Dh30m fund for university research

SHARJAH // The American University of Sharjah has given the go-ahead to three new research centres that will pave the way for work in fields as diverse as Islamic finance and archaeology.

The centres – for research into Gulf coastal ecosystems, Islamic finance and banking, and humanities and science – were approved last week by the university’s board of trustees, which gave the projects a Dh30 million endowment over five years.

read more at

The national at : http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/education/dh30m-fund-for-university-research

Advertisements

Bank Negara clarifies Fatwa ruling on forex trading


Source : nst.com

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia said today that only licensed financial institutions and money changers are allowed to conduct foreign currency trading.

This statement came about after the National Fatwa Council’s ruling on Wednesday that forex trading is forbidden for Muslims.
The Council’s statement on it being permissible among banks and money changers was not prominently mentioned in the media, which created some confusion among the public.
BNM said licensed commercial banks, Islamic banks, investment banks and international Islamic banks are allowed to buy and sell foreign currency in Malaysia, as provided under the Exchange Control Act 1953.
And under the Money Services Business Act 2011, so too are licensed money services business providers or money changers.

Read more: Bank Negara clarifies Fatwa ruling on forex trading – Top News – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/top-news/bank-negara-clarifies-fatwa-ruling-on-forex-trading-1.47541#ixzz1mYfdvQXM

Greener pastures open in banking sector

KOZHIKODE: The Muslim education institutions in Malabar have taken a cue from the state government in their interest towards Islamic banking.

While state government is expecting more funds to come to the state through the new banking system, the educational institutions here are gearing up to offer specialized courses anticipating a huge manpower requirement.

Though the RBI nod to start operations for the Islamic finance company Al Baraka Financial Services, promoted by state government’s Kerala State Industries Development Corporation, is awaited, the job market is abuzz with the enormous job potential it is likely to offer.

Islamic banking is an interest-free banking system operated in accordance with Sharia laws that prohibits taking or giving interest. Under the system, banks do not pay interests on deposits nor do they charge interest on loans. The money deposited is used to finance projects on ownership basis.

The fact that many graduates in the state have got lucrative job offers at MNCs in west Asia in companies offering Shariah-compliant mutual funds and venture capital funds has increased the lure for the courses.

“We have seen a growing interest for our postgraduate diploma in Islamic economics and finance (PGDIEF) course. Currently we offer 40 seats a year but the number of applicants last year was nearly 200,” said Mohammed Pallath, chief coordinator of the course at Al Jamia Al Islamiya, a religious college, at Santhapuram. The institution also offers diploma courses of IGNOU in Islamic banking, Islamic finance and Islamic insurance.

Shoukath Ali, a faculty member teaching Islamic finance at the institution, said that requirement for qualified professionals in Islamic finance will see a big rise once the non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) like Al-Baraka and other projects take off. He said that by adopting Islamic banking the state can channel billions of rupees needed for development activities.

There are many other institutions in Malappuram and Kozhikode which offer similar courses. The Elijah Institute of Management Studies in Thrissur has recently started offering a postgraduate diploma course in Islamic banking and management as an add-on course for their MBA students.

source : The times of India

Need for qualified Islamic finance professionals underlined

Tariq Khattak

Islamabad—CIMA, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, launched its Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance amongst a distinguished gathering of leading industry figures from Pakistan at a local hotel.

The CIMA Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance (CADIF) is the first qualification of its kind to be offered by a professional accountancy body, and marks a major step forward for the Islamic finance industry. It follows the successful launch of CIMA’s Certificate in Islamic Finance four years ago, which, following a detailed review, has recently been re-graded to the CIMA Diploma in Islamic Finance.

Mr. Bradley Emerson, Regional Director, CIMA, said: “CIMA’s mission is to help people and businesses to succeed. Keeping to this mission CIMA recognise the growth of Islamic Finance in the world; came up with the curriculum with input from world’s best scholars in its subjects. CIMA Certificates, Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses in Islamic Finance are the first ever globally recognised qualifications. CIMA is confident that the launch of this program in Pakistan is timely and the banking professionals may make use of these courses to up shelf themselves’

Islamic finance is becoming much more prominent throughout the financial institutions of the world, rapidly growing from a niche industry to a mainstay of finance. CIMA’s qualifications in Islamic finance have been developed with this switch in mind, and to help meet a global shortfall of skilled Islamic finance professionals.

