Canada

Toronto-Based Wealthsimple Launches Shariah-Compliant Portfolio

#Canadian Wealthsimple Financial introduced a Shariah-compliant portfolio to expand its product offerings in an increasingly crowded robo-adviser market. According to co-founder Michael Katchen, Wealthsimple’s Halal Investing portfolio is aimed at setting the company apart from its peers. He expects the portfolio’s interest to closely mirror the company’s socially responsible products. Wealthsimple’s fees are a flat 0.5% for the first $100,000 invested and drop to 0.4% on any additional investment. Privately held Wealthsimple has raised 100 million Canadian dollars ($79.6 million) over several funding rounds over the past three years led by a subsidiary of the Power Corporation of Canada. Katchen said he expects to tap another round of venture funding before seeking an initial public offering.

Business #schools feed hunger for courses on Islamic finance, aboriginal leadership

As the world of business is global, business schools are getting similarly global in their outlook. The need for a more diverse approach in business schools crosses all levels, from the makeup of faculty and the curriculum to the students themselves. Walid Hejazi, associate professor at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management stresses that diversity from a business school perspective is not so much a moral or equity imperative as it is about long-term sustainability. In his view, businesses that are diverse in their workforce are not only more innovative, they also work more effectively. Other business schools are following suit emphasising diversity on all levels. For example, the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University introduced an Aboriginal Business and Leadership EMBA program to advance aboriginal leaders’ business education.

Goldmoney Inc. Announces Compliance with Shariah Standard on #Gold

Goldmoney announced that Goldmoney Network Accounts and Wealth Holdings have been endorsed as Shariah-compliant by the Shariah Supervisory Board of Amanie Advisors. Islamic investors can now instantly purchase, save, and transact in gold globally on the Goldmoney platform. Goldmoney's chief strategy officer Josh Crumb said that the company's platform democratizes access to 100% reserved and allocated gold-based savings, payments, and investment solutions. CEO Roy Sebag stated that compliance with Shariah law was an important step in the company's growth, enabling Goldmoney to expand its offerings to the Islamic market.

Islamic finance becomes popular for affordable #housing schemes

Home financing resembling Islamic finance structures is becoming popular to solve the housing affordability crisis in Western countries. Housing cooperatives began using profit-and-risk-sharing schemes modelled after ijara or musharaka to help home buyers purchase properties. In the UK the idea based on the Islamic contract of ijara came up in 2015. The rent-to-own scheme was proposed by the Liberal Democrats party and involves an Islamic bank or another intermediary, who purchases the property for a customer. In Canada various cooperative frameworks are providing home financing loans to members of their cooperatives in a Shariah-compliant manner. In the US the Ijara Community Development provides Shariah-compliant home financing for both US clients and customers in Canada.

Canada: The next hub of Islamic finance?

Janet Ecker, president and CEO of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance said Canada’s stable financial market and risk management expertise, coupled with a large and growing Muslim population and an openness to the world, enables Canada to become the North American hub for Islamic finance. Just over one million people identified as Muslim on the most recent household survey in 2011, and that number is expected to grow to around three million by 2030. Muslims represented 3.2 percent of the Canadian population in 2011, up from 2 percent a decade earlier.

Basic income: New life for an old idea

A combination of economic uncertainty and political possibility is giving new life to an old policy idea: basic income. In Ottawa, a federal MP is pushing for government research on the subject. Ontario's provincial budget announced a pilot program to try it out. In Quebec, a cabinet minister has been assigned to study the topic. Basic income is capturing political imaginations in Canada. Also known as guaranteed minimum income, universal income, guaranteed annual income, or a negative income tax, basic income is a social policy that would supplant various welfare programs by providing a baseline amount of money to all citizens, regardless of whether they work or meet a means test.

Canada ready for Islamic banking: report

Islamic banking is being touted as the next big thing for Canada's financial services sector, but experts say it's up to the new federal government to demonstrate that it welcomes Shariah-compliant investments. The Canadian government must signal that, in fact, it is open to Islamic finance. They could do so either by issuing sukuk — Islamic bonds — or by making a public statement. A study released earlier this month by the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and Thomson Reuters says Canada has a number of advantages — including a growing Muslim population, a stable banking system and a favourable regulatory environment — that make it well positioned to become a North American hub for Islamic banking.

