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Islamic Banking in Morocco

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Morocco can be considered the most advanced of North African neighbours in developing Islamic finance. One of Africa’s largest and most sophisticated economies, Morocco is taking assertive measures to boost its infrastructure and make itself more appealing to foreign investors, and this includes being a Muslim-friendly investment destination. The Kingdom is making efforts in positioning itself as an attractive Islamic finance market as it endeavors to make its regional financial hub (Casablanca Finance City) ambition come true.

Regulatory Environment

Since passing an Islamic finance bill in November 2014, Morocco has continued working toward strengthening its regulatory framework to facilitate Shariah compliant banking and financial services. In February 2015, the Higher Council of Ulemas established a new commission dedicated to Islamic banking and in July the same year, the Ministry of Finance and Economy approved an earlier circular outlining the banking licensing process including for Shariah compliant units.

Banking and Finance

Morocco’s financial system is considered the most efficient in the MENA region because of its competitive and sophisticated capital market; its insurance industry that is positioned as the second largest in Africa and its mature and developed banking sector.
While official regulations were not passed until 2014, several Islamic banking products such as Ijarah, Musharaka and Murabaha were made available via conventional banks since 2007, although the take-up was limited. There were efforts to launch an Islamic window via Bank Wafa; however, that failed following political oppositions. It was in January, 2017 that the Bank Al-Maghrib, Morocco’s central bank, announced the approval of five banks to provide Sharia-compliant products and services. The new legislation uses the phrase ‘participatory’ banking, rather than ‘Islamic’ banking, in a bid to encourage private firms to operate independently from the question of religion. The central bank has also established a central Shariah board to oversee the industry. Three of the five authorized institutions are leading
national banks, while the central bank has also given approval for the subsidiaries of three leading French banks to offer Islamic products.

Takaful

In May 2015, the Moroccan government approved an insurance bill which introduced the concept of Shariah compliant insurance and details guidelines for running takaful and re-takaful operations including the segregation of funds and Shariah governance. The central bank is considering establishing an Islamic interbank market and working on sovereign treasury Sukuk issuances in order to support the Islamic finance industry.

Future Outlook

The demand for Shariah finance services in the North African country is significant as demonstrated by the number of foreign players keen to expand their geographical footprint into the market.
projected to be worth US$7 billion by 2018, less than 5% of the expected total market share, according to the Moroccan Association of Participative Financiers. Islamic finance opportunities may be lucrative in Morocco, with many eager to jump at them; however, in order for the potential to be realized, the regulatory infrastructure needs to be further bolstered such as in the areas of Islamic insurance and tax. The country will also need to look at developing Shariah liquidity instruments, as at present, Morocco’s financial market lacks liquidity and foreign investment. The introduction of Islamic banking will therefore help increase financial inclusion, investment stability and accelerate economic development for the nation. It has also been predicted that there will be a rise in the use of contactless payments and Sharia-compliant credit cards.

Five Islamic Banks of Pakistan

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There are five full-fledged Islamic Banks are operating with 1219 branches in Pakistan.

  1. Meezan Bank (571 Branches)
  2. Bank Islami (204 Branches)
  3. Dubai Islamic (200 Branches)
  4. Al-Baraka (178 Branches)
  5. MCB Islamic Bank (66 Branches)

16 Conventional Banks with Islamic Branches

  • Allied Bank Limited 83
  • Askari Bank Limited 91
  • Bank AL Habib Limited 42
  • Bank Alfalah Limited 151
  • Faysal Bank Limited 157
  • Habib Bank Limited 45
  • Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited 25
  • National Bank of Pakistan 134
  • Silk Bank Limited 10
  • Sindh Bank Limited 14
  • Soneri Bank Limited 18
  • Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited 9
  • Summit Bank Limited 14
  • The Bank of Khyber 79
  • The Bank of Punjab 48
  • United Bank Limited 47
    There are total 967 Islamic branches of Conventional Banks.

 

Qatar Crisis – A way to destruction

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Qatar is the world most richest country in the world are currently facing sanctions and embargoes from neighbors.

A recent move by King Salman will also put strategic impact in the region as newly elected crown prince has keen interest in accepting Israel as a country which definitely laid adverse jolt on the image of kingdom in Muslim world.

