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Saudi Re receives Sharia certification from Shariyah Review Bureau

Saudi Re receives Sharia certification from Shariyah Review Bureau

Saudi Reinsurance Company “Saudi Re”, the sole reinsurance company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, announced receiving the Sharia certificate for its offerings from Shariyah Review Bureau “SRB”.

With a solid financial base of total assets SAR 2.9 billion and an A3 rating by Moody’s, Saudi Re’s is eyeing opportunities to strengthen its presence in its target markets in the Kingdom, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Lloyd’s. As one of the largest re-insurance players in the industry, Saudi Re is committed to ensure socially responsible growth.

Fahad Al-Hesni, Managing Director and CEO, Saudi Re, commented: “We are progressing well in our international diversification strategy, and the Sharia certificate provides additional reassurance to an important segment of our clients. Demonstrating our Sharia compliance will complement our value proposition to our clients especially in the Takaful and Cooperative reinsurance market.”

Al-Hesni, added that Saudi Re has identified Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) objectives from investors perspective, among which Sharia compliance was emphasized as a key factor in reflecting the responsible conduct.

Yasser S. Dahlawi, Founder and CEO of SRB, said, “Cooperative insurance and reinsurance companies that deal with significant, complex risk-based transactions are actively embracing our Sharia advisory services. By helping Saudi Re attain Sharia compliance by reviewing its processes, we’re supporting them to gather meaningful insights by staying focused on their business-critical functions while we cater to all their Sharia compliance needs.”

SRB apply various Sharia supervisory actions like reviews, investment screening, interactive consultations, Sharia Board administration and periodic Sharia audits.

Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) is a leading Sharia Advisor with scholarly presence in more than 12 countries from US, Europe, Africa, GCC and Asia. The scope of the engagement includes reviewing the reinsurance, claims, financial and investment transactions of the company and ensuring compliance with Sharia standards as set by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).

Flexxpay Secures Sharia Certification

Flexxpay Secures Sharia Certification

FlexxPay, a cloud-based technology solution enabling employees to access their ‘earned income’ whenever needed, receives a Sharia Compliance certification for its platform from Shariyah Review Bureau. The platform has the convenience to be accessed through a mobile app, or web.

Employers benefit from no integration hassle and no changes to the payroll cycle or any risk of impacting the company’s cash-flow cycle. For employees, the benefits include the ability to access a portion of their earned salary and commission instantly, whenever required. There are no credit checks necessary with automatic eligibility for all employees once the employer is enrolled; no interest charge, only a nominal transaction fee. Employees with commission-based salaries also stand to benefit instead of traditionally waiting several months to collect.

Speaking on the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau, Michael Truschler, CEO of FlexxPay stated: “We wanted to add value to our Clients and their employees for using FlexxPay. And since Shariah Review Bureau is a reputable name in the region for providing Sharia compliance assurance, we decided to engage and benefit from their diverse experience with Fintech platforms.”

Shariyah Review Bureau provides Sharia advisory and Sharia audit services to businesses worldwide. Their services add valuable expertise and help banking and non-banking institutions including fintech firms efficiently formulate products in light of Sharia compliance that assures the faith requirements of their customers. “From a humble beginning of providing Sharia audit to banks 15 years ago, our firm has come a long way” said Yasser S. Dahlawi Founder and CEO of Shariyah Review Bureau. “Today, tech-based platforms with a diverse set of offering increasingly rely upon our Sharia certification, Sharia Board and Sharia audit services.” “As we continue to expand, across markets, we remain passionate towards serving technological innovators, offer solutions using Sharia principles”

Commenting on the news engagement Yasser added, “We are delighted to have certified a cloud-based platform, which facilitates investment in its client’s most important asset i.e. its employees” “We look forward to supervising and auditing FlexxPay platform in light of Sharia guidelines, as it continues to support and benefit employees in the region”

Wahed Invest strengthens Sharia compliance management with Shariyah Review Bureau

Wahed Invest strengthens Sharia compliance management with Shariyah Review Bureau

Wahed Invest, a global provider of Halal investments, today announced the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau to manage its Sharia compliance affairs from client agreements to investment universe, including Islamic ETFs and virtual advisory terms.  The announcement was made after a series of strategic positioning that Wahed has made to tap Islamic investors globally.

