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Islamic Finance Briefing - Category | Compliance, Tax, Legal, Regulatory more

Egypt: Sukuk market will increase as soon as the legal framework is established

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Sukuk will be sued to finance the upcoming Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects according to the financial advisor to the Ministry of Finance, Ahmed Al-Naggar. He made these confirmations during the 2nd Annual PPP Investment Summit held in the capital.
The confirmation has been welcomed by stakeholders in the partnership. Waleed Hegazi, partner at Hegazy & Associates said it’s sukuks allow “high rates of return on investments” but calls for the implementation of the sukuk law which will be “a positive step and a quantum leap in establishing Islamic finance.” ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Shura Council debates IDB contribution to South Helwan power station

Posted on 26 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Shura Council on Monday discussed plans to include the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) as a potential partner with the Egyptian government to contribute funds towards the second payment installment of an electrical station set to be built in southern Helwan.
The installment would cost an estimated $250m. Minister of Electricity and Energy Ahmed Imam stated that the station would operate at 1,950 MW, and would require a total of EGP 13bn in investments over the whole course of the construction project. He added it was part of Egypt’s 2012-2017 ‘five-year project plan’………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egyptian controversy over proposed Islamic bonds law

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The approval of a controversial draft law allowing the issuance of Islamic bonds, commonly known as sukuk, has rekindled debate in Egypt over whether it contradicts Islamic law. According to Egypt’s state-run daily al-Ahram, the bill was approved Tuesday night by the Shura Council, the country’s temporary legislature.
Three months ago, the cabinet approved a law regulating sukuk dealings but it was rejected by the country’s prestigious religious institution Al-Azhar over concerns that the new financial system might allow foreigners to own key state assets as well as suspicions about its fixed interests that are not allowed in Islam………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance body in ‘final stages’ of 1st sukuk issuance, says BNM Governor

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp., backed by a group of central banks located in Asia and the Middle East, is in the “final stages” of issuing its first sukuk or Islamic bond, Malaysian central bank governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said on Wednesday.
Kuala Lumpur-headquartered IILM, established in 2010, was entasked to issue short-term sukuk, or Islamic bonds, to help sharia-compliant banks manage liquidity and create a liquid cross-border market for Islamic instruments. “The shareholders (of IILM) are in the process of supplying the underlying assets for the sukuk,” Zeti told reporters in the Malaysian capital. “There will be an announcement on this in the near term, it would be correct to say that it is in the final stages.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Centralised legal framework for Islamic economy soon

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Economy Higher Committee will create legal bodies to certify the Islamic products in Dubai by the end of this year. However this will be left optional, the Committee’s member and Director General of Dubai Department of Economic Development, Sami Al Qamzi, told Gulf News.
By the end of this year, the Islamic Economy Higher Committee will come out with a unified Islamic legislation to help encourage and support Islamic products in the emirate as well as to encourage the initiative of Dubai becoming the world capital of Islamic economy, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Morocco: Central bank mulls nat’l Shariah board

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Morocco’s central bank has started talks with a body of Islamic scholars on establishing a central Shariah board to oversee the country’s fledgling Islamic finance industry, a central bank official said.
The board, composed of scholars and financial experts, would rule on whether instruments and activities complied with Shariah principles. Its creation would be a step towards establishing full-fledged Islamic banks in Morocco………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt’s lawmakers approve Sukuk for Islamic bond issues

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Egyptian lawmakers approved the country’s first sukuk law today, paving the way for the government to take part in a market that hit a record $46 billion of debt sales last year. The law allows the state and its related entities to issue Shariah-compliant debt locally and internationally. Capital gains and coupon payments will be exempt from tax.
Egypt is looking for ways to secure foreign currency as a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund remains stalled by political unrest. The country may raise as much as $1 billion by June from sale of its first Islamic bonds, Ahmed El- Naggar, adviser to Finance Minister El-Morsi El-Sayed Hegazi, said last month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt: Shura Council approves Islamic bond law

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Parliament approved a law Tuesday allowing the issuance of Islamic bonds, slated to provide the heavily-indebted government with a new form of finance. The Shura Council voted in favor of the law passed by the government at the end of February and sent it to President Mohamed Morsy for final approval.
Finance Minister Morsy Hegazy said last month that Egypt could raise around US$10 billion a year from the Islamic bond market — much more than some analysts expect — but added that it would take at least three months to push through necessary regulations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait parliament passes in principle controversial law to bail out debtors

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Kuwait’s parliament on Tuesday passed in principle a bill that requires the government to buy billions of dollars of bank loans owed by citizens and reschedule them after waiving interest. Thirty-three MPs voted for the law, three opposed it while 20 members including all cabinet ministers present abstained.
To become effective, the law must pass another round of voting in parliament in the coming few weeks, approved by the government and then signed into legislation by the ruler of the oil-rich Gulf state………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt: Shura council tackles Sukuk bill

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Shura Council under Dr. Ahmed Fahmy agreed on Sunday 17/3/2013 the Sukuk (Islamic bonds) bill. The meeting stirred a new showdown between the Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafi Al Nour Party during the Shura Council’s debates as Al Nour Party insisted on referring Sukuk bill to Al Azhar’s senior ulemas body.
Salafi Al-Nour Party MP and head of its parliamentary bloc Abdullah Badran called for amending the bill’s title to “Islamic Sukuk.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Morocco bank to set up central Shariah board

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Morocco’s central bank has started talks with a body of Islamic scholars on establishing a central Sharia board to oversee the country’s fledgling Islamic finance industry, a central bank official said.
The board, composed of scholars and financial experts, would rule on whether instruments and activities complied with Sharia principles. Its creation would be a step towards establishing full-fledged Islamic banks in Morocco. The government plans to submit to parliament a bill regulating Islamic banks, which will be called participative banks under the legislation. Parliament’s vote is expected by the last week of April, sources said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance standard-setting body working with ECB

Posted on 13 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The European Central Bank and the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) are conducting a joint study on policies affecting Islamic finance in Europe, the IFSB’s top official told Reuters.
“We are doing a joint study with Europe’s central bank which brings together European scholars and regulators to examine a broad set of policy and regulatory issues in relation to Islamic finance in Europe,” said IFSB secretary-general Jaseem Ahmed. The IFSB is one of the main bodies setting standards globally for Islamic finance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shura council approves sukuk draft law

Posted on 12 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Shura Council approved the sukuk draft law during its general session on Monday after deliberations and voting entered its fifth day. The final draft law consists of the council’s economic and financial committee proposal, the government’s proposal and the Shura Council’s joint committee proposal.
The Shura Council modified 13 articles in the draft law. The final report from the committee mentioned that there are some items that have been further developed and modified………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shareholders approve QIIB’s USD2bln sukuk

Posted on 12 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar International Islamic Bank ’s (QIIB) share holders have given the approval for the board of directors’ decision to issue $2bn sukuk. The new issuance is followed by the QIIB ’s debut debt deal of $700m sukuk in the international markets in October, 2012.
The ordinary general assembly, chaired by the bank Chairman Dr Sheikh Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani, yesterday approved all the 11 items figured in the agenda, including the 2012 financial results………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sukuk goes to Shura

Posted on 11 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

After lengthy debate and weeks of delay, the final version of the law regulating the issuance of sukuk, or Islamic bonds, was approved by the cabinet and sent to the Shura Council’s economic committee this week for discussion and endorsement.
In a press conference on Sunday, Minister of Finance Al-Morsi Hegazi sought to assuage public concerns that the new law could open the door to selling public assets. Hegazi stressed that Article 3 of the new law prohibits the selling or mortgaging of state propriety, instead allowing the “utilisation” of such assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shareholders approve QIIB’s $2bln sukuk

Posted on 11 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Qatar International Islamic Bank’s (QIIB) share holders have given the approval for the board of directors’ decision to issue $2bn sukuk. The new issuance is followed by the QIIB’s debut debt deal of $700m sukuk in the international markets in October, 2012.
The ordinary general assembly, chaired by the bank Chairman Dr Sheikh Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani, yesterday approved all the 11 items figured in the agenda, including the 2012 financial results. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

EFSA warns of use of sukuk for money laundering

Posted on 07 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

President of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) Ashraf Al-Sharqawi warned that sukuk could be used to launder money, during a meeting of the Shura Council’s Economic Committee. “Islamic Bonds and certificates which are issued must be nominal and not specific to the bearer, so as to prevent acts of money laundering,” he said.
Sharqawi called for Article 25 of the country’s proposed sukuk law to be dropped. The article stipulates that a maximum fine of EGP 20m should be imposed on those who violate the law. “People can reap huge profits from money laundering, far greater than that of the maximum fine imposed by this law,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Former Unicorn CEO sentenced to another five years

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Majid Bader Hashem Al-Refai, the former Chief Executive Officer of Unicorn Investment Bank, was found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to an additional five years imprisonment and fined BHD 100,000.
The High Criminal Court of the Kingdom of Bahrain issued its ruling on Monday 4 March 2013, on a money laundering case against Al-Refai. The High Criminal Court issued the ruling in absentia as Al-Refai failed to attend any of the court hearings in relation to this case to date………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ernst & Young signs pact on Shariah certification

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Ernst & Young signed a working agreement with Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) to assist in Sharia certification of Core Banking Systems (CBS) used by Islamic banks. On the back of this mandate, Ernst & Young is launching its new Advisory Solution, CBS Sharia Assessment, to assist international and regional technology firms.
The agreement was signed by AAOIFI’s Secretary-General Dr Khaled al Fakih and Essa al Jowder, Office Managing Partner, Ernst & Young Bahrain. The certification programme will assess CBS services to ensure that they conform to the approved global Sharia and accounting standards………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Turkey signs cooperation protocol with Islamic bank

Posted on 05 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The MoU was signed by Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Madani, IDB’s president in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The deal seeks to boost trade and investment between Turkey and and the members of the Islamic Development Bank. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Egypt: Sukuk bill referred to Shura council

Posted on 05 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Finance Minister al-Morsi Hegazi said the Sukuk bill was referred on Sunday 3/3/2013 to the Shura Council for discussion, noting that the bill has been probed by the Cabinet’s the legislative and economic committee where a detailed memo was drafted on the draft law.
He asserted that the bill entails all guarantees that safeguard the state’s rights and the Sukuk holders. The Minister’s statements came during the press conference he held for expounding the importance of Sukuk for the Egyptian economy during the current stage………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Safa wins Islamic asset management certification

Posted on 05 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Safa Investment Services, a Swiss-based Islamic asset management business, this week received its official certification for Shari’a compliance from the Bahrain-based Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB). It makes Safa Investment Services the first Islamic global asset management business in the world, a statement from SRB said.
Safa’s founder John A Sandwick, said: “While many banks create and manage individual Shari’a-compliant investment products, there is no other global asset manager in the world with Shari’a certification for all elements of asset management.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

‘We did our homework’: Minister of finance

Posted on 04 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Ministry of Finance held a press conference, Sunday, to explain the technical details pertaining to the new Sukuk draft law discussed by the Shura council.
The conference was attended by Al-Morsi Hegazy, the finance minister, Ahmed El-Najjar the minister’s advisor for Sukuk, Hamdy Samir, the newly appointed head of the debts management unit at the ministry, Atter Hanoura the head of public private partnership (PPP) unit, and Abdalla Shehatta, the head of economic committee at the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BankDhofar gets Islamic banking licence

Posted on 04 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

BankDhofar announced that it has obtained an Islamic banking window licence from the Central Bank of Oman (CBO). In a filing to the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) on Thursday, BankDhofar said its ‘Maisarah’ Islamic banking window will start offering services at its first two branches in Azaiba in Muscat and Salalah al Wadi in Dhofar.
“It is intended that Islamic banking window ‘Maisarah’ will be open for public from March 20, 2013,” the bank said in its disclosure………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank Dhofar obtains Islamic banking licence

Posted on 01 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bank Dhofar has been granted an Islamic banking licence by the Central Bank of Oman to operate its window operation, ‘Maisarah’.
“Maisarah Islamic banking services will offer pure innovative, regulated Islamic banking products and services by highly experienced and trained segregated staff using dedicated Shari’ah-compliant core-banking systems with separate books of accounts,” Bank Dhofar said in a bourse filing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai to setup watchdog for Islamic financial products

Posted on 28 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The government of Dubai has announced its plans to establish a central Sharia board to oversee all Islamic financial products used in the emirate. The move is also expected to further develop an interest in the Islamic financial markets by encouraging government-linked entities to issue and list sukuk on the local equity market. The plan has been envisaged to strengthen Dubai’s reputation in the Islamic finance market and make it a global hub for all financial transactions based on Islamic principles.
However, Dubai is expected to face stiff competition from London and Malaysia, which have a sound Islamic finance system and are actively involved in trading of sukuk (Islamic bonds). Currently, besides Malaysia, few countries have a central regulatory board and most Gulf countries have a decentralized model of regulation. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai launches sukuk initiative

Posted on 28 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

On Wednesday, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, rang the opening bell kicking off the next phase of Dubai’s Islamic economy initiative.
Eissa Kazim, chief executive of Dubai Financial Market and secretary-general of the committee governing Dubai’s Islamic economy initiative, said the goal of the initiative is to promote sharia-compliant activities, with one of those activities being sukuks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt: Cabinet approves draft Islamic bonds law

Posted on 28 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Cabinet approved a draft law governing the issuance of Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, on Wednesday. The proposed regulatory framework will be referred to the Shura Council, which has temporary legislative powers until the House of Representatives is elected in the next few months.
The move is part of an investment program aimed at attracting capital to boost revenues and close the budget deficit slated to reach LE200 billion by the end of 2013. But the bill doesn’t have the support of everyone. Some political factions opposed foreigners being able to own shares of state companies; however, officials claimed the proposed law does not allow foreigners to do so………………………………………..Full Article: Source

El-Najjar: Ministry of finance to issue Sukuk law in June

Posted on 27 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Ministry of Finance intends to issue the Sukuk project law next June to raise between $500million and $1bn for state coffers, said Ahmed El-Najjar, member of the economic committee at the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and advisor to the minister of finance.
He added that a number of projects are currently under review in order to guarantee that the possibility of their financing through sukuk. These projects will be mainly in the fields of transportation and trade, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt: Cabinet endorses Sukuk draft law

Posted on 27 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Minister of Finance’s Advisor Ahmed Al-Naggar said on Monday 25/2/2013 that the final endorsement of the Sukuk Islamic bonds bill, worked out by the government, will take place during the cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday, prior to referring it to the Shura Council for discussion.
During the meeting of the Financial Affairs Committee which convened to discuss the draft law, al-Naggar added that the Sukuk is capable of luring additional foreign investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank Nizwa seeks relaxation for investing funds

Posted on 25 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Bank Nizwa is going to request the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) for allowing the bank to get relaxation in deploying funds in overseas markets for a certain period, until Sharia-compliant products are available within the domestic market.
The bank is going to discuss with the CBO for extending the ceiling on overseas investment, until the bank finds these assets in Oman, Dr Jamil Jaroudi, Chief Executive Officer of Bank Nizwa, told Times of Oman, on the sidelines of a seminar on opportunities in Islamic finance in Oman organised by Thomson Reuters in conjunction with the CMA. “Otherwise, you will have Islamic capital sitting idle in the country. They are positive and flexible. We have to go and present them,” he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar Holding to seek credit ratings this year

Posted on 25 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Qatar sovereign has ratings of Aa2 from Moody’s and AA from S&P, and was in the bond market last summer with a $4 billion sukuk issue.
The fund, which has stakes in Credit Suisse, Porsche, Harrods and Xstrata among others, will apply for a rating from both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. “I can confirm that Qatar Holding will be seeking a credit rating this year,” a spokesperson for the fund told IFR late on Thursday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia completes regulations for 3 of 5 new mortgage laws

Posted on 25 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi Arabia issued final regulations on real-estate financing, leasing and supervision of financial companies as the kingdom works to ease a housing shortage by opening up its mortgage market and enacting the country’s first home-loans law.
The regulations outlining three of the five laws that make up the package of changes were posted today on the website of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. Rules on the enforcement of foreclosures and mortgage registrations have yet to be completed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How does Islamic law and finance work?

Posted on 25 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic finance follows the rules of Shariah, or Islamic law. The Islamic legal code is drawn from the Koran and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. It advises on everything from dietary laws to penalties for theft.
Common Shariah terms relevant to finance include the following: Riba: The charging of interest in any form regardless of the rate is forbidden by the Koran………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt: Cabinet: Islamic bonds not alternative to other funding tools

Posted on 22 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Cabinet, under Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, stressed that the now-debated Sukuk (Sharia-compliant bonds) is not an alternative to the other financing tools.
The final blueprint of the Sukuk bill will be presented to the Cabinet next Wednesday 27/2/2013 after taking into consideration all remarks made by al-Azhar, the Central Bank of Egypt and investment associations. If approved, it will be referred to the Shura Council for endorsement on the same day………………………………….Full Article: Source

Qatar has the most Islamic finance friendly tax systems

Posted on 21 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has the most Islamic finance friendly tax systems out of eight countries in the MENA region, reviewed in a study conducted by three leading experts, Mohammed Amin, Salah Gueydi and Hafiz Choudhury, and sponsored by Qatar Financial Centre Authority in partnership with the International Tax and Investment Center, based in Washington DC.
The study, Cross Border Taxation of Islamic Finance in the MENA region - Phase One, shows that while simpler Islamic finance transactions can be carried out in some countries without prohibitive tax costs, of the countries reviewed only Turkey and the QFC have a tax system that enables sukuk transactions to be carried out without excessive tax costs………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sohar Islami holds its first Shariah Supervisory Board Meeting

Posted on 21 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The senior management of Sohar Islamic, the stand alone, independent Islamic window within Bank Sohar held its first Shariah Supervisory Board (SSB) meeting, chaired by Dr. Hussain Hamed Hassan, and attended by the other SSB members.
The SSB of Sohar Islamic comprises of leading Islamic scholars from Islamic finance and academic sectors from across the world: Dr Hussain Hamed Hassan, Dr Ajeel Jasem Saud Al Nishmi, Dr Mudassar Siddiqui and Sheikh Azzan bin Nasir Farfoor Al Amri. The meeting was hosted by Dr Mohammad Abdulaziz Kalmoor, CEO of Bank Sohar and was also attended by Sharia consultant, Dar Al Sharia. (Press Release)

Dana shareholders to vote on sukuk restructuring

Posted on 20 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Shareholders of Dana Gas , the Abu Dhabi-listed energy firm, will vote on March 14 to approve a restructuring plan for its US$920m sukuk after failing to meet maturity of the Islamic bond last year.
Dana became the first company in UAE to miss repayment of a maturing bond on October 31 but agreed new terms with a creditor committee representing bondholders, which included investment firms Ashmore Group and BlackRock, a week later…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sukuk law to be deliberated by Shura council, Wednesday

Posted on 20 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The new Sukuk law will be approved on Wednesday by the cabinet before being referred to the Shura Council on the same day, said Ahmed El-Najjar, member of the economic committee at the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and advisor to the minister of finance.
“The new law is entirely different from the previous one,” he said. “It will not be called an ‘Islamic sovereign sukuk law’; just ‘sukuk law’.” “This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t respect Islamic legislation,” he continued. “On the contrary, the first article of the law mentions that it is fully Sharia-compliant, and it will have a special [Sharia] committee to oversee its implementation.”……………………………………Full Article: Source

Turkey, Qatar cited most Islamic finance friendly tax systems

Posted on 20 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Turkey and the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) have the most Islamic finance friendly tax systems out of eight countries in the MENA region, according to a study by three leading experts, Mohammed Amin, Salah Gueydi and Hafiz Choudhury, and sponsored by Qatar Financial Centre Authority in partnership with the International Tax and Investment Centre, based in Washington DC.
The study goes on to examine two alternative approaches a country can take to update its tax system to support Islamic finance transactions (referred to in the study as the UK model and the Malaysian model), and concludes by recommending the one that is adopted in Malaysia as being quicker and simpler to implement for Muslim majority countries…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Malaysia to introduce legal framework for Islamic finance

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Despite a compound annual growth rate of 20% to 35% and global syariah-compliant assets estimated at US$1.3 trillion (RM4.02 trillion) last year, there is still no comprehensive legal framework for global Islamic finance.
But this will soon change when Malaysia introduces the world’s first comprehensive legal framework for the Islamic finance industry. Called the Islamic Financial Services Act 2012 (IFSA 2012), it is expected to be gazetted next month…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Islamic banking facing regulatory challenges

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic insurance (Takaful) is flourishing all around the world alongside Islamic Banking. Its global market size has reached 12 billion dollar whereas the number of Islamic Takaful institutions has exceeded to 350.
Banking industry experts said that though Takaful industry is prospering in the recent times; however it’s also facing certain challenges which include: issues regarding re-Takaful, regulatory challenges, competition and lack of human capital. These issues can be resolved by employing effective strategies and through proper planning…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Egypt finance minister: Islamic bonds law to be presented to Cabinet

