Islamic portfolios attract ethical investors in US

source : http://themalaysianreserve.com

ethical investmentEthical investment which has similarities with Islamic based investments has reached US$32 trillion (RM105.6 trillion) in size in the US and the European Union, an expert in wealth management and ethical investment said.

Meanwhile, responsible investing such as Islamic finance is probably one of the most appreciated form of investment even in the US, a prominent global investment manager specialising in the issues of ethical and Islamic investment Nicholas Kaiser said.

“There are over 1,200 signatories with US$32 trillion of assets under management and that shows the tremendous growth of assets categorised under the principles of responsible investment,” Kaiser said.

Read more at : http://themalaysianreserve.com/main/sectorial/islamic-finance/4446–islamic-portfolios-attract-ethical-investors-in-us

Muscat Securities Market (MSM) set to launch Sharia index today

By Samuel Kuty –

MUSCAT — Islamic finance sector in Oman is expected to get further momentum with the launch of the new Sharia compliant index by the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) today.
Announced to be known as MSM Sharia Index, the benchmark will have 31 companies with 18 drawn from industrial sector followed by 10 from service sector and three from financial institutions.
According to Ahmed bin Saleh al Marhoon, Director-General of MSM, the index will contribute to attracting a new category of investors.
“The move will pave the way for introducing other Islamic financial indices that serve new financial tools, such as sukuk and Islamic investment funds. This will enhance the available Islamic investment options and market depth,” Al Marhoon said.

The index is the latest development in Oman’s Islamic financial services market.

http://main.omanobserver.om/node/169824

source : oman obsever

Lankan brokers list Shariah Compliant companies in Colombo Stock Exchange

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

Sri Lankan stock firms have prepared a list of Shariah Compliant securities firms in the stock market for the benefit of local and foreign investors seeking investments that follow Islamic investing principles.

CSE“This list has been designed and developed to be used as a basis of Shariah compliant equity investments at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE),” an analyst told the Business Times. He said that listed companies at CSE are screened against a set of Shariah principles and the list is designed to meet the requirements of both local and foreign Islamic investors.
Shariah compliant investments have been growing in popularity, due in part to investor interest in working with the Middle East, according to analysts.

Islamic finance principles embody a unique form of investment management which corresponds with the values of socially responsible investing and LS Securities (LS), a firm that has pioneered a Islamic finance securities list two years ago, says that this is an ethical and equitable mode of finance that derives its principles from the ethical and equitable mode of finance that derives its principles from the Shariah (Islamic law).

Read more at : http://www.sundaytimes.lk/130630/business-times/lankan-brokers-list-shariah-compliant-companies-in-cse-50122.html

Sunday Times.lk

A closer look at Shariah ETFs

Despite thriving and affluent Islamic communities across Europe and North America, Muslims living in these regions have traditionally been underserved when it comes to investment. The reason for this is that managing investments according to Shariah principles (the moral code and religious law of Islam) can be incredibly time consuming since the vast majority of investment decisions need to be pre-approved by Islamic scholars.

Read more : http://www.etfstrategy.co.uk/a-closer-look-at-shariah-exchange-trade-funds-etfs-index-tracking-investment-solution-for-islamic-investors-45658/

Source :ETF strategy

Aircraft investment, Islamic finance key to growth: Boeing

source : traveldailymedia

Boeing Capital Corporation ‘BCC’ stressed on the need for airline to invest strategically into new aircraft and the long-anticipated growth of Islamic financing’s role in commercial airplane deliveries is also coming to fruition. Airplanes have been regarded as ideal for lending under Shariah law given their mobile nature and asset attractiveness.

These discussions were highlighted as financial institutions and airlines in the Middle East have significantly increased their capital investments in new Boeing commercial airplanes over the past two years, thus realizing substantial rewards for their investors as demand for new airplanes continues to expand.

“The region historically has seen about 20% of its deliveries funded by its own capital sources. That turned up to more than 30% in 2011, and, for 2012, it’s heading to nearly 60%,” said Rich Hammond, a BCC senior director in the region.

Read more : http://www.traveldailymedia.com/138359/aircraft-investment-islamic-finance-key-to-growth-boeing

Key Islamic standard for hedging launched

source : Gulf daily news

MANAMA: The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) have launched the ISDA/IIFM Mubadalatul Arbaah (Profit Rate Swap) product standard to be used for Islamic hedging purposes.

The Mubadalatul Arbaah (MA) standard follows on from the ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut (Hedging) Master Agreement and provides the industry with a framework for Islamic risk mitigation.

The launch of the Tahawwut Master Agreement as the template for Sharia-compliant risk management was officially announced by Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in March 2010.

“Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) have largely shown resilience in the current difficult financial environment and some are even going through an expansion phase,” IIFM chairman and CBB executive director of banking supervision Khalid Hamad said.

“However, due to the inter-linkages with the global financial system, the balance sheet of IFIs are exposed to fluctuation in foreign currency rates and also cash flow mismatches due to fixed and floating reference rates.

“IIFM recognises the importance of this critical segment at an early stage and undertook the challenge of developing global Islamic hedging standards in collaboration with ISDA.

“I am confident that such joint efforts will continue in the future for the benefit of the industry,” he said.

“ISDA is pleased to continue its partnership with the IIFM as part of its own on-going efforts and commitment to building safe and efficient OTC hedging markets, across both global and Islamic financial markets” said ISDA chief executive Robert G Pickel.

“The ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut Master Agreement was a major milestone in the development of risk management in Islamic finance and the development of the ISDA/IIFM confirmation templates for Islamic Profit Rate Swaps is a natural step in the evolution and development of the market,” he said.

read more at : http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=326736

Crescent Wealth Partners with Islamic Fund Manager Saturna Capital

Crescent Wealth, Australia’s first Islamic wealth manager, announced on Thursday that it has entered into an agreement with Saturna Sdn Bhd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S.-based Saturna Capital) to act as the portfolio manager to the Crescent International Equity Fund to be launched later this year.

Saturna’s strong fund performance in the U.S. underscored the potential of what can be achieved in the Australian market, said Managing Director of Crescent Wealth Talal Yassine.

“Our collaboration with Saturna Capital deepens our expertise in global Islamic finance and will give Australian investors the confidence to invest in our Crescent International Equity Fund,” Yassine said.

“Saturna has had tremendous success adhering to the principles of Islamic-based investing,” he said, “favouring companies with low debt-to-equity ratios and avoiding those with high price-to-earnings ratios.”

Saturna Capital, founded in 1989, manages funds and private accounts with total assets of more than $3.8 billion, including U.S.-based Amana Income and Amana Growth Funds, the world’s largest Islamic equity funds open to the public. Saturna has been recognized as a premier Islamic fund manager with multiple US and international awards. Saturna Sdn. Bhd. is licensed as an Islamic fund manager in Malaysia under the Malaysian International Islamic Finance Centre scheme.

Read more at
http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/303133/20120222/australia-crescent-wealth-partners-top-based-islamic.htm/

au.ibtimes

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

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