Saadiq, synonymous with “truthful” in Arabic, is the brand name for Standard Chartered’s global Islamic banking services. The sub-brand of the international bank launched in 2007 has to date garnered several accolades for leadership in Islamic finance innovations and deals. Indeed with a global network that covers 50 percent of the Muslim world, it is only natural that Standard Chartered should play a prominent role in the ever-expanding Islamic financial markets. The global Islamic market, comprising more than 1.5 billion Muslims, is currently valued at $900bn and is expected to enjoy sustained growth for the foreseeable future.
An Islamic banking player since 1993 in Malaysia, Standard Chartered Bank expanded to establish a global Islamic banking unit in 2003 with operations in Pakistan, Bangladesh, the UAE and also in Indonesia through its affiliate Permata Bank. The global headquarters of Saadiq, based in Dubai, serves as the product development hub and centre of excellence for the bank’s global Islamic operations. Currently Saadiq provides a comprehensive range of Shariah compliant international banking services and financial products across both the wholesale and consumer banking arms of business. The Saadiq team comprised of qualified professionals who design and structure the products/services and ensure that they are in line with Shariah principles on banking and finance.
Setting the standard
In 2007, Standard Chartered was the first international bank to launch an Islamic credit card in the UAE, Pakistan and Bangladesh and has since expanded product offerings. The Saadiq product suite is purposely different in each market with the goal providing clients with tailored packages to fulfill their needs. On the consumer front, services are offered to SMEs and individuals and include personal finance, auto finance and mortgages as well as third party distribution of Islamic funds. These products and services can be conveniently accessed through specialised Islamic Banking branches as well as the existing network of conventional bank branches.
Similarly, under Wholesale Banking, Shariah principles combined with Standard Chartered’s rich banking heritage of more than 150 years provide customers with a range of products and solutions to cater for the broad spectrum of corporates and institutions. Saadiq covers a complete suite from simple cash and trade finance to complex solutions such as project finance and Islamic hedging solutions.
To ensure that Standard Chartered Saadiq products comply with the principles of Shariah, it consults an independent committee comprising three of the world’s most renowned Shariah scholars – Dr Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah, Sheikh Nizam Yaquby and Dr Mohammed Ali Elgari.
Meeting the needs
Currently, Saadiq offers over 100 products across various geographies to meet the needs of customers and corporates and is leading the way in the development of Islamic treasury risk management products to provide end to end solutions.
Saadiq is also at the forefront of risk management products, such as Islamic foreign exchange and hedging solutions. It has one of the broadest range of products in this field, starting from basic FX spot and forward to more structured solutions such as profit rate and currency swaps and FX and profit rate options. Saadiq is also working with leading industry bodies to promote the standardisation of products in the Islamic industry.
Additionally Saadiq is a well respected name in the field of Sukuks, Syndications, Project Finance and Structured Finance and has won a number of awards since inception. It has played a leading role in successfully executing a number of high profile transactions including several industry-firsts and benchmark setting innovative deals. Leveraging its Islamic origination and structuring capabilities with its strong franchise in key Islamic markets and global distribution strength, Standard Chartered Saadiq has positioned itself as the preferred partner for Islamic finance. Some of the notable transactions include:
•First ever Islamic project financing deal in Djibouti for DP World sponsored port project.
•The largest ever Islamic Shipping Finance facility in Southeast Asia for Brunei Gas Carriers.
•Largest Project Finance transaction & Largest private sector Islamic Finance transaction in Pakistan for Engro Chemicals.
•First Shariah compliant local currency Sukuk programme by Government of Pakistan.
•First ever Sukuk issuance by the Tesco PLC group of companies (in Malaysia).
•First Sukuk programme to be established by a GCC sovereign and the 1st rated Dirham denominated sovereign transaction for Government of Ras Al Khaimah.
•The inaugural sukuk issues by a host of entities, including the Department of Civil Aviation (Govt of Dubai), Emirates Airlines, Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates Islamic Bank. n