Monday, 30 March 2015

Event Summary (KLCIF2015) - KL Conference on Islamic Finance 2015

KL Conference on Islamic Finance 2015

Date    : 18-19 August 2015
Venue : Grand Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia

“An international gathering of practitioners, scholars and experts to discuss and share their knowledge, expertise and experience on the principles, instruments and issues related to Islamic finance, to be held at the world’s leading Islamic financial centre…Kuala Lumpur.”

Event site :

- Product development and Implementation of Islamic financial products
- Ensuring Shariah compliance in Islamic financial instruments
- Sukuk: development, issues and challenges
- Islamic gold account: a golden opportunity
- Islamic mutual funds (unit trusts): factors to consider in making an investment
- The rise of Islamic wealth management in Islamic finance industry
- Islamic financial planning: success in both worlds
- Takaful: innovation and solutions
- Enterprise risk management for Islamic banks
- Enterprise risk management for takaful operators
- Accounting and auditing
- Human capital development in Islamic finance industry
- Legal issues and challenges in Islamic finance
- Dispute settlement in Islamic finance: issue and solutions
Islamic ethics in financial services industry
- Corporate governance for Islamic finance industry


Speakers are selected from Islamic banks, takaful operators, academicians, legal practitioners, consultants, regulatory bodies.

Among the speakers are:

- Islamic bankers/bankers
- Takaful/insurance operators
- Regulators
- Head of governmental departments
- Financial planners/wealth advisors
- Financial consultants
- Legal practitioners (lawyers)
- Academicians (lecturers)
- Entrepreneurs (businessmen/importers/exporters etc)
- Other professionals 

Early Bird Fee: 
Registration with payment by 16 July 2015
Malaysian   :  RM1,500
International  :  USD600

Normal Fee:
Registration with payment after 16 July 2015
Malaysian  :  RM1,800
International  :  USD700
Special fee for Malaysian university lecturers :  RM1,000 (group discount not applicable)

Fee is inclusive of lunch, refreshments and seminar package only.

Group Discount:
Enjoy 20% discount for third and subsequent delegates registered from the same organisation and the same billing source.

(will be uploaded soon...for now you may request for tentative program or you will be given a tentative program when register online)

 Download the brochure




Grand Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur


Islamic banking assets gaining bigger share of global banking

Participation banking assets with commercial banks in Qatar, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, UAE and Turkey (QISMUT) are expected to represent a $1.8 trillion participation banking industry, EY’s World Islamic Banking Competitiveness (WIBC) report revealed. Participation banking assets with commercial banks in Qatar, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, UAE and Turkey (QISMUT) are set to cross $753b in 2014 and will represent 82% of the international participation banking assets.
In Malaysia, for example, Participation banking is still growing approximately two times faster than conventional counterparts. In Indonesia, the Participation banking sector is currently growing at super-normal speed, while Turkey is aspiring to build a 15% market share by 2023.
Trade finance, mobile payment solutions and regulatory compliance are three factors that have a significant impact on the industry performance and would help narrow the performance gap that exists between Participation and traditional banks.
Digital banking is the future, with customers of Participation banks showing tremendous interest as they are increasingly active online. Banking is set to evolve towards technology-based, service-driven value propositions.
Banks should invest in analytics, to build rich insights into customers’ delights and pain points and personalize user experience. But customers do not just want their bank to have a digital presence; they want it be tailored to their lifestyle relationships and connections.
They also consider service excellence and capabilities to be the most differentiating factors. A different audience requires a different (and high-impact) brand and communication strategy.
Eliminating operational silos, leveraging customer insights to improve channel performance and risk management are the keys to mainstream profitability.
Ashar Nazim, Global Islamic Finance Leader at EY, said: “Islamic banks in the UAE, also known as participation banks, are eyeing revenue growth through experience-led transformation of their domestic business. Stronger capital position is also driving their international expansion. Initiatives in mobile payments are likely to cause positive disruption to banks’ traditional operating models. Looking at the positive performance of Islamic banks in the UAE, the country is expected to be one of the main markets that drive the future internationalization of the Islamic banking industry.”
Shariah-compliant assets in the UAE crossed the $100 billion milestone for the first time. Islamic banking penetration in the UAE currently stands at 21.4 per cent and represents a 14.6 per cent share of the global market. The industry in the UAE is growing at more than twice the rate of conventional banking. Due to high demand, there is increased pressure on efficiency as more Islamic banks attempt to go mainstream.
In the study, EY monitored 55,884 Islamic banking customer sentiments in the UAE on social media as part of a wider study, which looked at 2.2 million customer sentiments dispersed across various online sources in nine key markets (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Qatar and Oman).
Banking clients were most satisfied with customer service, where positive comments on social media outnumbered negative comments by more than 5 per cent. Half of all the positive sentiments monitored were around customer service levels and complaint handling.
Customer feelings were mixed with respect to branch experience, online banking and phone banking. Out of the sentiments monitored on social media for all the three experiences, there was almost an equal number of positive and negative comments.
The study of social media comments has revealed an improvement opportunity for Shariah-compliant banks with respect to products and services, which were ranked the lowest in terms of customer satisfaction. Half of the overall negative sentiments monitored were about disappointing experiences with regard to product and service offerings.
“The call to action for Islamic banks in the UAE is to build rich insights into customers’ delight and pain points, and break operational silos. The time is right for analytics; banks need to challenge their channel capabilities and push for more customized products and services. Regulatory intervention on product design can help to both attract and protect consumers. The reputations of Islamic banks today will depend on the way banks engage with their customers,” Ashar added.
(Yahoo.News / 30 March 2015)
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New Afghanistan banking law may jump-start Islamic finance

