IT : Infrasoft to widen horizon, focus on Islamic banking

IT products, solutions and services provider Infrasoft Technologies has said it will focus on countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar and Malaysia to target Islamic banking and Islamic investment banking firms for end-to-end enterprise solutions. Core banking solutions, automation of business processes, back-end solutions are on its radar.

Hanuman Tripathi, CEO & MD, Infrasoft Technologies said Islamic banking and Islamic investment banking firms are opening up to automate their processes. “The regulations under the Sharia banking system are different from those of the developed market banks. Of the 350 Islamic banks, the majority has not taken up end-to-end solutions. There is a huge opportunity in this space.”

Islamic banking system does not give a fixed interest rate on deposits and the banks cannot re-invest in the negative list of industries like tobacco, alcohol and gaming, amongst others.

If a special purpose vehicle (SPV) is formed, then the reporting has to be compliant with the Sharia board as well as with the local regulator. Though the number of transactions done by these banks are low, the value of these transactions is high. “This makes the software complex and hence, specialised solutions are required to cater to this market,” adds Tripathi.

However, IT product firms have not been able to implement their products in the domestic market as the Indian government has not introduced Islamic banking system in India.

The introduction of Islamic banking was recommended by a committee on financial sector reforms, set up by the Planning Commission, for delivery of interest-free finance on a larger scale, even through the banking system. The government has recently decided not to go ahead with the recommendations. “The RBI and the regulator are having discussions and if the market in India opens up, it will be opportunity for us,” Tripathi added.

source : the financial express

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Misys Sees Growth in Islamic Banking’s Global Market Drive Demand for Specialised Software Solutions

The rapid growth of the global Islamic banking market over the last five years has boosted the demand for specialised Islamic banking and finance software solutions, reports Misys plc (LSE: MSY), the global application software and services company. With the influx of mainstream banking institutions, particularly leading Western brands, into Islamic banking throughout the world, the support from specialist solution vendors has become a necessity to ensure a smooth transition to Shariah-based banking.

“Banks embarking on Islamic banking operations in key markets around the world are searching for partners with a thorough understanding of the sector and a proven track record in delivery,” states Samir Safa, Business Development Manager, Islamic Banking at Misys. “Islamic banking has opened new and exciting growth possibilities, but it remains a challenge for banking institutions to work within the Shariah-based banking system and adopt its distinct practices. The core banking technology used by financial institutions that operate in this market is essential for meeting local customers’ needs, regulatory reporting, operational requirements and Shariah boards’ approvals.”

Research from the analyst community estimates that the global Islamic banking market is now worth over USD 500 billion, with growth forecast of between 10 and 15 per cent during 2010. Samir Safa continues: “Misys has provided specialised services and software solutions for over two decades that have enabled banking institutions to maintain their competitive edge in this burgeoning market. Although the Middle East has in the past been the primary market for Islamic banking, we have been expanding our presence in other regions as the market grows globally. The experience and knowledge we have built from more than 25 years of delivering integrated, comprehensive solutions to customers puts us at the forefront of the marketplace.”

Misys provides its BankFusion Equation Islamic Banking and Finance solution for retail and corporate banking clients that helps them deliver robust and efficient products and services to their customers. The solution supports a wide range of Islamic Finance products, including Murabaha, Ijarah, Istisna, Musharaka and Al Tawarruq, together with fully automated Islamic Profit calculation and distribution. BankFusion Equation uses our revolutionary BankFusion platform to deliver re-usable components. This brings customers state-of-the art technology and unique flexibility, re-architecting Equation into a service-oriented environment.

Misys also offers a world-class Islamic treasury solution in Misys Opics Plus, a service-oriented, treasury and capital markets solution with unsurpassed STP and back-office capabilities. Misys Opics Plus is a comprehensive solution for front-to-back office, cross-asset processing of a wide range of financial instruments. The solution provides support for Commodity Murabaha (including Contributor Trades), Reverse Murabaha, Wakala Investment and Financing, Deposit Exchange, Sukuk, Al Tawarruq and FX spot.

The two systems are fully integrated for financial institutions that require total Islamic coverage (including operational window) to satisfy all the needs of their customers.

