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Call for Papers: THE NINTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ISLAMIC ECONOMICS AND FINANCE (ICIEF)

THE NINTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON
ISLAMIC ECONOMICS AND FINANCE (ICIEF)
Growth, Equity and Stability: An Islamic Perspective
10-12 September 2013, Istanbul, TURKEY

The Ninth ICIEF at a Glance

Recovery from the global financial crisis and subsequent economic downturn remains fragile. Persistent risks to financial and economic development include sluggish growth in developed countries – which is now spilling over into developing economies as well; increasing income and wealth inequalities; and still-unrestored financial, economic and political stability in many regions. High poverty and unemployment rates, large macroeconomic imbalances, deteriorations in sovereign credibility, increasing food price volatility and food shortages, and lack of access to basic infrastructure further intensify and magnify these risks – particularly for the underprivileged segments of the world population. As a result, for many countries it has become even more challenging to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations.

IIFM and ISDA Launch Mubadalatul Arbaah (MA) Profit Rate Swap (PRS) Product Standard

The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) are pleased to announce the launch of the ISDA/IIFM Mubadalatul Arbaah (Profit Rate Swap) product standard to be used for Islamic hedging purposes.

The Mubadalatul Arbaah (MA) standard follows on from the “ISDA/IIFM Tahawwut (Hedging) Master Agreement” and provides the industry with a framework for Islamic risk mitigation. The launch of the Tahawwut Master Agreement as the template for Shari’ah-compliant risk management was officially announced at a press conference hosted by Central Bank of Bahrain in March 2010.

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IslamicFinance.de aims to raise USD 2'500 for quarterly running costs

Dear Reader,

IslamicFinance.de is privately funded for many years. Now, for the first time, you have the possibility to make a contribution, from one Dollar upwards!

The technical details, and the money transfer via paypal is organised by Kapipal a new online fundraising tool:

http://www.kapipal.com/islamicfinance

On the blog I gave some more thoughts about Islamic finance media for those interested: http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=node/3454

Please also note: The fundraising action has a deadline, so act today, not tomorrow and tell your friends about it!

All donors who will leave a message will be listed in the article, which follows after closure of the fundraising period.

I am happy to meet you in person either on 19th March in Milano (http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=node/3396) or on 10th May in Frankfurt (http://www.islamicfinance.de/?q=BAFINII) at the respective Islamic finance conference.

Wa at Taufiq min Allah, all the best,

Michael Saleh Gassner

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Islamic finance media - a challenge, and what one could do

Dear Readers,

Islamic finance media are a tricky service. This is true for various reasons: The Internet eats up the revenues, because everything ought to be free. Islamic banks are still a niche phenomena, and international banks like UBS or Deutsche are almost as large as the entire global Islamic finance industry. Consequently the marketing budgets are much lower, too.

Last not least, who should advertise? The banks among themselves or to the clients? Advertising from bank to bank, does usually not make much sense, but real client oriented formats are hard to find, too. May be this is a niche. Others, who could finance Islamic finance media are basically the service providers to the banks, but due to the limited number of Islamic financial insitutions, direct marketing, e.g. face to face meetings will be preferred.

This in short is the background why Islamic finance media are not so well established in terms of journalism and research, but mostly reflecting the press release as criticised by the makers of the Islamic Globe. See: http://www.theislamicglobe.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article...

CALL FOR PAPERS - Islamic capital markets

CALL FOR PAPERS - Islamic capital markets, Deadline: Submission of Abstract: March 15, 2012
Islamic Research and Training Istitute – Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Islamic capital markets are to become an important part of the Islamic financial system. While new products are steadily coming into the market and the Islamic investment instrument are growing, Islamic capital markets still constitute a very small niche. For a discernible impact on the investment promotion, market stability, and equitable socio-economic development there is a growing need to accelerate the process of product development, to create conducive regulatory environment and to improve the market practices. This task requires development of new human capital and knowledge base.

With this larger objective, the immediate focus of this conference is on three issues:
• Design and use of Islamic financial products for Islamic capital markets.
• Identification of the needs for and the implications of market regulations for development of Islamic capital market.

Report for free download: Sarasin releases Islamic Wealth Management Report 2012

In its 2012 Islamic Wealth Management Report illustrated by masterpieces of Islamic calligraphy, by the Chinese Muslim master Hajji Noordeen, deals with the theme “The path to corporate transformation – converting a company to Islam”.

