Mehmet Asutay

Islamic #cooperatives can help alleviate poverty

According to the Central Statistics Agency, Indonesia’s poverty rate is at 10.70% as of the second half of 2016. The rapid growth of Islamic finance presents an opportunity to address the social and economic gap. However, behind the success of Islamic finance is the reality that this development is diverting from the fundamental goal of Islamic law. Mehmet Asutay, a professor in Islamic finance at Durham University, argues that the development of Islamic financial institutions have neglected Islamic social goals. The Baitul Maal wat Tamwil (BMT) can be one solution in empowering the poor. As a microfinance institution, the BMT may provide better outreach as it is more accessible to the poorest people. The small amount of credit may encourage them to engage in financing activity. BMT lacks formalization and supervision, the government is expected to strengthen Islamic microfinance by linking BMT to robust capital injectors.

Brexit minimally impacts Islamic investments in UK – economic expert

According to leading expert on Islamic Finance, Mehmet Asutay, Brexit may have some effect on real estate investments in the UK but London will continue to remain the centre for Islamic investments. Asutay noted that if Islamic finance continues to invest in real estate in the UK, they might find another hub in Europe rather than the UK. He said that having a large amount of liquidity, the Gulf region has contributed to expansion of Islamic financing and he called for expansion of Islamic financing in other developing countries. Professor Asutay said that in Europe, the UK and Luxembourg have been developing strategies to become important centres for Islamic finance. But the UK is also aiming to become an important centre for teaching and learning Islamic Economics and Finance.

10th Durham Islamic Finance Summer School - 24-28th August 2015

Why an Islamic Finance training programme?

The Islamic banking and finance (IBF) sector has experienced substantial and unprecedented growth in recent years: growing at a rate of 10-15% per year. Today, more than 500 IBF institutions are operating worldwide, which are claimed to manage assets worth no less than $1.2 trillion, while the assets held in IBF institutions were only less than $10 billion in 1985. In Malaysia the IBF institutions are planned to capture the 25% of the market share, in terms of assets owned, by 2012, while it is expected that Islamic finance will be the mainstream finance in the Gulf region in the next decade.

Such immense growth has brought Islamic finance to the attention of the international banking and finance community, prompting the major banks to set up Islamic financial windows to take advantage of demand for Shari'ah compliant finance.

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