Muamalat plans Islamic finance in China

Bank Muamalat Malaysia will offer Islamic financing in China through booths as a step toward setting up the first full-fledged syariah-compliant lender in the world’s fastest-growing economy.
Malaysia’s second-oldest syariah bank plans to start offering loans and deposits by December at branches of local partner Bank of Shizuishan in the north-western region of Ningxia once it gets approval from regulators, Kuala Lumpur- based chief executive officer Mohd Redza Shah Abdul Wahid said in an Aug 28 interview.

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http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/malaysia/muamalat-plans-islamic-finance-china-20120905

source : business times

Islamic funds growth slows while the amount of investable assets increases,

The third report of Ernst & Young devoted to investment funds and Islamic investments have been made ​​public on the occasion of the International Conference on Islamic funds and capital markets, which was held in Bahrain, May 25.

This report indicates that the active region from the Persian Gulf and Asia, invested in accordance with the Sharia reached 736 billion U.S. dollars.

These assets include investments made ​​by many market participants using different instruments, such as Awqaf (donations to charities often recognized public utility), contributions to foundations, Takaful (insurance companies mutuals and co-operatives) and sovereign wealth funds. This translates into a potential source of income of 3.86 billion U.S. dollars for the industry Islamic asset management. Investment funds, however, remain small in size, since more than half of them have less than U.S. $ 20 million in assets under management.
The number of new funds launched has dropped from 271 in 2006-2007 to only 89 for the period of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009. This movement reflects the significant market correction initiated in the last year.

Google translated

read more at : http://www.ey.com/LU/en/Newsroom/News-releases/release_croissance-fonds-islamiques-june2009

Islamic microfinance: An instrument for poverty alleviation

With the growth of Islamic finance industry, Islamic micro finance is becoming a populor tool in allviating the poverty in the developing countries, the artical is about Islamic mirco financing..

From The Financial Express Bangladesh

Islamic microfinance (IM) is becoming an increasingly popular mechanism for alleviating poverty, especially in developing countries around the world. The Islamic microfinance industry as a whole is expected to reach over $2.0 billion in 2012 and is a continually growing sector due to its ethical principles and prohibition of riba (interest). This amount of assets is, however, only 1.0 per cent of the total microfinance of the world.

The concept of IM adheres to the principles of Islam and is a form of socially responsible investment. Investors who use their wealth for IM projects only involve themselves in halal projects which benefit the community at large. Such projects include zakat, which is charity based, or trade and industry projects to develop a country’s economy.

Read more at : http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=141342&date=2012-08-28

India offers vast scope for Islamic banking

Most of the South Asia countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives engaged with Islamic finance, still Indian Financial industry is struggling to open the door for Islamic finance industry though few attempts were done by some small groups. The following content is about Untapped Islamic banking market in India.

From Gulf News

Islamic banking may be in for some windfall gains if a reported move by Indian authorities to introduce some form of interest-free banking, aimed at bringing the country’s unbanked Muslim populations into mainstream banking, bears fruit.
If the initiative is taken to its logical conclusion, the Indian banking sector too stands to gain significantly as it will add huge numbers of new customers, while opening up a channel for substantial fund flow from regions such as the Gulf.
The Indian banking sector, which grabbed international news headlines last week, although for the wrong reasons — a nation-wide strike by employees of public sector banks and figuring in the controversy centering on Iran sanctions-related breaches by some international banking majors — however, provided some clues to the outside world about the kind of clout it enjoys in terms of customer base and business volumes.

Read more at : http://gulfnews.com/business/opinion/india-offers-vast-scope-for-islamic-banking-1.1066528

Redefining Islamic finance

OPTIMISTS will hail the fact that finally, after a mushroom growth in Pakistan of Islamic and other banks offering Sharia-compliant services and products, a debate has finally been generated about the viability and genuine adherence to religious teachings of these products and services.

An indicator of how this very important debate has begun to enter the mainstream was published in this newspaper some time ago in which the legitimacy of the interest-free financial instruments proffered by these banks was questioned. It was argued that an economic transaction would be considered riba- (interest) free if it avoids the multiplier mode of money-making, profit-taking and capital creation.

Read more : http://dawn.com/2012/08/24/redefining-islamic-finance/

source : Dawn.com

Shariah banking growing rapidly

Many non-Muslims like knowing they are not investing in alcohol, tobacco or porn. More than 100000 South Africans make use of the shariah-compliant banking products of local banks.

Eric Enslin, head of client engagement at FNB Wealth, said the shariah customer base is not exclusively Muslim.

Enslin said shariah banking is consistent with the principles of Islamic rulings and their practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Shariah prohibits the payment or acceptance of interest charges (riba) for the lending and accepting of money, as well as trade and other activities that provide goods or services considered contrary to its principles.

Business Live.co.za
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http://www.businesslive.co.za/personalfinance/2012/06/09/shariah-banking-growing-rapidly

Demand for Local Sukuk ‘Excessive’ With More Likely Ahead, Official Says

The government has issued Rp 120 trillion ($12.8 billion) in Islamic bonds during the past four years, which the Finance Ministry attributes to an “excessive” demand for them among Muslim investors.

