The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has expanded the types of collateral it will accept from banks for overnight loans to include ijara sukuk, although no Islamic banks had used the facility. I would imagine that there is considerable debate within the Shari'ah boards of Islamic banks in Bahrain about whether borrowing against sukuk is Shari'ah-compliant. The facility was launched near the end of last year.
University Bank, a bank in Michigan with an Shari'ah-compliant subsidiary, University Islamic Financial Corp, was acknowledged by the American Bankers Association, in part for its innovative Shari'ah-compliant home finance products.
"The selection committee lauded University Bank for its innovative programs such as home financings for Muslim customers. Muslims are much less likely to be homeowners on average due to religious prohibitions on the payment or receipt of interest. University Bank designed a program to meet these needs, which has so far resulted in over $50 million of financings for the purchase of homes by Muslim customers of the bank."
- There are more Shari'ah-compliant funds in Malaysia now than Saudi Arabia, but the funds are still smaller.
- The Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes are 10 years old.
- Lebanon is considering a sovereign sukuk issue according to a Lebanese newspaper.
- Indonesia, which is planning on instituting a regular issue of sukuk to finance the country's large deficits and the maturity of these sukuk are expected to exceed 5 years.
- The Lord Mayor of London said he expects the UK to issue a sovereign sukuk "sooner rather than later" and this issue will be denominated in UK£
- The new governor of Saudi Arabia's central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, said that companies should look to the sukuk market to raise funds.
- The IFSB announced new standards for sukuk and REITs.
- Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) is considering acquisitions across Asia including in Japan and China.