Competition on Islamic Finance Research Translation Program by SAMA Saudi Arabia

The Islamic Finance Research Translation Program aims to support, advance and benefit from scientific research in Saudi Arabia. The program enhances Saudi Arabia’s leading role in the Islamic finance sector globally and confirms SAMA’s continuous effort and determination to achieve integration in the research system as part of its social responsibility obligations and pivotal role in the field. Additionally, the program contributes to fulfilling the objectives of Vision 2030 of improving Saudi Arabia’s knowledge position.

Research Areas:

1. Islamic finance.

2. Islamic banking.

3. Islamic insurance.

4. Banking risk management.

5. Financial technologies (FinTech) in Islamic finance sector.

6. Sharia governance.

7. Other areas related to Islamic finance sector.

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Deadline for submission has been extended ..,

The last chance to apply for the program would be on Thursday, September 30, 2021.

GCC Islamic banks’ retail focus makes them more resilient to COVID

The sector’s nonperforming exposures have remained stable during the pandemic

Dubai: GCC Islamic banks’ focus on low-risk retail finance supports their asset quality and are far more resilient to the impact of pandemic on the banking sector, according to rating agency Moody’s.

Islamic banks in the GCC and in South and Southeast Asia are emerging from the coronavirus-induced economic shock, but remain exposed to an uneven recovery across these regions.

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ESG and Islamic finance

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. Investors are increasingly applying these non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities (CFA).

ESG is taking on an even greater significance in light of recent events: companies have the responsibility and resources to accomplish positive climate action, building a more sustainable, resilient future and “putting money where their mouth is” (

Islamic finance is one of the highly social responsible investment in finance sector. Islamic finance by nature is very much complementary due its restricted investment criteria.

Islamic capital markets and Islamic finance practitioners should develop new policies and procedures for Islamic finance institutions to achieve ESG goals.

Enhancing Indonesia’s Islamic Fintech with Digital Technologies

Indonesia’s fintech industry is one of the most competitive and dynamic in ASEAN, as evidenced by the emergence of four unicorns and one decacorn. Despite its infancy, the country is home to 20% of all Southeast Asian fintech companies, which are expected to generate US$8.6 billion in revenue over the next five years. In Indonesia, fintech is classified as either conventional or sharia fintech. Islamic fintech growth in Indonesia is continuing, albeit at a slower pace than conventional fintech.

A banking and financial services platform has launched a research series to understand what people think about the key trends driving the development of financial services. In the third edition of the platform, the firm conducted a global survey of 2,000 members of the younger Muslim community, primarily Gen Z and millennials, to better understand what Islamic finance means to them and their expectations of this sector.

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Guidelines for Islamic financing of Infrastructure project

The Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) and the World Bank have launched a report highlighting the most important aspects of Islamic finance that relate to infrastructure public-private partnerships.

Entitled “Reference Guide: Islamic Finance for Infrastructure PPP Projects,” the report was launched during the 15th IsDB Global Forum on Islamic Finance held virtually on 28 August 2021, on the side lines of the 2021 IsDB Group Annual Meeting.

It covers the role Islamic finance can play in the infrastructure financing challenge, the major players in the global Islamic finance industry, the potential alternatives offered by Islamic finance to meet the public infrastructure financing gap, and the Islamic finance structures for infrastructure PPP projects.Read more

AAOIFI issue Sharia standard on Payment card

AAOIFI, the international standards setting organization for Islamic financial institutions has approved and issued standards on transactions of Islamic financial institutions.

The two major standards are

Shariah standards and accounting standards.

Recently, AAOIFI with the assistance of international payment processed VISA has issued a standard on Payment. The sharia standard no is 61 is all about payment process by Islamic financial institutions. This standard can reduce the burden of sharia scholars and auditor who didn’t have an international standard to follow when processing the payment cards. The standards can be retrieved from AAOIFI.

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Saudi Arabia Hosts Summit For Islamic Financial Innovation and Digital Transformation

Source : SAMA Saudi Arabia

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is pleased to announce that the 15th IFSB Summit will be held from 9 to 11 November 2021 in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, hosted by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) – the fifteenth series of this biennial landmark event for the IFSB.

The theme of the IFSB 2021 Summit is “Islamic Finance and Digital Transformation: Balancing Innovation and Resilience”. The Summit will focus on ways to foster innovation, technological adoption, accessibility and sustainability in the Islamic financial system to boost its growth and development, as well as the policy implications arising from rapid digital transformation.

In addition, the summit will highlight the work that remains to be done moving forward to strengthen Islamic Finance Services’ resilience and stability. The rise of technology in financial services is shaping current sectors across banking, capital markets and takāful, and giving rise to new modes of financial intermediation such as crowdfunding and blockchain solutions. These exciting changes and developments require authorities and jurisdictions to balance resilience and innovation, which this Summit will explore over the course of the sessions.

Among the topics of discussion are:

  1. Digital Transformation of Islamic Financial Services.
  2. Crypto-Assets and their Implications for Islamic Finance.
  3. FinTech and Islamic Financial Services.
  4. Achieving Synergy between Digital Islamic Finance and Sustainability.
  5. Effective use of Supervisory and Regulatory Technology by Authorities.

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Boost for Nigerian SMEs as Jaiz Bank formalizes $25m Islamic Corporation financing

Nigeria’s premier non-interest bank, Jaiz Bank Plc has announced the signing of a formal agreement to secure a $25 million shariah-compliant line of financing (LOF) from Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

The funds will enable the lender to support the growth of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

According to Jaiz Bank, the formal agreement to access the funds from ICD took place on September 2 during the just concluded Islamic Corporation for the Development (IsDB) annual meeting in Uzbekistan.

The signing ceremony could not hold in February 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, the lender said in a statement to the Nigeria Exchange Group (NGX) on Wednesday.

“Continuous cooperation between ICD and Jaiz Bank will result in easier access by SMEs to Shariah-compliant financing that will meet their funding needs, as well as assist in keeping businesses open and preserving jobs,” Ayman Sejiny, the CEO of ICD, said.

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Islamic fintech provides framework for future of global finance

In this age of disruption and digitisation, Islamic fintech, built on Sharia-embedded ethical values of fairness, justice and equity, is poised to drive the global finance industry to its next phase of evolution and opportunity.

With more customers demanding ethical banking practices, Islamic fintech offers an attractive alternative for a younger, technologically-minded customer base.

As governments implement forward-leaning policies to support their development, it is also imperative that regulations continue to evolve in tandem, safeguarding the sector as it continues to grow.

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Higher oil prices lead to drop in GCC sukuk issuance in first half

Higher oil prices have reduced sovereign funding needs in the GCC countries in the first half, leading to flat or slightly lower global sukuk issuance this year, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report on Tuesday.

The adoption by the UAE of certain Shariah-compliance standards (the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions’ Sharia Standard 59) has also slowed issuance of sukuk from the Gulf, according to Reuters quoting unnamed sources.

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