Canada ready to become the Islamic Finance hub of North America

Thomson Reuters and the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) have unveiled a major study, the Canada Islamic Finance Outlook 2016, during the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) held in Bahrain. Canada is looking to position itself as the regional hub for Islamic finance in North America. Its main competitor in the region, the United States, is a much larger market overall, but Canada has a proportionately larger Muslim population. This advantage is coupled with an arguably more favourable federal regulatory regime and an outward looking orientation that is potentially more favourable and conducive to the growth of Islamic finance.

Islamic insurance products come to market

The US and Canada are expected to follow London's lead with the development of Islamic insurance products. Not just because of the burgeoning market for Shariah-compliant financial products worldwide but also because of increasing demand for old-fashioned transparency.

So says James Bagshawe, a member of the executive committee of the recently established Islamic Insurance Association of London (IIAL) and COO of UK-based Cobalt Underwriting.

Earlier this month, the London Market pointed to the growth of commercial Shariah-compliant products as an important example of the innovation required by London to maintain its position as a global insurance hub. At the inaugural conference of the IIAL in Dubai, chief executive of the International Underwriting Association (IUA), Dave Matcham, said that Islamic financial activity in London is developing a growing maturity and said the IUA and IIAL are cooperating to support the trade in Islamic insurance, promoting standards and transparency.

Islamic Finance in Canada is in the Calm Before the Storm

Demand for Islamic Finance in Canada at the retail level s increasing. Awareness is strongly rising and demand is following suite. So far, Islamic finance clients and interested potential clients are Muslims. As per Statistics Canada, the Muslim community is rapidly growing in Canada, the majority of Canadian Muslims being in the province of Ontario. So naturally, that's where the institutions are concentrating their marketing efforts with a few expanding to reach all the way to the province of British Columbia. The most popular product is hands-down real estate, be it residential or commercial.The technical knowledge of Islamic finance is, for the most part, basic. Islamic finance in Canada is in the calm before the storm.

The Beginner's Guide to Halal RRSP Investments

With the registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) deadline on March 2nd, many Canadians are wondering and worrying about where to invest their money. An RRSP is registered with the Canadian government. In effect, it's a special bank account used to save up for retirement. This account is made up of investment products, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds that allow savings to grow over time. It's up to individuals to choose what investment products to have in their RRSPs. Unlike regular investment accounts, money inside an RRSP is tax-sheltered, meaning that it doesn't get taxed like regular income or investments. The challenge for Canadian Muslims is to know the nature of their investments to ensure their investments are halal.

Portfolios: Azzad Asset Management likes non-conventional sukuk

Sukuk, Islamic equivalent bonds, are beyond the boundaries of many portfolio managers of advanced economies. But in the Islamic finance world, it's the non-Islamic sukuk issuers that are non-conventional, and this is where Azzad Asset Management sees value. Ihab Salib, the lead portfolio manager for the firm's sukuk fund, the Azzad Wise Capital Fund (WISEX) said, "Currently we see value in some of the non-conventional issuers". "As maiden issuers in the market, they need to price the sukuk generously so as to tempt investors," he commented. South Africa's September issuance was a case in point.

Islamic Finance has a Huge Potential in North America

Islamic finance, banking, and takaful has a large potential in the US and Canada despite several setbacks and various obstacles and hurdles. In terms of the United States, a 100% truly Shariáh compliant takaful company may not be possible at this time in the USA as many states have limited investment of collected premiums to non-Shariáh compliant investment grade rated bonds. However, the US has seen two major sukuk issuances and there is a large potential for further sukuk. In terms of Canada, there have been no sukuk issuances and there are no Islamic banks. The only positive ruling for Islamic finance in Canada thus far has been the permission of Islamic mortgages under Canadian law. Aside from constitutional hurdles and the lack of regulations and laws, which permit Islamic banking in North America, many people have a fear of Islam and the words Shariáh and Islamic.

