Monday, September 29, 2014
The report will also highlight key local and global findings of the Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI), a numeric measure representing the overall health and growth of the Islamic economy. An independent multi-dimensional barometer, the GIEI defines the development of the global Islamic economy beyond the growth of its assets, focusing on awareness, governance and social metrics.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
FAAIF Announces a Two Day Workshop on Islamic Banking and Finance in conjunction with AlHuda CIBE and the University of New Orleans, October 6-7, 2014
FAAIF enters the US markets with Islamic Finance.
FAAIF, continuing with its commitment to bring Islamic finance to the United States, announces a joint-training workshop in Islamic Banking and Finance in conjunction with the Al Huda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics and the University of New Orleans October 6 and 7, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. FAAIF CEO Camille Paldi is looking forward to this tremendous opportunity to bring Islamic finance to the people of the United States, which is her home country, and hopes that the American people are just as excited as she is about learning this distinct form of Holy Book finance. Not only does Paldi hope to enrich the lives of US citizens, she aims to help US companies stay competitive in the International financial markets and keep America strong.
Paldi mentioned that the global Islamic financial industry is a billion dollar industry and suggests that the USA should become involved on a wider scale in order to attract funds into the United States and maintain the USA’s status as a strong force in the international economy. In addition, Paldi would like to see economic rejuvenation in depressed areas of the United States and sees Islamic finance as a tool of the people for social uplift and expansion of life opportunities. Paldi explains that Islamic finance is based on a form of interest-free Holy Book financing and profit and loss sharing where the bank acts as a finance house rather than a loan house and where the bank and borrower enter into more of a business partnership rather than a creditor/borrower relationship. Paldi elaborates that this model of finance allows the economy to grow rather than stagnate and decline from excessive debt and limits the use of destabilizing financial instruments such as derivatives. Paldi emphasizes that the life of the average American has become weighed down by a cycle of debt, which may become a lifetime trap for an American, making life more difficult than necessary. She also reveals that Islamic Finance can help the small to medium businessman/woman in times of massive corporate expansion.
FAAIF CEO Camille Paldi is a US citizen who has lived in the United Arab Emirates for six years and has spent many years training in Islamic finance and Shariáh abroad in addition to having qualified as a lawyer in four countries. Al Huda CIBE, having conducted hundreds of successful training workshops all over the world is excited to enter the American markets to bring fascinating and complex Islamic finance and banking products and structures to citizens of the United States. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for registration. Event Website: http://www.alhudacibe.com/usa2014/
Lawyers, Bankers, Academics, Students, Knowedge-Seekers.
Investment Banking, Finance
Monday, September 22, 2014
Malaysia’s market share
Islamic finance future
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Speaking at opening ceremony of Maldives Islamic Banking and Finance Industry (MIBFI) conference on Wednesday, Chief Guest of the ceremony, MMA Governor Dr Azeema Adam said that Islamic finance models were being successfully implemented all over the world and that the start of Islamic financing in Maldives looked promising for the future of Maldives finance industry.
“Islamic finance provides solutions to problems in conventional financing models. It is therefore something that needs to be developed in Maldives. There is room for development [with Islamic finance] in Maldives as well,” said Dr Azeema.
She said that discussions and new ideas were needed to develop Islamic financing and noted the need for future plans to do so.
The governor noted the geographical distribution of Maldives as the major obstacle to providing banking services to all citizens of the country. She said that they had not been able to cover all areas of the country as Maldives was distributed into hundreds of islands, and because it wasn’t feasible to establish a bank in each and every island.
She said that the solution to the problem was in applying modern innovative principles in providing banking services, and called out to financial industry to adopt such principles in providing banking services to the remaining islands.
“Banking services can be widened to the whole country through innovative thinking. Financial industry should, too, look to expand services through modern ideas and philosophy,” she said.
Organized by UTO EduConsult, the conference is being attended by both Maldivian and international financial institutions.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
Kazakhstan's Al Hilal Islamic Bank, the only Sharia-compliant lender in the country, may expand into neighbouring countries as legislative efforts to develop Islamic finance gather pace across the region, its chief executive said.
Fresh Islamic finance legislation is being developed in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, creating a more welcoming framework for the industry in countries which have secular regulatory regimes.
Legislation is also being redrawn in Kazakhstan, the first former Soviet country to introduce Islamic finance rules in 2009; the initial set of rules failed to spur much activity.
