Switzerland

Leading #Scottish Islamic finance expert to speak at Responsible Finance & Investment #Summit

Graham Burnside, a consultant at Shepherd and Wedderburn, is to speak at the RFI conference in Zurich. The Responsible Finance & Investment Summit (RFI Summit) is a two-day event hosted by the RFI Foundation and the Swiss Arab Network. The event is aimed at building awareness of how the social and environmentally responsible investment and Islamic finance can create a positive impact. Mr Burnside is a founding member of the Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC), a Scottish-based not-for-profit specialist advisory established to promote ethical finance. In 2015, the UKIFC was recognised by Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge Awards (EFICA), winning the $100,000 Islamic Finance Industry Development Award. Mr Burnside has been invited to take part in the RFI Summit panel looking at financial inclusion and responsible finance.

Can #responsible #investment integrate with Islamic finance?

The Responsible Finance & Investment (RFI) Summit 2017 has announced a series of Executive Sessions organized by the RFI Foundation and INCEIF, the Global University of Islamic finance. These sessions will introduce participants from all backgrounds to the connection between Islamic Finance and Responsible Finance. INCEIF President Daud Vicary Abdullah said the alignment between the guiding principles of Islamic finance and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was significant. Daud added that these interactive Executive Sessions would provide a platform for people working in responsible finance who do not realize the alignment of responsible investment with Islamic finance.

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Editorial Note: UNICEF Cycling For Children

Dear Readers,

Currently we face several humanitarian crisis, the most afffected are the children. The large organisations need more funds. UNICEF organises the Cycling for Children challenge, which I will join.

Please support my effort and campaign by donating today online via:

https://www.unicef.ch/en/cycling-for-children/action/michael-gassner

My best wishes, and thanks on behalf of all the kids!

Michael Gassner

Is #disruption by #FinTech a social good?

Support Disruption for Good (SDG) #Challenge will showcase breakthrough models that also have material social impact

Zurich, Switzerland, February 22, 2017 – The RFI Foundation, in partnership with the Swiss Finance + Technology Association, Finocracy and the Responsible Finance & Investment (RFI) Summit partners, launched the Support Disruption for Good (SDG) Challenge to find the most promising ethical, responsible or Islamic FinTech innovation and connect them to the leading institutions in the responsible finance industry.

The SDG Challenge opens today and will remain open until March 17. All applicants will be judged against a transparent set of criteria by an independent judging panel drawn from across the responsible finance and FinTech industry. During the review process judges will evaluate the ability of each entrant to effectively scale, contribute to financial inclusion, contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals while being financially sustainable.

#Zurich: #Responsible #Finance & Investment Summit 3-4 May 2017

Summit will explore intersection of #fintech, #ESG and #Islamicfinance. #RFISummit17

January 24, 2017, Zurich, Switzerland –

Bringing together a diversity of perspectives is critical for continuing the growth occurring within responsible finance. On this premise, the Responsible Finance & Investment Summit 2017 will convene in Zurich, Switzerland from 3-4 May 2017 around the theme “Building Bridges, Expanding Impact”.

Recent estimates from industry stakeholders show continued growth in responsible finance assets in many geographies and sectors. Responsible investment in Europe grew by 42% during the past 2 years, while in the U.S., assets grew by 33%. In Islamic finance, which has a global presence with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, growth in the last 2 years has been 21%. Identifying actionable areas for collaboration will support continued growth towards a more sustainable financial system.

#Swiss firm buys two #Malaysian insurers to add #takaful products to its portfolio

Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance Company has bought MAA Takaful (MAAT) from MAA Group and Solidarity Group Holding to expand its insurance and takaful business in Malaysia. Zurich Insurance Malaysia CEO Philip Smith said the company will be able to provide a wide range of insurance and takaful solutions across multiple customer segments, supported by the technical and servicing expertise in the wider Zurich Group. The acquisition cost RM525 mn and about RM400 mn was paid at the closing of the transaction. The remaining amount will be paid on the third anniversary after the closing.

Swiss Bank Is Charged Over #1MDB Dealings

Authorities in #Switzerland and #Singapore took action against Swiss private bank BSI for failing to prevent money laundering and bribery related to its dealings with Malaysian development fund 1MDB. Switzerland's Attorney General opened criminal proceedings against the bank. The country's Financial Market Supervisory Authority ordered BSI to pay back 95 mn Swiss franks Swiss Bank Is Charged Over ($96 mn). Singapore’s central bank revoked BSI’s banking license there and fined it 13.3 mn Singapore dollars ($9.7 mn). The cross-border investigation related to 1MDB involves at least seven countries.

