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Sunday, 10 March 2013

Qatar to sell $1.1bn bonds, sukuk


Qatar will sell QR4 billion ($1.1 billion) of three-year and five-year bonds and sukuk, its state news agency said. The local currency issues will take place quarterly, it said, without specifying how much of each maturity would be sold.

The Gulf state's central bank will offer local banks QR3 billion worth of bonds and QR1 billion worth of Shariah-compliant notes, Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.

In January the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) mission chief for Qatar told Reuters that the objective behind an issuance would be to build a domestic sovereign yield curve. Qatar's central bank was not available for comment.

Qatar has issued local currency bonds before. In January 2011, the central bank issued a QR50 billion three-year bond directly to local banks as a step to drain excess money from the banking system.

In recent months, Qatar-related debt denominated in dollars has drawn strong demand from international investors; majority state-owned Qatar Telecom saw heavy bids for a $1 billion bond sale in January.


(Trade Arabia / 09 March 2013)


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Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Consultant-Speaker-Motivator: www.ahmad-sanusi-husain.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

Islamic banking is viable option for non- Muslims too



Islamic banking is a highly viable option for non-Muslims as well, said Dr Volker Nienhaus, professor of economics and former president of the University of Marburg, Germany, at a recent lecture 
in Doha. 



He also observed that while Islamic banking comprises only around 10% of global banking, it is growing steadily. Dr Nienhaus made the statements while delivering a lecture on the topic, “ Islamic Finance for Non-Muslim Clients: Are There Great Potentials?” at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), Education City. 



Speaking on the benefits of Islamic financing for non-Muslims,  Dr Nienhaus said: “Islamic banking has come a long way and become a viable option for everybody, including non-Muslims. A Shariah-compliant banking scheme is a better financial option as it has no excessive risks and does not engage in questionable businesses.”



Islamic banking, he added, is fundamentally not too different from conventional banking except for the fact that it does not deal with any “haram” product.



Dr Nienhaus said socially-responsible investment was gaining momentum around the world and Islamic banking could benefit from this. 



“In 2010-2011, socially-responsible investment was worth $3tn in the US, while it was around $8tn in Europe. The total amount of Islamic banking for the same period was $1.6tn. The value of global financial assets through conventional banking was about $180tn,” he said, adding that socially-responsible investment was also in keeping with the ethical aspects of Islamic banking.



Dr Nienhaus stressed that Islamic banking had to go through various filters to ensure that it fully complied with all Islamic principles of financing. “Firstly, it goes through industrial screening to make sure that it does not involve any of the products that are ‘haram’ to Islamic beliefs. Then, it undergoes financial screening to ensure that the companies have a very tolerable ratio of commercial interests.” 



He highlighted that in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, 85% of the shares were Shariah-compliant.
QFIS dean Dr Hatem el-Karanshawy welcomed the gathering and moderated the question-and-answer session.


(Gulf Times / 09 March 2013)


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Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Consultant-Speaker-Motivator: www.ahmad-sanusi-husain.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

Green Deal Finance Company exploring plans for Islamic financing



Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has confirmed the government is investigating how to make the Green Deal scheme accessible to devout Muslims, who are currently unable to take advantage of the initiative's energy efficiency loans.
Under sharia principles, Muslims are not permitted to charge or pay interest on loans and as such financing and mortgages is technically deemed haraam or prohibited.



The rules have led the development of a fast-expanding Islamic banking sector that uses a profit and loss sharing model to allow Muslims to access Islamic mortgages and other financial services that are not in breach of sharia.
Under the Green Deal, loans allow households and businesses to undertake energy efficiency improvements at no upfront cost and then make repayments using the money saved from the resulting reduction in energy bills. But currently the interest rates of around seven per cent charged on Green Deal financing packages mean that Muslims are unable to take part in the scheme for religious reasons.
Responding to a question on the issue at a building industry event earlier this week, Davey said the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was aware of the problem and was working with the Green Deal Finance Company to develop an offer that is in line with Islamic Banking principles.
Tracy Vegro, director of energy efficiency at DECC, added that developing the new offer was "a live issue" and stressed that the department was committed to making the scheme as accessible as possible.
A new Islamic Green Deal offer would not only make the energy efficiency scheme available to the UK's 2.7 million Muslims, but would also allow Mosques and other religious centres to take advantage of the energy efficiency programme.
Davey said that he wanted to see the Green Deal become a "movement" that is widely promoted by faith groups, community groups, charities, and local authorities, as well as the business offering Green Deal services.
He also revealed fresh details on how the government plans to deliver "Green Deal 2.0" over the coming months and years through a package of measures that will serve to drive adoption of the scheme.

(Business Green / 08 March 2013)


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Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Consultant-Speaker-Motivator: www.ahmad-sanusi-husain.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

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