Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Headlines for October 3, 2006

"Emaar to raise US$1 billion in debut Islamic facility", MENA report, October 3, 2006

Emaar Properties PJSC, a Dubai-based real estate company, is offering its first Islamic musharaka facility. The facility will last for five years and will raise US$1 billion. The company is building the Downtown Burj Dubai development, which includes what will become the world's tallest building.

”World Islamic Banking Conference 2006 to focus on driving growth & delivering on market expectations”, MENA report, October 3, 2006

The World Islamic Banking Conference 2006 being held in Bahrain on December 9-11, 2006. In its 13th year, the WIBC theme is ‘Driving Growth & Delivering on Market Expectations through Product Innovation & Service Quality’.

”HSBC ready for challenges next year”, The Edge Daily, October 3, 2006

HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd expects to significantly expand its banking operations within Malaysia next year. The CEO Datuk Zarir J Cama is quoted by the article discussing the high use of Shari’ah-compliant products by non-Muslims, ““About 60% to 70% of Islamic mortgages at HSBC are given to non-Muslims, and investors are also looking at the various products and returns,”

Kuwait Finance House Introduces KFH Ijarah Rental Swap”, Bernama, October 3, 2006

The Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has begun offering a hedge against ijara rate fluctuations. The product is targeted to those with ijarasubjected to fluctuations in reference rates (e.g. cost of funds rate). The product can be used with “any variable or fixed ijarah based facility such as ijarah contract financing, ijarah project financing, ijarah auto financing, ijarah asset acquisition financing, or even ijarah-based sukuk”.

Just another ethical investment or a force to be reckoned with?, Times (U.K.)”, October 3, 2006

The Times provides a short article discussing the growth of Shari’ah-compliant banking and investment. The article concludes that there may be a huge increase in usage of Shari’ah-compliant products, but ends by quoting Andrew Roberts of the law firm Linklaters who believes “there is a limit to which investors will accept a lower yield or pay a premium for doing a deal under Sharia.” However, the jury is still open on whether Shari’ah-compliant products do have lower returns than conventional products.

”Malaysia’s leadership in global sukuk market challenged, Business Times (Malaysia), October 3, 2006

In a talk on Islamic finance in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Shari’ah scholar professor Dr. Malik Muhammad Mahmud Al-Awan noted the growing competition from the Middle East, other Asian countries and even Europe in growing the market for sukuk.

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