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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Standard Chartered launches islamic online banking platform

Standard Chartered Bank has launched an Islamic version of its online banking platform, Straight2Bank which will be offered in the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Pakistan and Malaysia.

The new Shariah compliant platform, which is aimed at Standard Chartered’s growing Islamic customer base including SMEs, will give branchless access to cash management, trade, securities services and reporting.

Wasim Saifi, global head of Islamic banking, consumer bank said: “Islamic Banking has become a significant part of the mainstream. Today, the gap between conventional and Islamic banking solutions has narrowed substantially. The launch of Shariah compliant Straight2Bank is a natural step in the evolution of the Islamic Banking industry and another addition to the broadening spectrum of financial services offerings for those seeking Shariah compliance.”

Tim Hinton, global head of SME banking, Standard Chartered said: “SMEs are the backbone of economies, particularly in Muslim nations where they have a large involvement in job creation and domestic production. In the Middle East and Africa, they are one of the fastest-growing sectors with notable growth in new enterprises.”

In June this year, Standard Chartered Private Bank also launched a suite of Islamic services, available through its offices in London, Geneva, Jersey and Dubai, which cover fiduciary deposits, property financing, equities and discretionary services, mutual funds including ETFs, Islamic bonds (Sukuks), and third-party structured products. 

(International Adviser / 23 Dec 2012)

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Islamic banking products targeting Zambia

THE PTA Bank says it is looking at possibilities of expanding Islamic banking products to the Zambian market.

Director of project and infrastructure finance James Kabuga says the bank thinks the product will perform well on the market as it will conform to sharia requirement.
“We have a number of countries with strong demand for Islamic product, for instance we are providing this product in Sudan, Egypt, Somalia, and Djibouti. But, we want to roll it out in a much bigger way in other countries including Zambia,” he said.
Mr Kabuga was speaking at a PTA Bank business seminar in Lusaka recently.
He said apart from this product, other products such as funds management, advisory project appraisal service, syndication capacity product and equity will soon be added to the bank’s bouquet of products and services.
“All these products are being developed and will soon be deployed in Zambia and elsewhere where we have presence,” he said.
He further said the firm has done quite a lot in terms of financial support, particularly in the petroleum sector.
The bank has also expanded both trade and project finance in financial service, agriculture business, energy, manufacturing and property development, hospitality, among other sectors.
Mr Kabuga said the bank has continued to have a huge appetite for investments in countries where it has its presence.
PTA Bank is a multi-lateral institution serving various bases in the region with shareholders from 18 African member states from Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and EAC alongside with the African Development Bank and China as the key institutional and non-regional sovereign member states.
Mr Kabuga said the growth trajectory seen in the past five years gives the bank good platform to readily board on its next phase of growth.

(Zambia Daily Mail / 25 Dec 2012)

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