Category Archives: Events held and planned

ONE DAY LEFT! Register for Ethica Institute Live Webinar: “Interest-Based Finance and Global Warming: Making the Connection”

ONE DAY LEFT! Register for Ethica Institute Live Webinar: “Interest-Based Finance and Global Warming: Making the Connection”

How does interest-based finance contribute to global warming? And how does Islamic finance provide an alternative? We explore these and other topics in this 40 minute presentation and follow up with your live Q&A.

Register at: http://www.facebook.com/EthicaInstitute

Cost: FREE
Where: The comfort of your desk
When: 6pm Dubai time, Sunday, December 12, 2010

What You Get:

  • 40 minute presentation with slides
  • Live Q&A
  • Guidance on how to get active
  • Free downloadable article providing step-by-step guidelines

We briefly look at how interest-based finance imposes unnatural demands on humans and nature, and explain how Islamic finance offers the more ethical alternative. Most importantly, we ask you to get involved and give you some simple steps to get started.

Across the globe, every summer gets hotter and every winter gets milder. Between 1980 and 2007, the summer Arctic ice area shrank from ten million square kilometers to four million square kilometers. At this rate, the Arctic will be almost free of ice within fifteen years and the sun, with no large ice sheet deflecting its light, will have free reign to warm our oceans at will.

Rising sea levels and increasing global heat are not part of a natural, glacial shift in the Earth’s weather patterns, as some of those in moneyed quarters might have us believe, but rather a dramatic environmental shift all happening in a blink of the Earth’s archaeological eye. It is caused by us. A fact easily measurable from carbon data in ice stratigraphy dating back millions of years.

Space is limited—register today!

We’re limiting registration to ensure that each attendee gets the best experience possible. For more details and to register join us on Facebook.

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Fifth Annual Islamic Business & Finance Industry Awards To Take Place In December

Fifth Annual Islamic Business & Finance Industry Awards To Take Place In December

Islamic business and finance is experiencing strong growth, particularly throughout the emerging market economies of Asia and the GCC, with increasing institutional and infrastructural support. Recognizing the economic advantages and benefits reaped throughout Asia and the GCC, the industry is becoming a vital and competitive alternative to conventional finance systems throughout the world.  

To highlight the phenomenal performance and development of the Islamic finance industry, CPI Financial, publisher of Islamic Business & Finance magazine, will be hosting the fifth annual Islamic Business and Finance Awards in Dubai on 21st December. These Awards are recognized around the world as one of the most distinguished Awards Programmes within the financial industry.

"Since their inception, the Islamic Business and Finance Awards have been setting the benchmark for successful Islamic financial institutions and experts from around the world and the region," says Dominic De Sousa, Chairman of CPI Financial.

A total of 30 accolades will be presented at the Islamic Business and Finance Awards.  Shortlists for the various Shari’ah-compliant banks and financial institutions are being compiled by an international panel of judges comprised of leading experts and consultants in the industry. The individual awards presented for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Industry, ‘Islamic Banker of the Year’ and ‘Lifetime Achievement’, are ‘write-in’ awards that require the voters to nominate the individual most deserving of the accolade.

"At a global level, the significance and rising attraction of Islamic finance is transforming today’s financial world. The industry has proved to be a stable and promising finance sector, growing by 15-20 per cent over the past decade," says Robin Amlôt, Managing Editor of CPI Financial.

Many are seeing that Shari’ah-compliant financial systems encompass a comprehensive screening process, greater transparency and a need to understand the nature of the investment rather than just focusing on returns.  In turn, this ensures built-in checks and balances that create a more stable financial institution.  

"Islamic assets are now worth around $1 trillion and with a global Muslim population of nearly two billion people we are seeing a clear shift in preferences towards Islamic finance. Up to 50 per cent of all Muslim  savings are likely to be  held by Islamic banks by 2020," Amlôt adds.

