ABSA Islamic Banking SA`s best

Absa Islamic Banking is the inaugural recipient of the 2009 Best Islamic Bank in South Africa award, according to the Islamic Finance news, a leading industry publication. The accolade, determined on a poll basis by the publication’s readers, recognises excellence, achievement and leadership in Islamic banking and finance. It is the first time that the awards are designated by country, and not by continent.

Amman Muhammad, Managing Director of Absa Islamic Banking, described the accolade as an “honour and a vote of confidence in our products and services from our customers across the globe”. He added: “The fact that this is the result of an international poll augurs well for our future growth and ongoing expansion of our suite of products.”

He added that at 98%, ABSA Islamic Banking boasts one of the best retention rates in the conventional banking environment; an achievement Muhammad attributes to the customers’ endorsement of Absa’s response to their needs. “ABSA Islamic Banking has certainly mastered the art of turning customer approval into tangible outputs, most notably in the form of awards,” he said.

In the recent past, Islamic Finance News voted Absa Islamic Banking as the Best Islamic Bank in Africa for two consecutive years – 2007 and 2008. The same publication had also bestowed Absa with the 2006 Shariah Deal of the Year award for South Africa. Most recently, the editors of the Global Finance Magazine – following extensive consultation with bankers, corporate finance executives and analysts throughout the world – voted ABSA Islamic Banking as the 2009 World’s Best Islamic Financial Institution Award in the category for the non-Gulf Cooperation Council Middle East/Africa region.

According to Global Finance Magazine, criteria that counted in Absa’s favour included its growth in profitability, its strategic relationships, new business development and innovation in products. “The winning banks were all noteworthy in their dedication to satisfying their customers’ needs in accordance with the rules of Islamic finance,” the magazine declared.

source  voc

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Thomson Reuters Launches Next Generation Islamic Finance Gateway

Thomson Reuters announced that it has launched its next generation Islamic Finance Gateway to guide the emerging industry to the next stage of growth and development.

Rushdi Siddiqui, Global Head of Islamic Finance, Thomson Reuters, said, “Despite its image as an emerging industry, Islamic finance has now grown to be worth around US$1trillion and the Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Gateway truly opens up this world of possibilities and opportunities for financial market participants and professionals. The conventional, western finance industry is accustomed to clean, crisp, robust information, real-time news, connectivity to communities and the ability to act and transact with trusted counterparties. By providing these ‘must have’ features the Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Gateway demonstrates the industry’s true breadth and makes the transition for all to Islamic Finance a seamless one.”

The Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Gateway is a global, neutral platform and directory consisting of details for and links to Islamic finance professionals, rating agencies, industry standards bodies, Islamic finance hubs, index providers, consulting firms, 400 Shariah scholars and Islamic subsidiaries from over 25 countries. Reuters Messaging is embedded within the Gateway to foster communication and create the connections required to build and grow communities.

Available on its flagship Thomson Reuters 3000 Xtra desktop, The Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Gateway improves transparency through lower information search costs and provides greater global connectivity and insight into the industry’s opportunities.

By bringing together neutral, intelligent, Islamic, ‘trading-ready’ finance information and analytics on a common platform, the Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Gateway addresses the complete Islamic Finance work-flow.

Market professionals will now be able to access comprehensive, trusted multi-asset class information on a wide range of Islamic finance instruments such as Sukuks, Islamic leveraged loans, funds, Islamic money market, Takafol and currencies; alongside embedded real-time news stories from Reuters, and correlation analytics for Islamic versus western conventional market views. The Gateway will also include news of related industries to Islamic finance, like the $641 billion Halal food sector.

The rich data and breaking news is complimented by a global rolling tickertape of Islamic and conventional indexes, multi-currency real time inter-bank conventional versus Islamic inter-bank rates, an information fund supermarket(1) and click-through links to Gateways for the; Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and G-20 countries.

A unique heat map of Shariah-compliant and Shariah-based companies developed by IdealRatings, creates a diverse universe of publicly listed companies. The Shariah-compliant companies are screened according to global index providers’ methodologies, plus Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and Malaysia’s Securities Commission. The Shariah-compliant companies are screened by various economic sectors and regions. They are complimented by more than 100 publicly listed Shariah-based companies in regions and countries like GCC, Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia and the UK.

The global Islamic finance community can take the Thomson Reuters ‘trading-ready’ information one step further, by turning ideas into action. Publicly listed Shariah-based and screened companies and Islamic or commodity ETFs can be traded over the Thomson Reuters Trading for Exchanges (TRTex) platform, which has been integrated within the Gateway.

