In observance of the public holidays in conjunction with Chinese New Year, full IFN Daily Alerts service will resume on the 10th February 2016.

Latest News - Wednesday, 10 February 2016
This Week’s Newsletter
This is a free content. Click title to see the full news. Daily Cover Story - IFC and Bank Danamon unite to boost Islamic trade finance in Indonesia
INDONESIA: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a US$75 million investment agreement with Bank Danamon Indonesia to develop the bank’s Shariah compliant trade financing operations. The investment will be structured as an Islamic...
New ‘bail-in’ laws implemented by the EU have cast the European banking market into turmoil this month, as stringent new measures to shift...
Editor's Note
It can sometimes seem as if Islamic finance exists in a bubble, operating in its own little world unconnected with the...
Wednesday, 03 February 2016
Volume 13 Issue 05
E.g., 02/10/2016
E.g., 02/10/2016

Daily News Briefs

MALAYSIA: Following the cessation of merger discussions on the 2nd February, RAM has lifted the developing rating watch on Malaysia Building Society (MBSB) and Bank Muamalat Malaysia and concurrently reinstated the stable outlook on their ratings, according to a statement.


PHILIPPINES: Proposed measures by the Filipino central bank – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) – and state-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to authorize the sale of Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank and to allow other banks to provide Islamic banking services have...


GLOBAL: Otoritas Jasa Keuangan is expected to ink an agreement with Bank Negara Malaysia to facilitate the expansion of Indonesian banks into Malaysia, according to Kontan.co.id. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), among other Indonesian banks, has expressed its keenness to step foot...


GLOBAL: The Central Bank of Iran has signed agreements with Coface State Guarantees and SACE for the recovery of payments due by Iranian debtors and counterparties which were blocked following international sanctions, according to separate statements. In the case of Coface, the...


GLOBAL: AAOIFI will reissue the “Requirements of Conversion from Conventional to Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions” standard following a resolution made by the Shariah board regarding re-drafting the existing Shariah Standard no. 6 (Conversion of Conventional Banks to...


INDONESIA: Bank Tabungan Negara (Bank BTN) has signed an agreement with Pengurus Besar Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) to provide the latter with Shariah compliant banking facilities.


MALTA: The Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) will launch an Islamic equity index on the 8th February 2016, according to Reuters, aiming to attract business from Middle East firms and to prompt the government to issue Sukuk. The MSE’s CEO Eileen Muscat was quoted as saying that the...


MALAYSIA: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is planning to launch its maiden Shariah compliant fund by January 2017, according to The Star Online. The fund will have an initial fund size of up to RM120 billion (US$29.04 million). The EPF’s deputy CEO of investments Mohamad...


UAE: According to an ongoing financial health check survey conducted by the National Bonds Corporation (National Bonds), a Shariah compliant savings and investments company, 17% of UAE nationals have Takaful while 14% of respondents from all nationalities said they do. The...


MALAYSIA: To support domestic demand growth amid the recent external slowdown, the recalibration of Budget 2016 entails various measures and incorporates an average oil price of US$30-35 per barrel, according to RAM in a statement. The government’s adjusted GDP growth target of...


SAUDI ARABIA: JPMorgan Saudi Arabia has joined the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) as a member following the fulfillment of all technical and legal requirements to be recognized as an exchange member, according to a bourse filing.


IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE

Case Study

Gulf Marine Services (GMS) in November 2015 secured a new US$620 million syndicated debt facility comprising Islamic and conventional financings to fund continued growth. Speaking to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), the mandated lead...

IFN Country Analysis

After a momentous year in Islamic finance for Japanese institutions in 2014, 2015 proved to be another year of continued progress as this time, the government also lent a hand to push the Shariah finance proposition. VINEETA TAN takes a...

Weekly Poll

As markets pickup moving forward into 2016, IFN asks the industry on ways to improve this year. Looking at Islamic asset management this week, an area that has been said to bear great potential but still lacks in progress compared to other...

IFN Sector Analysis

As the industry moves forward, keeping up with global technological advancements is inevitable. The Islamic finance industry, particularly the retail banking sector, must employ up-to-date strategies to meet the rising consumer demand to...
 

IFN Reports

GLOBAL: Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) is due to launch a new Islamic index today, the 8th February, as part of its aggressive 2016 business development strategy. Working with Shariah compliant advisory firm Dar Al Sharia, the index...

MALAYSIA: The Malaysian regulator has introduced new rulings on several Islamic financial contracts to enhance investor protection and facilitate the formulation of policies pertinent to the Shariah financial system. The...

GLOBAL: Oil prices continue their painful slide to the bottom and the effects are manifold: world governments are turning to the Islamic debt capital markets to fund their infrastructure pipeline (See IFN Report Vol 13 Issue 05...

