Egypt Delays Sukuk, Africa Lures Muslim Funds: Islamic Finance

After Egypt was forced to postpone plans to introduce Islamic bond regulation because of the political unrest, it doesn't look very good for the country that tries to attract Muslim wealth.
Nigeria, a competitive country, plans to license at least two Shariah-compliant institutions by the end of the year. Mauritius set minimum disclosure standards for financial statements from banks offering Islamic services.
Therefore, it looks like Egypt will loose in front of theese countries.

Sharia debt funds post biggest gains

Pakistan's biggest Sharia- compliant debt funds are posting the best returns for sukuk investors this quarter as an export revival boosts bonds sold by the government and agricultural companies.
The JS Islamic Pension Savings Fund-Debt and the NAFA Islamic Aggressive Income Fund recorded gains of 3.9 per cent and 3.2 per cent.

114 projects under 'guaranteed funding' plan

The number of projects registered under the Dubai Land Department’s (DLD) Tayseer programme has reached 114 and the first funding agreement under the scheme is expected to be finalised soon.
Until now, seven banks have signed with the DLD for financing under the Tayseer initiative. The banks are: Emirates Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Noor Islamic Bank, Mashreq, Dubai Bank and Ajman Bank.

SRI can find strength through unity

Sustainable investment, socially-responsible investment (SRI) and environmental, social, governance (ESG) approaches have been interesting topics in the funds industry for a very long time.
A number of studies have confirmed that investors are struggling to make informed decisions as they attempt to build a coherent sustainable investment strategy.
Nevertheless, the European investment industry has tried in the recent past to attract fresh money by launching new active managed sustainability funds in emerging markets or linked to hot topics like green energy. There are also new exchange traded funds (ETFs) which track indices based on sustainable or ethical selection criteria.

More is demanded from sustainable investment funds than a fluffy image

For all the talk about the ability of sustainable development funds to hold their own, the chart on the bottom right, which tracks the Dow Jones sustainability index against its global index, will make for awkward viewing.
Clare Brook, Fund Manager of the IM WHEB Sustainability Fund is positive with regards to this big gap between global funds that include big miners and refiners of fossil fuels and those that focus on so called clean energy.

Sector review: Global Sukuk funds over three years

The Sakk has underpinned modern day Islamic finance and as a result there is a multitude of different Sukuk for a fund manager to invest in, from various domiciles in both the developed and developing markets.
There is also a vast range of maturities and profit rates to choose from as well as different issuers from sovereigns down to small businesses. Finding them is not difficult either as Sukuk are listed on numerous global exchanges.
The top performer over the period was the tiny $0.01m Indonesian based Reksa Dana PNM Amanah Syariah fund, managed by PNM Investment Management.

Fire engine firm AssetCo damps down takeover bid

AssetCo, the troubled firm that owns London's fire engines, has rejected a takeover approach from an Islamic investment fund.
Shares in the emergency services company jumped by a fifth yesterday as it revealed that the board had rebuffed an 'opportunistic' cash offer from Bahrain-based private equity firm Arcapita.
Arcapita said the approach had been supported by AssetCo chief executive and largest shareholder John Shannon and it was 'still considering its options'.

Shariah-based investment products set to flood markets

Shariah-compliant personal investment products are slated to flood the market as exchanges and mutual funds seek to tap Muslim investors who refrain from trading in stocks and commodities. While the MCX-owned National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) plans to market shariah-compliant investment products in a fortnight, SBI Mutual Fund and UTI Asset Management are looking at ways to launch such products in the next few months.
Tata Mutual, Benchmark Asset Management , Taurus Mutual and Sundaram Mutual Fund have ethics-based investment products already.

Islamic Forum Wants Investment Map for Africa

Participants of the three-day meeting of the first West African Islamic Investment Forum have sought for a comprehensive investment map for Africa to be designed and a West African Islamic fund be established.
The participants also called on the forum and other stakeholders to initiate sponsorship for continued research, publication and capacity building on how to explore and harness investment opportunities in West Africa.

Al Baraka to enter mutual fund industry in June

Al Baraka Pakistan Limited (ABPL) will enter the mutual fund industry by June this year and funds will be established in collaboration with a well-established fund manager.
ABPL President Shafqaat Ahmed highlighted that the growth of Islamic income funds has outpaced the growth of the overall mutual fund industry in recent months.

