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BoA ML Report on GUlf Countries: GCC 2020: Time to shift gears

Bank of Amercia/Merrill Lynch released a report about GCC 2020 looking at the core trends of modernising infrastructure, growth and decoupling from oil and that the region should look towards higher value added sectors. "First, and most immediately, we believe heavy investment in petrochemicals will now begin to see improving returns due to their global competitive advantage. Second, we believe a shift will require an ongoing need to invest in regional infrastructure. Third, we see a social and economic need for a growing middle class, supporting the growth of consumer sectors. Our message: own Saudi petchems, own GCC builders and building materials, own Saudi and UAE consumer plays, own Saudi banks."

IIFM and ISDA Launch Mubadalatul Arbaah (MA) Profit Rate Swap (PRS) Product Standard

The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) are pleased to announce the launch of the ISDA/IIFM Mubadalatul Arbaah (Profit Rate Swap) product standard to be used for Islamic hedging purposes.

The Mubadalatul Arbaah (MA) standard follows on from the “ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut (Hedging) Master Agreement” and provides the industry with a framework for Islamic risk mitigation. The launch of the Tahawwut Master Agreement as the template for Shari’ah-compliant risk management was officially announced at a press conference hosted by Central Bank of Bahrain in March 2010.

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Analysis of the JAK interest free loan model

Dear Readers,

aside from Islamic banks there is another model in practice for more than 20 years avoiding the topic of interest. I usually cite it in my seminars to show that even interest free loans can exist along a banking model. Years ago, an in depht analysis was published online:

http://anielski.com/wp-content/documents/The%20JAK%20Bank%20Report.pdf

In the meantime interested groups can seek assistance to set it up by:

http://www.cajasweden.se/downloads/caja_folder_e-version.pdf

And also JAK offers courses and backgrounds for international interested groups from abroad in their first newsletter:

http://jak.aventus.nu/download/JAK_Int/JAK_International_Newsletter_1.pdf

Addendum: A master thesis about JAK Medlemsbank can be downloaded here:

http://www.jak.se/sites/default/files/folkbildning/dokument/MARK_BURTON_...

Enjoy reading and take it as a source of inspiration!

Best regards,

Michael Saleh Gassner

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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...

K&L Gates Seminar: Islamic Finance: Recent Issues and Career Opportunities

K&L Gates Seminar
Islamic Finance: Recent Issues and Career Opportunities
February 20, 2012
The Arab Spring of 2011, the Goldman Sachs $2bn Islamic bond, the Islamic Interbank Benchmark Rate - just three recent topics that have reignited interest in Islamic Finance.

This programme addressed recent issues in Islamic Finance and potential career opportunities in the industry.

Specific topics covered included:

What happens when Islamic Finance transactions go wrong? The use of arbitration to resolve disputes.
The impact of the Arab Spring of 2011 on the growth of Islamic Finance.
The convergence of Islamic, Christian, Jewish and Socially Responsible Investment principles.
The role of private equity and leasing in Islamic investing.
The Islamic Interbank Benchmark Rate.
Career opportunities in Islamic Finance.
The global impact of Islamic Finance in Europe, the Middle East and the US.
Speakers included:

Dr Humayon Dar - Chairman, President & CEO - Edbiz Consulting
Jonathan Lawrence - Islamic Finance Partner - K&L Gates, London
Mohammed Amin - Islamic Finance Consultant - Conservative Muslim Forum
Kathleen Bradley - Counsel - K&L Gates, Doha

Report for free download: Sarasin releases Islamic Wealth Management Report 2012

In its 2012 Islamic Wealth Management Report illustrated by masterpieces of Islamic calligraphy, by the Chinese Muslim master Hajji Noordeen, deals with the theme “The path to corporate transformation – converting a company to Islam”.

Bank Sarasin reviews the complexities of converting a business to Islam, a topic which is rarely discussed or written about. Conversion is complicated by the need to address every aspect of a business, the lack of broadly accepted standards and regulations, and differences in the Muslim world itself. The Report, released today, is the Bank’s third on Islamic Wealth Management.

Converting a business to Islam can increase the value of a company by 18-25% due to the scarcity of genuine Islamic investments. But the conversion process is arduous, extending from the design to distribution and beyond, to how the company spends its profits. As Sarasin notes, the market potential is massive, with the global Muslim population expected to increase by 26% to 2030, to 2.2 billion, rivalling China and India in terms of market size.

