Saturday, December 22, 2007

Weekly update, December 22nd

Reuters discusses the varied views of religious leaders in the U.S. to the subprime mortgage collapse.

CIMA (the Chartered Institute of Managment Accountants), a U.K.-based organization that is beginning an Islamic finance certification soon says that Islamic finance should be kept separate from conventional finance to ensure that there is no mixing of conventional funds and Shari'ah-compliant funds.

Addressing the recent pronouncement that most ijara sukuk issued in the GCC may not be Shari'ah compliant because of repurchase agreements, Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, a prominent Malaysian Shari'ah scholar believes that many Malaysian sukuk would meet stricter GCC standards. GCC Shari'ah standards are generally seen as more stringent than Malaysian standards, although many products that originated in Malaysia have later been accepted in the GCC.

The head of Malaysian Islamic Bank CIMB Islamic, Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, believes Malaysia is a leader in Islamic finance worldwide, and described recent entrants into the market like London, Hong Kong and Bahrain as "new kids on the block". The aforementioned cities as well as Dubai are competing with Kuala Lumpur to become global centers in Islamic finance.

The U.K. continues to strive towards becoming a Western hub for Islamic finance by adjusting legislation to put the industry on equal footing with conventional finance.

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