Formation en finance islamique en Suisse : Genève accueille l’IBQ – Islamic Banking Qualification

Organisé régulièrement dans plusieurs pays, l’Islamic Banking Qualification Program IBQ ® se délocalise à Genève pour une session exceptionnelle les 13-14-15 juin 2016. L’IBQ est une certification internationale dédiée aux principes et pratiques bancaires islamiques. Cette formation en langue française vise à permettre aux professionnels de la finance de comprendre et/ou d’intégrer le secteur bancaire islamique. La formation est d’une durée de 25 heures structurées sous le mode de workshop interactif avec des présentations et études de cas précédées par des lectures.

WSJ: Swiss banks focus of 1MDB controversy

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), in continuing to pursue the story on the 1MDB controversy, has reported that there’s unprecedented attention on a number of Swiss banks and Zurich-based Falcon Private Bank AG, a small wealth manager snapped up by an Abu Dhabi investor during the financial crisis. The Swiss authorities, according to WSJ, are probing suspected money laundering and possible corruption of “foreign officials”. The investigations have landed Falcon in the middle of the controversy around 1MDB. Falcon, which so far hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, said the bank was legally barred from answering questions about its clients.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Triple Bottom Line Investing Presents ‘TBLI Conference Europe 2015’, November 19-20, Zurich, Switzerland

The TBLI Conference Europe 2015 is going to take place at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Zurich on November 19-20, 2015. The cost of the event is CHF 625 (USD 639). A set of three private meetings with potential investors and business partners is available for an additional fee of CHF 500 (USD 511). Additional meetings can be booked at CHF 150 (USD 154) each. TBLI Conference offers a series of presentations and workshops that focus on environment, social, governance (ESG) and impact investing topics. This year’s conference will focus on ESG and impact investing across asset classes. Find more information on http://www.tbligroup.com/tbliconference/europe2015.html.

Working Paper: Why does financial sector growth crowd out real economic growth?

As Islamic finance emphasizes the connection between real economy and financial activity this BIS Working Paper is very interesting and supportive for the understanding:

Abstract:
"In this paper we examine the negative relationship between the rate of growth of the financial sector and the rate of growth of total factor productivity. We begin by showing that by disproportionately benefiting high collateral/low productivity projects, an exogenous increase in finance reduces total factor productivity growth. Then, in a model with skilled workers and endogenous financial sector growth, we establish the possibility of multiple equilibria. In the equilibrium where skilled labour works in finance, the financial sector grows more quickly at the expense of the real economy. We go on to show that consistent with this theory, financial growth disproportionately harms financially dependent and R&D-intensive industries."

Swiss to Vote on Central Bank’s Gold

Swiss voters will decide Nov. 30 on an initiative that would force the country’s central bank to more than double its gold holdings. The “Save Our Swiss Gold” initiative would require the Swiss National Bank to hold a fifth of its assets in gold within five years. It would also prohibit the bank from selling any of its gold in the future and require that Swiss gold held overseas be repatriated. Organizers of the vote, members of the conservative Swiss People’s Party, say the new rules are needed because a three-year effort to cap the strength of the Swiss franc has left the SNB holding piles of euros, a currency that has been devalued in the wake of the financial crisis. The initiative has drawn opposition from the government, lawmakers and business groups.

Geneva Workshop: The interface between private and institutional donors - How to leverage impact

This Seminar on Wednesday, 18 June, is within a series of International seminars, workshops and dialogues the Academy of Philanthropy is organising around the world. This particular Seminar is held in Geneva for the benefit of private philanthropists, financiers, UN system, NGOs, as well as regular visitors to the region from the Muslim world.

The Seminar is intended as an attempt to bridge the gap between venture and institutional philanthropists on one hand and recipient countries and NGOs on the other, with the aim to discuss and learn how to leverage impact and sustainable development. The Seminar is forward-looking in light of global events, such as the post-2015 development agenda and the shifting landscape of development and philanthropy.

Session outcomes

1. Raise awareness on the roles of stakeholders in philanthropy and sustainable development at global, regional and country levels, namely: private sector, institutional donors/development agencies, venture philanthropy, and civil society.

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How to achieve a soft landing of a deleveraging, while growing economy?

For many years we see in the media experts believing in inflation and even hyper inflation. However, in the same time we face proponents warning against deflation. So far we all noticed.

Only a about a week ago I read an article by Myret Zaki clarifying that unfortunately inflation and deflation co-exists.