About Misys plc

Misys plc (LSE: MSY), provides integrated, comprehensive solutions that deliver significant results to organisations in the financial services and healthcare industries. We maximise value for our customers by combining our deep knowledge of their business with our commitment to their success.

In banking and treasury & capital markets, Misys is a market leader, with over 1,200 customers, including all of the world’s top 50 banks. In healthcare, Misys plc owns a controlling stake in NASDAQ-listed Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions, Inc, a clear leader in the provision of healthcare technology, serving more than 150,000 physicians, 700 hospitals and nearly 7,000 post-acute and homecare organisations. Misys employs around 6,000 people who serve customers in more than 120 countries

source : Misys

Albaraka Bank taps Misys for Islamic banking and branch automation

Albaraka Bank Limited, the South African subsidiary of Bahrain-based Albaraka Banking Group B.S.C. (ABG) last year initiated an intensive project to replace its core banking system with the Equation Islamic Banking and Branch Automation System from Misys Plc., contributing to an improvement in the bank’s competitive edge.

The multi-million Rand IT solution is in line with the bank’s holding company’s strategic direction and is being rolled out to select ABG subsidiaries around the world, inclusive of the South African banking operation. ABG is widely regarded as the world’s leading Islamic banking group with units in 12 countries and a global branch network of some 300 branches.

Albaraka Bank Limited was established in 1989 and has pioneered Islamic banking in South Africa as an alternative to conventional interest-based financial services provision and is the country’s only fully-fledged Islamic bank.

Commenting on the systems change, Albaraka Bank’s Information Technology Manager, Mr Naushaad Khan, said: “The acquisition of the Equation Islamic Banking and Branch Automation System was the result of the existing core banking system, which supported our business requirements, having reached the end of its life-cycle. Importantly, we have identified tremendous opportunities for leveraging the functionalities and systems automation offered by Equation in terms of Islamic banking, which will contribute strategically to the bank’s competitive edge.”

The bank’s equation project was launched towards the end of 2008, with phase one implementation taking place during the second quarter of this year. Phase two will follow later this year once the core systems have been successfully bedded down.

With dramatic increases in the cost of doing business during recent years, Albaraka Bank’s migration to the Equation banking system will realise a reduction in business costs through the automation of processes and the attendant positive contribution of operational efficiencies throughout the bank’s business environment. In addition, it is anticipated that the system’s Relationship Management tools will enable staff to enjoy a 360 degree view of customer profiles and dealings with the bank, so leading to significantly improved levels of customer service, while the delivery of Islamic banking products and services in a timely and flexible manner will contribute appreciably to the bank’s product innovation capabilities.

Misys Plc., a United Kingdom-based company with a global footprint, was responsible for the provision of the Equation banking system solution. The company provides integrated, comprehensive solutions that deliver significant results to organisations in the financial services and health-care industries.

Mr Roy Froud, Regional Director: Misys Middle East and Africa, said of the bank’s migration to Equation: “Albaraka Bank is one of the world’s leading Islamic banking specialists and is dedicated to making sure that all its customer needs are satisfied as it continues to grow internationally. We are delighted to be able to help it meet those demands and, in particular, the Islamic banking requirements in South Africa after our successes in other parts of the banking group. The strength of our relationship with Albaraka Bank has been demonstrated in many ways; from numerous ABG-related banks in five countries across the Middle East and Africa signing with Misys during the past two years, to both parties working hard towards adding more sites to the current portfolio.”

He added: “The co-operation between Albaraka Bank and ourselves is a further example of how we may help innovative financial institutions maintain their competitive edge and serve their customers, underpinned by Misys Equation.”

In banking, treasury and capital markets, Misys is a market leader, with more than 1 200 customers, including all of the world’s top-50 banks. Misys currently employs some 6 000 people, serving customers in more than 120 countries. The company aspires to be the world’s best application software and services company, delivering results for the most important industries in the world.

