Here's a roundup of key developments across the Islamic finance ecosystem during the first two weeks of September
Editor's note: There is a visible demand for Islamic finance and banking. Keep to 'cash in' on the riding wave, non-Muslim majority countries across the world are gladly obliging. Russia has intitiated Islamic banking, while the Bank of Uganda has issued its first Islamic banking licence. Philippines is also taking active strides to promote Islamic banking and financing activities, signalling a strong global run for the sector.
Islamic Coin announces landmark MoU with CoinDesk Indices
At TOKEN2049 in Singapore, Islamic Coin announced an MoU with CoinDesk Indices (CDI) to explore a strategic partnership focused on developing innovative index strategies.
The partnership aims to tap into growing interest in crypto and inclusive finance. Key highlights include licensing CDI indices for various financial products, creating new Shariah-compliant indices, and providing API access to selected digital assets for HAQQ's internal use. (Zawya)
Alkhair Capital launches $100m Islamic healthcare fund in Dubai
Alkhair Capital Dubai, a provider of Shariah-compliant investment solutions, has introduced the Alkhair Capital Healthcare Sector Fund.
The open-ended liquidity fund will focus on healthcare enterprises leveraging cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology to enhance healthcare services.
Alkhair Capital has partnered with Klaim Technologies, a fintech firm specializing in AI-powered insurance claims assessment, to employ proactive investment management strategies for the fund. (Khaleej Times)
Bank of Uganda issues first Islamic banking licence
The Bank of Uganda has issued its inaugural Islamic banking license to Salaam Bank Uganda, a subsidiary of a Djibouti-based bank.
The license was presented at the central bank's offices by Deputy Governor Michael Atingi-Ego. This development comes after the Ugandan parliament passed legislation in June to authorize Islamic banking, with President Yoweri Museveni signing it into law in August. (Central Banking)
Russia introduces Islamic banking
In an effort to explore the viability of the Islamic finance model, President Vladimir Putin has signed a law introducing Islamic banking in four Muslim-majority republics in Russia.
The four regions, which include Chechnya, Dagestan, Tatarstan, and Bashkortostan, launched the Islamic banking system on September 1 as part of a two-year pilot program. (Al Arabiya News)
SECP issues Shariah compliance certificate to fintech fifirm
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has issued a Shariah compliance certificate to Qist Bazaar (Private) Limited, a licensed non-banking finance company (NBFC), offering buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services.
The certificate, granted under Shariah Governance Regulations, is based on the principle of Musawamah, incorporating a profit margin in the commodity's sale price. (Business Recorder)
Philippines / Saudi Arabia
Philippine Central Bank promotes Islamic finance, invites Saudi investors
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippines' central bank, has been actively promoting Islamic banking and finance initiatives in the country.
Recently, the monetary board granted its first Islamic banking unit license to a traditional bank, opening opportunities for foreign and private banks to enter the market. This was previously limited to the state-owned Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines. (Arab News)
ITFC considers Islamic finance deals uptick in Azerbaijan
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is considering opportunities to expand Islamic finance deals in Azerbaijan.
ITFC's CEO, Hani Salem Sonbol, expressed optimism about introducing Islamic financial tools in collaboration with Rabita Bank and encouraged the transformation of existing banks or the creation of specialized units for Islamic banking in the region. (Trend News Agency)
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launches electric vehicle finance program
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has introduced its electric vehicle finance program.
The initiative aligns with ADIB's sustainability commitment and the UAE's net-zero economy objectives. The program offers competitive financing with a rate of 1.79%, one of the industry's lowest for new electric vehicles. (Zawya)