Opalesque Islamic Finance Briefing » Emerging Trends http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing Mon, 26 Aug 2013 06:56:06 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.6 en Islamic finance: Attractive for non-Muslims? http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20498 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20498#comments Tue, 14 May 2013 01:00:18 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20498 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20498>Article Link</a> Would a non-Muslim do better to back ethical rather than Islamic funds? It is often claimed that Islamic finance is not only for Muslims. This has two meanings: (1) Islamic financial institutions will not turn away non‐Muslim customers, and (2) non‐Muslims can provide Islamic financial services. In practice, one can find examples in both directions.
The large number of non‐Muslim participants in Takaful schemes in Malaysia is an often-quoted example for the first and the asset management for Shari’ah-compliant funds an example for the second direction. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Turkey can profit from Islamic banking http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20460 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20460#comments Wed, 08 May 2013 00:22:21 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20460 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20460>Article Link</a> As part of an initiative backed by the Islamist government, Ziraat Bank, the country’s largest state-run lender, is working to set up a Shari’ah-compliant entity. It comes less than a year after Ankara’s debut sovereign Sukuk. In a country divided by the role of religion in public life, such an active promotion of Islamic finance would have been tough to imagine when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan first came to power a decade ago.
But times have changed. Turkey already has four Islamic banks, known locally as participation banks, of which three are foreign-owned. The first was established almost three decades ago………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Bonds, sukuk among ‘most attractive’ ways of funding, says Seetharaman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20452 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20452#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:37:56 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20452 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20452>Article Link</a> Bonds and sukuks are among the “most attractive” ways of funding more than $45bn projects planned in Qatar this year and $140bn projects planned in the upcoming years, Doha Bank Group CEO Dr R Seetharaman has said.
He said in 2012 Qatar issued sukuk worth $4bn and earlier, in 2011, Qatar came out with QR50bn bonds for local banks. “QNB recently came up with a $1bn bond issue for a tenure of seven years. In March 2013, Qatar’s Central Bank issued QR1bn of local currency sukuk and QR3bn of local currency conventional bonds.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Kuwaiti official hails VP’s initiative ‘Dubai: Capital of Islamic economy http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20441 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20441#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:34:52 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20441 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20441>Article Link</a> The initiative of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to set up a comprehensive platform of Islamic economy products and services is crucial to finding a host that takes under its wings an industry valued at $4 trillions, Kuwait’s Arab Planning Institute (API) chief said on Monday.
The initiative known as “Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy” was announced in January 2013 by Sheikh Mohammad. It aims at further diversifying Dubai’s economy and boosting Islamic economy; which stands at 11 per cent of world economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Towards viable Islamic finance http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20410 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20410#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 00:52:19 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20410 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20410>Article Link</a> Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah, financial ambassador of the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre, addressed the audience at the Oman Islamic Economic Forum 2013 in Muscat yesterday.
This year marks the 30th year of official diplomatic relations between the Sultanate of Oman and Malaysia. Over this period, our bilateral relations have achieved significant development in a number of key areas including education, culture, business and trade. Bilateral trade between Oman and Malaysia stood at US$740 million in 2011, a very substantial increase from US$265 million in 2010………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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M’sia aims to collaborate with Oman to develop Islamic finance http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20409 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20409#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 00:51:56 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20409 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20409>Article Link</a> Malaysia is looking forward to collaborating with Oman to address challenges in developing the Islamic finance industry, says the Regent of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah.
He said a potential area of collaboration and an issue faced by the industry today was human capital development, and Malaysia had established several institutions to provide training for Islamic finance professionals. “These institutions include the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute of Malaysia and the Securities Industry Development Corp………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Sukuk: Heading for the mainstream http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20402 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20402#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 01:35:52 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20402 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20402>Article Link</a> With more and more sovereigns and corporates looking to raise money through sukuk - in response to strong investor demand - Islamic finance is becoming increasingly mainstream. Are regional asset managers well positioned to take advantage? The growth of the market for sukuk - Islamic bonds - over the last few years has been staggering and experts predict that 2013 will continue that trend, particularly in the Gulf Co-Operation Council (GCC) countries and wider MENA region.