In response to the extraordinary growth rate of Islamic financial institutions, the Islamic Business and Finance Awards continue to draw industry attention and an ever-increasing audience. Being held on 21st December at the Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai, the Awards ceremony will honour the exceptional performance of various global and regional organisations as well as distinguished individuals within the Islamic finance industry.

Source: http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20101205084125

Annual AAOIFI conference in December 2010

Annual AAOIFI conference in December 2010

aaoifi

The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) has announced that it would hold its annual conference on Islamic banking and finance next month.

The event, from December 1 to 2, will be held at the Crowne Plaza.

It is being organised in co-operation with the World Bank and participation of the National Commercial Bank under the auspices of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

It further emphasises Bahrain’s world leadership in the Islamic finance industry on the final day of the WIBC.

"AAOIFI is proud to organise such a high-level annual conference which addresses important topics and issues related to accounting and Sharia audit," said secretary general Dr Mohamad Nedal Alchaar.

"The conference is a key source of knowledge and information for businessmen, financiers and Sharia scholars.

"This year, we will discuss a number of topics, including corporate governance requirements for Sharia supervisory boards, conflicts between fatwas issued by different boards, addressing insolvencies in Islamic financial institutions, challenges in the capital markets, non-compatibility of certain international standards with Islamic financial transactions as well as applying Wa’ad "promise" and Irboon "earnest money" in Islamic financial transactions.

"These topics will be addressed by distinguished professionals," he added.

The conference will be followed from December 3 to 6 by intensive training courses under the Certified Sharia Adviser and Auditor programme, which includes Sharia compliance and review of processes in Islamic financial institutions, Sharia standards issued by AAOIFI on Islamic financial instruments and practices.

The main sponsors of the conference are Bahrain Islamic Bank, Al Baraka Banking Group, Jordan Islamic bank, Kuwait Finance House, Ithmar Bank, Gulf Commercial Bank, Path Solutions and ITS.

The AAOIFI is a Bahrain-based international autonomous not-for-profit organisation whose role is to develop accounting, auditing, ethics, governance and Sharia standards for Islamic financial institutions.

Source: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=292466

Ethica Institute Live Webinar: “Interest-Based Finance and Global Warming: Making the Connection”

Ethica Institute Live Webinar: “Interest-Based Finance and Global Warming: Making the Connection”

How does interest-based finance contribute to global warming? And how does Islamic finance provide an alternative? We explore these and other topics in this 40 minute presentation and follow up with your live Q&A.

Register at: http://www.facebook.com/EthicaInstitute

Cost: FREE
Where: The comfort of your desk
When: 6pm Dubai time, Sunday, December 12, 2010

What You Get:

  • 40 minute presentation with slides
  • Live Q&A
  • Guidance on how to get active
  • Free downloadable article providing step-by-step guidelines

We briefly look at how interest-based finance imposes unnatural demands on humans and nature, and explain how Islamic finance offers the more ethical alternative. Most importantly, we ask you to get involved and give you some simple steps to get started.

Across the globe, every summer gets hotter and every winter gets milder. Between 1980 and 2007, the summer Arctic ice area shrank from ten million square kilometers to four million square kilometers. At this rate, the Arctic will be almost free of ice within fifteen years and the sun, with no large ice sheet deflecting its light, will have free reign to warm our oceans at will.

Rising sea levels and increasing global heat are not part of a natural, glacial shift in the Earth’s weather patterns, as some of those in moneyed quarters might have us believe, but rather a dramatic environmental shift all happening in a blink of the Earth’s archaeological eye. It is caused by us. A fact easily measurable from carbon data in ice stratigraphy dating back millions of years.

Space is limited—register today!

We’re limiting registration to ensure that each attendee gets the best experience possible. For more details and to register join us on Facebook.

Scholars and bankers invited at George Washington University to discuss nuances of Islamic finance

Scholars and bankers invited at George Washington University to discuss nuances of Islamic finance

The event featured five distinguished scholars and experts in the field of Islamic finance. They included Prof. Frank Vogel, senior fellow and head of Muslim World Law and Islamic Finance, Institution Quraysh for Law and Policy and Umar Moghul, Partner at Murtha Cullina LLP and co-chair of the firm’s Islamic Finance and Investments Group.

