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Islamic Finance World North America 2008 – New York, NY May 19-22, 2008

North America’s largest Islamic finance conference

Until a few years ago Islamic finance was considered to be relatively niche. Worth more than $500 billion today, Islamic finance is a significant financial market offering varied financial products that are attracting interest from Muslims and non-Muslim investors on a global scale.

Terrapinn’s Islamic Finance World North America 2008 is more than just a conference. It is a year long marketing campaign. It is a cost effective sales and marketing solution that works throughout the year, providing you with new contacts and great exposure, culminating in an event which will bring you face-to-face with your key customers and prospects. It is an integral part of a global brand that has a proven track record of excellence.

This event will be the most comprehensive and action-oriented conference on Islamic Finance in North America – offering tools, tips, techniques and key industry contacts. The focus will be on wholesale banking but the event will include two sessions on the fast growing area of Islamic retail banking.

Banks, law firms and service providers

  • Identify retail banking opportunities in the North American market
  • Generate ideas on how to create Shariah compliant products
  • Showcase your innovation in serving Islamic investors to potential partners
  • Gain insight on leading banks accessing the
    North American Islamic window
  • Hear case studies from the pioneers of North American Islamic finance

Investors and issuers

  • Compare Shariah compliant financing options for private equity and real estate
  • Learn different viewpoints on the parameters of Shariah compliant fund
  • Access fund managers, banks and advisors to create new investment products
  • Hear how peers realize return potential from Shariah compliant investments
  • Discuss how sukuk investments offer diversification in a fixed income portfolio
Programme

For more information, please visit www.terrapinn.com/2008/ifwna.

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Publié par le mai 17, 2008 dans America - Canada, English Section

 

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Islamic finance counter balances Rogue Economics

In her book “Rogue Economics” writer Loretta Napoleoni exposes how Islamic finance which is regulated by the Sharia Law is providing one of the few counter balancing financial structures to Rogue Economics. By prohibiting the use of funds for investments and activities that the Sharia prohibits, Islamic finance excludes many of the markets in which rogue entrepreneurs proliferate.

Islamic finance has become the fastest-growing, most dynamic sector of global finance. Every Western-style financial product has its sharia, i.e. Islamic law, compliant instrument: microfinance, mortgages, oil and gas exploration, bridge building, even sponsorship of sporting events. Islamic finance is innovative, flexible, and potentially very profitable. “Operating in 70 countries with about $500bn in assets, it is poised to expand geometrically.” With more than one billion Muslims eager to support it, analysts project that this system will soon manage approximately 4 percent of the world economy, equivalent to $1 trillion in assets. Such figures explain the eagerness of Western banks to tap into sharia financial services. Citigroup, along with many other Western banking retailers, have opened Islamic branches in Muslim countries.

At the core of sharia-compliant economics there is an exceptional joint venture. Indeed, this alliance emerged in the 1970s when rich Muslims and sharia scholars began working together. This unusual partnership is a phenomenon unique in modern economics, but one that cemented the foundation of a new economic system. A few visionary personalities, like Prince Mohammad al Faisal (son of the late Saudi King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz), Saleh Kamel of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed al Yaseen of Kuwait, and Sami Hamoud of Jordan, channeled some of the new wealth produced by the first oil shock into the formation of a new breed of Islamic banks. Sharia scholars and clerics drew up the monetary structure of the new banks.

Partnership is the heartbeat of Islamic economics. “Underlying the system is the philosophy of risk sharing: the lender must share the borrower’s risk, making the two in effect partners, injecting a strong social component into the financial system. This concept separates Islamic Finance from Western Finance, which seeks to maximize profits and minimize loss through diversification and risk transfer.” Also, money must be put to work. Because Islamic finance prohibits interest, it seeks revenues from rents, royalties, business profits, or commodity trading; a mortgage, for example, represents a “rent to buy” arrangement. Thus, conceptually, Islamic economics is the opposite of Western finance, which revolves around the individual’s self-interest.

Above all, Islamic finance represents the sole global economic force that conceptually challenges rogue economics. It does not allow investment in pornography, prostitution, narcotics, tobacco, or gambling. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, all these areas have blossomed thanks to globalization outlaws under the indifferent eyes of the market-state.

 

Sharia economists: monitoring integrity

Dr Humayon Dar is a member of the Islamic sharia supervisory board at BMB Islamic. He has also helped the Cass Business School, at London’s City University, to offer an Executive MBA in Islamic Finance.

He is not a classically trained scholar, who has undergone years of training and studying of Islamic sciences, such as Quranic hermaneutics, but describes himself as a sharia technician or Islamic economist.

« There is a new breed of scholars, who are not traditional, but have a great understanding of finance as well as Islamic law and conventional economics.

« There are about 260 classically trained scholars worldwide who advise on sharia and about 20 of these are renowned, they have a great reputation. I call them tier one sharia scholars. They have a lot of power. »

One scholar was so well known that his criticism of sukuk, an Islamic bond, sent shockwaves through the financial world, with some commentators suggesting that sharia finance was doomed.

Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani sits on the board of the Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, a body charged with setting sharia standards and institutions. Another figurehead in this influential organisation is Sheikh Nizam Yaquby.

Dar said: « He is the most glamorous scholar of Islamic finance. He is very popular and has a refined sense of humour. He sits on the most number of sharia boards and advises around 60 organisations. These guys have great integrity. They issue fatwas on real sharia. They are not in it for money, money is not a consideration for these scholars. »

Riazat Butt, Guardian.co.uk 12/03/2008

 
 

Principle Insurance : First British takaful firm approved

Britain’s first independent Islamic insurance company has received regulatory approval from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Principle Insurance Holdings Limited, formerly known as British Islamic Insurance Holdings (BIIH), will offer Shariah compliant home and car insurance from later this year.

Abdulaziz Hamad Aljomaih, chairman of Principle, said in a statement: « I believe Principle will go some way in altering the perception of Islamic finance in the UK by showing that progressive, sensible and profitable businesses can be established in accordance with Islamic law.

« Achieving FSA authorisation is a clear vindication of my belief that Shariah compliant financial products are not only equitable and profitable but also conform to the modern day principles of international finance, especially from a regulatory standpoint. »

All of Principle Insurance’s products and services will be approved by the company’s Shariah supervisory committee. This comprises Shaikh Nizam Yaquby of Bahrain; Dr Mohammad Elgari of Saudi Arabia; and Mufti Abdul Kader Barkatulla, who is based in Britain. Principle will have around US$120 million in capital from institutional and private investors in the Gulf and Asia. Saudi Arabian investors account for 45.7% of the capital. It aims to focus first on the UK, before looking at entering other European countries and the GCC.

by Daniel Stanton, ArabianBusiness 01 May 2008

Lire aussi : Une assurance pour les Musulmans

A previous UK survey conducted by BIIH indicated « a strong preference for Shari’a compliant insurance solutions amongst UK Muslims with 50% responding that they are ‘extremely likely’ or ‘very likely’ to buy Motor Takaful as long as all aspects of the policy, including cost and level of cover, are comparable with their existing conventional insurance policy. A further 26% said that they would be ‘fairly likely’ to buy Motor Takaful. The corresponding figures for Household Takaful were 46% and 28% respectively. »

 
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Publié par le mai 4, 2008 dans Assurance - Takaful, English Section, UK

 

Financial Careers: Certificate in Islamic Finance by The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA, UK)

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) launched its first qualification in Islamic Finance in December 2007. In order to meet the demands of the industry, which is worth up to £250 billion and growing at a rate of 20 percent a year, the qualification has been developed by CIMA and the International Institute of Islamic Finance with input from its chief executive officer Dr Mod Daud Bakar, a renowned sharia scholar.

Created in conjunction with an advisory board of academics, practitioners and scholars of sharia law, it will help employers all over the world to equip their staff with the necessary knowledge of Islamic finance, said Robert Jelly, director of education at CIMA. « CIMA has identified that there is considerable demand from the global business community to develop the knowledge and skills required to service this increasingly important market, » he commented. The CIMA Certificate in Islamic Finance is a self study, distance learning qualification that allows students to progress through at their own pace.

Islamic Finance is based on the understanding that making money from money is not permitted, which means interest is not permitted and any profits are divided between the bank and customer on pre-agreed terms.

The Certificate in Islamic Finance offers ‘comprehensive skills’ in areas including Sharia compliance and ‘the complexities of the contracts that underpin this compliance’. CIMA’s John Willsdon, who runs the course, said: ‘Islamic finance has caught the imagination of a great many people across the world. There is no doubt that the oil wealth amassed in the Middle East and South East Asia has given a tremendous impetus to this relatively new niche in the market.’ Since the launch in December last year, more than 50 students from 13 countries have studied for the certificate. He added: ‘Rather than fearing the increasing presence of Islamic finance, perhaps the West could learn something from this new kid on the block.’

Perhaps surprisingly, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has not yet jumped on the bandwagon to the same extent. However, according to Vernon Soare, executive director professional standards at the institute: ‘The ICAEW is now training in a number of Muslim countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan the Gulf. Sharia finance is an important part of doing business in those markets and is an area that we’re starting to explore.’

One of the aspects of Islamic finance western experts find it hardest to get to grips with is the fact that, to ensure compliance, banks etc. must hire Sharia ‘scholars’ to review and approve each product and practice as ‘halal’ – the Muslim equivalent of kosher in Judaism. Mohammad Khan, a PricewaterhouseCoopers director involved with Islamic finance, said: ‘Scholars don’t make the design decision. Rather they opine on whether the products are Islamic or not. They are people educated in Islamic jurisprudence and modern finance. They examine the product in detail and may say: this section is Islamic, but this part is not.’ He added: ‘In our experience they are practical.’

Syndication : RIBH

 
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Publié par le mai 4, 2008 dans English Section, Formations, UK