Investors within the emerging markets space as well as internationally have had a taster and are hungry for more sovereign as well as corporate issues. Worldwide issuance was $138 billion in 2012, its fourth consecutive year of growth, and up 64% on 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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UK aims to boost role in Islamic finance http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20398 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20398#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 01:34:49 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20398 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20398>Article Link</a> Prime Minister David Cameron is looking to Southeast Asia to boost the UK’s role in Islamic finance. It’s the Bank of England he needs to convince first, say Shariah-compliant lenders based in Britain.
Central bank rules require lenders to hold easy-to-sell assets as protection against short-term funding shocks. Most are off-limits for Islamic banks because they pay interest. Islamic lenders are “disadvantaged,” Sultan Choudhury, managing director of Islamic Bank of Britain, said in a phone interview from Birmingham, England, on April 22. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Enhancing Islamic financial and securities markets http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20397 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20397#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 01:34:32 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20397 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20397>Article Link</a> Many global leaders in securities and finance have gathered in Tehran to exchange ideas on the Islamic financial markets, find methods to enhance sustainable growth in Islamic financial markets and strengthen Islamic capital markets. These were the focal points discussed at the 5th International Orientation Course on Islamic Capital Markets held in the Tehran.
Financial experts from 16 countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan and Austria attended the event. Many are resorting to Iran’s financial and energy exchanges since the country is the 4th largest producer of petroleum and oil worldwide and is the 2nd largest exporter to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Islamic finance presents opportunities in Australia http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20396 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20396#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 01:34:15 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20396 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20396>Article Link</a> Australian website Financial Standard Online reports that the Muslim Community Co-operative Australia (MCCA) is in advanced discussions with an unnamed Middle Eastern company with a view to setting up a $180 million mortgage fund, a $150 million property fund, a $180 million Sukuk fund and a $5 million asset-leasing fund.
MCCA manages a Shari’ah compliant property income fund out of its headquarters in Melbourne and has just surpassed $30 million in assets under management and MCCA chairman Dr. Akhtar Kalam said this growth shows strong support for Islamic finance products within Australia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Gulf investors dominate Turkish sukuks’ flood http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20387 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20387#comments Fri, 26 Apr 2013 01:14:35 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20387 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20387>Article Link</a> $500 million sukuk from Türkiye Finans this week was just the latest in a flood of international debt issues from Turkey. But the identity of the arranging banks, and the investors who bought the issue, pointed to a shift in capital markets.
Middle Eastern investors dominated buying of the sukuk, taking 51 percent of the deal, which received just under $2 billion in orders. And of the four banks arranging the deal for Türkiye Finans, an Islamic bank majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, two were based in the Gulf: NCB Capital and Dubai’s Noor Islamic Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Breaking new ground: Setting misunderstandings aside, Islamic banking grows rapidly http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20365 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20365#comments Thu, 25 Apr 2013 01:25:51 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20365 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20365>Article Link</a> Despite misunderstandings about Islamic banking in different sections of the society, it is growing at a rapid pace in Pakistan and the growth will accelerate further if the central bank continues to chalk out policies.
These were the views of Executive Vice President Head of Product Development & Shariah Compliance, Meezan Bank, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, who was speaking to a select group of journalists at a workshop on ‘Islamic Banking’ at Meezan Bank’s head office on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Pakistan: Islamic banking to grow beyond Rs 1tr in next five years http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20352 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20352#comments Wed, 24 Apr 2013 01:42:33 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20352 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20352>Article Link</a> The Islamic bankers expect the current 9.7 percent share of the overall banking industry in Pakistan to double by 2017. The deposits base of Islamic banking in the country would cross the Rs 1 trillion mark by next five years or so.
This was stated by Ali Ahmed Siddiqui, Executive VP of Product Development and Shariah Compliance Department of Meezan Bank, while addressing a group of journalists at a workshop on “Concept of Islamic Banking” held at Meezan House on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Tides turning for Islamic banking in India? http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20347 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20347#comments Tue, 23 Apr 2013 01:01:21 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20347 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20347>Article Link</a> Interest-free banking may attract Malaysian investors in India, if efforts by local financial institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGO) to seek approval for Islamic banking under a new platform are successful.
Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made it clear that it could not allow interest-free banking in India, in a blow to attempts by Islamic banking players to get the system recognised in India, but the tide seems to be turning for a solution………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Sukuk issuance to hit $275bln by end-’13 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20339 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20339#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 01:31:42 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20339 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20339>Article Link</a> The volume of sukuk (Islamic bonds) issued by end of the first quarter of 2013 reached $34.2 billion, increasing on a quarterly based rate at 21.5 percent, after an abundant year that witnessed a 54 percent increase in issuance, Kuwait Finance House (KFH)-Research said Sunday.
Sovereign issuances continue to dominate sukuk issuance, followed by issuances of corporates, then sub-sovereign authorities. The sukuk issuance is expected to reach $275 billion by the end of the year, it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Islamic loans slump as sukuk gets competitive http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20337 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20337#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 01:31:06 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20337 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20337>Article Link</a> Islamic loans slumped this year to the lowest since at least 2006 as banks encourage borrowers to tap the sukuk market, where borrowing costs have dropped almost 12 percentage points since the world credit crunch.
Syariah-compliant lending in the Middle East, Europe and Africa declined 95 per cent to US$287 million (RM869.6 million) in 2013 from a year earlier, while sales of Islamic debt rose 6.2 per cent to US$13.8 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Global sukuk yield averaged 3.1 per cent, down from a record 14.9 per cent in February 2009 during the credit-market squeeze………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Is the Islamic finance industry ready for social media? http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20331 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20331#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 01:29:44 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20331 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20331>Article Link</a> Social marketing eliminates the middlemen, providing brands the unique opportunity to have a direct relationship with their customers. — Bryan Weiner.
Today, it seems Islamic finance is still stuck at a hard-copy of stage communication (faxes) when the financial world has moved on to Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. Many Islamic financial institutions have Web sites, but how often is it updated beyond awards won? How many Islamic banks, takaful operators, Shariah consulting firms, industry bodies, etc, are on Facebook? Yet, the youth — its future clients — in many Muslim countries with Islamic finance are on Facebook………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Islamic finance as a viable alternative financial system http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20329 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20329#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 01:29:12 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20329 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20329>Article Link</a> That’s a very difficult question to answer, but one that has been asked many times. The thing is this question can only be answered by financial professionals within the Islamic finance world, or people who practice conventional banking. The first obviously say that it is. After all, it’s their baby, why would they say it isn’t. The second group consists of people who don’t understand the concept enough to give an answer, or they brush it off by saying that there is very little different, it’s just interest under a different name.
Whether it is different or not, really Shariah compliant or not, Islamic finance is gaining clout and influence every passing day. It is the fastest mode of finance in Pakistan and the world with assets and deposits growing faster than its conventional counterpart………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Maisarah chief sees Islamic banking backing Oman growth http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20327 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20327#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 01:28:42 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20327 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20327>Article Link</a> As Oman’s economy expands it will need the support of a growing financial sector to sustain the healthy growth rate and Islamic finance will add a new dimension, offering innovative options in this regard, according to Sohail Niazi, chief Islamic banking officer at Maisarah Islamic Banking Services, the newly established Islamic banking window of BankDhfoar.
Speaking at the official launch of the Maisarah branch in Azaiba on Wednesday, Niazi said that as Islamic banking gets established it will bring economic benefits to the people of the sultanate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Is Islamic banking as exploitative as conventional banking http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20325 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20325#comments Mon, 22 Apr 2013 01:28:18 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20325 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20325>Article Link</a> Conventional banking is all about borrowing cheap and lending dear, yet Islamic banks also follow the same pattern: offering a return to their investment account holders – not much different from the market rate of interest – and charging very high (albeit market-driven) profits to households and businesses.
In Pakistan, a number of businesses have emerged, which are collecting investments informally from an increasing number of people, and offering them very lucrative and frequent returns. Such businesses are increasing in number and size, and it is interesting to look into this newly-emerging phenomenon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Bahrain playing key Islamic finance role http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20305 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20305#comments Thu, 18 Apr 2013 00:09:09 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20305 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20305>Article Link</a> Bahrain continues to be the intellectual hub of Islamic finance powered by its deep-rooted institutions, a leading industry thought leader said.
