top of page


Proshare Islamic Finance Weekly Article

Enhancing the skills of women, increasing investment opportunities for them through products and encouraging them to take up leadership positions are ways in which Islamic Fintech Firms can empower women in climes like Nigeria. Mrs. Wahida Mohamed the Founder of the Islamic Fintech Hub made this statement while speaking on the "Role of Women In The Islamic Fintech Ecosystem".

According to her, women in the Islamic Banking and Finance industry have pooled immense investments and assets into the industry, including the following;

- Rania Mahmoud Nasher of Saudi Arabia, Samba Financial Group CEO named twice in the Forbes 100 most powerful women in the world. Samba, formerly known as The Saudi American Bank has 66 branches,

- Lubna Suliman Olayan of Saudi Arabia, CEO of Olayan Financing Company that has earned US$ 10 billion. OFC is currently active in 40 countries,

- Raja Teh Maimuna is the managing director of Wholesale Banking for the AmBank Group. She has also been the CEO of AmInvestment Bank, Hong Leong Islamic Bank, Bank AlKhair Malaysia (previously Unicorn Investment Bank) and has helped set up the world's first Islamic commodity Murabahah (cost-plus deferred sale) platform,

- Raja Al Mazrouei is the Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive UAE that brings together leading financial institutions, government entities, technology partners and entrepreneurs to realize a common goal in driving forward the UAE's national innovation agenda and shaping the future of financial services,

- Fatime Qasimi CEO of Aseel Islamic Finance, an award-winning Islamic non-bank retail finance institution,

- Viola Llewellyn President & Co-Founder of Ovamba Solutions, Inc. used by partner banks to provide their customers with capital for trade, importation, manufacturing and business growth using non-interest-bearing risk-mitigated financial instruments,

- Mirna Slieman is the founder and CEO of Fintech Galaxy, MENA region's digital fintech community and crowdsourcing platform,

- Dr. Hayat Sindi Chief Adviser to the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President for Science, Technology and Innovation amongst others.

Speaking further Mohamed acknowledged the fact that women are doing a lot of work and making changes in the industry. She noted that about 10 startups in collaboration have worked to promote gender balance and develop skills and products for women.

Read full article here:

93 views0 comments

Impact Alpha article by Yasemin Saltuk Lamy & Diana Kolar

In a world where innovation is revered, it can be easy to forget the value of tried and tested tools. When Covid-19 revealed itself as a global pandemic, CDC turned to one of the oldest forms of international finance to support financial stability with systemic liquidity: Trade Finance. This age-old instrument has not attracted many modern impact investors, yet trade finance, and other forms of invoice or inventory-backed working capital financing, is exactly the type of support businesses need to maintain operations and jobs without jeopardizing financial health by taking on leverage or diluting ownership during a crisis.

Development Finance Institutions have announced more than $12 billion in trade-related COVID-response initiatives as of early July. For impact investors in need of lower risk opportunities that can absorb larger capital allocations, this is just the ticket. But we have yet to see impact investors active in this market. It could be that the multi-layered approach of partnership through banks that on-lend feels too removed from the impact for end beneficiaries. Or is the administrative burden too high for the thinner margin of these short-term transactions? 

Historically low default rates of ~0.08% should be compelling for lenders, and this has proven to be one our quickest, most scalable and most prudent tools for supporting systemic liquidity early in the crisis. Investors open to old-fashioned tools could have significant impact – reaching small business at scale – with low risk. Too good to be true? Or just tried and tested?

Read the full article at

33 views0 comments

IFN Correspondent Report: Central Africa by Marvin Cole

In a region such as Central Africa (CEMAC Zone) you have to know which structure levers to pull to balance nuance, with practicality, and policy versus legal to form an effective finance mechanism. The Malaysian model of the Bai Al Inah is a classic case of this.

Investors seeking yield and alignment in the region may wish to incorporate understanding of how Civil Law and Islamic Law co-reside in the region. There are some surprising upsides to this type of contract. The Malaysian version of the ‘Sales & Repurchase’ was first put into practice in 2015 and proved to fit well within the scope of legality. The Bai Al Inah is slowly gaining popularity with foreign investors and Islamic finance professionals.

To begin with, the legal system (French Civil Law) does not consistently uphold penalties and judgements at the local level when enforcing breach of contract. Those tasked with overseeing tribunals at “convocations” and even judges have been known to make arbitrary and unforeseen judgements that do not support the fair and clear interpretation of contracts, especially when primary residences are at the center of the contract. This is one of the reasons why unsecured financing is risky and why investors are turning to experienced Islamic professionals who have used the Malaysian Bai Al Inah successfully.

Because real estate law in the region is respected as a strong, versatile tool for ‘wrapping’ transactions, the Bai Al Inah becomes a powerful tool for the way it protects “the spirit” of the transaction — a sale and future repurchase. The Bai Al Inah is taken before a notary for finalization by both parties. The seller sells the property to the buyer, and the title to the asset is transferred to the buyer. There is no lien here. The seller has completely sold the property to the buyer.

In the case of a failed transaction, there is no day in court, lengthy, expensive, drawn out procedures or amendment to the contract after the fact. The buyer owns the asset/property. The Bai Al Inah is clear, effective and specific. It is much harder to “pervert” than a traditional lien. When the transaction and all conditions are satisfied, the seller repurchases the asset. Ownership has changed twice.

The most surprising upside to the Bai Al Inah is the tax impact. The restorative nature of the Bai Al Inah means effectively, the sale has been canceled. Tax on ‘zero’ revenue is not levied and is not accrued — except in some cases where revenue from fees or mark-up has been built into the contract. In a country like Cameroon which has few reciprocal tax treaties, except with France and Canada, this can be a helpful strategy for reducing the impact of dual taxation to investor portfolios.

Any public opinion or media appearance is the author’s independent personal opinion and should not be construed to represent any institution with whom the author is affiliated.

Marvin RR Cole is CEO of Ovamba Solutions.

74 views0 comments
bottom of page