Basil Moftah, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Thomson Reuters, said, “Islamic finance is an important part of our Middle East growth strategy, and the Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Gateway will not only address the Islamic banking industry’s needs, but will also enhance our ties to the greater MENA region.”

Following the launch in the GCC, the Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Gateway will be introduced to the market in Asia, via a launch in Kuala Lumpur on February 22.

source : earthtime

The Islamic Bank of Thailand plans to float 55 billion baht worth of Islamic bonds

The Islamic Bank of Thailand plans to float 55 billion baht worth of Islamic bonds in the local and overseas markets in 2010, says bank president Dheerasak Suwannayos.

He said the bank hoped to raise 5 billion baht from a local Islamic bond issue in the second quarter, the first issued in the Thai market.

Another 50 billion baht in funds would be raised as a sovereign bond issue in the international market by the third quarter.

“We hope to raise funds from the petrodollar market, using interest in basic infrastructure investments and funding from Islamic infrastructure funds,” Mr Dheerasak said.

The Islamic bonds would be issued in strict compliance with Islamic law, with investor returns projected at 3% to 4% per year. Bonds would be offered to individual and institutional investors.

The Finance Ministry and the Revenue Department are in the process of drafting regulations to remove tax obstacles related to the issue of Islamic bonds, including tax liability from the transfer of assets to a special purpose vehicle typically used in Islamic finance structures.

The Islamic Bank posted a net profit of 334 million baht in 2009, a sharp increase from profits of 2.08 million the year before.

Outstanding deposits stood at 41 billion baht at the end of last year, more than double the year before. Outstanding credit showed similar growth at 38 billion baht at the end of December, up from 16.7 billion the year before.

Net assets for the bank at the end of 2009 were 45.2 billion baht, compared with 23.8 billion the year before.

Mr Dheerasak said the bank, also known as I Bank, expected to reach net assets of 100 billion baht by the end of the year, with outstanding deposits of 78.7 billion and credit of 88.7 billion. Profits are projected at 668 million baht, double last year’s figures.

He said the bank would require additional capital to reach the growth target. The Finance Ministry has already approved a plan to raise paid-up capital for the bank to 9.87 billion baht from 3.48 billion now.

“But at the end of the day, I Bank is not solely oriented on generating profits, but also helping society as well,” Mr Dheerasak added.

For instance, the bank diverts a portion of its late-payment fees to a special fund to assist the poor. I Bank is also helping credit card borrowers refinance loans as part of a broader government programme to address the problems of low-income debt.

Source : Bangkok post

Islamic Banking: A Global Necessity – Seminar organized by Karachi University

Islamic principles provide us every opportunity to live a peaceful social life, Islamic Banking is one of those blessings that are brought to us by the new era of technology and banking.  

Islamic principles provide us every opportunity to live a peaceful social life, Islamic Banking is one of those blessings that are brought to us by the new era of technology and banking.

Islamic banking gives us facilities similar to the conventional banking but it never leaves the sphere of Islamic law and principles. The problem is that we lack the psyche that probes inquiry into such matters.

These notions were expressed by Vice Chancellor Karachi University (KU) Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, while presiding over a seminar organised by University of Karachi in collaboration with United Chartered Bank, USA at a local hotel titled Islamic Banking: A Global Necessity on 13th February 2010.

The VC encouraged linkages between Islamic Banks worldwide and the Universities of Pakistan.

Asif Aslam (CEO) United Chartered Bank USA declared that in the last decade, Islamic finance has enjoyed robust growth rates of 15-20 percent per year.

“There are now approximately 500 Islamic financial institutions in over 51 countries. The largest market in this field comprises of more than 1.39 billion Muslims worldwide.

Other speakers highlighted the benefits of Islamic Banking which includes an additional check and balance because of which they were able to survive the recent global recession,” he said.

It was also told that Islamic banking was trying to convert challenges into business opportunities with Islamic (Ethical) finance.

