Latest News - Sunday, 22 January 2017
This Week’s Newsletter
This is a free content. Click title to see the full news. Daily Cover Story - IFN weekly market roundup: 14th – 20th January 2017
The week has seen a flurry of activities in the Islamic finance world with sovereign Sukuk finding solid grounds and their corporate counterparts promising potential for 2017. The industry is taking regulations seriously with new and revamped...
Trade finance is a golden opportunity for the Islamic industry — underpinned by sound credentials and supported by real economic...
Editor's Note
We know the story: economic growth has slowed down, global demand has weakened and markets remain volatile; but how...
Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Volume 14 Issue 03
E.g., 01/22/2017
E.g., 01/22/2017

Daily News Briefs

INDONESIA: Life Takaful continues to command the lion’s share of Indonesia’s Islamic insurance market, accounting for 78% of the industry at the end of October 2016, according to Fitch. The rating agency noted in a report that the five-year compound annual growth rate for life...


MALAYSIA: The ratings on Purple Boulevard’s RM250 million (US$56.09 million) in nominal value Sukuk Ijarah have been reaffirmed by RAM predicated on the net property income of the underlying asset, Ampang Point Shopping Center. Purple Boulevard is the SPV of Nadin Holdings and...


BAHRAIN: Solidarity General Takaful (SGT)’s ‘B++’ financial strength ratings and ‘bbb’ long-term issuer credit ratings have been placed under review with positive implications by AM Best following the acquisition of Al Ahlia Insurance Company (AAIC) by SGT’s parent group,...


EGYPT: The Egyptian government has put forward a plan which includes increasing the coverage of its Takaful and Karama programs and other social safety net projects such as the distribution of free school meals. These measures are proposed alongside hikes in taxes through the...


KUWAIT: Boursa Kuwait has officially joined the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) as a member, the exchange confirmed in a statement. Kuwait over the last few years has been assertively pushing the development of its Islamic capital markets.


SAUDI ARABIA: Tawuniya, which offers Takaful services, will be providing health insurance services to employees and family members of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), according to a bourse filing. The health insurance, valid for a year starting from the 1st March 2017, is...


TURKEY: Capital Intelligence has affirmed the long and short-term foreign currency ratings of Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bankasi at ‘BB+’ and ‘B’ respectively, with a stable outlook, according to a statement.


MALAYSIA: MARC has affirmed Malaysia’s national mortgage corporation Cagamas’s conventional and Islamic commercial paper (ICP) programs with an aggregate combined limit of RM20 billion (US$4.48 billion) at ‘MARC-1/MARC-1IS’ respectively; the conventional and Islamic medium-term...


QATAR: Qatar Central Securities Depository has increased the foreign ownership limit of Islamic Holding Group to 49% of the capital, beginning the 19th January 2017, according to a bourse filing.  


UAE: NAEEM Shares & Bonds (NSB), a subsidiary of NAEEM Holding, which provides Islamic banking products and services, has joined NASDAQ Dubai’s equity futures platform as a member. According to a press release, the initiative is to facilitate NSB’s efforts to connect its UAE...


GLOBAL: Fitch expects Sukuk issuance to maintain similar growth rates in 2017 and believe Islamic facilities will command a larger market share driven by the decision of governments to issue Sukuk alongside conventional bonds. Fresh Sukuk issuance with a maturity of over 18...


AZERBAIJAN: The government of Azerbaijan has signed a grant agreement with the IDB for the provision of technical assistance in drafting an Islamic financing legislative base, according to Trend. The deal is aimed at analyzing the banking legislation as well as introducing...


NIGERIA: The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)’s annual Africa Islamic Finance Forum organized by REDmoney events will take place in Lagos this year after two consecutive successful forums in Abidjan. The high-level forum will take place in...


UAE: The Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) has launched a new professional certification program, the Certificate in Islamic Banking and Finance (CIBF). The course is designed in partnership with the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia...


INDONESIA: JPMorgan Chase & Co has upgraded its assessment of Indonesia’s equities to ‘neutral’, reversing its earlier bearish call on the country two weeks ago. According to Bloomberg quoting a JPMorgan report, the bank opined that the volatility in emerging market bonds in...


IRAN: The Banking Reform Bill, a law outlining major reforms in Iran’s banking sector, will be discussed and finalized in the parliament’s spring session after 33 years, according to Fars News Agency quoting the head of Majlis Economic Commission, Mohammad Reza Pour Ebrahimi....


UAE: Dubai International Finance Center Authority (DIFC Authority) has appointed Yazan Mohamad Nasser as its new CFO, according to a press release. Yazan previously served as CFO for Emaar Malls and has 30 years of experience in finance and audit. Yazan will be overseeing key...


SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) is negotiating with banks for an extension of up to two years on a SAR10 billion (US$2.66 billion) Islamic credit facility used to pay for building work at the Kingdom's Grand Mosque in Mecca after delays to the project, Reuters quoted...


BAHRAIN: Securities & Investment Company (SICO) has entered into a strategic partnership with Trucial Investment Partners for the Shariah compliant SICO Trucial US Real Estate Income Fund with a target size of US$50 million, according to a statement. The two institutions...


MALAYSIA: The take-up of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF)’s Simpanan Shariah has reached RM59.03 billion (US$13.22 billion) of the initial RM100 billion (US$22.4 billion) allocated as at the 23rd December 2016, the pension fund announced in a statement. The EPF’s CEO, Shahril...


IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE

Case Study

  The IDB ended 2016 with a US$1.25 billion Sukuk issuance by its subsidiary, IDB Trust Services. Speaking to the deal’s joint lead manager RHB Investment, DURGAHYENI MOHGANA SELVAM has the exclusive.   The issuance, with a...

