Feb 28, 2017
I got to add a new country to my list this week, as the invited speaker and moderator for this very interesting meeting organized by the World Bank Group, the WSF, and the Islamic Development Bank of Oman. Oman, like many of the GCC countries, is facing a transition from an oil dependent past to a future requiring greater diversity in its economy...
Feb 26, 2016
Islamic finance has considerably expanded with an increase of Islamic financial assets from $150bn in the mid-1990's to $1800bn at the end of 2013 ( Kuwait Finance House, 2014 ), with Islamic banks being particularly active in Middle Eastern countries and in Southeast Asia but also in Africa (Sudan, Nigeria). An emerging literature has...
Jan 04, 2016
Alternative financing and non-bank funding are no more strangers to Islamic finance since the concept of Islamic crowdfunding gained ground in the sector. One of the best examples is Singapore-based Shariah-compliant crowdfunding platform Kapital Boost. It is the first Islamic peer-to-business crowdfunding platform in Asia, launched in July 2015,...
Dec 01, 2015
From the smallest rural villages in Bangladesh to the large, bustling metropolitan centers of Cairo or Istanbul, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of Islamic communities around the world, keeping local economies humming. I first became interested in the potential of leveraging Islamic finance to grow SMEs when I led a seminar...
Sep 02, 2015
Fatima Qasimi, Chief Executive Officer of Aseel Islamic Finance spoke to Zoya Malik about Aseel's corporate values and approach to operating in a competitive market and contributing to the future of the UAE's Islamic economy.
Mar 11, 2015
The Islamic finance industry has been growing rapidly in various regions, and its banking segment has become systemic in some countries, with implications for macroeconomic and financial stability. While not yet significant in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), several features make Islamic finance instruments relevant to the region, in particular the ability to foster SMEs and micro-credit activities. In a recent paper, we provide a survey on Islamic Finance in SSA where on-going activities include Islamic banking, sukuk issuances (to finance infrastructure projects ), Takaful (insurance), and microfinance. Should they wish to develop the market, policy makers could introduce Islamic financing windows within the conventional system and facilitate sukuk issuance to tap foreign investors. The entrance of full-fledged Islamic banks would require addressing systemic issues and adapting crisis management and resolution frameworks.
Jan 23, 2015
To me, this is the best way to get a boost from the WEF...I'm not at Davos, but I can blog through our kind friends at Davos...see the link attached! matt
Jan 14, 2015
Islamic finance is expected to expand substantially in 2015, from 2014’s total of $2.1 trillion to $2.5 trillion, according to figures released last week by the Al-Huda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics. In 2011, the industry had assets of about $1 trillion. Islamic microfinance, the segment of Sharia-compliant services targeting clients at the base of the pyramid, only occupies a small slice of the pie, at 1 percent of all Islamic finance globally. However this uptick in Sharia-compliant finance, as well as encouraging recent support for the 650 million Muslims living on less than 2 dollars a day, suggest a rising tide for Islamic microfinance.
Dec 04, 2014
Please see the link for the official announcement from the Turkish government. 2015 should be a very exciting one for SME finance and SME development. Turkey has been a leader in the SME agenda of the G20 since its inception, and has served as co-chair of the SME finance subgroup since SME finance became a priority for the G20 in 2009. As a technical partner to the G20's Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the SME Finance Forum looks forwarding to supporting the Turkish agenda during this coming year. Our readers may also see that Turkey will be forming a new global body to represent SMEs' own interests during 2015. Unfortunately the working name for this entity is "SME Forum", which risks some brand confusion, for obvious reasons!. We'll also be working with our G20 colleagues on this, hopefully with some resolution that helps build and grow this very worthwhile complementary institution, while avoiding too many cases of mistaken identity. matt
May 20, 2013
The topic of this 2013 conference, “Building a high performing SME business” , is of critical importance for the MENA region. SMEs need access to banking services to create jobs and support economic growth, but only 20 percent of them have access to credit, and the SME funding gap in the region is estimated at $160 billion. Banks and policy makers in the region are aware of these opportunities and are developing new strategies to support SMEs. The AMF and the IFC are working together to support these important efforts.The conference gathered around 250 bankers and international SME experts from more than 20 countries to share experiences on best practice SME banking. Paper - Overcoming constraints for SME development in MENA countries and increasing access to finance The event was organized in partnership with _________________________ Session 1: CEO Perspectives - Making SME Banking a Strategic Priority With rapidly eroding growth opportunities in retail and corporate banking, Banks are increasingly looking for avenues to build a competitive and sustainable SME business. This session will discuss CEO strategy to scale up SME Banking operations. Moderator: James Gohary, Regional Manager, Financial Markets and Private Equity Funds-MENA, IFC Raheel Ahmed, Regional Head of Consumer Banking, Standard Chartered Bank Atif Bajwa , CEO, Al Falah Bank, Pakistan