Africa

Sudan Delays $300 Million Islamic Bond Sale Due to Financial Crisis Impact

Sudan plans to delay the sale of $300 million of Islamic bonds until next year, after originally planning the sale for 2008, as it waits for global markets to recover from the economic crisis. Sabir al-Hassan said that they are waiting for the right environment. The sale of the bonds, known as Sukuk, may take place this year if conditions improve. The country is sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil producer.

GFH's Jordan Gate project due for completion early 2011

Gulf Finance House announced that its landmark $300 million development project, Jordan Gate, based in Amman, Jordan is due for completion early 2011 following the signing of a new agreement between Bayan Holding Jordan Gate Company, Alhamad Company, the construction company responsible for delivering the project and Hektar as a new investor. With the signing of the new agreement, the Jordan Gate project is expected to be completed early next year. Jordan Gate is the most extensive and significant infrastructure development in Amman. The project consists of two 43 storey towers, with one of the towers to be transformed into a hotel to be operated by Hilton Hotels and the other tower to provide offices, multi-purpose lounges and halls for meetings, presentations and conferences. A commercial podium connecting the two towers will host shops, entertainment centres, a food court and other services.

Tanzania: Bank - Shariah Banking Attracts Many

Stanbic Bank Tanzania has recorded an impressive response to the Shariah banking scheme. Already 5,000 new customers have opened accounts since it was introduced three months ago. Managing director Bashir Awale said to its customers in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday that the Shariah-compliant banking would be improved to enable more clients to join it. The bank also plans to install more automated teller machines to bring services closer to the clientele. It is a system of banking that is consistent with the principles of Islamic Law (Shariah), which in practice prohibits the payments or acceptance of interest fees for the lending and acceptance of money.

The journal of strategic thinking in Islamic finance - Issue 3 for free download

In the current issues the following questions are discussed:

How should we recognize excellence in the Islamic finance industry?
How do we identify greatness – of bankers and financiers, of lawyers, of consultants, of scholars?
How do we discourage a culture of „Islamic Awards for Cash??
How do we develop an „Islamic? methodology for rewarding achievement?

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THE CONCEPT AND OPERATIONS OF SWAP AS A HEDGING MECHANISM FOR ISLAMIC FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

"THE CONCEPT AND OPERATIONS OF SWAP AS A HEDGING MECHANISM FOR ISLAMIC FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS"

The main objective of this paper is to give a clearer picture of the swap mechanism as offered by the international Islamic financial institutions and how its operations are structured in accordance with Shariah principles and contracts. In preparing this paper, ISRA has held a series of internal discussions as well as with outside parties, including Shariah experts and operating officers from international banks directly involved in the structuring of Shariah-compliant swap products. Documents related to the products and related academic materials were also referred to, giving a wider and thorough perspective on the issue.

by

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki
Head of Research Affairs Department
International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA)

Shabnam Mokhtar
Researcher
International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA)

Download: http://www.isra.my/media-centre/downloads/summary/29/216.html

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S&P: European Finance House Offshore Sharia Fund Assigned 'AAf/S1+' Fund Credit Quality And Volatility Ratings

Press Release

European Finance House Offshore Sharia Fund Assigned 'AAf/S1+' Fund Credit Quality
And Volatility Ratings

LONDON, May 4, 2010--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it assigned
its 'AAf' fund credit quality and its 'S1+' fund volatility ratings to EFH Funds SCA
SICAV-SIF - Liquidity Subfund (the "subfund"), a Luxembourg-domiciled U.S
dollar-denominated liquidity fund, managed by European Finance House (EFH). This is
the first Standard & Poor's fund credit quality and fund volatility rating assigned
to an offshore Islamic fund.

Fund credit quality ratings generally reflect our assessment of the level of
protection against losses from credit defaults and are based on an analysis of the
credit quality of the portfolio investments and the likelihood of counterparty
defaults.

Fund volatility ratings generally reflect Standard & Poor's view of the fund's
sensitivity to interest rate movements, credit risk, investment diversification or
concentration, liquidity, leverage, and other factors.

The ratings reflect Standard & Poor's analysis of the subfund's credit quality and

S&P: Islamic Investors' Risk Tolerance Will Determine Demand For Sharia Fund Ratings

Press Release

Islamic Investors' Risk Tolerance Will Determine Demand For Sharia Fund Ratings,
Report Says

LONDON, May 4, 2010--The economic boom in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region
has fueled the emergence of Islamic finance in the international market in the past
decade. Revenue growth in this region has particularly benefited the asset
management sector, as Standard & Poor's noted in a report published today (see "Using Fund Ratings To Assess Credit And Market Risks In Sharia Funds").

The Middle East is by far the largest market for Sharia-compliant funds, but
conventional players in Europe, South Africa, and the U.S. have also launched a
number of funds that comply with Sharia law during past years, enhancing their
product range to meet the specific requirements of Islamic investors seeking to
invest in this asset class.

The number of product types remains limited, which Standard & Poor's Ratings
Services believes is largely due to the nascent nature of Sharia funds. Funds also
have to be invested in ways that are permitted under Islamic law. Sharia funds,
unlike traditional bond funds, do not invest in conventional rated fixed-income

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Nigeria’s Islamic banking dilemmas

Islamic banking and finance (IBF) is about to become part of the banking and finance landscape of Nigeria.

The IFSB-IRTI-IDB publishes report on Islamic Finance: Global Financial Stability

A report on Global Financial Stability was launched at the Inaugural Financial Stability Forum organised by the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) on Tuesday, 6th April in Khartoum. The report examines the intrinsic strength of the Islamic finance model, the state of the Islamic financial services industry and challenges and strategies for strengthening financial stability in the Islamic financial services industry.

New updated Sharia scholar network analysis by Funds at Work

The 4th executive summmary now focusses on over 220 Shariah scholars with exposure to the Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC), including their international board memberships with 1050+ board positions in almost 300
institutions and 24 countries.

It is the single most detailed analysis on Sharia Boards and their scholars published.

CGAP, Deutsche Bank, Grameen-Jameel and IDB partner to launch ‘Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2010'

For Immediate Release

March 8, 2010–CGAP, Deutsche Bank, Grameen-Jameel and Islamic Development Bank have joined forces to challenge the Islamic microfinance industry to develop new ideas for business models in the Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2010: Innovating Sustainable, Scalable, and Market-Driven Models. Islamic microfinance has gained some traction over the past few years, with a swift rise in the number of institutions offering microfinance products in compliance with Islamic principles. But the fundamental challenge for the Islamic microfinance industry remains meeting client demand with affordable, authentic, profitable, and market-driven products.

Cagamas, Lebanon, Waha Capital Plan Sales: Islamic Bond Alert

The following borrowers are expected to sell Islamic bonds, which use asset returns to pay investors to comply with the religion’s ban on paying interest:

CAGAMAS BHD
LEBANON
WAHA CAPITAL PJSC
KUVEYT TURK KATILIM BANKASI AS
SAUDI ARABIAN OIL CO
LAFARGE MALAYAN CEMENT BHD
QATAR ISLAMIC BANK SAQ
PAKISTAN
TAIBA HOLDING CO
THAILAND
DEVELOPMENT BANK OF KAZAKHSTAN
KHAZANAH NASIONAL BHD

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