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Islamic Finance Briefing - Category | Islamic Law / Economics more

The growth rates of Muslim economies have dropped

Posted on 06 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The growth rates of Muslim economies have dropped from 5.7 percent in 2010 to 4.9 percent in 2011, a specialized economic report showed on Thursday. The report of the Islamic Development Bank (IBD) said these economies have been gravely impacted by the struggling global economy, eurozone debt crisis and the political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa region.
It, however, unveiled that the current account surpluses for the IDB members have jumped from 4 percent of the country’s GDP in 2010 to 5.6 percent of the GDP in 2011. Data also showed foreign debt of member states have eroded from 32 percent of the GDP to only 29.5 percent of the GDP in the corresponding time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Effective Shariah risk management would benefit from training

Posted on 05 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) are under a significant degree of pressure to increase their risk management capabilities, as a recent study of IFIs in the GCC and South East Asia from Deloitte’s Islamic Finance Knowledge Center found.
Deloitte found that the primary driver of risk management activities (which should include Shariah risk management) within IFIs was regulatory compliance, not public image or compliance with international standards setting organizations like AAOIFI, IIFM or IFSB………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi mortgage law opens Kingdom to home lending surge

Posted on 05 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi Arabia’s mortgage law, approved two days ago after more than a decade of debate, will encourage banks to expand lending in a $16 billion market that now accounts for less than 4 percent of all home purchases.
The market may increase to about $32 billion annually over the next 10 years, providing opportunities for lenders, property developers and middle-class Saudi homebuyers, according to Naveed Siddiqui, chief executive officer of Capitas Group International, a Saudi holding company focused on Islamic finance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Home to Mecca brings you Muslim Mortgage law

Posted on 04 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always been a little unusual when it comes to Islamic finance and banking. Banks that were otherwise quite conventional, and which both paid and received interest, were proclaimed to be Islamic because ‘all banks in the kingdom are Islamic’.
Since the KSA plays such an important place in Islam, being home to Mecca and other holy sites, it was felt that it would give off the wrong message if any banks were seen to be conventional………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance treads fine political line in Kazakhstan

Posted on 03 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union freed Kazakhstan from Marxist ideology, the country of 17 million people is making a bid to become a regional centre of Islamic finance, which is based on religious principles including bans on interest and pure monetary speculation.
Strongman President Nursultan Nazarbayev, in power since Soviet times, has declared he wants Almaty to become a hub for Islamic banking in the former Soviet Union, which includes other majority Muslim states and Russian republics such as Tatarstan…………………………………Full Article: Source

The economic toll of Islamic law

Posted on 02 July 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Timur Kuran’s provocative diagnosis of a region’s malaise – and a possible cure. Right now, the Islamic world is in the midst of a grand experiment.
After decades facing an unappetizing choice among secular dictatorship, monarchy, and Iranian-style theocracy, nations across the region are grappling with how to build genuinely modern governments and societies that take into account the Islamist principles shared by a majority of voters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oman plans Islamic finance rules before year-end

Posted on 28 June 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Azmat RafiqueA regulatory framework for Islamic finance is taking shape in Oman as government bodies move towards meeting the country’s stated aim of making sharia-compliant products available to the public this year. But logistical challenges and the limited size of the market may prevent entrants to the business from making quick profits.
Legislation covering takaful (Islamic insurance) and sukuk (Islamic fixed income securities) is expected to be finalised by the end of the third quarter of the year, Capital Market Authority officials told Reuters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Politics hinders aid to Arab Spring economies

Posted on 28 June 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Over a year since the Middle East’s revolts began, countries hit by unrest are having trouble obtaining the foreign aid they badly need to rebuild their economies and ease social problems.
When Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador to Cairo in late April, yields on Egyptian Treasury bills rose and stock prices slipped as investors feared Egypt would be cut off from billions of dollars of Saudi financial aid………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will Islamic ideology influence Egypt’s new foreign policy?

Posted on 28 June 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Muslim Brotherhood as a movement has committed to respect whatever has been agreed and concluded by Egypt and even by the previous Egyptian Government. Connections with the Muslim countries will probably influence the presence of Egypt within the Arab and Muslim world and it will be redefined. It is a deep shift in the positions of Egypt.
I do not see Egypt becoming a country that encourages any subversive or destructive movements across the region, I have no fear that this is the case. I think Egypt will want to remain a country that works for the stability of the Middle East but I think the tone will change and eventually, depending on Egypt’s interests, we will see different traces in terms of the foreign policy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pos Malaysia sets up Islamic pawn broking business

