Central Asia

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.

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‘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

MENA countries lead Sharia-compliant Takaful growth

At the recent International Takaful Summit 2011 the experts from Takaful stated that they expect to reach $12 billion by the end of this year.
Ernst & Young think that emerging markets will be the key actors leading Takaful’s growth.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Malaysia are currently the top three Takaful markets. They are followed by c, Bangladesh, Sudan, and Pakistan.

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

Roadshow success for Islamic Development Bank

Islamic Development Bank (IDB) conducted a roadshow in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. This is part of a resource mobilization plan.
The roadshow began in the UAE and reached London where the bank has successfully priced, $750 million, 5-year, Trust Certificates (sukuk) issued at par with a 2.35 percent semi-annual profit rate under its $3.5 billion Trust Certificate Issuance Program.

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.

Gulf bankers to attend Islamic finance confab in Luxembourg

The attenders at the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) will be, among others, central bank governors, representatives from Bahrain, the UAE, Jordan, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Bahrain, and many international finance and economic experts.
The host of the conference will be the Central Bank of Luxembourg and the theme is "Enhancing Global Financial Stability. Challenges and Opportunities for Islamic Finance".

Norton Rose advises on the largest Islamic syndication made in Turkey to date

Norton Rose (Middle East) LLP has advised Citibank as arranger in relation to a US$300,000,000 dual tranche Murabaha syndicated facility for Turkiye Finans Kat?l?m Bankas? A.S., an Islamic bank in Turkey 60% owned by the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia. It is the largest Islamic syndication in Turkey to date.
The initial transaction size was increased to US$300,000,000 due to high interest from banks in Europe, Middle East and Asia.

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

Kazakhstan to revisit U.S.$500 million sovereign sukuk

Kazakhstan will revisit a plan this year to issue debut sovereign Islamic bonds worth U.S.$500 million.
It will create a benchmark for corporate lenders because its aim is to build an Islamic finance sector among its majority Muslim population.
Central Asia's largest economy also plans to attract up to US$10 billion in Islamic finance in the next five to seven years, officials said yesterday, as a alternative means of financing an ambitious industrial growth programme.

Source: 

http://www.sukuk.me/news/articles/72/Kazakhstan-to-revisit-US$500-million-sovereign-s.html

Call for Papers: SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FROM AN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE

EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ISLAMIC ECONOMICS AND FINANCE

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FROM AN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE

Doha, Qatar - December 25-27, 2011

CALL FOR PAPERS

The global economy continues to face the perennial problems of poverty, persistent youth unemployment, excessive inequalities of income and wealth, high levels of inflation, large macroeconomic and budgetary imbalances, exorbitant debt-servicing burdens, inadequate and aging public utilities and infrastructure, skyrocketing energy prices, and growing food insecurity. The reoccurring regional and global financial crises further intensify and magnify these problems particularly for the underprivileged segments of the world population. As a result, many countries are at the risk of failing to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations. However, some countries also present optimistic experiences to share, and from which useful lessons can be drawn for shaping the future economic scene in other countries.

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Congress of Muslim Philanthropists Online - March 23-24, 2011, Venue Change: Dubai

The annual convening of the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, widely recognized as the premier forum on Muslim Philanthropy worldwide, welcomes social investors, grant-makers, government and business leaders, visionaries, and civil society executives to a solicitation-free collaborative environment.

The 4th World Congress will initiate a dialogue around the potential roadmap for Muslim Giving in the next decade. This discussion will be enriched by the collective wisdom and experience of leading philanthropists and intellectuals from around the world. The forum will also examine challenges unique to Muslim societies, and offer options for managing them.

Update 17th Feb 2011:

The organizers of the 4th World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists regret to announce the change of meeting venue due to circumstances beyond their control. This unpredicted situation came about in response to the directives we received today from the Moroccan authorities. While we feel extremely disappointed, we believe it is prudent that we do not compromise on the safety of our guests.

Call For Submission

KFH to expand real estate

Kuwait Finance House is looking for real estate investments in southern China and Europe.
Its real estate arm has investments primarily in key US cities, Malaysia, Shenzhen in China, and the Middle East.
Al-Ghannam said the company would prefer to invest in existing projects with local partners, rather than going into residential construction.

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How to balance form and substance - the role of Sharia Scholars

Dear Reader,

Many times I read, and on all conferences we debate on the issue of form over substance - is their a simple solution?

Let's revisit:

Form over substance means that contemporary Islamic finance takes more emphasize on the form of the contracts (in their Arabic terminology like Murabaha, Musharaka etc.) as in their substance, especially their economic substance, which often looks the same after conducting a sequence of Arabic named contracts.

Scholars have to judge the appearance of the form, meaning the contracts in front of them. A judge shall not guess the intentions of the contractual parties but typically has to rely on the text itself to come a decision. Different schools of Islamic law have different degrees on reliance on the form and considering or rejecting to assume 'intentions' . The hesitance to guess about 'intentions' is based on the fear to commit injustice to the parties and a procedural cause to get evidence about them.

IDB targets more sukuk issuances and mega interbank bank in 2011

THE Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank will be preoccupied with two developments in 2011 apart from its established plan of action. This is the progress toward the launch of its mega bank project and the other is the continuation of its trust certificate (sukuk) program.
The mega bank project was promoted by Saleh Kamel, head of Dallah Albaraka Group, who has been trying to get it launched for the last few years. But his failure to get the project started off through the support of both government and private investors saw the project somehow passed on to the IDB. The plan is to launch a mega bank that will effectively be an Islamic Interbank bank, with the aim of providing short-term liquidity to the global Islamic banking market and of promoting the trading of sukuk in the secondary market by acting as a market maker.
CIMB of Malaysia, Citigroup, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank acted as joint lead managers and joint book-runners, and NCB Capital of Saudi Arabia acted as co-lead manager for this transaction. The success of IDB's transaction was underpinned by a comprehensive international road show covering Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

IDB establishes an investment holding company in Turkmenistan

Through its member organization Islamic Corporation for Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has started replicating the schemes tested in co-operation with Azerbaijan.
The IDB reports that ICD general manager Khaled Al-Aboodi and chairman of the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan Ragimberdi Jepbarov signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on development co-operation.
The Memo has a focus on the development of the private sector, especially small- and medium-size enterprises, financial sector, agriculture, logistics, construction of affordable housing, services and manufacturing industries. The IDB will also render technical assistance and consultations within the framework of Islamic financing.

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