Prof Dr Abdul Rashid, Prof Masroor Ali Qureshi, Dr Muhammad Ilyas, Maulana Dr Khalil Ahmed Azmi, Syed Tanveer Hussain, Prof Muhammad Saleem Memion, Dean Faculty of Arts, KU, and others spoke on the occasion. Whereas, Prof Dr Abuzar Wajidi, Dean Management Sciences, KU, and a number of teachers and students from madarsaas and from various Universities of Pakistan attended the seminar.

source : nation

New Openings in Islamic Finance industry

Islamic Finance; 3+ PQE; Doha

an urgent requirement for a mid-level/senior associate, specialising in Islamic finance. With strong academics, candidates will a have a minimum of 3 years’ experience and will have trained with a City firm. Middle East experience will be a distinct advantage.

http://www.aljazeerajobs.com/jobs/jobsfull.php?jobid=256136

Sharia Coordinator

Shariaa Coordinator KPMG Bahrain – Executive Search and Selection (ESS)

http://www.aljazeerajobs.com/jobs/jobsfull.php?jobid=256572

Senior Relationship Manager

Requirements: Minimum 5 years of experience in Islamic Financial Institutions Marketing in the Middle East Excellent knowledge of the Middle East Islamic Finance Market Solid knowledge of the Islamic Investment Banking products Outstanding Marketing skills Fluency in Arabic.

Head of Corporate Finance

A career growth opportunities for Head of Corporate Finance with a very attractive Tax free package in one of the leading Banks in Abu Dhabi GCC and Islamic Banking Experiences is Favorable

http://jobs.efinancialcareers.com/job-4000000000588425.htm/keywordAll=islamic%20finance%20banks/

CFO

SEDCO Holding, a Saudi Arabian investment management company, conducts its investment activities in accordance with Islamic investment guidelines (“Shari’ah”).

http://jobs.efinancialcareers.com/job-4000000000595696.htm/keywordAll=islamic%20finance%20banks/

Islamic Finance Can Help Prevent Future Crisis

SOME of the features and underyling principles of Islamic finance may avoid or minimise the impact of future economic cycles, said the acting chief executive of the Centre for Islamic Banking, Finance and Management.

Makhtar Abdullah, who is a moderator for the 16th Asean Federation of Accountants Conference 2009, said, “The recent economic crisis which evolved around the financial system will further stimulate and hasten growth of Islamic finance as an alternative to the conventional system.”

He said the world is looking for alternatives in the wake of the crisis.

Now, he said, the push for Islamic banking will be faster and in bigger scale, so there will be more acceptance in the global economy.

The crisis, he said, might even be seen as an advantage for the Islamic banking sector as players were not directly affected.

Makhtar said on a global scale, education is still needed to get the knowledge and confidence across on Islamic finance.

“Everybody has to play their roles and Brunei is positively projecting the same image as after four decades of evolution, Islamic finance has a firm footing in developed markets globally,” he said.

Makhtar said the main feature of Islamic banking is that the foundation isn’t so much on liability and borrowing but more on the sharing of risks.

“It would be beneficial because customers would have a say in what they want and transactions would be more transparent as whatever business leads the financial institution wants to get involved. There will be more disclosure involved so it makes more sense to everyone,” he said.

In Brunei, Islamic finance has a good and positive image and the establishment of his group is part of the image Brunei is projecting.

“As people involved in Islamic banking work more with other global players their knowledge increases and (they) become more well trained with the proper infrastructure to accompany that,” he said.

Source : TBT

Canada Centennial College to offer Islamic finance course

Louise Brown

EDUCATION REPORTER

Scarborough’s Centennial College, one of the most diverse campuses in the country, has become the first in Canada certified to teach Islamic finance – a system that does not charge interest or invest in commodities that contravene Islamic law.

The one-term course will be offered online, starting this fall, to students across Ontario for about $500.

One major bank has already expressed interest in training some of its staff in the basics of Islamic banking, said John Harris, chair of the college’s accounting and financial services programs.

“We have created the course in response to demand from a number of sectors – including one of the major banks that said it wants to be able to talk the same language as clients whose background is based in Islamic finance,” said Harris, adding that the course will be taught by Islamic scholars.

“They want to be able to structure contracts without offending their client base.”

The London-based Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment has accredited Centennial to deliver the new Islamic Finance Qualification.

Students will learn how to draw up alternative contracts for lending money that might include a letter of credit or a guarantee, said Harris, rather than the application of interest over time – which Islamic law sees as punitive to the borrower.

“The funds are provided as more of a partnership, an agreement between two parties that avoids the promise to pay interest,” he said.

There has been a growing market for Islamic-compliant mortgages, which are often structured so that the borrower ends up leasing to own the property: essentially paying rent instead of interest.

A study by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. recently concluded there is no legal impediment to offering such financing in Canada.

At a regional summit last spring on reviving the GTA’s economy, federal Liberal Finance Critic John McCallum suggested making Toronto a global hub for Islamic finance, a field said to be the fastest-growing segment of the financial services industry, expanding by 20 per cent each year since 2001.

A study of Islamic finance by the law firm Stikeman Elliott projected that by 2017, Muslims will make up between 3.7 per cent and 4.9 per cent of Canada’s population.