Earlier, Oman took aside in a coalition against Yemen for Air-strike and now Qatar isolated itself from Gulf block. Moreover, Kuwait emerged as neutral state in all this crisis which depicts less reliance on Kingdom.

Fortunately, Turkey appeared as a leading state and soft-heart for Qatar, supported openly through instant food supplies and save themselves from humanitarian crisis.

Effect of Qatar crisis on Muslim World

  • Muslims of Gulf become more weaker as distance ample among the states.
  • Israel is the main beneficiary who will take advantage from this chaos.
  • Iran position will be more strong in the region of Arabian peninsula.
  • World losses the attention on Syria which ultimately benefited to Assad regime.
  • A sole supremacy of kingdom in gulf region crunch into different blocks.
  • Pakistan who always stand-up with kingdom, take aside and act as a neutral identity.

Is Bitcoin Halal or Haram?

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A Question asked from renowned scholar “Sheikh Imran Hosein”, Is Bitcoin Halal or Haram.

Argument is no intrinsic value but question may be arise that currently operating countries currency also have no absolute intrinsic value but at least they have some sort of Government level guarantee.

Another argument is that these currencies are necessities for survival in that country while in the case of Bitcoin which is more worse than these currencies are kind of investment.

Sufi Vs Salafi Population

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Today’s Muslim are divided into many sects. But if you deeply study all the sects you come to know about two major classification of Muslims. Surprisingly its not Shia or Sunni.

Almost all Shia’s praises Sufism beside a major chunk of Sunni’s as well. On contrary, Salafi’s negates the Sufi’s thoughts and opinion.

Salafi’s: are those Muslims who prefer the opinion of salaf-as-saliheen (Sahaba’s, Tabieen & Taba Tabieen) on different matters. The concept of shrine is unacceptable and consider Mushrik those pilgrimage who seek helps from shrine.

Sufi’s: are those Muslims who own’s spiritual thoughts and preferred the opinion of Great Sufi’s on others. Building shrines are acceptable and doesn’t consider it as a sinful activity.

Population of Salafi and Sufis
Share of population of Salafi and Sufis

GCC GDP & Per Capita Income

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Our Analysis shows following points:

  • Accumulative GDP of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is lesser than India.
  • Bahrain own very small GDP as compared to KSA. Due to one of this reason, the influence of KSA is much higher on Bahrain.
  • Qatar stands # 1 position in terms of higher GDP/Capita countries.
  • ALL GCC countries economies are primarily based on oil.
  • Bahrain is sole Shia majority country in GCC.
  • The majority of Omani are the follower of Ibadi sect.

Why Gambling is prohibited in Islam?

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Dr. Asad Zaman views on Islamic Banks

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BRICS GDP & GDP/Capita

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BRICS is a economic block of five emerging markets: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

An Economic Outlook of Five Major Muslim Countries

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These five countries are most probably the next victim of United State. As all are Muslim majority countries and have a potential to lead Muslim Ummah. Saudi Arab has a distinct advantage of two holy sites which attract all Muslims towards KSA. The majority of Muslims performed Hajj at least once in a life, so for this purpose, they have to visit Saudi Arab which created the ideological relationship of every Muslim with this country.

Pakistan is a sole Nuclear state in entire Muslim world. It’s the only country who was created in the name of Islam. Pakistan has a strong military presence and second most populous country in Islamic World.

Turkey owns a great advantage of location, as located in the middle of Europe and Asia. Istanbul economy is the top in the islamic world in terms of GDP. Turkey ruled on today’s several Muslim state for centuries under the ottoman Caliphate.

Egypt is rich in culture. Many old Islamic institutions located there. Recently, regime change enhance country importance as it starts participating in international affairs. Meanwhile, two neighbour countries of Egypt is in war: Libya and Syria. And NATO forces already deployed there. So soon or later, Egypt will face chaos in the country.

Iran has a rich culture, strong army and stable economy. Now, this country is participating in many Muslim countries affair especially in the ongoing Syrian crisis. Iran has predominantly a Shia state, leading many Shia majority countries including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Yemen and Bahrain. Iran has less potential to lead Muslim ummah just because of sectarian difference as Shia constitute only 15% of total Muslim population.