Goldman Sachs

Why Shariah? Goldman poses sukuk puzzle

Reactions were very mixed at the news that Goldman Sachs had registered a $2bn sukuk programme through the Irish Stock Exchange. Some were happy, others were skeptic.
Part of the confusion came from the fact that Goldman did not reveal its assets or end user.
But it doesn't matter if Goldman is merely exploiting a passing opportunity to tap into cheap funding or arbitrage the market, as it is hard to imagine a better way for Islamic finance to show it is efficient and can work as a complementary solution alongside conventional finance.

Goldman sets up $2bn sukuk programme

Goldman Sachs has recorded a $2 billion Islamic bond programme, contributing with further evidence of conventional borrowers looking to sharia-complaint funding sources as market volatility makes raising debt finance more difficult.
The investment bank has set up the Cayman Islands-registered Global Sukuk Company Limited special purpose vehicle to launch murabaha-structured sukuk.
The sharia adviser of the programme is Dar Al Istithmar Limited.

Iran allows foreign bank branches: Citibank and Goldman Sachs among the first applicants

Iran welcomes foreign banks to establish branches in the country and engage in normal banking operations. According to Presstv, Article 44 of the Constitution had heretofore placed banking activities exclusively in the hands of government. In tandem with the Law on Usury Free Banking Operations, these two measures effectively blocked foreign banking operations from conducting business in the mainland.

With the long-awaited privatization law having already come into force in the summer of 2008, allowing the normal functioning of foreign banks in Iran is viewed as a major economy boosting initiative by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The rules for regulating the activity of foreign banks are set forth in four parts and 13 articles in the decree dated March 18, 2009 by the Council of Ministers and titled The Executive Bylaw of the Manner of Establishment and Operations of Foreign Bank Branches in Iran. The minimum capital for establishing a foreign bank branch in Iran is 5 million euros.

Under the new circumstances, four US banks, including Citibank and Goldman Sachs, have applied for opening a branch in Iran. The banks made a formal request to the CBI to establish a branch.

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