News: Islamic Finance | Salaam Footbridge

A summary of the latest Islamic finance news from around the world.

Moody’s expects growth in Islamic finance to continue, but sukuk issuance to fall due to high oil prices

Rating agency Moody’s expects Islamic banks’ assets to grow this year and outperform the conventional sector, while rising oil prices could reduce sukuk issuance requirements, according to Moody’s-DIFC.

The report expects the growth of Islamic finance to be particularly strong in the GCC countries. “Economic recovery in major Islamic financial markets will drive credit growth and demand for Shariah-compliant products and we expect Islamic banks’ asset growth to continue to outpace that of their conventional counterparts,” he said. Ashraf Madani, VP-Senior Analyst at Moody’s. “At the same time, we expect higher oil prices to lead to lower sukuk issuance in 2022, largely due to lower funding needs in the GCC.”

Oil prices have jumped 30% since the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. With Saudi Arabia’s break-even price of oil at $72 a barrel, the country is expected to post a surplus this year, while the United Arab Emirates has a break-even price of $67 a barrel, Bloomberg reported. .

Sukuk issuance fell 12% to $181 billion in 2021 in the GCC and Indonesia. Emissions are expected to fall in 2022, to around $160-170 billion. In 2020, Islamic assets under management reached $140 billion, an increase of 31.9% year-on-year.

Takaful premiums are expected to grow moderately over the next three years, supported by increased demand for medical coverage and the introduction of mandatory health coverage in some GCC, African and Southeast Asian markets .

UAE to create 5,000 Emirati banking jobs

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, in coordination with the Emirati Institute for Banking and Financial Studies and the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, has approved the emiratization of management positions in the banking and insurance sectors, reported the Lebanese bank Audi. The goal is to create 5,000 new jobs by 2026.

Egyptian fintech investments at $276 million between 2017 and 2021

There were 112 fintech startups operating in Egypt at the end of 2021, a 19% increase from 94 fintech startups at the end of 2020, according to FinTech Egypt and Bank Byblos. Investments in fintech startups reached $159 million in 2021, a 328.6% increase from $37.1 million in 2020. Fintech startups received nearly $276 million in funding during of the period 2017-2021.

The 34 start-ups in the payments and remittances sub-sector accounted for 30.4%; 15 firms in the credit and alternative finance segment (13.4%); nine startups in each of the personal finance and literacy management, accounting and expense management, and payroll and benefits subsectors (8% each); seven companies in the wealth management and savings segment (6.3%); six startups in the business-to-business subsector (5.4%); four companies in each of data analytics and artificial intelligence, insurance technology, regulatory technology, and rotating credit and savings associations (3.6% each) ; three companies in the open banking and infrastructure segment (2.7%); and two startups in each of the agricultural tech and real estate tech subsegments with (1.8% each).

UAE’s Dar Al Takaful and Watania agree to merge

Dubai-based Islamic (takaful) insurers Dar Al Takaful and the Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company (Watania) have agreed to merge by the end of the year, Zawya reported. The merger is expected to be completed by Q3 2022 and is expected to bring further consolidation to the Emirates takaful market.

Arab Financial Services (AFS) and Aafaq Islamic Finance team up to support Islamic fintech in the UAE

Bahrain-based Arab Financial Services (AFS), a digital payment solutions provider and fintech enabler, and Dubai-based Aafaq Islamic Finance, a product and services provider, have signed a strategic partnership to support fintech startups in the UAE through a platform, TradeArabia reported. .

“Technology and innovation have become an imperative in today’s modern payment system. AFS recognizes the importance of next-age technology and continues to create initiatives and shared platforms that support the development and growth of the fintech ecosystem. In this collaboration, we combine the expertise and knowledge that provides a sponsorship, technology, operations and BIN (bank identification number) distribution framework to all fintechs and startups in the United Arab Emirates,” said Samer Soliman, CEO of AFS.

Oman’s Munz Islamic Bank goes digital

The National Bank of Oman’s Islamic window, Munz, has added functionality to its corporate online banking platform, the Oman Daily reported. “Muzn continues to pioneer innovation in the Islamic finance industry and our digital banking suite enables us to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers, whether individuals or businesses. Backed by our customer service exceptional, it is part of a growing list of modern Sharia-compliant solutions that provide our customers with a modern and seamless banking experience,” said Salima Al Marzouqi, Director of Islamic Banking.

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