UAE’s conventional lenders boost Islamic banking

By Gaurav Ghose

Gulf News

The Islamic window is increasingly becoming an important part of UAE’s conventional banking landscape, with one of the leading lenders starting a new division early this year and others expanding on their existing offerings, thereby contributing an increased share to the overall financial fortunes of the group.

read more : http://gulfnews.com/business/banking/uae-s-conventional-lenders-boost-islamic-banking-1.1223794

Major Islamic funds conference opens

Leading players, industry thought leaders and key regulators in the international Islamic investments and asset management industry will come together in Bahrain today for the start of a two-day conference.

The 9th Annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2013), is taking place in strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), organisers said.

More than 400 international industry leaders are expected to participate in critical discussions that will focus on “Broadening the Base of Investors and Issuers; and Boosting the International Growth of Islamic Capital Markets and Investments”.

The conference will open with a keynote address by CBB executive director for financial institutions supervision Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker.

The recent acceleration in the Islamic funds and investments industry is set to grow further as governments and institutions in the Middle East, South East Asia and beyond increasingly seek Sharia-compliant instruments as a viable alternative for raising capital and also for diversifying their investment portfolio, he said.

read more at : http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=354082

source : Gulf-daily

Thomson Reuters launches Islamic Finance indicator

imagesCAIVD7UVThomson Reuters yesterday launched an Islamic Finance Development Indicator in collaboration with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector development arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), a press statement said yesterday.

The indicator is a numerical measure representing the overall health and growth of the Islamic finance industry worldwide.

The indicator expands the scope of Thomson Reuters’ universe of Islamic finance content, research and news analysis to develop a much needed unbiased and reliable multi-dimensional barometer of the development of the Islamic finance industry. The indicator measures five key components – quantitative development, governance, social responsibility, knowledge and awareness.

read more at : http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/business/238122-thomson-reuters-launches-islamic-finance-indicator.html

source : the peninsula qa.

Global adviser needed for Islamic finance, says IDB

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB), a Jeddah-based multilateral institution, has called for the creation of a global sharia advisory board that can offer greater uniformity for the Islamic finance industry, its president said on Thursday.

A centralised format to the supervision of sharia-compliant banking products is gaining favour across the globe, as regulators seek to standardise industry practices and improve consumer perceptions.

“IDB and IFSB (Islamic Financial Services Board) should study ways for creating globally acceptable references for the industry for the benefit of all,” IDB president Ahmad Mohamed Ali said at a conference in Kuala Lumpur.

Read more at : http://www.arabianbusiness.com/global-adviser-needed-for-islamic-finance-says-idb-501825.html?goback=.gde_147616_member_241640927

Arabian Business

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

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

read more at

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

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

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