“Consequently, there is expected to be increased demand for Islamic financial services in Canada in the coming years, potentially providing a tremendous opportunity for financial firms prepared to serve this growing community,”

The course can be taken online as a stand-alone course through the continuing education service “Ontario Learns,” through corporate training or as a credit course in one of Centennial’s two-year accounting programs.

 source : Toronto Star

Barclays Kenya launched Islamic products

Barclays Bank of Kenya Ltd (Barclays Kenya) has unveiled innovative Shariah compliant personal and vehicle finance products: La-Riba Personal Finance, and La-Riba Vehicle Finance.

As the first bank to launch Islamic products in Kenya, Barclays is committed to enhance the Islamic banking offering to ensure customers enjoy a rewarding banking experience, said the regional managing director of East and West Africa, Adan Mohamed.

Mr. Mohamed observed, “At Barclays Kenya we continuously look at ways of enhancing our financial products and services to ensure we anticipate and meet the evolving needs of our customers – this is key to our strategy.

“The products we are launching 13TH, February, 2010 are aimed at meeting the financial needs of customers and small business owners who need more specialised products than what conventional banking can offer.”

Customers will be able to purchase household goods and equipment under the La-Riba Personal Finance product, while La-Riba Vehicle Finance will be used to support customers to buy new and used vehicles.

Mr. Mohamed added, “The products were developed in consultation with Barclays Shariah Advisory Board and are Shariah compliant.”

The Regional Managing Director said that the product is based on Murabaha mode of financing which entails a cost plus profit.

He explained, “It is not a loan given on interest but sale of a commodity based on price and an agreed profit.

“Barclays Kenya first buys the goods, takes possession, and then resells it to the customer at a higher price representing the cost plus profit margin.”

He added that at the point of purchase, the client will know the specific cost, profit, and re-payment period.

Customers can purchase goods worth a minimum of Khs 50,000 and up to a maximum of Khs 1 million. Customers who bank at Barclays Premier Life and Barclays Premier Centres can access goods worth Khs 1.5 million and Khs 4 million, respectively.

The products can be accessed throughout the entire Barclays Kenya branch network and dedicated La-Riba Suites.

Mr. Mohamed added that Barclays Kenya has partnered with Nakumatt Holdings, CMC and DT Dobie to offer their goods to customers.

Source : aibim

Is Confidence in Islamic Banking increasing ?

Effects of the worldwide financial crisis in the Arab stock market also began to be felt.  Order to find a way out of the crisis shortly before the Indonesian capital of Islamic Countries Economic Forum was held in Jakarta.  “Islamic Banking” Is it really a solution?  Peter Philipp’in news.

Gradually the Arab world and the start winding the financial crisis, the Saudi royal family, an aid package outlining responded: King Abdullah recently economically weak to support the family has donated nearly five billion euros.

A growing air of panic or at least greater than the losses might be concerns of the Arabs as well as the Iranians and other parts of the world in the minds of other Muslims, religion of the orders have been fulfilled if most of them probably could be prevented brought the idea.

After all, the Islamic world, a banking system based on religion in the state there are Islamic banks or financial institutions.  Anywhere in the world alone is not accepted as a valid system, this process, especially among the public is gaining an increasing popularity.  These institutions are mentioned in the annual percent from a growth 27’lik.

Is Utopia Is solutions?

Islamic banking system before the financial crisis we are living in a utopia to believe Do?  “Not really,” says Michael Saleh Gassner of this system of specialists.  According to the rules of Islamic banking institutions are primarily of interest prohibition.  This ban has prevented the way, ultimately sustainable crisis.

Moreover, in Islamic law is said: Every kind of financing the real economy should be interested in a transaction.  “The essence of the work done is what to look at carefully is required. Someone buying a house wants to term it as a sale is made. At first we used this system similar to credit here, even though ultimately what really is being done is to look at carefully,” says Gassner.

 

 Look carefully

Therefore, according to the rules of the Islamic financial system in the U.S. financial crisis triggers such as the mortgage crisis would not have done better from scratch.  There had been work done to look at carefully, in many cases, such high mortgages for borrowers (mortgage) payments are not in a position to be seen.

Mali krizin İran Körfezi’ndeki etkileri değişiyor: Dubai’nin, hızla geri çekilen yatırımlarla mücadele etmesi gerekirken, Umman’da krizin herhangi bir etkisi görülmüyor… Financial crisis in the Gulf of Iranian influence is changing: Dubai’s rapidly retreating investments have to fight, while the crisis in Oman have any effect on … not in the same way, the sale of goods does not occur, the service can not be right, and earnings can not be “free shops” that would be blocked .  However, these “free shops” as a result of capital efficient way to use such large losses or large profits in running can cause.

