Bear Market Resorts is planning a $380 million sukuk that will be issued in August. It would be the first sukuk in Canada and one of few by North American issuers. Siraj Capital is working with the company on the sukuk having previously worked on the East Cameron sukuk which is currently being affected by the issuer's bankruptcy. Following the East Cameron sukuk issue, Siraj Capital announced it was nearing a commitment to work on a sukuk for a NYSE-listed oil and gas company that was never issued.
A research economist at the Qatar Central Bank, Syed A. Basher, writes in an article published in Gulf News that despite the growth of Islamic finance throughout the GCC, the level of government support for the industry has varied widely with Bahrain and Kuwait being the most supportive and Oman and Saudi Arabia lagging behind.
Following the launch of the first U.S.-based Islamic ETF, The Dow Jones Islamic Market International Index Fund (NYSE: JVS), another companies, FaithShares, there is an article about FaithShares which requested approval in April to launch its own ETFs to meet screening criteria of other faith groups including Baptist, Catholic, Christian, Lutheran and Methodist.
The Bank of Ningxia plans a pilot project to test the offering of Islamic financial products in the region which would be the first within China.
- Islamic microfinance industry is being encouraged in Pakistan by a group, the Alhuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics which has launched a helpdesk to help microfinance institutions that want to shift form coonventional to Islamic finance.
- Moody's says that Islamic banks in the GCC should 'change their business model' to adapt to the post-financial crisis world.
- The joint-Islamic Development Bank/Asian Development Bank Islamic Infrastructure Fund announced that it had raised $266 million towards the $500 million it expects to begin with, most of which came from the Islamic Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
- As part of its regulatory reforms, France plans on changing laws to ensure that Islamic financial products can be offered in the country which has one of the largest Muslim population in Europe.
- The Central Bank of Bahrain redeemed its $250 million ijara sukuk that was issued in 2004 following its maturity.
- Islamic banking could grow in Africa following Al Baraka's listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange according to an article in African Banker.
- Malaysia and Singapore have both been making regulatory changes to encourage inflows of capital from the Middle East, including through Islamic finance.