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» Expansion of Islamic Finance Industry in the Global Market

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Is Connecting with the Authorities Concerned with Islamic Finance

During the expansion of Islamic Finance in the world, the IMF executed its first deliberations with an external consulting group of the authorities concerned with Islamic Finance.

The organizational authorities increase their focus on Islamic Finance whose principal markets are located in the Middle East and southeastern Asia in a time when its quota in the banking sector grows in some countries with majority Muslim population and invades the Western markets.

The external consulting group consists of nine members including the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) in Malaysia, the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions ( AAOIFI) in Bahrain.

This group represents an initiative by the IMF that aims to determine the challenges facing the sector policies and encourage the coordination among its authorities.

The meeting held in Washington tackled some issues including the ways of improving the finance of small and medium enterprises (SME) and the consequences of Basel III regulatory standards on the Islamic banks. The Islamic banks are facing a lack in high quality liquid assets which could meet these standards.

The sector seeks to adopt instruments to minimize this lack including short-term Islamic documents issued by the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) in Malaysia which participates in the consulting group.

A study done by Thomas Reuters showed that the Islamic commercial banks had assets with a value of 1.2 trillion dollars in the end of the last year. These banks have 25% of total deposits in Gulf countries and more than 20% in Malaysia.

Source: Reuters- Al-Jazeera News- Publishing date:- 13/10/2014 A.D.

Uganda Is Expecting the First Islamic Bank in the Beginning of 2015

Uganda is the new African country that entered the field of Islamic Finance. It expressed its wish to open its first Islamic Bank within months.

On the sideline of World Bank and IMF meetings, Emmanuel Mutebile, the Governor of Bank of Uganda, expressed his wish to start Islamic Banking operation in his country in the beginning of next year. He referred to the country's wish to establish the first Islamic Bank in the beginning of 2015.

The Ugandan government enabled the Islamic banks to work last May and transmitted laws in this case to the Chamber of Deputies. Uganda's population reaches more than 35 million people, 84% of which adopt Christianity where Muslims are 12% of the residents.

Quoted from CNN News- Yemen Economist - Publishing Date:- 16/10/2014 A.D.

A Unique Experience in Sultanate of Oman

An Islamic Bank in Sultanate of Oman Released a New Special Service for Women with Islamic Banking Products Designed for Them in a Unique Experience in the Sultanate

Bank Nizwa in Muscat, the first Islamic Bank in the Sultanate, declared the release of the first group of special Islamic services and products for women in a step came simultaneously with the celebrations of the Omani Woman day to participate in presenting a supporting and sustainable financial life style to achieve their ambitions and aspirations.

A statement of the bank confirmed the creation of customer service offices specially for women in its branches. In addition, it released direct discount cards designed for women to provide them with discount in the facilities they use in the Sultanate and Gulf countries as women represent 20% of its customers.

Quoted from CNN News- Yemen Economist - Publishing Date:- 16/10/2014 A.D.

Challenges Facing the Islamic Financial Industry

Despite the huge recovery witnessed by the Islamic Financial Market, there are challenges still face this market.

1- The success of Islamic Finance which requires personnel able to manage and work in these establishments and to innovate and find solutions according to a knowledge of Islamic Finance.

2- This industry also needs studies and research based on determining the theories adopted by the Islamic Economy and research and studies that tackle this field in terms of Shari, economic, financial and accounting aspects, in addition to the legal aspects related to the financial and banking issues.

3- The available studies are predominated with being an individual work in which the previous elements are not integrated. Therefore, this leads to a clear deficiency in the field and it may lead to a scientifically fall even if it is growing in the field of business as the same level today.

4- Despite the dependence on Shari boards, as in the case today, due to having the ultimate reference in permitting products of Islamic financial institutions in the previous period, this can't happen in the coming period if the Islamic financial institutions want to work professionally in order to contribute in achieving sustainable growth of Islamic Finance field.

5- There are actual worries about the current state of Islamic Finance, one indicator of which is the Islamic financial institutions big dependence on the mechanisms and standards accredited by traditional financial institutions in the transactions considered as haram and non Shari'a compliant by the Islamic financial institutions. Another indicator is that a group of specialists and a large group of users feel no difference between traditional finance and Islamic finance.

Thus, Islamic Shari institutions, faculties, universities, institutes, research centers, and juristic assemblies have to be condensed and interconnected to solve these problems as it is difficult to find individual