Albaraka Bank Limited’s South African footprint is set to expand this year to encompass six full-scale branches and four corporate business operations. The bank’s head office is located in Durban, with branches in Durban, Fordsburg and Lenasia in Johannesburg, Laudium in Pretoria, and Athlone in Cape Town. Corporate business offices are currently located in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, with Gauteng coming on stream later this year.

source misys

Business Knowledge for IT in Islamic Finance: A Complete Handbook for IT Professionals

Publisher: Essvale Corporation Limited (Sep 2009)
Language English

Description – Amazon.com
Industry experts are predicting that the growth of the Islamic Finance industry will exceed 20 per cent per annum. Other experts believe that in the future, the Islamic Finance industry could become a major competitor to the conventional finance industry. Islamic Finance is expected spread beyond Muslim countries – as seen in Europe where it has already made considerable headway in the UK, Germany and Switzerland. “Business Knowledge for IT in Islamic Finance” deals with the convergence of business and IT in the Islamic finance industry and is designed to provide the platform for IT professionals to exploit the future demand for talent in this industry.The chapters in this book contain information on the fundamentals of Islamic finance, the features that sets the Islamic finance industry apart form the mainstream finance industry, a number of the prohibitions and business ethics in Islamic Finance , overview of business transactions and the legal process underpinning these transactions; major players in the Islamic Finance world; and, major systems from notable vendors used for lending, financing , capital markets transactions and insurance in the Islamic finance space. “Business Knowledge for IT in Islamic Finance” is an invaluable handbook for professionals working in the Islamic Finance and crossovers. It is targeted at IT professionals such as: project managers; application developers; development managers; test managers; business analysts; data analysts; systems analysts; test analysts; support analysts; database administrators; and, HR staff responsible for IT recruitment.

Business Knowledge for IT in Islamic Finance deals with the convergence of business and IT in the Islamic finance industry and is designed to provide the platform for IT professionals to exploit the future demand for talent in this industry.
The chapters in this book contain information on the fundamentals of Islamic finance, the features that sets the Islamic finance industry apart from the mainstream finance industry, a number of the prohibitions and business ethics in Islamic Finance , overview of business transactions and the legal process underpinning these transactions; major players in the Islamic Finance world; and, major systems from notable vendors used for lending, financing , capital markets transactions and insurance in the Islamic finance space.



Chapter 3 discusses Islamic banking; its principles and how it works. Chapter 4 discusses Islamic Insurance (Takaful) and the reinsurance (Retakaful) subsectors of the Islamic finance industry.



Chapter 5 discusses Islamic leasing (Ijarah) and includes topics such as the types of leasing arrangements and implementation issues in Ijarah financing.



Islamic Securitisation is discussed in Chapter 6 while recent trends in the Islamic finance sector are the subject of discussion in Chapter 7.



In Chapter 8, Financing practices in Islamic Finance such as working capital finance, mortgages and trade finance are discussed.



The IT–specific section of the book is contained in Chapters 9 and 10. Chapter 9 discusses the common systems used in Islamic finance; a discussion on the IT situation in Islamic Finance is also included. IT projects that can be executed in the Islamic Finance industry are discussed in Chapter 10.

Finacle Islamic Banking Solution

Finacle Islamic banking solution offers an integrated and comprehensive approach for banks to define and present Shariah compliant products to customers. Strong product definition features, support for Islamic accounting and complete traceability for audit, differentiate the solution. Completely self-contained, it is replete with the accounting backbone to support back office functionalities and provides Straight Through Processing (STP) capabilities on a SOA platform.
 
A single solution built on the standard technology infrastructure available for conventional banking, Finacle Islamic banking solution has custom-definable watertight modules that can address both international and Islamic banking needs. It allows banks to define an organization structure conducive to current requirements while factoring in flexibility to change the structure with scaling business needs. This means Islamic banking can be initiated as an add-on product offering in a branch of choice, and eventually converted to an independent subsidiary Islamic banking unit, if required. Finacle Islamic banking solution, is developed from incisive insight into the Middle East, Far East and European markets, and is truly geared to address region-specific Islamic banking requirements.
source bobsguide

Albaraka Bank taps Misys for Islamic banking and branch automation

imagesAlbaraka Bank Limited, the South African subsidiary of Bahrain-based Albaraka Banking Group B.S.C. (ABG) last year initiated an intensive project to replace its core banking system with the Equation Islamic Banking and Branch Automation System from Misys Plc., contributing to an improvement in the bank’s competitive edge.

