Kenya reviews Islamic finance laws

Source: Citizen Digital

Kenya is reviewing all laws and regulations governing its nascent Islamic finance industry to aid the issuance of a debut Islamic law-compliant bond known as a sukuk, its attorney general said on Wednesday. The East African nation, which issued its first Eurobond in 2014, wants to expand the range of financing available for infrastructure projects like roads and power plants. The Treasury has said it is looking at the possibility of issuing the sukuk...

Australia sees nascent growth in Islamic finance

Source: Reuters

Australia has begun to see a steady stream of property deals using Islamic financing as the attraction of low-risk tenants and a weak Australian dollar offset concerns about the lack of a welcoming tax environment for such transactions. National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB.AX), one of the most active banks in the sector, this month helped fund a A$160 million ($114 million) Brisbane property purchase, its third Islamic financing transaction since August.

Islamic finance set to grow in Russia with new hub in Tatarstan

Source: AlBawaba

Islamic finance is drawing more interest in Russia as the country struggles economically and requires fundamentally new approaches to attract investments from abroad. The sector is just beginning to grow in Russia and its perspectives were discussed during the recent Gaidar’s Forum in Moscow, one of the major annual international conferences on economy in Russia. Implementation of Islamic finance in Russia started through the so-called pilot projects...

Islamic finance hadith

Hong Kong Closes on Indonesia in Dollar Sukuk as Silk Road Alive

Source: Bloomberg

Hong Kong’s possible third Islamic global bond in three years brings it closer to Indonesia and Malaysia in terms of sovereign sukuk presence, a boost to the market that coincides with China’s Silk Road revival. The finance center has already raised $2 billion from sales in 2014 and 2015, which attracted $6.7 billion in total orders, while Indonesia plans to tap investors for the sixth year running and Malaysia is returning for its seventh offering ....

Turkey and UK Have 'Huge Potential' around Islamic Finance, British Ambassador

Source: Daily Sabah

Britain's ambassador to Turkey has praised the economic ties between his country and Ankara, saying the U.K. "has a lot to offer to Turkey in terms of partnership". Richard Moore was speaking during a two-day economic conference which gathered experts and academics from the banking and insurance sectors in Istanbul on Thursday. "I think there is a huge potential for partnership around Islamic finance, participation banking and insurance where the U.K. ...

Iran set to reshape global Islamic finance industry

Source: Gulf Times

Now that most economic sanctions on Iran have been lifted, the international Islamic finance industry needs to brace itself for fundamental changes when the world’s largest Shariah-compliant banking system readies to enter the global financial stage. Iran, the only Muslim country besides Sudan where the entire financial industry is based on Shariah law, ...

Nigeria introduces new Islamic finance regulations

Source: World Finance

Nigeria has a Muslim population of close to 80 million, but the Islamic finance industry is extremely under developed. Over the past few months, however, Nigerian authorities have been studying and announcing new regulations that will allow the Islamic finance to grow and develop in the country. Nigeria’s banking sector has been the fasted growing in Africa, both in consumer and corporate sectors; it is also home to the largest Muslim population in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Tunisian Zitouna invests on Islamic finance

Source: AnsaMed

Tunisian Islamic bank Zitouna was the first to succeed in placing on the national financial market in December 2015 the Islamic bonds sukuks for a value of 22.5 million euros. The result exceeded expectations - set at 20 million euros - the management of Zitouna said Monday at a Forum on Islamic finance held at Kram in Tunis. The Forum was attended by several protagonists of the Tunisian economic and financial scenario like central bank governor...

Islamic Fund and Wealth Management Sector on the Rise

Source: IslamicFinance

To date, the global Islamic fund and wealth management sector is on the rise, supported by strong demand from Muslim and non-Muslim investors. Globally, the wealth of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) grew by 14 percent to reach USD52.6tln in 2013. Key Islamic finance jurisdictions such as the Middle East and Africa private wealth increased 11.6 percent to USD5.2bln in 2013. As at 4Q2015, the total global Islamic assets under management (AuM) were USD58bln...

Italy’s mini-bond rules may be adapted to Islamic finance

Source: Al-Arabiya

A law firm and an Islamic finance advisory firm are working to adapt Italy’s “mini-bonds” legislation to provide sharia-compliant funding options as an alternative to bank lending. Three years of recession have limited funding for Italian companies, in particular for smaller firms, which is encouraging the use of less traditional funding sources such as those found in Islamic finance.

World Gold Council to Create Standard to Avoid Islamic Finance Disputes

Source: Bloomberg

The World Gold Council is seeking to create a global standard to make the metal’s use in Islamic finance more cost effective by eliminating disputes among scholars. The 18-member council and Amanie Advisors issued a consultation draft in November to Shariah professionals and practitioners. The WGC has also held bilateral meetings with banks and investment funds, who say that such a template will lead to more gold-backed products...

