Environment, Social, Governance

empty Description of term "Environment, Social, Governance"

Dubai's retail debt challenge

Debt management agency ISDM calculated the average debt load of its customers is AED500,000.

The agency has more than 3,000 clients on its books and about 70 percent of its customers are defaulting on consumer rather than business loans. About 5 % of the clients are ex-UAE residents who have skipped the country rather than face jail for their debts. Banks can recover 80 cents on the dollar through consolidation. Through a debt collection agency, may receive 40 cents on the dollar according to the firm's director Yohannes Mazeingi.

Dubai-based ISDM advises clients in debt distress to consolidate their loans and negotiate with the banks. It collects a two percent fee commission based on the overall value of the debt.

Under UAE law, bouncing a cheque is a criminal offence that can result in a jail sentence.


Saudi Arabia-Based Al Rajhi Bank Upgraded To 'A+' On Strengthened Financial Profile

Press Release

Saudi Arabia-Based Al Rajhi Bank Upgraded To 'A+' On Strengthened Financial Profile;
Outlook Stable

*We consider that Al Rajhi Bank's strong market position in the Saudi retail market,
superior profitability, growth strategy with solid capital ratios, and improved risk
management have strengthened the bank's financial profile. *We are raising our
long-term rating on Al Rajhi Bank to 'A+' from 'A' and affirming our 'A-1'
short-term rating. *The stable outlook reflects our view that Al Rajhi Bank should
continue to benefit from its comparative advantage as a leading and well-entrenched
Islamic bank in Saudi Arabia and maintain superior financial performance and capital

PARIS (Standard & Poor's) May 31, 2010--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said
today that it has raised to 'A+' from 'A' its long-term counterparty credit rating
on Saudi Arabia-based Al Rajhi Bank (ARB) and affirmed its 'A-1' short-term
counterparty credit rating. The outlook is stable.

"The rating action reflects our view that ARB's stand-alone credit profile has
strengthened in the recent past, thanks to its unique market position in the Saudi



The main objective of this paper is to give a clearer picture of the swap mechanism as offered by the international Islamic financial institutions and how its operations are structured in accordance with Shariah principles and contracts. In preparing this paper, ISRA has held a series of internal discussions as well as with outside parties, including Shariah experts and operating officers from international banks directly involved in the structuring of Shariah-compliant swap products. Documents related to the products and related academic materials were also referred to, giving a wider and thorough perspective on the issue.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki
Head of Research Affairs Department
International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA)

Shabnam Mokhtar
International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA)

Download: http://www.isra.my/media-centre/downloads/summary/29/216.html


Tax assessment of Islamic finance models under German Tax law

Ernst & Young prepared a statement in response to a query by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany regarding he tax assessment of selected Islamic finance contractual models. The attached report covers the main findings including an English summary.





Gassner's picture

Greece - how to handle a debt crisis?

Dear Reader,

Greece has a substantial impact on the ever nervous markets these days.

Interestingly, the help offered to the country is based on interest-bearing loans, which likely will go along with cost cuttings to service the debts causing all kinds of social hardships. This is the standard recipe.

How help would need to look according to Islamic law and morals?

1. Interest-bearing loans are a clear no go. Interest-free loans could be an option, even for the whole European Union for mutual support situations.
2. Fostering investments based on profit-/loss sharing. Greece could undertake a capital raise for state owned companies and infrastructure - the other EU countries could become investors rather than creditors.

S&P: European Finance House Offshore Sharia Fund Assigned 'AAf/S1+' Fund Credit Quality And Volatility Ratings

Press Release

European Finance House Offshore Sharia Fund Assigned 'AAf/S1+' Fund Credit Quality
And Volatility Ratings

LONDON, May 4, 2010--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it assigned
its 'AAf' fund credit quality and its 'S1+' fund volatility ratings to EFH Funds SCA
SICAV-SIF - Liquidity Subfund (the "subfund"), a Luxembourg-domiciled U.S
dollar-denominated liquidity fund, managed by European Finance House (EFH). This is
the first Standard & Poor's fund credit quality and fund volatility rating assigned
to an offshore Islamic fund.

Fund credit quality ratings generally reflect our assessment of the level of
protection against losses from credit defaults and are based on an analysis of the
credit quality of the portfolio investments and the likelihood of counterparty

Fund volatility ratings generally reflect Standard & Poor's view of the fund's
sensitivity to interest rate movements, credit risk, investment diversification or
concentration, liquidity, leverage, and other factors.

The ratings reflect Standard & Poor's analysis of the subfund's credit quality and

S&P: Islamic Investors' Risk Tolerance Will Determine Demand For Sharia Fund Ratings

Press Release

Islamic Investors' Risk Tolerance Will Determine Demand For Sharia Fund Ratings,
Report Says

LONDON, May 4, 2010--The economic boom in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region
has fueled the emergence of Islamic finance in the international market in the past
decade. Revenue growth in this region has particularly benefited the asset
management sector, as Standard & Poor's noted in a report published today (see "Using Fund Ratings To Assess Credit And Market Risks In Sharia Funds").