The ministry’s director for Shariah financing, Dahlan Siamat, said the government issued its first Islamic bond, known as sukuk, in 2008, and as of Thursday it had issued a total of Rp 120 trillion.

“The achievement has been supported by excessive demand for sukuk in the domestic market,” Dahlan said in Surabaya on Thursday.

“The potential for state sukuk in the country is developing rapidly, given that 80 percent of Indonesians are Muslims and there remains large potential for them to become investors.”

Indonesia has been selling conventional and Islamic bonds during the past year to help plug its growing budget deficit. The country’s budget shortfall is forecast to reach 2.23 percent of the gross domestic product this year, according to a revised 2012 state budget.

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http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/demand-for-local-sukuk-excessive-with-more-likely-ahead-official-says/522996

Can Islamic banking help boost Czech exports?

A good deal of the ongoing economic and financial turmoil on world markets has been blamed on the unscrupulous practices of the international banking and financial sector. Islamic banking, on the other hand, is seen as a fairer and more balanced alternative which has been much less affected by the crisis. Can the Czech Republic benefit from a financial system based on the Islamic law? And can Islamic banking help boost Czech exports into Muslim countries? These are some of the issues debated at an international conference on Islamic banking held in Prague.

Based on the principles of Islamic law, or shariah, Islamic banks are prohibited from charging interests, speculating as well as investing in businesses considered unethical by Islamic scholars. Instead, Islamic or participant banking offers a system of shared risks and profits, and its supports claim it is committed to promoting equity, moderation and social justice.

Islamic banking is today the fastest growing segment of the financial system, and is also considered a more honest and fairer alternative to conventional banking. Cihad Erginay is the Turkish ambassador to Prague, and head of the local group of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation which organized the event.

“There was great interest on the subject from our Czech colleagues, Czech bankers and journalists who kept asking us about it and expressed their interest because they saw that Islamic banks were not as affected by the economic crisis that we see today. That led us to think that it could be interesting to organize such a conference. And as you can see from the participation, there is great interest in the subject.”

source : Radio Prague
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http://www.radio.cz/en/section/marketplace/can-islamic-banking-help-boost-czech-exports

Islamic Bank of Britain host UK’s first ‘Islamic Finance Question Time’

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB) held a question and answer session hosted by the Bank’s Shari’a scholars, ‘Islamic Finance Question Time’ on April 23. The aim of the event was to “demystify Islamic finance and provide an insight into how it offers a faith-based alternative to conventional finance and banking,” according IBB spokesperson.

IBB’s Sharia Supervisory Committee (SSC) consists of esteemed Shari’a scholars, Sheikh Dr Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah, Sheikh Nizam Muhammed Saleh Yaqoobi and Mufti Abdul Qadir Barkatulla.

Commenting on the event, Chairman of the IBB SSC, Sheikh Abu Ghuddah, said, “Islamic finance is as old as the religion of Islam itself. However, there is still a lot of misunderstanding around how it works and the need for Muslims to manage their finances in Shari’a compliant manner. The IBB SSC hopes the Islamic Finance Question Time event has shed some light on the matter and gone some way to encouraging the further take-up of Shari’a Finance amongst the Muslim community.”

Senior Manager, Sharia Compliance at IBB, Samir Alamad, who works closely with the IBB SSC on a day to day basis, also commented, “The feedback from attendees of Islamic Finance Question Time has been very positive. The public welcomed the opportunity to engage with the IBB SSC so openly. The event is the first time a UK Islamic bank has given open access to its SSC, and this reflects the open and transparent way the Bank works with its customers.”

Over 150 guests attended the event, held in central London for a debate lasting over 1.5 hours. Of the questions, the following generated a lively and informed discussion amongst the panel and their guests:

Read more at :

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/paper/index.php?article=5838

Saudi- Islamic banking grows 10 to 15% annually

MENAFN – Arab News) Islamic banking and finance, with a total asset of $1.4 trillion and more than 1,000 institutions operating in many countries worldwide is all set for a big take off, says Professor Khurshid Ahmad, chairman of the Islamic Foundation UK and the Institute of Policy Studies in Pakistan and author of several books on the topic.

islamic banking in saudi arabiaSpeaking to Arab News after giving a lecture on “Global economic crisis and the role of Islamic Economics” at the Islamic Development Bank headquarters here, Ahmad said Islamic banking and finance makes an annual growth of 10 to 15 percent when conventional banks make less than one percent.

“According to an IMF study, the institutions that were least affected by the global financial crisis were Islamic banks because they engage mainly in asset-based financing,” said Ahmad, who is a winner of King Faisal International Prize and IDB Prize.

Speaking about challenges, he emphasized the importance of Islamic banks to be shifted from a Shariah-compliant position to a Shariah-based position in order to move from a debt-based economy to a risk-sharing and equity-based participatory economy.

Ahmad also urged Muslim countries to reduce their dependence on foreign financial institutions like World Bank and International Monetary Fund. “I do not know of a single country in the world that has made progress after receiving loans from these institutions,” he said, adding that a number of economists have reached the same opinion after conducting studies on 40 to 48 cases.

read more at :

http://www.menafn.com/menafn/1093505668/Saudi-Islamic-banking-grows-10-to-15-annually/

source : http://www.menafn.com