Environment, Social, Governance

empty Description of term "Environment, Social, Governance"
Gassner's picture

UNICEF: 100,000 Iraqi Children in Extreme Danger in Western Mosul

There is no end of bad news these days. After Yemen and Syria, there around 100'000 children alone being trapped in Mosul. The humanitarian aid for those human tragedies is largely underfunded.

On 10th June I join the Crans-Montana Cycling for Children event. Please donate for all what needs to be done urgently:

https://www.unicef.ch/en/cycling-for-children/action/michael-gassner

Here is the latest report on Mossul:

"Erbil – Civilians living under siege in the remaining ISIS-held neighborhoods of Iraq’s Mosul are under extreme danger, warned the United Nations children’s agency on Monday.

About 100,000 children are trapped in extremely dangerous conditions, warned the UN Children Fund as fierce battles between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants raged on in an attempt to liberate the eastern city."

UNHCR wins nod to use Islamic alms to aid Middle East #refugees

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has begun a scheme that enables Muslims make donations from the alms they typically pay state bodies for the benefit of the poor. According to experts, the amount of zakat money distributed each year in Muslim countries ranges from $20 billion to $30 billion. UNHCR has projected it will need a total of $8 billion for life-saving assistance to millions of Syrians inside their homeland and in neighboring countries. UNHCR has also called for $2.1 billion to provide food and medicine for Yemen, where 12 million people are at risk of famine and cholera brought on by two years of civil war. The new alms project plans to help some 30,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugee families in Jordan, with around $180 in monthly cash support for each family.

Arabia CSR Network successfully conducts Middle East's first ever training on global standards for #sustainability reporting

The Arabia CSR Network (ACSRN) conducted the Middle East's first round of training for Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards for Sustainability Reporting. The course covered GRI Standards, including an overview of how to implement these standards. According to Habiba Al Marashi, CEO of ACSRN, the move demonstrates the increasing importance of sustainability reporting. The training focused on the frameworks of the standards, how to apply these in actual reporting and the process of putting together a GRI Standards compliant report. The training will allow the participants to use the right methodology for putting together their sustainability reports. Participants received a certificate each, presented by GRI for successful completion of the course.

#Saudi Arabia's Sedco Capital launches #green #investment strategy

Saudi Arabia's Sedco Capital has launched an investment strategy combining environment-conscious and sharia-compliant principles. The move could help develop green investing in the Middle East and make Islamic finance appeal to a wider client base. Green finance is increasingly important for Islamic firms seeking to differentiate themselves from peers. Sedco said its new strategy, dubbed Prudent Ethical Investing, would focus on due diligence and transparency around investment structures, while integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. The firm launched two ESG funds in 2012 and has published research which showed how a combined investment approach
can outperform conventional funds. According to its research, such a strategy can lead to investments with lower financial leverage and better cash conversion qualities, adding a prudential element to those portfolios.

US$50 million to Support Health Services to Poor Jordanians and Syrian #Refugees [EN/AR]

The World Bank Group has committed US$50 million to support the Government of Jordan in maintaining primary and secondary health services to poor uninsured Jordanians and Syrian refugees. The assistance approved today is part of a larger US$150 million project, which is financed by the Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank. The Jordan Emergency Health Project will help the Ministry of Health continue to provide critical health care to target populations. According to Aaka Pande, World Bank Senior Health Economist, the refugee influx has been associated with a reemergence of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and measles. Moreover, the influx has led to increased waiting times and a shortage of health workers. In addition to its short-term objectives, the project aims to prepare a roadmap of ways to improve the efficiency of the health system in the medium to long term.

Financial sustainability imperative to supporting Awqafs

Waqf or the plural, Awqaf, provides funding towards initiatives that promote social and community welfare. Due to various reasons, Waqf had gradually become less popular, but it has now re-emerged as a beneficial force of good within society. In the UAE, a General Waqf Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments has been set up by government to coordinate Waqf institutions. The future growth of Awqafs require them to be managed in a sustainable way, that is to run them as modern financial institutions. A lot of Awqaf organisations in the UAE invest in properties and some have surplus liquidity. As a result, today Awqafs are also tapping the capital markets and there are various initiatives to issue Sukuks backed by Waqf land for mosques, schools and orphanages.

