A summary of the latest Islamic finance news from around the world.
Exposure draft on Islamic financial institutions issued
The exposure draft of the governance standard on the revised Sharia framework for Islamic financial institutions has been jointly issued by Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). The standard is still to be finalised, and will replace fully or partially earlier standards, reported Gulf Daily News. The draft is open to public comments, with public hearings to be held in the coming weeks.
UAE service crypto exchange Fasset raises $22 million
UAE-based Fasset, a digital-asset gateway is planning major expansion in the Islamic world, reported Bloomberg. The start-up, co-founded by a former advisor to the UAE Prime Minister’s office, Mohammad Raafi Hossain, wants to overcome resistance to the adoption of crypto-currencies, such as in Indonesia. Fasset raised $22 million in Series A funding, led by Liberty City Ventures and Fatima Gobi Ventures.
“We have been working with some of the most prolific and well known Islamic finance jurists and thought-leaders to educate the masses on how Muslims can interact with this emerging asset class in a Sharia compliant manner,” Hossain, Fasset’s co-founder and CEO, is quoted as saying.
Philippines approves establishment of Sharia Supervisory Board in Mindanao
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank, approved the establishment of the Shari’ah Supervisory Board (SSB) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm), reported the Business Mirror. The move is aimed at promoting Islamic finance in the Muslim-majority island in the country’s south. “The Joint Circular (JC) and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) formalise the agencies’ collaborative efforts in Sharia governance, following the government’s strategy to provide an enabling environment for the Islamic banking industry,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno is quoted as saying. “The SSB will provide essential Sharia compliance oversight to enable Islamic finance to flourish in the country.”
Pakistan’s Meezan Bank leads in $5.3 million Islamic finance facility for renewable energy
Meezan Bank, an Islamic lender, and Burj Solar Energy Private Limited (BSEPL) closed a Rs. 1 billion ($5.3 million) syndicated Islamic finance facility for BSEPL’s portfolio of renewable distributed power generation in the country, reported ProPakistani. The transaction structure is based on the State Bank of Pakistan’s Islamic Financing Facility for Renewable Energy and a commercial facility. The first tranche of Rs. 580 million ($3.1 million) is to finance a 7 MW solar power plant for Power Cement Limited on the Karachi-Hyderabad motorway.
Islamic Development Bank names banks for 5-year dollar sukuk
The Islamic Development Bank has hired Citi, DIB, HSBC, KFH Capital, Natixis, SMBC Nikko, SNB Capital, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered to arrange the sale of five-year US dollar-denominated sukuk, reported Reuters. The five-year fixed-rate sukuk issuance is to be of benchmark size, “which typically means at least $500 million”.
Qatar’s Masraf Al Rayan launches Sustainable Financing Framework
Masraf Al Rayan is launching Qatar’s first Islamic banking Sustainable Financing Framework (SFF), reported the Penisula Qatar. The framework aims at offering Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) linked funding opportunities to investors and to finance ESG-compliant sustainable projects. The bank’s framework was assessed as ‘strong’ in S&P Global Ratings’ ESG criteria. The SSF is in alignment with the Qatar Financial Centre’s (QFC) Sustainable Sukuk and Bonds Framework.