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ISLAMIC FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS

Volume of Islamic Banking in Egypt Estimated at EGP 459bn by End of September 2022

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Mohamed Al-Beltagy — Chairperson of the Egyptian Islamic Finance Association for Islamic Finance — said that the volume of Islamic banking in Egypt recorded about EGP 459bn by the end of September 2022 — an increase of EGP 52bn and a growth rate of 12.8% over September 2021. Islamic banking accounts for about 5% of total banking in the Egyptian market. Al-Beltagy added in a report issued by the association that Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt came in first place in Egypt’s Islamic banking market with a turnover of EGP 141.7bn, accounting for about 30.9% of the total volume of banking.

He pointed out that Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank – Egypt came in second place with a turnover of EGP 104.8bn and a share of 22.9%. Meanwhile, Banque Misr’s Islamic branches came in third place with a turnover of EGP 95.4bn and a share of 20.8%. Finally, Al-Baraka Bank – Egypt came in fourth with a turnover of EGP 84.9bn and a share of 18.5%.

The Egyptian banking market has 14 banks that have a license from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to offer Islamic banking products. They include fully Islamic banks — such as Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, Al-Baraka Bank Egypt, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank – Egypt — in addition to 11 banks that have Islamic branches in addition to the traditional branches.

Al-Beltagy added that the volume of deposits that comply with Islamic law in banks amounted to about EGP 364.2bn by the end of September 2022 — an increase of EGP 29bn and a growth rate of 8.7% — pointing out that these deposits are equivalent to about 6.1% of the total volume of deposits in the Egyptian banking sector.

Furthermore, he said that the number of Islamic branches affiliated to banks reached 253, which is equivalent to 5.5% of the total number of branches in the Egyptian banking sector, pointing out that these branches provide services to more than 3.2 million customers.

He continued that the volume of financing compatible with Islamic law recorded about EGP 360.5bn at the end of September 2022 — an increase of EGP 47.4bn with a growth rate of 15.1% — pointing out that this type of financing acquired about 5% of the total volume of financing in the Egyptian banking sector.

Al-Beltagy added that the Egyptian market is witnessing the development of many Islamic banking products that meet the needs of customers, which are more than 60 banking products and services, stressing that the market is still in need of developing and innovating more Sharia-compliant products, whether for individuals or companies and the small and medium enterprises sector.

Finally, he said that the Corporate Sukuk Law and its executive regulations were issued at the end of 2018. Six sukuk were issued until the end of September 2022 at a value of EGP 11.3bn and three new sukuk issuances are currently being considered, adding that it is expected that the Egyptian market will witness the issuance of the first state-owned sukuk offering before the end of this year.


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ISLAMIC FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS

The Future of Financial Services Talent

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Cities like Dubai and Singapore have witnessed an influx of financial services professionals from more traditional global financial hubs

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the `Great Resignation’ as many professionals reconsidered elements of their careers, including career progression, compensation, corporate culture, training opportunities, working arrangements, and wellbeing. Employers who are receptive to these new expectations are more likely to attract and retain talent. Financial institutions recognise that they can access a wider pool of talent if they improve their career development programmes.

Since the pandemic, large financial institutions have been providing more career opportunities at new offices in cities such as Dubai, as a way to retain current employees and attract new highly skilled professionals. Dubai offers an enticing array of benefits for international talent, including its strategic location, easy immigration processes and a high quality of life that supports a wide array of lifestyles.

The “Future of Financial Services Talent” report, the third in a series covering recent trends in Dubai’s financial industry, is a collaborative effort between DIFC and LSEG Data & Analytics. It offers an overview of the financial services talent landscape and insights into the new expectations talent has from employers, which will influence management styles in the industry. Furthermore, the report outlines DIFC’s value proposition as a global hub that attracts world-class specialized talent.

Click here to access the full report: 


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ISLAMIC FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS

Malaysia As An Islamic Finance Hub: From Humble Seed to Global Sun

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Malaysia’s rise as the world’s premier Islamic finance hub is a compelling tale of vision, perseverance, and unwavering commitment to ethical principles. It’s a story not just of numbers and financial products, but of a nation transforming itself into a beacon of hope for a more equitable and sustainable financial future. Let’s delve into the key chapters of this remarkable journey:

Planting the Seeds: 1960s-1980s – A Spark Ignites

While the concept of Islamic finance predates modern history, its modern incarnation began in the 1960s. In Malaysia, the embers of change were first stoked in the 1980s with the establishment of Bank Islam, the nation’s first dedicated Islamic bank. This pioneering step, however, faced challenges like limited awareness and nascent regulations. The industry remained a small sapling, yearning for sunlight and nourishment.