Yusuf Talal deLorenzo, chief Shariah officer at Shariah Capital, Aamir Rehman, managing director at Fajr Capital Limited and Ibrahim Warde, adjunct professor of International Business at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, were the others.

The panelists addressed a several hundred attendees on the various aspects of contemporary Islamic finance such as its historical legacy, the compatibility of Shariah-compliant institutions with US law, derivative instruments and the development of sukuk in the Gulf, Shariah financial regulation and practice in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and Islamic finance in the light of the recent financial crisis.

It also addressed Shariah financial regulation, how the rise of Gulf capital is affecting financial markets and how it should be regulated, as well as the compatibility of Shariah institutions with US law and regulation and the objections of Shariah scholars challenging the permissibility of derivatives under Islamic Law.

The discussions were moderated by Jean-Francois Seznec, visiting associate professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.

Regarding the question of sukuk in the Gulf, DeLorenzo said ownership is an important issue for Shariah scholars to understand.

“Ownership is always a sticky subject and it is not always a failure of the Shariah advisers when ownership and sukuk is questioned,” he said.

DeLorenzo, wrote the introduction to Islamic bonds, a book that introduced sukuk to the world’s Islamic capital markets as well as a three volume Compendium of Legal Opinions on the operations of Islamic banks, the first English/Arabic reference on fatwas issued by Shariah boards.

One clear lesson, he said, “is the need for more and more diligence on the business side.”

Questioned on whether sukuk is a sound investment, he said there are serious Shariah issues that need to be addressed. “There are tensions between GCC investors and Malaysian investors who have different philosophies in the jurisprudence.”

He said that sukuk need to have a viable trading market.

“We need to confront these issues. The tensions need to be resolved before real trading can take place.

“Sukuk are hybrids, some look like equity, others like debt. They need to be traded and exchanged, and unless everyone understands the rules there will be a lot of confusion in the marketplace and people will leave. There is a need to deal with this sooner than later.”

DeLorenzo’s 30-year career as a scholar of Islamic Transactional Law was a front-page story in the Wall Street Journal in 2007.

“It’s a rules-based business; people need to understand that, whether they’re in Hong Kong or Chicago, and the way to do this is through an exchange of information,” he said.

“Many of the high profile sukuk defaults have taken place as the result of poor business decisions, not Shariah.”

He said the problem was that the “press picks up on a sukuk default and then blames it on Shariah. We need to explain it better.”

The expert said a new generation of sukuk coming to the market also needs to be closely examined.

“My feeling is that the issuers need to be more transparent to investors, and feel the same way about Shariah boards. We need to be careful about managing perceptions.”

Read the rest …

2009 London Sukuk Summit

2009 London Sukuk Summit

Sukuk

Two influential regulators, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, Chairman of the Securities Commission of Malaysia, the securities regulator, and Dr Mohammed Al-Jasser, Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary AgencySaudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMASAMA), the central bank, have won this year’s premier honour at the 2009 London Sukuk Summit Islamic Finance Awards which was held at a Gala Dinner on the evening of 2nd July 2009 at the Radisson Hotel in London. The awards formed part of the 2009 London Sukuk Summit which was held at the same hotel on 2nd-3rd July 2009.

Chairman Tan Sri Zarinah won the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Islamic Capital Markets’ Award while Governor Al-Jasser won the ‘Outstanding Contribution by a Regulator to Islamic Financial Services’ Award at a ceremony organized by London based ICG-Events.

The Awards recognizes the achievements, progress and effort by individuals and institutions in the Islamic finance space. This year there were 24 Award categories.

Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, who took over the helm at the Securities Commission in 2006, is recognized for her vital role in expanding the role and depth of the Malaysian Islamic capital markets and promoting Islamic capital markets in regional and international bodies such as International Organisation for Securities Commissions (IOSCO). She is a strong advocate of the connectivity in global Islamic finance, and is active in promoting cross-border Islamic capital market activity.

