Alternative Assets

#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.

#Iran's #Life #Insurance #Sector on #Growth #Track

Iranian insurance firms generated 21.7 trillion rials ($525.9 million at market exchange rate) from selling life policies during the eight months to November 20, marking a 37.19% growth compared with the same period of last year. Central Insurance of Iran’s database also shows that life insurance accounted for 12.15% of insurers’ total premium income during the period. The share was recorded at 10.66% during the same period of last year and 11.98% in the month ending October 21.

Insurers paid 7.4 trillion rials ($179.3 million) to 240,000 life policyholders as indemnity. The payout ratio of the category stood at 34.2% for the eight months to November 21.
According to Sanhab data, insurance firms collectively earned 179 trillion rials ($4.33 billion) from selling 34 million insurance policies in all categories during the eight-month period. A year-on-year comparison of data indicates a 20.4% growth in premium income and 9.8% increase in the total number of sold policies. The total paid claims amounted to 101 trillion rials ($2.44 billion) during the period, marking a 25.6% growth YOY.

Fitch Downgrades 3 Saudi banks To Negative, Low Oil Prices Hobble Growth

The long-term issuer default ratings of Saudi British Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi and Arab National Bank were revised to negative from stable
Ratings agency Fitch has downgraded the outlooks on 3 Saudi Arabian banks as low Crude Oil prices continue to plague the Kingdom’s economy.
The long-term issuer default ratings of Saudi British Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi and Arab National Bank were revised to negative from stable, Fitch said in a statement.
The revision was based on the tougher operating environment facing the Saudi Arabian banking sector, mainly due to the effect of lower Crude Oil prices on government spending and the filter down effect this has on the rest of the economy.

The Woman behind the Rockefeller fortune

Judith Rodin is the president of the Rockefeller Foundation. She is in charge of giving away one of America’s historic fortunes. But nowadays Rockefeller doesn’t mean quite what it once did. The foundation ranks only 16th in assets among U.S. charities. After a century of giving away money, only 4.1 billion US-Dollars are left of the once enormous fortune. No. 1 in the ranking for charity is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with 37.2 Billion US-Dollars. The latest pilot project is Smart Power that aims to electrify villages in India.

Gulf Arab Sukuk dominance fades as U.K. leads next wave

As Islamic bond issuance heads for a record year, nations making up the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council are losing share to new borrowers such as the U.K., Hong Kong and South Africa. Global sales of Shariah-compliant debt reached $36.7 billion. GCC market share fell down from more than 50 percent a year earlier as Bloomberg figures show. With non-Muslim countries being lured by the growing Islamic investor base.

Battle for Shar’ia Money

Such is the hype of activity about Shari’a-compliant product at the moment that even The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has now moved a step closer towards the issuance of a debut sukuk. The government presented a draft bill to parliament that could get deal going, proposing the issuance of a €200m-equivalent sovereign sukuk denominated. Euros or US-Dollars, both are welcome. Additionally, the Luxembourg government has also identified three real estate assets to underpin the transaction.

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Relaunch IslamicFinance.de Newsletter - Free Download

Dear Reader,

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of IslamicFinance.de please find at the hyperlink below the relaunch of the newsletter.

http://www.islamicfinance.de/files/20140529%20IslamicFinance%20dot%20de%...

Any new issues will be announced to our registered users of IslamicFinance.de and to the members of the related LinkedIn Group of IslamicFinance.de.

If you wish to register please go to http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=newsletter/subscriptions or become member of the LinkedIn Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostRecent=&gid=147616&trk=my_groups-tile...

Enjoy reading! And if you do, please consider sharing the free newsletter with your friends & colleagues by forwarding or subscribing an internal email address to forward it your entire firm.

NB: I appreciate feedback to improve the content and better understand what readers are looking for. Please allow time for reply, which I may not be able to give to all enquiries after sending out the newsletter.

All the best,

Michael Saleh Gassner

Bi-annual Bulletin on the Malaysian Islamic Capital Market by the Securities Commission Malaysia

Contents
Revised Shariah Screening Methodology: 1
Expands ICM’s Global Reach
SHARIAH
New Shariah Advisory Council Resolutions 3
DEVELOPMENT
Region’s First Structured Covered Sukuk 7
Royal Award for Islamic Finance Calls for Global 9
Nominations
SC and Autoriti Monetari Brunei to Strengthen 9
Efforts in Greater Cross-border Activities
SC Leads Islamic Finance Taskforce to Publish a 10
Report on Enhancing Infrastructure for ICM
REGULATORY
IFSB-IOSCO-SC Collaborate on Disclosure 11
Requirements for ICM Products
SC Revises Equity Guidelines for SPACS 12
Technical Note on the Application of SC’s 13
Guidelines In Relation to Non-Tradable and
Non-Transferable PDS and Sukuk
FEATURES
2013: Another Resilient Year for the Global 14
Islamic Finance Industry
Global Islamic Funds Industry: Achieving 18
Growth Under Challenging Times
Harmonisation of Shariah Rulings 22
in Islamic Finance
News Round-up 29
STATISTICAL UPDATES
Malaysian ICM – Facts and Figures 32
Free download below at source:

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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).

