ICD cements plans to launch mortgage finance company

Earlier this week, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) was host to a meeting on a high level discussing the launch of a new national home finance company with committed shareholders. The brand name of the company will be Bidaya. In particular, the status of the new company's development and plans concerning the next steps towards the launch were discussed. According to Khaled Al-Aboodi - CEO of ICD - the Mortgage Law together with the recent release of draft regulations give the industry clarity and direction which was very necessary.

Attijari Al Islami launches new mortgage products

An improved version of Attijari Al Islami's Ijarah Home products has been introduced to the public. Thus, UAE nationals and residents are enabled to afford their dream home compliant to the principles of Shariah. The improved version contains some new features and aims to address the growing demand for Shariah-compliant financial instruments in the UAE. Transparent and competitive rates are offered in order to be able to guarantee great value to the clients of the Commercial Bank of Dubai.

New SAMA regulations to boost home mortgage

The long awaited regulations on real estate financing, leasing and supervision of financial companies are now eventually being issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is getting ready to open up its mortgage market. The public now has to review the draft regulations. Comments and observations are to be submitted within 30 days of its publication. The regulations can be found on SAMA's website. The executive vice president of Capitas Group International - Nasser Nubani - explains that the draft mortgage regulations are a clear indication of SAMA's careful approach and striving to defend against problems due to lax regulation standards.

Gassner's picture

Islamic finance title from German translated to Chinese

Dear Reader,

The German language book on Islamic finance by the Editor of and Dr Wackerbeck from Booz Consultants is now translated to Chinese.

Please find the biographical information below:

Authors: Michael Gassner / Philipp Wackerbeck
Title: Islamic Finance – Islam-gerechte Finanzanlagen und
ISBN number: 978-7-5139-0217-5
PUBLISHER: Beijing - Democracy and Construction Press
Pre-Publication Date: 2012.7

Full biographical details:


Book review about the German language original:

Best regards,

Michael Gassner

Islamic finance job openings October 2012 offers an overview about new job openings of October 2012 herewith - firms aiming to be included please send a job profile/hyperlink to - the full details of the advert has to be accessed by the hyperlink below the brief description:

Product Manager, Islamic Banking

Standard Chartered Bank - United Arab Emirates-SCB (United Arab Emirates)
Job Description
?Development of Islamic wealth products across CBMS, insurance and investment streams to create customer value proposition.
?Ensure successful implementation of the Islamic banking strategy across high value segment.
?Concentrated responsibility to work with the Priority/Wealth/Private/SME product/frontline teams and support functions to build on the current Islamic banking capabilities and to create seamless customer experience
?Act as a product specialist for RMs on client meetings to introduce and explain the Saadiq solutions to meet their needs
?Financial budgeting and business forecast. Evaluation of financial performance.

COVER STORY: Should you get an Islamic mortgage?

Since the enactment of the Islamic Banking Act in 1983 Malaysia has been operating with both conventional and Islamic banking systems. According to Islamic principles money lending and investing in businesses that are considered haram are prohibited. Islamic finance is all about accumulating all the available resources and providing financing based on pre-determined profits rather than dealing with interest.

More on:

Saudi mortgage law to boost takaful industry

According to the Saudi Arabian Mortgage Law which was adopted by the Council of Ministers earlier this month, insurance will be a prerequisite for mortgages. This means that without insurance, no No mortgage finance provider would finance a house. The new law is expected to affect positively or even to boost the Saudi insurance market and the mortgage takaful in particular.

Amlak debt slashed by Dh4 billion

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, has disclosed that the government cut off Dubai-based mortgage provider Amlak Finance’s debt by Dh4 billion.
The debt was reduced through delaying debt as well as through the sale of company's land and the restoration and recovery of other land owned by the company, as well as coming up with financial solutions with a number of third-party creditors.

Gassner's picture aims to raise USD 2'500 for quarterly running costs

Dear Reader, 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:

On the blog I gave some more thoughts about Islamic finance media for those interested:

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 ( or on 10th May in Frankfurt ( at the respective Islamic finance conference.

Wa at Taufiq min Allah, all the best,

Michael Saleh Gassner

Gassner's picture

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:

Gulf Issuers Turn to Sukuk as European Funding Tightens

Difficult funding in Europe is making Middle East issuers to tap the still-liquid Islamic finance markets for funds.
Dubai-based Emirates Islamic Bank issued a $500 million, five-year Islamic bond with a yield of 4.718%, while Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank sold a $500 million, five-year sukuk with a yield of 4.046%.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation stated it plans to launch a government-guaranteed sukuk to pay for a new terminal at Jeddah airport, and Dubai-based Islamic mortgage company Tamweel announced a five-year, $300 million sukuk.
Majid Al Futtaim recently started a $1 billion Islamic bond program, while Doha Bank, Bahrain's Al Baraka Banking Group, Emirates Telecommunications Co. of the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., among others, could all be looking to issue Islamic debt this year.