Myret Zaki's thesis is that we face inflation on financial markets, and deflation in the real economy (in French):

http://www.bilan.ch/myret-zaki/redaction-bilan/inflation-et-deflation-co...

In my view there is a general major shift in the price matrix and I still try to figure the magnitude and implications thereof. It is a bit irritating as at University we learned about neutrality of money:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrality_of_money

This means any extra supply will increase prices equally, 5 % more money, all prices going up 5 %. Pretty plausible at first hand. However, it seems it does not work in reality any more (or never did).

Seminar: Din-al-Fitrah – Finanz- und Geschäftstransaktionen im Islam / Finance and Business Transactions in Islam

[English description below]

Finanz- und Geschäftstransaktionen im Islam
mit Imam Khalifa Diakite

Wann: Samstag 4. Januar 2014 von 13:30 bis 16:00 Uhr
Wo: Lagerplatz 8, 8400 Winterthur
neben dem Restaurant ‘Outback’, siehe Beschilderung vor Ort
(10 Minuten Fussweg vom Bahnhfof Winterthur, Autos können isA beim PP an der Jägerstrasse parkiert werden)
Sprachen: English-Arabisch mit Deutscher Übersetzung

In diesem Seminar wird Imam Khalifa dieses äusserst wichtige Thema eingehend anschauen und eine gründliche, auf dem Quran und der Sunna basierende Untersuchung des Finanzwesens im Islam vornehmen.
Insbesondere wird er Beispiele darüber geben, wie islamische Verträge in der heutigen Zeit angewandt werden können.

Über den Referenten
Imam Khalifa Diakite wurde in Paris als Sohn gambischer und senegalesischer Eltern geboren. Nachdem er sich in den frühen Jahren seiner akademischen und Islamischen Studien auszeichnete,wurde er Hafidh des heiligen Qurans und erhielt ein Diplom der Erinnerung von Scheich Abdul Aziz Tourey aus dem Senegal.

Sedco to distribute Islamic funds via private banks

Saudi investment firm Sedco Capital plans to register its Islamic funds in Switzerland and distribute them through tie-ups with global private Banks. This is part of efforts to diversify its client base outside Saudi Arabia. Sedco Capital has incorporated environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles into two of the equity funds, widening their appeal to include ethically minded investors in general. The firm hopes this will allow its funds to be marketed to investors beyond traditional Islamic areas in the Middle East and southeast Asia. The firm aims to be able to source two-thirds of its assets under management from outside Saudi Arabia in four to five years. One fund is to be signed by October and the second one by December.Sedco Capital's two ESG funds, launched in May last year, have $230 million in assets and are managed by Stockholm-based Informed Portfolio Management.

Falcon Private Bank to launch fund to invest in sukuk

Falcon Private Bank is planning to launch a fund early next month that will invest in global sukuk.The fund will be offered to the bank’s clients and could grow to $500 million, according to Zafar Khan, Falcon’s Mena chief executive. There is alreade substantial demand from the bank's clients for global sukuk investments, he added. He also considers the yields of the past two years dislocated and the current yields more realistic to the underlying risk.

"World's First Global Islamic Asset Manager Receives Shari'a Certification from Shariyah Review Bureau"

Safa Investment Services received this week its official certification for Shari'a compliance from Shariyah Review Bureau. It makes Safa Investment Services the first Islamic global asset management business in the world. Safa permits customers to benefit from global asset diversification of their managed accounts, but with a complete respect for the principles of Islamic law. This includes not only selecting securities that meet global regulatory standards, but also the process to manage accounts and the contracts under which they are managed.

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German Lecture: Geld und Ethik in den drei monotheistischen Religionen

Finanzkrise, Bankenkrise, Eurokrise – und kein Ende. In den drei monotheistischen Religionen gibt es ziemlich präzise Vorstellungen über den Umgang mit Geld und Schulden. Bieten sie uns Lösungsansätze für die heutigen Probleme?

Dienstag, 5. März 2013, 20 Uhr, IGB Leimenstr. 24, 4051 Basel

Michael Gassner: Geld und Ethik im Islam

„Jüdische“ oder „christliche“ Banken gibt es nicht, wohl aber islamische, deren Geschäftstätigkeit sich nach dem islamischen Religionsgesetz, der Schari‘a, richtet. Der zweite Vortrag in der Reihe „Geld & Ethik“ beschäftigt sich mit den Regeln des Geldwesens im Islam und deren Anwendung im modernen islamischen Bankwesen. Michael Gassner ist muslimischer Bankfachmann und entwickelt islamische Finanzprodukte für eine Schweizer Privatbank.

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