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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | October, 2008

New Sharia products in Asia sought

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-daily-news.com: The booming Islamic finance industry has yet to rub off on wealthy Asians who say there are far too few Sharia products to invest in, the private banking arm of Malaysia’s second largest lender said.

Sharia investing is a key pillar in the Middle East and has caught the interest of non-traditional centres such as London and Singapore, but rich Asians are still cool on it. Asia is a big potential market for the $1 trillion Islamic finance sector, with the Asia-Pacific home to 28 per cent of the world’s high-net-worth-individuals, who are defined as those with investible assets of more than $1 million…… Full Article: Source

New norms for Islamic financial institutions

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya.com: Islamic financial institutions will now be required to show unrealised losses in sukuk and shares-available-for-sale in their financial statement under a newly created ‘Investments fair value reserve’ heading, the sector’s accounting rulemaker announced.

The move comes in the wake of the recent decline in sukuk and share prices regionally and globally and was decided by the Kingdom-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), the global rule making body for Islamic financial institutions….. Full Article: Source

Meezan Bank establishes largest Islamic banking network

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thenews.com.pk: Meezan Bank Ltd has established over 125 branches in over 35 major cities across Pakistan within a short span of 6 years.

This growth in branch network is the fastest in the banking history of Pakistan. The investment in the branch network is driven by the bank’s vision to “establish Islamic banking as the banking of first choice” so as to enable it to reach each and every citizen of Pakistan…… Full Article: Source

Malaysia: So many jobs, but so few experts for Islamic finance industry

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bworldonline.com: The swift rise of the Islamic finance industry could hit a wall in the coming years as the sector struggles to find enough experts to do the job, an industry official said.

Sharia banking’s sudden popularity has created a scramble for bankers, scholars and lawyers conversant in both conventional finance and Islamic economics, and produced a shortage that sometimes compromises the quality of products, experts say…… Full Article: Source

Natwest introduces halal mortgage

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Theasiannews.co.uk: Natwest bank has launched its first halal mortgage product, which is compliant with Shariah (Islamic) law. The new mortgage product available from NatWest Business Banking is for commercial properties and has been launched in response to strong customer demand and is specially tailored to the needs of the country’s two million Muslims.

In accordance with Shariah law, the product will not charge interest…… Full Article: Source

GCC finance sector growth seen lacking focus, transparency

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bi-me.com: The financial industry in the GCC has been growing due to the rise in demand from the real estate sector and therefore appears to be lacking pace and focus, according to a study.

Moreover, the GCC property and financial markets face key challenges, including lack of information and transparency as well as the perception of leniency towards consumers in default scenarios and limited protection for creditors, said an analysis by Capitas Group, a New York-based firm with a track record of establishing Shariah-compliant specialty finance business…… Full Article: Source

IFSB approves guiding principles on Islamic schemes

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Dailytimes.com.pk: Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has approved two exposure drafts of Capital Adequacy Requirements for Sukuk Securitizations and Real Estate Investments and Guiding Principles on Governance of Islamic Collective Investment Schemes.

The board approved these drafts and principles in a meeting in Dubai on Wednesday. State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Shamshad Akhtar presided over the 13th Council meeting…… Full Article: Source

Islamic Banking grows at the rate of 15-20%

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Africasia.com: There are now over 300 Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) spread over 75 countries and 300 Shariah-complaint mutual funds, whereas, just one Egyptian-based Islamic bank existed in 1975. Currently, about $800bln is deposited in Islamic banks, mutual funds, insurance schemes and Islamic branches of conventional banks.

By contrast, the market was valued at only $140bln in 2000. McKinsey & Co, the business consultants, estimates Islamic financial assets could reach $1 trillion by 2010…… Full Article: Source

Deyaar defers plan to issue $1.35 bln sukuk

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya.com: Deyaar Development Company is finalising plans to offer stock options to key employees from next year, a top executive said. “We are finalising the terms and conditions. We do believe that we have everything in line for the employee stock option plan (ESOP) to start next year,” Chief Executive Markus Giebel told Emirates Business.

Emaar Properties and Shuaa Capital are among the few companies in the UAE that offer stock options to employees….. Full Article: Source

Cru Investment to launch $13bn Shariah-compliant agriculture fund

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya.com: The UK-based investment company cru Investment Management will launch a $13-billion (Dh48bn) Shariah-compliant agriculture fund early next year and aims to raise money from the UAE and other Gulf states, a executive said.

