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Global Banking & Finance Review
Noor Takaful celebrates 10 years of growing customer base as Takaful insurance gains groundin the country

Noor Takaful – amongst the first Takaful insurance companies to be established in the UAE – has reported significant double-digit percentage profit growth for 2018 even as early next yearit crosses a significant milestone of celebrating 10 years of increasing customer base.

With close to 300,000 members, Noor Takaful, a sister company of Noor Bank, provides ethical, Sharia’a compliant, innovative, unique and comprehensive Takaful (Islamic insurance) products aggregating close to AED550 million in business this year.

The company also reported an increase in premium value of 5 percent over last year (2017). The statement from Noor Takaful came on the sidelines of a grand event held at Mina Al’salam celebrating its 10th year anniversary. Many of the Board of Directors that include names such as Raed Mohammad Khalifa Kajoor AlNuaimi, Vice Chairman; Essa Abdulfattah Kazim AlMulla; Edris Mohammad Rafi Mohammad Saeed AlRafi; Mahomed Akoob; Farrukh Seer and John Iossifidis, attended the event.

Rajesh Sethi, CEO, Noor Takaful, said: “The Takaful industry has grown over the last 10 years in the UAE with greater awareness among residents about Sharia’a compliant insurance that follows the highest ethical standards. This provides our customers with great value and peace of mind. Our pricing within the sector has improved and hence the margin to grow too has improved. With new regulations and greater enforcement by authorities in the country, the sector will see greater consolidation and scrutiny which will benefit end-users.”

Speakers and analysts at the World Takaful Conference held earlier in Dubai this year said that UAE and Saudi Arabia are at the centre of the Takaful sector growth with an estimated US$11.5 billion…

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Ms. Mohua Sengupta

Contributed by Ms. Mohua Sengupta, EVP & Global Head of Services, 3i Infotech Ltd

Ever since the Punjab National Bank Fraud case has come to light, many believers of Blockchain have been saying that Blockchain could have stopped it. Present company included. I for one, very truly believe that Blockchain will become pervasive and not too far away. But could it have avoided this huge fraud that has shaken the Indian Banking system? Well it’s hard to respond in the affirmative knowing that no technology is smarter than the human brain at its best. If the intent is wrong, loopholes are found or made. Just as in this case.

What was the main reason behind this fraud? While there were multiple, like mal-intent of account holders, corrupt employees, audit failure, manual contracts etc., the key reason was unintegrated applications, i.e., the SWIFT gateway was not integrated with PNB’s Core Banking System. So, transferring data from one to the other was a manual process! When money was lent by foreign branches of other Indian banks, based on the false LOU issued by PNB, no record was being made in the banks CBS. Thus, year after year, the fraud remained under cover.

Could Blockchain have solved it? Well the answer is yes and no. Blockchain definitely has much higher security capability built-in. The basic concept underlying Blockchain, is Distributed Ledger Technology or DLT. So, the master data is maintained in every node of the distributed ledger and hence there is no…

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Capital Markets give us an insider look at their institutional trading operations and their plans for the year ahead.

Can you provide status on BMO Capital Markets institutional FX business?

BMO’s institutional FX business has grown significantly over the past few years. This has been achieved by fully integrated client coverage making targeted efforts to ensure BMO is seen as a strategic partner to our clients across all FICC asset classes. As such, BMO has leveraged our relationships in other areas of our firm to strengthen our FX institutional franchise.

How has the institutional FX business grown in the last year?

While the institutional FX business continues to grow its revenue base by leveraging existing BMO relationships, we have spent the last year intensely focused on resource optimization and technological enhancements.

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Investors are finally coming to fruition that perhaps the longest bull market in history is over

Over the past week the western world hosted holiday celebrations which caused for a great amount of cheer and joy however the markets are showings concerning signs. This past week investors saw two historic events, first the largest point drop of the Dow Jones industrial average (the DOW) for Christmas eve on record, followed by the largest one day gain in history of 1,086 points on December 26th. One would expect that after a historic rally of the DOW and other US indices that traders and investors would be joyous and celebratory but that is not the case. Investors are becoming increasingly wearier as fears amount for what 2019 has in store.

This past year has been every challenging for investors, at the beginning of the year markets were at all-time highs and believe to be headed higher. Despite a downturn in February due to a spike in the volatility index, markets continued to edge higher until the beginning of October, that’s when things started heading south. These downturns in the market are to be expected and have been called to occur by top pundits for the past two years. When one has an in-depth look at the markets one can see that there are numerous issues such as valuations, debt levels, and global macro problems which have been amounting and continuing to build over time. As the famous physics Sir Isaac Newton put it, what goes up must come down, these principles also take place in the market. Perhaps the downturn of markets in the past month are the start of a down cycle and the early stages of a recession however, as the saying goes the painting was on the wall, but investors are finally coming to fruition that perhaps the longest bull market in history is over.

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