“With institutions like the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institution (AAOIFI) and a regionally respected regulator like the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the kingdom will continue to provide guidance to the industry as it grows,” AAOIFI board of trustees chairman Shaikh Ibrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa told the GDN…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Islamic investors chase yield, assets in Australia http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20296 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20296#comments Wed, 17 Apr 2013 00:09:11 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20296 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20296>Article Link</a> The prospect of higher yield in Australia is driving Islamic investors Down Under just as it is the broader global investment community, but the focus on capital-intensive industries is adding to its appeal for this source of funds.
Managers of two fledging Islamic funds set up in Australia in the past 18 months say they knew these factors presented opportunities, but they were still surprised by the level of interest from Islamic investors. Amanie Advisors’ Melbourne-based representative, Mark Darras, says he was virtually mobbed by Islamic banks and sovereign wealth funds on a trip to the Middle East in November…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Australia: Ripoll tips Islamic finance growth http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20294 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20294#comments Wed, 17 Apr 2013 00:08:36 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20294 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20294>Article Link</a> Islamic finance is a ‘rapidly expanding market’ and introducing Islamic finance products could open the financial services sector to new growth, the Australian federal government has said. The introduction of Islamic finance products into the domestic market presents an opportunity for growth in the financial services sector, according to Bernie Ripoll, parliamentary secretary to the treasurer and parliamentary secretary for small business.
“We see Islamic finance as a way of opening our capital and credit markets, enhancing competition and innovation, fostering social inclusion, and promoting greater engagement and integration in the Asia Pacific,” Mr Ripoll said…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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QIB follows Goldman model to boost investment banking http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20278 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20278#comments Mon, 15 Apr 2013 23:58:26 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20278 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20278>Article Link</a> Qatar Islamic Bank is seeking to increase its investment-banking presence in the Middle East and Asia amid the worst start to a year for Shariah-compliant loans since at least 2006.
Shariah institutions have the expertise and distribution networks to become lead advisers in the mould of Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co, Mohamed Azahari Kamil, chief executive officer of the lender’s Malaysian unit Asian Finance Bank Bhd, said in an April 9 interview. QIB is sending the head of its investment division, a former Goldman employee, to meet clients at a seminar in Kuala Lumpur on May 2………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Turkey offers Islamic banking opportunities http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20277 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20277#comments Mon, 15 Apr 2013 23:57:58 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20277 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20277>Article Link</a> New investment opportunities for foreign companies have come to the fore in Turkey with the announcements of the creation of new Islamic banks by the government. The nation’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan indicated that he gave directives to the two biggest state-owned banks – Ziraat Bank and the Halk Bankasi – to establish two new participation banks.
Muhammed Islami Onal, the economic counsellor of Turkey in Malaysia, said foreign investors can apply for new licences to start the new participation banks, adding that the investment should be no less than 30 million New Turkish liras or US$17 million (RM51.7 million)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Islamic banking http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20265 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20265#comments Mon, 15 Apr 2013 00:26:31 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20265 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20265>Article Link</a> The era of Islamic banking has finally arrived. India’s Minister for Minority Affairs K Rahman Khan recently said India could soon be implementing an Islamic banking system. This is a welcome move for all Indians in general and 250 million Indian Muslims in particular, who do not fully participate in the interest-based financial institutions because under the Sharia (Islamic law) any return on money employed should be linked with the profit of an enterprise.
Citing the example of 75 countries which have already adopted Islamic banking, the minister very cogently argued that India could no longer afford to stay away from the $1.5-trillion Islamic financial market, which could even help address the country’s huge fiscal deficit. Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said Rs 1.6 trillion ($27.8 billion) is lost annually due to lack of Shariah-compliant banking………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Does Islamic finance have a responsibility to reduce unemployment? http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20248 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20248#comments Fri, 12 Apr 2013 00:43:22 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20248 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20248>Article Link</a> There is a buzz about the prospects for Islamic finance in parts of the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). News reports are suggesting that as a consequence of change in public policy, the market share of Islamic banking in Egypt will grow to “35 per cent in five years from 5 per cent now”.