Afghanistan could have a new banking law approved by parliament in a few months including provisions for Islamic products, which may help to draw hundreds of thousands of people into the formal financial sector.
In one of the poorest countries in the world, Afghanistan's government faces a growing fiscal crisis aggravated by a drop in foreign financial aid. An estimated nine out of 10 households in the Muslim-majority nation of 30 million shun interest-based finance, at least partly for religious reasons.
The central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) [AFCB.UL], is finalizing a regulatory framework for Islamic banking which will be ready by the time the new law is passed, Akhond Jan Rustaqi, acting deputy director general of Islamic banking at DAB, told Reuters.
"The new banking law, which includes Islamic banking, is with the parliament and DAB hopes it will be adopted by June."
Currently, Islamic banking products are offered by a handful of lenders through so-called Islamic windows, but there is no standalone Islamic lender. As of last June, Afghan banks held $4.2 billion in assets and $813 million in outstanding loans, according to the World Bank.
The central bank has stopped processing banking license applications until the new law is approved, said Rustaqi.
The new banking law and the central bank's rules will cover areas such as operating procedures, contract specifications and the operation of a centralized sharia board to determine whether products obey Islamic principles.
Banks with Islamic windows include Afghan United Bank, Ghazanfar Bank and state-owned New Kabul Bank. Afghanistan International Bank launched an Islamic window last year.
The central bank's Islamic banking rules have been developed over the past year by Afghanistan Holding Group and Malaysia's Amanie Advisors, with funding from Harakat-AICFO, a non-profit body which channels funds from foreign donors into projects that help to develop the Afghan economy.
The rules are important because several banks want clearer guidance to expand their existing windows or convert themselves into full-fledged Islamic banks, said Ahmed Bassam, managing partner atAfghanistan Holding Group, a consultancy.
"The unbanked population is very conservative, interest is considered haram (unlawful), and banks haven't been able to utilize this market."
A survey by Harakat-AICFO found 83 percent of households in five major urban centers wanted access to mortgage loans, but 93 percent of respondents preferred non-interest based financial products. Housing demand was estimated at 1.5 million dwellings in 2014 by the World Bank and DAB.
Some customers have remained cautious about using Islamic windows because of doubts over their religious permissibility, so the creation of full-fledged Islamic banks could prove crucial.

"The public had lost their confidence and trust in Islamic windows as there was no official regulatory framework in place from DAB to regulate Islamic banking," said Abdul Ali Farahi, senior project manager at Harakat-AICFO.

(Reuters / 29 March 2015)
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Friday, 27 March 2015

HSBC's Islamic banking unit plans sukuk sale in Malaysia

The Malaysian Islamic banking arm of HSBC Holdings will tap the Islamic bonds (sukuk) market for only the third time on Friday, as part of a 3 billion ringgit ($816 million) sukuk programme, the lender said in a regulatory filing.
No size or tenor for the deal was given, but a separate term sheet seen by Reuters said the bank planned to raise up to 500 million ringgit worth of sukuk using an agency-based structure known as 'wakala'.
The transaction would be the latest issuance of sukuk by HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad, with the bank last tapping the market in October with a five-year 500 million ringgit deal, with a similar debut deal in September 2012.