Almaty-based Al Hilal, whose parent is wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government, is considering increasing its geographical presence as part of its 2015 business plan, chief executive Prasad Abraham said on the sidelines of an industry conference.
"Our medium-term strategy is to test the effectiveness of the Kazakhstan model, and then use that as a base for further expansion to other regions of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) as appropriate.
"An important precondition for any expansion is the existence of a proper legislative framework for Islamic finance in the respective countries."
A draft amendment, currently awaiting discussion in Kazakhstan's parliament, would provide the bank with a clearer framework that could translate into better commercial opportunities, Abraham said.
This could spur new entrants into the sector, such as Zaman Bank, a local bank which is working to convert itself into the country's second Islamic bank. It has not given a time frame for that plan.
In addition to Zaman, the regulator has now received an application to operate another fully-fledged Islamic bank, Abraham said without elaborating.
Launched in 2010, Al Hilal is on target to see asset growth of 70 per cent this year, with similar growth expected for 2015, he said, adding this was partly because growth was from a low base; it is expected to slow as the bank gains size. The bank posted a 46pc increase in assets in 2013, reaching 16.7 billion tenge ($92 million), financial statements showed. Its business is focused on government and large corporate clients, and after conducting a feasibility study earlier this year it has decided to wait for legal issues to be resolved before offering retail banking services. Islamic banks in Kazakhstan are categorised on a par with other commercial banks, known as Tier 2 banks, but current law does not extend to them all the tax privileges that conventional banks have.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Expressed in terms of gross premiums as a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), insurance penetration has traditionally remained low in Pakistan.
However, official statistics show a significant improvement in recent years. Not only the country’s insurance penetration increased from 1.3% of the GDP in 2010 to 1.73% in 2013, insurance density also rose substantially over the same period.
Insurance density – or the ratio of gross premiums (in dollars) to the country’s total population – went up from 6.36% in 2010 to 9.39% in 2013.
The overall trend becomes more obvious by looking at the growth rate of gross premiums that insurance companies collected in the last three years. They amounted to Rs100.7 billion in 2010 and reached Rs176.5 billion in 2013 – the last year for which official data is available. It translates into the compound annual growth rate of 20.55% for the last three years.
As a dividend of their enhanced footprint in the economy, insurance companies managed to expand their bottom lines significantly in recent years. Excluding government-owned State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC), combined profits of all life and non-life insurance members of the Insurance Association of Pakistan amounted to Rs3.4 billion in 2010. They clocked up at Rs9.7 billion in 2013, which translates into a massive increase of 41.7% per year between 2010 and 2013.
SLIC has yet to release its financial results for 2012 and 2013 because it does not have a full-time chairman.
In addition to the statistics showing tangible growth, the regulatory framework for the insurance industry underwent huge changes in the last many years that reduced entry barriers for new players.
A case in point is the introduction of Takaful Rules 2012, which allow conventional companies to set up dedicated window operations to sell Islamic insurance. The move was bitterly contested in court by Takaful players that feared competition from well-established insurance players.
But the legal battle has finally ended largely in favour of the conventional companies. Industry sources say at least 10 conventional insurance companies will have entered the Takaful market by December, resulting in huge investments and thousands of new jobs.
Similarly, a number of foreign companies have shown interest in entering Pakistan’s insurance industry. They include the world’s leading insurance brokers Marsh and Lockton.
Similarly, Rosewood Insurance Group of Switzerland has shown intention to acquire a 74.9% stake in TPL Direct Insurance. Sources say the Swiss group wants to buy a significant shareholding in two other insurance companies as well.
Progress in the micro-insurance segment has also been encouraging. Firms like MicroEnsure and Bima, which provide system support and IT backup to micro-insurance providers, are eyeing the Pakistani market.
Analysts believe the country’s insurance industry, which went downhill following its nationalisation in the 1970s, is making a strong comeback that may prove long-lasting.
The fact that the insurance industry had its first full-time commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) three years ago played a key role in recent developments.
Improved governance structure and a fully functional regulator in the last three years have resulted in rapid growth and foreign investment in the insurance industry. But with the retirement of SECP Insurance Commissioner Mohammed Asif Arif in the first week of September, industry officials are wondering whether the recent upturn in business activities will come to a grinding halt.
The SECP has been operating without a full-time chairman for over a year now. Instead of having five to seven members, the SECP will be left with only two commissioners after the retirement of Arif.
Letting the insurance division of the country’s apex regulatory body operate without a full-time head may undo the successes achieved in the last three years.