Much attention in Islamic finance circles is also falling on the relatively smaller markets, such as Oman and Morocco. Observers, such as researchers from Credit Suisse, are also pointing to Islamic finance as a potential source of spurring economic growth in the Arab Spring countries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Qatar to emerge as Islamic finance hub http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20247 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20247#comments Fri, 12 Apr 2013 00:43:08 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20247 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20247>Article Link</a> A new report has predicted that Qatar will soon become a “key international distribution hub” for Shariah-compliant products as the Islamic finance market grows at an unprecedented pace. Qatar Financial Centre Authority in its first ‘Mena Asset Management Barometer‘ suggests that Qatar’s position in the Islamic finance market will be boosted with the development of new infrastructure projects that will help in the growth of alternative fund structures and encourage public-private partnerships.
Currently, about 50 percent of the funds in Qatar are Shariah-compliant. Therefore, along with Saudi Arabia, Qatar is rated as a prominent Islamic finance fund centre. The demand for Shariah-compliant products is expected to grow because of increased interest from MENA’s internal markets, Southeast Asia, Australia and pension funds in the UK and Europe………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Investors buy into Gulf bond recovery http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20225 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20225#comments Wed, 10 Apr 2013 01:38:21 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20225 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20225>Article Link</a> Gulf bond markets have recovered with aplomb from the aftermath of the Dubai debt crisis and the more recent Arab spring. Yields have plumbed record lows and the richer states are even clamouring for top-notch credit ratings.
With western countries such as the US and UK downgraded, and many more at risk of rating cuts, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have argued loudly that the Gulf is financially sounder and should be rewarded accordingly………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Islamic financial system in Turkey http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20206 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20206#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2013 01:35:49 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20206 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20206>Article Link</a> 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

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IBA starts rendering Islamic banking services http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20204 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20204#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2013 01:35:23 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20204 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20204>Article Link</a> Islamic Window established in the International Bank of Azerbaijan started to render services to the clients. Bank says the services include Rent, Islamic bank cards, and Hard Hasan accounts.
Head of IBA’s Islamic Banking Department Behnam Gurbanzadeh stated that those bank products were certificated at the Dar-al-Sharia financial-legal advisor company which was established by Dubai Islamic Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Mena asset managers confident about 2013 on GCC edge http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20195 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20195#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2013 01:33:15 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20195 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20195>Article Link</a> 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

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After Arab Spring, Islamists test religion in economics http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20194 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20194#comments Mon, 08 Apr 2013 00:15:30 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20194 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20194>Article Link</a> With the rise of political Islam across North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, Islamic finance is being touted as the solution to decades of unemployment and economic inequality. “We’ve tried socialism, we’ve tried capitalism, now we’re trying Islam,” cried supporters of Mohamed Morsi, when he was elected as Egypt’s first Islamist president last June. In Libya and Tunisia, new political movements have pledged to use Islamic principles to right their wayward economies.
But some critics, including advocates for the greater use of Islamic finance, believe that a sudden and rigid adherence to Islamic law, known as Shari’a, could dramatically slow down economic recoveries across the region at a time when governments are already struggling to establish stability………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Singapore’s strength as finance hub to spur growth of Islamic services http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20191 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20191#comments Mon, 08 Apr 2013 00:14:43 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20191 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20191>Article Link</a> 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

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MAS: Promoting Islamic finance is not just about tax http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20163 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20163#comments Fri, 05 Apr 2013 00:04:25 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20163 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20163>Article Link</a> 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

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Pakistan: Islamic finance market likely to grow http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20162 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20162#comments Fri, 05 Apr 2013 00:04:11 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20162 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20162>Article Link</a> 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

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Saudi dairy firm Almarai sells $347mln Islamic bond http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20117 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20117#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 01:12:08 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20117 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20117>Article Link</a> Saudi Arabian dairy and food producer Almarai Co has completed the sale of a SAR1.3 billion ($346.7 million) Islamic bond, or sukuk, the company said in a bourse filing on Monday. The issue, which has a floating interest rate and a 7.5-year lifespan, attracted orders worth SAR2.4 billion from institutional investors inside Saudi Arabia, the statement said. The interest rate was not specified.
