Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

Msrofi: An Arabic Personal Finance Tool To Track Your Budget

| October 5, 2010 – 12:43 pm | comment No Comments

Msrofi is a an Arabic personal finance tool that was created to help users keep an eye on their budgets and cash-flow; to be able to track their income and where they’re spending their money.

In a region where users are still weary of buying online, let alone sharing private information such as their finances, it is quite a challenge for a service like this from the get go; but still Hala Deeb and Mohammed Zaher Ghaibeh from Syrian web company Creative Web Group seem to have taken on that challenge head on by building and launching Msrofi.

The product is simply designed, and should be pretty straightforward for users to create their different categories and record their sources of income as well as their spending under those categories in multiple currencies. Everything has to be added manually at this stage, and that is obviously because of limitations with the banks and banking systems, as well as due to the lack of resources.

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Mdinar, A Tunisian Mobile Payment & M-Wallet Service

| June 17, 2010 – 11:00 am | comment No Comments

mdinarMdinar is a new mobile payment and m-wallet service that was recently launched in beta in Tunisia through a partnership between the BIAT Bank (Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie), Tunisiana (Mobile phone operator), ENDA (a microfinance institution) and Viamobile (a service provider); powered by Creova’s mobile payment technology.

The Mdinar service offers P2P, top-up, and loan payment services directly from a user’s mobile phone. It also offers multiple features, including the ability to view account balances, history of transactions, and the possibility to save and use the list of people frequently receiving payments from the user. It also allows the user to send a request for money to another person.

Using the service requires a subscription that translates into the opening of a BIAT Light bank account. To open an Mdinar account, the user must have a Tunisian ID card and a Tunisiana mobile line, and they can either register online (option not launched yet) or at any of the affiliate branches that display the Mdinar sign. Registration should be quick and the user’s account is activated immediately. Once registered, the user receives a notification by sms with their PIN.

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Oasis 500, A New ICT Seed Capital Fund For Jordan’s Startups

| May 4, 2010 – 2:14 pm | comment 2 Comments

KAFDKing Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD) in Jordan is planning to launch a new ICT seed capital fund in two months with the aim of solving the problem of innovative new startups in the country that need to secure some early stage funding.

The new fund will be called Oasis 500, and the goal is for it to provide an initial capital of between $50,000 and $100,000 to 500 startups.  It will be mainly focused on funding new ideas, especially in media, online, content, applications and the service industry.

At this point, it seems that it’s still undecided though whether the fund will be expanded and made accessible to startups from outside Jordan.

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Argaam Opens Up To Contributions Through Alpha Beta

| June 7, 2009 – 3:19 pm | comment No Comments

Alpha BetaArgaam, the Arabic financial portal, has just launched Alpha Beta, a section of the portal for informed visitors to contribute through posting their analysis of news and events taking place in the market, as well as any information that they might have that isn’t necessarily common knowledge to everyone interested in the stock market and economy in general.

Alpha Beta is open for direct contributions in the form of articles, news, opinions, analysis about regional or worldwide stock markets, investment opportunities; as well as comments and followup on articles published on the portal.

Argaam hope to create a vibrant open environment for discussion and sharing of new ideas, enabling the portal’s visitors to connect, interact and exchange opinions and information that will help enrich and develop the investment culture in the Arab world.

The portal’s editors will go over submitted material before it is published to make sure of its quality, accuracy and reliability, as well as its adherence to the guidelines for these articles, which ask for them to be focused, unbiased and precise among other criteria.

It’s an interesting move from Argaam, attempting to tap into the knowledge of the crowds for insider information about a financial market where there’s more to each story than what figures in the official press releases and news, in addition to all that takes place behind the scenes.

As with the parent portal Argaam, Alpha Beta is available in Arabic only.

Salam Business Club Takes Important Step Into Islamic Finance and Banking

| April 23, 2009 – 10:37 am | comment 11 Comments

Salam Business Club

Salam Business Club (SalamBC), the social business network built especially for the Arab, Asian and Muslim business world, and that recently launched versions in Arabic, Urdu and other languages (and soon in Persian), will be officially announcing an interesting new business development for their service in the upcoming days.

