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Islamic Microfinance

Dear All,

Please post here any information, concepts and ideas to foster Islamic Microfinance.

Best regards,

IslamicFinance.de

Dar eyes UK Islamic banking unit

Arabian Business reported on 28 April that Investment Dar its proposed British bank unit 'Dar Capital' might start with capital of up to GBP 100 mn. A project study should be finished by year-end.

Chairman of Investment Dar is Adnan Al-Musallam.

Source: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/517695-dar-eyes-uk-bank-with-up-to-100-ml...

Gatehouse Bank licensed as 5th Islamic investment bank in London

Gatehouse Bank, a subsidiary of the Kuwait-based investment firm The Securities House KSCC, has been approved as an investment bank by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and can now offer Shariah-compliant products.

David Testa is chief executive at Gatehouse.

Source: http://www.ukinvest.gov.uk/OurWorld/4029877/en-GB.html

France to host meetings on ‘Islamic finance’

Arab Times reported that the French Senate,is organizing two round table discussions May 14 to examine the role France can play in attracting Islamic funds.

Senates Finance Commission president Jean Arthuis will preside the meeting and Zubeir Bin Terdeyet, Director of Isla Invest, Maya Boureghda, a legal counsellor at BNP Parisbas, Anwar Hassoune, vice-president of Moodys rating company, Vincent Lauwick, SGAM Asset Management, London, Jean Francois Pon from the Federation of French Banks and Gilles Saint Marc, a lawyer from AARPI.

Source: http://www.arabtimesonline.com/kuwaitnews/pagesdetails.asp?nid=16009&cci...

Turkey: Shamil Bank's Real Estate Fund

Shami Bank released on 13 April the successful closure of its USD 90 mn Shamil Bosphorus Modaraba, an investment vehicle with an expected 60 % over three years focussing on residential and mixed-use real estate developments in Istanbul, and secondary homes on the Turkish coast.

The total cost of the projects targeted is approximately USD 450 mn. Shamil Bank subscribed to 10 % of the USD 90 mn.

Abdul Hakim Al Mutawa is Investment and Private Banking Head of Shamil Bank.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/index.php?option=com_pressreleases&view=d...

Bank of London and the Middle East appoints Senior Advisor

Bank of London and the Middle East released on 14 April the appointment of Mahmoud Faruqui as Senior Advisor.

Having been involved in the Islamic finance industry for over 30 years, Mahmood has extensive experience in advising banks on Strategy, Governance and Sharia'a aspects of product structuring and documentation.

Mahmood has previously worked as Board Member/Advisor of Habib Bank, Alfaysal Investment bank, Faysal Bank, Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain, Dar-Al-Maal Islami (DMI) Geneva, and Habib Bank AG Zurich.

As a founder member and secretary at the Pakistan Banking Council, he played a key role in negotiating and obtaining authorised bank status for five Pakistani banks from the Bank of England.

Humphrey Percy is CEO of BLME.

Source: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/index.php?option=com_pressreleases&view=d...

British Islamic Insurance Holding undertakes Private Placement

Gan Yen Kuan reported on 10 April in The Edge Daily that MNRB Holdings Bhd has proposed to invest GBP 8.96 mn in the non-listed British Islamic Insurance Holdings Ltd (BIIH), being an equity stake of maximum 9.99 % based on a private placement effort. MNRB aims to diversify the business and to expand into international business and the potentially lucrative market in Europe.

MNRB is Malaysia’s largest re-insurer.

BIIH has an authorised share capital of GBP 100 mn. Its issued and paid-up share capital is GBP 4.1 mn with a share premium of GBP 42.1 mn. It is incorporated on 27 February 2006.

BIIH has two wholly owned subsidiaries, namely BIIH General Ltd (BIIG) and BIIS Ltd., both have yet to obtain permission from the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) to carry out their respective business in general insurance and insurance intermediation services.

BIIH is unlisted but aims to be listed on the Alternative Investments Market in London and on one or more suitable GCC based exchanges later.

Source: http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/content.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Artic...

UK: Takaful coverage for mobile phones

FoneShield UK Ltd, a UK mobile phone insurance provider, is set to launch the first mobile phones takaful coverage.

Though a 'Sharia' compliant standard for ethical insurance has been chosen to meet the upwardly-mobile European Muslim market, it is also believed to be a standard that will have a wider appeal amongst ethical consumers.

FoneShield UK Ltd is an FSA regulated insurance provider, based in London and has been operating since 2005. It is one of the first to offer an online, self-service option to mobile phone dealers and recently launched 'CaShield' to protect mobile phone cashbacks.

Amian Moaven is Director of FoneShield UK Ltd

Source: http://www.freepressreleases.co.uk/Press_Releases/Telecoms_News/Sharia_E...

Academic Research Papers

Dear Members,

Please share your opinion about the following proposal in regard to

- Academic Research Papers

This forum could facilitate to publish your research papers and having them rated by peers afterwards. This would speed up the time from production to publishing tremendously compared to traditional journals.

It also gives a chance to see unusual papers published, however, a good number of submissions might be of lower quality at the same time.

The action question: Is there interest in the community to use such a platform in this way???

Please comment!!!

Swiss banks going onshore in the Middle East

Andrew White reported in Arabian Business on 11 April about Swiss banks going onshore in the Middle East.