IFN Country Analysis

VINEETA TAN brings you an overview of the Shariah finance landscape of the UK and Ireland over the last 12 months.  Regulatory landscape  Economic substance and legal form over Shariah compliance — that is the stance taken by...

Sovereign Sukuk

It has been a relatively quiet period over the past week in the sovereign Sukuk market, save for Saudi Arabia’s planned Sukuk issuance in the first quarter of 2017 and Bahrain’s monthly Ijarah and Salam issuances. As the markets prepare...

IFN Sector Analysis

Shariah compliant pensions can simply be defined as long-term investments specifically allocated for retirement purposes with complementary benefits such as tax relief on contributions. The Islamic pension sector is currently viewed as a...
 

IFN Reports

MALAYSIA: A Malaysian commodity Murabahah platform has expanded its product suite to include Islamic trade receivables, opening itself for the first time to the SME segment as the company undergoes a major overhaul in strategic...

MALAYSIA: Malaysian Takaful operators can expect a profit margin compression this year as the market readjusts itself under a stricter regulatory regime. “As Takaful operators realign their strategic focus and gradually retain...

It has been a relatively quiet period over the past week in the sovereign Sukuk market, save for Saudi Arabia’s planned Sukuk issuance in the first quarter of 2017 and Bahrain’s monthly Ijarah and Salam issuances. As the markets...

Kazakhstan is moving closer toward integrating Islamic finance into its wider economy after the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) signed an MoU with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center (DIEDC) to exchange...

As Malaysia’s Halal industry reaches its targets for 2016, the nation’s Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) eyes bigger achievements with a steadier international presence this year. But will these bring a promising...

Turkey’s ambition to position itself as a hub for Islamic finance continues unabated despite the challenging economic and political environment that the country is undergoing. With 2017 bringing its own set of challenges to the...

‘Islamic fintech’ is perhaps the catchphrase of the industry at the moment although individuals driving the development of the segment such as Rachid Ouaich, the founder and managing director of EETHIQ Advisors, would tell you...

As financial markets around the world continue to remain on its toes with continuous uncertainties surrounding the global macroeconomic landscape and a long road to recovery in oil prices, equities in Saudi Arabia may just become...

As the industry braces itself for another year of promising progress, several big names have been making efforts to retain their place while new players look at the market to take what 2017 has to offer. The Sovereign Sukuk space...

Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has launched what is touted as the world’s first national blueprint for Islamic fund and wealth management  — an area the regulator has identified as the next key driver to develop its RM1...

Features

Takaful insurance is often seen as one of the major global developments in the sphere of finance and banking. It opens doors to insurance-savvy customers who require insurance but are skeptical about its concept due to religious...

In this article, SHEIKH FAIZAL AHMAD MANJOO argues that as the longevity risk is increasing worldwide, the need to find solutions to mitigate such colossal risk is increasing and he also touches on the auto-enrolment process...

2016 was an interesting year for Islamic finance in Canada as there were developments related to the investment funds side of the business. REHAN HUDA writes.  The Canadian Muslim population is now estimated at...

Islamic liquidity management is always a challenge due to a lack of availability of wide-ranging innovative Islamic finance products for the purpose. The most convenient type of product available in the market right now is based...

Bahrain is introducing major changes to the Shariah governance framework for Islamic wholesale and retail banks in the country. This is the first comprehensive overhaul of the Shariah governance framework in place for Islamic...

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 Daud Vicary, the president and CEO of the International Center of Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), The Global University of Islamic Finance. Firstly, a very happy new year to everyone. May you all have a productive...

By Mohammed Amin, an Islamic finance consultant and former tax partner at PwC in the UK. Even though the way Islamic banks operate should by now be well understood, I still come across people who contend that there is no...

By Mohammad Raafi Hossain, a social entrepreneurship and ethical expert. In the tech world – with fintech being no exception – there is a widely accepted adage: Change in consumer behavior doesn’t happen as fast as expected,...

IFN Correspondents

December has been a quieter month as issuers and investors position themselves for 2017. We are already seeing signs that 2016’s trend of sovereign issuances will continue into the first half of next year. The past month has...

In November 2016, Al Rayan Bank opened its inaugural branch in Scotland, becoming the first Shariah compliant bank to establish itself in Scotland and presenting its 2,000 existing customers with an opportunity to interact with...

Governance, both Shariah and corporate, remains a vital component in the industry that requires further tightening. Various jurisdictions have applied some form of governance to boost the Islamic financial market, whether by...

A year ago to the day, looking ahead to 2016 and the prospects for Islamic finance in Oman, we observed the following: “….it seems that the domestic Sukuk market will not be the primary source of financing for the government to...

With private sector participation worth over an estimated US$50 billion, the new Saudi Arabian Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has announced a new water desalination program to be split between the privatization of...

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

A rebound in global Islamic bond sales (Sukuk) last year has set the foundation for even more issuance in 2017, as investors look beyond traditional fixed income products for better yields and portfolio diversification....

The bank is a financial intermediary institution that accepts funds from the surplus unit and channels it to the deficit unit. Accordingly, the main function of a banking institution is to fund the mobilization in the form of...

2017 will mark 10 years from the peak of the last economic cycle. The global financial crisis (GFC) began with a severe decline in market liquidity in 2007 and quickly intensifying into the Great Recession, the worst economic...

Most major Islamic indices lagged behind conventional benchmarks in 2016 as strong fourth quarter (Q4) financial sector gains detract from performance  Most S&P Dow Jones Shariah compliant benchmarks lagged behind...

The philosophies of profit maximization and consumerism as a means for the pursuit of happiness have failed people. The typical model of economic development has resulted in the collapse of financial markets on more than one...