Weekly industry update

Lawmakers, sukuk debutantes open Africa to Islamic finance

By Bernardo Vizcaino

(Reuters) – African markets are gradually opening to Islamic finance, buoyed by governments’ debut sales of sovereign sukuk (Islamic bonds) and legislative efforts to make the sector more attractive for companies across the region.

Despite the strong growth of Islamic finance in its core markets, the Middle East and southeast Asia, the industry has lagged in Africa, which is home to one in four of the world’s Muslims. This year, however, a string of transactions is helping to broaden the sector.

Governments across the continent are using sukuk as a way to attract cash-rich Islamic investors, with South Africa making a $500 million issue in September and Senegal raising 100 billion CFA francs ($208 million) in June.

read more

US MUSLIM JURISTS RESOLUTION ON ISLAMIC FINANCE COMPANIES
The issue of purchasing a house through Islamic financing has been written about in detail by experts and intellectuals for the past decade or so. However, it appears that majority of American-Muslims are either in doubt or are misinformed about the validity of the actual practice (buying homes through ‘halal mortgages’ or loans). Many prospective home owners dismiss all Islamic home loans as problematic or interest based loans candy coated in Islamic terminology.

read more

Turkey has potential but needs reforms for Islamic insurance read more

Japan’s JICA ties with Islamic Development Bank arm, eyes Jordan sukuk

JICA joins other development agencies such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in building links with Islamic finance.

Sukuk, investment certificates which follow religious guidelines such as bans on interest and monetary speculation, have over the past year grown in prominence as a funding tool beyond the industry’s core markets of the Middle East and southeast Asia. read more

Islamic Microfinance is an effective tool of Financial Inclusion read more

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