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Islamic Finance in the News

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3.10.12

Islamic finance body says first sukuk to debut within months
(Reuters) - International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp., backed by a group of central banks located mainly in Asia and the Middle East, will launch its first sukuk of $300 million to $500 million "in a matter of months", its chief executive said.

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20.9.12

Zeti: Regional expansion key for Malaysia's Islamic banks
(Reuters) - Malaysia's Islamic banks need to expand further into Southeast Asia to play a greater role in the management of international Islamic bonds, or sukuk, Malaysia's Central Bank Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said on Thursday.

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Ireland's ESB considers sukuk issue in Malaysia
(Reuters) - Ireland's Electricity Supply Board (ESB) is considering whether to become the first large non-financial company from Europe to sell Islamic bonds by issuing a sukuk in Malaysia.

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QIB UK to launch first sukuk-linked note this month
(Reuters) - London-based QIB UK, a subsidiary of Qatar Islamic Bank, plans to launch two structured products this month including a note linked to a sukuk, its head of asset management told Reuters.

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19.9.12

Indonesia's missing ingredient: Islamic finance
(IFR) - Indonesians often complain that neighbouring Malaysia is stealing their traditional dances and costumes for its tourism marketing. If they were to take something in return, however, they could do worse than replicate Malaysia's approach to Islamic finance.

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Turkey embraces Islamic finance with sovereign sukuk
(Reuters) - Turkey's issue of its first sovereign sukuk this week paves the way for Turkish companies to raise money through Islamic bonds, and may help the country become a major market for Islamic investors from the Gulf and southeast Asia.


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16.9.12

Jordan lawmakers clear way for sovereign sukuk
(Reuters) - A long-awaited law allowing Jordan to issue sukuk has been cleared by both houses of its parliament, paving the way for the government to tap strong global appetite for Islamic bonds as it tries to repair public finances.

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2.9.12

Bahrain's takaful growth drops to single digits
(Reuters) - The growth of Bahrain's takaful (Islamic insurance) sector dipped to single digits in 2011 for the first time in a decade, while still outpacing growth in conventional insurance, according to data released on Sunday by the country's central bank.


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28.8.12

S.Africa's FNB to appoint new sharia board by year-end
(Reuters) - South Africa's First National Bank (FNB) aims to appoint a new sharia board for its Islamic finance division by the end of 2012, after the previous board dealt a blow to the bank's effort in the sector by resigning a month ago.


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24.8.12

Malaysia reforms could aid Islamic banks in rural areas
(Reuters) - Financial reforms in Malaysia could spur the growth of the country's Islamic banks by giving them more opportunity to tap into rural areas, which have a greater proportion of Muslims than urban centres. But concerns about profitability may slow the expansion.

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15.8.12

Islamic finance body plans scholar accreditation, ethics code
(Reuters) - A fledgling industry body of Islamic scholars wants to develop a global code of ethics and a professional development programme for scholars, in order to improve standards in the industry, its president told Reuters.

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7.8.12

Pakistan takaful rules to attract new players
(Reuters) - Pakistan's regulator has introduced new takaful (Islamic insurance) rules designed to boost competition and lift the sector's market share by allowing the entry of conventional players, prompting a legal challenge from takaful providers.

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5.8.12

Islamic trade finance: lost in transaction
(Reuters) - Omar Ibn al-Khattab, ruler of a nascent Islamic empire in the seventh century, once convened a meeting in Medina to admonish his subjects "for avoiding trading and leaving the markets in the hands of the foreign traders".
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25.7.12

Islamic index products struggle in Gulf investment culture
(Reuters) - Islamic exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are struggling to attract fresh investors, in contrast to a move by Western investors into conventional ETFs - a difference due to the Gulf's plain-vanilla investment culture and the way in which institutions choose financial products.
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23.7.12

Malaysia's pension reform may boost Islamic funds
(Reuters) - Malaysians will have more room to allocate part of their retirement contributions to Islamic investments under sweeping government reforms to the pension system.

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19.7.12

Cash-rich Islamic funds fuel wild Dubai sukuk rally
(Reuters) - A spectacular rally in Dubai-linked Islamic bonds is pushing yields to record lows and influencing prices in the entire Gulf debt market. Some investors think the rally has reached excessive proportions, potentially setting bonds up for a partial pull-back when the euphoria starts to fade.



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Islamic forestry fund aims to tap crossover appeal
(Reuters) - Luxembourg-based Sustainable Capital has announced the launch of a sharia-compliant forestry fund, part of a trend toward crossover products that appeal to Islamic investors as well as those interested in green investment.
 
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27.6.12

Oman plans Islamic finance rules before year-end
(Reuters) - A regulatory framework for Islamic finance is taking shape in Oman as government bodies move towards meeting the country's stated aim of making sharia-compliant products available to the public this year. But logistical challenges and the limited size of the market may prevent entrants to the business from making quick profits.


