Fixed Income

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Dana Gas Sukuk - Why Sharia compliance is NOT the point

Dear Reader,

Dana Gas Sukuk is still making headlines and continues to damage the Sukuk market.
A key question to be understood: Could a lack of Sharia compliance make the issuance unlawful?

Well this is the claim of the prospectus regarding the Sharia compliance:

\Quote
No assurance can be given as to Sharia rules

The Sharia advisory board of Dar Al-Sharia have confirmed that the Transaction Documents are, in their view, Sharia compliant. However, there can be no assurance that the Transaction Documents or the issue and trading of the Certificates will be deemed to be Sharia compliant by any other Sharia board or Sharia scholars. None of the Trustee, Dana Gas or the Delegate makes any representation as to the Sharia compliance of the Certificates and/or any trading thereof, and potential investors are reminded that, as with any Sharia views, differences in opinion are possible. Potential investors should obtain their own independent Sharia advice as to the compliance of the Transaction Documents and the issue and trading of the Certificates with Sharia principles.

#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.

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The lack of equity finance - really a problem of moral hazard?

Michael Gassner, Editor of IslamicFinance.de presented on the 3ème Congrès International de la Finance Islamique “Les Banques Islamiques et le Financement des Entreprises: Pratiques et enjeux théoriques” en Marrakech, 25/26 Mai 2015.

The presentation discussed that exponential growth of debt in Islamic finance is ruled out, nevertheless, debt and equity finance exists. The specific significance of equity finance (musharaka, mudaraba) lies in need for solid debt/equity ratio, as Muslims shall never die being in debt. Still Islamic banks barely provide any equity finance and the reason often given are moral hazard costs. This is denied as debt as well as equity has specific moral hazard problems, and if anything, even conventional banks would offer a mixture of debt and equity. Rather the assumed reason appears to be in the regulation (capital weight) and taxation (interest deductibility), which makes equity financing from a bank 2-4 times at least more expensive than debt finance, and thus not worth being offered.

The attached presentation is in French.

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Short European fixed-income trade. A loss of a lifetime?

Bill Gross, well known fixed income fund manager twittered (https://twitter.com/januscapital/status/590519759797530624) and moved markets with his idea to sell German sovereign bonds short (selling without having them) to buy them back later cheaper. He called it "The Short of a lifetime"; the only issue would be the "timing"...

Interest rates will be once raising again but will short seller stay solvent long enough to benefit? The German economy is doing fine, but other EURO zone countries do not perform as well and need low interest rates for a prolonged period of time. Japan has so far not convincingly ended their easy money policy.

Khazanah Nasional to launch first social-impact sukuk

Khazanah Nasional is set to issue Malaysia's first social-impact sukuk. Local agency Ram Ratings said the RM1 billion (US$282 million) Sukuk Ihsan programme, to which it assigned a AAA rating last week, was the first social-impact bond to be rated globally. Proceeds will go towards educational projects. Investors and market observers are eagerly expecting the first issuance off the programme as early as next month, although marketing preparations are still being finalised. Socially responsible investment is catching on slowly in Asia, but issuers in South Korea, India and Taiwan have sold so-called Green bonds and interest from investors is growing.

SC Introduces Sustainable and Responsible Investment Sukuk framework

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) today launched the Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) Sukuk framework to facilitate the financing of sustainable and responsible investment initiatives. The proposal on the SRI sukuk framework was first announced in the 2014 budget speech.

The launch of the SRI sukuk framework is in line with the initiative set out under the SC’s Capital Market Masterplan 2 to promote socially responsible financing and investment. With the shifts in investor demographics, there are growing concerns over environmental and social impact of business and greater demand for stronger governance and ethics from businesses. The Malaysian capital market is well-positioned to capitalise on these changing trends and facilitate sustainable and responsible investing. ommission Malaysia (SC) today launched the Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) Sukuk framework to facilitate the financing of sustainable and responsible investment initiatives. The proposal on the SRI sukuk framework was first announced in the 2014 budget speech.

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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).

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Idea for a student thesis

Dear Reader,

Frequently I am being asked about advice on topics for student's thesis. More often than I actually would have ideas at hand.

Now, what I would suggest is two things:

1) In general: Write about a topic useful for Islamic banking rather than the 1001 work about the core principles. Responsible investment, impact investing and the like is good to study and then learn from each other.

2) Specifically, my idea of the idea: Sukuk is a new market. A concern in the first years was that nobody knows how a default would be turning out. Now as we have a small number of default and near default cases there is a possibility of analyzing the outcomes and derive conclusions. A topic with real practical relevance.

