#Satyajit #Das: Despite #appearances, the idea of #social #progress is a #myth

The world cannot acknowledge the idea that human progress might be at an end or even have stopped. The belief that science, technology advances as well as social and political systems can provide continuous improvement in life of humans is perhaps the most important idea in Western civilisation. Yet attempts to measure the actual progress are oddly vague. In January 2016, the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi dispensed with practicalities arguing that “Europe cannot just be a grey technical debate about constraints, but must again be a great dream”.

Azimut and Maybank to jointly manage #sukuk fund, seek new markets

Italian money manager Azimut Holding will jointly manage its Islamic bonds fund with Maybank Asset Management Group to cater to growing demand for hard currency sukuk products. The partnership will allow the fund to penetrate new markets including Malaysia and Singapore, where Maybank Asset Management already operates. Azimut launched its global sukuk fund in 2013 which has over $130 million in assets. Maybank Asset Management launched a U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk fund of its own in 2014. Sukuk funds remain tiny compared to their conventional fixed-income counterparts, but the sukuk market has widened in recent years thanks to an increasing number of issuers and investors.

Bahrain's GFH sells remaining 18 pct of Leeds United

A Dubai-based subsidiary of Islamic investment bank GFH Financial Group has sold its remaining 18 % stake in English football club Leeds United, ending nearly 4 years of Middle Eastern involvement in the club. GFH Capital sold the stake to Eleonora Sport, operated by Italian businessman Massimo Cellino. Eleonora now owns 100 % of the club, Leeds United said.

GFH bought Leeds United in December 2012 but within months began looking for new investment in the club, and in 2014 Cellino bought a majority stake in it. GFH Financial did not reveal the price at which it sold its remaining stake but said the deal would reflect positively on its financials and liquidity for 2016. Crippled during the global credit crisis in 2008, GFH Financial went through several debt restructurings but has resumed expanding in the financial services sector. In August it signed a memorandum of understanding to buy most of Bahrain's Bank Al Khair.

Islamic finance could benefit #Italy after Brexit

Investors from the Islamic financial world could be the answer to Italy’s problems in the wake of the Brexit. On a recent conference in Italy, participants said this would require legislative changes to follow Islamic principles. A working group at the Lower House’s financial commission is looking into the matter. Participants also suggested issuing State bonds following the rules of Islamic finance. Under the proposal, the assets would consist of State-owned real estate, bought and re-sold by a company set up for the purpose, whose participating shares would be bought by investors.

Italy's Islamic Bond: Nctm seeks to open a window of opportunities for Italian SME's

As Italy's demand for mini-bonds grows, Nctm Studio Legale (Nctm), a law firm, has hired Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) to help it structure an Islamic Bond. Under the agreement, SRB will collaborate with Nctm to help structure and certify the mini-bonds in light of Sharia guidelines. Shariyah Review Bureau team has many years of experience in a range of industries, specializing in Investment Funds, banking, insurance, agriculture, and Asset Management. The demand for their services has quadrupled over the years with 2015 being the most eventful year. SRB expects this Islamic bond to open new venues of connecting capital with businesses in Italy and also help provide new opportunities to the SME sector.

Islamic securities deliver economic and social returns

“Ethical finance” is a term used to describe finance that is put to good social and environmental use. Interest in it has risen since the 2008 global financial crisis, with Islamic finance and socially responsible investment funds becoming its two fastest areas of growth. The World Bank Treasury has brought the two together by helping the International Finance Facility for Immunization issue two Sukuks in less than a year.
IFFIm is an international organization that finances child immunization and strengthens health systems related to it in some of the poorest countries of the world through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Backed by nine sovereign governments—the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Norway, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, and South Africa—the organization raises money in the international capital markets.

Gulf ties could aid Islamic finance in Italy, supporters hope

Italy is seeking trade and investment with wealthy Gulf Arab states as a way to grow out of its debt problems. Gulf investors have already shown considerable interest in Italy's luxury good firms; in 2012, for example, Italian fashion brand Valentino was bought by Qatar's royal family. Moreover, Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund announced this month that it would invest 500 million euros ($685 million) in Italian companies in coordination with the Italian government's own strategic investment fund. Italy made a similar deal with Qatar last year. These activities should include a review of existing regulations. Currently, however, only broad discussions are taking place with Italian policy makers and no specific agenda is in place. Italian companies have explored Islamic financing options in the past but did not do deals, partly because of a lack of regulatory support in Italy.

Aston Martin CEO hopes Italian cash to drive sales up

The Italian private equity fund Investindustrial bought a 37.5 percent stake of Aston Martin. The deal was financed via a capital increase agreed with majority Kuwaiti owner Investment Dar. According to the carmaker's CEO Ulrich Bez the transaction will bring money for the next generation of products from 2015 to 2025, as well as know-how and experience. Investindustrial plans to expand Aston's model range and to strengthen its global dealership network.

interest in 'halal' finance growing in Italy

Despite the fact that Islamic finance has existed in Europe for more than forty years, in Italy results of the first experiments are only now starting to be seen.
In 2009, for example, Deloitte set up a sector dedicated to Islamic finance. Alberto Liotta, a director at the consultancy firm, stated that the main focus are conventional financing instruments, such as leasing.

Islamic Finance: Opportunity for an inclusive development, Milano, Italy, 19th March 2012

By organizing a one-day conference on Islamic finance and bringing together some of the
major players in the field of islamic and ethical finance , Islamic Relief-Italy, in collaboration
with ASSAIF, intends to share some reflections, case studies and initiatives in order
to contribute to solve the actual financial crisis. Thanks to a significant experience in
implementing development projects that are shari’a compliant , Islamic Relief represents
an interesting and successful example of Islamic finance initiatives that are born and
developed in Europe.The financial crisis which is nowadays afflicting most of the European countries has had

The financial crisis which is nowadays afflicting most of the European countries has had a significant impact on the real economy and on the society itself. Particularly, a growing
number of people are marginalized within the Italian society (not only migrants but also
the so called “new poors”) as well as within financial circuits and last but not least are
prevented from accessing credit. The Islamic finance, which is already operational in
several European countries, can provide solutions which are complementary to those

S&P: Wrong time for IF in Italy

Although there is growing interest in Shari'ah compliant investment funds in Italy, the economic climate has seen investors bunker down into conservative assets. This information was given by Roberto Demartini, fund analyst for S&P. He explained that the typical Italian investor is very conservative and volatility averse and hence the perception is that Islamic funds would not fit this outlook.

International Summer School on Social Banking 2010

Banking on values - what values?

From 18 to 23 July 2010, the third international Summer School on Social Banking and Social Finance will take place.

The following topics will be covered specifically

* Best practices in Social Banking
* Values in banking
* The impact of banking in society
* Microfinance
* Religion and banking
* Banking as a commons
* Social Banking 2.0
* Individual and organisational competencies for Social Banking
* New Economics
* The role of donations in the monetary system

Vatican related newspaper: Islamic finance suggests ideas for Western financial crisis

Loretta Napoleoni and Claudia Segre suggesting in the Vatican related L'Osservatore Romano, that Islamic finance offers ideas for the Western financial crisis. Citing the main concepts of Islamic finance and emphasizing specifically Sukuk.

The original article is in Italian linked via Source.

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