Wahed is seeking to expand geographically from its historical focus on clients in the US and now has offices strategically located in USA, UK, India, Dubai, Kazakhstan and Malaysia.  “We expect the majority of growth to come from the Middle East and Asia – which, in 2019, cumulatively accounted for a significant value of our total growth,” said Owais Gore,Head of Global Operations at Wahed. “We have also made good headway in diversifying services with the addition of Islamic ETFs and fixed income investments (sukuk). With new offices set-up in key financial hubs around the world we are focused on exporting a demonstrated track record that reduces management fees, brokerage requirements, and transactional costs,” he added.

Speaking on the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) Aris Pervaz (Head of Wahed North America & UK) said: “Wahed’s assignment underlines our commitment to delivering the very best outcomes in Sharia compliance for our customers around the world. Through their supervisory reviews and Sharia audits they will further strengthen our Sharia controls, which blends top Sharia compliant indices to facilitate market efficiencies and pricing opportunities.” He added, “SRB’s dedicated team of in-house scholars and Sharia auditors are well positioned to monitor, review and engage our business affairs in UK, US, GCC, Malaysia and beyond.”

Currently, Wahed serves thousands of clients from over 100 countries and with its geographical expansion and service diversification is expected to enhance its market share. “We firmly believe in the transformative potential of robo-advisory technology in the new sectors we are tapping in the Middle Eastern and South East Asian region. Our platform has successfully established its ability to promote inclusion in listed investments by serving more customers, even in regions where many don’t even have a basic bank account, let alone the ability to invest in such opportunities. Our services eliminate the high costs associated with traditional fund-based solutions, outlays that often create a significant market barrier for many people.”

Islamic financial institutions are facing high Sharia Board costs, increased Sharia compliance scrutiny, and advanced expectations in Sharia audit reporting. All these factors are driving new opportunities for Sharia Board efficiency and Sharia audit management. Shariyah Review Bureau provides comprehensive Sharia advisory solutions from setting-up Sharia Boards to providing product consulting to Sharia review implementation and Sharia audit planning. As a pioneer in the Sharia advisory and Sharia audit industry, SRB’s services has a first-mover advantage and has amassed a significant base of technical Sharia expertise and direct experience working on some of the leading profile institutions globally. “We are more than a Sharia advisory company – we’re a partner that helps institutions manage Sharia Board and Sharia audit functions and help build this capacity as they grow and expand to new markets,” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO at Shariyah Review Bureau. “Our appointment by Wahed is intended to become a meaningful resource for Sharia supervision on their global equity exposure over time, with the goal of driving Sharia audit performance and reducing Sharia compliance management costs.” He added, “we are excited to partner with one of the world’s leading robo-advisory investment firm because it shares our vision for making Sharia compliance opportunities transparent and accessible to communities around the world.”

CoinMENA to capture Islamic opportunities in digital assets

CoinMENA to capture Islamic opportunities in digital assets

Bahrain based CoinMENA has announced that it has appointed Shariyah Review Bureau (“SRB”) as an outsourcing facility to manage and supervise the Sharia certification and Sharia audit services for its digital asset platform.

CoinMENA was created to help investors at both the retail and institutional level identify business opportunities for digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple that meets the investor’s own standards around long-lasting returns. “Getting certified as Sharia-compliant is another milestone in CoinMENA’s dedication to client excellence and becoming the leading blockchain and digital assets company in the MENA region”, said Dina Sam’an, Co-Founder & COO of CoinMENA.

CoinMENA will provide its clients with an advanced platform that allows them to buy, sell and hold digital assets that are diversified and Sharia-compliant. Dina added, “Seeking the Sharia certification and working with the Shariyah Review Bureau, which has extensive experience working with fintech firms, allows us to increase our focus on the private Islamic investors’ space by offering them a universe of stable Sharia-compliant digital assets with the potential of growth and low volatility.”