Bank Scandals Fuel Interest in Islamic Finance

Source: Voice of America

Recent bank scandals have fueled interest in Islamic banking because it forbids interest or fees on loans. Questions about ethics in global finance could benefit the Islamic banking sector, experts say. Supporters claim that Islamic finance is more ethical than traditional finance. Islamic finance follows Sharia law and does not allow interest or fees for loans of money. Banks and businesses must be cleared to make sure they comply with Sharia law....

Canada poised to be hub of Islamic finance

Source: CBC News

Islamic banking is being touted as the next big thing for Canada's financial services sector, but experts say it's up to the new federal government to demonstrate that it welcomes Shariah-compliant investments. "It's absolutely fundamental that the Canadian government signal that, in fact, it is open to Islamic finance," says Walid Hejazi, an associate professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

Dubai needs to update finance laws to compete

Source: The National

Dubai must overhaul its legal framework and issue more debt if it is to compete with the conventional and Islamic capital markets of its foreign rivals, according to a study from Deloitte and the Dubai Economic Council. This is just the latest call for Dubai to issue new regulations in order to develop its capital markets. The IMF and the industry body the Islamic Financial Services Board have both said that the UAE needs to update its ...

Thailand- Fintech set to become game changer for Islamic finance

Source: MENA Financial Network

Financial technology with its potential to disrupt traditional structures in the financial industry, is seen as an important factor to change the perception and dissemination of Islamic finance in the Muslim, as well as in the non-Muslim world. Gulf Times in the past repeatedly reported about new ventures that combine Shariah-compliant financing principles with new technologies, such as web-based Islamic crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending...

Kuwait International Bank to spread Islamic banking

Source: World Finance

By focusing on more than just profits, Kuwait International Bank has done a great deal to spread CSR and the culture of Islamic banking in Kuwait. The Kuwait economy has overcome a series of economic and political obstacles in recent times, and a collapse in global oil prices marks the beginning of an important new chapter in the country’s growth story. However, while this new low-price environment presents something of a challenge...

Russia may get access to Islamic capital markets

Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines

Moscow is considering the establishment of special bank accounts that allow investment only into Shariah-approved assets. A draft law on Islamic banking has already been submitted to the State Duma. The idea of Islamic banking as a financing mechanism was first raised in earnest at the federal level a year ago, after Western sanctions closed Russia’s access to the European and American capital markets. Linar Yakupov, president of the Foundation for...

Azerbaijan determined to apply Islamic banking instruments

Source: AzerNews

The government of Azerbaijan announced that it is in talks with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on application of Islamic banking instruments in the country. Deputy Economy Minister Sahil Babayev stated about this on February 25, adding that the Bank is ready to provide technical assistance to Azerbaijan, which has a predominantly Muslim population. "We held a lot of discussions at the CIS Global Business Forum in Dubai, including the ones regarding Islamic banking...

Uganda: Islamic Banking Will Boost a Growing Economy Like Ours

Source: All Africa

Amid the just-ended electoral process, something huge was happening in our financial sector. The Islamic Finance Act became law and all that is now left is for the Central Bank to issue a regulatory framework to the local financial institutions on its application. Islamic Banking and Finance is based on the principles of Sharia'h or Islamic Law. The mention of Sharia'h Law among non-Muslims often enlists a certain level of anxiety.

Bank of England paves the way for sharia-friendly finance products

Source: Telegraph

The Bank of England has become the first major Western central bank to set out its stall for sharia-compliant deposit facilities, as Britain seeks to pitch London as the preeminent global centre for Islamic finance. Born in its modern form in the 1970s, Islamic finance - which obeys religious principles such as bans on interest payments - has rapidly expanded over the past decade and there is now more than $2 trillion in Islamic financial assets....

Understanding The Theory and Practice of Islamic Forex Trading

Source: Finance Magnates

Forex trading generally involves what Islamic finance terms as ‘riba al-nasi’a’, defined as “[interest] in a money-to-money exchange provided exchange is delayed or deferred and additional charge is incurred with such deferment.” Thus, a nasi’a transaction can arise with respect to foreign exchange trading. When an agreement between two foreign exchange traders calls for one of them to make (or receive) payment of a currency on a delayed basis...

Islamic finance continues to grow in the British Virgin Islands

Source: Lexology

BVI companies are commonly used as holding companies for cross-border investments into many developing markets, including those where Islamic financing is increasingly popular. BVI companies are also used by Islamic high-net-worth individuals and families as holding companies for assets in developed markets. Further, as the Islamic finance market grows and matures, international financial centres such as the British Virgin Islands are being used to...

East Africa new frontier for Islamic Finance

Source: East Africa Business Week

East Africa could be the new frontier for Islamic finance following the launch of the first East Africa Islamic finance summit in Nairobi. Financial experts drawn from the region noted that East Africa features a potentially strong demand for Islamic services and that its growing reach promises a number of benefits. The Islamic Finance industry has seen tremendous increase in recent years transcending its traditional geographic boundaries and ...

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