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UAE the only Gulf state to improve in corruption ranking

The UAE has improved its ranking in terms of corruption and has moved one place up in a global ranking of countries perceived as the least corrupt. According to this year's survey, it is the only state in the Arabian Gulf to move to a better position. The annual study of the Berlin-based Transparency International examines the outside perceptions of dealing with public sector officials. It showed that the UAE reached the 27th place, alongside Qatar. The latter, on the other hand, has moved five places down since 2011.

Islamic Finance To Grow Significantly In 10-15 Years: Singapore DPM

It is expected that in the next 10 to 15 years Islamic Finance will offer significant opportunities for growth and diversification. Tharman Shanmugaratnam - Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance - expressed his optimistic attitude towards the prospects of Islamic finance. He pointed out that Islamic financial institutions have largly escaped significant damage in the global financial crisis as one of the main reasons for his attitude. In addition, he explained that this financial area has the opportunity to diversify into new growth areas such as trade and infrastructure financing in Asia and the emerging markets.

Waqaf, zakat are areas of growth in Islamic finance

As the global hub of Islamic finance, waqaf and zakat (tithe) management are key areas of growth for Malaysia. In a public lecture titled "Our Markets, Our Values — A principles-based approach to creating value in Muslim majority markets" in Kuala Lumpur, Iqbal Khan - CEO of Fajr Capital Ltd - pointed out that the goof position of Malaysia and the already existing regulations provide a stable ground for a number of areas of growth in terms of Islamic finance. His lecture particularly stressed on developments and key issues in the Muslim-majority markets.

UAE gov’t sets aside $410m to clear Emirati debts

AED1.05bn (US$410m) have been set aside by the government of the UAE in order to clear defaulted debts which Emirati nationals owe. According to a recent statement, the Higher Committee of the Nationals' Defaulted Debts Settlement Fund has given its approval for this sum complying with a directive by the Gulf state’s president HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The directive states that rescheduling of loan repayments by indebted citizens is not to exceed half of their monthly income. Banks on the other side have agreed to cut interest on monies owed by 1%.

KFH-Research seeks to prepare economic indicators for private sector services, business

According to a statement by Mr. Fahad Al-Mukhaizeem - strategy and corporate affairs general manager at Kuwait Finance House (KFH) - KFH-Research together with Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and Central Statistical Bureau intends to prepare economic indicators for the private sector. Moreover, they consider an upgrade to the mechanisms followed in its researches. Such a move will stabilize business and give additional value to the national economy. A documented scientific product will be released which will include a number of indicators in Kuwait's private sector business field.

Arabia CSR Network addresses thousands at World Forum on Responsible Business in Lille, France

Arabia CSR Network took part on the prestigious World Responsible Economy Forum thus representing the Arab region. The key issues of Forums where about 5000 business leaders, sustainability professionals and students came together were: sustainable marketing, corporate models and governance. The Network presented their key perspectives during the panel session and also speaking in plenum on the third day of the conference.

Dubai Islamic Bank Humanitarian Foundation sponsors state-of-the-art machine that helps prevent stroke in patients with sickle cells

Thalassemia medical centre has acquired a Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography (TCD) machine that can help prevention of stroke in patients with sickle cells as a donation from the Dubai Islamic Humanitarian Foundation and Dubai Islamic Bank. The center registers over 150 sickle cell patients who will benefit from a new machine.

IMF warns Morsi declaration could stall loan to Egypt

The International Monetary Fund claims, the political instability as well as the stability of state institutions in Egypt could delay the financial injection in value of $4.8bn loan from the fund.

Banks targeted in Gaza

The Hamas own bank, 'Islamic National Bank', was destroyed on Tuesday in an Israeli strike. Among other targets following was a villa that residents said belonged to Azzam al-Showa, the president of al-Quds Bank, which has no obvious ties to Hamas. No one was home when an Israeli F-16 struck late Tuesday night.

Gassner's picture

Islamic finance title from German translated to Chinese

Dear Reader,

The German language book on Islamic finance by the Editor of and Dr Wackerbeck from Booz Consultants is now translated to Chinese.

Please find the biographical information below:

Authors: Michael Gassner / Philipp Wackerbeck
Title: Islamic Finance – Islam-gerechte Finanzanlagen und
ISBN number: 978-7-5139-0217-5
PUBLISHER: Beijing - Democracy and Construction Press
Pre-Publication Date: 2012.7

Full biographical details:


Book review about the German language original:

Best regards,

Michael Gassner

Gassner's picture

Why the lack of profit/loss sharing?

Well, repeatedly we read and hear about the lack of profit/loss sharing (equity finance) in Islamic finance. Here my five cents about it:

1) Islamic commercial law, Fiqh Muamalat, per se has no preference of either permissible mode of finance, be it musharaka, ijara or murabaha whatsoever. All is halal. However, the call for modesty of debt in many hadith and the seriousness of being indebted upon death (withholding of death prayer) shows a call for a solid equity portion in business; let's call it a technical preference.

