Navigating Economic Shifts: Insights and Innovations Unveiled at the 18th AAOIFI-IsDB Islamic Finance Conference in Bahrain
The 18th edition of the annual Islamic banking and finance conference, organized by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), took place at the Crowne Plaza in the Kingdom of Bahrain on November 29-30, 2023. The conference, themed “Strategies for the Impending Economic Slowdown and a Post Oil World: Through Economic Diversification and Leveraging Islamic Finance,” received support from the Central Bank of Bahrain. During the two-day event, participants explored crucial topics such as the role of Islamic finance in economic diversification, the impact of technology on diversification efforts, challenges and opportunities arising from high benchmark rates, the utilization of Islamic finance for climate-friendly infrastructure development, and the transformation of investment accounts towards genuine profit and loss sharing.
Notable figures present at the conference included Dr. Oyewale Akeem (CEO, Marble Capital Limited), Dr. Hamid Joda (CEO, TajBank), and H.E. Mr. Lamido Yuguda (Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria), among others, representing stakeholders in Nigeria’s Islamic finance sector. Recognized as a significant gathering in the global Islamic finance industry, the AAOIFI-IsDB Islamic finance conference serves as a platform for Shari’ah scholars, policymakers, and decision-makers to address pressing issues in the field.
President Tinubu’s visit to Saudi Arabia with IDB Unveils Investment Opportunities in Nigeria’s Future
President Bola Tinubu has successfully secured a multi-billion-dollar finance facility from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to address critical infrastructure gaps in Nigeria. The negotiations, held in Makka, involved discussions between President Tinubu and IDB’s Vice-President, Dr. Mansur Muhtar, with the funding earmarked for diverse infrastructure projects at both federal and sub-national levels. The sought-after funds will be directed towards vital areas such as port and power infrastructure, as well as agro-allied facilities, aiming to bolster sustainable food security in the country. President Tinubu emphasized the significance of these investments, highlighting Nigeria’s potential as an attractive market and expressing confidence in seamless processes for investors.Muhtar acknowledged Nigeria’s pivotal role in Africa’s success and revealed the IDB’s plan to provide $50 billion in new investments for the African continent. As the largest market and economy in Africa, Nigeria is expected to receive a substantial share of this commitment. The announcement was made during the Saudi-Arab-African Economic Summit, signifying a significant step towards enhancing economic collaboration and transformation in Nigeria.
Federal Government of Nigeria raises N653 billion in Series VI Sukuk
The Debt Management Office (DMO) stated that the recent FGN Sukuk offer was oversubscribed by 435%. The FGN Sukuk were initially planned to raise N150 billion for road projects across the country but received subscriptions worth N652.827 billion. According to the release, the over-subscription of the Sukuk offer is a testament to the popularity and acceptance of Sukuk among the public and the willingness of investors to support infrastructure across the country. Nigeria’s vice president, Kashim Shettima, also stated that the government will keep looking into Islamic financing instruments like the Sukuk to attract both domestic and foreign investment. This is because Islamic finance has shown to be a feasible source of funding for development, he claims, as demonstrated by the recent issuance of the federal government’s sixth sovereign Sukuk.
Charting the Path to a Greener Future: AICIF 2023 Showcases Islamic Finance’s Role in a Just Transition
In a dynamic gathering of leading experts and professionals, the 6th African International Conference on Islamic Finance (AICIF 2023) unfolded its proceedings in Abuja, Nigeria, from November 14-15, 2023. With the compelling theme “Towards a Just Transition,” the conference underscored the important role Islamic finance can play in addressing the pressing challenges of climate change and environmental degradation.
The event brought together luminaries from diverse fields, including Islamic finance, economics, and development. Notable figures such as Dr. Akeem Oyewale, the CEO of Marble Capital, and Danielle Meuller, COO of Infocredit, Kazeem Alimi, head of the secondary market at NGX, Abdul Kadir Abass, head of registration exchanges, market infrastructure, and innovation at SEC, and Mohammed Awwal, a partner at Metropolitan Law Firm joined a distinguished panel that delved into the crucial topic of Islamic Capital Market (ICM) for Sustainable Infrastructure Financing. Other esteemed panelists engaged in thought-provoking discussions on fostering partnerships for resilience in sustainable development.
The conference illuminated the potential of Islamic finance in steering a just transition towards a more sustainable future, resonating with the global imperative for environmentally conscious financial practices.
- Nigeria saw the opening of its fourth fully operational Islamic bank after an earlier Islamic banking window was converted into a stand-alone business. The Alternative Bank (formerly an arm of Sterling bank known as Sterling alternative Finance). The bank was launched along sides various products such as the altinvest, altmall, altpower, altdrive, etc, all Shari’ah compliant products expanding and growing Islamic Finance market and meeting the need of clients and customers.
- Following a rigorous selection procedure, TAJBank Limited emerged victorious for the third year in a row as BusinessDay’s 2023 “Islamic Bank of the Year Award,” defeating all other nominees. TAJBank received the prize for “its commitment to world-class services, impressive financial performances and consistently being at forefront in the nation’s financial inclusion drive over the last three years.
Islamic Capital Market
- FMDQ Exchange released the guidelines for the issuance of NICP in October 2023. This is a great achievement in the Islamic Finance market and more innovations like this are expected to emerge. The issuance of NICP’s would boost the Islamic finance market.
- The Alternative Bank issued ₦6.5 Billion Four Years Fixed Return Private Murabaha Sukuk on behalf of TAB Funding SPV Limited by Cardinalstone Limited.
Islamic Insurance (Takaful)
- Noor Takaful raised N4.97 billion as its gross premium contribution for the 2022 fiscal year, despite the challenging economic conditions in the nation. The information was disclosed at its sixth annual general meeting in November, 2023 at Lagos, stating that the board of the firm recommended paying a dividend of N46.84 million, or three kobo per ordinary share, based on the company’s performance.