HSBC Launches Global Islamic Securities Services

HSBC Securities Services (HSS) together with HSBC Amanah today launched HSBC Amanah Securities Services, a global service for Islamic fund managers.
The Shariah-compliant securities services are available globally to Islamic investment managers and traditional investment managers, managing Islamic funds.

Real Estate Fund approves 25,000 loans

The Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) has approved 25,000 loans to help finance construction of 3,000 residential units in cities and provinces in the Kingdom in accordance with its priority list of loan applications.
Hasan Al-Attas, REDF’s Acting Director General, gave a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) in which was said that the value of the loans amounts to SR7.5 billion, representing the second tranche of the generous support ordered by King Abdullah.

Unicorn Investment Bank announces first annual net loss

Total income for 2010 was $12.3 million, down from $96.5 million in 2009. With limited exceptions, the reduction in income was due to a general lowering of deal flows, within a stressed financial and operating environment.
Unicorn saw major deleveraging of the balance sheet in 2010, which saw the timely repayment of over $250 million of short term funds. The bank also recently announced the successful repayment of a $125 million Syndicated Commodity Murabaha Facility upon its due repayment date on 27 January 2011.

Influx of gulf funds viewed as temporary

The recent inflow of funds into the Malaysian sukuk market from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is temporary, fuelled by the build-up of investable funds in the GCC from the hike in crude oil prices amid the political upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Industry observers and analysts viewed the withdrawals of funds from the region and their inflows into the domestic sukuk market and other more stable ones would depend on the severity and duration of the region's ongoing political turmoil.

Doha Bank says it will invest in Islamicfinance, focus on cross-border funding

Doha Bank wants to continue investing in Islamic finance even as it focuses on cross-border funding. The bank will also explore various other options including Islamic asset sales after the recent Qatar Central Bank (QCB) directive to commercial banks on their Islamic operations.
Doha Bank, which is predominantly a commercial bank with 89% of its assets in conventional side, is also planning to grow across the border.

Doha Bank says it will invest in Islamicfinance, focus on cross-border funding

Doha Bank wants to continue investing in Islamic finance even as it focuses on cross-border funding. The bank will also explore various other options including Islamic asset sales after the recent Qatar Central Bank (QCB) directive to commercial banks on their Islamic operations.
Doha Bank, which is predominantly a commercial bank with 89% of its assets in conventional side, is also planning to grow across the border.

Al Hilal Bank launches new Sharia-compliant investment fund

The Islamic bank said that the open-ended fund will invest in publicly traded stocks of companies that meet strict Sharia law criteria.
Al Hilal Bank has appointed Abu Dhabi-based investment company Invest AD as investment advisor to the new fund and HSBC to provide custodial and administrative services.

Islamic Asset Management Industry&Investment Analysis-Islamic Asset Management Industry Moves Beyond Borders & Religion

Research and Markets has announced the addition of Frost & Sullivan's new report "Islamic Asset Management Industry - Investment Analysis" to their offering.
This research service titled Islamic Asset Management Industry - Investment Analysis deals with the global Islamic asset management industry, with a brief focus on countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and related investment themes.
In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine mutual funds, private equity, and venture capital.

BLME sees strong performance from Middle East Sharia'a USD income Fund

The Bank of London and The Middle East's (BLME) Sharia’a USD Income Fund has been ranked in the top decile of funds for 2010 by Lipper Hindsight, Thomson Reuters’ fund ranking platform.
This is proof of the fund’s good performance and its ability to provide a good balance between liquidity and return in a challenging environment.
Since its launch in March 2009 BLME’s USD Income Fund has offered investors weekly liquidity and enhanced yields through investment in Islamic money markets and the Sukuk (Islamic Bond) market.

UCITS IV: The trend for the future

Asset and fund managers have a new option in choosing a mutual or equity fund structure in UCITS IV (Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities) which according to prominent finance industry lawyers is ideally suited for a new generation of Shariah-compliant unit trusts, mutual funds and equity funds and products.
Luxembourg became the first EU jurisdiction to adopt UCITS IV at the end of December 2010, and as a major domicile for both conventional and Islamic investment funds has a first mover advantage.

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