Charges laid in UM FINANCIAL Bankruptcy Investigation

The RCMP's GTA Financial Crime Unit in collaboration with the Ontario Region Special Investigation Unit of the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB), have charged two Toronto area men with offences under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) and the Criminal Code (CC). Omar Farooq KALAIR, age 38, of Toronto and Yusuf PANCHBHAYA, age 55, of Mississauga have been charged individually and jointly with several offences, like fraud and theft among others. The charges are in relation to events surrounding the November 2011 bankruptcies of UM CAPITAL INC. and UM FINANCIAL INC. of Toronto. The allegations relate to the misappropriation of approximately $ 4.3 million in mortgage payments, the purchase & disappearance of 32kgs of gold bars, and the abuse of the bankruptcy process.

Iran to assemble group for arresting ex-head of Bank Melli Iran

A special group of police officers will be assembled and sent to Canada for searching and arresting the former head of Bank Melli Iran, Mahmoud Reza Khavari. Since Canadian officials haven't found Khavari yet, Iranian police are asking for one week in order to search for him in Canada. The fraud case originally started in 2007 and involved the use of fraudulent documents to obtain credit for an investment company. Khavari, as the head of Bank Melli Iran, was reportedly involved in the fraud case. However, Khavari escaped to Canada. Iran requested Interpol to announce an international search for him. In June of 2012, Fars news agency reported that Interpol placed Khavari on its Red Notice Wanted list.

Dubai Exports promotes Dubai's expertise in Islamic economy to Canadian firms in Vancouver and Toronto

Dubai Exports , the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), recently showcased the emirate's expertise and resources in Islamic economic services to the business community in Toronto and Vancouver across a series of seminars. The seminars, jointly organised by Dubai Exports and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP focussed on encouraging linkages between Islamic financial and advisory firms in Dubai and their counterparts in Canada. Participants in the seminar also discussed the changes required in Canada's taxation and regulatory system regarding Islamic financial products. Opportunities are especially seen in the connection of the sophisticated financial and business communities in Dubai with leading edge Canadian technology companies and entrepreneurs in such areas as clean tech, life sciences, advanced materials and information technology, which are all shari'a compliant.

Muslim Immigration Fueling “Islamic Banking” in Canada

The majority of Muslim-Canadians strive to lead productive lives and contribute positively to their country. The rising profile of the “Islamic banking” industry is one of these ways. However, Islamic financial instruments are often very similar to interest-based lending, leading some to criticize it as dishonestly advertised for profit, or to promote Islam. The sector’s supporters say it provides a means by which people can bank in accordance with their values by avoiding lending at very high interest rates or providing funding to activities they are religiously and/or ethically opposed to. Canada’s Islamic banking sector is still relatively small compared to that of other Western countries, but it is likely it will continue to see growth in the coming years given the rising population of Canadian Muslims, which now number nearly one million.

Sun Life Expands ASEAN Footprint

The Canadian life insurer InSun Life Financial c. (SLF) has forged an alliance with Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah) to jointly acquire 98% of CIMB Aviva Assurance Berhad, and CIMB Aviva Takaful Berhad. The remaining 2%will be retained by CIMB Group. The bancassurance agreement will cover a span of 20 years and will cost C$586 million. Through this transaction, SLF will be able to expand its international operations in Asia.

UM Financial bankruptcy comes to a close

Civil proceedings against former UM Financial CEO Omar Kalair and his associates have come to a close since prospects for recovery of expropriated money are limited even in case of a favorable judgment. However, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy are still investigating the events which may lead to criminal charges against Kalair and others.

European Islamic Investment Bank Plc : Non-Executive Director Appointment

Mr. John Robertson Wright was appointed Non-Executive Director of EIIB by the Board of EIIB.
Mr. Wright is a career Banker with important experience in UK and international markets including assignments in India, Sri Lanka, West Africa, Canada, Hong Kong and the United States. Before this appointment he was Chief Executive of Oman International Bank for 7 years, Chief Executive of the Northern and National Irish Banks in Ireland for 5 years, Chief Executive of the Gulf Bank in Kuwait and finally Chief Executive of Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banks prior to retirement.

Syndicate content