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Bill offers little support for business - CPA

The recent Finance Bill in Ireland closed a tax loophole used by some multinationals to maximise profit, introduced new measures to increase Ireland’s appeal as an investment destination, and contained measures to make Ireland more attractive as a hub for hedge funds and for Islamic finance. Still it was criticised on other grounds by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA).

Changes to attract Islamic investment 'a first step'

PROPOSED TAX changes designed to attract business from the Islamic world are likely to be a first step according to Department of Finance officials. The Finance Bill proposes to introduce new measures designed to accommodate transactions that comply with Sharia.

Nazir: Appoint minister to promote Asean

Asean member countries must have a minister to promote and champion the grouping’s causes within each country as the region moves towards integration by 2015, CIMB group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Tun Razak said

Investor Numbers and Confidence Up as MIPIM Approaches

Some 2,300 international investors, a 12% increase on the same period 2009, have already signed up for the 21st edition of MIPIM (Cannes from March 16-19), as executives report improved confidence in the real estate market and economic recovery opens the door to new investment opportunities. Other major investment topics on the conference agenda include the presentation by Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (Saudi Arabia), who will talk about Islamic finance.

AAOIFI Standards to be translated into Russian

The Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) is co-operating with the Mufties Council of Russia to translate AAOIFI's international Islamic finance standards into Russian language. The translated standards are expected to help regulatory authorities and financial institutions in developing Islamic finance in jurisdictions that use Russian language as their official language.

Growing interest in Bahrain banking sector

Efforts to make Bahrain and its economy more business friendly has attracted growing interest from the Gulf and beyond, Rasheed Al-Maraj, the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), told CNBC Europe’s “Closing Bell” programme in an interview from the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Kazakhstan To Host Conference On Development Of Islamic Finance

The Kazakh city of Almaty will host an international conference on development of Islamic finance in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Azerbaijan's news agency AzerTac reported Friday.

India summit spotlight on Islamic finance

Khaleeji Commercial Bank head of treasury and capital markets Hussam Saif was a key speaker at the Leaders Summit Conference held in India.

Private equity boom seen for Islamic finance

Private equity will be a key growth engine for the Islamic finance industry, but fund managers need to better understand Sharia concepts before a market can develop, a top banker told Reuters on Wednesday. Like most parts of the world, the private equity market in the Middle East came to a standstill in 2009 as liquidity conditions and deal opportunities dried up.

London sharia bank targets well-off Gulf clients: BLME CEO

Sharia-compliant Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME) is targeting the thousands of rich Gulf residents who spend part of the year in London, to boost its private banking arm, its head told Reuters. The Bank will offer investors access to leased assets such as equipment, trucks, railway carriages and aeroplanes. The Bank's customers will invest in short-term revolving finance facilities, which allow a borrower to draw down and repay amounts for short periods throughout the life of the facility.

Islamic derivatives standard to launch soon

The launch of the first template for an over-the-counter Islamic derivative contract is "imminent" and will encourage more companies to hedge their risks, an executive at a bank involved in its creation told Reuters on Tuesday. The contract, which is expected to pave the way for quicker and cheaper Islamic risk management and more frequent cross-currency transactions, was initially due to be launched a year ago.

RP to miss Islamic finance boom in Asia this year

Islamic finance growth will stay strong this year, as Southeast Asia drives demand for financial products that comply with Islamic or Sharia law, debt watcher Standard & Poor's said.

But the Philippines is unlikely to benefit from this since Islamic banking remains an uncharted territory here, an official of the country's lone Islamic bank said on Monday.

Islamic finance education gains momentum in UK

The launch of Europe’s first dedicated Islamic Finance and business Center at a mainstream British university, Aston Business School, which is part of Aston University in Birmingham, underlines the growing Islamic finance education industry in and out of the UK.

The El Shaarani Islamic Finance and Business Center, named after its benefactor El Shaarani, CEO of Surgi-Tech Group in Dubai, aims to establish Birmingham as the center for Islamic finance in the UK.

The global growth of Islamic finance and the UK banks’ long involvement in the sector since the early 1980s, has encouraged professional bodies, academic institutions and some private entities to set up Islamic finance courses ranging from certificates, diplomas, undergraduate, masters and post-graduate degrees in Islamic finance and economics.

Islamic finance gaining major support in Britain

“Islamic finance is, and will continue to be, an important part of the government’s overall commitment to ensuring a competitive financial services sector in the UK,” reiterated Sarah McCarthy-Fry MP, exchequer secretary to Treasury, in London at a seminar entitled “New Year — New Opportunities in Islamic Finance,” hosted by the international law firm, Norton Rose, in London recently.

This statement of intent coincides with two notable developments relevant to the European Islamic finance sector in the last two weeks or so. Firstly, the UK Treasury and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) have been working to remove barriers and uncertainty in the regulation of alternative finance investment bonds (sukuk).

Following consultation with the industry, the statutory instrument, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 Order 2010, was sent to the House of Commons in mid-January, and the Brown government is confident that the new regulations will come into effect by the end of February. These measures, stressed McCarthy-Fry, will reduce compliance and legal costs for these instruments, and facilitate the issuance of corporate sukuk in the UK.

Total provisions booked by GCC banks since start of crisis reached $11.7b

In a presentation for the performance of the GCC banking sector, KIPCO Asset Management Company (KAMCO) Research Department presents a detailed analysis for the financial statements for 58 banks with the purpose of shedding the light on the repercussions of the crisis on the financial position of the banking sector in the GCC Region which represents a key sector for any country's economy.

Moreover, total provisions booked by the GCC banking sector since the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, have reached USD 11.7 billion of which USD 4.72 billion or 40% booked by Kuwaiti banks. It is worth noting that the provisions of Gulf Bank reached USD 1.76 billion, representing 37% of the total provisions booked by Kuwaiti banks since the start of the financial crisis in Sep-08.

Malaysia Needs Vibrant Stock Market For Islamic Finance Growth

Malaysia needs to develop a vibrant stock market to attract asset flow and support the growth of Islamic finance, first holder of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) chair of Islamic finance, Dr Abbas Mirakhor, said Friday.

Dawood Islamic Bank opens branches

Dawood Islamic Bank, Pakistan’s only double AA rated bank has completed its hat trick by inaugurating three more branches in Lahore.

Source: 

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\01\27\story_27-1-2010_pg5_3

Qatar's Masraf al Rayan sees Q4 profits up 30%

Masraf al Rayan, Qatar's fourth largest bank by market value, reported a fourth quarter profit of $76.96 million, an increase of 30 percent over the same period in 2008, according to Reuters calculations.

Bahrain bourse, Bursa Malaysia sign Islamic finance MoU

The Bahrain Financial Exchange and Bursa Malaysia signed an agreement to study a common platform on which Islamic finance products such as commodity murabahas can be traded. Malaysia's stock exchange launched a platform last year on which murabaha, an Islamic money market instrument, can be traded using palm oil as the underlying commodity.

Total provisions booked by GCC banks since start of crisis reached $11.7b

KIPCO Asset Management Company (KAMCO) Research Department had carried out a presentation of the performance of GCC banking sector by analysing the financial statements for 58 banks with the purpose of shedding the light on the repercussions of the crisis on the financial position of the banking sector in the GCC Region which represents a key sector for any country's economy and the analysis revealed as follows:
During 2008, GCC banks have witnessed record levels of provision for doubtful loans where together recorded total provisions of USD 7.1 billion. Provisions booked during FY 2008 represent a notable 243% increase from those booked during 2007 which recorded USD 2.1 billion, while provisions that had been booked during 2006 recorded USD 1.44 billion

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