Bank Sarasin reviews the complexities of converting a business to Islam, a topic which is rarely discussed or written about. Conversion is complicated by the need to address every aspect of a business, the lack of broadly accepted standards and regulations, and differences in the Muslim world itself. The Report, released today, is the Bank’s third on Islamic Wealth Management.

Converting a business to Islam can increase the value of a company by 18-25% due to the scarcity of genuine Islamic investments. But the conversion process is arduous, extending from the design to distribution and beyond, to how the company spends its profits. As Sarasin notes, the market potential is massive, with the global Muslim population expected to increase by 26% to 2030, to 2.2 billion, rivalling China and India in terms of market size.

E&Y: World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2011-12

The 1st Ernst & Young World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2011 presented at the 18th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference stated that Islamic banking assets with commercial banks globally will reach US$1.1 trillion in 2012, a significant jump of 33% from their 2010 level of US$826 billion. In the MENA region, Islamic banking assets increased to US$416 billion in 2010, representing a five year CAGR of 20% compared to less than 9% for conventional banks. As new geographies open up to Islamic banking, the MENA Islamic banking industry is expected to more than double to US$990 billion by 2015.

Source: 

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/IBCRR_Report/$FILE/IBCRReport2011(LR)%20Final.pdf

ISLAMIC INDEX INVESTING: THE INTERNATIONAL EVIDENCE

Abstract academic paper:

Using a large international sample of 35 developed and emerging markets, we analyze
whether Islamic indices exhibit a different performance to conventional benchmarks. While there is no compelling evidence of performance differences in robust Sharpe ratio tests and after controlling for market risk, we find a significantly positive four-factor alpha for the aggregate developed markets region. This outperformance stems, however, mainly from the U.S. and is largely attributable to the exclusion of financial stocks in Sharia-screened portfolios. As the extensive downturn of financials is related to the recent financial crisis, we do not argue that this outperformance will continue over time. The style analysis reveals that

Islamic indices invest mainly in growth stocks and positive momentum stocks. This, for a passive portfolio intriguing result can, however, be explained by the strong sector allocation towards energy firms and their strong momentum characteristic during the sample period.

CALL FOR PAPERS - Islamic Finance in a Changing World - Abu Dhabi, October 15-16, 2012

The prime theme of this event will be the impact of the recent rapid changes on the
Islamic finance sector in all pertinent aspects. The Conference will consider the
spectacular political and socio-economic developments that we have been witnessing and
their probable effects on the performance and future position of Islamic financial
institutions (IFI’s), the regulatory set-ups, and popularity of Islamic products being
offered to the public, governments and business firms.

The Conference is being organised by Emerald Group Publishing, the world’s leading
scholarly publisher of journals and books on business and management. Over 220
academic journals are currently published by Emerald, covering some 24 managerial
disciplines, in addition to a strong and growing presence in other related fields such as
LIS, social sciences, and engineering.

This Conference follows on the success of the Global Islamic Marketing Conference held
in Dubai over the period 20-22 March 2011, organised by Emerald in association with the
United Arab Emirates University.

Conference Objective

The chief objective of the forthcoming Conference is to assess the future of this sector,

Charity of the month: UNESCO - Call for Donation

UNESCO works in education, the sciences, culture and communication and information. Recently it lost a substantial portion of funding as the newspapers reported (see for details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15527534 ). It is worth considering how to support the UNESCO and their goals:

"UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’S mission and activities.

The broad goals and concrete objectives of the international community – as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – underpin all UNESCO’s strategies and activities. Thus UNESCO’s unique competencies in education, the sciences, culture and communication and information contribute towards the realization of those goals.

Global leaders point way to economic recovery at UN summit

Global leaders point way to economic recovery at UN summit

Gordon Brown, Mary Robinson and global CEOs call for sustainable financial sector reform

Washington D.C., 20 October 2011 – With economic recovery topping the United States and global political agenda, a group of CEOs, major investors and bankers together with former United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President of Ireland Mary Robinson called for a far-reaching reform of the global financial system at a summit which ended in Washington D.C. today.

Amid a growing wave of protests highlighting economic concerns in countries from the US to the UK, Japan and Greece, more than 500 senior finance executives and policy-makers from around the world met at the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative Global Roundtable (UNEP FI) summit to find sustainable solutions to tackle the drivers of market volatility and address the deepening rift between the rich and the poor.

Islamic Investor for iPhone

IdealRatings® Islamic Investor™ is the only iPhone application that tells you if a stock is Shariah compliant or not, gives you a detailed report explaining why, and alerts you if it changes status, it is designed for personal use by individual investors.

