Category Archives: Islamic Banking/Finance

Rules for Islamic banks’ money market

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=216020

Rules for Islamic banks’ money market
Star Business Report

The central bank has introduced a new call money market, Islamic Interbank Fund Market (IIFM), for shariah-based banks and financial institutions.

Bangladesh Bank (BB) laid out a set of rules, according to a statement released yesterday.

The decision to introduce the IIFM has been taken to discipline the liquidity management of all shariah-based banks, financial institutions and Islamic banking branches of the traditional financial institutions and banks operating in Bangladesh.

It said the transactions would be based on profit instead of interest.

According to the rules, if a bank has excess funds, it will invest the amount in the IIFM for a day, allowing another cash-starved Islamic bank to borrow for the same period.

Islami Bank launches iTransfer, iRecharge services

http://www.theindependentbd.com/business/banking/84217-islami-bank-launches-itransfer-irecharge-services.html

Islami Bank launches iTransfer, iRecharge services
Author / Source : UNB

Dhaka, Dec 11: Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited has launched iTransfer and iRecharge services. It will introduce new horizon in the banking sector of Bangladesh, the officials said on Sunday. Through iTransfer one can transfer upto Tk 5 lakh from his account to other’s and through iRecharge one can upload money in his mobile by debiting his bank account, said a release of the bank.

On the occasion, the bank organised a workshop for 61 IT officers of different branches of Dhaka at Mohammad Younis auditorium, Islami Bank Tower in the city on Sunday.

Mohammad Abdul Mannan, managing director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, was present as the chief guest. The programme was also attended by high officials of the bank.

Bank Islam eyes expansion in Indonesia, Bangladesh

http://www.theindependentbd.com/business/banking/83520-bank-islam-eyes-expansion-in-indonesia-bangladesh.html

Bank Islam eyes expansion in Indonesia, Bangladesh
Author / Source : Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7: Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd is eyeing opportunities for expansion in Indonesia and Bangladesh, which have sizeable Muslim populations and adequate Islamic banking regulatory policy and supporting infrastructure in place to facilitate Shariah-based financing and banking operations. Managing director Datuk Seri Zukri Samat said as mergers and acquisitions are on Bank Islam’s agenda for inorganic growth and corporate expansion, the bank is on the lookout for suitable candidates but has not initiated any discussions on mergers or acquisitions.

While the two countries have been identified as “very interesting countries” that fit into the bank’s expansion plan, Zukri, however, said such plans would have to take into consideration the current global economic situation and its effect in this region.

“Some economists believe that there could be a double dip with Europe going into recession and growth in the Asian region decelerating.” Zukri added.

“We are monitoring this situation and because of that, we are adopting a cautious approach towards our agenda, so we are very cautious and we don’t want to be overly aggressive. Nonetheless, there is always an opportunity in a crisis — acquisition may occur when a shareholder wants to exit — and as long as there are synergies and the pricing is right, the opportunity arises,” he said.

Zukri said both countries have sound economies which offer opportunities for Islamic banking and the presence of many Indonesian and Bangladesh migrant workers here also allows the bank to tap the lucrative remittance business. Asked to comment on the Indonesian market, Zukri said the Central Bank of Indonesia has yet to make an announcement on foreign ownership in the country’s financial institutions. Currently, the regulation allows foreigners to own more than 90 per cent, however this may change.

“Indonesia has a population of more than 240 million, the majority of whom are Muslims. However, the penetration of Islamic banking assets is only three per cent of the total banking asset. We see an opportunity here,” he told Bernama in an interview.

Bangladesh, apart from its Muslim population of 140 million, has also put in place an Islamic banking infrastructure for Bank Islam to start its operations should there be a merger or acquisition. It is a market that is similar to Indonesia, he said.

He said Bank Islam’s overseas expansion model would involve acquiring Islamic banks rather than conventional banks. This is to avoid operational issues involving non-Shariah income from the businesses of the conventional banks during the transition period.

Zukri said Bank Islam prefers to work with a local party, who would be familiar with the local market and the regulatory environment, adding a controlling stake is not a requirement but preferred, provided it is not costly to the bank.

