Syria, Qatar and Turkey considering new joint Islamic bank

imagesA joint Islamic bank between Syria, Turkey and Qatar is being considered, Qatar International Islamic Bank CEO Abdul Basit al-Shaibei told participants of the Syrian-Turkish Banking Forum in Damascus on May 3.

Speaking at the two-day conference, Shaibei said the bank is investigating further banking opportunities in Syria following the “extraordinary” success of the Syrian International Islamic Bank, in which the Qatari bank is a major shareholder.

“We are currently considering the establishment of a joint Syrian-Qatari-Turkish bank,” Shaibei said. “The success of the Syrian International Islamic Bank leaves no room for doubt that regional partnerships are our best option.”

Central Bank of Syria (CBS) Governor Adib Mayaleh said Syria has been able to elude the effects of the global financial crisis because of the country’s careful monetary strategy and diversified economy.

Mayaleh praised Syrian-Turkish economic relations which have strengthened rapidly in the past few years, particularly following the implementation of a free trade agreement between the two countries in 2007. He also stressed the importance of Syrian-Turkish relations, noting that the two sides are keen to bolster relations through financial and banking cooperation, commercial exchanges and investments.

Bank Audi Syria General Manager Bassel Hamwi said a lack of adequately qualified human resources and developed infrastructure are the main challenges facing the private banking sector in Syria. However, Hamwi said the sector is moving in the right direction to address these issues.

“We are fortunate to work in a regulatory framework that is constantly evolving,” he said.

Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) Market Director Recep Bildik also spoke at the event. He said the ISE now uses a fully computerised trading system and ranks fifth in the world in terms of bonds and bills trading volume.

Syria opened its first stock exchange, the Damascus Securities Exchange (DSE), last March. DSE Chairman Rateb al-Shallah reiterated that the DSE is not a speculative market. “We want to attract buyers and sellers, not gamblers,” he said.

source syriyatoday

QIB has launched Europe-based Global Sukuk Plus Fund

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has launched Europe-based Global Sukuk Plus Fund, according to the nation’s The Penisula daily.QIB, a major global Islamic banking network, announced its London-based affiliate, European Finance House (EFH), has initiated a European-based platform designed to originate Shariah-compliant investment products, the daily added.

EFH is a primary Shariah-compliant financial institution in Europe, regulated by the UK’s Financial Services Authority.

“The growing interest in the Islamic financial market has demanded that we draw upon the innovation of the QIB network to develop investment products which will thrive within the current environment. The Global Sukuk Plus Fund is a very forward-looking product for the Shariah-compliant market and a strong option for clients thanks to the London-based bank fund’s robust investment guidelines,” the newspaper quoted Jean-Marc Riegel, QIB’s General Manager, Investment Banking and Development, as saying.

“The Fund’s geographic and sector diversification takes advantage of multiple sources, while the Fund’s active management maximizes yield and return. The investment range of this Sukuk Fund spans across six major Islamic financial markets and is easily accessed via each of QIB’s affiliates in addition to EFH, including Arab Finance House (AFH) in Lebanon and Asian Finance Bank (AFB) in Malaysia. Global Sukuk Plus Fund clients in Qatar will, of course, be serviced by QIB.”

The EFH-managed Global Sukuk Plus Fund is a weekly dealing mutual fund which invests in global sukuk markets. The QIB and EFH joint-effort Fund’s assets will be invested in sukuk issued by sovereign, quasi-sovereign and corporate issuers and sourced globally, the daily informed.

 source : arabianbusiness