ITS celebrates three time triumph as Best Islamic Finance Technology Winner at World Islamic Retail Banking Conference 2013

Global Islamic Finance Awards recognized ITS’ contribution to Islamic finance through technology excellence.

ITS celebrates three time triumph as Best Islamic Finance Technology Winner at World Islamic Retail Banking Conference 2013

ITS celebrates three time triumph as Best Islamic Finance Technology Winner at World Islamic Retail Banking Conference 2013

Middle East: November 30th 2013 – International Turnkey Systems (ITS) has reinforced its credentials as the leading global provider of Islamic banking solutions after receiving the Best Islamic Finance Technology Award for the third consecutive year at the World Islamic Retail Banking Conference (WIRBC), held at the Shangri La Hotel, Dubai.

The first of their kind in the industry, the Global Islamic Finance Awards were developed to recognize and celebrate the success and contributions of individuals and institutions in the Islamic financial services industry.

ITS Global Financial Solutions (GFS) was honored with the award for its contribution to Islamic banking technology with the launch of its industry leading ETHIX suite of pre-defined finance solutions.

“This prestigious GIFA award is yet another affirmation of our commitment to the promotion of responsible Islamic banking and solidifies our position as an industry leader in providing Shari’a compliant customer centric financial solutions across the world,” said Tarek Khalifa, Area Manager, ITS Global Financial Solutions.

“ETHIX is the jewel in our crown; it has assisted many banks and financial institutions to minimize operational costs in responding to the increased demand of customer for both traditional and Islamic products and services. We will continue to work with our strategic partners and technology vendors to continue driving the future of Islamic Banking forward.”

ITS’ flagship ETHIX technology suite is widely recognized as the most comprehensive, flexible and scalable Islamic banking solution worldwide.

Described as a premier total banking solution catering to tier 1 banks, ETHIX was developed in accordance with Shari’a guidelines. It empowers Islamic banks to improve operational efficiency and reduce cost of ownership in specific areas of Islamic banking, while maximizing opportunities for growth.

About the 5th World Islamic Retail Banking Conference:

The 5th World Islamic Retail Banking Conference is the platform that brings together key policy makers, global Islamic retail bankers and business decision makers to put a spotlight on the challenges, innovations, latest developments and technological solutions essential for the further growth of the global Islamic Retail Banking sector. For more information, please visit: finance.fleminggulf.com/world-islamic-retail-banking-conference/more-info/news-desk.

About ITS- Global Financial Solutions:

ITS Global Financial Solutions (GFS), a part of the ITS Group, is a leader in Shari’a compliant financial solutions, offering financial institutions the business and technology expertise that enables customers to achieve their strategic business goals and achieve operational excellence.

With a track record of over 30 years’ industry knowledge and experience, the company has amassed an impressive customer portfolio and counts many of the leading regional and global Islamic financial institutions as its customers including Kuwait Finance House, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Al Hilal Bank, National Bank of Egypt, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Ahli United Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Faisal Bank, Zenith Bank and Alawwal Capital KSA.

At the core of ITS GFS’s value proposition is its ETHIX technology platform. The company’s ETHIX Shari’a compliant portfolio provides multi-channeled corporate and retail products and services in Islamic finance and investment including core banking, trade finance, branch automation, Sukuk management, online banking, dashboards and reports.

ITS has 1600 staff across the Middle East with a dedicated team focused on the research and development of the ETHIX portfolio.

For more information, please visit: www.its.ws .

© Press Release 2013

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S&P sees Islamic finance flourishing next year

DOHA/LONDON:

Global growth of the Islamic finance market has continued unabated this year, undeterred by the uncertain recovery elsewhere in the world’s financial markets, Standard & Poor’s said in a report titled “Islamic Finance 2014: We Expect Continued Double-Digit Growth, And A Push For Regulation And Standards.”

S&P sees Islamic finance flourishing next year

S&P sees Islamic finance flourishing next year

“We believe that worldwide, Shariah-compliant assets — which we estimate at upward of $1.4 trillion — are likely to sustain double-digit growth in the coming two to three years,” said Zeynep Holmes, Regional Head of Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa at S&P.

Islamic finance remains a demand-driven market, with scarce supply, still hampered by a limited range of Islamic financial centres and their various regulatory frameworks.

Expansion and enhancement of existing centres, and a more transparent regulatory environment could build the momentum for the growth needed to break into the mainstream, said the report.

S&P said that it is only a matter of time before Islamic finance achieves critical mass, as the pool of assets broadens and deepens, and enhances liquidity.

The regulatory efforts to accommodate Islamic finance and the establishment of additional industry bodies at national levels will take centre stage starting in 2014, the report said.

Newcomers in the industry — such as Oman, Turkey, and Nigeria, for instance — have started to trace the footsteps of fast-growing pioneers, such as Malaysia.

Right behind the newcomers, a long line of countries is aspiring to enter the market, with the continent of Africa in the forefront, S&P said.

“The gradual building out of local and regional regulatory frameworks and establishment of standards ought, in our opinion, to minimise the barriers that are preventing the industry from achieving its full potential. Globally accepted standards, we believe, are necessary for growth of the industry,” Holmes said.

In this respect, the two regional heavyweights and pioneers of the industry—Asia (most notably Malaysia) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE) — are set to lead the way.

Aspiring regional champions, such as Turkey, may also help foster a more systematic approach to channelling and shaping growth in Islamic finance. 

