The ICD-Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator announces initial findings

Thomson Reuters announced today (27 October) the initial findings from its collaboration with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector development arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

Earlier this year, Thomson Reuters and ICD announced the creation of the ICD-Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI), a numerical measure representing the overall health and growth of the Islamic finance industry worldwide.

The ICD-Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator announces initial findings

The ICD-Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator announces initial findings

The IFDI, which will be officially launched at the Global Islamic Economy Summit, aims to expand the scope of Thomson Reuters’ universe of Islamic finance content, research and news analysis and to develop an unbiased multi-dimensional barometer for the development of the Islamic finance industry. The indicator measures five key components – quantitative development, governance, social responsibility, knowledge and awareness.

Russell Haworth, Managing Director, Middle East & North Africa, Thomson Reuters, said,  “This indicator, the first of its kind for the Islamic Economy, will provide companies with much needed unbiased and reliable multi-dimensional analysis regarding the development of the Islamic finance industry.  The development of Islamic finance educational infrastructure will be a key driver for the establishment of the Islamic finance industry, which is why we chose the topic for our first IFDI analysis.”

Based on its analysis, the IFDI has found that the UK is the global leader in Islamic finance education with over 60 institutions offering Islamic finance courses and 22 universities offering degree programs specializing in Islamic finance.

Malaysia and the UAE, both established global Islamic finance hubs, followed the UK in terms of a comprehensive Islamic finance education infrastructure. Malaysia has 50 course providers and 18 universities offering degree programs, whilst the UAE has 31 course providers and 9 universities offering degree programs. Pakistan was placed fourth, with 22 course providers and 9 universities offering degree programs. The IFDI recorded 420 institutions offering courses in Islamic finance and over 113 universities offering Islamic finance degrees.

Malaysia also led in terms of research published on Islamic finance in the last three years, with 169 research papers, of which 101 were peer reviewed. The UK and USA followed with 111 research papers (56 peer reviewed) and 73 research papers (39 peer reviewed) respectively. A total of 655 research papers were issued globally on Islamic finance in the last three years, of which 354 were peer reviewed.

Khaled Al-Aboodi, Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, said, “Today’s findings are a perfect example as to how and why the IFDI can identify the critical growth components of the Islamic Finance industry.  Our research shows that countries that build their educational infrastructure can benefit most from the growth of their Islamic finance industries.  Through their research and thought leadership countries, like the UK, Malaysia and the UAE have the potential to significantly influence the direction of the regional Islamic finance sector.”

Dr Sayd Farook, Global Head of Islamic Capital Markets for Thomson Reuters, said, “Research is an important metric used by the IFDI to assess the depth of knowledge dimension within the Islamic finance industry.   Our initial research indicates that the industry lacks the availability of in-depth research which, in turn, limits innovation and development.  Thomson Reuters is committed to leading the charge in information and analysis to support the global Islamic finance industry.”

The Global Islamic Economy Summit, organised by Thomson Reuters and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, will take place on 25th & 26th November 2013 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank targets more than 50% Emiratisation rate in 2012

At Careers UAE 2012 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a top-tier Islamic financial services group, confirmed that it was on course to exceed its targeted Emiratisation rate of more than 50% at the end of 2012. The bank leads in Emiratisation across the UAE banking sector with a rate of 48% achieved last year. This is up from 34% that was reached in 2008.

As Platinum Sponsor of the Careers UAE 2012, the bank has utilized its involvement in such events over the years to drive the identification and recruitment of the UAE national talents.

Waheeb Khazraji, Head of HR at ADIB, said, “We are encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by the UAE national talent that visited our stand at the Careers UAE 2012 and expressed their desire to work in the Islamic Banking industry. It is evident that they are increasingly viewing the banking sector as an employer of choice and are aware of the exciting growth opportunities that it provides. We are committed to recruit and train UAE national talent from across UAE and to provide them with opportunities and guidance to take on leadership positions in the banking sector.”

ADIB hosted a Power Lunch at the Careers UAE 2012 where senior executives of the bank answered all questions put forward to them by the attendees.

“We have launched many training initiatives to encourage Emiratisation and enhance our Emirati workforce qualifications. Our Tatweer initiative, that was launched recently, provides complete tuition and other education related expenses for employees who decide to upgrade their qualifications and professional degrees at any institution of higher education,” added Waheeb.

ADIB’s continued commitment to Emiratization has been recognized by the Emirates Institute of Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS) that has presented the bank with their Human Resource Development Award in the first category for two years running.

Gulf Funds pledge to buy stake In India's ONGC

Sovereign wealth funds from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait are among foreign investors that have pledged to buy shares in India’s state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the Economic Times reported on Monday.

Officials from the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) met Indian government officials last week and agreed to buy shares as part of the government’s planned sale of five percent of ONGC, the report said.

Other foreign funds are also discussing the possible purchase of shares in ONGC, said the report said, citing three unnamed people familiar with the discussions.

A sale of five percent of ONGC would raise about 120 billion Indian rupees (2.4 billion US dollars) based on the ONGC’s current share price.

A spokesman for the Finance Ministry could not be reached for comment. Monday is a holiday in India.

Officials from the Kuwait Investment Authority and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority could not be reached outside of business hours.

A government panel last week approved a plan to sell some of the government’s shareholding in ONGC through a share auction but did not provide a timeframe.

New Delhi is widely expected to miss its deficit target of 4.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the fiscal year ending in March, in part due to its inability to meet the budget goal of raising more than $8.1 billion from the sale of stakes in state-run companies.

Shares in ONGC, which has a market value of $48.8 billion, have risen almost 10 percent in 2012. The overall market has risen 18 percent in the same period.