Through a partnership with the Institute for Islamic Finance and Banking (IFIBAF), they aim to be the first online destination to offer Islamic Finance and Banking products to its members.

The deal comes at a time when demand for Islamic financial products is really high and growing, both from Muslims as well as non-Muslims all around the world, yet this demand remains far from covered and satisfied by whatever offers currently exist in the market. And the current economic crisis is pushing even more people to consider Islamic finance and banking as a safer option, with a number of banks working on building up Islamic finance units.

The Islamic finance industry, which is still a nascent one, is currently estimated at $700 billion to $1 trillion in asset size, with a 15-20 percent annual growth rate.

The move by SalamBC to launch such products also comes upon the requests and feedback that they kept constantly getting through listening to their members.

With this deal, SalamBC brings its whole database of members from over 180 countries worldwide to the table, while the IFIBAF brings its long years of experience with Islamic finance and banking, as well as its extensive global network within the Islamic Banking Community, to offer together a central entry point to Shariah-compliant financial products for everyone interested.

Their initial focus for their offerings will be on the European market, as the demand there is largely unsatisfied, but they will be extending to the rest of the world soon after that, as they continue to finalize more partnerships and agreements around the world.

Salam Business Club

Accelarabia, Online Lending Portal For The Middle East

| November 30, 2008 – 6:45 pm | comment No Comments

AccelarabiaAccelarabia is an online portal with the goal to enable mortgage and loan seekers to compare the different options available out there, select the best product for their individual needs, pre-qualify and apply for it directly from the portal in real-time.

Users can also use the site to submit the documents required in order to complete their loan applications, and to follow all progress updates throughout the life of their application, getting instantly notified of any developments.

On the other hand, the portal helps providers of these products reach out to mortgage and loan seekers to obtain pre-qualified customers in a direct and efficient manner.

Accelarabia

 
Earlier this year, Accelarabia launched its Mortgage Automation Platform (MAP); providing banks, mortgage companies, and real estate developers an end-to-end fully automated loan origination solution. MAP encompasses all aspects of mortgage origination from capturing customer’s data, pre-qualifying customers on the fly, obtaining instant credit agency reports to contract generation through an intuitive workflow and document management system enabling mortgage originators to track loan application progress through dashboards, reports, and other management tools.

Accelarabia is based in Dubai, was founded in 2006, secured a first round of funding, and officially launched in early 2007, serving the UAE real estate market with over 10 lenders and 35 real estate partners as part of its network.

Their goal is to provide solutions and services to end-users, financial institutions and real estate companies in the Middle East enabling them to fully automate their origination and fulfillment processes.

Accelarabia 

Sukuk.net, Online Islamic Finance Portal

| July 15, 2008 – 11:39 am | comment 1 Comment

Sukuk.netSukuk.net is a new online financial portal dedicated to “Sukuk” (Islamic Bonds), and Islamic financing, that aims to be the definitive source of information on the global Sukuk market and the premier online destination for the Sukuk industry providing investors, financial services professionals, researchers and institutions with up to date market information.

It also hopes to go one step further by providing investors with all the tools necessary to understand the market and analyse the competition and market data; and assisting firms in developing strategies, market forecasting and identifying new business and investment opportunities.

Users can track global Sukuk activity, market data and register for market tracking analysis tools. The website’s Sukuk Wire also provides an up to the minute feed of the latest news and information on global Sukuk.

The launch of this portal is in response to a growing number of investors and enterprises seeking Shariah compliant funding and general public interest in Islamic finance; The Sukuk market, in particular, is seeing rapid growth and Sukuk paper has the advantage of competitive pricing as a risk-mitigation structure.

Sukuk.net

Sukuk.net is a Dubai and Jeddah based initiative formed through a joint venture between Siraj Capital Ltd., a leading Saudi based Islamic asset management company, and alClick Ltd., a leading provider of online advertising and marketing services in the Gulf region.

# Sukuk.net

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