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Walkers Cayman Islands: Cayman SPVs In Sukuk Structures - Islamic Finance News

While a number of mechanisms can be employed to structure a Sukuk transaction from a Shariah perspective, a Sukuk structure typically involves the acquisition of assets from the entity seeking to raise financing (the originator) by a limited recourse, bankruptcy-remote, SPV established in a tax neutral off shore jurisdiction. The Cayman Islands are, unquestionably, the off shore jurisdiction of choice for SPVs on Sukuk structures originating in the Middle East. The prevalence of Cayman SPVs in Sukuk structures stems from a number of factors: Trust regime in the Cayman Islands, Absence of tax, Ease, speed and cost of incorporation, Sophisticated off shore center for financial services, Reliable legal system, Use of Arabic names.

White House turns to crowdfunding campaign for Syrian refugee crisis

The Obama administration has launched its first-ever crowdfunding campaign this week to raise money for Syria’s growing refugee crisis, in a bid to draw the American public into supplementing the U.N. refugee agency’s strained budget. The initiative is also a first of its kind for Silicon Valley crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. As of Wednesday, the second full day of the campaign, donors had raised over $800,000 for the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) — enough to cover immediate necessities and a place to sleep for 3,000 people in need, the campaign page says. However, the UNHCR has only received $1.8 billion of the $4.5 billion it has requested from foreign governments for Syrian refugees in 2015.

What Happens If We Redistribute Bill Gates Wealth to the Poor?

The Robin Hood Index chart shows the effect of confiscating all of the wealth of each country’s wealthiest individual and redistributing it to the poorest 15 percent of the nation’s population. Consider what happens if we took all of the wealth ($80 billion) of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and redistributed it to the poor. According to an analysis by Bloomberg News, the poorest 15 percent of Americans would get a one-time payment of $1,736 each. By adding the next billionaires on the list, that payment increases to $20,000. While a one-time payment of $20,000 might be nice for a few weeks or months, it solves precisely none of the long-term problems facing the poorest Americans.

Kickstarter is now a Public Benefit Corporation

Kickstarter announced the company’s reincorporation as a public benefit corporation, meaning that the crowdfunding company is now legally obligated to make a positive impact on society. The company has legally changed its name from Kickstarter Inc. to Kickstarter PBC and is now required to submit an annual public benefit statement detailing its work for public good. The first of these statements will be issued in February 2017. The crowdfunding company still serves as a for-profit, while doubling down on its social mission of supporting creative endeavors. Time will tell what this move will mean for the company’s financial projections.

Fitch Affirms JANY Sukuk Company Limited's Senior Debt at 'A'

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the rating of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s (GS) JANY Sukuk Company Limited (JANY) guaranteed trust certificate issuance programme at 'A'. The certificate programme's rating is equalized with GS's Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'A'. GSs ratings continue to be supported by its investment banking franchise, solid liquidity position, better-than-average capital position, and strong risk management. The ratings are constrained by GS's focus on capital market activities and relatively higher wholesale funding. The rating of the programme will be influenced by changes in GS's long-term IDR.

Azzad Asset Management Participates in U.S.-Saudi Investment Forum

A delegation from Azzad Asset Management joined representatives from the Saudi Arabian and U.S. business communities in Washington, D.C., for a conference designed to foster trade ties between the two nations. Azzad has investments in Saudi Arabia through its international fixed-income fund. The U.S.-Saudi Investment Forum, organized by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority in conjunction with the Council of Saudi Chambers and the U.S.-Saudi Business Council, served as an opportunity for executives and officials to explore investments in energy, transportation, health, education, and financial services. Signing ceremonies between U.S. and Saudi businesses were a feature of the event.

Yale University Announces Gift to Establish Center for Islamic Law and Civilization at Yale Law School

Yale University President Peter Salovey and Yale Law School Dean Robert C. Post have announced a $10 million gift to create the Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization at Yale Law School. This gift is from Abdallah S. Kamel, chief executive of the Dallah Albaraka Group, LLC, a banking and real estate enterprise based in Saudi Arabia. The center will bring prominent scholars of Islam to the Yale campus for public lectures, seminar discussions, visiting fellowships, and visiting professorships, attracting students from the Law School and other schools at the university to its lectures and other opportunities for collaboration.