Pasha Bakhtiar, managing director at Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch (LODH) focusses over the next 10 to 20 years to grow the presence in areas with strong wealth creation, which is the case in the Middle East. Last year the bank established a formal presence in Dubai to better offer its services to existing and new clients in the GCC. Lombard sees an advantage in being a family owned bank like the family businesses in the region.

Hans Nützi, CEO at Clariden Leu agrees that Private Banking becomes more international opposed the way clients banked 5 to 10 years ago. Clariden Leu has a local 13 people asset management team in Dubai and sees demand for structured products.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/516200-banking-on-the-old-school

Bank of London and the Middle East participates in Qatar infrastructure financing

AME Info published a press release on 8 April that The Bank of London and The Middle East plc (BLME) announced that it has participated in USD 20 mn of Forward Lease financing to Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC), for the construction of the Ras Abu Fontas A1 (RAF A1) water desalination plant to be built in the northern part of Ras Abu Fontas, Qatar. The Islamic tranche of the transaction was introduced to BLME by European Finance House, London based subdiary of Qatar Islamic Bank. Out of the total project budget of USD 600 mn, USD 150 mn is Islamic financing which is being underwritten by QIB.

Humphrey Percy is CEO of BLME. Mike Clark is CEO of European Finance House.

Source: http://www.ameinfo.com/152651.html

Belgium law firm Loyens & Loeff has launched an Islamic finance practice

Law.com reported on 3 April that Loyens & Loeff has launched an Islamic finance practice -- in a move thought to make Loyens the first Benelux firm to target the sector with a dedicated team, following the hiring of Marjorie Sinke as head last February. Sinke -- a former judge at The Hague -- joins Loyens after running her own Islamic finance consultancy. She was also previously an associate at Benelux giant Stibbe.

Source: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1207133080920

New IFSB documents on Capital Adequacy and Liquidity Management

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) released on 1 April that the IFSB Council adopted two documents to further facilitate efforts towards enhancing the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry.

In its 12th meeting held at the Islamic Development Bank's (IDB) headquarters in Jeddah on March 26th 2008, the Council of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) resolved to approve two documents that aim to further facilitate efforts towards enhancing the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry. The two documents are:

Guidance Note in Connection with the Capital Adequacy Standard: Recognition of Ratings by External Credit Assessment Institutions (ECAI) on Shari'ah-Compliant Financial Instruments (Guidance Note)

Technical Note on Issues in Strengthening Liquidity Management of Institutions Offering Islamic Financial Services: The Development of Islamic Money Markets (Technical Notes)

Guidance Note in Connection with the Capital Adequacy Standard: Recognition of Ratings by External Credit Assessment Institutions (ECAI) on Shari'ah-Compliant Financial Instruments (Guidance Note)

New Islamic Private Bank in Switzerland planned

Andrew England and David Oakley wrote a short briefing on 30 March in the Financial Times about a new Islamic private bank planned in Switzerland. National Bank of Kuwait is supposedly partnering with a Saudi-Arabian institution.

Source: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/9bbfce9e-fe8c-11dc-9e04-000077b07658,Authorised=...

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Sukuk market challenged by subprime crisis

Arthur Macdonald reported in Gulf Daily News that the Sukuk market has suffered from the global financial crisis, but it is likely to recover. It impacted pricing and access to investors. Further the discussion on the Dollar peg of Gulf currencies created addtional uncertainties. Nevertheless the market has grown in ten years from millions to billions, participants of a Sukuk conference in Bahrain said.

Source: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=211884&Sn=BUSI&IssueID=...

Qatar Islamic Bank studies expansion into Egypt and Turkey

Matthew Martin reported on 18 March that Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) is evaluating opportunities to acquire a conventional Egyptian bank and convert it into an Islamic bank, and is also applying for a banking licence in Turkey.
Qatar Islamic Bank will likely follow its strategy of independent brands, like before in regard to European Finance House in London, Asian Finance House in Malaysia and Arab Finance House in Lebanon.

Source: meed.com

Takaful help Prudential to make as much profit in Asia as in UK

The Guardian reported on 17th March about the takaful business of Prudential. Prudential is looking to expand into Egypt as the executive who runs the insurer's fast-growing Asian business seeks other markets with scope for rapid growth, like before Indonesia, where 25% of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2007 were sharia-compliant products.

Figures on Friday showed that profits of the Pru's Asian operations broke through £1bn for the first time in 2007 and now match the profits achieved by the insurer's traditional UK operations.

Stowe is already responsible for 13 countries. In India, he believes Pru can soon overtake the state-owned insurer that occupies the number-one slot in the country.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/mar/17/islamicfinance.insurance?gus...

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Denmark: Islamic Mortgages

Three local banks in the Jutland region of Denmark have agreed to offer mortgage loans that comply with Islamic laws.
The bank owns the property until the terms of the lease, typically a 30-year agreement, are completed. The three banks -- Sparekassen Farsø, Sparekassen Vendsyssel and Sparekassen Hobro -- with cooperation of a fourth -- Den Jyske Sparekasse -- created a company to handle the new Amanah Kredit mortgages. Niels Mogaard, director of Amanah, said the arrangements were already in use, especially in the city of Aalborg, the Copenhagen Post reported.

source: http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Business/2008/03/12/danish_banks_to_comply_...

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