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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:

Qatar Islamic Bank and Banque Populaire Caisse d’Epargne agree to Islamic bank in France

According to an interview with the CEO of Qatar Islamic Bank the bank signed with Banque Populaire Caisse d’Epargne an agreement to establish the first Islamic bank in France 2012.

The source is not confirmed by other media and similar news appeared in 2011 before.

36ème Conférence PHARE: Islamic Retail Banking in France - A market to invest

University Strassbourg is conducting a conference about Islamic retail banking for France, an opportunity to invest? The event is in French. More details below:

Nous vous invitons à participer à la *36ème Conférence PHARE* organisée par l'/Ecole de Management de Strasbourg/ et /E.M. Strasbourg Partenaires /*à l'occasion de l'ouverture de la 4ème promotion du Diplôme d'université Finance Islamique* en janvier 2012 *sur le thème :

*"La banque de détail islamique en France :
un nouveau marché à investir ? "**

Jeudi 1er Décembre 2011 à 18h00 à l'EM Strasbourg - 61, Avenue de la Forêt-Noire*/ Cette conférence sera suivie d'un cocktail offert par EM Strasbourg-Partenaires dans les locaux de l'EM Strasbourg/
_Animée par :_
. Michel STORCK, Professeur des universités affilié à l'EM Strasbourg, Co-responsable du Diplôme d'Université (D.U.) «Finance islamique»***

_Intervenants :_
** .** Sâmi HAZOUG, Coordinateur pédagogique du D.U. «Finance
islamique»* - EM Strasbourg
**.** Laurent WEILL, Professeur des universités affilié à l'EM Strasbourg,Co-responsable du D.U. «Finance islamique»*
**.** Le représentant d'une banque


National Bonds celebrates World Savings Day

National Bonds Corporation PJSC celebrated World Savings Day, which falls on Monday October 31, with a host of activities with the purpose at engaging the public and spreading awareness on the importance of savings.
The popular scheme held awareness sessions at universities across Dubai to commemorate the day and also set up a charity football tournament. The places where the awareness sessions were held are: Dubai Knowledge Village, Zayed University and Dubai International Academy.

Islamic investing – from niche to mainstream?

Rob Pearce of HSBC analyzes a form of socially reponsible investing based in Shariah.
It seems that the Muslim community currently makes up approximately 4% of the UK population. This is anticipated to double to 8% over the next two decades. But the proportion of the estimated £500bn UK DC assets invested in Islamic funds is a minuscule fraction of this amount. Auto-enrolment carries many challenges and opportunities, as well as an additional five to eight million individuals who will be saving more or joining a pension scheme for the first time. With an average age of only 28, many of these new investors will be Muslims.

Alinma Bank offers gifts for financing clients

Alinma Bank has launched a new financing services, through whichclients are given free promotional gifts with the first personal financing (real estate, car or share financing) deal they complete with the bank.

Fahad Al-Semari, Alinma’s GM for retail banking, said the bank would offer a wide range of valuable gifts including BMW cars, electrical appliances (televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.) as well as the Mobily Limited service.

First Islamic current account in France

A branch of Banque Populaire du Maroc offers French retail customers Islamic current accounts. More details on their website:


Banque Populaire du Maroc aims to convert 10 % of their 300.000 clients to the new account type. Further the bank plans to offer short term Islamic mortgages (4-5 years) towards end of the year and long term mortgages next year, reported AFP on 20 June.


Banque Populaire du Maroc has a pan European strategy aiming for 40 branches throughout Europe it was announced during the opening in 2009 in the Netherlands.


[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.


* 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. 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:

Understanding the sensitivities of Islamic mortgages

Islamic mortgages may be regarded as a niche market but they offer opportunities for brokers who work close to large Muslim populations, especially to those who understand the products and the sector.

As with all areas of lending finance for Islamic mortgages suffered in line with the market downturn. A lack of confidence, funding and a reassessment of risk with lower LTV criteria have all contributed to consolidation in what was a growing area of mortgage broking and lending.

Alburaq was a dedicated resource to brokers referring clients to Alburaq’s team in London. Islamic Bank of Britain offers training to ensure a full understanding of the market and there are competitive processing fees for packaged or introduced cases.

The important thing to remember is that this sector is growing through difficult times. Brokers will find this sector interesting and it will provide them with a loyal client base who will be keen to recommend knowledgeable and sensitive advisers to members of their community.

Consumer banking will continue to be an important revenue generator of banks

Consumer banking will continue to be an important revenue generator for banks with home loans being one of the major areas of focus amid the prevailing relatively low interest rates. Apart from home loans, the other sectors in consumer banking which banks are focusing on to beef up their revenue streams are car loans, credit cards, personal loans and wealth management. RAM Ratings head of financial institution ratings Promod Dass said the relatively low interest rate environment had fuelled consumer lending, which represented more than half of the banking system’s loans. Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd vice-president and head of financial institution ratings Anandakumar Jegarasasingam said the main challenge for banks would be to ensure the asset quality of household loans. Ernst & Young Malaysia partner (Assurance) Chan Hooi Lam foresee consumer banking facilities like car loans, purchase of residential properties and credit cards to continue its growth momentum into next year. RHB Banking group director of retail banking Renzo Viegas said that apart from credit cards, the focus would also be in debit cards as the bank saw tremendous growth potential in this area.

Saudi mortgage law delay 'will hit lenders' - BMI

Saudi Arabia's parliament delays the decision concerning the mortgage law until the members return from summer recess. Saudi Arabia, the Middle East's biggest economy, needs 1.2 million new homes by 2015, says the Deutsche Bank research.



Launch of International Islamic Finance Journal from Dubai

Press Release

Today sees the launch of a new Journal on Islamic finance from dedicated Islamic finance media entity Yasaar Media.

The Journal, called So Far – the Journal of Strategic Thinking in Islamic Finance, is written and edited by members of an Islamic finance Think Tank and is modelled on traditional academic journals. The difference with So Far is that the members of the Think Tank are predominantly practitioners rather than academics.
Member of the Think Tank are drawn from the ranks of committed Islamic finance professionals around the world and range from the Gulf and the Far East to the USA and Europe.

Each issue of So Far is dedicated to a single topic of core importance to the Islamic finance industry – and the launch issue looks at the thorny issue of the problems facing the Sukuk market. Unlike many other journals So Far is distributed free in PDF format and is available from a variety of sources including Yasaar Media thus guaranteeing maximum readership and exposure.

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Calling Islamic financial institutions to become member of the United Nations Finance Initiative is calling Islamic financial institutions to become member of the UNEP Finance Inititiave to learn and contribute to international best practice in ethical and faith based finance:

"UNEP FI is a global partnership between UNEP and the financial sector. Over 180 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance."

membership information package:

Islamic Finance in North America

Yasaar media published a new report called Islamic Finance in North America 2009 for free download, which is co-published by Codexa Capital, UM Financial Group, King & Spalding, and Doha Islamic.

According to the report Islamic finance in North America has developed along two quite separate paths:

  • The first path focuses on retail Islamic finance and centres mostly on home financing products and credit cards.
  • The second path involves a number of high profile GCC-based Islamic investment banks and their deployment of hundreds of millions of dollars in private equity and real estate developments in North America.

Read the full report for free at the link below.

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