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Shariah Finance

Dow Jones Indexes Named Best Islamic Index Provider in IFN Award Poll

Dow Jones Indexes
November 1, 2010
New York, NY

Dow Jones Indexes, a leading global index provider, today announced that it has been named “Best Islamic Index Provider” in the Islamic Finance News (IFN) award poll for the 4th consecutive year.

The Best Service Providers award poll is conducted annually by the Malaysia-based weekly e-newsletter Islamic Finance News. For this 2010 edition, more than 1,900 votes from Islamic finance institutions, issuers, investors and government bodies from around the world determined the leaders in 13 categories.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award for the fourth year in a row. The Dow Jones Islamic Market index series is one of our finest achievements in terms of innovation, design and market acceptance,” said Michael A. Petronella, president, Dow Jones Indexes. “As Islamic finance grows and evolves worldwide, we are committed to continue providing meaningful, new Islamic indexes.”

Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes were the first indexes intended to measure the global universe of investable equities that pass screens for Shari’ah compliance. With more than 100 indexes, the series is the most comprehensive family of Islamic market measures and includes regional, country, and industry indexes, all of which are subsets of the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index. An independent Shari’ah Supervisory Board counsels Dow Jones Indexes on matters related to the compliance of index-eligible companies.

In the past 6 years, the Dow Jones Islamic Market index series has won 21 industry awards by organizations, research institutions and magazines around the world; amongst them are the International Islamic Finance Forum, the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum, the Islamic Center of Southern California, Global Finance Magazine, Islamic Business & Finance Magazine and Incisive Media.

There are currently more than 150 licensees with more than US$7 billion in assets benchmarked to the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes. For more information on the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes, please visit


Sukuk Roadblocks May Rise With National Shariah Boards: Islamic Finance

Islamic Finance News Portal
October 28, 2010
Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia

The plan to create national Shariah boards to oversee sukuk sales is drawing criticism from bankers and lawyers who say the groups would increase bureaucracy in the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry.

The Accounting & Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, a leading global regulator, is in the final stages of a plan recommending governments appoint panels of scholars and experts at the national level to rule whether products comply with the religion’s tenets, Mohamad Nedal Alchaar, secretary-general of the Manama, Bahrain-based body, said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 26. The proposal will be submitted early next year, he said.


Trial Exposes Charity Abuse

“Prosecutors presented evidence showing that despite a façade of charity and moderation, al Haramain was surreptitiously funneling money out of the country and possibly into the hands of Chechen mujahideen, all under the guise of humanitarian efforts.”

The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 8, 2010
Eugene, OR

The fate of an Oregon man whose Islamic charity is accused of financing Chechen terrorists is about to be in the hands of a federal jury.

In the five years since its indictment on allegations that the al Haramain Islamic Foundation (AHF) had funneled money to Chechen rebels, Pete Seda's now-defunct organization has wrangled with government attorneys over allegations that the government conducted unlawful surveillance, seized assets without a warrant, and overstepped its authority under the Patriot Act in seeking foreign bank records. And while at its core, this is a criminal tax case against Pirouz Sedaghaty, aka Pete Seda, the outcome has broader implications for the continuing efforts to counter-terrorist financing.

But in many ways, Seda's prosecution followed a familiar script. Prosecutors presented evidence showing that despite a façade of charity and moderation, al Haramain was surreptitiously funneling money out of the country and possibly into the hands of Chechen mujahideen, all under the guise of humanitarian efforts.

Seda was charged with conspiring to move $150,000 out of the United States without declaring it, as required by federal law, and with filing false tax returns to hide the fact that the money ever existed. As numerous law enforcement officials told the jury, the path that the money took from Europe to the United States and then to the Middle East was not just suspicious, but indicative of illicit financial activity.


Banker Middle East Product Awards 2011

CPI Financial
October 26, 2010


The Banker Middle East Product Awards is a region-wide awards programme open to all banks and financial institutions in the MENA region. The award winners are decided by a peer voting process rather than chosen by a small panel of judges and have historically received thousands of votes to decide the eventual winners. The nomination process for the Banker Middle East Product Awards is straightforward. You may nominate multiple products and services on behalf of your company by completing the nomination form and simply entering the product or service name in any or all of our 40 categories.

Deadline for nominations is 26th October 2010.


Sukuk May Entice Canada to Issue $2 Billion

Bloomberg Businessweek
October 18, 2010
Ottawa, Canada

The growing demand for securities that meet Islamic religious principles may lead Canadian governments and companies to start issuing Shariah bonds.

HSBC Bank Canada may offer $500 million and three government-related borrowers from one Canadian province may issue $1.5 billion of sukuk, Omar Kalair, chief executive officer of Toronto-based UM Financial, said in an Oct. 14 interview. A “handful” of Canadian companies may sell C$1 billion ($980 million) of Islamic debt by 2013, said Daud Vicary Abdullah, global Islamic finance leader at Deloitte Corporate Advisory Services Sdn. in Kuala Lumpur.

Egypt, Nigeria, the Philippines and Thailand have announced plans to sell their first sukuk in the past three months, partly to tap Persian Gulf oil wealth. The combined wealth of the Middle East’s more than 400,000 millionaires grew 5.1 percent in 2009 to $1.5 trillion, Cap Gemini SA and Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit said in June.

“We would definitely be interested in a sukuk out of Canada,” Ramiz Moukarim, head of debt capital markets at Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, who helps manages more than 1 billion riyals ($275 million), said in an Oct. 17 interview from Doha. “Whether it’s regional or federal, it doesn’t matter because of the nation’s rating. We’d have to look at their approach to the market, their pricing structure and the issuance size.”

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