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Islamic Finance Briefing - Category | Finance more

Islamic financial system in Turkey

Posted on 09 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Economic growth in 2013 is forecast to accelerate to 4 percent according to the World Bank’s Turkey Regular Economic Brief issued January 2013, but prospects for sustained growth over the medium-term depend on accelerating structural reforms the international lender cautions.
The brief analyzing of Turkey’s recent economic developments, prospects, and risks is highlighting significant improvement in external imbalances. On the flip side the current account deficit remains high………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mena asset managers confident about 2013 on GCC edge

Posted on 09 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Over 70% of Mena’s asset managers remain confident about 2013 based mainly on the attractiveness of the GCC countries that benefit from increased government investment and dynamic local equity markets, says the first edition of QFC Authority’s “Mena Asset Management Barometer”.
“Qatar and the UAE seemed to offer the most potential,” the report said. The findings were based on some 45 in-depth telephone interviews with senior bankers, fund management firms, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds across the GCC countries and Egypt and Morocco………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance and its Asean dynamics

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Islamic Finance has developed into a $1tn global business with the dynamics to reach far more in the near future. The epicentres of this industry are in the Middle East and Asean, with sizeable cash flow between the two regions. Though contributing only a fraction of the world’s total banking assets, Islamic financial products’ resilience to global crises has given the industry credibility in its use as an alternative to conventional banking.
Thus, the potential for a further collaboration between the two centres for Islamic banking is huge, especially between financial hubs such as Qatar and Malaysia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia slated to be global hub for Shariah finance

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The global Islamic banking and finance industry is on a strong growth path with worldwide assets in Shariah compliance growing four times from 0.5 per cent to two per cent of the world economy after the financial crisis. Malaysia today is the world’s third largest market for Islamic banking, takaful and sukuk. The country’s Islamic capital market tripled in size to a value of RM1.05 over the past decade.
In comparison, other large Muslim countries are still at an early stage of growth. According to intelligence group Inside Investors, global share of Islamic banking assets in Malaysia was expected to increase from eight per cent in 2009 to 13 per cent in 2020, and the global share of takaful contribution was expected to increase from 11 per cent to 20 per cent in 2020………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s strength as finance hub to spur growth of Islamic services

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Singapore’s strength as a finance hub is key to allowing Islamic financial services to flourish, said Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) assistant managing director Ng Nam Sin. Mr Ng said the country’s three-pronged approach to the sector is underpinning its rapid growth.
One tack is to accommodate Islamic finance products within Singapore’s regulatory and tax framework where possible. He said: “We have ensured the neutrality of the rules insofar as Islamic financing is similar to conventional financing in economic substance and risk.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai Islamic Bank repays Dhs3.7bln to UAE finance ministry

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The bank received the deposit in 2008 to boost its financial strength during the financial crisis. Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) announced that it has repaid Dhs3.75 billion to the UAE finance ministry in full and ahead of contractual maturity, thanks to ‘a robust financial position and strong liquidity’.
The bank received the deposit from the ministry in 2008 to boost liquidity after the financial crisis hit lenders in the country. DIB has received the necessary regulatory and government approvals to repay the amount, it said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IDB approves $617mln for development projects

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) — a bank set up by 56 Islamic nations — has approved financial assistance worth $617 million (approximately Rs 54.16 billion) for development projects in different countries including Nepal.
The board meeting of the bank has decided to support education projects in Nepal, Botswana, Thailand and Fiji — non-member countries. The non-member grant has provided $750,000 (approximately Rs 65.84 million) from the Waqf Fund for various projects, it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia sells share in Islamic finance body

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi Arabia’s central bank has sold its shareholding in the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM), an unexpected blow to a body which aims to create a liquid cross-border market for Islamic financial instruments.
The decision was announced by the Kuala Lumpur-headquartered IILM late on Wednesday, in a statement which did not give a reason. IILM officials declined to comment, while officials from the Saudi central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama), could not be reached for comment on Thursday, a holiday in their country………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia, Qatar buy Saudi share in Islamic finance body

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Saudi Arabia has left the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp (IILM), which is preparing to launch its long-delayed first sukuk following its inception in 2010, the IILM said late on Wednesday.
IILM did not give a reason for Saudi Arabia’s exit. The central banks of Qatar and Malaysia have bought out Saudi Arabia’s share. Issuance of the first sukuk had been delayed twice as IILM faced a major challenge to ensure compliance with laws in all of the 12 member countries in Asia. The likely value of the sukuk is between US$300 million and US$500 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

$ 617 mln IDB funding for new projects

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

At the 289th meeting of its board of executive directors convened beginning of the week, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) approved $ 617 million toward funding development projects, which included important projects in the areas of education ($ 174 million for Indonesia), electricity ($ 319.6 million for Iran, Uganda and Bangladesh), agriculture ($ 80 million for Morocco), sanitation ($ 15 million in Maldives) and health ($ 10 million for Mozambique).
The board members concurred to raise IDB’s participation in the capital of the Istanbul-based Kuwait Turkish Participation Bank Inc. by nearly $ 18 million to stand at $ 65 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

MAS: Promoting Islamic finance is not just about tax

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A top official in the Monetary Authority of Singapore has stressed that the promotion of the island’s Islamic finance industry remains key, even though two tax incentives aimed at promoting it were allowed to lapse recently.
“Like all our tax incentives, they [had] a fixed tenure, in this case, of five years,” Ng Nam Sin, assistant managing director of the MAS, told an audience at an Islamic finance event in Singapore on Tuesday morning. “It is useful to note that Islamic Finance activities will continue to be incentivised, alongside conventional finance activities, under our other existing schemes,” he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pakistan: Islamic finance market likely to grow

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Pakistan’s Islamic finance market may continue to mature and expand in the years ahead given growing investment by the Islamic banking industry in federal government securities through ijara sukuk (Islamic bonds), said bankers.
Recent statistics issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) suggest Islamic banking institutions (IBIs) invested Rs266 billion in government securities during the third quarter of 2012 against Rs154 billion over the same period in the last fiscal year, showing a year-on-year growth of 73.2 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Holland & Knight expands Middle East presence with addition of Islamic finance specialist Oliver Agha

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Holland & Knight is pleased to announce that Oliver Agha has joined the firm as a partner and will head its Islamic finance and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) practices. Mr. Agha’s addition will strengthen the firm’s presence in the Middle East and bolster the firm’s banking and finance, infrastructure, and real estate capabilities in the region.
Oliver Agha founded Agha & Co in 2010 as a boutique Islamic finance firm with a leading blue chip clientele of international and regional financial institutions and corporations. For the last three years Mr. Agha’s Dubai-based firm, which includes four associate attorneys who will also join Holland & Knight, has won a number of Islamic finance awards………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UAB Chief: Gulf States will tax eventually

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Tax-free Gulf States will eventually be a thing of the past, according to the head of the Union of Arab Banks. Gulf States are said to be considering plans for a value added tax (VAT) by 2015 while also lowering corporate tax rates to increase foreign direct investment, according to the Paying Taxes 2013 report conducted by the World Bank, IFC and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Adnan Youssif, who is chairman of the union, said that any tax should not be considered a “negative act.” Youssif also expects a good year for Arab banks, estimating that net profits will grow at 15% in 2013. He noted, however “the growth will not be equal in all countries.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

MAS says it is committed to developing Islamic financial services in Singapore

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Singapore’s central bank said it remains committed to developing Islamic financial services in Singapore. Commenting about the lapse of two tax incentives for Islamic finance recently, Assistant Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ng Nam Sin, said this was “no reflection of MAS’ continuing commitment to develop Islamic financial services in Singapore.”
“Like all our tax incentives, they have a fixed tenure and in this case, of five years. It is useful to note that Islamic finance activities will continue to be incentivized alongside conventional finance activities under our other existing schemes,” said Mr Ng………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zain Saudi extends maturity of $600mln facility

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Zain Saudi has extended the maturity of a $600 million facility until May 1, according to a statement on Saudi Arabia’s bourse, the latest debt roll over by the loss-making firm.
This was due to be repaid on April 3, but Zain Saudi — an affiliate of Kuwait’s Zain — has extended the junior debt with the agreement of a lending syndicate led by Arab National Bank, and now has about $3 billion in loans maturing within the next four weeks. This murabaha facility — a Shariah-compliant cost-plus-profit arrangement — was originally due in July 2011, but has been put back multiple times………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IDB approves $ 617 mln funding for new development projects

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) approved $ 617 million toward funding development projects, which included important projects in the areas of education ($ 174 million for Indonesia), electricity ($ 319.6 million for Iran, Uganda and Bangladesh), agriculture ($ 80 million for Morocco), sanitation ($ 15 million in Maldives) and health ($ 10 million for Mozambique).
The board members concurred to raise IDB’s participation in the capital of the Istanbul-based Kuwait Turkish Participation Bank Inc. by nearly $ 18 million to stand at $ 65 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance forum to discuss Shariah growth opps

