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IF @NA: current developments and prospects in times of [digital] change

From February 18, 2021 until November 30, 2021Check dates and times for each conference.
Casa Árabe’s YouTube channel Check dates and times for each conference.
In English, with no translation.

Within the framework of the SCIEF-Casa Árabe Observatory on Islamic Finance in Spain, we are offering this series of conferences throughout 2021, which will analyse the current evolution and prospects of Islamic finance in times of (digital) change. Consult the calendar of sessions.

The Roundtable Discussion Series brings together experts from the academic and corporate world to discuss the recent and current developments taking place in Islamic finance in a series of countries from the North Africa and the Mediterranean region, where, despite some decades of relatively slow growth, new regulations and policies are producing an awakening of the industry in the last ten years. They are joined as well by the members of the Observatory of Islamic Finance in Spain, external guests from the government, media, and academia to analyze the impact and implications of those transformations and their prospects.

For every country case, the roundtable discussions attempt to analyze recent and current transformations taken place at the governmental and corporate level to promote the industry, focusing on the political economy of IF in every country. They also evaluate the potential for the development of the industry in each case, looking at the different social and economic factors affecting the supply and demand for Islamic finance products, and their economic and financial challenges.

The series, organized in the framework of the SCIEF-Casa Árabe Observatory of Islamic Finance in Spain, count on the collaboration of Cresppa-GTM (CNRS) and Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance. They are coordinated by: Mehmet Asutay (Durham University), Olivia Orozco (Casa Árabe), Gonzalo Rodríguez (SCIEF), Fatiha Talahite (CNRS).
  • IF @NA2: Participative banking institutions and financial inclusion in Morocco 

    May 27, 202111:30 a.m. Madrid time, UTC+2
    Casa Árabe’s YouTube channel. 11:30 a.m. Madrid time, UTC+2
    In English.
    On Thursday 27 May we offer the second session of the Islamic Finance series, which on this occasion analyses the situation of participative banking in Morocco. It will be live on our YouTube channel.
    Islamic or “participative banking”, as it is known in Morocco, has developed only very recently, in comparison with other places in MENA. It was only in 2017, when the Central Bank of Morocco (Bank Al-Maghrib) granted the first licenses for five banks to start operating with participative financial products in the country and the establishment of three Islamic windows (branches of conventional banks offering Sharia-compliant banking services). Since then, further regulations have been implemented and it is expected that the operation of Takaful services (Sharia-compliant insurance services) will be finally allowed soon, which will contribute to the consolidation of the industry.

    These years have also witnessed an increase in bancarization rates, those percentage of population with a bank account or having access to the banking services, which implies an improvement of financial inclusion in the country, that surely responds, at least partly, to the introduction of Islamic banking in the country.

    In the current context, “participative finance” represents an important opportunity for increasing this financial inclusion and contributing to the development of the Moroccan economy.

    Organized by Casa Árabe and SCIEF in the framework of its Observatory of Islamic Finance in Spain, and in collaboration with the research group Cresppa-GTM (CNRS) and Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance, the roundtable aims to bring onboard diverse industry experts and players, including bankers and legal practitioners, to share their views and opinions on the Islamic Banking and Finance industry development in Morocco.

    It will count with the participation of Abderrahmane Lahlou, President of the Academy of Participative Finance (APAF); M. Wail Aaminou, Chair of Al-Maali Group, and Dalal Aassouli,  Associated Professor and Coordinator of the MSc in Islamic Finance at HBKU. Being moderated by Gonzalo Rodríguez, SCIEF General Coordinator, it will count as well with a first reaction by Mehmet Asutay, director of the Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance.

    The roundtable it is part of the Roundtable Discussion Series, IF @NA: current developments and prospects in times of [digital] change, dedicated to analyze the state and evolution of Islamic Finance in the north of Africa.

  • Islamic Finance potential in Egypt: corporate banking and capital market

    September 08, 202211:30 a.m. (Madrid time, UTC+2)
    Webinar via Zoom 11:30 a.m. (Madrid time, UTC+2) Prior registration required.
    In English
    New webinar organized by the SCIEF-Casa Árabe Observatory of Islamic Finance in Spain. Register here.
    Sharia-compliant banking makes up about 5,4% of the Egyptian banking market, with a growth rate of 12.2% compared to March 2020 (Egyptian Islamic Finance Association (EIFA), report 2021). Among 38 banks operating in Egypt, a total of 14 banks are providing Islamic banking products in Egypt, including 3 full-fledged Islamic banks: Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt (30,6% of Islamic banking industry), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (21%), and Al Baraka Bank (19%), in addition to Banque Misr´s Islamic Banking segment (22%), and other 10 Islamic units from conventional banks. There are 248 Islamic banking branches (5,5% of banking branches) serving about 3 million customers in Egypt (Daily News Egypt, 22/05/21).  

