GLOBAL: The Islamic financial markets may be taking things slow in preparation for Eid, but
it did not stop several major developments from making their rounds in the press this week.
Grabbing world headlines is Iran finally achieving a deal with the P5+1 after over a decade of attempts for a resolution. While global reaction has been somewhat mixed with some underlying concerns persisting (shifting dynamics of global oil supply, geopolitical concerns), there is a growing chorus calling the sanction relief on the world’s largest Islamic finance market an exciting growth opportunity and likely boon for the industry.
In what is potentially one of the biggest move stories of the year: CEO of the world’s largest Shariah bank Badlisyah Abdul Ghani has resigned from his post at CIMB Islamic after almost 10 years at the helm (See IFN Daily Cover: ‘CIMB Islamic CEO resigns’). He will serve another month until the 15th August and his deputy Mohd Shafri Shahul Hamid will be in charge until a replacement is found. Meanwhile, Prudential BSN Takaful has named Aman Chowla its new chief as former CEO Azim Mithani moves over to Prudential Corporation Asia as chief operating officer. Emirates NBD Asset Management also greeted a new CEO: Tariq Hendi, taking over from David Marshall who will be crossing over to the newly created position of general manager – products and advisory, wealth management within parent bank Emirates NBD’s retail banking and wealth management division.
We also saw a commitment by the Bank of England this week to support Islamic financial institutions in the UK with it promising to work on the providingsion Shariah compliant financial instruments. Chris Salmon, the executive director of markets at the central bank, is expecting to deliver further information as early as the turn of the year.
Bahrain is also making good progress in expanding its Islamic investment universe as it expects to welcome its first- ever listed Islamic REIT later this year (See IFN Report Vol 12 Issue 28: ‘Islamic REITs building momentum’).
In the Sukuk space, one of the largest banks in the Middle East, Arab National Bank, has secured regulatory approval to issue SAR2 billion (US$533.11 million) in Tier-2 Sukuk. The 10-year paper will be offered on a private placement basis.
The IDB this week committed to increasing its funding for Sustainable Development Goals-related activities over the next 15 years to US$150 billion from US$80 billion. And that concludes our review for this week before we break for Eid. IFN wishes all our readers a very blessed Eid Mubarak ahead and we will see you again on the 20th July 2015.