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The controversial Islamic bonds (sukuk) draft law is expected to be presented to a Cabinet meeting Wednesday after the body’s legislative committee reviews it, Finance Minister Morsy Hegazy said on Monday.
Hegazy also said during a conference in Cairo that the government has finished amending its economic and social reform program and would soon present it to President Mohamed Morsy in preparation for an impending visit from the International Monetary Fund delegation…………………………………….Full Article: Source

QFC’s Islamic finance tax regime ‘friendliest in Mena’

Posted on 18 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has the most Islamic finance friendly tax systems, out of the eight jurisdictions in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, according to a study.
“While simpler Islamic finance transactions can be carried out in some countries without prohibitive tax costs, of the countries reviewed only Turkey and the QFC have a tax system that enables sukuk transactions to be carried out without excessive tax costs,” said the study, conducted by three leading experts Mohamed Amin, Salah Gueydi and Hafiz Choudhury, said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: RBI has a positive approach towards Islamic banking: Minister

Posted on 18 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Reserve Bank of India has taken a positive approach to the suggestion of an alternative banking system for Muslims, subject to certain laws being amended first, K. Rahman Khan, Minister for Minority Affairs, said here recently.
“I have written to the RBI Governor, invoking Section 25 of the Constitution, saying that it was the duty of the State to facilitate every citizen to practice and follow his/her religion,” he said, adding that Muslims being given no option but interest-based banking amounted to obstruction in practice of religion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Thai Islamic Bank asserts financial strength despite soaring NPLs

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A senior Islamic Bank of Thailand (IBank) executive has affirmed that the bank’s financial status and liquidity are strong as ever despite its rocketing non-performing loans (NPLs) at Bt39 billion, 20 per cent of its total lending.
Thanin Angsuwarangsi, IBank manager, said Bt24.3 billion debts are being negotiated by the bank and debtors while the bank’s liquidity is normal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

QFC’s Islamic finance tax regime ‘friendliest in Mena’

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has the most Islamic finance friendly tax systems, out of the eight jurisdictions in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, according to a study.
“While simpler Islamic finance transactions can be carried out in some countries without prohibitive tax costs, of the countries reviewed only Turkey and the QFC have a tax system that enables sukuk transactions to be carried out without excessive tax costs,” said the study, conducted by three leading experts Mohamed Amin, Salah Gueydi and Hafiz Choudhury, said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia: New Law requires Islamic financial institutions to be Shariah-compliant

Posted on 13 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

It had been reported that The new Islamic Financial Services Act 2012 (IFSA) will statutorily enforce management of Shariah-non-compliance risk and requires Islamic financial institutions to ensure at all times that their aim, operation, business, affairs and activities are in compliance with Shariah.
“This is perhaps one of the distinctive features of the IFSA 2012,” said Prof Datuk Dr Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, Chief Executive Officer of International Islamic Banking Liquidity Management Corporation in a note. The Act, which is pending the Royal Assent, requires that any failure to abide by this statutory requirement has to be immediately notified to the regulator and the Shariah committee of the financial institution………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shariah review bureau named Shariah advisor by Omani-based investment firm

Posted on 12 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Vision Investment Services recently launched Oman’s first Shari’ah-compliant investment fund, the Vision Al Khair GCC Fund, and has appointed the Shariyah Review Bureau to carry out the Shari’ah compliance function for the fund.
Ammar Ibrahim, Vice President, GCC Assets Management & Advisory Brokerage Services, Vision Investment Services, said, “Vision Investment was determined to put in place the best team of Shari’ah expertise and talent in the Islamic industry and in this regard we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Shariyah Review Bureau who will strengthen, oversee and supervise our Fund Investment team.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

IFSA to enforce syariah terms in Islamic finance

Posted on 07 February 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The soon-to-be-introduced Islamic Financial Service Act 2012 (IFSA 2012) will make Malaysia one of the few countries in the world where the Islamic regulator is given a mandate to promote syariah compliance among Islamic financial institutions, said a former senior official of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).
“The act will ensure there would be greater certainty and will ensure that the syariah terms can be enforced as per the terms of the syariah contract,” said former BNM assistant governor Gopal Sundaram at a forum discussing the advent of the new legislation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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