Javaria Hassan, Country Manager, CIMA Pakistan added: “Islamic finance plays a vital role in the modern business world, and it is important that there are global qualifications available to professionals in both the principal and developing Islamic finance hubs.

Read more at
http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=139877

Source : Pakistan observer

The stranger bits of Finance Bill 2012: from cricket to Islamic finance

THE FINANCE BILL 2012 was published yesterday by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and among the Mortgage Interest Relief measures and tax changes for businesses, the Bill also clarified the following (more unusual) elements of Irish taxation:

1. Bread

The Finance Bill 2012 clarifies the range of bread products, including bagels and blaas, which will not be liable for VAT and will instead remain designated at a zero rate of tax.

The zero-rated breads include loaves, rolls, batch bread, bagels, baps, blaas, burger buns, finger rolls, wraps, naan breads and pitta bread.

Other flour- or egg-based bakery products are subject to VAT of 13.5 per cent.

The Department of Finance said that the breads listed above are being designated zero-rated for tax in an effort to reflect the kinds of bread currently available on the market while taking into account the development of bread for health and ethnic reasons.

2. Cricket

The Finance Bill had some good news for professional cricket players: they are being added to the list of professional sportspersons entitled to tax relief on certain income.

The move also means that the cricketers will be eligible for a higher rate of relief on pension contributions.

Other sportspersons covered by this are: athletes, boxers, cyclists, golfers, motor racing drivers, footballers, rugby players, swimmers, jockeys, and tennis, squash and badminton players.

They must be resident in the state for the relevant tax assessment period to qualify and the deduction only applies to direct sports earnings (less expenses) and not for indirect income earned through promotional appearances or sponsorship.

3. Islamic Finance

The Finance Bill also includes enhancements to the tax regime for Islamic finance.

This area of finance in Ireland, which although faith-based is not limited to Muslims, was introduced in the Finance Act 2010, and refers to financial transactions which are consistent with the principles of Islamic or Sharia law.

Under Islamic finance, the payment and receipt of interest is forbidden. Speculation is also prohibited, while investment in unethical businesses, products or services is also banned. According to the Revenue Commissioners, under Islamic finance, transactions are typically backed by or based on an identifiable and tangible underlying asset.

The transactions also involve sharing risk between the investor and the investee, and products under Islamic finance operate along the same lines as conventional financial products by using familiar legal structures in an alternative way to achieve the financing objectives.

The Finance Bill published yesterday proposes technical changes to certain Islamic financial transactions in the same way as conventional financial transactions by allowing such a company to have other income in addition to income from leasing and/or income from specified financial transactions.

source : the journal.ie

Australia’s Islamic stock index launched

MARK COLVIN: A new Australian share index has joined the likes of the ASX 200 and All Ordinaries. It’s the Islamic Australia Index.

The index’s creators are the global financial information company Thomson Reuters and Islamic investment manager Crescent Wealth.

Thomson Reuters’ global head of Islamic capital markets Dr Sayd Farook and Crescent Wealth’s Talal Yassine spoke to Michael Janda.

SAYD FAROOK: We avoid investments predominantly in leverage, in what we call morally hazardous industries; armaments, pornography, alcohol etc and then we have some quantitative methods of screening out companies that have particular amounts of debt, or have particular percentages of investment in prohibited activities.

MICHAEL JANDA: So as a concrete example what Australian companies would be eligible and what Australian companies are ineligible for this index?

SAYD FAROOK: So you think about companies such as CSL, Woodside Petroleum, these kinds of resource energy stocks, such as AGL Energy, these would be eligible stocks. On the other hand stocks such as Amalgamated Holdings and the like that are in cinema and broadcasting, or …

Read more http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2012/s3420811.htm

source : ABC.NET.AU