Building a Healthy & Sustainable Social Impact Bond Market: The Investor Landscape

Building a Healthy & Sustainable Social Impact Bond (SIB) Market is the name of new report by Godeke Consulting that was supported by the Rockeffeller Foundation. The aim of the report is to explore the landscape of potential SIB investors in order to clarify the ways in which a sustainable market can be built up. Beside that, the report provides a look at social and environmental conditions and current economical issues.

Gatehouse Bank acquires US industrial real estate portfolio

Gatehouse Bank's acquisition of a diverse industrial portfolio of 19 operationally critical properties all over the USA has been competed. The properties are leased to 16 tenants, whereby the remaining lease term is 14 years in average. The portfolio is stabilised at 100% occupancy. The acquisition worth $178 million was carried out in partnership with the Brennan Investment Group (BIG).

Crowdsourced Credit Rating Providers Join Forces

Despite the worldwide domination of a few credit rating agencies, two not-for-profit rating providers announced their alliance. The agencies are Wikirating and Public Sector Credit Solutions (PSCS). They both use crowdsourcing techniques, thus aiming to improve credit ratings. Wikirating employs a technology similar to that of Wikipedia in order to gather and aggregate information and views about credit quality for multiple categories of bonds. PSCS has provided an open source software tool which is used to calculates default probabilities for government bonds. It also has fully transparent sample models and data sets.

Zakat's Potential Role in Accelerating Global Development Discussed at the United Nations

New York, November 16, 2012: International development leaders and experts highlighted the importance of Zakat in advancing global development at a forum titled "Linking Muslim Giving to the MDGs". The forum was co-hosted at the United Nations headquarters by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, and the UN Millennium Campaign.

"While some countries have made impressive gains in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), others are falling behind. The Muslim world is no exception. Faith emphasizes building communities, sharing wealth and upholding the rights of the poor and marginalized. Faith-based giving such as Zakat which amounts to billions of dollars needs to be spent in more strategic and effective way to accelerate development in OIC member countries” stated Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, the permanent observer of OIC at the United Nations, in his address.

Shari'a-Compliant Home Financing in the United States

Islamic Finance Project
Islamic Legal Studies Program
Harvard Law School

Shari'a-Compliant Home Financing in the United States

A panel discussion featuring

Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo
Shari'a Consultant, Malfa Inc. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Shahab Ahmed (Moderator)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Visiting Associate Professor of Islamic Legal Studies, Harvard Law School

Thomas Gainor
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Guidance Residential, LLC, Reston, Virginia

David Loundy
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Devon Bank, Chicago, Illinois

Intisar A. Raab
Visiting Associate Professor of Islamic Legal Studies, Harvard Law School

Monday, October 29, 2012, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Austin Hall North, Harvard Law School

For more information, contact Islamic Finance Project at
617-496-2296 or 617-496-2297 or

S. Nazim Ali, Ph.D.
Director, Islamic Finance Project &

Linking Muslim Giving to MDGs

In conjunction with 67th Session of UN General Assembly

Linking Muslim Giving to MDGs

November 2, 2012 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. UN Headquarters, NY

A convening of leading Muslim grantmakers and nonprofit organizations to critically examine the status of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the Muslim countries as well as to discuss the potentials for developing strategic approaches in faith based giving to meet the financial resource gaps required to meet the MDGs in these countries. The event will also serve as a forum for initial dialogue among participants on how Muslim philanthropic organizations can engage in the formulation of the post 2015 framework; contributing both to the formulation process as well as in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Participation by invitation only - Contact:

The key outcomes of the event will be to provide increased focus to the importance of faith-based giving, which is crucial to accelerate the MDGs in OIC member countries.

The activity is expected to:

US Islamic assets manager set to delist

After a seven-year string of losses, the US-based Shariah Capital will delist from London's Alternative Investment Market (Aim). According to the hedge fund manager, a cancellation of the shares will be sought. The company expressed its opinion that cost of maintaining the listing, which is US$300,000 per year, is better spent elsewhere.

Second Issue of Philanthropy Management: More Non-profits Use an "Outsourced CIO," But What Does That Mean, Exactly?

According to a report from Philanthropy Management magazine, small and mid-sized philanthropies increasingly decide on a single outscourced chief investment officer (CIO). However, it os often discussed on an industry level what influence and liability such a CIO should have. There are differences between industry investors which is why some industry aggreement is sought in regard of the best way to apply this kind of strategy and regarding discretion over investment decisions.

SmartyPig creates online savings plan to reach a goal

SmartyPig, a conventional concept to promote savings, which was founded in 2008, has used a combination of social networking and banking to reach its mission: The company encourages people to save for specific goals and, so far, it has helped people reach almost $3 billion in savings goals. In an online account a goal for a specific purchase is set. The money transfer to this account can be completed automatically. After that, through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, friends and family members have the opportunity to make their contribution to the goal. After reaching the amount dedicated retailers offering discounts for those doing savings.


IIFM and ISDA Launch Mubadalatul Arbaah (MA) Profit Rate Swap (PRS) Product Standard

The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) are pleased to announce the launch of the ISDA/IIFM Mubadalatul Arbaah (Profit Rate Swap) product standard to be used for Islamic hedging purposes.

