IRTI partners with Ateon, SettleMint to develop blockchain-based product

From left, Kashif Younus, technical sales manager at Ateon; Matthew Van Niekerk, founder andCEO of SettleMint; Abdulaziz Alhamrani, CEO of Alhamrani Group Holding; Syed Aqa, actingpresident and IDB vice president; Mohamed Jouini, IDB vice president; Husam Yaghi, presidentof Ateon; Sami Al-Suwailem, head of Financial Product Development Center, IDB and IRTI; andHilal Houssain, senior financial product development specialist — fintech, IRTI and IDB.
Updated 21 October 2017
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IRTI partners with Ateon, SettleMint to develop blockchain-based product

The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), the research arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, signed an agreement with Ateon to build a blockchain-based financial product that can potentially be used to support development and financial inclusion in IDB member countries.
Ateon, a member of Alhamrani Group of Companies in Saudi Arabia, is a specialized consultancy in financial technology (fintech) development. Ateon will be working on the project in partnership with SettleMint, a Belgium-based software company with experience in developing blockchain applications for financial institutions.
The three parties will be working on the first of its kind use case using blockchain’s smart contracts to create Shariah-compliant financial products to support development in IDB member countries.
From an Islamic perspective, money should be transparent, stable, and trustworthy. Blockchain technologies are able, in principle, to serve these objectives in a robust and cost-effective manner.
An additional attribute of blockchain-based transactional systems is the near-instantaneous clearing and settlement of transactions and asset changes. This naturally mitigates considerable risks arising from clearing settlement and, in many cases, entirely eliminates counterparty risk. This means that capital tied up on the balance sheet of financial services can be released and deployed to more productive ends. Smart contracts and blockchain-based clearing and settlement of transactions will, on one hand, greatly streamline the operation of Islamic financial institutions and, on the other, potentially automate the entire contractual process.
Blockchain smart contracts are essentially self-executing digital contracts. The terms of the contract between the parties in a transaction are electronically coded in smart contracts and will execute when pre-defined conditions are met. The use of smart contracts therefore enables the automation of the entire contractual process for Islamic institutions, alleviating the additional administrative and legal complexities and redundancies associated with Shariah-compliant financial products. Not only that, smart contracts are easy to verify, immutable and secure. The International Fiqh Academy has approved contracting through electronic means since 1990.


Dhaka-bound passengers from Jeddah reach home

Updated 24 May 2018
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Dhaka-bound passengers from Jeddah reach home

  • All 141 passengers and 10 crew members onboard were evacuated safely, and were cared for by the airline’s ground operations team and airport personnel.
Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), the national flag carrier of the Kingdom, greeted passengers returning to Dhaka following a brief stay in Jeddah due to an irregular occurrence on one of its aircraft.
Flight SV3818 operating from Madinah to Dhaka on Monday diverted to Jeddah for an emergency landing due to nose gear malfunction, which became apparent mid-flight. The aircraft was an Airbus A330-200, wet-leased to Saudia.
All 141 passengers and 10 crew members onboard were evacuated safely, and were cared for by the airline’s ground operations team and airport personnel.
Upon concluding all safety and health checks, the passengers were cleared to fly the next day. The Saudia ground operations team conducted all formalities and clearances in order for the guests to fly to Dhaka at 7:30 p.m. Jeddah local time on Tuesday.
Greeting the guests at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah prior to departure was Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, along with representatives from the airline, civil aviation authority and crew.
“Saudia thanks the onboard crew, General Authority of Civil Aviation, and King Abdul Aziz International Airport control for providing their cohesive, full support and cooperation during the event,” the airline said in a statement.
The flight arrived in Dhaka at 4:48 a.m. Dhaka time on Wednesday where they were met by the Saudia country manager and the station staff.
Currently in its 73rd year of operations, Saudia is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO).
The airline currently flies to 90 destinations across four continents with a fleet of 147 narrow and widebody aircraft.
At the 2017 Skytrax Awards held at the Paris Air Show, Saudia was awarded the “World’s Most Improved Airline” of the year.