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Michael Saleh Gassner
IslamicFinance.de is still edited by myself, Michael Saleh Gassner. In the same time the website became part of the family's publishing house, Al Kitab.
Myself I moved to Geneva for professional reasons, working as Islamic private banker. IslamicFinance.de remains to be a private passion.
Dubai Islamic Bank announced that it has settled all bilateral liabilities of mortgage provider Tamweel, two years ahead of scheduled maturity. The outstanding liabilities were part of a five-year moratorium. The bank cited “robust capitalisation and ample liquidity” as the reasons for early repayment.
Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) is to offer UAE nationals mortgages worth 100 per cent of their property in conjunction with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment. DIB will offer housing loans worth up to Dhs2 million over a 25-year period, with interest rates starting at 3.99 per cent. The announcement by DIB is in partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment (MRHE), which ‘aims to enhance the quality of life for UAE nationals living in Dubai by helping them access superior housing’. The move flies in the face of impending regulations from the UAE’s Central Bank that is expected to cap lending for local first-time homeowners to 80 per cent of the home’s value and 75 per cent for expatriates, with lending for additional homes expected to be capped at 65 per cent and 60 per cent.
A new whitepaper released by Deloitte in July examines the potential mortgage industry in Saudi Arabia and highlights key issues that need to be addressed in order to create both lender and consumer confidence in this market. The whitepaper lists and describes the five laws that will make up the Finance Law, which are The Enforcement Law, The Real Estate Finance Law, The Registered Real Estate Mortgage Law, The Finance Lease Law and The Finance Companies Control Law. The description is followed by a discussion of lenders and consumers’ potential concerns with regards to the new mortgage infrastructure. In principle, the multi-dimension reforms appear sufficient to develop a functioning mortgage market. However, fundamental to this is whether they are executed in their entirety, or whether there is any uncertainty as to their exact definition.
Property lending company Amlak Finance is in discussion with creditors about restructuring about AED7bn (US$1.9bn) of debt. This is the latest try to resurrect a victim of Dubai's property crash. THe creditor committee consists of six members including two government-owned funds, Dubai's largest lender and its biggest Islamic bank. Since November 2008, Amlak has not been able to trade due to suspension of its shares along with Tamweel. At that time, the credit markets had dried up the prices of real estates in Dubai began a slump leading them to a decrease of over 50%.
On Thursday , Dubai Islamic Bank announced its board's approval of the plans to fully acquire its mortgage unit Tamweel. The bank already holds 58.2% of the stakes. It further intends to make a tender offer to buy all shares off Tamweel's other shareholders. Every shareholder of Tamweel will be offered 10 DIB shares for every 18 Tamweel shares. As soon as the offer is closed, DIB will make an application to the regulator to delist Tamweel from the Dubai Financial Market.
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
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:
Earlier this week, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) was host to a meeting on a high level discussing the launch of a new national home finance company with committed shareholders. The brand name of the company will be Bidaya. In particular, the status of the new company's development and plans concerning the next steps towards the launch were discussed. According to Khaled Al-Aboodi - CEO of ICD - the Mortgage Law together with the recent release of draft regulations give the industry clarity and direction which was very necessary.
An improved version of Attijari Al Islami's Ijarah Home products has been introduced to the public. Thus, UAE nationals and residents are enabled to afford their dream home compliant to the principles of Shariah. The improved version contains some new features and aims to address the growing demand for Shariah-compliant financial instruments in the UAE. Transparent and competitive rates are offered in order to be able to guarantee great value to the clients of the Commercial Bank of Dubai.
The long awaited regulations on real estate financing, leasing and supervision of financial companies are now eventually being issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is getting ready to open up its mortgage market. The public now has to review the draft regulations. Comments and observations are to be submitted within 30 days of its publication. The regulations can be found on SAMA's website. The executive vice president of Capitas Group International - Nasser Nubani - explains that the draft mortgage regulations are a clear indication of SAMA's careful approach and striving to defend against problems due to lax regulation standards.
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
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
Book review about the German language original: http://www.rpi-virtuell.net/workspace/24686AD5-936C-476D-9EA0-65E2968590...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org - 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)
?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.
Since the enactment of the Islamic Banking Act in 1983 Malaysia has been operating with both conventional and Islamic banking systems. According to Islamic principles money lending and investing in businesses that are considered haram are prohibited. Islamic finance is all about accumulating all the available resources and providing financing based on pre-determined profits rather than dealing with interest.
According to the Saudi Arabian Mortgage Law which was adopted by the Council of Ministers earlier this month, insurance will be a prerequisite for mortgages. This means that without insurance, no No mortgage finance provider would finance a house. The new law is expected to affect positively or even to boost the Saudi insurance market and the mortgage takaful in particular.
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, has disclosed that the government cut off Dubai-based mortgage provider Amlak Finance’s debt by Dh4 billion.
The debt was reduced through delaying debt as well as through the sale of company's land and the restoration and recovery of other land owned by the company, as well as coming up with financial solutions with a number of third-party creditors.
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:
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
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...
Difficult funding in Europe is making Middle East issuers to tap the still-liquid Islamic finance markets for funds.
Dubai-based Emirates Islamic Bank issued a $500 million, five-year Islamic bond with a yield of 4.718%, while Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank sold a $500 million, five-year sukuk with a yield of 4.046%.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation stated it plans to launch a government-guaranteed sukuk to pay for a new terminal at Jeddah airport, and Dubai-based Islamic mortgage company Tamweel announced a five-year, $300 million sukuk.
Majid Al Futtaim recently started a $1 billion Islamic bond program, while Doha Bank, Bahrain's Al Baraka Banking Group, Emirates Telecommunications Co. of the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., among others, could all be looking to issue Islamic debt this year.
UM Financial came up for Canada’s 1.3 million Muslims with mortgages that don’t charge interest. But its failure last year has started a dangerous debate about whether Islamic banking should be banned, or whether it’s still a potentially lucrative industry in need of better regulation.
Mortgages with UM Financial were set up so that lender and borrower byed the house together. The homebuyer pays rent to the mortgage issuer, while gradually buying off the outstanding share of the property. After it is fully paid, ownership is transferred to the borrower.
Although UM’s troubles were many, for Islamic finance they probably won’t be the last word on a system that will remain in demand with a growing part of the population.