Islamic Finance

Aug news wrap: IsDB to develop Mauritania's Islamic banking; Nigeria's Enricher eyes expansion; and others

Here's a roundup of key developments across the Islamic finance ecosystem during the month of August

Editor's note: On balance, summer months are construed as a lull, a breakaway from the usual order of business. However, a decent line of events recorded across the world kept the Islamic finance ecosystem humming, with several entities engaging in key partnerships, and others eager to look beyond borders for greater traction.

Islamic fintech Yoosr is set to launch a Shariah compliant home financing facility across key regions, UAE-based Shuaa Capital unveiled its equity fund targeting Saudi and GCC equities, while a Nigerian Islamic fintech firm is eyeing lucrative markets for expansion.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Development Bank is backing the launch of Islamic finance in Mauritania, and partnering with Indonesia to advance the broader ecosystem. 


Company News

Yoosr’s Shariah-compliant home financing to help community members amid rising interest rates
Yoosr, an Islamic-value-based fintech, is set to launch Shariah-compliant home financing in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and SouthEast Asia, as interest rates and property prices soar.

This venture, in partnership with various real estate developers, could potentially reshape mortgages for millions globally.

Furthermore, Yoosr plans to offer charity-based financing for lower-income individuals, blending advanced tech with religious principles, in a transparent manner. (Arabian Business)

Saudi Arabia
Shuaa Capital unveils Shariah-compliant equity fund
Shuaa Capital has unveiled its Shuaa Saudi Equity Fund, a Shariah-compliant asset targeting Saudi and GCC equities, under the Incorporated Cell Company umbrella in Abu Dhabi's ADGM.

Managed by its subsidiary, Shuaa GMC Limited, the fund offers regional and global investors, especially high-net worth individuals, an avenue to the burgeoning Saudi public market. The fund will focus on Saudi's Shariah-compliant equities, with a minor GCC allocation, spanning diverse industries and stock types. (Hubbis)

Nigerian Islamic fintech Enricher plans expansion to UK, North America
Nigerian fintech firm, Enricher, eyes expansion into the UK and North America to tap the increasing appetite for Shariah-compliant finance.

Its CEO Shakirat Animashaun believes global growth is paramount to realise the company's potential. (The Africa Report)

Funding Societies and CGC Digital empower enterprises with digital financing
Malaysia's SME digital finance platform, Societies, has partnered with CGC Digital, a subsidiary of Credit Guarantee Corp by virtue of a joint venture (JV). 

The JV is set to offer Shariah-compliant digital supply chain financing, primarily catering to Malaysia's underserved micro and small enterprises. Under an MoU, CGC Digital crafted a digital credit product, initially financing up to 4 million Malaysian ringgit for qualified entities. (The Malaysian Reserve)

Bank Nizwa promotes Islamic finance via knowledge sessions
Oman's Bank Nizwa hosted its Islamic finance knowledge series in the sultanate's capital of Salalah.

Sheikh Dr. Ali Al-Jahdhami, a member of the bank's Shari’ah board, enlightened the General Directorate of Endowment and Religious Affairs staff on Islamic finance basics and its influence on Oman's banking sector, emphasizing Shari’ah compliance and the significance of financial literacy. (Zawya)

Maybank partners with Broadridge to launch Sharia-compliant SBL offering
Maybank has leveraged Broadridge's securities finance and collateral management solution to introduce a new proprietary technology for its securities borrowing and lending business.

The Sharia-compliant platform, promising improved customer experience and cost management through automation, is anticipated to be popular among investors. (Fintech Global)

ShopBack, PayHalal partner to offer Shariah-compliant merchant acquiring services for buy-now-pay-later
ShopBack, a shopping and rewards platform, has partnered with PayHalal, a payment gateway, to provide Shariah-compliant buy-now-pay-later solutions.

Through a Wakalah service contract with PayHalal, merchants can offer deferred payments via ShopBack’s app. The collaboration allows brands to offer interest-free instalments to consumers, enhancing their purchasing flexibility. (Malay Mail)

ESG Developments

CIMB introduces first branch with integrated sustainable features at IOI City Mall
CIMB Bank Berhad and CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad have introduced its maiden branch boasting integrated sustainability features within the Green Building Index-certified IOI City Towers in Putrajaya.

This initiative reflects a merger of environmental and social elements into its design and operations. Pushing its ESG-first strategy, the branch promotes offerings like green home and electric vehicle financing, while also focusing on inclusivity with features like accessible ATMs for specially-abled people. (The Star)

Islamic Development Bank Institute delivers training in Uganda
The Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) recently held a three-day training session in Kampala, Uganda, focusing on zakat management.

From August 14-16, the program, part of a grant for capacity development in Islamic social finance for Uganda's House of Zakat and Waqf, drew participants nationwide. (African Business)

Trade Developments

IsDB to help develop Islamic banking in Mauritania
The Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) recently visited the Central Bank of Mauritania (CBM) to explore technical assistance for Mauritania's introduction of Islamic finance.

In response to CBM's appeal for support, the meeting delved into developing regulatory, supervisory, and governance protocols for Islamic banking.

The IsDBI's proposed plan includes an assessment of CBM's current framework, drafting Islamic bank regulations, revising payment systems, and offering training on new regulations and instruments(IsDB)

IsDB, Indonesia collaborate to advance Islamic finance 
H.E. Dr. Zamir Iqbal of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) met a delegation from Indonesia, led by H.E. Dr. Juda Agung of Bank Indonesia, to reinforce the Islamic finance sector.

Reflecting on a partnership that began in 1974, both parties discussed enhancing cooperation, with Indonesia's contributions being instrumental in elevating the IsDB Group's status. (IsDB)


ADI Capital arranges Islamic syndicated finance for Kharafi National
Abu Dhabi Islamic Capital (ADI Capital) has brokered a syndicated Islamic financing deal worth 1.65 billion Egyptian pounds for Kharafi National, serving as the sole financial advisor and fund promoter.

Intended to bolster the company's working capital, the funding aids the completion of projects across essential sectors in Egypt. (Daily News Egypt)

Islamic Development Bank entity arranges $40m for Prime Bank
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), under the aegis of the Islamic Development Bank Group, has granted a syndicated murabaha financing arrangement valued at $40 million to Prime Bank Ltd.

Intended to fortify the bank's burgeoning trade operations across the SME and corporate sectors, the accord was inked by representatives from both institutions in Dhaka. (The Daily Star)


SECP issues first-ever Shariah compliance certificates to REITs
In a notable move, Pakistan's Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP) has granted the country's first-ever certificates of Shariah Compliance to two real estate investment trusts: Signature Residency REIT and Rahat Residency REIT.

This follows the launch of the 2023 Guidelines for Offering Islamic Financial Services, aligning with a Federal Shariah Court directive promoting interest-free financial activities. (Samaa English)

Read more: News wrap for August: Saudi nods to South African meat imports; Brazil’s Paraná to expand halal exports; & others


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