#CALL FOR #PAPER: TURKISH JOURNAL OF #ISLAMIC #ECONOMICS (TUJISE)

The Research Center for Islamic Economics (IKAM) continues to contribute in Islamic economics. Turkish Journal of Islamic Economics (TUJISE) started to be published by IKAM by 2016. It is is a peer-reviewed biannually published international journal aiming to promote new researches and perspectives in the field.
The mission of TUJISE is to present a forum in which scholars from around the globe discuss the possibility of development of new and alternative perspectives in the Islamic economics. We wish to have three kinds of contributions from researchers. We prioritize to publish distinguished and original empirical and theoretical research papers. We also publish book reviews that address current original studies. In review article and commentary section essays addressing any topic from different approaches with special references to the related literature will take part.

We call all researchers to contribute TUJISE. All the papers are evaluated in a double-blind review process and published promptly.

Questions about submissions may be directed to editor-in-chief, at info@ikam.org.tr

For further information please visit the website at www.tujise.org

UNICEF: 29 Million Children Live in #Poverty in the Middle East

A UNICEF study covering 11 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) states that at least 29 million children live in poverty, one in four children in the region. The analysis said that children were deprived of the minimum requirements in two or more of the most basic life necessities. These include basic education, decent housing, nutritious food, quality healthcare, safe water, sanitation and access to information. It added that lack of education was one of the key factors of inequality and poverty for children. The study showed that almost half of all children were not fully immunized or were born to mothers who did not get birth assistance. UNICEF also revealed that one in five children were forced to walk more than 30 minutes to fetch water, adding that more than one third of children live in homes with no tap water.

How do we build an #alternativeeconomy from the ruins of the financial crisis?

The book "Another Economy is Possible" examines new ways of organising work and life, from co-operatives, barter networks, and ethical banking to community currencies, shared time banks and solidarity network. Co-operatives such as The Cooperativa Integral Catalana (CIC) in Barcelona are used as examples of how this can work. With over 600 members and 2,000 participants, CIC acts as an umbrella structure for independent producers and consumers of organic food. According to environmental scientist Giorgios Kallis, CIC has its own conceptual mode of the economy, consisting of five co-centric cycles, with reciprocity and gift exchange at the core. This conceptual model is materialised into an alternative economy.

Discussion - Islamic Finance: what it means & the opportunities for the UK post-Brexit

Wednsday 5th April 2017: 18:00 – 20:30. Discussion starts promptly at 18.30

PwC, 1 Embankment Place, London WC2N 6RH, United Kingdom.

The Committee of IoD City of London in partnership with The British Malaysian Society invites IoD members
and guests to a discussion on ‘Islamic Finance: what it means & the opportunities for the UK post- Brexit.

The Islamic Finance Industry is predicted to reach $2.7 trillion in 2017. Islamic Banking contributes
80% to a total of $2.3 trillion. Other components of Islamic Finance include Sukuk Bonds (14%), Asset
Management (3%), Insurance (2%) and Micro finance (1%). Source for all figures – Centre of Islamic
Banking and Economics.

Our speakers are:
• Dato’ Faiz Azmi – Chairman, PwC Malaysia and Global lead
• on Islamic Finance for PwC
• Andrew Gosnay, Head of Banking and Finance,
Laytons Solicitors LLP
• Iqbal Asaria CBE , Islamic Finance expert and
Special Advisor to the Muslim Council of Britain
on business and economics affairs

After the panel presentations there will be opportunities for Q & A and discussion, followed by a drinks reception.

The evening is kindly hosted by PwC London. Dress code is business wear.

#Launchgood raises funds for the victims of the #londonattack

Please consider participating in the fundraising campaign for the victims of the #londonattack: https://www.launchgood.com/project/muslims_united_for_london#/

And also share and distribute further the letter to baghdadi http://www.lettertobaghdadi.com/ - the fatwa concerning the movement calling itself "ISIS".

"The attack on Westminster

At around 2:40 pm on the 22nd of March, an attacker drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a police officer within the grounds of the Houses of Parliament. At least 4 people have been killed, including officer PC Keith Palmer, and about 40 were wounded (BBC News). The alleged attacker, apparently a British citizen, has been shot and killed by police. A full investigation has been launched.

Is #disruption by #FinTech a social good?

Support Disruption for Good (SDG) #Challenge will showcase breakthrough models that also have material social impact

Zurich, Switzerland, February 22, 2017 – The RFI Foundation, in partnership with the Swiss Finance + Technology Association, Finocracy and the Responsible Finance & Investment (RFI) Summit partners, launched the Support Disruption for Good (SDG) Challenge to find the most promising ethical, responsible or Islamic FinTech innovation and connect them to the leading institutions in the responsible finance industry.

