The leader of Hong Kong Donald Tsang is on a tour of GCC countries, in part to try to attract funds to Hong Kong as it begins to develop a Shari'ah-compliant finance industry.
Standard and Poor's has launched three new Shari'ah-compliant equity indices, large-cap, small cap and U.K.
The U.K. now has an option for money transfer that is Shari'ah-compliant through Lloyd's TSB.
The DIFC wants to be the center of Islamic finance worldwide, while London is making its own try at that position, being the leading Western country in the industry. The International Financial Services London, an organization promoting London's financial services industry worldwide, issued an 8 page report (pdf)on making London a center for Islamic finance.
Interesting notes from the IFSL report:
HSBC Amanah argues that Shari'ah-compliant insurance (takaful) needs to become more widely available.
- "the customer base [for Islamic finance] in Western countries is not necessarily restricted to Moslems: other customers may be attracted by the ethical and environmental basis of Islamic finance"
- Top 5 sectors where sukuk are used: infrastructure (39%), finance (18%), energy (16%), real estate (11%), manufacturing (9%)
- U.S. is fourth in number of Shari'ah-compliant equity funds, trailing Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and the U.K.
- The U.S. is second in the number of Islamic banks among Western countries with 20, trailing the U.K. with 23