ADCB announces its Islamic banking solution

ABU DHABI – Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (“ADCB”) today announced the new look of its comprehensive Islamic Banking solution to clients across the UAE.

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The Islamic Banking service, which has been in existence since 2008, offers enhanced product lines from liabilities and assets to credit cards and investments to offer a Shari’ah compliant product for a host of conventional ADCB product and service on offer.

ADCB Islamic Banking customers have access to all of ADCB’s award winning banking channels, from internet and telephone banking as well as access to around 50 branches across the UAE. ADCB Islamic Banking customers can now seek advice and support from any ADCB branch across the UAE or online or by calling the customer services centre on 8005626. Continue reading

Malaysia, Abu Dhabi lead dollar sukuk rally

Kuala Lumpur: Investment-grade bonds in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi are leading a rally in dollar sukuk, driving average yields to the lowest level in six years, as rising prices of commodities shore up economic growth.

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The yield on Malaysia’s 4.646 per cent note maturing in July 2021 dropped 26 basis points, or 0.26 percentage point, this month to 4.4 per cent yesterday, according to prices from Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The rate on the Abu Dhabi-backed Tourism Development & Investment Co’s 4.949 per cent debt due in October 2014 fell 21 basis points since June 30 to a 1 1/2-month low of 2.81 per cent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Increasing prices of crude, palm oil and soybeans are spurring gains in Sharia-compliant bonds even as the extra yield investors demand to hold emerging-market securities over US Treasuries widened this month. Investment-grade sukuk are appealing given Europe’s debt crisis and demand for safety in dollar assets, Jakarta-based PT MNC Asset Management said. Continue reading

Standard Chartered offers more value on Home Loans

Standard Chartered announced today the launch of its latest value-added promotion on Home Loans, offering loan amounts of up to AED 18 million at a loan-to-value ratio of as much as 80 per cent, up to 30 years loan repayment tenure and a special interest rate of 4.99 per cent per annum fixed for the first 12 months.

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The Standard Chartered Base Lending Rate (SCBLR) plus the Prescribed Rate will be applied thereafter. The promotion will be offered under Standard Chartered Bank’s Home Suite Bundle Account and will be available until the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan 2011.

The offer is also applicable for standard Mortgage and is available under Shariah-compliant terms through Saadiq, Standard Chartered’s Islamic Banking arm. Aside from the competitive rate and flexible tenures, the package also comes with a free credit card that holders can use to earn flight tickets on any airline. Home Suite customers may also avail of personal loans of up to AED 250,000. Continue reading

Takaful Emarat partners with NCB Capital

As part of the alliance, Takaful Emarat will offer its customers a range of 21 Shari’ah-compliant funds managed by NCB Capital.

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UAE-headquartered Takaful Emarat, a Shari’ah-compliant life and health insurance company, has announced their partnership with NCB Capital, Saudi Arabia’s largest investment bank and the GCC’s leading wealth manager, to make world class Shari’ah-compliant funds accessible to its customers. Continue reading

UAE's Takaful Emarat ties up with Reliance Asset Management (Malaysia)

UAE, 24th April 2011: Takaful Emarat announced their partnership with Reliance Asset Management (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (RAMMY), the Islamic asset management arm of Reliance Capital Asset Management Limited, India (RCAM).

UAE's Takaful Emarat ties up with Reliance Asset Management (Malaysia)

This announcement was made by Mr. Ian Lancaster, Chief Executive Officer, RAMMY with Mr. Ghassan Marrouche, General Manager, Takaful Emarat.

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Islamic Finance Islamic banks in the UAE now almost one-fifth of financial sector

Assets and liabilities held by Islamic financial institutions within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached AED 269 billion ($73.1 billion) as at the end of 2010, equivalent to 17 per cent of the total assets and liabilities of the country’s banking system

The number of Islamic banks operating in the UAE now stands at eight (not including those conventional institutions operating Islamic ‘windows’) with some 260 branches. The figures were given by the Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), HE Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, in his opening remarks to a seminar entitled Islamic Finance in a global perspective, held by the CBUAE on 2 June 2011. The Governor also congratulated the Sultanate of Oman on the licensing of its first Islamic bank and welcomed the Central Bank of Oman to the Islamic finance community of regulators.

However, Al Suwaidi directed the majority of his remarks to the state of Islamic finance within the UAE itself. He said, “The subject I want to raise is our experience with Islamic banking in the UAE, and the challenges we faced or still face.” Continue reading

United Arab Bank launches Islamic Credit Card

United Arab Bank (UAB) announces the launch of its first global Islamic Credit Card with a distinctive vertical design that makes it unique to the Islamic Credit Card arena in the UAE.

UAB had launched its Islamic Banking Services in March this year with three products initially covering Current Accounts, Investment, and Goods Murabaha. Soon after, the bank introduced two more products before the launch of its Islamic card, namely Vehicle Murabaha and Savings accounts. The new Credit Card comes to complement and strengthen the Bank’s Islamic product offering in line with its strategy to build a progressive portfolio of reliable banking products that can meet the growing needs and requirements of its Islamic banking customers.

United Arab Bank launches Islamic Credit Card

Announcing the new product, Paul Trowbridge, UAB’s CEO, commented:

“Recognizing and respecting the desires of a growing number of our valued clients to conduct their banking and financial transactions in accordance with Shari’ah principles, UAB has launched Islamic Banking. Focusing on client needs coupled with building long-lasting relationships with them will

continue to be the drivers of UAB’s future growth and success. Our new Shari’ah compliant products and services, including the newly launched Credit Card, will cater to the needs of a wide segment of our customers and will confirm our position amongst the leading banks in the region offering a comprehensive range of Islamic banking services.”

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