It is the second local currency sukuk from the Gulf’s largest dairy firm – it sold a SAR1 billion offering in March 2012. Both deals form part of the same SAR2.3 billion sukuk programme………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Sukuk: A ‘new’ option of aircraft financing http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20112 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20112#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 01:10:35 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20112 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20112>Article Link</a> Several airlines have indicated that they are exploring the possibilities of financing new fleet acquisitions and expansion through the issuance of sukuk or other suitable Shariah-compliant financing instruments. This follows the issuance of sukuk in March by Emirates Airlines and Malaysia Airlines (MAS), who sought to raise funds to finance fleet acquisition and expansion.
Turkish Airlines and Malaysia’s budget long-haul carrier, Air Asia, have confirmed that they are considering issuing sukuk to finance the purchase of new aircraft, although it will depend on the timing and market conditions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Turkey makes great strides with Islamic banking http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20110 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20110#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 01:10:00 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20110 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20110>Article Link</a> The Turkish Islamic banking and finance sector commands a 5% to 6% of the nation’s overall banking assets, much lower compared to Malaysia’s 20% or US$65.6 billion (RM202.7 billion) in assets in 2012. The secular Turkey is making great strides with more progress expected in the coming years, though it conceded that Islamic banks are still dependent on interest rates as the core benchmark for Islamic banking business, according to a board member of the Turkey’s central bank.
“Turkey is a secular country, hence the government has no Syariah board like in Malaysia where there is a Syariah board, but the Islamic banks have their own consultation boards composed of Islamic experts,” Central Bank of Turkey board member Necdet Sensoy said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Meethaq seminar highlights Islamic banking features http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20090 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20090#comments Thu, 28 Mar 2013 01:07:28 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20090 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20090>Article Link</a> Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, hosted a seminar on Islamic banking in Nizwa. Dr Abdullah bin Mubarak Al Abri from the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs addressed the seminar aimed at raising awareness and familiarising people with the main characteristics of Islamic finance.
Sulaiman Al Harthy, group general manager (Islamic Banking), said: “Meethaq is proud to take the lead in launching a suite of banking products which combine traditional values with modernity. Meethaq has adopted the best practices in Islamic banking and finance worldwide to combine a robust model which will protect customers and complement the Islamic banking industry. The Meethaq strategy is to attract customers through innovative Sharia-based products and services. The operations are managed by an experienced team, separate from conventional banking.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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Islamic bonds find favour in Australia http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20085 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20085#comments Wed, 27 Mar 2013 00:46:19 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20085 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20085>Article Link</a> Insurance Australia Group became Malaysia’s biggest general insurer when its joint venture business AmG Insurance bought Kurnia Insurans in September 2012. Chief executive Mike Wilkins is keen to tap into the rapid rise in takaful, or Islamic insurance, which adheres to principles of co-operation as prescribed by Islamic law.
Wilkins’s interest in takaful extends beyond viewing Asia as an important growth market for IAG: he assisted with the preparation of Australia as a Financial Centre, a report released in late 2009, which recommended Australia pull down tax barriers in order to encourage Islamic finance. The federal government is yet to respond to a subsequent Board of Taxation review………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Morocco: Opening the door to Islamic finance http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20081 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20081#comments Wed, 27 Mar 2013 00:45:09 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20081 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20081>Article Link</a> 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

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Trade to support Dubai’s Islamic economy plan http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20080 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20080#comments Wed, 27 Mar 2013 00:44:56 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20080 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20080>Article Link</a> A surge in exports boosted Dubai’s total non-oil trade by nearly 13 per cent to an all-time high in 2012 and such steady growth would support the emirate’s plan to become the world’s Islamic economy hub, officials were reported on Tuesday as saying.