The Middle East is by far the largest market for Sharia-compliant funds, but
conventional players in Europe, South Africa, and the U.S. have also launched a
number of funds that comply with Sharia law during past years, enhancing their
product range to meet the specific requirements of Islamic investors seeking to
invest in this asset class.

The number of product types remains limited, which Standard & Poor's Ratings
Services believes is largely due to the nascent nature of Sharia funds. Funds also
have to be invested in ways that are permitted under Islamic law. Sharia funds,
unlike traditional bond funds, do not invest in conventional rated fixed-income


ISBN: 978-3866184558
Language: German

The global financial crisis of 2008/2009 found its initial expression in the banking crisis. The crisis made it unequivocally clear, that the exclusion of morals and ethics from the under-standing of finance should not continue. The question at hand is: Are ethics in the financial realm conceivable? Which normative understandings of finance are justifiable? Which im-plementation approaches of ethics and finance could be derived from theory and practice?

New observing members of IFSB incl. MunichRe, The German Reinsurance giant

The IFSB said the National Bank of Tajikistan, Prudential Hong Kong, along with Malaysia-based OCBC Al Amin Bank and the Islamic reinsurance unit of Germany's Munich Re will join as "observer" members,


Gatehouse buys student accommodation

Gatehouse Bank, has bought two student accommodation properties for £29.2m.

The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists expresses his condolence: H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahayan

For Immediate Release:

Oak Brook, Illinois – April 3, 2010
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahayan

The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists expresses its most profound sympathy on the recent loss of one of the leading Muslim philanthropists, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, the Chairman of the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation.

Sheikh Ahmed was the head of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), rated among the world's top state-run investment establishment. He was a brilliant entrepreneur and a devoted humanitarian who will be remembered dearly by all of us.

Under Sheikh Ahmed’s visionary leadership, The Zayed Foundation has made an impact that was truly global. Several initiatives aimed at issues such as poverty, scarcity of clean water, preventable disease, and aggravation of war impacts was launched in some of the poorest economies.

The Congress joins people of the United Arab Emirates in mourning the demise of Sheikh Ahmed and prays to Almighty Allah for granting eternal peace to the departed soul and grant solace to the bereaved Al Nahyan family. Ameen.

-----The End-----

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has published a Guidance Note for Shariah Compliant Funds

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has published a Guidance Note for Shariah Compliant Funds.

The document explains how the legal and regulatory framework established under the Investment
Services Act would apply to Shariah-compliant funds established under Maltese law.
The MFSA stated that Malta’s principles-based regulatory regime lays emphasis on the
disclosure of all information that the investor needs to know before taking the investment
decision and on the transparency of investment management process itself. This allows a
high degree of freedom on the choice of investment strategies and asset allocation
policies adopted by investment funds, subject to conditions that vary according to the
level of experience and investment expertise of the target investor.

On this basis, the Guidance Note establishes that, whether set up as Professional Investor
Funds, UCITS or non-UCITS Retail Funds, Shariah Funds may be regulated in the same
manner as non-Shariah Funds. The level of disclosure and the applicable conditions
would be the same as those that are applicable to the respective category of retail or

Launch of International Islamic Finance Journal from Dubai

Press Release

Today sees the launch of a new Journal on Islamic finance from dedicated Islamic finance media entity Yasaar Media.

The Journal, called So Far – the Journal of Strategic Thinking in Islamic Finance, is written and edited by members of an Islamic finance Think Tank and is modelled on traditional academic journals. The difference with So Far is that the members of the Think Tank are predominantly practitioners rather than academics.
Member of the Think Tank are drawn from the ranks of committed Islamic finance professionals around the world and range from the Gulf and the Far East to the USA and Europe.

Each issue of So Far is dedicated to a single topic of core importance to the Islamic finance industry – and the launch issue looks at the thorny issue of the problems facing the Sukuk market. Unlike many other journals So Far is distributed free in PDF format and is available from a variety of sources including Yasaar Media thus guaranteeing maximum readership and exposure.

CGAP, Deutsche Bank, Grameen-Jameel and IDB partner to launch ‘Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2010'

For Immediate Release

March 8, 2010–CGAP, Deutsche Bank, Grameen-Jameel and Islamic Development Bank have joined forces to challenge the Islamic microfinance industry to develop new ideas for business models in the Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2010: Innovating Sustainable, Scalable, and Market-Driven Models. Islamic microfinance has gained some traction over the past few years, with a swift rise in the number of institutions offering microfinance products in compliance with Islamic principles. But the fundamental challenge for the Islamic microfinance industry remains meeting client demand with affordable, authentic, profitable, and market-driven products.

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