Shariah Compliant, Globally Diversified

Islamic financial institutions have $2 trillion in assets under management, and this is likely to grow to $3 trillion in the next three to five years. The Shariah-compliant Azzad Wise Capital Fund offers an investment opportunity not only to Muslim investors but to anyone looking to invest in an alternative, non-correlated fixed-income fund with less volatility. The Fund currently has almost $100 million in assets under management. It pursues long-term income and capital preservation by investing primarily in Islamic Bonds and interest-free bank deposits and notes issued primarily by overseas banks in developing countries. A small portion of the Fund’s assets may be invested in dividend-yielding stocks.

Warba Bank invests in US residential real estate

Warba Bank is one of the initial investors in a US-focused real estate strategy managed by the Wafra Investment Advisory Group, Inc. Warba Bank has announced that the has acquired the commercial office building “The Nathaniel” in New York. Warba Bank’s co-investors include German insurance companies and pension funds. “The Nathaniel” is the first transaction by the fund. The building was completed in September 2014 and is a Class A+ nine story building consisting of 85 residential units with luxurious amenities and 18,000 square feet of retail space. It is fully occupied and located in upmarket area of East Village Manhattan, New York.

Azzad Welcomes Pope's Encyclical on the Environment, Social Justice

US-based Azzad Asset Management has welcomed Pope Francis' encyclical calling for swift worldwide action to combat climate change, protect the environment, and move toward economic equality. In the encyclical released 'Laudato Si' the pope issues an urgent invitation to people of all faiths to reduce their consumption of resources and make changes in their daily lives in order to safeguard the earth for future generations. He calls for sweeping government and economic reforms to counter environmental destruction and economic injustice. Azzad added its voice to that of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) which welcomed the pope's statement. Azzad joined ICCR earlier this year, becoming the first Muslim member of the shareholder coalition.

Islamic Finance in Canada is in the Calm Before the Storm

Demand for Islamic Finance in Canada at the retail level s increasing. Awareness is strongly rising and demand is following suite. So far, Islamic finance clients and interested potential clients are Muslims. As per Statistics Canada, the Muslim community is rapidly growing in Canada, the majority of Canadian Muslims being in the province of Ontario. So naturally, that's where the institutions are concentrating their marketing efforts with a few expanding to reach all the way to the province of British Columbia. The most popular product is hands-down real estate, be it residential or commercial.The technical knowledge of Islamic finance is, for the most part, basic. Islamic finance in Canada is in the calm before the storm.

Gassner's picture

Cryptocurrencies and Islamic finance?

Bitcoin (https://bitcoin.org) started to make the idea of a cryptocurrency popular. What is missing so far is an intense discussion among Sharia scholars.

What makes Bitcoin unique is, that it is a) created by a computer program b) that it is created and verified by a decentralised process, the so-called 'Blockchain' technology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_chain_(database)), which is solving a practical problem for the first time: To enable trust and accounting without a central ledger, such as a central bank. c) that it faciliates payments quick, efficient and discreet - while the latter leads to accusation of misuse, e.g. for gaming, drugs, terror finance etc.

How it can be seen from an Islamic perspective is not widely discussed, despite it deserves the attention. What we find in search engines are some discussions and also an initiative, which calls itself a bank (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=21732.0).

Buyout firm Arcapita sells $640m US real estate portfolio

Bahrain-based Islamic investment firm Arcapita said on Wednesday it had sold its real estate portfolio of retirement communities across the United States to NorthStar Healthcare Income Trust for $640 million. The portfolio includes 16 facilities and 4,000 residential units for continuing senior care. Net operating income from the portfolio grew by 41 per cent between 2010 and 2014, despite a slump in the U.S. housing market following the 2008 financial crisis. Abdulmalik said the firm has given $3 billion in exit proceeds to its investors in the last two years but did not give a breakdown of profits for its real estate portfolio exit. In November, Arcapita completed a $100 million fundraising, a little over a year after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Buyout firm Arcapita sells $640 mln U.S. real estate portfolio

