Monday, November 20, 2006

Sri Lankan Islamic finance, sukuk, microfinance & IF professionals needed

Islamic finance in Sri Lanka

"Ceylinco group sets up Islamic Finance faculty in Sri Lanka with Malaysian partner", Lanka Business Online, November 20, 2006

The Ceylinco Sussex Business School will offer a Certified Islamic Finance Program to train Islamic financial professionals. The program is offered in conjunction with the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF).

World Economic Forum ME in Jordan

"The World Economic Forum returns to Jordan for its Middle East meeting next year", AMEinfo, November 20, 2006

The World Economic Forum will hold its Middle East meeting in Jordan May 18 -20, 2007 in Jordan. Among other issues, Islamic finance will be discussed.

This conference and many others are listed on the Institute of Halal Investing conferences page.

Islamic microfinance

"Creating an Islamic Microfinance Model - The Missing Dimension", Dinar Standard, November 18, 2006

Despite the popularity of microfinance, particularly since Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it is surprising that there has not been much of an effort to integrate microfinance into the Islamic financial industry. This article provides an interesting discussion of microcredit and its possible place in Islamic finance.

Expanding the market for Islamic finance

"Canada based Ittihad Capital Positions Islamic Finance for its Universal Appeal", Dinar Standard, November 20, 2006

In Canada, a new company, Ittihad Capital, has created Shari'ah-compliant products without a permanent Shari'ah board and is marketing the products as ethically and socially responsible. The company is working to bring demand for Islamic finance together with ethical investing to create a product that appeals to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

New sukuk issue

"Sharjah sukuk funds utility venture", Gulf News, November 20, 2006

Sharjah will raise Dh12.84 billion (US$350 million) through a sukuk al-ijara issue.

Islamic finance professionals needed

"Citigroup: Malaysia needs talent pool to develop as Islamic finance hub", Business Times (Malaysia), November 20, 2006

The Citigroup Asia head of Islamic banking, Rafe Haneef, believes that in order to develop Malaysia as an Islamic banking hub, there needs to be more Islamic financial professionals, in addition to the existing favorable regulatory environment.

"Mideast 'bulging with cash, needs more scholars'", Gulf Times, November 19, 2006

While the Middle East has large amounts of cash waiting to be invested in Shari'ah-compliant products, there aren't enough scholars, says JP Morgan's head of debt & equity capital markets Viswas Raghavan. Mr. Raghavan is quoted as saying "Basically you cannot get enough Shariah councils. There are about 20 guys; they all know each other". With more scholars, there will be fewer constraints on the industry's growth.

Western companies interested in sukuk

"Islamic bond market provides way for U.S. firms to raise cash", Napa Valley Register (from the Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2006

This article provides a short overview of the expansion of Islamic finance outside of majority-Muslim countries.

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