Shariyah Review Bureau provides end-to-end Sharia advisory solutions that are centrally-deployed, and offer Sharia supervision, functionality and quick turnaround in product certification. This has become an attractive option for supporting the needs of global Islamic financial establishments and fintech startups. In addition to reducing Sharia scholarly overheads, this approach helps clients of the SRB centralize their firm’s Sharia Board administrative and operational tasks.

Yasser S. Dahlawi, Founder and CEO of SRB, added that “Our experience shows that overall compliance savings resulting from outsourcing Sharia Board and Sharia audit services equate to 33 to 35% compared with the cost of doing the same function in-house. Our services help transform Islamic banking, asset management and fintech sectors, and business life.” Speaking on CoinMENA he added, “We see a whole new league of opportunities arising in the world of Islamic fintech and digital trading.”

Malath to capture greater efficiencies in managing Sharia Compliance

Malath to capture greater efficiencies in managing Sharia Compliance

Malath Insurance, Saudia’s leading insurance company, announced today the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) a leading Sharia Advisory firm focused on Sharia Boards, certification and Sharia audit services, to help maintain and supervise Sharia compliance of its products, operations and investments.

Malath offers comprehensive solutions covering classes of insurances like property, engineering, construction, health and medical for its retail and corporate customers in the Kingdom.  It currently has about 336 employees and 5 offices throughout the country. “Malath continues to grow at a significant pace and we see excellent insurance opportunities in the Kingdom,” said Fawaz A. Al Hijji Managing Director & CEO of Malath. “The influx of cooperative insurance programs we have seen over the past few years has helped double our capacity and strengthen our capabilities required to meet more of our customer’s Sharia compliant insurance needs.”

Speaking on the newly assigned Sharia Advisor, Fawaz added “Bringing Shariyah Review Bureau on board to supervise our Sharia compliance affairs will further strengthen trust in our stakeholders and also give us significant scale with low input costs for certifying and auditing Sharia compliant products and investments.”

Over the years, Shariyah Review Bureau has strongly established itself as one of the leading Sharia Advisory companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Central Bank of Bahrain licensed firm leads with a dedicated team of Sharia Consultants and Sharia auditors  based out of Bahrain and also has 31 scholars covering 19 countries. It currently oversees the Sharia compliance management of 30% of the cooperative Insurance firms listed on Tadawul.

“Leveraging the benefits of outsourced Sharia Board services is no longer limited to large financial institutions struggling with high Sharia maintenance costs,” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO at Shariyah Review Bureau. “Our experience shows that entities of all sizes are using our model to develop and grow their Sharia compliant offerings.” He added, “More and more companies are recognizing the need to partner with Sharia advisory firms to drive value, growth and dexterity.”

Speaking on the new assignment Yasser stated, “This assignment is another acknowledgment of Shariyah Review Bureau’s endeavors to offer Sharia advisory specific solutions that align with the cooperative insurance industry needs and create measurable business value for our clients, today and in the future.”

Algorand Foundation Announces Sharia Certification for Islamic Financial Markets Inclusivity

Algorand Foundation Announces Sharia Certification for Islamic Financial Markets Inclusivity

The Algorand Foundation, the organization that oversees the Algorand blockchain platform delivering speed and scalability for frictionless finance, today announced that the network is certified for Sharia compliant financing.

The Algorand Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling the global promise of blockchain technology by leveraging the public, permissionless, and open source Algorand blockchain to create an inclusive ecosystem that provides an opportunity for everyone to harness the potential of an equitable and truly borderless economy.

Recognizing the importance that the Islamic financial markets bring to the global economy, the foundation enlisted the Shariya Review Bureau (SRB) as an independent Sharia Advisor to ensure the network complies with the critical procedures of Sharia compliant financing..

