Sunday, August 03, 2008

IBB moves into continental Europe, Islamic wealth management

The Islamic Bank of Britain plans to open branches in Sweden and Germany. The branch in Sweden would be the country's first Islamic bank, although not the first 'interest-free' one. JAK Members Bank, a co-operative that began operating in 1970 and received a banking license in 1997, provides interest-free credit to its members with administrative costs paid for by annual membership fees. Currently the bank has 53,000 members and the total savings of € 97 million and borrowings of € 86 million as of 2008.

Douglas Johnson, CEO of Calyx Financial, discussed the need for more strategic work, particularly involving research into new products and approaches for Islamic wealth management to become more widely available. An edited version of his speech, given at the World Islamic Funds Conference in Dubai, is available online.

The Financial Times describes Islamic bank Gulf Finance House.

A story on the first Shari'ah-compliant car insurance company in the U.K., Salaam Insurance, includes a concise description of how takaful works.

The Islamic Development Bank has begun a sukuk issuance in Malaysia to fund the IsDB's work in the country.

India could emerge as a large market for Islamic finance if regulations are changed to allow Islamic banking. The Muslim population of India is estimated at 150 million. Islamic banking has been successful in Thailand, particularly in the southern region, which has a significant Muslim population. The Islamic Bank of Thailand is the country's main bank.

Malta's Financial Services Authority ended its consultation period on Islamic financial products and plans to issue guidelines for sukuk by the end of 2008 and for takaful in early 2009.

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