Kerala government gets Reserve Bank of India nod for Islamic banking : Economic Times

T Ramavarman source : economictimes.indiatimes.com

imagesKOCHI: The Kerala government has got a go-ahead from the Reserve Bank of India to launch a financial institution following the principles of Islamic finance.

Cheraman Financial Services Limited (CFSL) will be floated by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation to function as a non-banking finance company (NBFC). A formal announcement on CFSL, the latest incarnation of Al Baraka Financial Services, was made on Saturday.

Industries minister PK Kunhalikutty and CFSL chairman P Mohamad Ali told reporters here that the firm would function as a non-banking finance company with an authorised capital of Rs 1,000 crore.

Please read more at :

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/finance/kerala-government-gets-reserve-bank-of-india-nod-for-islamic-banking/articleshow/21890211.cms

‘Islamic banking should be on national agenda’

KARACHI: Islamic banking should be part of the national agenda in order to promote a Shariah-based financial system, according to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Head of Islamic Banking Salimullah.

He was addressing the participants here at the Islamic Finance Conference and Exhibition on Friday.

Salimullah said that Islamic banking has been on an expansion path throughout the country, providing a viable alternative model of the economy to the world.

The SBP has planned to intensify its efforts towards creating awareness and promoting Islamic banking across the country in collaboration with all Islamic banks, he informed the participants.

Read more : http://tribune.com.pk/story/566510/islamic-banking-should-be-on-national-agenda/

source : tribune.com.pk

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

Sharia market goes mainstream; Monad University begins courses in Islamic finance

By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

Hyderabad: The subject of Islamic finance has surfaced at copious controversies in India, travelling through court cases, to political podiums, after all of it; finally this vast lucrative finance market is getting a mainstream acceptance, at least academically.

Monad University Uttar Pradesh is introducing Islamic finance as higher educational courses. The university, in collaboration with Institute of Islamic Banking Finance & Insurance (IIBFI), Chennai is providing three passages for Islamic finance education. MU is introducing Post Graduate Diploma in Islamic Banking & Finance (PGDIBF), MBA in Islamic finance and PhD in Islamic finance.

Read more at :

http://twocircles.net/2013apr28/sharia_market_goes_mainstream_monad_university_begins_courses_islamic_finance.html

Maldives : Capital Market Authority and Islamic Ministry unite to promote Islamic finance

The Maldives Capital Market Development Authority (CDMA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry for Islamic Affairs to further develop an Islamic capital market in the country.

Among the most prominent details of the agreement was a joint commitment to establish the ‘Maldives Centre for Islamic Capital Market and Finance’.

“This is going to help in promoting the various services available in Islamic financial services under one organisation,” read a press release from the CDMA.

Other features of the arrangement include the scheduling of meetings between the CDMA’s Capital Market Shariah Advisory Committee and the Ministry’s Fiqh academy, a program of training events on the practice, and the ministry’s endorsement of Shariah advisors registered with the CDMA.

Read more at http://minivannews.com/society/capital-market-authority-and-islamic-ministry-unite-to-promote-islamic-finance-46439

source : minivannews.com

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

Islamic microfinance: An instrument for poverty alleviation

With the growth of Islamic finance industry, Islamic micro finance is becoming a populor tool in allviating the poverty in the developing countries, the artical is about Islamic mirco financing..

From The Financial Express Bangladesh

Islamic microfinance (IM) is becoming an increasingly popular mechanism for alleviating poverty, especially in developing countries around the world. The Islamic microfinance industry as a whole is expected to reach over $2.0 billion in 2012 and is a continually growing sector due to its ethical principles and prohibition of riba (interest). This amount of assets is, however, only 1.0 per cent of the total microfinance of the world.

The concept of IM adheres to the principles of Islam and is a form of socially responsible investment. Investors who use their wealth for IM projects only involve themselves in halal projects which benefit the community at large. Such projects include zakat, which is charity based, or trade and industry projects to develop a country’s economy.

Read more at : http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=141342&date=2012-08-28

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

Greener pastures open in banking sector

KOZHIKODE: The Muslim education institutions in Malabar have taken a cue from the state government in their interest towards Islamic banking.

While state government is expecting more funds to come to the state through the new banking system, the educational institutions here are gearing up to offer specialized courses anticipating a huge manpower requirement.

Though the RBI nod to start operations for the Islamic finance company Al Baraka Financial Services, promoted by state government’s Kerala State Industries Development Corporation, is awaited, the job market is abuzz with the enormous job potential it is likely to offer.

Islamic banking is an interest-free banking system operated in accordance with Sharia laws that prohibits taking or giving interest. Under the system, banks do not pay interests on deposits nor do they charge interest on loans. The money deposited is used to finance projects on ownership basis.

The fact that many graduates in the state have got lucrative job offers at MNCs in west Asia in companies offering Shariah-compliant mutual funds and venture capital funds has increased the lure for the courses.

“We have seen a growing interest for our postgraduate diploma in Islamic economics and finance (PGDIEF) course. Currently we offer 40 seats a year but the number of applicants last year was nearly 200,” said Mohammed Pallath, chief coordinator of the course at Al Jamia Al Islamiya, a religious college, at Santhapuram. The institution also offers diploma courses of IGNOU in Islamic banking, Islamic finance and Islamic insurance.

Shoukath Ali, a faculty member teaching Islamic finance at the institution, said that requirement for qualified professionals in Islamic finance will see a big rise once the non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) like Al-Baraka and other projects take off. He said that by adopting Islamic banking the state can channel billions of rupees needed for development activities.

There are many other institutions in Malappuram and Kozhikode which offer similar courses. The Elijah Institute of Management Studies in Thrissur has recently started offering a postgraduate diploma course in Islamic banking and management as an add-on course for their MBA students.

source : The times of India