Islamic Banking and Finance in North Africa

In its new publication, Islamic Banking and Finance in North Africa, the African Development Bank assesses the state of Islamic banking in the region and explains why its use has been limited. The report considers the future potential of Islamic finance, including its possible alignment with North Africa’s development goals, particularly its ability to increase the diversification of funding sources.

The report takes into consideration the effect of Islamic banking’s focus on the equitable distribution of risk and returns between suppliers and users of funds. Islamic Banking and Finance in North Africa goes further by exploring whether Islamic-style finance contracts could contribute to the development objectives of North African countries.

full report for free download: http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operati...

Amiri Shari’ah Stock Screening ‘S3’ Blackberry App released

Amiri S3 is Amiri Capital’s Shari'ah Screening System. The company says it is the first such system to have been issued a Fatwa on its own right. Amiri S3 is now downloadable as an application on to Blackberry phones. The application is an easy-to-use tool that allows Islamic investors worldwide to ascertain whether a particular stock can be invested in from a list of over 40,000 global stocks.

Take Islamic finance to greater heights

LOCAL financial institutions have been urged to widen their product and services offerings in Islamic finance to command greater premiums at home and abroad.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the local institutions have a duty to champion the nation's cause to take the Islamic finance industry to its highest possible level.
He also urged the domestic players to capitalise on the country's established brand name in the field of Islamic finance.
He noted that the capabilities of institutions such as Tabung Haji - one of the world's first Islamic fund management institutions - must be expanded by partnering with foreign brand names, if need be.

Islamic Venture Capital Conference To Update Investors On Market Trends

The two-day Third Islamic Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference beginning Tuesday would act as a platform for venture capitalists and private equity investors to keep them updated with global market trends and Islamic alternative investments in the region.
This year's conference would focus on ways to develop a sustainable Islamic venture capital and private equity industry as well as analyse the vast opportunities ahead.
The conference will be opened by Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

[German] - Steuerliche Wuerdigung islamischer Vertragsmodelle - Neuerscheinung im Bankverlag

Steuerliche Würdigung im nationalen und internationalen Kontext

Der Markt Islamic Finance wächst rasant und umfasst bereits heute ein erhebliches Anlagevolumen. Demgegenüber besteht ein großer Kapitalbedarf in der europäischen, speziell auch in der deutschen Realwirtschaft ebenso wie ein Bedarf an Investoren.

Bei der Umsetzung von Islamic-Finance-Vertragsmodellen kann die Besteuerung im Einzelfall eine ausschlaggebende Rolle spielen. Daher erläutert die Autorin in diesem Buch für ausgewählte schariakonforme Finanzierungs- und Anlageformen zunächst die Scharia-Rahmenbedingungen der jeweiligen Vertragsmodelle aus deutscher rechtlicher, ertragsteuerlicher und verkehrsteuerlicher Sicht. Die steuerlichen Fragestellungen werden anhand von Beispielen im grenzüberschreitenden Corporate Bereich im Schnittpunkt von deutschem internationalem Steuerrecht und ausländischem Steuerrecht der weiteren beteiligen Staaten verdeutlicht.

Inhalt

* Einleitung
* Grundzüge von Islamic-Finance-Vertragsmodellen
- eigenkapitalbasierte („Musharaka“ und „Mudaraba“),
- fremdkapitalbasierte („Murabaha“ und „Tawarruq“) sowie

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Islamic Finance Group on ResearchGATE, the largest social network for scientists!

ResearchGATE is the largest social network for academic research globally. Dedicated social profiles of researchers allow to enter academic careers, published articles in journals and books, announce fields of research for international exchange just to name a few of the features.

IslamicFinance.de took another effort to create a dedicated group and invite researchers globally to use this platform and foster research in Islamic finance. The last academic initiative taken was to sponsor and start a full fledged platform for the Islamic Finance WIKI, the online encyclopedia.

Researchers are invited to participate in these initiatives.

Please visit:
http://www.researchgate.net/group/Islamic_Finance/

Dubai's retail debt challenge

Debt management agency ISDM calculated the average debt load of its customers is AED500,000.

The agency has more than 3,000 clients on its books and about 70 percent of its customers are defaulting on consumer rather than business loans. About 5 % of the clients are ex-UAE residents who have skipped the country rather than face jail for their debts. Banks can recover 80 cents on the dollar through consolidation. Through a debt collection agency, may receive 40 cents on the dollar according to the firm's director Yohannes Mazeingi.

Dubai-based ISDM advises clients in debt distress to consolidate their loans and negotiate with the banks. It collects a two percent fee commission based on the overall value of the debt.

Under UAE law, bouncing a cheque is a criminal offence that can result in a jail sentence.

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