Sberbank co-organizes 2nd Russian Islamic Economic Forum

Nov 29, 2019
  • Forum attendees discuss introduction of tools for Islamic finance in banking, launch of Sberbank accelerator for projects correlated with Islamic banking, and address new tech solutions to carry out social project throughout Islamic ecosystem
  • Sberbank’s Islamic finance assets grow to RUB16 in 2019, while Russian businesses need 8.5 bln to 9 bln dollars annually, according to estimates

November 29, 2019, Ufa — Sberbank has co-organized the 2nd Russian Islamic Economic Forum, which was held in Ufa under the tagline “Russia: Opening Up Opportunities”. Other co-organizers included the Government of Bashkortostan, Group of Strategic Vision Russia – Islamic World, the International Association of Islamic Business, and KPMG.

The forum was attended by Oleg Ganeev, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, Behnam Gurban-Zada, Counsellor to Deputy Chairman of the Board of Sberbank, Talgat Safa Tajuddin, Chairman of the Central spiritual administration of Muslims of Russia, Marat Kabaev, President of the International Association of Islamic Business, Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Tatarstan, Radiy Khabirov, Head of Bashkortostan, and others.

During roundtable discussions the forum attendees discussed the introduction and adaptation of tools for Islamic (partner) finance in banking, launch of a Sberbank accelerator for projects correlated with Islamic banking, along with new tech solutions to carry out social project throughout the Islamic ecosystem. Professionals analyzed what had been done since the 1st Russian Islamic Economic Forum called “Russia: Guarantor of Partnership”, which Moscow hosted in February 2018, and outlined the goals for 2020.

Oleg Ganeev, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank,

“We are actively developing partner finance and provide all corporate stakeholders with opportunities. This year Sberbank’s Islamic finance assets grew to RUB16 bln, whereas Russian businesses need 8.5 bln to 9 bln dollars a year, according to estimates. The bank considers Islamic finance as a separate business model with a separate customer segment, a unique product line and its proprietary risk management system aligned with the values of Islamic ethics. We’re currently getting ready to launch products and services of partner finance across Russian regions, both for corporate and retail clients. I believe they would drive regions with a high density of Muslim residents and would enhance the investment attractiveness of these regions’.”

Sberbank’s corporate product line already features products like fiduciary management (mudarabah), leasing (ijarah), and a trade finance tool (wakala-murabaha). In 2019, Sberbank acquired a 25% interest in PayZakat, a digital platform to collect, redistribute, and monitor mandatory and voluntary payments that the international Muslim community collects for people who are poor and in need. Having invested RUB5 mln in the platform, the bank integrated a new charity solution into its ecosystem.