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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

More African nations ‘set to embrace Islamic finance

 the ICD, which helped arrange Senegal's debut 100 billion CFA franc ($162 million) Islamic bond last June, is “actively exploring” opportunities for Nigeria and Ivory Coast.
Earlier this month the ICD, which is the private sector arm of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank Group, signed an agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to cooperate in the development of the private sector in ICD member countries in Africa.
Al Aboodi said then that Africa and the Islamic finance industry “are key strategic directions for ICD and we hope, via this partnership, we will increase our presence in the continent”.
Under the terms of the agreement with Afeximbank, the ICD said both institutions would “collaborate in joint operations, expand financial products and exchange information on modalities for enhanced and efficient interventions for private sector development in ICD affected countries”.
According to the agreement, ICD and Afreximbank will “share information on projects and business opportunities in Africa and on participation in the arrangement of syndications or investment in funds”. ICD said the institutions will also cooperate in structuring sukuk/debt capital market transaction opportunities, “co-invest in Islamic leasing companies and support local financial institutions in Africa through the raising of capital via lines of finances”.
The ICD said: “The agreement also covers exploration of opportunities for cooperation in financing projects in the construction, energy, manufacturing and leasing sectors in African countries.”
The ICD said last December that it planned to tap Islamic capital markets to raise as much as $1.2 billion in long-term funds during its current financial year and “will also explore a capital increase as it expands its economic development activities”, with a proposal to be presented to shareholders in June 2015.
A study by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry published last yearsaid Gulf businesses had invested at least $30bn in infrastructure projects in Africa over the past decade and were set to step up investment across the continent.
The survey showed that investment over the past decade amounted to up to 10% of total inflows from the Gulf, of which about $15bn was in loans and grants from Gulf development agencies and around 15bn in direct investments. The study said efforts by African regulators effort to “deepen Islamic financial systems” created an opportunity to encourage further Gulf investment in Africa’s infrastructure.
(Out-Law.Com / 24 March 2015)
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