The SDG Challenge opens today and will remain open until March 17. All applicants will be judged against a transparent set of criteria by an independent judging panel drawn from across the responsible finance and FinTech industry. During the review process judges will evaluate the ability of each entrant to effectively scale, contribute to financial inclusion, contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals while being financially sustainable.

London - Public Lecture: FinTech in Islamic finance, 22 Feb 2017, Wednesday, 6.30-8.00 pm

Venue: University of East London, Main Lecture Theathre, University Square Stratford.
Speaker: Professor Volker Nienhaus

FinTech is disruptive. Existing regulations do not fit well with new products. “Islamic” FinTech adds the requirement of Shariah compliance to the legal complexity of financial innovations. Islamic jurists and Shariah standard setters have not yet systematically dealt with issues such as “cryptocurrencies,” risk mitigation in crowdfunding, smart contracts, or the status of decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs). Is there a need for “Shariah sandboxes” to reduce Shariah non-compliance risks for innovators?

Dr. Volker Nienhaus was a Professor of Economics at the University of Bochum and President of the University of Marburg. Currently, he is Adjunct Professor at the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) in Malaysia, consultant to the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and a member of the International Advisory Panel of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).

Gassner's picture

Update on the topic of Interest deductibility

Dear Reader,

Two obstacles blocking the substance of Islamic finance and destabilsing the economy, one is the risk weighting of Basle regulation discouraging banks from giving equity finance, the other the interest deductibility as cost factor discouraging corporates from taking equity finance.

At least the latter may slowly be resolved, reports FT Alphaville:

"US tax reform now contemplates ending the tax “subsidy” for interest. Ultimately, we concluded that the favoured tax treatment for debt and interest was unjustified, a position that inspired the primary private equity lobbying group to issue a 2,422 word press release assailing the FT piece."

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2017/02/06/2183520/what-lbo-modeling-suggest...

It is worth reading completely; and I still wonder why Muslim majority countries are so slow to show any action to this adverse piece of damaging taxation.

Best regards,

Michael Gassner
www.islamicfinance.de

#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.

#Governance structures of Islamic finance needs fine tuning

According to rating agency Standard & Poor’s, due to the fast growth of the Islamic finance industry a robust Sharia governance structure is very important. While the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) have already made strides in this area, S&P believes the current governance framework shows room for improvement. S&P's Global Head of Islamic Finance Mohammad Damak said the industry would benefit from increased disclosure, as well as clear standardised Sharia principles and interpretation. Analysts say as Islamic finance industry expands, enhanced Sharia governance framework could address risks related to conflicts of interest. Only a handful of Islamic banks disclose their profit and loss sharing formulas, profit equalisation reserves, or investment risk reserves. Actions requested by internal auditors are typically not disclosed to the public. So far only the authorities in Oman and Pakistan have asked Islamic banks to submit themselves to an external Sharia audit.

First MENA Green Finance option from Emirates Islamic

Dubai Green Economy Partnership (Dubai GEP) has signed an agreement with Emirates Islamic to provide easy financing options for consumers in Dubai to purchase green products on the Green Deal website. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the World Green Economy Summit (WGES) recently. According to Faisal Aqil, Deputy CEO at Emirates Islamic, the bank will offer flexible financing schemes at competitive rates. He expects that a convenient financing option will be a huge incentive for the higher uptake of products from the Green Deal platform. The Green Deal site features products that can improve sustainability in day to day life, which include technologies for Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, Energy Auditing, Water Efficiency and Thermal Control.

Principles for Responsible Investment launches #ESG integration guide

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) announced the launch of the publication Investment Policy: Process & Practice: Asset Owner’s Guide to Complete ESG Incorporation. The new guide is aimed to help asset owners—public and corporate pension funds, superannuation funds, insurance companies, endowments, foundations, family wealth offices—in revising their investment policy and incorporate ESG considerations. The publication explains why individual asset owners should take action, how asset owners can give real substance to their commitments and presents examples from asset owners who achieved value through responsible investing. According to senior manager Don Gerritsen, this guide answers the key questions about how asset owners can integrate ESG into the investment policy.

DWE supports female leaders, strengthens role in corporate #governance

Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) in collaboration with the Institute for Corporate Governance recently held the second session of its training programme entitled "The Principles of Corporate Governance in Government Entities". The session targeted second and third level female leaders to promote the role of Emirati women and support their leadership. Shamsa Saleh, CEO of Dubai Women Establishment stressed the important role of the training in highlighting good corporate governance practices. The training session was attended by representatives of various sectors and featured presentations about a range of governance elements. The session supports the UAE Cabinet's decision to make the representation of women on boards of directors compulsory.

Syndicate content