Bahrain-based Islamic investment firm Arcapita said on Wednesday it had sold its real estate portfolio of retirement communities across the United States to NorthStar Healthcare Income Trust for $640 million. The portfolio includes 16 facilities and 4,000 residential units for continuing senior care. Net operating income from the portfolio grew by 41 percent between 2010 and 2014, despite a slump in the U.S. housing market following the 2008 financial crisis. Abdulmalik said the firm has given $3 billion in exit proceeds to its investors in the last two years but did not give a breakdown of profits for its real estate portfolio exit. In November, Arcapita completed a $100 million fundraising, a little over a year after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy driven by debt repayment difficulties.

Financial ups and downs don’t hurt just the poor

A new report from JPMorgan Chase’s research arm examined the deposit and spending patterns of 100,000 of its 27 million accounts during 2013 and 2014. It found that almost all the customers in the sample experienced changes in income and spending of 5 percent or more a month — not a tremendous fluctuation by any measure. But over the course of the year, 26 percent experienced income changes of 30 percent or more —10 percent suffered declines, while16 enjoyed increases. Income and consumption changes didn’t move in tandem. Just 28 percent of the survey subjects spent more money when they had more, and less when they had less.

When Will Our Justice Department Jail the Criminal Bankers?

Big-time criminals engaging in major financial crimes that effectively involve the theft of billions of dollars from the public aren’t being prosecuted. Today we learned of yet another huge settlement by five of the largest banks operating in our country. The list includes JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland UBS. Each of these banks admitted to engaging in criminal activity. But banks don’t commit crimes. People working for banks commit crime. And when people working for banks commit crime, it’s the responsibility of our Justice Department to indict them.

Islam Meets Wall Street

Demand for Islamic financial products has increased over the last decade—not just in the Gulf and Southeast Asia, but also in America. There are 5.7 million Muslims in the U.S. with $98 billion in disposable income, according to a report by DinarStandard, and many are looking for Sharia-compliant investments. But for many advisors in the U.S., it’s a peculiar market because not a lot of financial experts have expertise in Sharia law. Deals often involve multiple layers to enable them to be Sharia-compliant, and that can lead to added costs, such as double taxation. But one of the biggest issues is the diverging opinions about what makes investments Sharia compliant.

Gassner's picture

Short European fixed-income trade. A loss of a lifetime?

Bill Gross, well known fixed income fund manager twittered (https://twitter.com/januscapital/status/590519759797530624) and moved markets with his idea to sell German sovereign bonds short (selling without having them) to buy them back later cheaper. He called it "The Short of a lifetime"; the only issue would be the "timing"...

Interest rates will be once raising again but will short seller stay solvent long enough to benefit? The German economy is doing fine, but other EURO zone countries do not perform as well and need low interest rates for a prolonged period of time. Japan has so far not convincingly ended their easy money policy.

The Beginner's Guide to Halal RRSP Investments

With the registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) deadline on March 2nd, many Canadians are wondering and worrying about where to invest their money. An RRSP is registered with the Canadian government. In effect, it's a special bank account used to save up for retirement. This account is made up of investment products, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds that allow savings to grow over time. It's up to individuals to choose what investment products to have in their RRSPs. Unlike regular investment accounts, money inside an RRSP is tax-sheltered, meaning that it doesn't get taxed like regular income or investments. The challenge for Canadian Muslims is to know the nature of their investments to ensure their investments are halal.

Azzad Asset Management Becomes 1st Islamic Financial Firm to Join Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Representatives from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and Azzad Asset Management have announced that Azzad will join ICCR as its newest member—the first Islamic firm to be affiliated with the group. As a member organization focused on corporate social responsibility and environmental advocacy, ICCR leverages the influence of its shareowner members to enact change. The two organizations expressed optimism about the opportunities this collaboration affords. Azzad representatives reportedly hope to bring a fresh, Islamically inspired perspective to the many corporate and social issues confronted by ICCR.

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