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Amanie Australian Islamic Finance Forum will be held at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne on 16 April. Amanie Advisors Australia has recently become one of the first specialist Shariah advisory bodies to be granted an AFSL licence this country. Far from being a niche segment of the market, Islamic investment principles are fast becoming increasing commonplace within large investment structures.
There were thought to be around $1 trillion worth of Shariah compliant assets available worldwide, as at April 2012 and the likes of Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates’ governments continue to issue investment grade Shariah bonds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

KFH-Turkey increases capital by TRY 960 mln

Posted on 03 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Kuwait Finance House in Turkey (KFH-Turkey) CEO Ufuk Iwan announced that the bank will gradually increase its capital by TRY 960 million to reach TRY 2.06 billion over two phases.
The first phase ends in May (TRY 600 million), while the second phase will end in May 2014 (TRY 360 million), according to a media statement. He added that the goal of increasing the capital is to support expansion plans and “establish a robust financial status, in addition to expanding in Turkey and overseas markets”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai Chamber calls for exporting Dubai’s expertise in Islamic finance to emerging markets

Posted on 03 April 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

A recent Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry study calls for exporting Dubai’s expertise in Islamic financial services to the untapped markets outside the GCC including Turkey, the Levant and South East Asia where the large Muslim population provides a good base for growth, especially in light of the sector’s expected strong growth in the coming years.
The study points out that Dubai banks are potentially well positioned to harness organic growth in these markets where Islamic products can appeal to the predominantly Muslim indigenous population. However, to compete with conventional international institutions, Dubai’s Islamic finance sector must scale and breach the critical mass required to make products feasible. For example, takaful contracts that imitate life-insurance rely on long-term Islamic bonds, which in turn rely on viable secondary markets and wide-scale adoption. (Press Release)

Dana Gas launches consent solicitation for $1 bln refinancing process

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Dana Gas has announced that it has today (27 March) launched the process of seeking consents from the holders of the $1 billion Sukuk-al-Mudarabah issued by Dana Gas Sukuk to restructure the Sukuk on previously announced terms.
As a normal part of this process, Dana Gas today (27 March) issued an announcement on the UK Regulatory News Service confirming the launch of the consent solicitation process, a period in which the company seeks approval from holders of the Sukuk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NCB secures ‘best Islamic project finance deal’ award

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The National Commercial Bank (NCB) was recently declared winner of the “Best Islamic Project Finance Deal 2013 Award” by Euromoney for being one of the main organizers and for its participation with major portion of the total finance amounting to $1.2 billion for the expansion project of Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah.
This is the first financing transaction in the world for an airport project structured in accordance to the Islamic law with the partnership of the public and private sectors. NCB is considered as the largest contributor to the finance deal for this megaproject, the funding of this Shariah-compliant transaction is primarily based on the assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Morocco: Opening the door to Islamic finance

Posted on 27 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Although GDP growth slowed in 2012 on the back of reduced demand from Europe and lower-than-average agricultural output, Moroccan banks continued their solid growth trend, paving the way for further expansion in 2013. The introduction of the country’s first Islamic bank, slated for this year, should also provide opportunities for foreign banks.
Combined banking profit grew from Dh9.72bn (€871.19m) in 2010 to Dh10.1bn (€905.26m) at the end of 2011, a record high. According to the most recent figures from Bank Al Maghrib, the central bank, total profits had reached Dh6bn (€537.78m) as of June 2012. This represents a 3.8% increase from Dh5.7bn (€510.89m) over the same period in 2011, indicating the sector would see a strong finish to the year………………………………………..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

Egypt: Seventeen PPP projects to be financed using sukuk: Panel

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Seventeen upcoming Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects will be financed using sukuk, confirmed Ahmed Al-Naggar, financial advisor to the Ministry of Finance, during the 2nd Annual PPP Investment Summit in Cairo on Sunday.
“Egypt has acquired 1.2% of the total sukuk market in the world,” he said. “This is a very low percentage compared with Malaysia, which has 24%, and Bahrain, which has 2.4%.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Pakistan as a global leader in Islamic banking and finance

