A roundup of the latest Islamic financial news from around the world.
Draft issued on Islamic financial institutions
The Draft Governance Standard on the Revised Sharia Framework for Islamic Financial Institutions was jointly released by the Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). The standard has yet to be finalized and will replace all or part of previous standards, Gulf Daily News reported. The draft can be publicly commented on, public hearings are to take place in the coming weeks.
UAE-services crypto exchange Fasset raises $22 million
UAE-based digital asset gateway Fasset is planning a major expansion in the Islamic world, Bloomberg reported. The start-up, co-founded by Mohammad Raafi Hossain, a former advisor to the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, aims to overcome resistance to the introduction of cryptocurrencies, for example in Indonesia. Fasset raised $22 million in Series A funding led by Liberty City Ventures and Fatima Gobi Ventures.
“We have worked with some of the most prolific and well-known Islamic financial lawyers and thought leaders to educate the masses on how Muslims can engage with this burgeoning asset class in a Sharia-compliant manner,” Hossain, Fasset’s co-founder and CEO, is quoted as saying.
The Philippines approve the establishment of a Sharia Supervisory Board in Mindanao
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank, approved the establishment of the Sharia Supervisory Board (SSB) in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm), Business Mirror reported. The move aims to promote Islamic finance on the Muslim-majority island in the south of the country. “The Joint Circular (JC) and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) formalize the agencies’ joint efforts in Sharia governance and follow the government’s strategy to create an enabling environment for the Islamic banking industry,” said BSP Governor Benjamin E .Diokno quoted . “The SSB will provide basic oversight of Sharia compliance to allow Islamic finance to thrive in the country.”
Pakistan’s Meezan Bank is leading a $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 (US$5.3 million) syndicated Islamic finance facility for BSEPL’s renewable distributed power generation portfolio in the country, ProPakistani reported. 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 (US$3.1 million) is to finance a 7MW solar power plant for Power Cement Limited on the Karachi-Hyderabad highway.
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 US dollar-denominated five-year sukuk, Reuters reported. The five-year fixed-rate Sukuk issuance is said to be benchmark-sized, “which typically means at least $500 million.”
Qatar’s Masraf Al Rayan launches sustainable financing framework
Masraf Al Rayan is launching Qatar’s first Sustainable Financing Framework (SFF) for Islamic banks, Penisula Qatar reported. The aim of the framework is to offer investors financing options linked to environment, social and governance (ESG) and to finance ESG-compliant sustainable projects. The bank’s framework has been rated “strong” in the ESG criteria by S&P Global Ratings. The SSF is aligned with the Qatar Financial Center (QFC) Sustainable Sukuk and Bonds Framework.