Children to be taught Islamic finance in school

The National

Schoolchildren in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain are to receive a new lesson in life: Islamic finance.
Al Hilal Bank has teamed up with Emirates National Schools to offer special Islamic banking and economics courses on the school curriculum, as part of a push by the Ministry of Presidential Affairsto promote financial literacy.

The bank hopes fostering awareness of Islamic finance among young children will help it participate in Abu Dhabi 2030 Economic Vision development plan, said Mohammed Berro, the bank’s chief executive.

“We have a role to play as a bank, as an Islamic bank that makes sure that the new generation of 2030 is well versed financially, in Islamic banking, and will take Abu Dhabi – inshallah – to more successes after 2030,” he said

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http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/industry-insights/finance/children-to-be-taught-islamic-finance-in-school

Libya Hoping to Implement New Islamic Banking Plans by End of Year

tripolipost.com

The Libyan central bank governor Saddek Omar Elkaber said Monday, that Libya hopes to start implementing its new Islamic banking law by the end of the year and expects strong demand among the public for sharia-compliant financial services.

The country has been working to amend its legislation about an Islamic banking law to attract foreign investment and stimulate its private sector following last year’s war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi since last May when it approved the Islamic banking law.

Elkaber is reported by Reuters telling journalists on the sidelines of an Arab central bankers’ conference in Kuwait, that the demand is so high in Libya, as such, it has decided to set up a higher committee for Islamic finance…”Now they are working to set up a road map for Islamic finance in Libya,” he added.

Asked when Libya might be able to start implementing the rules, he said: “Hopefully very soon. Hopefully this year.”

He went on to say that the Libyan authorities envisaged several options for Islamic banking services. One would be to allow conventional banks to open branches or windows for Islamic finance, while another would be permitting conventional banks to become Islamic. Libya is also looking at introducing a special licence for Islamic banking, he said.

But, he added, the licensing option is still under discussion because authorities have yet to agree on capital requirements.

Read more at :
http://www.tripolipost.com/articledetail.asp?c=1&i=9239

What Ugandans need is Islamic banking

During the twelfth Bank of Uganda annual Eid party, held at the central bank on September 7, a group of Muslims under their umbrella Contact Group on Islamic Banking, managed to get a word on Islamic Banking in, with bank governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile. He assured them that the central bank had already done its homework and submitted the proposed amendments to the Financial Institutions Act.

“We also had a word with Dr Anas Kaliisa, renowned Sharia expert who presided over the closing ceremonies. Dr Kaliisa appreciated the pioneering efforts of Contact Group on Islamic Banking and assured us of his full technical support,” Kalinge Nyago wrote on an Islamic social networking website, Uganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters.

The chief guest, Gen Moses Ali, also called for the introduction of Islamic banking in Uganda.

“The bank should exacerbate the introduction of other forms of banking systems that will entail justice and fairness. BoU should play a leading and encouraging role in the introduction of Islamic banking, which is a banking system that has been embraced by both Muslims and non – Muslims because of its unique characteristics,” said Moses Ali who was minister of Finance in 1976 at the age of 38.

source : observer.ug

http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20882:-what-ugandans-need-is-islamic-banking&catid=43:sizzling&Itemid=71

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.

read more :

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

source : business times

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

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

Islamic banking could be perfect fit for Scotland – Omar Shaikh, of the IFC

YOU cannot mask what has happened to the banking industry over recent years. Alongside the near collapse of our biggest banks, there has been a disintegration of trust.

It has spurred many of us from the worlds of business, the churches and academia to explore new models of financial institution that bring together Islamic and ethical banking for a more socially-focused view of lending.

Today the Tods Murray/Islamic Finance Council UK (IFC) ethical finance forum will look at the practical challenges relating to marketing and distribution and discuss methods for measuring social returns.

Over recent weeks, these discussions have become even more pertinent against the backdrop of constitutional reform. Scotland’s monetary system is being hotly debated.