HSBC Amanah has appointed HSBC as lead arranger with Hong Leong Islamic Bank and Maybank Investment Bank as joint lead managers for the sale, the term sheet said.
(Reuters / 26 March 2015)
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Dar pledges support for Islamic finance centre

KARACHI: Federal Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar on Wednesday expressed pleasure over the efforts being swiftly expedited to create the Centre of Excellence for Islamic finance education that was announced last year.

Speaking at the State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi on the occasion of the opening ceremony of proposals received to establish a Centre of Excellence for Islamic finance education, he said, “I would like to extend my special appreciation to the State Bank of Pakistan for supporting such initiatives.”

“I am optimistic that this Centre will further strengthen the foundations of Islamic finance in the country through rigorous research and by addressing the challenge of the dearth of human resources”, he added.

According to press release issued by SBP, the Minister said that rapidly increasing presence of Islamic finance around the globe is a long awaited development needed to address the issues created by the interest based financial system.

On the other hand, the Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Ashraf Mahmood Wathra while giving his welcome address said that Islamic finance has witnessed tremendous growth in the last four decades and its outreach currently spans across the globe, with an asset base of US$ 1.8 trillion.

“Having established itself as a viable alternative during the last financial crises, standard-setting bodies are increasingly viewing Islamic finance as means to promote broad-based, inclusive economic growth”, he said.

(Ary-News / 26 March 2015)
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Thursday, 26 March 2015

People urged to donate zakat to govt’s fund

Zakat and Ushr minister Malik Nadeem Kamran on Wednesday urged the public to contribute their zakat to the department’s fund.

He said with the adoption of the new distribution and monitoring system, the donors could rest assured that their funds would go only to the needy. “The department will share complete information of the recipients with the donors,” he said.
Kamran said a database of beneficiaries had already been compiled to prevent any irregularity in disbursement of funds. He said the department was now comparing its data with the National Database and Registration Authority record.
He said the department was now using the money transfer service of various cell phone companies to disburse zakat funds. He said with the new system in place the department was cutting down on the time and paperwork needed in the distribution of funds.
He said funds were earlier distributed using cross cheques issued in the name of the beneficiaries.
“The department had to prepare up to 500,000 cheques after every three months,” he said.
He said with the new distribution system in place monitoring of the payment process had become easier.
Kamran said that a telephone help-line had been set up by the department for the assistance of deserving beneficiaries.
Information about district- and union council- level committees was now available on the department’s website, he said. This included office addresses and telephone numbers of the committee chairmen, he said. He said application forms for the zakat.
(The Express Tribune / 26 March 2015)
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SBP to establish Centre of Excellence in Islamic Finance Education

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan aimed to establish the Centre of Excellence in Islamic Finance Education (CEIFE) after getting proposals from the HEC certified universities having business schools, reported by External Relations Department of State Bank of Pakistan.
The Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, addressing at the opening ceremony of proposals received to establish a CEIFE expressed his pleasure on the efforts being made to increase the radius of Islamic banking and finance. He said, “I would like to extend my special appreciation to the State Bank of Pakistan for supporting such initiatives. I am optimistic that this Centre will further strengthen the foundations of Islamic finance in the country through rigorous research and by addressing the challenge of the dearth of human resources.”
The Minister said, both SBP and Government are committed for the development of Islamic banking in Pakistan. After coming to power, our Government established a ‘Steering Committee’ to look after the Islamic banking in the country.
The Governor SBP, Ashraf Mahmood Wathra said the size of Islamic finance industry had reached US$ 1.8 trillion in last four decades.
According to experts, Globally, Shariah compliant assets are expected to grow 15-20% annually and financial assets are likely to hit the milestone of US$5 trillion by 2020. If talk about Pakistan, by the end of 2018, share of Islamic Banking in overall banking industry will be 15$ that is currently 10%.
The opening ceremony of CEIFE  was arranged after getting proposals from the HEC certified universities preferably with business schools by the end of February 20, 2015. The centre would be established after considering the proposals.
(The News Teller / 26 March 2015)
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