Thursday, December 28, 2006

Shari'ah-compliant mortgages in New Zealand, Islamic finance in Lebanon, Sukuk

Islamic bank expansion

"Islamic banks seek fast track expansion", Khaleej Times, December 26, 2006

Islamic banks centered in the UAE are rapidly expanding their branch network within the Middle East and some plan to expand their branch network to other countries with large Muslim countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, India and countries in North Africa and Central Asia.

Islamic mortgages enter New Zealand

"Buying a home the Islamic way", TV New Zealand, December 26, 2006

The loans promise to be interest-free (which means the bank charges 'rent' to cover its cost of capital), but whether the product is identical to other products in other countries is unclear. First, there is no mention of a Shari'ah board. The product is structured so that the buyer pays 20% up front and monthly 'deposits'. While this is not elaborated upon, it is likely benchmarked to conventional product amortization tables to provide the bank with a return similar to offering conventional products, but the payments are probably split between 'rent' with the remainder used to increase the buyers' share of ownership. The feature that distinguishes the product from many other Islamic mortgage products is that after 10 years, the buyer can either buy the remaining share of the house from the bank (splitting current market value in excess of initial market value with the bank, keeping 90 percent of the gain) or the buyer can roll the deal over for another 10 years.

Islamic Financial Planning Week in Brunei

"Islamic Finance Week Planning At The Mall",, December 28, 2006

Information is available from fmBrunei

Sukuk issues

"Kuwait: Closing of US$ 200 million Lagoon City Islamic Musharaka Sukuk", MENAreport, December 28, 2006

"Dubai Islamic Bank to sell sukuks of Islamic bonds", Daily Star (Lebanon), December 28, 2006

Islamic finance in Lebanon

"Lebanon offers open field for Islamic financing", Daily Star (Lebanon), December 28, 2006

A brief summary of the Islamic financial industry in Lebanon.

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