Fadel El Halaissi , Delegate General Manager, BMCE Bank, Morocco Bernd van Linder, Managing Director and CEO, Saudi Hollandi Bank _________________________ Session 2: Opportunities and Changing Landscape in SME Banking in MENA With a funding gap for MENA SME estimated at USD 170 billion, Financial Institutions in the regions are launching new SME banking initiatives. This session will focus on the business case for sustainable SME banking in MENA, latest innovations and global best practices in SME banking, and the importance of financial infrastructure to increase outreach. Moderator: Xavier Reille, Manager, Financial Sector Advisory Services, IFC MENA Mutsa Chironga , Associate Principal, McKinsey & Company Hafid Oubrik , Financial Sector Specialist, Arab Monetary Fund Matthew Gamser, Head, SME Finance Forum, IFC _________________________ Session 3: Regional Initiatives and Role of Regulators in SME Banking Development The MENA region is witnessing various regional initiatives to improve SME’s access to finance. In addition, regulators are playing an important role to improve the enabling environment for SME banking. This session will discuss best practice policies to promote SME banking. Moderator: Yisr Barnieh, Arab Monetary Fund, Chief of Financial Markets Division AbdulKarim AlArhabi , Secretary General, SMEs Facility, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development May Abulnaga , Head, Regulations Department, Central Bank of Egypt Ashraf Khan, Executive Director, State Bank of Pakistan Badr El Din Ibrahim , Director, Central Bank of Sudan _________________________ Session 4: Mastering the SME Banking Risk Management Frontier SME Banking is often viewed as a high risk market segment. However, SME Banking business can yield attractive returns, one of the best, on risk adjusted return basis. This session will discuss the ways banks must adopt differentiated risk management techniques, innovate approaches of assessing the credit risk involved, and use technology and analytics to dynamically manage portfolio risks. Moderator: Cameron Evans, Principal Risk Management Specialist, IFC Lawrence Antioch , Managing Director-Group Risk, DBS Bank Singapore Mandeep Vohra, Head of SME Risk, Middle East, Pakistan and Africa, Standard Chartered Bank Oscar Madeddu , Principal Financial Specialist, IFC _________________________ Session 5: Maximizing SME revenues - through Strategic Customer Management Profitably serving the SME sector requires not just a deep understanding of the best segments to serve, but also of the financial needs and revenue drivers for each customer segment. This session will provide insights on how banks have radically increased revenues through developing customized propositions at targeted segments. Moderator: Panayotis Varangis, Head of SME and Business, Access to Finance, IFC Andrew McCartney , Global Product Specialist, IFC MENA Christian Wessels, Partner, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants Turgut Boz , SME Banking Assistant General Manager, TEB Turkey _________________________ Session 6: Women in Business - Leveraging Segment Opportunities Despite being an emerging & profitable business segment, most banks do not have a differentiated value proposition for serving Women in Business. This session will discuss how to use market research to develop a segment strategy and develop an attractive value proposition for women entrepreneurs. Moderator: Qamar Saleem, Senior SME Banking Specialist, IFC MENA Larke Riemer, Director, Women’s Markets, Westpac Bank, Australia Tania Moussallem , Head of Strategic Development, BLC, Lebanon Hanan Saab , Founder and Managing Director, Pharmamed, Lebanon Patience Marime-Ball , Principal Investment Officer, IFC, Washington DC _________________________ Session 7: Making a difference with SME Islamic Banking Islamic banking has enjoyed a double digit growth over the past 10 years providing new opportunities for SME finance. This session will address the opportunities and challenges of serving SME customers with Islamic banking products. Moderator: Kaiser Naseem, Program Manager, IFC MENA Ashar M. Nazim, Islamic Financial Services, Ernst & Young Bahrain Tariq Hameed, Senior Vice President, Capitas Group Neil Miller, Global Head of Islamic Finance, Linklaters Mubashar Khokhar , Management Consultants Islamic Advisory, Israa Capital _________________________ Session 8: Integrating Alternative Channels into SME Banking Value Proposition Cost to serve SMEs, which are in most circumstances widely dispersed, nonhomogeneous in nature and offering smaller revenue wallet, poses a significant challenge to banks. This session will discuss how to leverage new delivery channels to lower operating costs, build internal efficiencies and maintain customer satisfaction levels. Moderator: Margarete Biallas, Global Product Leader, Retail Payment Institutions & Innovation, IFC Scott Stefanski , Maana Mobile Teresita Tan , President, BPI Globe BankKO, Philippines Rohit Arora , Chief Executive Officer, Biz2Credit Milkah Chebii , Head of Retail Banking Channels & Operations, Kenya Commercial Bank _________________________ Session 9: Using SME Advisory Services as a Competitive Advantage Leading SME banks have developed successful SME advisory programs to differentiate their value proposition and better manage risks. This session explores experiences of banks that have implemented such strategies, the challenges faced and the benefits reaped of this differentiated approach. Moderator: Sylvia Zulu, Manager, Sustainable Business Advisory, IFC MENA Michel Botzung , Principal Operations Officer, IFC Steven A. Tambunting , Vice President and Board Director, Planters Bank, Philippines Regina Bundang , General Manager, Regalo Service & Redwood Internet, Philippines Saad N. Mouasher, Senior Deputy CEO, Jordan Ahli Bank, Jordan