The multi-million Rand IT solution is in line with the bank’s holding company’s strategic direction and is being rolled out to select ABG subsidiaries around the world, inclusive of the South African banking operation. ABG is widely regarded as the world’s leading Islamic banking group with units in 12 countries and a global branch network of some 300 branches.

Albaraka Bank Limited was established in 1989 and has pioneered Islamic banking in South Africa as an alternative to conventional interest-based financial services provision and is the country’s only fully-fledged Islamic bank.

Commenting on the systems change, Albaraka Bank’s Information Technology Manager, Mr Naushaad Khan, said: “The acquisition of the Equation Islamic Banking and Branch Automation System was the result of the existing core banking system, which supported our business requirements, having reached the end of its life-cycle. Importantly, we have identified tremendous opportunities for leveraging the functionalities and systems automation offered by Equation in terms of Islamic banking, which will contribute strategically to the bank’s competitive edge.”

The bank’s equation project was launched towards the end of 2008, with phase one implementation taking place during the second quarter of this year. Phase two will follow later this year once the core systems have been successfully bedded down.

With dramatic increases in the cost of doing business during recent years, Albaraka Bank’s migration to the Equation banking system will realise a reduction in business costs through the automation of processes and the attendant positive contribution of operational efficiencies throughout the bank’s business environment. In addition, it is anticipated that the system’s Relationship Management tools will enable staff to enjoy a 360 degree view of customer profiles and dealings with the bank, so leading to significantly improved levels of customer service, while the delivery of Islamic banking products and services in a timely and flexible manner will contribute appreciably to the bank’s product innovation capabilities.

Misys Plc., a United Kingdom-based company with a global footprint, was responsible for the provision of the Equation banking system solution. The company provides integrated, comprehensive solutions that deliver significant results to organisations in the financial services and health-care industries.

Mr Roy Froud, Regional Director: Misys Middle East and Africa, said of the bank’s migration to Equation: “Albaraka Bank is one of the world’s leading Islamic banking specialists and is dedicated to making sure that all its customer needs are satisfied as it continues to grow internationally. We are delighted to be able to help it meet those demands and, in particular, the Islamic banking requirements in South Africa after our successes in other parts of the banking group. The strength of our relationship with Albaraka Bank has been demonstrated in many ways; from numerous ABG-related banks in five countries across the Middle East and Africa signing with Misys during the past two years, to both parties working hard towards adding more sites to the current portfolio.”

He added: “The co-operation between Albaraka Bank and ourselves is a further example of how we may help innovative financial institutions maintain their competitive edge and serve their customers, underpinned by Misys Equation.”

In banking, treasury and capital markets, Misys is a market leader, with more than 1 200 customers, including all of the world’s top-50 banks. Misys currently employs some 6 000 people, serving customers in more than 120 countries. The company aspires to be the world’s best application software and services company, delivering results for the most important industries in the world.

Albaraka Bank Limited’s South African footprint is set to expand this year to encompass six full-scale branches and four corporate business operations. The bank’s head office is located in Durban, with branches in Durban, Fordsburg and Lenasia in Johannesburg, Laudium in Pretoria, and Athlone in Cape Town. Corporate business offices are currently located in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, with Gauteng coming on stream later this year.

source misys

Egyptian Saudi Finance Bank Chooses Misys for Islamic Banking

images

Leading Islamic solution to drive innovation in banking.

Cairo-based Egyptian Saudi Finance Bank (ESFB) has chosen the Equation 3.9 solution from Misys (London) for its 11 branches across Egypt. The solution is the latest version of the widely-used retail banking solution from Misys and will help ESFB to provide better and more innovative Islamic services to its customers, says the company. ESFB selected the Misys Equation 3.9 with advanced Islamic Banking capabilities because it is pre-integrated with the trade finance solution, Misys Trade Innovation. The resulting integrated solution will deliver significant benefits to the bank, enabling it to manage processes more efficiently and deliver new and innovative products to customers.