Thursday, March 29, 2012

A few items that slipped through the cracks

There have been a lot of articles sitting in my feed reader and I won't have time to write more in depth on the topics, but here are the links with quick summaries.  

Size of Islamic finance industry
The City UK released its latest annual report on the Islamic finance industry showing the industry has $1.3 trillion in assets.  I hope to have more detail on this in another post when I have time to read it.

The Malaysian Islamic finance banking industry reached 22.4% of the country's total at the end of 2011.  Despite only having 15% of the outstanding USD-denominated sukuk issuance, it has one of the best developed (i.e. liquid) sukuk market, based on a lot of domestic MYR-denominated sukuk, but still showing that size isn't everything

Shari'ah standards
A conference participant suggests that investors and advisors should do their own Shari'ah research instead of waiting on a Shari'ah board to provide a fatwa.  Not much chance of happening, but interesting to see new perspectives. 

Goldman Sachs
Reuters gives the latest update on the Goldman Sachs murabaha sukuk which has attracted a lot of criticism, saying that the Shari'ah advisors have signed off and the ball is in Goldman's court.   I offered my perspective on the trading issue with a murabaha sukuk in an earlier post

The ISDA press release is available here for the new Mubadalatul Arbaah master agreement.

The National Bank of Australia is considering a $500 million sukuk issuance, the first from the land down under, as Islamic finance begins to develop in the country.

Hong Kong
HK returns to its work on attracting Islamic finance.  Despite expressing a desire to become an Islamic finance and sukuk hub, Hong Kong has not progressed far with the only issue coming from RMB500 million ($79 million) sukuk from Khazanah. 

The Indonesian government issued its first 4 series of project-based sukuk, although only the 30 year sukuk received bids accepted by the government.   Out of a 2.18 trillion rupiah ($237 million) in total bids, only 355 billion rupiah ($38 million) was accepted, all for the PBS0004 issue due 2037.

A microfinance product that offers a deposit product and interest-free loan program rolled into one.  When will Islamic finance get behind Islamic microfinance in a big way?

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