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Islamic Finance Briefing 12.Mar 2010

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Reuters: More sharia hedge funds are likely to be launched, specialising in healthcare, telecoms and technology stocks, a U.S. financial firm said, as the industry debates how far Islam sanctions such investments.

Few Islamic hedge funds have successfully gotten off the ground as asset managers struggle to reconcile the religion’s ban on excessive speculation with common hedge fund techniques such as short selling……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Indiatimes.com: This may come as a surprise. But Shariah or ethical funds, which are compliant with Islamic investment laws and available from only two insurers — Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and Tata AIG Life Insurance — are doing much better in terms of returns on investment (RoI) than a host of traditional funds.

Though total assets under management for these funds in the insurance sector is a modest Rs 525 crore, which has been mopped up over the last 3-4 years, returns were as high as 109% compared to the CNX NSE Nifty Index, which registered a 70% growth during the same period……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Global sukuk sales rose to $20.15 billion in 2009 from $14.13 billion in 2008, and Malaysia accounted for about half of the sales last year, according to Dato Yahaya Abdul Jabar, the Ambassador of Malaysia to the UAE.

Islamic finance has been growing at 15-20 per cent annually across the globe and Moody’s says the industry is worth $700 billion. Malaysia has over 30 years of experience in this sector, which is increasingly being seen as a sustainable alternative to conventional banking after emerging largely unscathed from the global economic meltdown, the Ambassador said in a statement here on Thursday……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Jordantimes.com: The government may need to issue new pieces of legislation or find a new mechanism to speed up the issuance of Islamic sukuk, Minister of Finance Mohammad Abu Hammour said.

According to web-based Islamic finance sites, sukuk (plural of sakk) are asset-backed securities designed to provide a relatively fixed stream of investment income without violating Sharia (Islamic law) and the prohibition of interest……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Sharia boards face increased scrutiny and criticism as high-profile corporate defaults and cautionary comments from respected scholars cast a harsh light on the fast growth of financial products touted as Islamic.

Experts say rapid growth in the industry, which some estimates value at around $1 trillion, has put more pressure on scholars to sign off on increasingly complicated structures, wrapped in sharia packaging……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From IPE: The global recession has sparked interest in Islamic finance with its emphasis on risk aversion. And real estate is the ideal asset class for Sharia investment.

Interest in Islamic finance accelerated with the downturn of the international financial markets. Its risk aversion was assumed by many to ‘insulate’ against the global economic and financial slowdown……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Aawsat.com: Islam was introduced to Kazakhstan after Qutayba Ibn Muslim al Bahili became governor of the Khorasan province in 704. Al Bahili extended the Islamic conquests to territories beyond Mesopotamia. Kazakhstan is one of the Islamic republics of Eurasia, which the former Soviet Union annexed to its Communist camp in 1917.
However, with the gradual break up of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan declared its independence in 1991. Muslims represent the majority of the population in this republic, constituting more than 48 percent of the overall population, which stands at approximately 5 million people, most of whom are of Turkish origin……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Bernama: Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd, which offers takaful products and services, recently organised a course on Islamic finance for civil servants.

The programme was launched at the Treasury’s Housing Loan Division in Putrajaya by Takaful Ikhlas’ president and chief executive officer Datuk Syed Moheeb Syed Kamarulzaman……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Bernama: The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) have teamed up to create an international platform for debate, dialogue and study on contemporary issues and challenges faced in Islamic finance.

The inaugural collaboration with the OCIS, will help further facilitate intellectual discourse among Islamic finance experts, Shariah advisers and scholars from around the world, the SC said in a statement here, Thursday……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Lexology.com: As the global economic slowdown continues and more debt defaults materialise, it is inevitable that the litigation of Islamic financing structures will become increasingly common - notably in the English courts, as English law governs a significant number of cross-border Islamic finance arrangements.

