IDB, WB eye $1.9 trillion Islamic finance market

Updated 23 January 2018

IDB, WB eye $1.9 trillion Islamic finance market

RIYADH: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank are to use the rapidly growing Islamic finance market for infrastructure development projects through public-private partnerships (PPP).
The IDB recently organized a forum in Washington in partnership with the World Bank on this subject, IDB spokesperson Dr. Abdul-Hakim Elwaer told Arab News on Sunday.
IDB Vice President Dr. Mansur Muhtar represented IDB President Dr. Bandar Hajjar during the forum attended by IDB member countries.
“The IDB, in partnership with the World Bank, will work to unlock the potential of the $1.9 trillion Islamic finance market to mobilize resources for infrastructure development projects using public-private partnership (PPP),” Muhtar told the forum.
The IDB vice president made the statement based on a report, “Mobilizing Islamic Finance for Infrastructure-Public Private Partnership,” which was funded by the Jeddah-based development bank.
The World Bank suggested that the Islamic financial market has reached $1.9 trillion over the past six decades.
Elwaer said the aim of the forum was to create awareness about the potential for infrastructure development through PPP, especially in developing countries.
“This falls in line with the new development orientations of IDB member countries including Saudi Arabia, whose ambitious 2030 plan is targeting to increase the private sector’s contribution to the GDP (gross domestic product) from 40 to 65 percent,” he said.
He said the Kingdom aims to achieve this through increasing the use of PPPs and through the privatization of government entities.
Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank senior vice president on sustainable development goals, said: “One of the advantages that the IDB has in using Islamic finance is localization.
“The IDB has worked in many villages in its areas of operation, and has always demonstrated how localization helps in benefiting from Islamic finance.”


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 42 sec ago

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

JEDDAH: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the Kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen, where an Arab coalition has been fighting to restore the internationally recognized government.
But the Wall Street Journal å reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Kuwait is investigating the sighting of a drone over its territory and is coordinating with Saudi Arabia and other countries, the cabinet said on Sunday.
“The security leadership has started the necessary investigations over the sighting of a drone over the coastline of Kuwait City and what measures were taken to confront it,” the cabinet said on its Twitter account.
It said Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah directed military and security officers to tighten security at vital installations in the OPEC producer and to take all necessary measures “to protect Kuwait’s security.”
Some Iraqi media outlets have said Saturday’s attack on Saudi oil facilities came from Iraq, which borders Kuwait. But Baghdad denied this on Sunday and vowed to punish anyone using Iraq as a launch pad for attacks in the region. 
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.