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Sharjah Islamic Bank first institution to join Murabaha – NASDAQ Dubai’s Islamic financing platform

Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) announced this week that it has joined NASDAQ Dubai’s new Islamic financing platform, Murabaha, which offers an alternative for Islamic financing transactions using Sharia-compliant Certificates. SIB is the first bank to join the Murabaha platform, which was set-up by NASDAQ Dubai in partnership with Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB) and Emirates Islamic Financial Brokerage (EIFB).

Originally founded as National Bank of Sharjah, SIB became the first bank in the world to effectively convert to Islamic banking in 2002 and has since aimed to position itself as an innovative provider of Sharia’a compliant financial services. SIB appears in the Gulf Business Top 50 GCC Banks list, ranked by assets and was ranked ninth in Global Finance magazine’s Safest Islamic Banks in the GCC.

Earlier this year, global credit rating agency Fitch upgraded Sharjah Islamic Bank’s (SIB) Viability Rating, when it affirmed the bank’s Long-term IDR at ‘BBB+’ with Stable Outlook. The new VR upgrade reflects Fitch’s view that SIB’s asset quality, combined with strong capital and liquidity ratios, now compares better with peers.

Meanwhile, SIB has enjoyed strong growth during the past few years, announcing a 30% increase in net profits during the first quarter of 2014, compared with 2013. The bank’s net profits for 2013 grew by 12.9 percent overall year-on-year to AED 307.1 million (US$ 83.6 million), while SIB’s total assets reached AED 21.7 billion (US$ 5.9 billion).

SIB expects its membership of the NASDAQ Dubai Murabaha Platform to allow it offer unique advantages to bank customers seeking Sharia solutions. Through the Murabaha platform, individual and institutional clients of SIB will be able to complete financing transactions within minutes. The platform provides an alternative to many traditional Islamic financing solutions, which can carry a risk of losses through price movements, spreads and poor liquidity as well as delays.

Source: WAM, Gulf News, Gulf Business, Sharjah Islamic Bank

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