Interest prohibition

Just as in the interest of Islam, “the money handler” is prohibited.  Moreover, they are also extremely strict rules in question: for example, to the Sharia religious laws that do not comply can not be financed from companies: Pork prohibited to sell, of course, the same as porno and games of chance prohibited from trading.

In the last mentioned category included not only casino, international financial market speculation in the agenda subject to the same prohibition.  So you know the rules of economics in financial transactions, except those who operate them know about the formation of knowledge is not “financial products” that places into circulation.

Think a big problem here lies Gassner: “As a rule of ethics lack of a stronger U.S. economy in question,” he is in criticism.

Religious banks

Even in the Arab world, Islamic banking system alone is not a valid Gassner also know that of course.  Here in the Western system, ie the current credit and interest rates.  Islamic banking system in this country, but his character is not developed enough to win.

Among the public about the financial affairs of the Koran and the orders known banks are forced to bring religion and products suitable bid.  Especially to Iran in the Gulf Arab countries, Islamic banks, some of the money has already come 50s percent.

Bank Islam according to the rules of the concrete forms of work as what it looks like an example from Germany can be seen on: More in 2004, Sachsen-Anhalt State, an Islamic association’s official buildings in the Netherlands and decided to sell, then the same associations to state buildings and lease back here obtained shares sold to investors in the Arab world.

Islamic finance

The first Islamic bank to operate in the 1970s, hundreds of similar institutions around the world since the passage appeared.  Indeed, banks in the West, Islam and Muslims in the world market better able to enter the banking system for citizens to provide an acceptable “Islamic financing” i (Islamic financial system) began to explore.

The success of this bank, the Islamic world to the Islamic banking system depends on how quickly passed.  Michael Gassner in this regard is not very optimistic: “All things truly Islamic finance is very much not so easy,” said banking expert: “This is a longer time it will take, nor if there should also with all religious Muslims living outside there are people.”

Development of private banking in Algeria – Can Islamic finance give it new life?

In the current context, characterized by an unprecedented financial crisis, Islamic finance appears increasingly as a genuine alternative.  Around the world, several countries (non Muslims) are beginning to adopt this mode of financing.  In Algeria, although the first private bank that specializes in funding (approved in 1991) Al Baraka Bank, the fact remains that the market for Islamic finance is far from being developed.

To better understand this new market and to identify many opportunities, especially highlighting the “virtues” of this type of financing, the firm Isla-Invest holds after tomorrow, the second edition of Islamic finance in the ‘Sheraton Algiers.  This appointment will, according to its organizers, to better understand the potential of the Algerian market, the different trades of the Islamic bank as well as challenges.

We’ll discuss during this meeting and potential development opportunities of Islamic finance by SMEs in Algeria.  There is also a space for exchanging experiences and knowledge, “said Ben Terdeyet Zobeir yesterday, managing partner of the firm Isla-Invest, during a press briefing at the headquarters of our confer El Mujahid.  The same source said that several foreign experts and specialists take part in this event.

Professionals and executives from private and foreign banks operating in Algeria will exhibit their work, their analysis of the current market and investment opportunities in this country.  This forum is concerned, moreover, the makers of the financial industry in Algeria, but also the leaders of all groups operating in the countries of North Africa and West and Europe, “he added.  Also indicating that the Islamic finance aims to develop a banking provision complies with the rules of Islam, Mr. Ben Terdeyet said it now accounts for over $ 700 billion in assets under management worldwide as Shariah principles and is growing over 15% over the last ten years.

In other words, the eyes of the speaker, the importance and need for such funding.  Today, 37 financial institutions operating in Africa for a Muslim population of 412 million inhabitants.  A study by Moody’s, the market in Africa is estimated at 235 billion dollars to a current level of 18 billion, a significant growth potential, “says he.  Islamic finance can give it a new impetus to the development of the private banking sector in Algeria?  The speaker’s answer is yes.

And because our country has become a land of choice for Islamic banks with the presence of Al Baraka Bank in Algeria since 1991.  Al Salam Bank Algeria has obtained its authorization.  ADIB and KFH are also up for approval, “says he.  For his part, Mr. Haideur, director of public relations at Al Baraka Bank, said that there is political will on the part of monetary authorities in Algeria for the development of this mode of payment.

 Discussions are underway with the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (ABEF), the Bank of Algeria and the Ministry of Finance in order to spread this type of payment.

Source : allarfrica