On the bank’s acquisition of a 20 per cent stake in Sri Lanka-based Amana Bank Ltd, he said: “It’s a good decision to go to Sri Lanka. We are upbeat about the potential and we expect this investment to break even after two years.”

Thrust on separate Islamic banking act

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=86992

Thrust on separate Islamic banking act

A one day-long workshop was arranged for the Shariah Inspectors of the Islamic Banks in Bangladesh Monday in a local hotel.

Central Shariah Board for Islamic Banks of Bangladesh arranged the programme while Millennium Information Solution Ltd sponsored.

Justice Mohammed Abdur Rouf was the chief guest of the inaugural session and the workshop was chaired by Mr. Mokhlesur Rahman, Secretary General of the Central Shariah Board.

Justice Abdur Rouf emphasized the urgent need for a separate Islamic Banking Company Act for smooth operation and growth of Islamic Banking in Bangladesh.

Professor Maulana Mohammad Salahuddin, khatib of Baitul Mokarram National Mosque, Mr. M. Azizul Haque, Prominent Islamic Banking consultant, Mr. Mahmud Hossain, Managing Director Millennium Information Solution Ltd. were the special guests.

Approximately 35 participants from different Islamic Banks and the Banks running Islamic Banking windows were present in the workshop. Representatives from Bangladesh Bank, Sonali Bank and Agrani Bank also attended.

IBBL trains employees of Nigerian bank

http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2009/11/18/news0891.htm

IBBL trains employees of Nigerian bank

Business Report

The valedictory session of a week long “Pre-Launching Manpower Development Programme” organised by Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd was held on Sunday at the conference hall of its training and research academy.

Prof. Abu Nasser Muhammad Abduz Zaher, Chairman, Board of Directors of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd. was present in the function as Chief Guest. Presided over by M. Fariduddin Ahmad, Managing Director of the Bank the programme was addressed by Nazir Ahmed, Chairman of Academic Council of Islami Bank Training and Research Academy (IBTRA) and former Chairman of IBBL and Mohammad Mustafha Bintube, Chief Executive Officer and Team Leader of Jaiz Bank International (proposed). Directors and Top Executives of IBBL eminent Economists and Executives of Jaiz Bank International (proposed) attended the function. The Chief Guest distributed certificates among the trainees.

It is mentioned that Head office of lBBL and IBTRA arranged the seven day long training programme prior to initiating Islamic Banking in Nigeria by the proposed Jaiz Bank International.

Prof. Abu Nasser Muhammad Abduz Zaher in his speech as the Chief Guest said that IBBL was alone in 1983 while it was incepted in the country. Now seven banks are conducting Islamic Banking. Inspired with the success of IBBL, new Islamic Banks are being established in country and abroad. Islamic Banking activities in Nigeria is also a reflection of it. He called upon the team of Jaiz Bank to fulfil the expectation of the people of Nigeria by conducting Islamic Banking and thanked them for taking initiative to introduce Islamic banking in Nigeria.

Nazir Ahmed in his speech said, IBTRA provides training to the Islamic Bankers of the country side by side the officials of foreign Islamic Banks. IBTRA has recently given training to the executives of Bank of Ceylon of Srilanka on Islamic Banking. He called upon the executives of Jaiz Bank to introduce true Islamic Banking in Nigeria.

Mohammad Mustafha Bintube in his speech said, IBBL is not only doing business but also working for financial affluence of the poor people of the country. People of all tyre of the society are getting service of IBBL. At the same time the Bank has kept the top position in deposit, investment, foreign remittance and import-export business. This success of IBBL is inspiring us. It is our belief that 18 million Muslims of Nigeria will also attain the consequence of this success.

M. Fariduddin Ahmad in his Presidential Speech assured the team of Jaiz Bank International of giving allout support in future for establishing Islamic Banking in Nigeria by providing such training and any type of technical support.