Continuing its momentum from last week, the sovereign Sukuk market has remained buzzing. Countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey and Kuwait have all stepped forward with Sukuk plans. The recent spate of upcoming sovereign...

International interest in Iran is already on the rise, with the latest news that independent Swiss banking group REYL Group has nipped ahead of its peers to enter the market through its Dubai-based REYL Finance (MEA) in...

Terrorism, violent demonstrations, internal conflicts and perceptions of criminability – such themes are unfortunately more prevalent today, and more so in the MENA region than anywhere else in the world. With rising political...

The global Sukuk market continues to face pressure from low oil prices and volatile market trends, with a new report from S&P this month predicting issuance to fall by up to 20.6% in 2016 to US$50-55 billion – compared to US$...

UK: London’s sole Islamic underwriting agency Cobalt has rolled out Lloyd’s first-ever Shariah compliant political violence product to meet a widening demand and supply gap in the market as escalating social unrest and rising...

International interest in Iran is already on the rise, with the latest news that independent Swiss banking group REYL Group has nipped ahead of its peers to enter the market through its Dubai-based REYL Finance (MEA) in...

GLOBAL: It has been a tumultuous past few weeks with oil price plunging to new lows prompting governments to tighten their budgetary belts. While the new normal in global oil values could impact the direction of sovereign Sukuk...

Features

The rising tide of technology innovation has been a boon to the Islamic and conventional finance industries. The 1,400-year-old concept of Islamic commerce has come of age in the last two decades – developing highly sophisticated...

Last year, we saw Islamic finance making gains in the global financial sphere. One of the fastest-growing segments in the worldwide financial system today, it is estimated at a value in excess of US$1.48 trillion. Throughout 2016...

There are two Islamic financial institutions in Palestine — Palestine Islamic Bank (PIB) and Arab Islamic Bank (AIB), in addition to about five, smaller specialized financial institutions which provide Islamic financing. DR...

There has been a dramatic transformation in the political leadership of Canada in the past couple of years that has the potential to make a positive impact on the prospects for the development of an Islamic financial sector in...

Islamic banking made inroads in Pakistan with the commencement of the first-ever full-service commercial bank, Meezan Bank, in 2002. Over the years, Islamic banking has been witnessing double-digit growth. Since private sector...

Women in Islamic Finance

From Cambridge to Harvard, Dr Aida Othman’s academic repertoire in Shariah law is as distinguished as her illustrious career as an Islamic finance lawyer at one of Malaysia’s leading legal firm. Heading the award-winning Shariah...

Column

Prominent researchers in Islamic finance and banking often leave me bewildered as to the intention behind their research. It is important and useful to understand how Islamic finance would work in an ideal scenario in which we...

Have we reached a critical inflection point in the humanitarian and development world?  In a couple of months, the United Nations (UN) will host the World Humanitarian Summit. For the first time, Islamic social finance...

IFN Correspondents

The opportunity cost of capital allows us to apply the time value of money concept in finance. Simply put, if we know what we could earn by investing money in an alternative opportunity, then we can identify the minimum amount...

January 2016 has witnessed a degree of turmoil on global financial markets not seen since the 2008 financial crisis, which pre-dated the launch of Islamic finance in its current form. This stemmed, importantly for Oman and the...

In February 2015, the Republic of Tatarstan was chosen as a pilot area for the introduction of Islamic banking in Russia, as the region had made progress in the development of Islamic finance. Two events that are significant in...

The Kingdom of Morocco is the only North African country that has a legal framework for Islamic banking without any Islamic financial institution authorized to offer Shariah compliant products and solutions, which constitutes a...

During his speech at the 80th anniversary celebrations of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the prime minister had urged the RBI to take the lead in setting up a medium to long-term target for sustainable financial inclusion....

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

At the moment, some Muslims in the Ukraine are permitted to access existing financial services available in the country. To start a business under Shariah, or to create special financial products suitable for Muslims in Ukraine...

In early 2016, popular opinion on the utility and function of offshore centres (OFCs) or, to use the more inflammatory term, tax havens, must be close to an all-time low. The general view, stirred up by cash-strapped governments...

The Halal industry and the general Halal markets have become established elements and had a significant impact on the economic landscape of many countries over the past decades. According to Thomson Reuters and DinarStandard, the...

In this article, HUSSAIN KURESHI draws inspiration from the comics and likens debt and equity to the conflicting styles and personalities of Batman and Superman. I have been a fan of DC Comics and Marvel Comics since I was a...

It is observed that various misconceptions about Islamic banking are disseminated by many who criticize Islamic banking. Islamic banking is becoming an important part of today’s banking industry with increasing market share...