Financial Review

For $83,000, Harvard teaches rich kids how to do good (and make money)

In collaboration with the World Economic Forum, Harvard University and the University of Zurich have launched a course called "Impact Investing for the Next Generation". In this context, that generation means the heirs to some of capitalism's greatest fortunes. Participants had to pass an interview before paying up to $US12,000 ($17,240) for a week of classes in the US and Switzerland, not including airfares and board.

Islamic bonds find favour in Australia

Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is growing in Asia, but also interested in Australia. Its chief executive Mike Wilkins recommended Australia pull down tax barriers in order to encourage Islamic finance. The federal government is yet to respond to a subsequent Board of Taxation review. Indonesia is also a target market for IAG. In order to fund its takaful liabilities, IAG would need to invest the cash flows received from policyholders into sharia-compliant products such as sukuk. At present however, because sukuk is based on several transfers of assets into and out of an SPV, the cost of issuance os well above a conventional bond.

Solar guys shine light on Islamic debt structures

The marketing campaign of solar panel and heating installer The Solar Guys' first sukuk has been going on for a while. The Islamic bond, due in the first half of 2013, serves to fund a 250MW solar power plant in Indonesia. The Solar Guys and Mitabu have formed a joint venture called SGI-Mitabu. The joint venture aims to raise $500 million to build and finance the power plant.

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