Posted on 26 June 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Pos Malaysia has agreed a deal with the Islamic bank Bank Muamalat Malaysia to form a joint venture to provide Islamic loans under the Ar-Rahnu system.
The new company Pos Ar-Rahnu will offer Islamic pawn broking services in Malaysia’s network of more than 700 post offices. The Malaysian postal operator has acquired the entire capital of a company by the name of Bright Emerald Sdn Bhd, through which the joint venture will operate, renamed Pos Ar-Rahnu………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Crown Prince says Saudi Arabia on ‘Islamic path’

Posted on 25 June 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz said the kingdom will remain on its “Islamic path without deviation,” Arab News cited him as saying.
Salman, who also serves as defense minister, said he would try to strengthen the kingdom’s security and stability, the Jeddah-based newspaper reported. The crown prince made the comments as princes, Islamic scholars and senior military officials pledged their allegiance to him, the newspaper said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libyan cleric urges citizens to embrace banking

Posted on 22 June 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Libya’s Islamic cleric Sheikh Al-Sadok Ghariani has called on Libyan citizens to embrace banking and use cheques for transactions, amid reports that a huge chunk of the money in circulation in the country are outside the banking system.
Sheikh Ghariani’s call, in a statement issued here, came against the background of a disclosure by officials of the Central Bank of Libya (BCL) that more than 14 billion dinars (about US$10 billion) are in circulation outside the banking system………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A faith-based aid revolution in the Muslim world?

Posted on 19 June 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islam requires Muslims to give 2.5 percent of their wealth to the poor every year. This represents a big potential in aid funding, but much of the money is mismanaged. In search for sustainable forms of aid, some organizations are trying to promote a broader perspective in Muslim giving rather than narrow conceptions of charity.
Every year, somewhere between US$200 billion and $1 trillion are spent in “mandatory” alms and voluntary charity across the Muslim world, Islamic financial analysts estimate. At the low end of the estimate, this is 15 times more than global humanitarian aid contributions in 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CBO selects Islamic finance training scheme consultant

Posted on 14 June 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

As part of major preparations for the launch of Islamic financial services in the Sultanate of Oman, the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has delivered an inaugural, dedicated Islamic finance training programme for its officers.
The Bank selected Islamic Finance Advisory & Assurance Services (IFAAS), the international Islamic finance consultancy, as its training supplier to design and deliver the course, entitled ‘The Islamic Banking Foundation Programme’………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islam Analysis: The mobile route to a high-tech future

Posted on 14 June 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Muslim countries need forward-looking policies to take advantage of the opportunities offered by mobile technology. The mobile phone is recognised across the world as one of the greatest enabling technologies of modern times.
The exponential growth in its penetration and accessibility has defied all expectations — the UN agency International Telecommunications Union estimates that there were more than 5.98 billion mobile phones in use around the world in 2011, corresponding to about 86 per cent of the world’s population………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic banks should become ‘Ibrahimi banks’

Posted on 31 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A Saudi billionaire who heads a key Arab Islamic bank has proposed that Shariah-compliant banks worldwide change their name to “Ibrahimi banks” as an indication that other key religions also prohibit usury.
Saleh Kamel, one of the richest businessmen in the Arab world with an estimated wealth of more than $five billion, said the name of Islamic banking shows that Islam bans only usury but its economic principles are much wider………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Knowledge economies still elusive in Islamic world

Posted on 30 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Last month, a special report by The Economist magazine announced the dawn of the third industrial revolution, built on the idea of individualised production powered by 3D printers and nano devices that create objects atom by atom.
It talked of a not-so-distant age when the global centre of gravity of production — which in the 1970s moved to developing countries like China, Malaysia, Taiwan — will revert to the developed world, in order to be nearest to the ‘brains’………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is it time for another Shariah ETF?

Posted on 28 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The concept of Islamic finance, banking and economics has gained tremendous popularity of late. It is appreciated and implemented not only in countries where Islam is the dominant religion, but also in non-Islamic nations. The basic premise of Islamic finance, banking and economics is based on ‘hygienic’ ways of doing business as prescribed by the Islamic Law or Shariah.
What is a Shariah Compliant financial product? A Shariah compliant financial product (mutual funds, ETFs etc) is an investment avenue that is fully compliant with the principles of Shariah Law………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance: Is it really Shariah-compliant?

