Islamic banking: Nigeria to benefit from $1.4trn assets

West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) says Nigeria stands to benefit from over $1.4trillion worth of assets being controlled by Islamic banks all over the world if the nation adopts the banking model.

The director general of WAIFEM, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, disclosed this in a chat with Sunday Business, at the opening ceremony of a regional course on econometric modelling and forecasting for policy analysis, organised by WAIFEM to enable policy makers in the country acquaint themselves with new forecasting techniques needed to develop the financial sector and the economy at large.

He explained that there are between 400 and 500 Islamic banks in the world controlling assets worth over $1.4trillion and that by the year 2020, these banks would have assets worth over $4.4trillion. “What is wrong with Nigeria being part of it to benefit from these incentives?

There are Islamic banks in Asia, Europe, America , Kenya , Sierra Leone and other countries. When fully implemented, Nigeria would also be part of the global Islamic system.

Also, the point is that Islamic banking technique is another product in the sector for people to choose from. People are free to make their choice on what they want. Nobody is forcing people to bank with the non-interest financial institutions”, he said.

“The N10billion capital requirement for a start is in order. It means CBN must have done its homework very well before arriving at N10billion for non-interest banks. There are many economic benefits of operating non-interest banking. For instance, most areas in the north are un-banked.

So, with this new initiative, the people in that region would now have access to banks, just like in the south where most areas are still un-banked.”

Reacting to question on religious sentiment concerning the name, he explained, “The guidelines in the Banking and Other Financial Institutions (BOFIA) Act duly passed into law by the National Assembly are very clear.

The provisions of the BOFIA Act 1991, as amended, Sections 9, 23 and 52, provided for the establishment of Islamic banking in the country. The Act shows that Islamic banks can not discriminate against non-Muslims.

Also, the BOFIA Act says that the regulator can not attach any religious sentiments or affiliation to the name. This is part of trying to allay fears on the non-Muslim Nigerians, because it is very sensitive.

My only hope is that other players in the financial sector should also come up with their ideas of having non-interest financial institutions to grow the economy in line with global trend”.

On the on-going reforms by the apex bank, he said, “CBN is carrying out the reforms because of the weak state of the banks. Banking is a conservation industry because it handles cash.

So, the regulator works ahead of those in operations. I was a member of CBN’s board and I believe so far, the current governor of CBN is doing his best”.

source : vanguardngr

Island to increase its presence in Islamic financial world

Bermuda is nurturing its worldwide presence as an Islamic financial hub.

Business Bermuda stressed the island’s commitment to expanding its Islamic Finance sector at the inaugural Islamic Financial News European Forum in London.

Peter Hughes, Apex Fund Services group director, spoke on the island’s leading role in the growth of the Islamic finance industry.


He also hosted a panel discussion about Bermuda as an Islamic finance hub.

At the forum — attended by 650 people — experts also discussed how Bermuda can offer an attractive, politically neutral platform to Western investors and managers.

Mr Hayes said: “Bermuda is in an excellent position to support firms seeking to invest in Shariah compliant products, especially since regulations and laws form the foundation of our world-class financial services industry, making Bermuda well regulated, transparent and fully compliant. The global market for Islamic finance and insurance will continue to grow, opening exciting possibilities for Bermuda-based companies.”

Bermuda recently signed its 25th Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Republic of Indonesia, providing a full exchange of information on criminal and civil tax matters.

Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population and is a key member of the Asia-Pacific G20.

In recent years Bermuda has strengthened its position as a jurisdiction of choice for the Shariah-compliant international financial services industry.

Bermuda companies and trusts are now regularly used by on-island financiers for Islamic finance transactions.

Islamic institutions have developed a wide range of techniques using offshore vehicles to allow them to uphold religious and legal principles while offering financial products.


Bermuda’s regulatory structure provides mechanisms which meet the requirements of Shariah compliant services, such as takaful and retakaful structures and mutual fund structures.

Cheryl Packwood, Business Bermuda CEO, said the organization would continue to market Bermuda “as the offshore jurisdiction of choice for Islamic finance.”

Bermuda is a ‘White-listed’ Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) jurisdiction and vice chair of the OECD Global Forum Steering Group. It has also signed a TIEA with Bahrain in the last year.

source : bermudasun

Centre for Islamic finance planned at Durham University

DURHAM University will build on its role as a leading UK centre for teaching Islamic finance and business with a new doctoral training centre.

The Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance is a collaboration between the University’s Durham Business School and the School of Government and International Affairs.

Durham has been a centre for research in Islamic finance for over 25 years, with a significant history of PhD study which will enter a new era with the launch of the centre in the autumn. The new centre will build on this success and the international popularity of the Durham Islamic Finance Summer School, which began yesterday.

Professor Rob Dixon, dean of Durham Business School, said: “Due to such exciting and dynamic developments in the Islamic financial and banking sector, it is important that financiers and bankers who are working in the field, or who wish to enter the Islamic financial market, are aware of the principles, operations, techniques and mechanism of Islamic finance and financial products as well as the dynamics of Islamic financial and capital markets.”

Dr Mehmet Asutay, the director of the summer school and a senior member of the new centre, said: “The centre will provide exclusive facilities for research students who have chosen to specialise in Islamic finance, which will enhance Durham University’s long-standing efforts to contribute to the development of academic and intellectual discourse and the practice of Islamic finance.

“It will also support the international reputation and recognition of Durham University.”

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Islamic finance boosted by Dockland’s UEL launch of degree courses

London’s first centre for Islamic banking and finance has been launchged by the Royal Docks-based UEL Business School,
Uni chiefs hope their postgraduate degrees at the new Islamic banking and finance Centre will make them a central player in one of the fastest growing financial sectors in the marketplace and a hub for international researchers in the booming field.

Speaking at the launch last week, UEL Vice Chancellor Professor Patrick McGhee said many months of hard work has produced “a genuinely exciting project”

Dr Omar Masood, Director of the centre, said: “Our aim is to be the UK’s leading international centre of excellence for human capital and business development in Islamic finance.”

Events administrator Mohsin Ramzin predicted many banks will create new divisions to trade with Islamic customers. He added:“We are hoping to market and exploit the new custom.”

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