Under her leadership, the Securities Commission, for instance, entered into a milestone agreement with the Dubai Financial Services AuthorityDubai Financial Services Authority (DFSADFSA) for the cross-border marketing of Islamic funds. Similarly, Chairman Tan Sri Zarinah introduced the pioneering Islamic Markets Programme (IMP), which entered its fourth year this year and which aims at guiding, helping and educating emerging country regulators in the field of Islamic capital markets regulation. This annual event is also part of the many initiatives undertaken by the Securities Commission to develop the talent pool for the Islamic capital market (both within and outside Malaysia), as well as promoting knowledge-sharing on the Islamic capital market.

Governor Al-Jasser, who took over in March this year, has made a rapid impact on the Islamic finance market and is an outspoken supporter of developing a world-class Islamic finance system especially in the wake of the near-collapsed financial system in the West which has been experiencing a major crisis and credit crunch. The appointment of Dr Al-Jasser has raised expectations of a greater Saudi leadership role in regional and global Islamic finance. Another prominent figure that was honoured is Dr Ahmad Mohammad Ali, President of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development BankIslamic Development Bank (IDB)(IDB), who was recognized for his ‘Outstanding Leadership in Islamic Finance’. Dr Ali has been at the helm of the IDB for almost 30 years, save a few months when he became Secretary-General of Rabita, the World Muslim League, which is based in Makkah.

Under his watch, the IDB has become an important multilateral development bank of the Muslim world, and has fostered the development of member country economies and promoted policies aimed at poverty alleviation, private sector development, the promotion of Islamic finance globally, and promoting intra-Islamic trade and investment. Currently intra-Islamic trade stands at almost 14 per cent of the total trade of the 57 Muslim countries.

Other Saudi winners recognized included The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC)Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), a member of the IDB GroupIDB Group, for the ‘Most Innovative Islamic Financing Transaction’ for the Djibouti Container Terminal Financing.

The IDB also won the ‘Most Innovative Sukuk Structure/Deal’ Award for its RM1billion Medium Term Notes facility issued in for Malaysia. Ayman Sejiny, CEO of Unicorn BankUnicorn Bank in Saudi Arabia, whose major shareholder is Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company (DAAR)Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company (DAAR), was named ‘Islamic Banker of the Year’.

DAARDAAR itself was recognized for the ‘Best Sukuk Structure by a Private Corporate Issuer’ for its recent SR750m Sukuk. Similarly, National Commercial bank of Saudi Arabia won the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Global Islamic Finance’ Award, while Siraj CapitalSiraj Capital whose major shareholder is the Al-Sulaiman Family of Saudi Arabia was named the ‘Best Islamic Wealth Management Service Provider’.

Kuwait Finance HouseKuwait Finance House, one of the largest Islamic banks in the world, won the ‘Most Innovative Islamic Bank’ Award.

This year’s ‘Zaki Badawi Award for Excellence in Shariah Advisory’ given in honour of the Late Dr Zaki Badawi, the prominent Azharite Shariah Scholar, was awarded to Dr Daud Bakar of Malaysia. The award recognizes the outstanding and impressive contribution Dr Bakar has made to the development of Fiqh Al-Muamalat not only in his native Malaysia but elsewhere in the region, the Middle East and beyond.

This year also saw two awards for the next generation of Islamic bankers. The ‘Zaki Badawi Award for Outstanding Young Shariah Advisory’ was awarded to Mufti Muhammad Nurullah Shikder, Shariah Adviser to Gatehouse Bank plc, the latest Islamic investment bank to be authorized by the United Kingdom’ Financial Services Authority (FSA). Similarly, Nazmi Camalxaman, UK Manager of CIMB Islamic Bank, won the ‘Young Islamic Banker of the Year’ Award.