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

In recent years, Islamic banking and finance in Pakistan has experienced phenomenal growth. Islamic deposits – held by fully-fledged Islamic banks and Islamic windows of conventional banks – at present stand at 9.7% of total bank deposits in the country: meaning that every 10th rupee is now being deposited in an Islamic bank account.
Similarly, assets managed by banks offering Islamic financial services are 8.6% of total banking assets in the country. Net Islamic savings and investments are 8.19% of the total savings and investment in the banking sector in Pakistan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance to fuel Turkey’s energy and infrastructure development

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic finance industry, rapidly growing over the last 40 years, has demonstrated its potential with robust, steady 15-20 percent growth throughout the recent economic crisis, and Standard & Poor’s predicts global Islamic financial assets will rise to as much as $3 trillion by 2015 and $6 trillion by 2020.
Structured properly, infrastructure projects can avail of the vast amount of wealth that nations in the Islamic world have at their disposal. Islamic finance offers a wide variety of products, including project financing products and the ability to issue sukuk (Islamic bonds) for large infrastructure projects, and is flexible enough to be utilized on a stand-alone basis or as a complement to conventional project financing for the funding of large-scale infrastructure development………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Senior finance lawyer brings diverse expertise to Islamic finance practice

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Amar Meher has joined the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi in association with Latham & Watkins in Riyadh as counsel in the Finance Department. Meher’s practice focuses on conventional and Islamic finance, debt restructurings, debt capital markets, and Shari’ah-compliant structured products, most notably Shari’ah-compliant investment funds.
Meher has worked extensively throughout the Middle East and his experience spans the financial services, power, infrastructure, shipping, telecoms and real estate sectors, among others. He has advised on numerous high profile debt financings and restructurings across various product areas, from the bank market to the capital markets. His experience spans a number of jurisdictions, including the UAE, the United Kingdom, Asia and Australia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Uganda gears up for Islamic finance

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

AlHuda Centre for Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) has initiated its operation with the brand name of “AlHuda CIBE Uganda” in East African country, Uganda. Together with Uganda, other countries of East Africa e.g. Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania etc can also be catered, where a huge Muslim population and the demand of Islamic banking already exists.
Hence, Islamic Banking and Finance can flourish in those countries promptly. It is also noteworthy that Uganda, whose population is more than 36 million with 14 per cent Muslims, is an important country in East Africa………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahrain champions Islamic finance, BCDR-AAA CEO says

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA) this week hosted a high-level roundtable discussion in association with industry experts in Bahrain to explore best practices in the field of dispute resolution in Islamic Finance.
The roundtable, focused on Islamic Finance Dispute Resolution Issues, was moderated by James MacPherson, CEO of the BCDR-AAA. The discussion forms part of a series of events hosted and conducted by the Chamber in order gauge stakeholder insight and opinion of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services available in Bahrain and the wider region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

TASIS launches online certification program for Islamic finance

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

BSE Institute Ltd. and Taqwaa Advisory & Shariah Investment Solutions (TASIS) today jointly launched an online certificate on “Islamic Banking, Finance & Capital Market”. Islamic Banking & Finance is fast emerging as a specialized area of finance.
To address the need of this industry BSE Institute Ltd. and TASIS have conducted workshops in the past and have now decided to launch a full online certification. Primarily, the certification aims at improved financial inclusion through increased financial literacy. Since India is yet to approve Islamice finance in the country, certification program is directed towards employment in the overseas financial markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold as a currency in Islamic finance?

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Many advocates of Islamic banking suggest using gold as a replacement for the money created through the interest rate mechanism. This is an interesting proposition, especially in the context of Malaysia where the state of Kelantan has already started using gold and silver coins as a potential replacement for the federally issued legal tender of currency notes and coins.
It is important to assess its economic implications with respect to growth and overall economic activity in the country. Americans find it difficult, and painful, to revert to the gold standard for reasons peculiar to the US economy, but these limitations are not relevant to Malaysia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investment Corp of Dubai plans $2 bln loan to repay debt

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Investment Corporation of Dubai, the emirate’s main state-owned holding company, said it plans to raise $2 billion from a syndicated loan to refinance debt.
The facility will include both conventional and Islamic portions and have a tenor of five years, the company, known as ICD, said in an e-mailed statement today. The funds will go toward repaying the $2 billion five-year portion of an original $6 billion loan raised in August 2008, ICD said. That facility’s $4 billion three-year tranche was settled in August 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

There’s nothing wrong with Islamic finance as long as it really is Islamic finance

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Whether the Qur’an bans all forms of interest, or specifically its exploitative forms, was a matter of controversy in the early decades of Islam. It still remains in doubt. What is crystal clear is that what passes as Islamic finance is anything but interest-free.
Almost all of the Islamic banks in existence, including those in Egypt, charge their borrowers what any economist would call interest; they also pay their depositors interest as a matter of course. This is not surprising, for interest continues to provide tangible benefits to both lenders and depositors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will Islamic finance flourish in Russia?