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21.6.12

Gulf sukuk funds grow but liquidity is problem
(Reuters) - Gulf investment funds dedicated to sukuk are increasing in size and number, but the growth spurt may not be enough to solve the concentration and liquidity issues facing the Islamic bonds market.


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19.6.12

Malaysia revises Islamic equity standards
(Reuters) - Malaysia's securities commission is revising its guidelines for equities which qualify for Islamic investment, in a move that could increase the appeal of the country's sharia-compliant funds industry to Gulf investors.


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14.6.12

(Reuters) - Islamic capital-protected products are starting to gain ground among retail investors in the Gulf, because of volatility in the equity markets and growing acceptance within the industry of how the products are created.


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12.6.12

(Reuters) - The shareholders of three Islamic banks in Bahrain will vote this month to approve their merger, the deal's adviser said on Tuesday, in what would be a rare example of consolidation in the Gulf banking sector.


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11.6.12

(Reuters) - The political party of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which has the biggest bloc in parliament, is proposing changes to the banking law with the goal of boosting the market share of Islamic banks to 35 percent in five years from 5 percent now, a party member said.


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10.6.12

(Reuters) - Established in 2007, Dubai-based Noor Islamic Bank said it planned to become the world's largest Islamic lender within five years, and would consider acquisitions to reach that goal.


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7.6.12

(Reuters) - Malaysia's central bank will eventually expand its new Islamic money market funding facility to allow trades of the instrument between commercial banks, while introducing longer tenors, the central bank said on Thursday.


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(Reuters) - Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB), parent company of Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), is considering the sale of the UK's only sharia-compliant retail lender as it struggles to gain scale in the UK market.


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6.6.12

(Reuters) - Malaysia's central bank is introducing an Islamic overnight funding facility which could encourage commercial banks from the Gulf to trade more in the country's sharia-compliant money market.


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5.6.12

Bangladesh launches Islamic interbank money market
(Reuters) - Bangladesh has launched an Islamic interbank money market, aiming to help sharia-compliant banks manage their short-term funding.

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31.5.12

(Reuters) - The Islamic investment sector can widen its customer base by adopting a socially responsible model, according to industry experts, but distribution channels, a sophisticated investor base and incentive schemes need to be enhanced first.


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28.5.12

(Reuters) - Malaysian Airlines (MAS) has proposed the world's first corporate perpetual sukuk, a debt-equity hybrid, its top official said, hoping to raise up to 2.5 billion ringgit ($798 million) from the Asian state's Islamic capital markets.


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20.5.12

(Reuters) - Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank Gulf Finance House (GFH) has obtained approval to restructure a $110 million Islamic bond, extending repayment for six years, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

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17.5.12

You're hired! Islamic finance seeks own Apprentice
(Reuters) - Islamic finance is on the hunt for an apprentice. Dome Advisory, an international sharia advisory firm is launching a nationwide search for talented students at UK universities who can come up with a business plan or research idea that will aid the development of Islamic finance.
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16.5.12

Afghanistan mulls Islamic bonds, fearing Western cash cutback
(Reuters) - Afghanistan, which has only a semblance of a capital market, intends to sell Islamic bonds as it braces for a possible sharp fall in Western financial support as the war against the Taliban winds down, a senior central bank official said this week.


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13.5.12

Australia's NSW revives Islamic finance push
(Reuters) - The government of the Australian state of New South Wales, home to the country's financial capital Sydney, will send a group to Dubai this week to discuss ways to develop the Islamic finance industry, officials said.


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10.5.12

Islamic repo agreements struggle for traction
(Reuters) - Islamic repurchase agreements may struggle to gain wide acceptance as a tool for financial institutions because the industry lacks clear rules governing their use, participants at a major industry conference told Reuters.
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8.5.12

AAOIFI urged to improve Islamic auditing system
(Reuters) - Auditors of Islamic financial institutions need better training to make sure they can conduct accurate assessments of products and practices, a major industry conference was told this week.

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2.5.12

No windfall from Qatar ban on Islamic windows
(Reuters) - A year after Qatar ordered conventional banks to stop offering Islamic financial services, an expected windfall for its Islamic banks has yet to materialise. Nor is it clear that banks' customers are benefitting from the policy.
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22.4.12

Analysis: Political divisions slow Islamic finance in Egypt
(Reuters) - AlexBank, one of Egypt's biggest commercial banks, says it expects to launch Islamic financial services next April. But the country's political divisions mean the regulatory environment in which the bank will operate is not clear.
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18.4.12

Analysis - Slower takaful growth prompts strategy rethink
(Reuters) - Growth of the takaful or Islamic insurance business is slowing, industry statistics show, increasing pressure on the sector to boost efficiency, roll out new products and explore new markets.
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9.4.12

New IFSB guidelines focus on Islamic bank risk
(Reuters) - The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has published new guidelines on liquidity and stress-testing, seeking to reduce the balance sheet risk of Islamic financial institutions in line with a tightening of standards in conventional banking.
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