The Peninsula

http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/index.php/business/qatar-business/262711/s-p-sees-islamic-finance-flourishing-next-year

Islamic finance can speed up global economic recovery – IDB chief

By Samir Ghawi

DUBAI – Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Ahmed Ali Al Madani urged banking experts this week to come up with more Islamic financial tools and to work diligently to address remaining challenges in liquidity management.

Islamic finance can speed up global economic recovery - IDB chief

Islamic finance can speed up global economic recovery – IDB chief

According to Al Madani, who was speaking at the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) in Dubai, such solutions will provide new opportunities for long-term financing and investment besides opening horizons for Islamic finance to play a greater role in economic development.

“The slowdown in foreign direct investments and the contraction in developmental financing opens a golden opportunity for Islamic financial services to attract the trillions of dollars held by sovereign funds and bags outside the banking system to flow into developmental projects in order to regain stability and advance sustainable economic progress,” he told more than 2,000 participants who included hundreds of bankers and financial specialists.

Al Madani highlighted several world challenges such as the efforts by major states to establish a more secure international financial system, efforts by emerging economies eyeing reforms, and other nations struggling in a transformation phase to regain macro-economic stability and equitable growth.

Advocating trust, credibility, honesty, partnership and justice by shouldering risk-sharing, he cited International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde in her saying that “the values that we aspire to achieve are clearly stated in the foundations of Islamic finance”.

The IDB president also mentioned financial inclusion and prohibition of Gharar (uncertainty), speculation and gambling as other values that the “lost” world has found in Islamic finance but not in the conventional financial services.
He called on decision-makers working on setting up a more secure financial system to realise the ” great role that Islamic finance can play” and to support this industry and professionally enable it to grow and develop.

Noting that many less developed African and Asian countries want to improve the living standards of their citizens, Al Madani urged the strategists behind the GIES initiative to seize the opportunities in the two continents because the whole world would gain by pulling the people there out of poverty.

“Through economic empowerment, zakat and waqf, the Islamic economy can contribute by participating with the people in Africa and Asia in adopting a new path for international economic development and social prosperity,” he said.

The IDB chief called on Islamic countries to improve their business environment and to compete for investments and in currency trading in order to remove regulatory obstacles from the path of financial inclusion.

© Jordan Times 2013

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Malaysia says new Islamic equity standards to lure Gulf investors

By Bernardo Vizcaino

DUBAI, Nov 28 (Reuters) – New Malaysian standards for sharia-compliant equities are expected to attract more Islamic investment funds from the Gulf, a senior official of the country’s Securities Commission said.

Malaysia says new Islamic equity standards to lure Gulf investors

Malaysia says new Islamic equity standards to lure Gulf investors

A revised list of Malaysian equities that qualify for Islamic investment, compiled by the commission, will take effect on Friday. It uses a new screening methodology which incorporates quantitative filters such as benchmarks for financial ratios, moving closer to the approach generally used in the Gulf.

The change will help to internationalise Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry, Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin, executive director of Islamic Capital Markets at the commission, said by email.

“The attraction of Malaysian Islamic funds and equities to other Gulf states, as a proxy for the growing economic importance of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), is expected to be accelerated,” he said.
The commission’s methodology had previously included only qualitative screens; for example, it banned companies involved in sectors such as tobacco and alcohol.

Islamic fund managers in Malaysia have six months to dispose of securities that are excluded from the list, which now has a total of 653 sharia-compliant stocks out of 914 listed on the Bursa Malaysia .
The new list will add 16 stocks and remove 158 that were on the previous list, which was issued in May.

Malaysia has the largest base of Islamic mutual funds, with 210 retail and wholesale funds that had 79.6 billion ringgit ($24.6 billion) in assets under management as of December 2012.

These could increasingly be marketed in the Gulf through an existing agreement between the Malaysian Securities Commission and the Dubai Financial Services Authority, Abidin said.

“Given the greater familiarity, Dubai-based financial institutions could be attracted to market and distribute Malaysia-based Islamic funds in Dubai.”

Malaysia may also benefit from a better consumer perception in the Gulf, since its approach to Islamic finance has been criticised as too liberal, said Monem Salam, president of investment firm Saturna Sdn Bhd in Malaysia.

(Editing by Andrew Torchia)

(([email protected])(Telf: +9715 6655 7225)(Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))

Keywords: ISLAMIC FINANCE/MALAYSIA

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Dubai set to launch Islamic governance centre next year

The Dubai government plans to establish a centre that will develop standards for corporate governance based on Islamic values, guiding companies in both financial and non-financial activities.

Dubai set to launch Islamic governance centre next year

Dubai set to launch Islamic governance centre next year

The centre, to be opened in the second quarter of next year, is part of the emirate’s plans to become a hub for Islamic business in areas ranging from banking and insurance to food processing, tourism and education.

The standards will not be compulsory for firms but the centre will issue sharia-compliance certificates to companies and banks meeting them, said Ali Ibrahim, deputy director general for planning and development at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development.

The standards would cover issues such as corporate transparency and disclosure; certificates will not be issued for individual products, said Ibrahim, a member of the committee leading Dubai’s Islamic business efforts.

He did not elaborate on how the Islamic standards would differ from conventional standards of corporate best practice. It is believed to be one of the first times that a government is trying to formalise Islamic guidelines for the behaviour of corporations other than banks and insurers.

The bulk of demand for the centre’s services will come from United Arab Emirates firms, but over time the centre is expected to appeal to companies elsewhere, said Ibrahim, who is also a board member ofEmaar Industries & Investments and Amlak Finance .

“The model will hopefully be universal and applicable to any company wishing to benefit from the standards.”

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/dubai-set-launch-islamic-governance-centre-next-year-526174.html