Full List of the 2009 London Sukuk Summit – Islamic Finance Awards Recipients

1. Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Islamic Capital Markets
Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, Chairman, Securities Commission of Malaysia

2. Outstanding Leadership in Islamic Finance
Dr Ahmad Mohammad Ali, President, Islamic Development BankIslamic Development Bank (IDB, Saudi Arabia)

3. Outstanding Contribution to Islamic Finance in the UK
Neil D. Miller, Partner, Norton Rose, United Kingdom

4. Most Innovative Islamic Financing Transaction
Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC)Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) for the Djibouti Container Terminal Financing, Saudi Arabia

5. Most Innovative Sukuk Structure/Deal
Islamic Development BankIslamic Development Bank (IDB)(IDB) for the RM1billion Medium Term Notes for Malaysia, Saudi Arabia

6. Best Administrator/Trustee/Bookrunner
CIMB Islamic Bank, Malaysia

7. Best Arranger(s) of a Sukuk Structure
Gatehouse Bank for the Milestone Capital Sukuk Programme, United Kingdom

8. Zaki Badawi Award for Excellence in Shariah Advisory
Dr. Daud Bakar, Malaysia

9. Zaki Badawi Award for Outstanding Young Shariah Advisory
Mufti Muhammad Nurullah Shikder, United Kingdom

10. Best International Islamic Finance Centre
Malaysia Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC)

11. Outstanding Contribution by a Law Firm to Islamic Financial Services
Norton Rose, United Kingdom

12. Islamic Banker of the Year
Ayman Sejiny, CEO, Unicorn BankUnicorn Bank, Saudi Arabia

13. Young Islamic Banker of the Year
Nazmi Camalxaman, CIMB Islamic Bank, Malaysia

14. Outstanding Contribution by a Regulator to Islamic Financial Services
Mohammad Al-Jasser, Governor, Saudi Arabian Monetary AgencySaudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMASAMA)

15. Most Innovative Islamic Real Estate Financing Transaction
Ali Al-Ghannam, Kuwait Finance HouseKuwait Finance House, for the Multi-Million Dollar Iskandar City Development Project, Kuwait

16. Best New Entrant in the Sukuk Market
Emirates ND, Dubai

17. Most Innovative Islamic Bank
Kuwait Finance HouseKuwait Finance House (KFH)

18. Best Sukuk Structure by a Private Corporate Issuer
Dar Al-ArkanDar Al-Arkan for the SAR 750 million Sukuk, Saudi Arabia

19. Outstanding Institutional Contribution to the Islamic Finance Sector
Lembaga Tabung Haji, Malaysia

20. Outstanding Contribution in CSR by Institution Offering Islamic Financial Services
Oasis Group Holdings of South Africa for the Restoration of the Islamic Library in Timbuktu

21. Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Global Islamic Finance
National Commercial BankNational Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia

22. Best Islamic Wealth Management Service Provider
Siraj CapitalSiraj Capital, Saudi Arabia

23. Outstanding Contribution by an Accounting & Auditing Firm to Islamic Financial Services
KPMG, United Kingdom

24. Best Sovereign/Quasi-Sovereign Sukuk Issuance
Monetary Authority of Singapore for the Reverse Enquiry Sukuk Facility

Shariah-compliant finance is the best choice: Islamic bankers

Shariah-compliant finance is the best choice: Islamic bankers

riba free

In these times of financial turbulence, Shariah-compliant banking and finance is being endorsed for its  stability and is evolving as the best choice on the road to economic recovery.

According to Imtiazz Sarfaraz Khan, Head of Retail Banking and Finance Department at Abu Dhabi National Islamic Finance, Shariah-compliant finance has always been an appropriate and relatively risk-free route for financial dealings but was downplayed for quite some time mainly due to political considerations across the globe.

Khan said the definitions of Shariah-compliant or Islamic banking were endless.
"Some non-Shariah-compliant banks and financial institutions may choose to call it ‘interest-free banking’, while others are comfortable with ‘zero interest on asset-backed finance’," Khan added.

Read the rest …