Blossoming Under Policy Sun: 1990s-2000s – Government Nurturing Propels Growth

The 1990s witnessed a transformative downpour. Recognizing the economic and ethical potential of Islamic finance, the Malaysian government adopted a proactive approach. Landmark initiatives like the Islamic Banking Act of 1989 and the establishment of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) provided the vital nutrients the industry needed to flourish.

With government backing, public trust blossomed. Innovative products like sukuk bonds and microfinance options catering to diverse needs emerged, painting the financial landscape with vibrant hues of Sharia-compliant solutions. By the early 2000s, Malaysia had transformed from a humble sapling to a thriving tree, attracting international investors and solidifying its position as a regional Islamic finance hub.

Beyond Banking: 2010s-Present – Diversification Unfurls New Branches

The past decade has seen the Malaysian Islamic finance ecosystem diversify beyond mere banking. Sharia-compliant insurance, capital markets, wealth management, and fintech solutions have taken root, creating a sprawling canopy of ethical financial activity. This diversification strengthened Malaysia’s position as a comprehensive one-stop shop for global investors seeking Sharia-compliant solutions.

Specifying Milestones:

  • 1983: Bank Islam, the first dedicated Islamic bank in Malaysia, established.
  • 1990: Islamic Banking Act of 1989 laid the legal foundation for the industry.
  • 1993: International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) established, becoming a global leader in Islamic finance education.
  • 1998: International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) launched, facilitating cross-border sukuk issuance.
  • 2004: Global Sukuk Challenge launched, driving innovation and growth in the sukuk market.
  • 2008: Financial Sector Blueprint 2009-2015 introduced initiatives to further develop the Islamic finance industry.
  • 2011: Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) established a dedicated Islamic Capital Market Unit.
  • 2016: Financial Services Act 2013 implemented, creating a single regulatory framework for all financial institutions, including Islamic finance providers.

Looking Ahead: A Future Rooted in Innovation and Ethics

Today, Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry boasts a robust infrastructure, a diverse product range, and a thriving ecosystem of players. It contributes significantly to the national economy, attracting foreign investment, creating jobs, and promoting financial inclusion. But Malaysia’s ambitions reach beyond its present borders.

The country is actively embracing technological advancements, with blockchain and big data being explored to enhance reach and efficiency. Research and development initiatives are paving the way for new Sharia-compliant instruments, ensuring Malaysia remains at the forefront of Islamic finance innovation.


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ISLAMIC FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Advocates Shift to Islamic Finance for Economic Growth

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Nigeria’s Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, addressed a gathering in Abuja, shedding light on the Federal Government’s decision to embrace Islamic Finance as an alternative economic model. Edun highlighted the pressing need to move away from “elevated high levels” of interest-based financing, stating that global financial dynamics can no longer sustain such practices.

Speaking at a program organized by the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), Edun pointed out that both man-made and natural shocks have driven interest rates to unsustainable heights. He emphasized how these elevated rates have become a significant constraint on development, particularly due to the soaring cost of borrowing.

“The detrimental impact of high interest rates makes it impossible to access the funds needed for development, infrastructure, and even social services,” stated Minister Edun, underlining the severe consequences on vital sectors such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare.

In a notable shift towards alternative financing, Edun drew attention to a recent $30 million grant from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), dedicated to climate action and adaptation in Nigeria. What sets this grant apart is that it was funded through Islamic finance principles, signaling a change in the landscape of available resources.

“Funds these days are with those who practice Islamic finance. You better follow the money,” urged Edun, pointing to the increasing prominence of Islamic finance in global financial flows.

Edun stressed the importance of a deeper understanding and utilization of Islamic finance, labeling it “a veritable tool for financing development,” as endorsed by the IFSB (Islamic Financial Services Board). He emphasized the imperative of harnessing the potential of Islamic finance to fuel economic growth effectively.

“With Nigeria’s objective of achieving rapid, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, it is crucial to learn from the IFSB and educate oneself to make optimal use of this financing tool,” said Edun.


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