“I am pleased to hear of this certification by the Algorand Foundation and SRB to ensure that the Algorand network is available to be used by all,” said Steve Kokinos, CEO of Algorand.  “Our vision at Algorand has always been inclusivity. With the rapid growth of the Islamic financial markets, I am excited that forward-thinking Islamic enterprises will now be able to realize new business opportunities on a platform that is congruent to their finance guidelines.”

Algorand’s ecosystem has been growing substantially since launching in June of 2019. With the Sharia certification, Algorand is open to Islamic institutions using the platform for economic exchange and beyond.   While each decentralized application built on Algorand will need to be evaluated and vetted for Sharia compliance financing, the Algorand Foundation is retaining the expertise of SRB and is committed to remaining Sharia compliant as new innovation is rolled out on the platform for the financial markets.

Headquartered in Bahrain and licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Shariyah Review Bureau (“SRB”) has been serving the Islamic financial markets for well over 14 years. With scholars spanning 19 countries its Sharia certification and Sharia audit services are recognized globally. Apart from serving Islamic banks, Takaful firms, asset management institutions it has also been actively engaged with fin-techs like Beehive, Stellar, Raqamyah and Wethaq across variant asset classes. From certifying technologies used in P2P lending, to digitally monetizing undeveloped oil reserves, tokenizing revenue shares of digital assets in luxury hotel real-estates and approving ‘smart contracts’ under the disruptive settlement framework of a Sukuk platform. SRB has been helping entities unlock a new perspective on the future of technology using Islamic financial modalities.

“We are thrilled by technical achievement of the Algorand blockchain and a future of truly scalable and secure blockchain that will serve as a platform for Islamic financial markets to enter the newly emerging borderless economy.,” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, Founder and CEO of SRB. “We are now ready to help institutions seeking to build Islamic transactions on the network have access to expertise required for attaining Sharia compliance in their business facilities.” Yasser added, “High quality Sharia supervisory services are critical to our business and we stand ready to support the future ambitions of the users of Algorand in the Islamic financial market.”

Al Etihad insurance to deliver high impact Sharia compliant products

Al Etihad insurance to deliver high impact Sharia compliant products

One of Saudi Arabia’s largest insurance company, Al-Etihad Cooperative Insurance Company (Al Etihad), with a paid-up capital of SAR 400 million, announced the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau, which provides an array of Sharia certification and Sharia audit services to the insurance, banking asset management industries.

The new assignment enables Al Etihad to focus its resources and expertise on the rapidly-growing Sharia compliant insurance sector of the Kingdom. “We continue to witness exceptional opportunities in all classes of insurance  with new players across broadening business areas of the Kingdom’s geographical exposure,” says Hussam Abdul Aziz Al Kannas, Chief Executive Officer at Al Ethiad. “Our clients are rapidly transitioning into national players in the Kingdom and Sharia compliance is of paramount importance to our customer base.” “This is the right time to invest in Sharia supervisory infrastructure to address the challenges posed by this dynamic growth,” he adds. ” That’s why we have decided to tie-up with the country’s leading Sharia Advisory firm to ensure we are hundred percent focused on delivering cooperative insurance solutions in compliance with Sharia.”

“The focus on Sharia compliance is a great opportunity to accelerate the growth of our insurance business,” noted Ahmad Omar, Chief Financial Officer at Al Etihad. “We understand how to build and maintain all classes of insurance policies but can benefit from a strategic partner that can help navigate our developments in light of Sharia principles.  SRB has a lot of experience in the cooperative insurance and Takaful sector and can really help us successfully pursue our ambitious goals.”

Whether a company requires product based certifications, full Sharia Board service, on premise Sharia audit solution, or simply wishes to outsource the Sharia compliance management and hosting of their entire review, certification, consultation and Sharia audit functions; Shariyah Review Bureau’s services are designed to accommodate any of these scenarios. Furthermore, leveraging SRB’s scholarly network covering 19 countries, companies gain extensive insight in scholarly resources, ensuring they have the important information on Sharia design and practices when they need it.