Islamic finance: paying for piety?

UM Financial came up for Canada’s 1.3 million Muslims with mortgages that don’t charge interest. But its failure last year has started a dangerous debate about whether Islamic banking should be banned, or whether it’s still a potentially lucrative industry in need of better regulation.
Mortgages with UM Financial were set up so that lender and borrower byed the house together. The homebuyer pays rent to the mortgage issuer, while gradually buying off the outstanding share of the property. After it is fully paid, ownership is transferred to the borrower.
Although UM’s troubles were many, for Islamic finance they probably won’t be the last word on a system that will remain in demand with a growing part of the population.

Gold Fingers

A man named Omar Kalair was told to rendezvous in the dead of the night in a deserted suburban parking lot and hand over a consignment of gold and silver bullion to achieve recognition on the debts of a secretive organization.
The bizarre payment of $2.1m in gold and silver made by Kalair to Joseph Adam, the finance manager of the newly formed firm Multicultural Consultancy Canada, was for Shari’ah compliance services the MCC supplied to the Canadian Islamic mortgage company.
Kalair and Mufti Yusuf Panchbhaya, chairman of this local Shari’ah board, were deposed by the receiver Grant Thornton to explain the transfer of gold and silver to Adam outside a suburban drug store in early October, three days before the court ordered UM Financial Inc into receivership. A month later, the gold had disappeared and Adam had flown Canada for Egypt. The receiver tries now to get permission from the court to enter Adam’s store, with assistance from the sheriff in order to recover the missing gold.

Islamic mortgage lender in Canada fails

Although UM Financial Inc went into receivership back in October, the consequences of the bankruptcy are beginning to be noticed only now.
Besides the fact that the case risk is giving a bad name to sharia-compliant finance in North America, it also poses a series of legal hurdles that could have as a result to mortgage holders the losing of their homes.
Since the use of interest is forbidden in Islam, sharia-compliant mortgages are organized so that lender and homebuyer share the costs of purchasing a home. Instead of paying interest, homeowners preffer to rent the property from the lender while gradually purchasing the outstanding share of their house.

Islamic Bank of Britain launches Sharia compliant B2L mortgage alternative

The launch of Sharia compliant buy-to-let purchase plan has entered Islamic Bank of Britain into the buy-to-let mortgage market.
The IBB’s buy-to-let purchase plan can be accessed by landlords of any faith searching for ethical and Sharia compliant finance with a deposit of only 25%.
In order to mark the launch IBB have also announced a promotional procuration fee of 0.5% gross, payable on referrals that drawdown prior to March 31 2012.

Mena mortgage market growth is set to surge

Experts oppinion is that the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) mortgage market is set for double digit growth. They added that it was time developers laid stress on affordable housing rather than those out of reach of most.
The event was held at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence and Spa, and was put together by Cityscape, under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), and in partnership with Sakana Holistic Housing Solutions and Naseej Properties.

Kingdom, Qatar set to lead growth of Islamic mortgage market

Key to the growth of the housing sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is the development of mortgage finance. Because of the demography of the region where some 65 per cent of the population is under 30 years old, demand for affordable housing is expected to raise significantly.
As many GCC countries depend mostly on expatriate population that consist of Muslims and non-Muslims their preference toward Islamic finance is mixed for several reasons. Until 2008, in the pre-crisis period, Islamic financial institutions were preferred to focus on real estate as an asset class and this drove to increased number of players that were offering a variety of Islamic mortgage products.

Shariah and house purchase in Malaysia - academic article

Despite the existence of Shariah advisory councils, Islamic banks and financial institutions in Malaysia may be failing to carry out their duties. An article in this month’s JSSH investigates transactions on purchasing houses specifically on transactions involving houses pending completion using the current practice of ‘sale by deferred payment’ also known as Bay’ Bithaman al-Ajil (BBA).

Islamic banking gained foothold in Malaysia, with the establishment of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad in 1983 and facilities have since expanded. Products include Wadiah - where the bank acts as the safe-keeper of deposits but may provide returns to the depositors as a gift; Murabahah, or partnership and equity financing; Ijarah – leasing; Musharakah – partnership and Bay’ Bithaman al-Ajil – sale by deferred payment. Nuarrual Hilal Md. Dahlan and Sharifah Zubaidah Syed Abdul Kader Aljunid looked at sale and purchase and loan agreement to see if they comply with the requirements of the Islamic Law in protecting stakeholders and to provide practical suggestions to improve the existing practice.

Islamic mortgages in Bahrain

Sakana Holistic Housing Solutions and Khaleeji Commercial Bank will work together in a Commodity Murabaha financing facility worth$10.6m (BD4m) over a four year period.The Commodity Murabaha will be operating for working capital by Sakana.

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