘Baa3’ and assigned a stable outlook, according to a statement. The downgrade is driven by the increase in the risks related to the country’s sizeable...


SAUDI ARABIA: The board of directors of the Securities Depository Center Company has approved the appointment of Mamdooh Saud Al Sedairy as CEO, effective the 27th September 2016. According to a bourse filing, Mamdooh has led several functions and a number of key projects and...


UK: BLME Holdings has appointed its CFO, Christopher Power, to its board as an executive director with immediate effect, according to a bourse filing. In a separate filing, BLME Holdings has decided to treat Michael Williams as an independent non-executive director also with...


KUWAIT: Warba Bank has entered into a cooperation agreement with the Public Authority for Civil Information to implement an e-signature service, allowing the Islamic bank to introduce a new service, Express Finance. The bank said in a statement that the e-signature service...


IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE

Case Study

Indonesia’s second-largest telecommunication provider, Indosat Ooredoo, earlier this month issued Sukuk Ijarah worth IDR288 billion (US$22 million), witnessing exceptional demand from investors, particularly on the shorter-tenor ends....

IFN Country Analysis

As a world superpower, the US has always been in the global spotlight. This year has been marked with an unpredictable presidential election, heightened religious rhetoric and domestic terror attacks which cast a shadow over religious...

Sovereign Sukuk

The sovereign Sukuk space witnessed a bustling of activities the past week, as countries across key Islamic financial markets issued Islamic debt to raise funds. Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei were in the limelight for Southeast Asia,...

IFN Sector Analysis

Institutional investment in the Shariah compliant space is developing at a promising rate. Pockets of activities can be seen across Islamic finance markets in Asia and the Middle East. Nevertheless, industry observers and market players...
 

IFN Reports

The sovereign Sukuk space witnessed a bustling of activities the past week, as countries across key Islamic financial markets issued Islamic debt to raise funds. Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei were in the limelight for Southeast...

Robo-advisors are making waves in the financial world and this week, the community welcomes one Islamic robo-advisor designed specifically to meet the needs of Islamic investors. VINEETA TAN reports. A North American firm is...

The Islamic asset management arm of CIMB Group, one of the industry’s most well-known financial institutions, has showcased its continuous commitment and support toward developing Malaysia as a hub for Islamic finance products at...

Morocco is big news in the sustainable energy space, and the country is boosting its game with major commitments and high-profile promises as it bids to replace its high-energy demands with renewable alternatives. Amid all this...

The UAE may be one of the leading Takaful jurisdictions globally and a key growth market but VINEETA TAN asks, will the Emirates be able to sustain its growth momentum on the back of softer macroeconomic conditions? Looking in...

The Islamic finance industry could be welcoming Pakistan back to the sovereign Sukuk space very soon this year, following the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC)’s blanket approval last week that will allow the...

This week, we see interesting developments in the global Islamic finance market, from the active sovereign and corporate Sukuk markets to the vibrant banking and finance segment, and also Takaful and asset management, as well as...

  The growing sophistication of Muslim investors increasingly looking to incorporate SRI principles on top of greater efficiency and stronger governance into their Shariah compliant investment strategies has led one...

Despite the subdued economic environment and the expectation that new Sukuk issuance volumes for the rest of the year will remain flat, DANIAL IDRAKI writes that the Islamic finance industry can take comfort in the fact that the...

Turkey’s return to the international Sukuk market with a US$1 billion issuance in June 2016 clearly signals its growing drive to further tap the Islamic financial market. The increasing number of participation banks in the...

Features

While Islam is set to remain the world’s fastest-growing major religion over the next few decades, there is one simple principle which is likely to drive increased product offerings, improved innovation and access to attractive...

The use of Islamic finance in West Africa has historically been relatively confined. Islamic banks have often lacked the balance sheet and appetite for risk to finance anything other than small or short-term projects, meaning...

Despite all the criticism and debates around Islamic banking, there is always a belief that it can improve this world economically, socially and even environmentally. With efforts from decision-makers, regulators, practitioner...

Mankind has been adopting, experimenting and evolving various economic models around the globe, throughout history, whereby we have seen the rise and fall of socialism and capitalism. What is the most productive and fair economic...

Markets in the Middle East are having a growing trend of mergers between Islamic financial institutions and also new players entering into the Islamic finance market. In the first half of 2016; the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt...

Women in Islamic Finance

By Laura Elder, a cultural anthropologist who teaches in the Department of Global Studies at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame. Her primary research interests are global political economy, Islam and gender. She can be contacted...

Column

By Kavilash Chawla, a partner at boutique management consulting firm Bâton Global and a visiting scholar at Drake University. At this time of the year, as the great pilgrimage concludes, summer holidays end and people return...

By Mohammed Khnifer, an Islamic debt capital markets banker at a supranational banking institution as well as an AAOIFI-certified Shariah advisor and auditor. There will always be an intense debate between the ‘Old Guards’ (...

IFN Correspondents

One of the most interesting areas of research in risk management at the moment in conventional finance is systemic risk. This risk has its roots in the failure of entire financial systems due to the interconnectedness of...

  We note a tremendous increase in the interest in Shariah compliant funds and investors in REITs or real estate investment traded funds (REITFs). The Saudi Arabian Capital Market Authority (CMA) recently issued draft...

Being one of the three international financial centers issuing Sukuk, Hong Kong takes a very unique role in terms of Islamic finance development and ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiatives. Since the government’s announcement in 2007 on...

Based on the latest available data from Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (OJK), the Shariah insurance industry constitutes the largest industry among Shariah non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs). As of July 2016, there...

Perhaps it is not surprising that the summer of 2016 has been a quiet one from a business perspective in the Qatari market. While it is the usual trend in the business cycle for business activity to decrease during the summer...

Shariah Pronouncement

Query:   A corporate entity, which is a customer of an Islamic bank, had deposited an amount in a term deposit account for a period of three years on the basis of Mudarabah. However, upon completion of one year it has...

Special Reports

Islamic finance as a system developed a model of financial intermediation that, in theory at least, would be acceptable to consumers of financial products who are sensitive to prescriptions laid down by Islamic commercial law....

BASHAR AL NATOOR writes that Brexit may introduce new players to compete with the UK in the Islamic finance footrace. The UK has played a central role in growing the global footprint for Islamic finance over the past several...

Islamic finance is a universal phenomenon today. The whole world has adopted it irrespective of ideological differences. Currently, it is not only the Muslims who use it, but non-Muslims demand it too. But the dilemma is to check...

The World Islamic Finance Forum (WIIF) kicked off in Karachi, Pakistan with a big bang on the 5th September. The high-powered conference was organized by the Center for Excellence in Islamic Finance (CEIF) established at the...

Statistics in 2015 for foreigners buying commercial real estate in the US will be upstaged by a bigger spike this year, according to Bloomberg.com. However, SHOEB M SHARIEFF points out that there are a few issues to be considered...