Jon Maguire, Chairman, cru Investment Management, said cru has positioned itself as an entity with focus on social investments and is currently in advance stages of offering an alternative investment instrument combining its ethical and transformational investment focus with Islamic finance….. Full Article: Source

Report endorses Shariah-compliant investments

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabnews.com: The turmoil sweeping the world’s financial markets would not, according to one Kuwaiti investment house, have happened under a Shariah-compliant system.

Rasameel Structured Finance Company (Rasameel) has issued a challenging and eminently readable analysis detailing the mechanics of the meltdown that comes to the conclusion that securitization is the solution, not the problem. A major component of today’s capital markets, Rasameel’s report contends, is securitization….. Full Article: Source

Gulf Finance House announces record profits of $ 302m for first nine months of 2008

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Steelmillsoftheworld.com: Gulf Finance House has posted record profits of USD 302 million for the first nine months of the year compared to USD231 million profits recorded during the same period in 2007.

These results continue the overall trend of strong earnings growth when compared to the same period in 2007 and demonstrate the tremendous durability of GFH’s business model despite the collapse in global financial markets….. Full Article: Source

Malaysia plans to make Shah Alam international Islamic banking hub

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thestar.com.my: The Selangor government plans to turn Shah Alam into an international Islamic banking and financial centre, in the wake of slower growth in the state’s manufacturing sector.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said greater competition from lower labour cost countries had caused the state to make the services sector its leading engine of growth, with focus on information and communications technology (ICT), tourism and Islamic finance….. Full Article: Source

Islamic Finance can cut severity of crisis: Saudi economist

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Islamic finance can cut the severity and frequency of financial crises, and also reduce the problem of subprime borrowers by providing them loans at affordable terms, according to Umer Chapra, a well-known Saudi economist.

Chapra estimates the derivatives market to be around $600 trillion, more than 10 times the size of the world economy. The derivatives include credit default swaps (CDS) worth $54.6 trillion….. Full Article: Source

$200 mln Islamic bank launched in Bahrain

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-daily-news.com: A group of Middle East investors has pressed ahead with the launch of a $200 million Sharia-compliant investment bank in spite of the current global financial turmoil.

First Investment Bank, headquartered in Bahrain, says it offers institutional and individual investors innovative, diversified products and services with a special focus on the Middle East and North Africa region…. Full Article:

UAE Islamic insurance sector growing rapidly

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae:The Islamic insurance (takaful) industry in the UAE and Qatar enjoy higher average premium per capita than the global average of $554.8 (Dh27.33), according to a report by Dubai Chamber.

Malaysia and Kuwait both have premium per capita below the world average by 47 per cent and 59 per cent respectively. The UAE Islamic insurance industry is the second fastest growing market in the Gulf after Bahrain, the report said yesterday…… Full Article: Source

Islamic bankers see sharia system strengthening

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: The global financial crisis is an opportunity for sharia-compliant Islamic banking to further its position internationally, bankers said at a forum in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Islamic banks have been barely bruised by the global credit crisis so far, although falling property and commodity prices and slowing economies are starting to affect the sector…. Full Article: Source

Credit crunch may spur Islamic finance

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Theage.com.au: The fast growing Sharia financial system may receive a further boost as an alternative to capitalism amid the credit crunch and banking crisis, Islamic academics and clerics believe.

Already said to be worth $US300 billion ($A498 billion) and expanding at 15 per cent a year, the Islamic system forbids the levying or payment of interest, preferring shared ownership and splitting of profits….. Full Article: Source

Sharia investors suffer from global market turbulence

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Financialnews.com: Sharia investors lost $5.6 trillion (€4.4 trillion) in equities in the third quarter of this year, following the turmoil in the financial markets, although exclusion of financials and highly leveraged companies from their portfolios shielded them from the worst of the troubles.

According to ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, over $5.6 trillion was wiped off the value of Sharia-compliant equities worldwide during the three months to the end of September….. Full Article: Source

Report endorses Shariah-compliant investments

Posted on 28 October 2008 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

DubaiFrom Arabnews.com: The turmoil sweeping the world’s financial markets would not, according to one Kuwaiti investment house, have happened under a Shariah-compliant system.

Rasameel Structured Finance Company (Rasameel) has issued a challenging and eminently readable analysis detailing the mechanics of the meltdown that comes to the conclusion that securitization is the solution, not the problem. A major component of today’s capital markets, Rasameel’s report contends, is securitization….. Full Article: Source

October 2008
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