IdealRatings® is the most trusted provider of accurate, and timely, Islamic Finance information. Most Islamic index providers, and financial institutions in 18 countries rely on IdealRatings to create and manage their Islamic,Shariah compliant, products. Our data is available directly, or on Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg terminals.

Features:

-Find out, instantly, if a stock in your local market is Shariah compliant or not.
-Learn why by reading a detailed report.
-Explore Shariah compliant stocks from the Top Stocks and Featured sections.
-Track the compliance of your favorite stocks.
-Receive an alert if a stock changes compliance status.
-Share your findings with your friends and colleagues.

‘Middle East must move towards social sustainable development’

Klaus Schwab, executive chairman and founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF), has the strong oppinion that it is time for the Middle East to grasp a more holistic, inclusive and qualitative approach to economic development. He stated that the events in this region over the past 10 months have no precedent and have developed a new regional order that is still evolving.

He also reminded that the next World Economic Forum on Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, in June 2012.

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More than 3 million people signed petition against hunger

Dear All,

as salamu alaikum wa Ramadan Karim,

May I kindly ask you to consider signing a petition against hunger, which has already more than 3 million signatories:

www.1billionhungry.org/gassner/

The rational behind it is explained on the website with materials, actions and videos; it is a joint initiative of various organisations and inshallah it will help to support the cause.

Let our fasting also lead to feel with those who do not have to eat at Iftar, let us sign all this petition right away and share it with friends.

Wa at taufiq min Allah,

Best regards,

Michael Saleh Gassner

New Disclosure Rules for the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

More than 500 capital management companies and investment funds that are signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) will be required to disclose information about their investment decisions, under a revision of the PRI rules.

The PRI is backed by the UN Environment Programme and the Global Compact, and has signatories from 45 countries with more than $25tn of assets under management.

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Quantitative Islamic Finance

Submission deadline 15 September 2011

Palgrave Macmillan is pleased to announce a call for papers for the Journal of Derivatives & Hedge Funds

For Islamic banking to grow further and develop there are many challenges relating to financing instruments, market structure and market regulation. The aim of the special issue is to provide a central platform and communication channel for researchers, academics, business leaders and industry practitioners relating to Islamic Banking. The key contextual challenges in the Islamic finance industry today include the innovations and developments at the leading edge of the field, and the long-term impact, scope and authenticity of these ideas in the context of an Islamic community and way of life. View full details at:

http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jdhf/jdhf_cfp_islamic.pdf

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

- The Shari'ah requirements in Islamic banking and risk identification.
- Current practices of asset management and portfolio management in Islamic banking
- Need of financial innovation in Islamic banking.
- The impact of the Basel Accords on Islamic banking
- Islamic banking and corporate governance

Muslim Philanthropy Awards [2011] Announced at World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists Banquet

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 23, 2011 – The Muslim Philanthropy Award winners were announced at the 4th annual banquet of the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists in Dubai, UAE.

Every year, the Muslim Philanthropy Award honors an individual, a grantmaking institution and a corporation for their distinguished contribution to the field of philanthropy.

The Muslim Philanthropy Awards for 2011 were awarded to H.R.H. Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (Personality) for demonstrating outstanding civic and charitable responsibility; Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Arabia (Grantmaker) for showing long-standing commitment to economic empowerment, human dignity, and institutional building; and Abraaj Capital, UAE (Corporation) for demonstrating longstanding leadership in advancing strategic philanthropy, creativity in responding to societal problems, and having significant positive impact on corporate giving in MENA region.

Islamic Finance Session at the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists

Alberto Brugnoni, ASSAIF, will moderate the Session on 'Finance and philanthropy' at the “4th World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists - Defining the Roadmap for the Next Decade” that will convene at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai on March 23-24, 2011

Muslim Philanthropy is at a crossroad, challenged to build new models of giving while simultaneously refining old methods embedded in vibrant Islamic tradition. The foremost challenge in the field is to promote strategic and accountable philanthropy that complements and enhances the generations-old conventional charity, which is often personal and spontaneous

The Session will examine within a common framework the failure of zakat to achieve most of its socio-economic objectives, the stagnation of waqf institutions in performing their designated social functions and the growing divergence between the aspirations of Islamic economics and the realities of the Islamic finance industry. It will also offer actionable programme plans for zakat and innovative ways of using the institution of waqf to establish social enterprises, as possible common solutions

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