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Conventional finance may need to make room for the Islamic variety, at least in Russia. In 2009 and 2010, one survey found that 97 percent of people who were mainly Muslim or from an Islamic background were interested in using an Islamic bank. Of that 97 percent, 40 reside in Moscow. How far has Islamic finance come in a country that’s one of the most influential game-players in the financial world?
The Voice of Russia invited two experts in the field, Farmida Bi, lawyer and partner at Norton Rose LLP and Adnan Halawi, Head of Islamic Finance at Zawya, to share their views on the market’s current trends and future potential………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The new home of Islamic finance?

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Is Dubai’s ambition to be a hub for sharia-compliant finance realistic? Orlando Crowcroft finds some optimism, though there is a need for trained financial advisers.
The announcement at the start of the year from Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, that he wants to turn the emirate into a world capital for Islamic finance may have raised eyebrows in the global business community. Talk is cheap, after all, and new initiatives ten-a-penny since the global recession took an axe to the United Arab Emirate’s breakneck economic growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CISI’s islamic finance qualification exported to Spain

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The UK’s Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) said that its Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) will be offered in Spain, via a long-term training agreement signed between the UK-based accredited training provider, Simply Sharia Human Capital (SSHC), and the prestigious Spanish business school, Escuela de Finanzas (EdF).
SSHC will offer the IFQ, a globally-recognised foundation course, as part of the business school’s CISI Masters programme in wealth management and Islamic finance; a five-part course covering financial markets, portfolio construction theory, applied wealth management, Islamic finance and skill management. (press Release)

Senegal seeks to become West African hub for Islamic finance

Posted on 15 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Senegal is trying to position itself as a center for Islamic finance in West Africa, where about 52 percent of the population is Muslim, as the government pursues changes that will enable the first sales of sukuk.
Senegal still needs to adjust its policies to be able to sell debt that complies with Islam’s ban on interest after postponing a plan last year to sell such bonds, said Mouhamadou Lamine Mbacke, managing director of the African Institute of Islamic Finance, a Dakar-based company that advises governments and financial institutions and is working with the authorities on the rule changes. About 95 percent of the nation’s population of 12.7 million is Muslim……………………………………Full Article: Source

MAS finances last A380 with Islamic bond facility

Posted on 15 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Malaysia Airlines closed financing on its final Airbus A380 aircraft using the proceeds from an existing Islamic bond facility. The aircraft (MSN 114) is Airbus’ 100th A380 delivery.
The Bai Bithaman Ajil Islamic financing arrangement was established in November 2012 through Turus Pesawat, a special purpose company wholly-owned by the Malaysian ministry of finance. It raised up to ringgit (M$) 5.3 billion ($1.73 billion) for the financing of eight Airbus aircraft, including six A380-800s, one A330-200F and one A330-300……………………………………Full Article: Source

Treasury launches Islamic Finance Task Force to make London global hub

Posted on 15 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The government has launched the UK’s first Islamic Finance Task Force – a project aimed to promote London as the western world’s hub for Muslims to invest in. By promoting the international profile of the UK Islamic Finance Secretariat (UKIFS), the scheme aims to facilitate inward investment, whilst strengthening the UK economy.
This comes after Islamic finance experts predicted that the industry would grow exponentially in the coming years – something that Lady Warsi, senior Foreign Office minister and second co-chair of the task force, backed up……………………………………Full Article: Source

What is ‘Islamic finance’?

Posted on 15 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

This week, the government launched a campaign promoting London as a centre for Islamic finance. The aim is to counter growing competition in this industry from rising centres such as Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.
Hamid Yunis - head of the Global Islamic Finance Group at international law firm Taylor Wessing - told the Today programme: “Islamic finance is generally business dealings in accordance with Islamic principles. “I think a good comparison is to those in the market who are playing in the ethical banking field.”…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Islamic finance and a more ethical capitalism go hand-in-hand

