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AmTakaful Starts Family Takaful Business

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Points of Essence

  • Newest Takaful operator in Malaysia, AmFamily Takaful has commenced its family takaful business, making it the 12th licensee
  • The business is a JV between AmBank Group and UK’s Friends Life Group  

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 (Bernama) — AmFamily Takaful Bhd (AmTakaful), the 12th licensed takaful operator in Malaysia, has commenced a family takaful business.

A joint venture company between AmBank Group and Friends Life Group of the UK, AmTakaful is registered as a takaful operator by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to carry out a family takaful business with effect from Jan 9, 2012.

By combining the expertise of its shareholders AmBank Group and Friends Life Group, as well as Shariah principles and values, AmTakaful will be introducing a wide range of family takaful solutions to meet the evolving lifestyle needs of all Malaysians, it said in a statement.


Written by Suapi Shaffaii

January 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Posted in Islamic Financial Institutions

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HSBC Amanah To Issue Innovative Sukuk For Retail Investors

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Points of Essence

  • HSBC Amanah is mulling issuance of an innovative sukuk for retail investors this year
  • The planned sukuk is intended to increase presence in the bond market by retail investors 
  • With 15 branches so far in Malaysia and leveraging on its global group, the bank is poised to grow its offering of Shariah compliant products.

By Dalila Abu Bakar

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 (Bernama) — HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd, a subsidiary of HSBC Bank Malaysia, plans to introduce an innovative sukuk this year for retail investors to maintain HSBC’s position as a leading sukuk house.

“Malaysia is one of the deepest markets for Islamic bonds but we still do not have an active retail market.

“We need to launch a retail bond product so that the retail investors could share the sukuk pie,” chief executive officer Rafe Haneef told Bernama in an interview.

Rafe said Malaysia made up 60 per cent of the total global sukuk issuance last year but the Syariah bonds were subscribed mostly by institutional investors.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

January 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Posted in Islamic Financial Institutions

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2010 in review

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The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2010. That’s about 29 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 5 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 360 posts.

The busiest day of the year was October 20th with 91 views. The most popular post that day was Islamic banking: Sharia-compliant institutions buck trend.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for islamic finance news, reverse murabaha, islamic banking in sri lanka, unicorn international islamic bank malaysia berhad, and commodity murabahah.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Islamic banking: Sharia-compliant institutions buck trend November 2008
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Islamic Banking Law in Kuwait July 2008


Shariah Governance – The real nexus for comprehensive Islamic financial regulatory and supervisory infrastructure August 2008


Sri Lanka – A closer look at its Islamic banking framework July 2008
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Royal Bank of Canada plans to enter Islamic finance market July 2008

Written by Suapi Shaffaii

January 2, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Sukuk Roadblocks May Rise With National Shariah Boards: Islamic Finance

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By Khalid Qayum and Dana El Baltaji – Oct 28, 2010 7:38 PM GMT+0800 Thu Oct 28 11:38:07 GMT 2010

Points of Essence:

  • The AAOFI-led National Shariah Board plan to oversee Sukuk sales may face resistance from the Islamic finance practitioners even before its inception saying that would create another layer of bureaucracy as there has been sufficient regulation to monitor Sukuk. This will according to them stifle the growth of Sukuk and hamper its evolution speed
  • AAOFI insisted that the Board will play a pivotal role in synchronizing and standardizing the sukuk regulations with the international standards which in turn may help clarify standards and bolster investors’ confidence in the Sukuk industry.

The plan to create national Shariah boards to oversee sukuk sales is drawing criticism from bankers and lawyers who say the groups would increase bureaucracy in the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry.

The Accounting & Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, a leading global regulator, is in the final stages of a plan recommending governments appoint panels of scholars and experts at the national level to rule whether products comply with the religion’s tenets, Mohamad Nedal Alchaar, secretary-general of the Manama, Bahrain-based body, said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 26. The proposal will be submitted early next year, he said.

The regulator says such a system will help clarify standards and bolster investor confidence in an industry whose assets are forecast by the Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic Financial Services Board to almost triple to $2.8 trillion by 2015. The changes risk adding bureaucratic hurdles and slowing approvals at a time when sales are down 19 percent this year, according to CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management Sdn. and Atlanta-based law firm King & Spalding LLP.

Further regulation may just add another “layer of bureaucracy,” Jawad A. Ali, global deputy head of the Islamic finance practice at King & Spalding, said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 26. “I believe it would slow down the development of Islamic finance and render it uncompetitive.”

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

October 29, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Facts about International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM)

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27 October 2010
  • The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM) is a collaborative effort by 11 central banks or monetary agencies, as well as two multilateral organisations to assist institutions offering Islamic financial services in addressing their liquidity management. The initiative will also facilitate greater investment flows for the Islamic financial services industry. The IILM will also be part of their efforts to enhance cross-border flows and also as part of an initiative to facilitate the growing significance of the international dimension of Islamic finance and its increased role in the international financial system
  • The IILM is expected to be operational within the first half of next year and be based at Petronas’s Twin Tower, Kuala Lumpur.


  • Shareholders – The regulators collaborating with Bank Negara Malaysia for the setup of IILM would be the shareholders of the initiative, as well as sit on its board whom each would contribute US$5 million (RM15.5 million) as their capital for IILM.
  • Signatories- 13 signatories for the setup of IILM such as BNM, the central banks of Indonesia, Iran, Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates, and multilateral organisations such as The Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector


  •  The IILM will issue short-term papers in international reserve currencies, such as the US dollar and the euro
  • The initial ones will be in major currencies because it is to facilitate cross-border liquidity management

Written by Suapi Shaffaii

October 28, 2010 at 11:26 am

Bank Negara: issuance of two mega Islamic bank licences & establishment of International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM)

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Points of Essence:
  • Two foreign  banks had been shortlisted for the Central Bank of Malaysia’s newest mega Islamic banking licences
  • Newly established International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM) looks set to issue short term Islamic papers by first half of next year.
KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara will announce one mega Islamic bank by this year under its plan to issue up to two mega Islamic banking licences.

“We will announce one mega Islamic bank,” governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said yesterday on the sidelines of the Global Islamic Finance Forum 2010.

It was previously reported that Malaysia had shortlisted two foreign banks to be licensed as mega Islamic banks with a minimum capital of US$1bil each under the Government’s financial sector liberalisation measures announced last year.

On the country’s economy, she said Malaysia would remain firmly on its recovery growth path this year given the strong domestic economy.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

October 27, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Posted in Islamic Financial Institutions

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Sharia finance body, Maldives lender to set up bank

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Points of Essence:

  • Islamic Banking & Finance Institute of Malaysia and the Government of Maldives sets up the first Islamic bank in Maldives
  • Maldives Islamic Bank will be established in the next 6 months would be the impetus for the creating of the a conducive regulatory framework  for Islamic banking industry in Maldives

KUALA LUMPUR Oct 26 (Reuters) – A Malaysian Islamic finance industry body and the Maldives Islamic Bank signed a deal on Tuesday to set up Maldives’ first sharia lender. Maldives Islamic Bank hoped to set up the bank within six months, its managing director Harith Harun said in a statement. A subsidiary of the Islamic Development Bank holds a 70 percent state in the Maldives bank while the government of Maldives owns the rest. The deal with the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia, which is owned by the Malaysian central bank and several sharia banks, would enable a study of Maldives’ regulatory framework to create an environment that would foster the industry’s growth, the statement said.  (Reporting by Liau Y-Sing; Editing by Razak Ahmad)

Source: Reuters

Written by Suapi Shaffaii

October 26, 2010 at 11:29 pm