Monday, January 21, 2008

Sukuk, ETFs, Shari'ah scholars, Islamic finance interfaith efforts

Six years after Malaysia became the first country to issue a sovereign sukuk, the Malaysian news agency Bernama describes how much the industry has developed since then. One of the primary indications of this development is the rush of non-Muslim financial centers like London and Hong Kong. Arab News also has a summary of the growth in Islamic finance, specifically the rapidly growing demand for sukuk.

The Indonesian Sharia Banks Association (Asbisindo) says there needs to be a more concerted effort to promote Islamic banking in the country. Despite being home to the largest Muslim population, neighboring Malaysia has a much more well developed Islamic finance sector. The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, an organization affiliated with the Islamic Development Bank has plans to invest in the Islamic financial sector in Indonesia.

Qatar plans to develop a secondary market for sukuk and Shari'ah-compliant ETFs on the Doha market. Malaysia recently launched an Islamic ETF.

The shortage of Shari'ah scholars is once again in the spotlight, this time in an article in Forbes magazine.

Devon Bank in Chicago, Illinois recently received an award for a Shari'ah-compliant financing of a purchase of property by an Islamic Foundation from a Lutheran church, which played a significant role in the spirit of inter-faith cooperation.

1 comment:

David Hepworth said...

According to yesterday's Wall Street Journal,"Investment banks are scrambling to beef up their operations in the Middle East to service government investment funds in the region that are becoming increasingly powerful investors globally. At the same time, new capital markets are opening up in the region, including those related to Islamic finance, such as Sukuk bonds that are structured in accordance with Shariah, or Islamic law." We are very closely following these developments at http://www.dubai-fund.net and http://www.doha-fund.com