All the best,

Michael Saleh Gassner

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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

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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

Islamic finance job openings October 2012

IslamicFinance.de offers an overview about new job openings of October 2012 herewith - firms aiming to be included please send a job profile/hyperlink to newsdesk@islamicfinance.de - the full details of the advert has to be accessed by the hyperlink below the brief description:

Product Manager, Islamic Banking

Standard Chartered Bank - United Arab Emirates-SCB (United Arab Emirates)
Job Description
?Development of Islamic wealth products across CBMS, insurance and investment streams to create customer value proposition.
?Ensure successful implementation of the Islamic banking strategy across high value segment.
?Concentrated responsibility to work with the Priority/Wealth/Private/SME product/frontline teams and support functions to build on the current Islamic banking capabilities and to create seamless customer experience
?Act as a product specialist for RMs on client meetings to introduce and explain the Saadiq solutions to meet their needs
?Financial budgeting and business forecast. Evaluation of financial performance.

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IslamicFinance.de aims to raise USD 2'500 for quarterly running costs

Dear Reader,

IslamicFinance.de is privately funded for many years. Now, for the first time, you have the possibility to make a contribution, from one Dollar upwards!

The technical details, and the money transfer via paypal is organised by Kapipal a new online fundraising tool:

http://www.kapipal.com/islamicfinance

On the blog I gave some more thoughts about Islamic finance media for those interested: http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=node/3454

Please also note: The fundraising action has a deadline, so act today, not tomorrow and tell your friends about it!

All donors who will leave a message will be listed in the article, which follows after closure of the fundraising period.

I am happy to meet you in person either on 19th March in Milano (http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=node/3396) or on 10th May in Frankfurt (http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=BAFINII) at the respective Islamic finance conference.

Wa at Taufiq min Allah, all the best,

Michael Saleh Gassner

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Islamic finance media - a challenge, and what one could do

Dear Readers,

Islamic finance media are a tricky service. This is true for various reasons: The Internet eats up the revenues, because everything ought to be free. Islamic banks are still a niche phenomena, and international banks like UBS or Deutsche are almost as large as the entire global Islamic finance industry. Consequently the marketing budgets are much lower, too.

Last not least, who should advertise? The banks among themselves or to the clients? Advertising from bank to bank, does usually not make much sense, but real client oriented formats are hard to find, too. May be this is a niche. Others, who could finance Islamic finance media are basically the service providers to the banks, but due to the limited number of Islamic financial insitutions, direct marketing, e.g. face to face meetings will be preferred.

This in short is the background why Islamic finance media are not so well established in terms of journalism and research, but mostly reflecting the press release as criticised by the makers of the Islamic Globe. See: http://www.theislamicglobe.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article...

CALL FOR PAPERS - Islamic capital markets

CALL FOR PAPERS - Islamic capital markets, Deadline: Submission of Abstract: March 15, 2012
Islamic Research and Training Istitute – Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Islamic capital markets are to become an important part of the Islamic financial system. While new products are steadily coming into the market and the Islamic investment instrument are growing, Islamic capital markets still constitute a very small niche. For a discernible impact on the investment promotion, market stability, and equitable socio-economic development there is a growing need to accelerate the process of product development, to create conducive regulatory environment and to improve the market practices. This task requires development of new human capital and knowledge base.

With this larger objective, the immediate focus of this conference is on three issues:
• Design and use of Islamic financial products for Islamic capital markets.
• Identification of the needs for and the implications of market regulations for development of Islamic capital market.

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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.>>

http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=node/3155

Some remarks to this discussion:

National Treasury Invites Proposals for Islamic Bond Instruments (SUKUK)

The National Treasury invited on 6th December banking institutions to submit proposals for the provision
of advisory services for the structuring and issuance of a government Islamic bond (“Sukuk”) in
the local and international markets.
The invitation is in line with the National Treasury’s intention to diversify its funding and
investor base.
“There is a great interest in the SUKUK market and this is the first step towards meeting the
growing appetite for government backed Shariah compliant investments” said Lungisa Fuzile,
Director General of the National Treasury.
Interested service providers are expected to submit proposals by close of business (RSA time)
on or before 21st December 2011. Shortlisted bidders will be informed by 20th January 2012.
ENDS

Further Information:

Request for Proposal (RFP):
http://www.treasury.gov.za/comm_media/press/2011/RFP%20-%20TOR%20Islamic...

Annexure to RFP:
http://www.treasury.gov.za/comm_media/press/2011/Annexure%20A%20-%20Suku...

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