"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.

DanaInfra ups ante to attract investors to retail sukuk

DanaInfra Nasional Bhd (DINB) has extended the offer period and upped the indicative profit rate of its Exchange Traded Bonds and Sukuk (ETBS), also known as DanaInfra Retail Sukuk for retail investors. The move is intended to attracting more investors to take up the new asset class. The offer period will now close on January 25th. Meanwhile, the indicative profit rate, previously at a minimum of 3.7% a year, has been altered to 4% a year. The money raised from the DanaInfra Retail Sukuk will be partially used to fund the MRT project which is worth RM15 billion.

Banking Special: Assets And Profits Soar In Qatar

In 2012, Qatar’s banking sector was buttressed by high oil and gas prices and a large-scale infrastructure programme. The banking sector continuously benefits from substantial GDP growth in the economy of the country. Real GDP reached 19% in 2011. This increase was caused by strength in oil prices and the substantial increase in LNG production to 75mnt (from 55mnt). The latter was able to drive hydrocarbon sector GDP up by more than 30%. The output of the non-hydrocarbon sector continued its growth as well, sustaining a 9% rate due to ongoing capital expenditure on infrastructure development.

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Outlook & Review 2012/2013

Dear Reader,

Islamic finance had another great year. Many of its market segments progressed, like for example the Sukuk market gaining more maturity. Despite the ongoing debt crisis a good sign of hope and happiness.

Nevertheless we are - as an industry - still not satisfied with the achievements. Islamic finance shall grow stronger in terms of social impact and in terms of substance:

Hence, please allow me to re-iterate my call for participating in international initiatives beyond just our own industry to learn and spread knowledge and experience:

Calling Islamic financial institutions to become member of the United Nations Finance Initiative
http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=node/811

Inshallah we see more Islamic financial institutions taking a lead in SRI, Social Impact Investing and other approaches while contributing with Islamic finance knowdledge to the conventional industry. The time is now; and there are signs that Malaysia aims for a lead:
http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=node/4151

UAE ranks third in Islamic assets with $75b: Report

It is estimated that the total Islamic assets of the UAE are worth $75 billion. This sum puts the country on the third place regarding the global market for the Shariah-based banking industry. The worldwide assets in this area are expected to reach $1.8 trillion in 2013. The world's leader in Islamic assets is Saudi Arabia with an estimated total of $207 billion for 2011. The Islamic banking industry continues its rise as the top 20 Islamic banks grew 16% in the past three years.

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Islamic finance title from German translated to Chinese

Dear Reader,

The German language book on Islamic finance by the Editor of IslamicFinance.de and Dr Wackerbeck from Booz Consultants is now translated to Chinese.

Please find the biographical information below:

Authors: Michael Gassner / Philipp Wackerbeck
Title: Islamic Finance – Islam-gerechte Finanzanlagen und
Finanzierungen
ISBN number: 978-7-5139-0217-5
PUBLISHER: Beijing - Democracy and Construction Press
Pre-Publication Date: 2012.7

Full biographical details: http://db.lib.bua.edu.cn/asord/asorditem.php?asord_marc_no=0001344540

Orders: http://www.amazon.cn/%E4%BC%8A%E6%96%AF%E5%85%B0%E9%87%91%E8%9E%8D-%E7%B...

Book review about the German language original: http://www.rpi-virtuell.net/workspace/24686AD5-936C-476D-9EA0-65E2968590...

Best regards,

Michael Gassner

Saudi investment firm Sedco sees assets doubling by 2017

The expectations of Sedco Capital are that its assets under management will double during the next five years due to the company's expansion into new. The expansion plans are driven by the increasing demand from Shariah-compliant investors. The investment firm established an entity in Luxembourg in July 2012 aiming to expand its reach in the Shariah-compliant private equity, real estate and commodities space. Unlike most sharia-compliant firms, which operate on a regional basis, Sedco wants to go global.

Islamic banking assets to reach $ 1.5 billion

According to the CEO of Amana Bank, Faizal Salieh, it is expected for the current $ 250 million of banking assets to rise to $ 1.5 billion in the coming years. About 8% of the country's population of 21.5 million people are Muslims. The strong demand for Islamic financial products comes not only from the Muslim population but from non-Muslims as well. Still at a preliminary stage, the local Islamic finance is nevertheless developing. The expected rapid growth of the local Islamic finance is attributed to the increased awareness of faith based concepts and the internalization of the financial markets.

The alchemy of Islamic asset allocation

Significant growth in the Islamic asset management industry was observed over the past ten years. Starting with structuring and launching of funds, it has developed to a more comprehensive wealth management service. However, the industry has not set its focus on the definition of a suitable asset allocation framework for Islamic investments yet. With the increase of the allocation to sukuk, the selected use of Shariah-compliant derivatives and a risk parity approach to asset allocation can become the foundation for a more effective Islamic portfolio management.

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