Posted on 28 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

As he delivered his welcome address to delegates at the Global Donors Forum in Kuala Lumpur recently, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak sought to make a few crucial points about the necessity, and viability, of Islamic finance and micro-finance in today’s world.
“At the heart of Islamic finance is, of course, the genuine philanthropic spirit,” he said, “a spirit that pervades both its giving and its business practices and that holds the potential to transform the lives of billions of the poorest people in the world.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Ethics and finance: Perspectives of the Sharīah and its higher objectives (Maqāid)

Posted on 28 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The interest-based financial system has nurtured a debt-ridden environment that inflicts anxiety on people with mortgages and business loans lest they are caught in debt-traps and forced failures. This would explain the radical change of attitude in recent decades toward the importance of ethics in business almost everywhere.
Leonard Swidler of Temple University thus spoke of the “rise of business ethics and spiritual movement,” in many western quarters manifested by the emergence of institutions such as the World Business Academy, the Council for Ethics in Economics, the Caux Roundtable, and the Global Dialogue Institute – all based in the United States………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait’s ruler blocks Islamic law proposal

Posted on 18 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Kuwait’s ruler has blocked a proposal by 31 of the 50 elected members of parliament to amend the constitution to make all legislation in the state comply with Islamic law, an MP said on Thursday.
The approval of Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, is needed for any constitutional change………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The rise of Islamist political economy: The new capitalists

Posted on 16 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

After gaining power during the Arab Spring, Islamist parties are seeking solutions to improve the economy of the Islamic states.
For Fawaz A Gerges, professor of international relations at the London School of Economics, free market capitalism is the new model used by the Islamists after years of socialism. Turkey the flagship of the new Islamic movements………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic Economy Council launched in Tunisia

Posted on 14 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A national council of Islamic economy has been founded in Tunisia with the aim of facilitating the development of the country’s Islamic financial system.
The council, whose board has 28 members, was officially launched on Thursday, May 10, businessesnews website reported. The council has invited Tunisian economic experts and bank managers to join it………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia leverages its Islamic finance experience to promote global financial linkages

Posted on 11 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia will showcase its vast experience in Islamic banking and finance with a Country Showcase event preceding the 9th Annual Summit of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) which is scheduled to be held on 16 - 17 May 2012 at the Swissotel, The Bosphorus in Istanbul, hosted for the first time by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
Themed, “Promoting Global Financial and Economic Linkages through Islamic Finance”, the Malaysia Country Showcase is organised by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in support of the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative, whose objective inter alia is to consolidate Kuala Lumpur as a major global Sukuk origination hub. (Press Release)

Islamic countries urged to improve economic conditions to boost trade‎

Posted on 11 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak affirmed his country’s keen interest to cooperate with all investors, particularly with members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
IDB President Ahmed Muhammad Ali said total funds approved by the IDB Group to Malaysia have reached $ 1.4 billion for 117 projects covering infrastructure, energy, education, agriculture, mining in addition to imports and exports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Najib invites OIC investors to consider projects under ETP

Posted on 11 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak welcomed investors from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries to consider projects under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) as a safe home for their surplus cash.
He said the programme called for huge investments in a number of key sectors — advanced technologies, including green and renewable technology, healthcare, education and tourism and hospitality………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Indonesia Islamists stall gender equality bill

Posted on 10 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The fate of a gender equality bill pending in Indonesia’s parliament and aligned with the United Nations convention on the elimination of all forms discrimination against women (CEDAW) has become uncertain after falling afoul of powerful Islamist groups.
No fewer than six major Islamic organizations have formally objected to the equality bill on the ground that some of its articles go against Islamic values in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation where 80 percent of its 238 million people are followers of the faith………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian clerics issue fatwa against demonstrations‎

Posted on 08 May 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia’s top Islamic body has warned Muslims to stay away from illegal street protests, declaring them haram, or forbidden, following last month’s chaotic rally for electoral reform in Kuala Lumpur.
The National Fatwa Council – which has previously issued edicts against yoga, supernatural beings and forex trading – said Monday that it was issuing a “strong reminder” that “rioting, causing disturbances and damaging public property” is forbidden by Islam………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance ‘set to face’ its biggest shake-up in years

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Khaled Al FakihIslamic finance may face its biggest shake-up in years as a top standard-setting body seeks to reform the way the industry does business, including the role of highly paid scholars in enforcing religious principles.
Khaled Al Fakih, the new secretary-general of the Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), outlined plans for a sweeping review of its guidelines in an interview with Reuters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Muslims on Wall Street: Pragmatic over dogmatic

Posted on 30 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

They have been around for many years, if not decades, and it’s only now they are being noticed because of a variety of factors.
Times recently interviewed several American Muslims, including me, working in the financial arena for an article Muslims on Wall Street, Bridging Two Traditions. It explored two ‘conflicts’: Muslims working in conventional finance may encounter ‘interest’ against their faith, and challenges of abiding by Islamic ‘traditions’ in a secular workplace………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Market for Shariah grows surely and steadily

