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Friday, 7 November 2014

Islamic Finance begins transacting on NASDAQ Dubai Murabaha Platform for Islamic financing

Islamic Finance, a UAE-based leading Sharia’a-compliant financial institution, has carried out its first transaction on the NASDAQ Dubai Murabaha Platform, which provides Islamic financing services to a rapidly growing number of individual and institutional customers.
Officially launched in April 2014, the platform has completed a total of more than Dhs21 billion of transactions. It was set up by NASDAQ Dubai jointly with Emirates Islamic and is playing a key role in Dubai’s growth as the Capital of the Islamic Economy globally.
Clients of Aafaq – Islamic Finance and other companies can use the NASDAQ Dubai Murabaha Platform to execute streamlined transactions within minutes. As the platform expands it has the potential to make Dubai the international centre for processing Sharia’a-compliant financing.
His Excellency Essa Kazim, Chairman of Dubai Financial Market and Secretary General of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), said: “The expansion of the NASDAQ Dubai Murabaha Platform underlines the continuing success of the initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to develop Dubai as the global Capital of Islamic Economy, as overseen by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. By effectively serving the clients of Aafaq – Islamic Finance and other companies, the platform will provide growing support for the strengthening of the Islamic finance sector in the UAE.”
Sheikh Faisal Saoud Bin Khalid Alqassimi, Managing Director of Aafaq – Islamic Finance, said: “The NASDAQ Dubai Murabaha platform is a very attractive alternative to many other Islamic financing solutions, which can be subject to unexpected price movements, spreads and delays as well as poor liquidity. We are making use of the platform to offer our clients solutions for a variety of purposes, from personal finance to funds for company expansion.”
The platform makes use of Sharia’a-compliant Certificates that have been developed for the underlying assets of the financing transactions. Islamic banks, Islamic windows of conventional banks, and Islamic finance companies and their clients can make use of the platform through trading Certificates.
Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, Chairman of NASDAQ Dubai, said: “NASDAQ Dubai will build on the growing success of the platform to attract more financial institutions to join it from the UAE and beyond, so that their clients can also benefit from its many advantages. We are committed to further enhancing our Islamic financing infrastructure with the support of all market participants.”
Hamed Ali, Chief Executive of NASDAQ Dubai, said: “The NASDAQ Dubai Murabaha Platform meets the specific requirements of Sharia’a-compliant financing within a framework of international capital markets best practice. As a sophisticated and secure financing channel, it is set to cater to an increasing number of customers all over the world.”
Abdulla Al Awar, Chief Executive of DIEDC, said: “Aafaq – Islamic Finance’s decision to join the platform is another positive example of Islamic financial institutions in the UAE taking far-seeing and proactive steps to enhance the services that they offer to clients. This process is rapidly building critical mass in the Islamic financial sector in both quality and quantity.”
(Ame.Info / 06 November 2014)
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PH eyes Islamic bank to develop Mindanao

The Philippines is turning to Islamic finance to rejuvenate Bangsamoro, a Muslim-majority region whose economy has been stifled by decades of civil war.
The Bangko Sentral has set up a task force with the World Bank and the country’s only Shariah-compliant lender to develop the industry, Governor Amando Tetangco said Oct. 29 in Manila. Bangsamoro is an autonomous region set to be created on the southern island of Mindanao after President Benigno Aquino signed a peace agreement with Muslim rebels.
The Philippines said in July it planned to sell sovereign sukuk by mid-2016, following the UK and Hong Kong in creating a local benchmark for a global industry whose assets are forecast by the Malaysia International Islamic Finance Centre to more than triple to $6.5 trillion by 2020. The Bangsamoro Development Agency says it needs P110 billion ($2.4 billion) to rebuild a region that has a poverty rate more than double the national average.
“The Islamic banking industry may be a catalyst for the economic growth of the people of the Bangsamoro region,” Megat Hizaini Hassan, head of the Islamic finance practice at law firm Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill in Kuala Lumpur, said in an interview.
“It may also be useful for the regulators in the Philippines to consider Islamic finance not just for Mindanao, but rather as a means of bringing in foreign investment,” he said.
The Philippines, which considered a law to support Islamic finance as far back as 1973, may amend the charter of Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines to allow other Shariah-compliant lenders, the central bank’s Tetangco said.
“The idea is to allow Islamic banks to co-exist with conventional banks and have a level playing field,” he said. “We’re working as fast as we can,” he said, adding that the measures would require congressional approval.
The Bangsamoro government is also waiting on legislative approval to be formally established after President Aquino submitted a bill to this effect on Sept. 10.
The Philippines signed a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in March to end a four-decade insurgency in Mindanao, home to most of the country’s 5 million Muslims. The pact also seeks to unlock investment in the mineral-rich south.
Bangsamoro supercedes the failed Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, an entity created in 1989 during a previous attempt at peace. Some 49 percent of people in that area lived on less than $1.20 a day in 2012, compared with the national average of 20 percent. Aquino attended a two-day forum that ends today in Mindanao’s Davao City aimed at seeking international aid and investment for Bangsamoro.
“There is a dire need for financial services to support economic development in the Mindanao area,” Idiosa Ursolino, senior vice president at Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank in Manila, said in a Nov. 4 e-mail interview. “That could be made possible by a culturally-friendly business environment like the Shariah-compliant business opportunities.”
(Manila Standard Today / 06 November 2014)
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