Saturday, May 17, 2008

Islamic finance globalizes, receives growing attention as a 'safer' alternative to conventional finance

The governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain met with his counterpart from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the city-state's central bank, to discuss ways that Bahrain can help Singapore develop its Islamic finance industry. Singapore is planning to issue a sukuk soon. Meanwhile, Dubai will work with Hong Kong to develop Islamic finance in China. A Shari'ah-compliant ETF will be launched in the second half of 2008 on the Taiwan stock exchange. The Financial Times discusses new efforts from policymakers in Paris to rival London as the European center of Islamic finance.

The most recent article I wrote is in the current issue of Islamic Business & Finance. The article focused on Islamic microfinance.

Islamic finance is becoming viewed as a 'safer' alternative to conventional finance in the wake of the subprime crisis. The Islamic Bank of Asia is seeing similar growth in demand for Islamic finance from both Muslims and non-Muslims because of its perceived status as 'safer'. The same idea is one of a number discussed in a Washington Post article on the growth in Islamic home finance in the United States, even as the mortgage market shrinks.

The African Development Center in Minneapolis has been providing small business loans with the city's Community Planning and Economic Development agency. The loans provided through ADC are the first in the U.S. to be provided from a public agency and also be Shari'ah-compliant. The CPED description does not provide a description of the structure of the finance that makes it Shari'ah-compliant.

An interview with the head of Praesidium Consulting covers continuing fall out from the questions over Shari'ah-compliance of sukuk.

A paper in Sri Lanka discusses the differences in treatment of Islamic finance by the country's tax authorities.

An article from Reuters highlights the continued push for 'standardization' of Islamic finance.

Toyota plans to issue its first sukuk in Malaysia.

No comments: