To learn more about Shariah Investment Articles, click here

Shariah Investments - News Articles

Gulf Sukuk sink as Egypt Turmoil Cuts Demand

Arabian Business
February 1, 2011
Cario, Egypt

Islamic bonds are tumbling, sending Arabian Gulf yields to a six-week high, as concern political unrest in Egypt will spread pushes up the cost of crude and threatens the global economic recovery.

Average yields on Sharia-compliant sukuk from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council jumped 28 basis points since January 27 to 5.59 percent yesterday, according to the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai GCC US Dollar Sukuk Index. The extra yield investors demand to hold emerging-market debt over US Treasuries widened 24 basis points over the past two days to 270, the highest level since November 30, JPMorgan Chase & Co’s EMBI+ Index showed.


Dubai to Export Islamic Finance to Europe

Gulf News
January 31, 2011
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai's financial services industry is fast emerging as a leading catalyst in the development of Islamic finance products and services to Europe, according to officials from Dubai Exports, an agency within Dubai Department of Economic Development.

"The expertise of Dubai in the area of Islamic financial services is something that we hope to capitalise through our export facilitation services" said Engineer Saeed Al Awadi, the CEO of Dubai Exports.

"We have carried out two very successful trade missions in Islamic financial services which have linked our firms with opportunities in foreign markets."

Al Awadi hopes to export Dubai's expertise in Islamic finance to various parts of the world with the help of some of the specialised home grown financial institutions and financial clusters in the UAE.


AIG, Mitsui Expand in Malaysia

AIG expands Shariah-compliant Takaful insurance to Malaysia.

Business Times
January 28, 2011
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia is attracting global companies such as American International Group Inc and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co seeking to tap growth in the country’s US$4 billion Islamic insurance market.

Mitsui Sumitomo said on Jan. 28 it’s in talks to buy a stake in a local operator offering takaful, or Shariah-compliant insurance. New York-based American International formed a joint venture with Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd in January, four months after winning a licence from the central bank.

The entrance of more insurance firms will increase the pool of funds looking for longer-maturity debt in Malaysia as the government embarks on a 10-year, US$444 billion development program. Malaysia is giving tax incentives to foreign companies setting up takaful businesses and has eased ownership rules in domestic institutions to aid growth in the industry.

“Insurers are in the best market because of its depth and liquidity,” Mohd. Farid Kamarudin, who helps manage RM1.3 billion (US$428 million) of Islamic assets at Kuala Lumpur-based AmInvestment Management Sdn Bhd, a unit of the fourth-biggest underwriter of sukuk last year, said in a Feb. 7 interview. “This is the only market where you can buy sukuk with maturities of up to 20 years or 30 years.”


HSBC Trains PERGAS on Islamic Insurance

HSBC is partnering with Shariah Imams “scholars” in Singapore to teach them about Shariah Insurance known as Takaful.

December 1, 2010
Singapore, Malaysia

Analysts say a lack of trained professionals could prevent Singapore from becoming a regional Islamic finance hub, even though 60 per cent of the world's Muslim population lives in emerging Asia. That is why industry players are now taking the knowledge of finance to religious teachers.

To capture the projected 20 to 30 per cent annual growth in sales of takaful, or Islamic insurance, HSBC Insurance will start training members of the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers' Association, or PERGAS. PERGAS and HSBC's takaful training programme will begin this month, with 20 to 30 students in the first batch.


A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Derivatives Trading

The majority of Islamic Shariah investments are complicated derivatives. Like the derivatives that created the sub-prime meltdown (known as credit default swaps) Islamic investments are traded "over-the-counter", meaning not through a formal exchange which demands some transparency and greatly limits the ability to price-fix or collude in any way. The new finance regulation bill puts greater regulation on derivatives, though Islamic Investments are not being classified as derivatives by banks. Therefore, regulation of Islamic derivatives is falling through the cracks. This article also discusses how vehemently opposed Wall Street is to regulation of derivatives, a very profitable sector, and, according to this article, how they are lobbying to limit derivative regulation.

The New York Times
December 11, 2010
By Louise Story

On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan.

The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable — and controversial — fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been strictly confidential.

Drawn from giants like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the bankers form a powerful committee that helps oversee trading in derivatives, instruments which, like insurance, are used to hedge risk.

In theory, this group exists to safeguard the integrity of the multitrillion-dollar market. In practice, it also defends the dominance of the big banks.

Page 3 of 28

To view a listing of the articles within this section, please click here.