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Islamic finance

Exempt offer sukuks have become more popular in the past five years

Saudi SMEs look to sharia funding to balance cash flow

In Saudi Arabia, small to medium-sized companies are increasingly turning to sharia-compliant funding to raise money for their businesses. But rather than borrow from banks, these SMEs instead rely on the kingdom’s nascent fintech sector to obtain bridging loans, invoice financing and other kinds of niche financial support. “SMEs are underserved by the banking sector, […]

MAF clinches $1.25bn sustainability-linked loan

UAE-based retail group Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has secured its second sustainability-linked loan as part of its strategy to become ‘net carbon positive’ by 2040. The $1.25 billion-equivalent revolving credit facility with First Abu Dhabi Bank was agreed on Monday. MAF, which owns and operates 29 shopping malls across the Middle East and Africa as […]

Arabs invest

Younger Arabs invest in equity markets, tech and Islamic finance

Nearly three-quarters of rich young Arabs believe equity markets will continue to perform well and are actively planning to invest, with regional entities, Islamic finance, technology and sustainability their key priorities. Geneva-headquartered global wealth and asset management company Lombard Odier surveyed around 200 high net worth individuals with assets of at least $1 million across […]

Dubai International Financial Centre

Calculating hyperinflation is ‘top priority’ for Islamic banks

Islamic banking’s top rule maker is racing to create a new accounting standard to calculate the impact of hyperinflation. Changes to sharia-compliant accounting practices could make some account holders liable for banks’ losses related to soaring prices.  Under IFRS accounting standards, which are commonly used worldwide, there is a clause, IAS 29, that covers hyperinflation. […]

Islamic finance to grow 10%, but struggles in new markets

The global Islamic finance industry will expand by 10 percent in 2022 and 2023 thanks to strong economic growth in core markets, high commodity prices and relatively little impact from the Russia-Ukraine war. However, data from S&P Global Ratings forecasts shows that the sector has struggled to make inroads in non-traditional markets outside the Gulf. Excluding […]

Mena debt market slumps in year of Fed hikes and high oil prices

Debt issuance has plunged in the Middle East and North Africa this year, with interest rate volatility deterring would-be issuers and oil exporters’ huge fiscal surpluses reducing their need to offer bonds or sukuk.  Mena debt sales in the first nine months of 2022 were $18.3 billion, down 80 percent year-on-year and the lowest total […]

Islamic finance set to embrace metaverse and cryptos

The Islamic finance industry is ripe for growth in the fields of crypto, digital assets and open banking, according to new research published by IslamicMarkets.com. A study published this week by the platform found that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Islamic finance professionals predict the sector’s level of adoption of crypto and digital assets will […]

The rise in oil prices is one of the reasons why fewer sukuks have been offered

Sukuk issuances slow as belt tightens around the world

Global sukuk issuance is projected to moderate, settling at $185 billion in 2022, amid a worldwide tightening cycle and a surge in oil prices. However, sukuk issuance is still projected to grow at an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 percent over the next five years, reaching $257 billion in 2027, according to […]

  • Analysis

Something old, something new: The Quran goes NFT

In a novel merging of yesterday and tomorrow, one million people have been invited to purchase a non-fungible token (NFT) version of a rare copy of the Quran. MetaDee, a London-based digital NFT marketplace offering artworks and rare collectibles from around the world, has tokenised an exclusive handwritten Holy Quran manuscript by the personal scribe […]

Oman’s Islamic banking assets rise 9.6% to $16.1bn

Total assets of Islamic banks and windows operating in Oman jumped by 9.6 percent year-on-year to OR 6.2 billion ($16.1 billion) in June 2022, Muscat Daily reported, citing Central Bank of Oman data. Islamic banking assets account for 15.9 percent of the country’s total banking system assets. An Islamic ‘window’ when a conventional financial institution […]

Global Islamic fintech market set to hit $179bn in 2026

The global Islamic fintech market recorded $79 billion in transaction volumes in 2021. And it is expected to grow by around 18 percent annually to reach $179 billion by 2026, according to the Global Islamic Fintech (GIFT) Report 2022 launched on Thursday. “Covid and the subsequent digitisation push has helped to accelerate the pace at […]

Net zero is old hat, says the mall owner that wants to go bigger

Sustainability is high on the agenda of the region’s major retailers, and in early July, Majid Al Futtaim gave an insight into what it is doing to limit its environmental impact, with the release of its latest environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) report. The retailer, which owns and operates 29 shopping malls across the […]

Biden brings Palestinians aid but no new peace plan

US President Joe Biden will not come with a plan to restart the stalled Israel-Palestinian peace process when he visits the West Bank on Friday, at the end of the first leg of his Middle East trip, a senior administration official said. Biden will restate his backing for a two-state solution to the decades-long conflict […]

Muslim spend on food increased by 6.9 percent in 2021

Muslims defy pandemic to spend $2trn globally in 2021

Bucking the global trend of tightening the purse strings, the world’s 1.9 billion Muslims spent the equivalent of $2 trillion at the height of the Covid pandemic. This spending reflects an 8.9 percent year-on-year growth from 2020 across a range of sectors offering halal food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fashion, travel, and media/recreation. According to the 2022 […]

UK Islamic fintech wants to take on the world

UK fintech has enjoyed meteoric growth in recent years, and Islamic fintech has been a key part of that success. AGBI speaks to industry experts to get the inside track on the sector’s development  UK fintech investment hit $37.3 billion in 2021, up sevenfold from $5.2 billion in 2020, according to figures published by global […]

The merger is part of First Bank Abu Dhabi's strategy to increase its footprint in Egypt

First Abu Dhabi Bank to launch new brand in Egypt

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has completed the legal merger of assets between its Egyptian unit and Bank Audi Egypt, resulting in the creation of Egypt’s newest banking brand, FABMISR. FAB said the new brand launches later this year having obtained final approval from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the General Authority for […]

Malek Al Malek, the chairman of TECOM

Boom time as TECOM leads the Gulf IPO resurgence

As Dubai announced plans to sell a 12.5 percent stake in business park operator TECOM today – its second public offering this year after Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) – Middle Eastern bourses have generally defied the downward international trend with increases in trading activity and values amid a robust pipeline of initial public offerings […]

How London became the Islamic finance capital of the West

London has in recent years cemented its position as a vital hub for Islamic finance thanks to history, circumstance and a concerted effort by the government to support the sector. With its strong financial infrastructure and burgeoning fintech space, the UK capital is primed to dominate Western Islamic finance for the foreseeable future. “London and […]

3 smiling children

‘Zakat can save the world’ … and this is how

International charities hit hard by the pandemic are turning to Zakat, which requires Muslims to donate a percentage of their wealth to help the needy As countries rich and poor reeled from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the work of charities was more important than ever. Yet many of these […]