A debate on whether Twitter stock is Shariah compliant

Another interesting article about the sharia compliant stocks.

From Express Tribune

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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

Islamic Banks Could Be The Answer To America’s Over-reliance On Credit And Risk

source : international business times
By Christopher Harress

HOUSE
If second quarter results are anything to go by, America’s banks are recovering nicely. Most made respectable gains and have improved investor and public confidence in America. However, many people who advocate for changes in the banking system feel that just recovering from the financial crisis is simply not enough, and that serious changes must be made to avoid future banking meltdowns.

read more at : http://www.ibtimes.com/islamic-banks-could-be-answer-americas-over-reliance-credit-risk-1393193

Filling a Niche for Islamic Banking

By KRISTIANO ANG

When Fabiola Nava Carrera told her friends that she was going to pursue a master of business administration degree in Islamic finance at a Malaysian university, they were taken aback.

“I was very interested in going there to see what was going on, because I knew nothing about Asian and Islamic culture,” said Ms. Carrera, a 27-year-old Mexican who had previously worked in international trade. “But my friends in Mexico couldn’t believe that I wanted to go to Malaysia, because they thought that it would be too dangerous or that the culture would be too different.”

Ms. Carrera went anyway. Last year, she was one of four students, three of whom were non-Muslim, who graduated from the inaugural class of the Universiti Tun Abdul Razak’s Global Islamic Finance M.B.A. program in Kuala Lumpur.

Read more at New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/education/filling-a-niche-for-islamic-banking.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

A Detailed Look at the Fast-Growing Islamic Banking and Finance Sector

Press release
September 26, 2012
Hoboken, NJ
A Detailed Look at the Fast-Growing Islamic Banking and Finance Sector

The severity of the global financial crisis that followed the years 2008 and 2009 has been described as second only to the Great Depression. Yet, during those two years, the assets of the 500 top Islamic financial institutions grew — from $639 billion to $820 billion.

What sets apart the Islamic finance industry from the rest of the financial world? And how have its differences helped this sector thrive when the rest of the global financial market struggles to regain its balance?

Faleel Jamaldeen, author of Islamic Finance For Dummies, says: “I’m bullish on Islamic finance: I’m a firm believer in the market potential of this industry. I’m also a firm believer in the benefits of Westerners understanding the concepts that lie behind the Islamic financial products — knowing why a separate industry exists and why many conventional products don’t work for Muslims.”

“In the West, the general public and even many financial professionals know absolutely nothing about Islamic finance. Those who’ve at least heard of it may assume that they can’t understand or participate in it because they aren’t Muslim and don’t speak Arabic.) Western women may assume that they aren’t allowed to participate in the Islamic finance industry because of misconceptions about Islamic law. (Women can and do fully participate in Islamic finance — as professionals and as investors.)”

“Islamophobia is a prejudice against Islam or Muslims that has unfortunately become more commonplace and more intense in the West since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Some people simply don’t want anything to do with an industry that’s affiliated with Islam. Until now, searching for a book to help you navigate the subject of Islamic finance wasn’t very rewarding. That’s because Islamic finance has been the topic of textbooks but not many nonacademic titles.”

Jamaldeen goes on to say, “I wrote this book to bridge the gap between people who need and want to know about Islamic finance and an industry that needs and wants their participation. You’ll find that you don’t need to learn a new language, change your personal religious views, and that job prospects are strong for both men and women with conventional banking and finance skills who are open to learning about new products and a new way of conducting business.”

“I wrote this book assuming that you have a strong interest in the financial industry already. Maybe you’re a banker, a mutual fund manager, an investment consultant, or an insurance agent. Perhaps you have Muslim clients asking you to consider adding sharia-compliant products to your roster of offerings, or your boss mentioned in passing that Islamic finance has been growing like crazy and your company should find out how to tap into the market. Maybe you’re a college student focusing your studies in finance, and you’ve read that job prospects are good for people with specific knowledge about Islamic finance.”

Whatever the scenario, you’ll find clear and easy-to-understand information on how the Islamic finance industry works.

source : wiley.com

Bermuda to be first Western centre for Islamic finance in favourable tax domicile

By Marina Mello

Bermuda is set to become the first Western centre for Islamic finance in a favourable tax domicile, according to Bermuda executives in an article yesterday by Euromoney.

Executives from the Island have been actively wooing clients in Asia and the Middle East while working on reviewing existing laws to launch a Shariah-compliant platform for investors.

Apex Fund Services group director Peter Hughes told Euromoney: “We are looking at the Shariah side of Bermuda’s legislation to become the first Western centre for Islamic finance.

“We are looking to launch a Shariah platform that will allow us to have Shariah vehicles and products that would enable us to become the first one of its kind. We have made a real push into this niche area.”

Business Bermuda CEO Cheryl Packwood added: “We now have strong links in Bahrain and there is a commonality of wanting to create a niche jurisdiction for Shariah compliancy, that is closer to the US timezone,” she says. “We are also focusing on Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, as it has an enormous sukuk market. The process for getting this off the ground may be slow but we have the Bermuda Monetary Authority and the Bermuda Stock Exchange behind us.”

Last November, Ms Packwood and Mr Hughes led a group at the 18th World Islamic Banking Conference in Bahrain to show the Island was open for their business and could handle Shariah-compliant financial structures.

Shariah law is the moral and religious code of Islam, within which financial industries in those markets must operate. It’s an emerging market that is being pursued by offshore jurisdictions all over the world.

Global Islamic banking assets with commercial banks will hit $1.1 trillion in 2012, a jump of 33 percent from their 2010 level of $826 billion, according to Ernst & Young’s inaugural World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2011.

source : royal gazzatte.com

Islamic finance: paying for piety?

UM Financial’s troubles were a rocky start for sharia banking
by Erica Alini

For Canada’s 1.3 million Muslims, UM Financial arrived on the financial scene with a valuable service: mortgages that, in compliance with sharia principles, don’t charge interest. But its failure last year has sparked a fierce debate about whether Islamic banking should be banned, or whether it’s still a potentially lucrative industry in need of better regulation.

Mortgages with UM Financial were set up so that lender and borrower purchased the house together. The homebuyer pays rent to the mortgage issuer (rather than interest), while gradually buying off the outstanding share of the property. Ownership is transferred to the borrower only when the principal is paid in full. But when UM Financial failed, receivers were left with a legal can of worms. Who ultimately owns the houses—the bank or the borrower? And will 170 Muslim borrowers be forced to start paying interest in order to keep possession of their homes? Long-time critics of Islamic finance say these problems are inherent in the system and that it should be outlawed. Tarek Fatah, founder of the liberal-minded Muslim Canadian Congress, argues sharia-based banking amounts to calling interest by another name, and charging gullible, if devout, borrowers a premium for their piety.

Proponents of sharia-based finance maintain that the failure of UM Financial proves that Canada needs more, not less, Islamic finance. Had the country’s big banks opened up to the practice, borrowers would not have turned to a small, poorly regulated player such as UM Financial, says Walid Hejazi, a business professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. In retail banking, sharia-sanctioned models are examples of low-risk, back-to-basics finance, notes Hejazi. On the commercial side, a well-developed Canadian regulatory system for Islamic finance would make it easier for wealthy Gulf countries to invest in capital-intensive projects that need funding, such as the development of Alberta’s oil sands.

UM’s troubles were a rocky start for Islamic finance. But they likely won’t be the last word on a system that will remain in demand with a growing part of the population.

source : mcleans.ca