Islamic finance and banking: Some basic concepts

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2009/11/04/83319.html

Islamic finance and banking: Some basic concepts

Md. Touhidul Alam Khan

Islamic finance is a form of ethical investment and ethical lending. Under this system loans and investments are made Islamic finance is a form of ethical investment and ethical lending. Under this system loans and investments are made without interest. Ethical restrictions include prohibition on alcohol and gambling and the consumption of pork. Islamic funds never knowingly invest in companies involved in gambling, alcoholic beverages, or porcine food products. Elimination of “Riba” or interest is basic in all forms of Islamic financial system. Islamic banking follows the same principles. At the heart of Islam is a sense of cooperation — to help one another according to principles of goodness and piety (but not to cooperate in evil or malice).

In essence, Islamic finance and banking aim to eliminate exploitation and to establish a just society by the application of the Shari’ah or Islamic law to the operations of banks and other financial institutions. To ensure compliance to the Shari’ah, Islamic banks use the services of religious boards comprised of Shari’ah scholars. Its practitioners and clients need not be Muslim, but they must accept the ethical restrictions underscored by Islamic values.

Islamic banking operates with the same purpose as conventional banking except that it operates in accordance with the rules of Shari’ah, known as Fiqh al-Muamalat (Islamic rules on transactions). Islamic banking activities must be consistent with the Shari’ah. Many of the principles on which Islamic banking is based are commonly accepted all over the world, for centuries rather than decades.

The principal source of the Shari’ah is The Qur’an followed by the recorded sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – the Hadith. Where solutions to problems cannot be found in these two sources, rulings are made based on the consensus of a community of learned scholars, independent reasoning of an Islamic scholar and customs. Such rulings must not deviate from the fundamental teachings in the Qur’an.

Islamic finance and banking were practised predominantly in the Muslim world throughout the Middle Ages, fostering trade and business activities. In Spain and the Mediterranean and Baltic countries, Muslim merchants became indispensable middlemen for trading activities. It is claimed that many concepts, techniques, and instruments of Islamic finance were later adopted by European financiers and businessmen.

Islamic banking operates on some basic principles which include:

l The Sharia’h prohibits the payment of charges for the renting of money (riba, which in the definition of Islamic scholars, covers any excess in financial dealings, usury or interest) for specific terms and also investment in businesses that provide goods or services which are forbidden in Islam (Haram, forbidden).

l The majority of the principles are based on simple morality and common sense, which form the bases of many religions, including Islam.

l The universal nature of these principles is immediately apparent even at a cursory glance of non-Muslim literature. Usury was prohibited in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, while Shakespeare and many other writers, particularly those writing in the 19th century, have attacked the barbarity of the practice. Much of the morality championed by Victorian writers such as Dickens — ranging from the equitable distribution of wealth through to man’s fundamental right to work — is clearly present in modern Islamic society.

l Although the western media frequently suggest that Islamic banking in its present form is a recent phenomenon, in fact, the basic practices and principles date back to the early part of the seventh century.

l The main principle of Islamic Banking is “prohibition of riba” in all transactions and all types of investment and deposit.

Islam not only prohibits dealing in interest and investment in unlawful activities that Islam deems harmful to society, but also transactions involving excessive uncertainty (gharar) and all forms of gambling (maysir). Islamic banking is an instrument for the development of an Islamic economic order. Some of the salient features of this order may be summed up as:· Islam makes a clear distinction between what is halal (lawful) and what is haram (forbidden or unlawful) in pursuit of such economic activity. In broad terms, Islam forbids all forms of economic activities which are morally or socially injurious.· While acknowledging the individual’s right to ownership of wealth legitimately acquired, Islam makes it obligatory on the individual to spend his wealth judiciously and not to hoard it, keep it idle or to squander it.

l While allowing an individual to retain any surplus wealth, Islam seeks to reduce the margin of the surplus for the well-being of the community as a whole, in particular the destitute and deprived sections of society by participation in the process of Zakat (a tax on wealth that is distributed to the needy).· Islam, through its laws of inheritance, seeks to prevent the accumulation of wealth in a few hands to the detriment of society as a whole.· Viewed as a whole, the economic system envisaged by Islam aims at social justice without inhibiting individual enterprise beyond the point where it becomes not only collectively injurious but also individually self-destructive.Islam has a unique theory on the theme of wealth, its ownership, distribution and social relationship. Islam enjoins that wealth must not be created for its own sake.

