Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ameen Housing Co-op, WIEF, IIFF Europe, IFSB conference in Japan, Foreign currency sukuk in Malaysia

"A means to a home: Islamic co-ops create happy homecomings", San Francisco Chronicle, November 1, 2006

An article in today's SF Chronicle provides an in depth look at how co-operatives like the Ameen Housing Co-operative offer Muslim homebuyers Shari'ah-compliant financing. Ameen works using a system similar to ijara-wa-iqtina (lease ending with a sale) where the buyer puts a down payment on the house and then pays a market-based rent. The share of the rent corresponding to the down payment is used to purchase a share of Ameen's ownership of the house. The co-op has also seen conservative Christians (although most users of their product are Muslim) who strictly interpret the Bible's prohibition of usury.

"IFSB Organizing Islamic Finance Challenges Seminar in Tokyo - Islamic Finance Wave Hits the Far East", IFSB Press Release, November 1, 2006

The Islamic Financial Standards Board (IFSB) will be holding a conference on January 22-23, 2007 entitled "Islamic Finance: Challenges and Opportunities for Japan". The seminar is supported by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, which has been planning the issue of Islamic bonds (sukuk) for early 2007. The conference is listed on the Institute of Halal Investing website under "Conferences".

"Malaysia to allow foreign currency Islamic bonds", Middle East Times, November 1, 2006

The Malaysian Central Bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, will allow foreign currency issues of sukuk by both foreign and domestic issuers. The move is designed to increase the size of Malaysia as an international hub in Islamic finance. The policy was announced in a speech by the head of the central bank, Zeti Akhtar Aziz at the Islamic International Financial Center.

"WIEF to generate investment for economic well-being of Muslim Ummah", Financial Express (Bangladesh), November 1, 2006

An article about the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), which will be held from November 2-5, 2006 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

"Faisal Private Bank invests in IIFF Europe", AMEinfo, November 1, 2006

The Faisal Private Bank, which just recently opened in Switzerland has announced it will support the first International Islamic Finance Forum (IIFF) Europe in Zurich from November 13-16, 2006.

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