“More and more institutions are outsourcing their Sharia Board and Sharia audit processes to us as it helps them lower costs, improve performances and focus on core business competencies,” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO at SRB. “This is because our services are designed to offer greater budget flexibility without any compromise on quality while mitigating the shortage of skill and Sharia expertise in the relevant domain.” Yasser added: “We are delighted to be working with Al Etihad and to help lead their insurance development effort in the Kingdom. We look forward to developing as well as strengthening the Sharia compliance make-up of their products, investments and systems.”

Saudi based Peer-to-Peer Funding Platform Raqamyah signs with Shariyah Review Bureau

Saudi based Peer-to-Peer Funding Platform Raqamyah signs with Shariyah Review Bureau

Raqamyah, the Kingdom’s Peer to Peer funding platform, announced the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau, to manage the Sharia compliance affairs of its crowd-funding technology.

Ammar Bakheet, Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Raqamyah, said, “It is high-time for the  Kingdom’s financial sector to explore opportunities offered by fin-tech firms to serve the SME’s segment.” “At Raqamyah we are proactively looking to augment our capabilities in developing faster ways of connecting funders with SME’s and also enact the spectrum of SAMA’s regulations in the Kingdom.”

Speaking about Sharia compliance Mr. Ammar added, “For us, Sharia compliance is instrumental in achieving success. This proposition can help enhance Islamic values by challenging the way a financial transaction is formulated, and providing Sharia assurance to our stakeholders.”

Mr. Ammar further stated, “We are delighted to have a globally recognized Sharia advisory firm like Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) managing our Sharia compliance affairs. Their addition is expected to significantly enhance our capabilities in positioning our fin-tech firm for further growth. We expect SRB to complement and enhance our existing Sharia control functions, allowing us to provide superior Islamic financial services to our customers.”

Shariyah Review Bureau, founded in 2004 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and licensed by Central Bank of Bahrain in 2007 provides Sharia advisory services from setting up Sharia Boards to Sharia certification and Sharia audits to over 100 financial institutions including fin-tech firms. “We believe in bringing a well-balanced approach of examination, verification and testing in our Sharia compliance management so as to operate in an increasingly complex Islamic financial environment” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO and Founder of SRB.

Speaking on the engagement with Raqamyah, Yasser commented, “Being assigned by Raqamyah allows us to become the preeminent choice of Sharia Advisor for P2P firms seeking to offer its crowd-funding opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Yasser ended by stating, “Our Sharia advisory services are well positioned to address the critical and complex Sharia control requirements needed by fin-tech firms to offer Sharia compliant versions of their products and also meet the robust expectations of the regulated Islamic industry in which we operate.”

Lendo integrates Sharia supervisory services of Shariyah Review Bureau

Lendo integrates Sharia supervisory services of Shariyah Review Bureau

Saudia-based Lendo which is seeking to provide peer to peer financing in compliance to Shariah today announced that it has engaged Shariyah Review Bureau (“SRB”) to help support its Shariah supervisory function by overseeing its offerings, crowdfunding structures and operations.

Lendo committed to operating with the highest degree of commitment to Sharia compliance and engaging a top-tier independent Shariah advisory firm that the stakeholders can trust its peer to peer activities are in compliance to the principles of Shariah. “We are committed to maintaining Shariah oversight and controls of our Islamic transactions” said Osama Al Raee, Co-Founder & CEO of Lendo. “A Sharia supervisory review and audit on our product, services and operations by a well-known local Sharia advisory company will allow us to confirm the efficiency of our Sharia control processes for management bodies, investors and customers. We expect Shariyah Review Bureau to contribute to the further optimization and improvement in Sharia supervisory oversight and help us optimize our Sharia risk management system based on their experience with similar firms.”