We strongly believe the shared values between Islamic finance, the churches and broader ethical banking could provide the bedrock to a more stable and prudent banking sector whatever the outcome of a referendum, and no less so were Scotland to become independent.

We would not want to be in a similar situation to Ireland trying to bail out our banks. IMF studies have shown Islamic banks are more stable than their conventional counterparts and we need to see what we can learn from this to mitigate systemic risk.

Scotland has a tremendous heritage for ethical and prudent finance from the original mutual investment trusts to the Savings Bank movement. Indeed the Savings Bank structure inspired the first attempt at a modern Islamic bank in Egypt more than 40 years ago.

This is also a nation for innovation. In a brave, new world, the Scottish banking system has the opportunity to once again show moral leadership giving the people of Scotland a fair, socially responsible bank system that works for them and ensures Scotland can withstand any future financial crisis.

Many people are already basing their financial decisions on moral considerations, there is a growing appetite for ethical trading and there is an expanding sector of society who will choose social over purely financial returns. That is worth building on.

read more at http://www.scotsman.com/news/omar-shaikh-islamic-banking-could-be-perfect-fit-for-scotland-1-2172994/

Azerbaijan develops Islamic financing

Azerbaijan may soon become a regional Islamic financing centre and play a significant role in boosting cooperation in Islamic banking with Persian Gulf and Central Asian countries.
Islamic financing is one of the fastest growing segments of the global financial services industry worldwide. At the same time, interest in Islamic finance as a source of investment is high in the country, reported Azerbaijan’s news agency, Trend.

Many countries’ interest in Islamic finance was associated with different factors, the foremost of which was the desire to attract liquid resources from the Middle East and Southeast Asia and a certain demand for financial products in accordance with syariah law by local Muslims.
Today, Azerbaijan actively introduced Islamic financing. The independent authority of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) on Islamic banking would start its work in March, which planned to present six Islamic banking products to the market during the first phase, it stated.

Islamic financial tools could become the channel through which their assets could be involved in the economy. — Bernama

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/01/27/azerbaijan-develops-islamic-financing/#ixzz1kjOFawTK

source : .theborneopost.com

Islamic Finance in Africa to take off in 2012

Islamic finance banking options are increasingly being seen as a viable alternative to traditional banking services in Africa and are growing to support not only the African Islamic community but all those looking for an interest-free banking alternative.
The Islamic Finance Africa Conference, due to take place on 21 – 24 FeBRuary 2012 in South Africa, is drawing together experts in the field from across the world. Key speakers from Nigeria, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia will join leading South African experts from ABSA, alBaraka Bank, KPMG and other financial institutions. They will be meeting to discuss the growth potential for Islamic finance products and services in Africa.

The event will explore the challenges of and opportunities for providing Islamic Finance offerings in Africa, the growth of the industry and what it means to the continent. Shariah law compliance is at the core of Islamic Finance services and products, for conventional financial institutions wanting to open an Islamic finance window this might pose a challenge and many institutions have faced difficulties. The Islamic Finance Africa Conferences will address these issues and others facing financial institutions in Africa.

source : kuwait observer

Mahathir urges countries to achieve 50% market share for Islamic banking

Even in retirement he remains the most popular politician to the Muslim “man-and-woman-in-the-street”. Now as an elder statesman, Mahathir Mohamed, the former Malaysian prime minister, continues to give advice whether on the global financial crisis, on the future of the Islamic banking industry, on the Islamic gold dinar, on the future of US dollar as an international trading currency, and on his celebrated spat with arch speculator and fund manager, George Soros, in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis in 1998.

In an exclusive interview, Mahathir, albeit a bit more frail now, was his usual outspoken self, and he had a clear and present message for the Islamic banking industry – learn from the mistakes of conventional banking if the industry is to avoid the same fate. There definitely is a future for Islamic finance. It would not be spectacular; it would not be the cause of booms and busts.

Source : Arab News
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