The theme of Islamic dispensation of wealth is treated as a deeply moral study of self and society. Islam gives precise moral injunctions as to what are, and are not acceptable kinds of wealth. These injunctions point out how individual preferences on wealth formation ought to be utilised within the social meaning. Profits are important as ends, but the means by which those profits are earned are even more important. Indeed, the reason for the emphasis in the Shari’ah on proper transaction is that Islam accords great importance to the economic welfare of society.Profit-and-loss sharing is the main concept of Islamic banking under Musharakah & Mudarabah mode of financing.

While Islam employs various practices that do not involve charging or paying interest, the Islamic financial system promotes the concept of participation in a transaction backed by real assets, utilising the funds at risk on a profit-and-loss-sharing basis. Such participatory modes used by Islamic banks are known as Musharakah and Mudarabah. This by no means implies that investments with financial institutions are necessarily speculative. This can be excluded by careful investment policy, diversification of risk and prudent management by Islamic financial institutions.The concept of profit-and-loss sharing in an enterprise, as a basis of financial transactions, is a progressive one as it distinguishes good performance from the bad and the mediocre.

This concept therefore encourages better resource management. The Islamic ‘sukuk’ system is similar to bonds in capitalist system, but in sukuk, money is invested in concrete projects and profit share is distributed to clients instead of interest earned.The investment must be ethical under Islamic banking financing method. The important principles for Islamic financial instruments for participation and investments that require strict adherence, while providing good returns, are:· Investments must be free of interest, speculation and gambling, all of which are considered as forms of exploitation;· Investments are made in permissible activities.Investments must be separately approved by an independent Shari’ah supervisory board to ensure Sharia’h principles are strictly adhered to and deviations and wayward business practices penalised, for example, Islamic finance requires penalties should be paid to charity. “The ethical principles on which Islamic finance is based may bring banks closer to their clients and to the true spirit which should mark every financial service,” the Vatican’s official newspaper, Osservatore Romano, said in an article in its March 2009 issue. All products of Islamic banking must comply with Shari’ah, as determined by a competent Shari’ah supervisory board.

If a product’s authenticity becomes doubtful, it will be the responsibility of the individual investor or consumer to determine on his or her own that the product complies with the principles and precepts of the Sharia’h.Islamic banking is growing at a rate of 10-15% per year all over the world. Islamic banks have more than 300 institutions spread over 51 countries, plus an additional 250 mutual funds that comply with Islamic principles. The relative stability of Islamic Banking institutions in current recession has received attention. Even the Vatican said banks should look at the rules of Islamic finance to restore confidence amongst their clients at a time of global economic crisis.

Md. Touhidul Alam Khan is the Executive Vice President, Corporate Banking Division of Prime Bank Limited and Associate Fellow Member of Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance (IIBI), United Kingdom. He can be reached at: touhid1969@gmail.com

IBBL receives award for best Islamic Financial Institution

http://www.theindependent-bd.com/details.php?nid=147663

IBBL receives award for best Islamic Financial Institution
Economic Reporter

Global Finance, a US-based financial magazine, awarded Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited( IBBL) as the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Bangladesh for 2009. Joseph D. Giarraputo, president and publisher of Global Finance handed over the prize to Yousif Abdullah Al- Rajhi, vice chairman, Board of Directors of the bank in a function held at Istanbul of Turkey, says a press release. Mohammad Abdul Mannan, Deputy Managing Director and Head of Investment Wing of the bank was present on the occasion. CEO’s and representatives of different leading banks and financial Institutes of the world participated in the function.

The winners of this award are those banks that contributed to the growth of Islamic financing and successfully met their customers’ needs for Shari’ah-compliant products while creating the foundation for continued fast growth in the future.

Earlier, Global Finance awarded IBBL as the Best Bank in Bangladesh in 1999, 2000, 2004 & 2005 and Best Islamic Financial Institution in 2008.