The Times Islamic Finance supplement

The UK based times news paper have issued 16 pages Islamic finance supplement focusing UK Islamic finance market. The supplement has been created by Raconteur Media 16 pages analysis of different topics including the market, education, regulation and global trends. This is a good resource for those are involved in Islamic finance industry practitioner or researcher.

The major topics include :
– Challenging the banking ‘fat cats’
– Alternative funding for cash-starved UK firms
– Doing the right thing can be profitable
– Reaching out to UK customers by daring to be different
– Global rise of Islamic finance
– Public works projects need financial kick-start
– Home truths for Islamic mortgages
– Funding for affordable homes
– Finding a way to train future professionals
– Task force set to show UK is open for business
– Comparing standards is an interesting problem
– Pursuit of excellence must sweep away conflict of interest
– Islamic banking and finance: perceptions and expectations

Link for the article

UK Minister Reiterates Government’s Commitment to Islamic Finance

The UK Government remains committed to Islamic finance and will continue to work with the other authorities and with industry to establish and maintain the UK as a global gateway to Islamic finance, stressed Sarah McCarthy-Fry, Exchequer Secretary to the UK Treasury in London on Thursday.

Mrs. McCarthy-Fry, who is the minister responsible for leading Islamic finance policy at the UK Treasury, was giving the keynote address at the inaugural session of the 2009 London Sukuk Summit held on 2nd-3rd July at the Radisson Hotel in London and organized by ICG Events. The Summit, the third annual one to date organized under the theme ”Innovating for the Future: The Next Generation of Post Credit Crunch Sukuk Structures/Preparing for the Next Wave of ICM Offerings’, once again attracted a good attendance from a wide variety of regulators and market players.

The Summit was preceded by a Sukuk Masterclass titled ‘Understanding Sukuk – Issues, Structuring, Innovation’ which was held at the offices of City law firm, Ashurst LLP and which once again was well attended. Similarly, the 2009 London Sukuk Summit Islamic Finance Awards was held on the evening of 2nd July at a Gala Dinner and which recognized the achievements and progress of institutions and individuals in the Islamic finance industry.

The Exchequer Secretary, Sarah McCarthy-Fry, speaking in the presence of Professor Rifaat Abdel Karim, Secretary- General of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and Mohammed Tariq, Head of Treasury at the Islamic Development Bank (IDB)Islamic Development Bank (IDB), maintained that in these difficult times for international financial markets, “new opportunities for growth and development become increasingly important. The Islamic finance market presents huge long-term opportunities for London and for the UK….Islamic finance is an opportunity that we want to see realized for the benefit of pitain as a whole – strengthening London’s position as – not just one of the world’s leading financial centres – but as the world centre.”

Indeed the Exchequer Secretary commended the London Sukuk Summit initiative stressing that “events like these are crucially important. They forge networks where conversations can be continued and where relationships and business can be built.”

Perhaps equally important is the reassurance from Mrs. McCarthy-Fry that the decision not to issue a sovereign Sukuk by the UK Treasury at this time, “in no way reflects a diminished Government commitment to Islamic finance in the UK. I hope that other progress, including the measures announced in the recent Finance Bill (2009), will pave the way for the Islamic finance industry to grow, and that corporate Sukuk products will thrive as alternative source of funding for UK and overseas firms.”

Bankers in the UK and those from apoad attending the Summit were encouraged by the minister’s remarks and by the fact that the UK Treasury is soon publishing details of a consultation on the measures to facilitate corporate Sukuk issuances out of the UK.

source : qatarmp

Islamic banks in UK to double in five years

images43The number of Shariah-compliant investment banks in the UK is expected to more than double to 10 within five years, Islamic lender Gatehouse said yesterday.

The rise of banking that fulfill the requirements of Islamic law in the United Kingdom s being driven by government efforts to turn its capital into a global hub for the industry, said Samer Merhi, Gatehouse Bank executive director for institutional wealth management structuring and origination.

“It has the potential to grow because of the high demand and the interest to make the UK the international heart of Islamic finance business,” Merhi told Reuters on the sidelines of an Islamic finance forum in the Malaysian capital.

The UK has one full-fledged Islamic bank and four Islamic investment banks, he said.

Gatehouse, a subsidiary of the Securities House of Kuwait, started operating in April in the UK, which some industry observers say is the leading force in Europe in welcoming Islamic banking.

Britain intends to issue its own sovereign sukuk debt in a rolling programme worth around £2 billion (Dh14bn), although it has said legal barriers remain and it will make a final decision later in the year.

Islamic assets total around $1trn, the Asian Development Bank estimates, with annual growth of 10 to 15 per cent a year.

Driven largely by record amounts of oil money, Islamic banking is fast growing from a niche market into a mainstream business with centres such as Dubai, Hong Kong and Malaysia all coveting the title of global Islamic finance hub.

Gatehouse, with an authorised capital of £225m, currently focuses on Islamic capital markets, institutional wealth management, Islamic treasury business and advisory services.

“Asia is in our loop but we are now focusing on European and GCC markets,” Merhi said. The bank is studying $500m of Islamic banking deals including bonds, real estate as well as private equity and exchange traded funds, he said.

Muslims make up less than five per cent of the UK population and Merhi said there was limited consumer demand for Islamic banking products.

source : business24/7