The Mubadalatul Arbaah (MA) standard follows on from the “ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut (Hedging) Master Agreement” and provides the industry with a framework for Islamic risk mitigation. The launch of the Tahawwut Master Agreement as the template for Shari’ah-compliant risk management was officially announced at a press conference hosted by Central Bank of Bahrain in March 2010.

Global Donors Forum confirmed: Malaysia, April 26-28, 2012

Global Donors Forum is the annual convening of World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists to promote effective giving and forge strategic partnerships for high-impact social investment.

The dates for the Global Donors Forum are now confirmed. The Forum will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from April 26-28, 2012. The Global Donors Forum is pleased to announced that Forum will be declared open with a keynote address by Dato' Sri Najib Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.


Islamic Finance and Development, March 24-25, 2012, Austin Hall

Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

The Tenth Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance, hosted by Harvard Law School’s Islamic Finance Project, will be held at Austin Hall, Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 24 and 25, 2012. The theme of the conference will be “Islamic Finance and Development.”

The Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance provides a venue for the critical and objective examination of the purposes, theory, practice, structure, and institutions of the rapidly developing field of Islamic finance. Continuing in this direction, the Tenth Forum sets the evolution of the Islamic financial industry within the context of the economic and political development of Muslim majority markets. The Forum will critically examine traditional frameworks under which Islamic Finance has developed as well as the new challenges raised by recent events, including the global financial crisis and the “Arab Spring” movements in the Middle East.


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Goldman Sachs Sukuk

Dear Reader,

The last weeks we have read about criticism in regard to the Sharia compliance of the Sukuk program of the investment bank Goldman Sachs:

< Mohammed Khnifer reveals, after examining the offer circular thoroughly, three possible flaws in the overall structure.
1- Strong indication from the proposed structure and the prospectus as well that the sukuk is not, as they claim, Murabaha, but a Reverse Tawarruq.
2- Strong indication that Goldman will be using, eventually, the proceeds to fund its conventional activities.
3- The so called Murabaha sukuk is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE). There are some concernes on how the ISE will make sure that the securities will be traded at par value.>>

Some remarks to this discussion:

Islamic Investor for iPhone

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Dr. Muhammad Nedal Alchaar: Islamic finance is the example of perfection and laziness

On 21st of September this year the meeting took place between Dr. Muhammad Nedal Alchaar Secretary general of Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), and the Russian association of experts in Islamic financing .
On the meeting the experts exchanged their opinions concerning prospects of development of Islamic financial institutions and products in Russia, application of AAOIFI standards in the field of accounting, audit and norms of Shariah, and also actual world tendencies of the young industry.
Doctor Alchaar has informed that now the AAOIFI members consist of 220 Islamic financial institutions from 46 countries of the world and informed about the basic aspects and complexities of development of the Islamic finance in separate countries, in particular, in the UK, France and the USA.


The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists expresses his condolence: H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahayan

For Immediate Release:

Oak Brook, Illinois – April 3, 2010
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahayan

The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists expresses its most profound sympathy on the recent loss of one of the leading Muslim philanthropists, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, the Chairman of the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation.

Sheikh Ahmed was the head of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), rated among the world's top state-run investment establishment. He was a brilliant entrepreneur and a devoted humanitarian who will be remembered dearly by all of us.

Under Sheikh Ahmed’s visionary leadership, The Zayed Foundation has made an impact that was truly global. Several initiatives aimed at issues such as poverty, scarcity of clean water, preventable disease, and aggravation of war impacts was launched in some of the poorest economies.

The Congress joins people of the United Arab Emirates in mourning the demise of Sheikh Ahmed and prays to Almighty Allah for granting eternal peace to the departed soul and grant solace to the bereaved Al Nahyan family. Ameen.

-----The End-----

Ninth Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance: Building Bridges Across Financial Communities

The Ninth Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance, hosted by Harvard Law School’s Islamic Finance Project, will be held at Austin Hall, Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 27th- 28th, 2010. The theme of the conference will be “Building Bridges across Financial Communities” as it relates to the field of Islamic Finance.

The two-day conference will comprise a unique experimental structure: Three plenary sessions will explore the sub-themes of Faith and Finance, Social Responsibility, and Islamic Finance after the Global Crisis.

Full text:

Report on Social Responsibility Trends at Islamic Financial Institutions

The report on Social Responsibility Trends at Islamic Financial Institutions presents the results of an extensive survey on Social Responsibility at Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) carried out during summer and fall of 2009 by DinarStandard and Dar Al Istithmar with the support of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).

Some key findings of the survey were:

Clients: 100% of respondents answered yes to having a policy to screen prospective clients which is actively implemented. Similarly 97% have an organizational policy that deals with client responsibly.

Employees: 83% of respondents’ state having policies that provide equal opportunity to all their employees, 93% have policies that ensures merit-based salary and promotion, and 86% having policies that specifically prohibits any kind of discrimination. However, when it comes to having policy to monitor employees from different backgrounds and gender, the response was mix with only 52% admitting to having such a monitoring policy and 48% not having any such policy.

Sharia-Compliant Hedge Fund Launched in USA

Palisades Park Capital started a multi-strategy hedge fund in November. Justin Doff and Omar Haroon manage the fund. The fund is a computer-based long-short equity strategy.

Update 12.2.2010: Palisades Park Capital informed that the vehicle has been closed and new subscriptions can no longer be done.

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