    The Egyptian government is making new progress to develop its financial sector and increase financial inclusion in the country (56.2% out of adult population-CBE, Eleqtisade News, 26/04/22). Beyond the banking system, Sukuk law was introduced by the financial regulatory authority “FRA” in the amended Capital Market Law no. 17 of 2018, including a reorganization of the issuance and trading of all sukuk forms. The country offers ample investment opportunities that can attract the Islamic placement opportunities for financing development whether Infrastructure projects, Corporate & SMEs finance or consumer levels. The current growing Egyptian economic development needs and population’s values offer promising prospects for Islamic finance.  

    In this context, the roundtable, organized by the SCIEF-Casa Árabe Observatory of Islamic Finance in Spain, will explore the potential of Islamic finance to contribute to financial development in Egypt, in SME and corporate finance, and in the capital market. Diverse industry experts and players, financial experts and bankers will share their views and opinions on Islamic Banking and Finance industry development in Egypt.

    With the participation of Rania Abdelfattah, Mostafa El Eskandarany, Nourhan El Sharkawy, Mohamed Shousha, and Abdallah Kenawy, moderated by Fatiha Talahite (CNRS & Paris Nanterre University), with a first reaction by Mehmet Asutay (Durham University) (tbc).

    Part of the discussion series IF @NA: current developments and prospects in times of [digital] change, dedicated to analysing the state and evolution of Islamic Finance in the North of Africa.


    Rania Abdelfattah
    Rania Abdelfattah Salem is currently lecturer at The British University in Egypt. Previously, she worked in the German University in Cairo from 2005 till 2014, where she taught various finance courses on bank management and credit analysis, portfolio management, managerial finance, corporate finance, advanced corporate finance, and derivatives. Prior to joining the academic field, she worked as an Analyst Assistant in the Research Department in the CIBC (Commercial International Brokerage Company). Her research has resulted in several papers and participation in international conferences and research projects. Among them, the article dedicated to Egypt at Awraq´s number on Islamic Finance in the Arab Transition Processes (nº 14, 2º sem 2016) (PDF) (in Spanish).

    She holds a PhD in Finance by the German University in Cairo (GUC), an MBA in Financial Management by the Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences and a BA degree from the Faculty of Commerce at Ain Shams University, Egypt.

    Mostafa El Eskandarany  
    Mostafa El Eskandarany is a Financial Service Professional with nearly 11 years of experience who worked with several international financial organizations such as Ernst&Young and the Islamic Development Bank Group. He also served as a director in several companies across the Middle East. His focus is on Impact Investing working with Development Financial Institutions (DFI´s) achieving SDG´s and ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) objectives across the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Cooperation).  

    El Eskandarany holds a Master of Science in Finance and Investment from Durham University and a Bachelor of Accounting from the American University in Cairo. He also passed all four exams of the CPA and is currently a CFA Level III candidate. At present, he is Lead Principal at the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), institution member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB). 

    Nourhan El Sharkawy  
    Nourhan El Sharkawy is experienced in the corporate credit analysis, economic research, and econometrics modeling. Her focus of expertise is currently on Islamic corporate banking by offering facilities using different Islamic finance contracts. She holds a MA in International Economics from Paris Dauphine University and a MA in Banking and Finance from Limoges University. Currently she is Deputy Manager at First Abu Dhabi Bank.

    Mohamed Shousha
    Mohamed Shousha is a banking and finance professional bringing 14+ years of progressive experience in corporate and Islamic banking with leading banks, along with a track record in business development, portfolio management and value creation with clients. His banking expertise ranges from corporate finance and syndicated loans, to Sukuk, Islamic product development, liquidity management and structured finance, across various client profiles ranging from large corporations, SMEs and governmental related entities. He holds MBA in Financial Management and Certified Islamic Professional Accountant. Currently he is the Group Head of Islamic Corporate at First Abu Dhabi Bank.

    Abdallah Kenawy
    Over 17 years of experience in different industries in the fields of accounting, treasury, investment and corporate finance with extensive experience in the non-banking financial services

    Currently, he is the group Funding Director of Contact Financial Golding (previously Sarwa Capital), the leading group in the non-banking financial services and the pioneer issuer of Debt Capital Market instruments in Egypt.

    Abdallah holds an MBA in banking, finance and risk management from ESLSCA University and a bachelor of Accounting from Al Azhar University.

    *Participants intervene on their behalf, not in the name of their institutions/corporations.

    Program in English (enlace PDF)

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