Posted on 14 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Expert advice from our recent live debate on how the Qu’ran’s teachings chime with the objectives of the worldwide social enterprise movement. Driving force for business should be social impact: Although wealth creation is necessary for a successful business, the core driving force should be to serve as a socially responsible enterprise that can bring about change with its business model.
This is rooted in the teachings of the Islamic economic system which strongly encourages the creation of positive businesses that are ethical for society and aim to equalise the division between the wealthy and those less fortunate…………………………………….Full Article: Source

London could become western hub for Islamic finance, says Government

Posted on 14 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The UK’s first Islamic Finance Task Force will be led by Greg Clark, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi. The co-chairs will be supported by experts from the banking industry and UK Islamic Finance Secretariat.
“We expect the global market for Islamic financial services to experience significant growth over the coming years, but feedback from decision-makers in the Middle East and South East Asia suggests there is a lack of awareness of the UK industry and that we should be doing more to promote the sector,” Baroness Warsi said. “There are also major opportunities to attract investment into the UK as demand for Islamic finance increases from private investors and sovereign wealth funds.”……………………………………Full Article: Source

Islamic finance education: OIC states urged to set up funds

Posted on 14 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Global Forum on Islamic Finance (GFIF) Wednesday recommended that governments of OIC countries should set up funds for curriculum and infrastructure development of Islamic financial education at under-graduate and graduate level to cater needs of this emerging area.
The recommendation was passed in a resolution on the last day of the GFIF 2013 organised by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) in collaboration with the Lancaster University. Former Governor State Bank Dr Ishrat Hussain was the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the GFIF. The resolution said that Islamic finance education is pivotal for the stability and growth of Islamic Finance industry…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Emirates and AirAsia X favouring sukuk over costly conventional loans

Posted on 13 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

AirAsia X, Malaysia’s long-haul budget carrier, plans to sell its first Islamic bonds this year, joining Emirates Airlines in favouring sukuk over more costly loans. The company, which was started by millionaire Tony Fernandes who owns the UK’s Queens Park Rangers soccer club, may issue $160 million of the debt as soon as the second quarter, Chief Executive Officer Azran Osman Rani said in a March 6 interview.
Malaysian Airline System completed a sale of 5.3 billion ringgit ($1.7 billion) of the securities guaranteed by the finance ministry last month. Sharia-compliant bonds are well suited to the airline business given the long-term investments and income streams from passenger traffic, according to CIMB Group Holdings Bhd………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK sets up task force set up to attract more Islamic finance

Posted on 13 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The United Kingdom has established a task force on Islamic finance in an effort to “cement London’s status as the western hub” for the industry, as competition grows among financial centres to attract Sharia-compliant business.
The move is intended to showcase “the UK as the preferred choice for the Muslim world to invest in and do business with”, the British government said in a statement. The measure comes within two months of an announcement by Dubai’s Government that the emirate would seek to refashion itself as a global “capital” of the Islamic economy, with a focus on halal food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, alongside charitable giving and dispute resolution………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Centre for excellence in Islamic Finance to be set up: Dr Bodia

Posted on 13 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Professor Dr Mahmood Ahmed Bodla, Director, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Lahore Campus said that COMSATS is planning to establish Center for excellence in Islamic Finance. The purpose behind the establishment of this Center is to train skilled manpower for Islamic banking industry.
Bodla was talking to media on the second day of the “global forum on Islamic Finance: new realities and new challenges” organised by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) in collaboration with First Global Forum on Islamic Finance (GFIF) and Lancaster University UK. Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Ishrat Hussain chaired the session on Islamic finance and socio-economic development………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IDB, Ecobank earmark EUR377mln for Iran’s water and wastewater projects

Posted on 13 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The Islamic Development Bank and the Ecobank have allocated €377 million to Iran’s water and wastewater projects, IRNA quoted Iranian water and wastewater company official Hossein Bonakdari as saying.
The IDB and the Ecobank allocated €342 million and €35 million, respectively, he noted. He added that 8.75 trillion rials (about $714 million) worth of bonds were issued and a major portion of which were sold to finance water supply projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK government promotes London as Islamic finance hub

Posted on 12 March 2013 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

The British government launched a campaign to promote London as a centre for Islamic finance, seeking to counter growing competition in that industry from rising centres such as Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. A task force including Britain’s Financial Secretary to the Treasury Greg Clark, ministers of state and private sector executives will advertise London around the world, the British Foreign Office said on Monday.
The group will try to attract foreign investment to Britain by facilitating Islamic financial business, including investment in British infrastructure by Islamic sovereign wealth funds, the Foreign Office said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ECB, IFSB conducting study on Islamic finance

Posted on 12 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

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