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Bank of korea joins islamic finance body ifsb


March 28 South Korea's central bank has joined the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), one of the main standard-setting bodies for Islamic finance, as regulators across Asia build closer ties to the growing industry. Guidelines issued by the Kuala Lumpur-based IFSB are gaining prominence as the industry takes a greater share of the banking sector in several majority-Muslim countries and expands into new markets. The Bank of Korea is the 59th regulatory body to join the IFSB, bringing total membership to 184, joining the likes of the central banks of Luxembourg and Japan and the monetary authorities of Hong Kong and Singapore. The move could augur stronger links between South Korea and Islamic finance hubs in southeast Asia.

South Korea's Export-Import Bank of Korea already has a bond programme in Malaysia that can issue Islamic bonds, or sukuk, although it has yet to tap the market. This week, Hong Kong lawmakers passed a bill that will allow the AAA-rated government to raise around $500 million via sukuk, or Islamic bonds.

In a separate statement, the IFSB also adopted a revised guideline on the supervision of Islamic finance institutions, helping tighten regulatory oversight of industry practices.

The latest update complements stricter Basel rules, agreed globally to make banks safer after the 2007-09 credit crisis. In the past two years, the IFSB has issued separate guidelines on liquidity risk management, stress testing and capital adequacy.

Brazil, banks near agreement on loan to power companies


SAO PAULO, March 18 The Brazilian government and some of the nation's largest private-sector banks are nearing an agreement on a 3.4 billion-real ($1 billion) loan to bolster the finances of power distributors, an official said on Wednesday. As many as 13 commercial banks will participate, with Banco Bradesco SA, Banco Santander Brasil SA, Banco BTG Pactual SA and Banco Safra SA acting as lead arrangers and guarantors, said Luiz Eduardo Barata, president of electricity clearinghouse company CCEE.

Barata did not say when the loan should be disbursed and did not elaborate on terms and conditions. Reuters reported this month that private-sector lenders are willing to extend the loan to bolster the finances of distributors as long as borrowing costs reflect higher risks and a longer maturity.

Business calls for trump, world leaders to support paris climate pact


More than 360 businesses and investors called on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and world leaders on Wednesday to continue to support agreed curbs on global warming and to speed up efforts to move to a low-carbon economy. In a statement addressed to Trump, U.S. President Barack Obama, members of the U.S. Congress and global leaders, the group, called 360+, reaffirmed its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change. The 360+ group includes companies such as DuPont, Gap(GPS. N) , General Mills(GIS. N) , Hewlett Packard(HPE. N) , Hilton(HLT. N) , Kellogg (K. N), Levi Strauss & Co., L'Oreal USA, Nike(NKE. N) , Mars Incorporated, Schneider Electric, Starbucks (SBUX. O) and Unilever(ULVR. L) . The Paris Agreement, aiming to phase out net greenhouse gas emissions this century, came into force on Nov. 4 and now has backing from 110 nations including the United States.

The Nov. 7-18 meeting in Marrakesh is where U. N. officials and government representatives are trying to work out the details of the pact. However, Trump's victory in the U.S. election last week has overshadowed the event. Trump has threatened to tear up the U.S. commitment to the accord.

The 360+ group called on U.S. leaders to continue to participate in the Paris Agreement, support the continuation of U.S. commitments on climate change and continue to invest in low-carbon solutions at home and abroad. "Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness," the group said, in the statement presented at U. N. climate talks being held this week in Marrakesh, Morocco.

"Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement will enable and encourage businesses and investors to turn the billions of dollars in existing low-carbon investments into the trillions of dollars the world needs to bring clean energy prosperity to all," the group added.