On 6 January the Ugandan Parliament passed The Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which seeks to amend the country’s Financial Institutions Act 2004, to provide for Islamic banking; to provide for bank assurance; to provide for agent banking; to provide for special access to the credit reference bureau by other accredited credit providers and service providers; to reform the deposit protection fund and for related purposes.
The Malaysian government plans to roll out a new sharia-compliant investment platform next year, aiming to broaden the traditional role of Islamic banks from credit provider to investment intermediary. The government is backing the Investment Account Platform (IAP) with an initial start-up fund of 150 million ringgit ($45 million), intending that the IAP will serve as a central marketplace to finance small and medium-sized businesses.
The Malaysia-based International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM) lengthened maturities in its Islamic bond programme on Monday by auctioning $400 million of six-month sukuk, its first sale of that tenor.
The IILM, a consortium of central banks from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, began the programme last year to address a shortage of instruments Islamic banks can use to manage short-term liquidity. Previously, it had only issued three-month paper.
The top ten GCC banks are among the fastest growing globally, led by QNB Group. They are likely to remain well insulated from the current turmoil in emerging markets (EM) as their growth momentum is underpinned by strong economic fundamentals in the region: High revenue from hydrocarbon exports; positive net foreign asset positions; strong support for the banking system; and large government spending on infrastructure.
Titled, UHNW Islamic Banking Clients: A Growing Community, the report examines the current state of UHNW Islamic banking client population–complete with combined net worth– and provides a growth forecast of Islamic banking in traditional and non-traditional markets. The report also gives an inside look into the profile of an average UHNW Islamic banking client in Southeast Asia and the Middle East and provides an outlook for professionals and Islamic banking institutions.
Thomson Reuters , the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today announced the launch of the Thomson Reuters Global Sukuk Index, an independent and transparent benchmark for investors seeking exposure to sukuk (Shariah-compliant) fixed-income investments, to be used to monitor the performance of the sukuk market. The announcement of the launch of the index was made today at the Global Islamic Finance Forum (GIFF) 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A new report by the Islamic Finance Council UK (IFC), a not-for-profit promotional body and the Malaysia-based International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA), highlights the glaring gap in external Shari’ah audit practice.
Shari’ah audit practices continue to remain an opaque area with varied practices. Recent very public challenges on the Shari’ah authenticity of certain Sukuk structures, exemplify the need to readdress the Shari’ah assurance, governance and certification process. The report highlights a set of considerations directed to Shari’ah scholars, financial institutions, Shari’ah consultancy firms, standard setting bodies and regulators.
According to estimates by Ernst & Young’s Global Islamic Banking Center of Excellence, the global demand for Sukuk is forecasted to grow three-fold from $300 billion to $900 billion by 2017.
The exponential rise is primarily a result of double digit growth of the Islamic banking industry, and the increasing appetite for credible, Shari’ah-compliant, liquid securities. The demand comes from Islamic financial institutions as well as fund managers and high net worth individuals.
Spurred by petroleum-related and other revenues, Takaful insurance and reinsurance (“ReTakaful”) markets are emerging. Contracts from these markets may soon represent a typical source of additional capacity for an international corporate policyholder. Takaful contracts are intended to comply with Islamic religious – Sharia – law, however. Therefore, policyholders should carefully consider how – and under what law – their claims may be handled.
A roundtable meeting of senior bank officials and finance professionals held in Dubai has come up with a number of recommendations on how to strengthen financial reporting by Islamic financial institutions (IFI).
The meeting, one of a series organised by Big Four accounting firm KPMG and ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), was intended to develop recommendations that can be presented to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) on whether to develop specific guidance or a separate financial reporting standard for Islamic financial institutions.