Forbes

Crowdfunding Islamic Banks

As some areas of banking face competition from peer-to-peer lenders, #Malaysia’s Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 included provisions that can build some of the same types of disruptive innovation into the Islamic banking marketplace. One of the most important was the launch of the Investment Account Platform (IAP) in February 2016 which is a crowdfunding platform owned by Malaysian Islamic banks. The IAP serves as a way to measure customer interest in crowdfunding as an alternative to traditional bank deposits. The investment account growth in Malaysia demonstrates an opportunity for IAP and other innovative FinTech platforms. Islamic banks should realize that they have within their guiding principles a call to embrace risk sharing rather than risk shifting.

Islami Bank: #Bangladesh's Most-Watched Bankers

Islami Bank is the largest and most profitable bank in Bangladesh. It has 10.7 million depositors, 27% of Bangladeshi remittances and 23% of the small and medium enterprises market. While most of the 56 banks in the country are plagued by rising nonperforming loans, poor management and operational inefficiency, Islami Bank isn’t. The bank has a rigorous recruitment and training process and the churn at the company is low. Despite its success, the bank has been dogged in recent years by suspicion that it has been used by Islamic terrorists. CEO Mohammad Abdul Mannan is cognizant of the image problem. No wrongdoing has been proven, but Islami Bank seems to be attending to image cleanup.

When Will Our Justice Department Jail the Criminal Bankers?

Big-time criminals engaging in major financial crimes that effectively involve the theft of billions of dollars from the public aren’t being prosecuted. Today we learned of yet another huge settlement by five of the largest banks operating in our country. The list includes JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland UBS. Each of these banks admitted to engaging in criminal activity. But banks don’t commit crimes. People working for banks commit crime. And when people working for banks commit crime, it’s the responsibility of our Justice Department to indict them.

Islamic Teaching On Usury Kills Property Tax Exemption In Tennessee

The Islamic Center of Nashville is listed as being a church meaning it qualifies for a property tax exemption. Only ICN did have a problem with its property tax exemption. When ICN decided to finance a school it deeded property to Devon Bank, which paid for the construction. ICN leased the property and bought it back over time from the bank. So even though the religious use of the property had not changed, it was no longer owned by a religious organization and hence for a period of time did not qualify for property tax exemption. ICN was asking for the exemption to be retroactive three years. However, the Tennessee State Board of Equalization ruled against ICN.

The Power to Convene

In the area of today’s capital markets it is easy to talk and make statements about vision, mission, and strategy. Turning them into action, however, is a completely different thing. So, the question remains how to get economic talk into work done for the world’s leading economies, companies, academic institutions, governments, and regulatory authorities. "The power to convene" is considered to be a key capability leading towards executing plans and promises. It is illustrated with recent examples and analysis of this power's potential and ways to use it are discussed.

Iran plan up to USD 12.3 bn in bonds

Hashem Kalantari reported in Forbes that Iran plans to issue USD 12.3 bn of foreign currency and rial-denominated bonds over the next three years to help finance the development of its major South Pars gas field in the Gulf.

Sovereign wealth funds interested in Dubai's conventional bond 2nd tranche

Nasser Al Sheikh, Dubai said that it received interest from sovereign wealth funds for the second tranche of the USD 20 bn bond, which will only be issued if needed.

Malaysia's PLUS issues RM 745 mn Sukuk

Malaysia's PLUS Expressways issues additional RM 745 mn via a specical purpose company, PLUS SPV Berhad based on Musharaka to investors identified via a book building process. The size of the book was successfully increased from RM 400 mn to RM 745 mn under the Sukuk program.

Dubai Islamic Bank sets aside cash amid fraud probe

Adam Schreck wrote on 10 March on Associated Press that Dubai Islamic Bank sets aside cash amid fraud probe and that it has foreclosed on a real estate project after court papers indicated the bank was the victim of a half-billion dollar fraud. In a statement, Dubai Islamic Bank said it had exposure of about USD 330 mn to a company named CCH linked to some of the suspects in the court papers.

Floatation of Bank Mellat faces difficult market environment

Fredrik Dahl and Parisa Hafezi reported on 18 February in Forbes about the floatation of a 5 % stake in Bank Mellat, Iran. Market environment was not supportive with a fall of 30 % of share prices since last August.

A Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) official said investors bought 340 million, or around 52 percent, of the 655 million Bank Mellat shares on offer, and suggested the price had been set too high in view of the difficult market conditions.

Iran's economy is dominated by the state but the government has been seeking to speed up privatisations after the constitution was changed to encourage the sale of assets.

Moody's comments on Islamic finance

Forbes reported on 15 April about the Moody's study regarding Islamic finance claiming the industry grows at double rate compared to the conventional markets and becomes more international but also remains diverse and heterogene. Interpretation of rules and regulation vary widely, and they perceive a lack of technical and contractual standardisation.

Moody's expects the Sukuk market to become more complex, more structured, larger, more diversified and more liquid as it evolves over time.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2008/04/15/afx4891802.html

Moody's sees USD 235 bn Islamic finance market in Africa

Forbes reported on 26 March about Moody's statement that the actual size of Islamic finance in Africa was only USD 18 bn as of year-end 2007, equating to a market share of less than 8 pct of its potential size. The industry is currently focussed on some regions; more than half its assets are located in Sudan, with Egypt ranking second, but with a much lower share of around one-fifth.
 
Moody's said that the Islamic finance market in Africa is potentially worth close to USD 235 bn. According to Moody's 37 Islamic financial institutions operate in Africa, serving a Muslim population of 412 mn. Average per capita GDP on the continent was a low 1,137 usd in 2007, but given the fact that Africa is host to the second-largest Muslim population in the world, the absolute size of its economic production reached 469 bln usd last year, Moody's said.
 
Source: http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2008/03/26/afx4814325.html

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