Lendo  has been working to acquire it license in SAMA’s sandbox regulation while continuing to focus on developing peer to peer funding practices in light of Shariah compliance. “Today, fin-tech firms have a growing need to support Sharia supervisory programs, onboard new Sharia audit partners, and improve Sharia compliance,” said Mohammed Jawabri, Founder & COO at Lendo. Commenting on the newly assigned Shariah advisory firm he stated, “their services are designed to help us optimize the Sharia compliance function for our P2P offering while significantly reducing the burden on our internal Sharia supervisory resources. Given their experience and track-record in serving fin-tech firms they will also support us with industry-leading insights from a Sharia compliance perspective, providing Lendo  with comprehensive and scalable options to meet its needs now and in the future.”

SRB is regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain and has become a global leader in professional Shariah advisory and Shariah audit services, serving clients from the banking to asset management to insurance and fin-tech industry. SRB is considered as one of the most respected Shariah advisory firms in the region. “Creating long-term relationships with the stakeholders of our clients has always been at the core of our business” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, Founder and CEO of SRB. “we will work with Lendo  to improve their Sharia compliance processes, review Sharia oversight procedures for P2P financing, tighten Sharia transactional controls and eliminate any potential for future non-compliant leakage.” Yasser added, “another area of focus will be to evaluate and optimize existing Sharia control procedures and business processes to ensure they supply well-grounded Sharia structural guarantees of implementation for their respective peer to peer control tasks.

Elite Icon Trust (EIT) to digitalize global real estate opportunities with Sharia compliance in AIFC

Elite Icon Trust (EIT) to digitalize global real estate opportunities with Sharia compliance in AIFC

Elite Icon Trust (EIT) to digitalize global real estate opportunities with Sharia compliance in AIFC.

Liechtenstein based company Elite Icon Trust is seeking to pioneer a Sharia compliant Global Real Estate Digitalization program.  It assigned Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB), a Middle-Eastern Sharia advisory firm regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain, to review its project and business activities in light of Sharia principles. After receiving their approval, Elite Icon Trust is now preparing to scale-up its business by securing an operating license  “EIT DIGITAL ASSETS Ltd” at Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC); a financial hub in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

AIFC jurisdiction is based on U.K. Law & is a symbol of modern Kazakhstan. The China Development Bank along with reputable Chinese international corporations are located in the AIFC as Kazakhstan is the Central Asia’s buckle of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

EIT Founder & CEO of EIT Digital Assets Ltd Marius Jedlickij said: “EIT intends to disrupt the global real estate market, starting with luxury hotel rooms. We wanted to cater to the evolving need of Islamic investors in this age of digitization and hence created a Blockchain platform whereby through a clever use of smart contracts, the investor is entitled to room revenue sharing arrangement from luxury hotel rooms which are in different geographical locations”

Commenting on the leadership of AIFC, Marius added, “We would like to share our sincerest appreciation to CEO  Mr. Nurlan Kussainov. It is under such professional team management AIFC is rapidly becoming a safe and prosperous Financial Hub of Central Asia.’’

EIT Digital Assets Ltd COO & Co-Partner Mr. Altay Dostanov said: “Our major aim is Real Estate Digitalization in light of Sharia principles, thus more important is to connect Young Technology minded Talented Brains to the mutual benefits and our Targets achievement.

Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) which has been very active in supporting Fintechs in Shariah compliance, foresees much development to follow in all sectors of Finance. Digitization of platforms which use Blockchain and smart contracts, help eliminate costs tied to third-party involvement, speeds up the process and adds to the overall efficiency of the business model.

“Sharia Supervisory services have become more critical, requiring an increasing amount of committed resources, improved availability and enhanced product structuring expertise,” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, Founder and CEO of SRB. He points to its year-over-year growth as evidence of this growing trend in Sharia Board outsourcing. In just three years, SRB has tripled its customer base, and is now widely considered as the largest Sharia Advisory institute services company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The company serves more than tens of thousands of transactions ranging from mid-market investment companies to the top insurance and asset management firms. Yasser adds “Our goal is to be a Sharia advisory leader for financial institutions seeking to maintain and offer Islamic financial investments, which means excelling in meeting the needs of our clients like Elite Icon Trust.

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