Sber discusses future of partner banking at Russian Islamic Economic Forum

Oct 19, 2021

The 3rd Russian Islamic Economic Forum called “Russia – the Guarantor of Partnership” was held in Grozny, Chechnya, on October 14-15. Organized with Sber’s support and co-organized by the International Association of Islamic Business and KPMG, the event was designed to facilitate the development of business partnerships between Russia and the Islamic world.

Participating in the business program of the event were Chairman of the Government of the Chechen Republic Muslim Khuchiev, Deputy Chairman of the Government and Minister of Economic, Territorial, and Trade Development of the Chechen Republic Magomed Selimkhanov, Senior Vice President of Sberbank Oleg Ganeev, and President of the International Association of Islamic Business Marat Kabayev.

The forum’s panel discussions were called “New Trends in the Islamic Ecosystem” (ESG, Green Sukuk, Digital Awakening) and “Alternative Solutions to Regulate Islamic Finance in Russia.”

Oleg Ganeev, Senior Vice President, Sberbank:

“A pioneer in partner banking among all major Russian banks, Sber is interested in the development of this vertical. In its mid-term estimate, KPMG has projected the Islamic finance market to reach USD 7-9 bn in Russia alone. We view Islamic finance as promising, giving the global trends, and keep adapting Sber’s products and services to customer needs, while designing new solutions compliant with current legislation. As of today, our aggregate portfolio of structured Islamic finance deals is valued at USD 262 mn and RUB 30 mn.”

Forum participants also saw presentations of Russia’s first Islamic investment indices and PayZakat.

The new indices – MOEX Shariah Index (MXSHAR) and MOEX Shariah Total Return Index (MXSHARTR) – were presented by Sber and MOEX. The indices include securities by issuers who have been verified for compliance with the principles of Islamic economics.

Issuers are selected by the Shariah Supervisory Board established by Sberinvest Middle East Limited, which has its headquarters in the United Arab Emirates. Sberinvest Middle East Limited also ensures that the securities are screened for compliance with Shariah law. In the future, Sberinvest Middle East Limited will offer its clients in the Middle East investment products linked to these indices.

PayZakat is a charity platform for the Islamic community allowing users to collect and distribute donations. It currently has over 3,000 subscribers. The average size of transactions, including big ones, reached RUB 8,000 in 2021.