Stakeholders in the Islamic finance industry will be focusing closely on the outcome of these disputes, as they look to ensure that their products remain sufficiently robust when faced with a period of continued economic uncertainty……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Albawaba.com: Gulf Finance House (GFH) announced that its in an advanced stage for establishing one of the largest Islamic banks in Syria under the name of Syria Finance House (SFH).

GFH along with a number of prominent and reputed local Syrian business partners who are involved in the industrial, financial and commodity sectors, are working to position the bank as the leading and one of the largest Islamic banks in Syria, with a capital of SYP 15 billion (the equivalent of US$ 333 million)……………………………………Full Article: Source

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From Cpifinancial.net: Toyota Capital’s MYR 1 billion Islamic Commercial Papers/Medium-Term Notes Programme (2008/2015) currently carries AAA(s)/P1(s) ratings.

RAM Ratings said it believes that Toyota Motor Japan has the financial muscle to weather this tough period, underscored by its strong balance sheet. Photograph: One Toyota Group Pavilion of the pavilion of an Expo 2005 Aichi Japan in Nagakute. Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan, i.e. the ultimate shareholder of Toyota Capital……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Businessweek.com: Ithmaar Bank BSC of Bahrain plans to start tomorrow issuing rights worth $200 million to fund an expansion of its operations, according to a company statement.

“The rights issue is part of a capital raising initiative, which includes a Mandatory Convertible Sukuk, designed to raise a total of up to $400 million,” said the statement e-mailed today……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Asianbankerpublication.com: Misys, the global application software and services company, today announced that QNB, the leading national bank in Qatar, has licensed Misys BankFusion Equation to ensure it has the most modern technology platform available to underpin its business strategy.

QNB has the largest distribution network in Qatar, comprising 44 branches in addition to eleven Islamic branches and offices operated by its Islamic banking subsidiary QNB Al Islami, and more than 160 ATMs……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Arabfinance.com: Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank Unicorn is close to signing a “big” mandate for asset management services in Saudi Arabia, a senior executive said.

“We hope to sign it in the next days,” said Ikbal Daredia, head of the capital markets, institutional banking and treasury unit at the Manama-based bank……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Abu Dhabi’s government-owned Mubadala Development Company, which has stakes in Ferrari and Piaggio Aero, said on Thursday it has bought a 9 percent equity stake in boutique US investment bank The Raine Group.

Raine, which focuses on media, entertainment and sports, operates out of New York, Los Angeles and Beijing……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Businessweek.com: Dubai World, the state-owned holding company restructuring $26 billion in debt, is yet to present a formal proposal to its creditors, said a spokeswoman for the emirate’s Department of Finance.

Dubai World will ask banks for permission to delay loan repayments when it presents a plan this month, said three bankers familiar with the negotiations on March 8……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair and family ranked most affluent in the UAE as four other Saudis join Al Waleed in billionaires’ club. Middle East businessmen are well represented in the world’s billionaires list, as current Forbes data show.

The richest by far is still Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Al Saud, head of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding. His current net worth is estimated by Forbes at $19.4 billion (Dh71.2 billion), up $6.1 billion from last year……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: Gulf companies may raise about $30 billion this year to fin-ance their refinery, power and water projects, Christophe Mariot, BNP Paribas SA’s head of structured finance for the Middle East, said at a conference in Bahrain yesterday.

GDF Suez SA and Saudi Electricity Co plan to raise about $1.8 billion (Dh6.61 billion) through syndicated bank loans and export-credit facilities to build a power plant in Saudi Arabia, two bankers with knowledge of the transaction said on March 8……………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Laxman |  Email|Print

From Irishcentral.com: An Irish Islamic website which argues for the introduction of “Shariah” law in Ireland had nearly 270,000 hits last month alone.

The site is targeted at what it calls Irish “O’Muslims,” the Muslim Public Affairs Council website, www.mpac.ie. Sharia refers to the “way” Muslims should live or the “path” they must follow……………………………………Full Article: Source

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