Wednesday, September 12, 2007

African Development Center, Prospect editor on Islamic finance

The African Development Center receives positive press in African-focused paper Mshale:
"One of ADC’s most notable achievements is the tailoring of loans to be Sharia-compliant to make them attractive to Muslims. Minneapolis is the first city in the United States to offer such a financing product. These loans targets low and moderate income borrowers."

David Goodhart, editor of Prospect magazine and senior correspondent for the Financial Times, describes a recent trip to Malaysia. Initially a skeptic about Islamic finance, he writes:
"Islam, I discovered, may have stumbled upon a new economic motor in the shape of Islamic finance. I used to think that Islamic finance was a slightly absurd game—a means to respect the Koranic prohibition on usury by dressing up interest payments as something else, usually fees. It turns it out that it is rather more than that; in fact, it has spawned a big and sophisticated financial sector of its own (Malaysia is a centre of the Islamic bond market). But Islamic finance has a wider symbolic role for Muslim reformers, like Badawi—it shows that you can hold to the underlying principles and values of the religion but adapt those principles to the modern capitalist world so that Muslims need not lose out on prosperity and economic growth."

BNP Paribas plans to issue two sukuk it was forced to postpone with the problems in the credit market originating from the U.S. subprime crisis.

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