From around Dh1,089 billion in 2011, Dubai’s total non-oil trade, including free zone commercial activity, swelled to a record high of Dh1,235 billion in 2012, maintaining its position as the main commercial and business centre in the oil-rich Gulf………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Gulf sukuk: Order books ‘probably inflated’ http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20039 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20039#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2013 01:38:09 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20039 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20039>Article Link</a> Bond and sukuk issues from the Gulf region in the past few weeks have drawn huge investor order books but then performed poorly in the secondary market — a sign that some of the orders are not as solid as they appear.
In order to ensure they obtain part of a new issue, institutional investors are bidding for larger amounts than they actually want, because they assume their bids will be cut when the issuer decides on allocations, traders and analysts say………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Turkey urged to seize Islamic banking opportunity http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20030 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20030#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2013 01:35:11 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20030 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20030>Article Link</a> The Turkish Islamic banking sector will triple in 10 years reaching $100 billion by 2023, while the country would have even more potential if it would meet the foreign demand by offering more of a variety of Islamic financial instrument, an Ernst & Young report has said.
Islamic banking, which follows the requirements of Shaira and does not charge interest, has emerged as a prominent system at a time when European banks that have been the backbone of global sector are only slightly recovering from the aftermath of the financial crisis. The Islamic banking sector offers great opportunities for Turkey as well, as the country seeks its share in interest-free banking in light of the value and market presence of Islamic banks, also known as participation banks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Bahrain champions Islamic finance, BCDR-AAA CEO says http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20010 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20010#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2013 01:17:43 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20010 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20010>Article Link</a> 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

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Turkey urged to seize Islamic banking chance http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20008 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20008#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2013 01:17:14 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20008 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=20008>Article Link</a> Islamic banking will triple itself in ten years and it holds further substantial opportunities for Turkey, but there are still margins for growth, a report says. The Turkish Islamic banking sector will triple in 10 years reaching $100 billion by 2023, while the country would have even more potential if it would meet the foreign demand by offering more of a variety of Islamic financial instrument, an Ernst & Young report has said.
Islamic banking, which follows the requirements of Shaira and does not charge interest, has emerged as a prominent system at a time when European banks that have been the backbone of global sector are only slightly recovering from the aftermath of the financial crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Vital role of Islamic banks highlighted http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19993 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19993#comments Wed, 20 Mar 2013 00:51:24 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19993 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19993>Article Link</a> The Islamic banking system in Oman will be one of the most successful contemporary applications in recent times due to the nature of the Omani Muslim society, the existence of a central bank to provide the necessary technical and legislative environment for the growth of Islamic banking in the country and the capability of banks to restructure and raise financial products and services that are efficient and of good quality, the just concluded Islamic Finance and Banking conference affirmed.
Oman’s second Islamic Finance and Banking Conference called upon Islamic banks to play an important and vital role, especially in supporting productive areas through enhancing growth opportunities, particularly the small and medium enterprises and helping to stimulate capitals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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IDB Group’s deal boosts Indonesia role as key hub http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19992 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19992#comments Wed, 20 Mar 2013 00:50:55 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19992 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19992>Article Link</a> Indonesia and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group have signed an agreement for the establishment of the IDB Group Country Gateway Office in Indonesia as continuous strategic partnership between the bank and Indonesia.
The strategic bilateral relations have been transformed into actions through the signing of agreements between IDB Group private sector arm, The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), with Indonesia’s private sectors on power and energy industry and micro, small and medium enterprises. Agus Martowardojo, Indonesian finance minister, and Ahmad Mohamed Ali, president of the IDB Group, signed the agreement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Islamic banking could become available in India http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19982 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19982#comments Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:37:08 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19982 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19982>Article Link</a> Islamic banking, which follows Sharia requirements and does not allow interest to be charged, could be introduced as an option in India, officials there say. The ruling coalition, led by the Congress Party, has made “financial inclusion” a key item on its agenda.
Many of India’s 177 million Muslims, who constitute the nation’s largest and most influential minority, are outside the banking system, and the authorities would like to change this situation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Future of Islamic banking promising, says Shihab http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19978 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19978#comments Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:36:04 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19978 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19978>Article Link</a> Islamic banking is making steady progress in the Sultanate since the promulgation of the Royal Decree No. 69/2012. It has a promising future, said HH Sayyid Shihab Bin Tariq Al Said, His Majesty’s Adviser.