2) If we look up all debt financing modes (e.g.Murabaha, Ijara) there are remaining difficulties to finance wages, rents and installments on fresh debt. This is a true indicator for a required minimum amount of equity in a company.

3) Point 1) and 2) leads us to demand a sound debt/equity ratio.

Islamic finance job openings October 2012 offers an overview about new job openings of October 2012 herewith - firms aiming to be included please send a job profile/hyperlink to - the full details of the advert has to be accessed by the hyperlink below the brief description:

Product Manager, Islamic Banking

Standard Chartered Bank - United Arab Emirates-SCB (United Arab Emirates)
Job Description
?Development of Islamic wealth products across CBMS, insurance and investment streams to create customer value proposition.
?Ensure successful implementation of the Islamic banking strategy across high value segment.
?Concentrated responsibility to work with the Priority/Wealth/Private/SME product/frontline teams and support functions to build on the current Islamic banking capabilities and to create seamless customer experience
?Act as a product specialist for RMs on client meetings to introduce and explain the Saadiq solutions to meet their needs
?Financial budgeting and business forecast. Evaluation of financial performance.

2012 State of the Future

The 16th Annual Edition of “2012 State of the Future”, an overview of the global situation in terms of problems, solutions, and future prospects, is out. Jerome C. Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project and co-author of the book, points out the controversy between better life, richness, better health, better education etc. on one side and high potential instability in about half of the world on the other. The new edition is available on CD, USB flash drive, and for download. The report includes research with numerous tables, graphs, and charts as well as extra chapters on on 15 Global Challenges, the State of the Future Index, changing stereotypes about women around the world over the past 50 years and projected next 50 years, future factors affecting cooperatives and businesses, and futures of ontologists.

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Sustainable banking is the way forward

According to chief the executive officer of Alternative Bank of Switzerland (ABS), financial institutions worldwide must change their profit-mongering mindset. It is essential for them to replace the current principles with value-based banking practices in order to be able to contribute to the economy. Martin Rohner pointed out that the banks need to be brought back to their original economic purpose. The value-based approach removes profit from its first place, thus taking away the pressure of shareholders. Instead of striving for maximum profit, banks are to serve the community and the environment.

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Book of the Day: The Shareholder Value Myth

Lynn Stout's book, The Shareholder Value Myth, discusses the pervasiveness of the concept of “shareholder value”. Intellectual fashion and law as basis of the concept are examined. The controversial relationship between a corporation and its shareholders is an important topic in the book as well.

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16 Sharing Startups That Save Money and Reduce Your Consumption

Today there are a number of tech startups which can free us from unnecessary possessions by letting us share. Different items such as cars and dresses as well as hammers and wrenches can be shared. Moreover, this way money can be saved and waste can be reduced. In the article, 16 companies and services which offer shared goods are presented. Among the topics discussed are transportation, space, fashion, and stuff in the general sense of the word.

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Islamic Finance To Thrive At Faster Rate In Emerging Economies

It is expected that Islamic finance will thrive at a faster rate in emerging economies. The main reasons therefore, pointed out by KFH Research Ltd., are their resilient economic dynamics and potential, and their awareness of the industry. The liquidity in the emerging markets for Islamic finance is growing continuously and fast. This results in an increase in the demand for Islamic finance products. The outlook for the industry is growth as high as 20% a year.

Islamic Scholars, ICE Futures Switch, RBS: Compliance

At least five years later than initially supposed, Saudi Arabian and Malaysian Islamic finance experts start again their efforts to create common regulations for scholars. Together with its Middle Eastern counterpart, the Malaysian International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance has started its work on guidelines which will be targeted at the number of boards on which scholars can sit to reduce conflicts of interest. Also, an institution aiming to provide global accreditation will be established. Thus, the industry's need to boost confidence and improve transparency can be met.

MSCI ESG Manager Now Available to Corporate Issuers Through ISS Corporate Services

According to an announcement by ISS Corporate Services (ICS), the online environmental, social and governance (ESG) analytics platform MSCI ESG Manager is available. The platform will provide an integrated suite of tools for efficient understanding, analysis and management of sustainability risk across a spectrum of ESG factors. Companies will be able to determine the impact of ESG factors on reputational risk, the rating of their own environmental and sustainability practices and much more.

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Middle East Financial Bodies Seen To Be More Syariah-compliant Than Malaysia's

Middle East Islamic financial institutions are seen to be more Syariah-compliant than Malaysia's. This is the result of a research on "Developing a Model for Harmonization of Syariah Rulings in Islamic Finance" conducted by Dr Amir Shaharuddin from Islamic Science University of Malaysia.

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