Bank Negara, the Malaysian central bank, has issued three 'Shari'ah parameters' so far that provide guidance on the important areas for different contract types. This type of standardization is useful for the Islamic finance industry because they provide a starting point for discussions about the applicability of different contracts as well as the characteristics of each without creating a fixed contract that could stifle innovation. As I have argued in the past, the move towards some standardization is welcome, as long as it does not limit the potential for future change, either new innovations or a refinement of the existing products. The DIFC Sukuk Guide, released in December 2009, also provides a basic overview of the typical structures used specifically in sukuk, and also provides a reference point for further discussion about the contract structures used in Islamic finance.
The initial reports of the new microfinance institution, Family Bank of Bahrain, said that it provided Shari'ah-compliant financial services. The Grameen Bank's Grameen Dialogue describes the goals of the Family Bank (from 2007 when the Memorandum of Understanding was signed). The Family Bank is listed (as of November 30, pdf) as a conventional retail bank.
- In an interview with Gulf News, Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammad Najeeb Bin Abdul Razzaq indicated that Kuala Lumpur plans to establish an "iconic" centre to house all its Islamic financial institutions.
- An article provides a nice description of Devon Bank, a community bank in Chicago that offers Shari'ah-compliant financing.
- Pakistani BankIslami will acquire Emirates Global Islamic Bank, in part to meet the minimum capital requirements of the State Bank of Pakistan.
- Bank Negara, the Malaysian central bank, is expected to give an Islamic banking license to the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
- An article in Indian newspaper The Economic Times describes the Islamic fund management business in India.