Posted on 16 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Globally, the $1.5 trillion market for Shariah-adherent products is expected to grow by around 20% annually. In India, 1,200 of the total 6,000 stocks are Shariah-compliant already. Over the last one year, Shariah-linked funds, which manage assets worth Rs139 crore, have outperformed the Sensex by a mile.
A cursory comparison of Islam-based investments and broad market performance (as symbolised by the Sensex gyrations) might suggest that Shariah-compliant funds have caught the fancy of Indian investors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IDB rates Nigeria as 3rd fastest economy

Posted on 12 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Development Bank has rated the Nigeria as the third fastest economy in the world with the GDP of 7.68 per cent. The two countries ahead of Nigeria according to IDB rating are Mongolia (14.9 per cent) and China (8.4 per cent)
Minister of state, finance, Yerima Ngama disclosed this on Wednesday at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting during his presentation on the outcome of the last (37th) meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hong Kong using halal food to attract Muslim biz community

Posted on 10 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Hong Kong is attracting more Muslim money and businessmen amid increasing economic ties between China and the Muslim business community.
The online version of Time magazine Wednesday said halal food, or food made in accordance with the Quran, is popular among Muslim businessmen in Hong Kong. The city and China have raised trade with Islamic countries like Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates, so more restaurants in Hong Kong are selling halal food or dumplings without pork for Muslim businessmen. Pork is widely used in Chinese food but banned by Islamic law………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Loss-sharing is not sine qua non for Islamic finance

Posted on 05 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

There remains a misconception amongst the masses that Islamic finance is essentially a system that shares the profit or the loss. In fact this is not the reality. Islamic finance involves different modes, out of which a few are profit sharing and/or profit and loss sharing. There are many other modes, where the question of sharing profit or bearing loss does not arise.
Even these, however, are rich in their respective virtues. Each of the modes of Islamic finance has got its own distinct characteristics in respect of modus operandi and principles………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can China make its cuisine - and finance - friendly to Muslims?

Posted on 05 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

China’s legendary cuisine has been a secret weapon to winning many an investment. But when a major ingredient of the culinary experience is pork, hospitality can only go so far when it comes to entertaining Muslim businessmen from countries like Indonesia and the Gulf’s emirates.
How the Chinese have been able to adjust can be seen in Hong Kong, the international trade port that many of these business people go through on their way to mainland China………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia well-positioned to become global Halal hub

Posted on 05 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia is well- positioned to become a global halal hub by 2020 given the global acceptance of Malaysia’s halal certification, increasing recognition of its halal food and consumable products and its global leadership in Islamic banking finance industry.
“We are on the right platform and we would like to believe we are there already in terms of concept, products, ideas, instruments and certification………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Obliging to ‘zakat’ payments

Posted on 04 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Shariah-compliant companies, either fully owned by Muslims, or jointly owned by Muslims and non-Muslims, or fully owned by non-Muslims, all are liable to pay ‘zakat’. The grounds justifying this include the compatibility concept of the legal entity between the civil and syariah laws and the consideration of public interests.
The importance of zakat as a social policy is underlined by the fact that it has been mentioned 80 times in the Quran paired together with the obligation of prayer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic property laws hamper economies of Middle East

Posted on 04 April 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

One of the world’s most influential scholars on Islam’s impact on Middle East economics spoke before a large Baylor audience Monday, arguing certain provisions of Islamic law stifled innovation in the region for centuries.
Dr. Timur Kuran, professor of economics and political science at Duke University, said Islamic law discouraged the development of large corporations that accompanied Europe and America’s economic progress in the industrial revolution………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pakistan: Current system different from Islamic financial system

Posted on 29 March 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Interest free banking is according to the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan as our current banking system is entirely different from the Islamic financial system. It is need of the hour media play its role to make people aware of the benefits of Islamic financial system.
Dr Javed Iqbal said ‘Riba’ is haram according to Islamic law but it has been adopted in financial system of a country which has been set up in the name of Islam. He said Iqbal was against capitalism but he was not in favour of its complete omission from the society………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Looking at Islamic banking in its proper context

Posted on 27 March 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Muslim Consumer Association of Malaysia (PPIM), in a press statement dated Feb 12, criticised banks “who use the name ‘Islam’ in efforts to promote and sell their respective products when in reality they still oppress and use methods contrary to Islamic law”.
The Association of Islamic Banks in Malaysia (AIBIM) countered that “all Islamic banking institutions in Malaysia operate in accordance with syariah values and are well regulated in compliance with high standards …”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Saudization, foreign expertise key to growth

Posted on 12 March 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi Arabia has become one of the most investment-friendly states in the world, with foreign investment inflows reaching over SR600 billion.
A huge increase in the number of joint projects being implemented with the participation of foreign capital in various sectors as well as the record number of investment licenses issued by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) during the last 10 years are the major factors contributing to this, says Mahdi Al-Nahari, chairman of the Foreign Investment Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic funds: Plenty of room for growth and product innovation

Posted on 06 March 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The expanding shariah-compliant investment fund universe has been attracting more and more fans from outside the Islamic world, as their overall volume of capital under management grows and attention shifts to alternative products and asset types not implicated in the post-2008 crisis.
According to the Ernst & Young Islamic Funds and Investments Report 2011, “the Islamic funds industry grew to US$58 billion in 2010, achieving a 7.6% growth. The Islamic fund universe comprises of some 100 fund managers”. With change and development sweeping through the Islamic world, shariah-compliant investing seems only destined to grow further………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Call to check Shariah finance scholars

Posted on 06 March 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic finance scholars should be regulated in line with other professionals such as lawyers and accountants, says David Gray, the director of supervision at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
Under DFSA rules, which apply to companies operating within the Dubai International Financial Centre framework, firms offering Islamic services must have a Sharia supervisory board made up of “competent” scholars………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The future of conventional and Islamic financial products in Libya

Posted on 02 March 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Following the popular uprising in Libya of 2011, it is still premature for the relevant regulators to consider the overhaul of the financial services industry in Libya, including Islamic finance, the regulation of foreign banks and stock exchange.
The current Banking Law No 1 for 2005 and the Stock Exchange Law No 11 for 2010 are still in force and shall regulate all banking and securities activities at present until being amended…………………………………………Full Article: Source

Number of U.S. mosques up 74pct since 2000

Posted on 01 March 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The number of Islamic places of worship in the United States soared 74% in the past decade. While protests against new mosques in New York, Tennessee and California made headlines, the overall number of mosques quietly rose from 1,209 in 2000 to 2,106 in 2010.
And most of their leaders say American society is not hostile to Islam, according to a comprehensive census of U.S. mosques and survey of imams, mosque presidents and board members released Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tunisia seeks to establish legal framework to regulate Islamic economy

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

“The Tunisian Government will seek to establish a legal framework to regulate the Islamic economy in Tunisia,” said, Monday, Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, adding that the country plans to become “a regional centre of Islamic finance.”
Hamadi Jebali also said “Tunisia needs 35 to 45 billion dollars in financing in the next five years to carry out its development projects. Islamic banks, at the forefront of which the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), can provide part of these funds, he indicated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Muslim investors seek Shariah-compliant RRSPs

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The deadline for RRSP contributions is nearing, but there’s another important investment concern for Muslims — ensuring the products they rely on for their retirement income comply with Islamic principles.
With nearly a million Muslims in Canada, forming nearly three per cent of the country’s population, there has been an emphasis over the last decade in investment products that adhere to the strict dictates of Shariah law………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shariah compliance and public sector borrowing

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

As the debate on public sector borrowing intensified in the wake of the recent US debt crisis, and before that the adverse budgetary situations in a number of European countries, including but not limited to Greece and Ireland, led to political debate on the issue, it would be instructive to look into Shariah guidelines for public debt.
The issue is also relevant to a number of Muslim countries, including Pakistan, where Shahid Kardar, the former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, resigned perhaps because of disagreement over the government’s stance over public debt………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shariah-compliance boosts business value by 25pct

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Fares MouradConverting a conventional business to a Shariah-compliant entity can increase the value of a company by 18-25 per cent due to the scarcity of genuine Islamic investments, but the process involves various risks, said Swiss banking group, Bank Sarasin.
The bank, releasing its Islamic Wealth Management Report, said while the conversion process is arduous, “extending from the design to distribution and beyond, to how the company spends its profits,” the market potential is massive, with the global Muslim population expected to increase by 26 per cent to 2030, to 2.2 billion, rivalling China and India in terms of market size………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian Fatwa Council seeks to ban some forex trading

Posted on 22 February 2012 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Abdul Shukor HusinPart-time currency traders, beware: You might be violating Muslim law, at least in Malaysia. An Islamic body last week warned Muslims that participating in individual spot foreign exchange trading through electronic platforms is in conflict with Islamic laws.
The National Fatwa Council, which comes under the nation’s Department of Islamic Development (the main agency handling Islamic affairs at the federal level), said that a study by a committee found that such trading involves currency speculation, which is against Islamic laws. It is therefore “haram,” or forbidden, for Muslims, it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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