Although the Islamic banking industry is still in the initial stage, it has resulted in remarkable activity in the banking sector, said CBO Executive President HE Hamoud Bin Sangour Al Zadjali. It has forced many licensed commercial banks to increase their capitals to open independent Islamic windows to operate alongside with the two licensed Islamic banks, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Affin Islamic sees strong growth http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19977 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19977#comments Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:35:51 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19977 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19977>Article Link</a> Affin Islamic Bank targets its financing segment to expand by between 10 per cent and 15 per cent this year, compared with 17 per cent last year. Its chief executive officer Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Jamil said the growth last year was in tandem with the robust performance of the country’s Islamic banking industry.
Last year, Affin Islamic’s pre-tax profit was RM106.4 million, which translated to a 42.1 per cent growth. Kamarul said the strong growth of Islamic finance was not limited to Malaysia, but covers the region and Affin Islamic is “always keen to expand regionally”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Strong sukuk issuance and performance is anticipated this year http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19974 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19974#comments Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:35:01 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19974 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19974>Article Link</a> Strong investor demand supported by improving liquidity is expected to boost both issuance and performance of sukuk this year, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s.
“Global issuance expanded for the fourth year in a row in 2012, growing 64 per cent to about $138 billion, and we expect another strong few years,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Paul-Henri Pruvost. While sukuk is still considered an alternative investment, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services believes it has the potential to grow and join the mainstream fixed income universe………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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There’s nothing wrong with Islamic finance as long as it really is Islamic finance http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19957 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19957#comments Mon, 18 Mar 2013 01:40:08 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19957 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19957>Article Link</a> 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

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Will Islamic finance flourish in Russia? http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19956 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19956#comments Mon, 18 Mar 2013 01:39:32 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19956 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19956>Article Link</a> 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

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The new home of Islamic finance? http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19955 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19955#comments Mon, 18 Mar 2013 01:39:14 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19955 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19955>Article Link</a> 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

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Malaysia: Efforts to bolster sukuk market will continue http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19946 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19946#comments Fri, 15 Mar 2013 01:01:58 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19946 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19946>Article Link</a> Malaysia has done well in developing its Islamic capital market and will seek to bolster the sector further. In its annual report 2012, the Securities Commission (SC) said efforts to further innovate and broaden the sukuk market will continue via the introduction of a frame-work for the issuance of AgroSukuk for companies in the agriculture sector.
To improve the availability of fund-raising avenues for agriculture activities and agro-based in-dustries, the government has also proposed in the 2013 Budget that expenses for the issuance of AgroSukuk will be entitled to a double deduction for a period of three years, effective from assessment year 2013 to 2015. …………………………………..Full Article: Source

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London could become western hub for Islamic finance, says Government http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19930 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19930#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 00:39:38 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19930 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19930>Article Link</a> 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

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India insurance giant to focus on ‘takaful’ to boost Mena growth http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19926 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19926#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2013 00:19:54 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19926 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19926>Article Link</a> India’s General Insurance Corp (GIC Re), the 15th largest re-insurer in the world, is planning to convert its Dubai office into a subsidiary as part of strengthening the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) business from which it generated premium worth $385mn.
The public sector re-insurance giant is also focusing more on life and Islamic ‘takaful’ in a big way to make its presence felt in the Mena region, P K Bhagat, general manager of GIC Re, said. “We might consider converting Dubai office into a subsidiary in the next few years as part of strengthening the operations in the Mena region,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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Ringgit still preferred currency for sukuk issuance http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19921 http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19921#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2013 00:18:40 +0000 Laxman http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19921 <br> <a href=http://www.opalesque.com/IslamicFinance_Briefing/?p=19921>Article Link</a> A combination of factors is making the ringgit the preferred currency for sukuk issuance as the East Asian and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries become more interdependent due to the pick-up in cross-border transactions.
Standard & Poor’s Rating Services analyst Paul-Henri Pruvost noted in a report that both regions had relatively strong economies seeking huge amounts of capital to fund new infrastructure, support economic development and entice more private-sector investment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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