Edition two of the new-look digital version of Islamic Finance Today has just been published at http://www.iftmagazine.com. This issue includes insight from Dr Abdulazeem Abozaid, associate professor of the Islamic finance programme at the Qatar Foundation, Dr Muniruddeen Lallmahamood, Islamic finance consultant, Farrukh Habib, Shari’ah scholar and member of ISRA, an interview with Majid Thowfeek, the youngest holder of the Islamic Finance Qualification, Mohamed Azmeer, CEO of Amana Bank, Sheik Fazil Farook, Shari’ah scholar and more. Subscribing to the magazine is free.
Shari’ah ETF and Sukuk fund for Masraf
Doha-based Masraf Al Rayan is launching a Shari’ah compliant equity Exchange Traded Fund. ETFs tend to replicate the performance of an index and are listed instruments. Masraf’s will be listed on the Qatari exchange. A further fund, a Sukuk fund, will include underlying assets comprised of GCC-issued Sukuk. To date, Muslim investors have had access to only a very narrow selection of instruments and these two new launches are likely to be warmly received.
Central Shari’ah board for Marrakech
Morocco hopes to set up its own central Shari’ah board called the Sharia Committee for Participative Finances. The board will have 10 Islamic scholars plus at five others with in depth financial knowledge with the committee appointed by the president of Morocco’s Islamic Scholars Council. Morocco is presently seeking inputs from a range of Islamic financing specialists to help bring Shari’ah to the mainstream in the country.
Short term Sukuk to kick start Chinese New Year
The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation of Kuala Lumpur is holding two short term Sukuk auctions for $990m across two tranches. The IILM will sell $490m of three-month Sukuk and $500m of six-month Sukuk according to a filing with Bank Negara Malaysia. Islamic banks in Malaysia are crying out for a range of short term liquidity instruments and it is hoped that this issue might start to fill the gap.
Islamic bank for Tatarstan mooted for 2015
Starved of western funds because of increasingly effective sanctions against it, Russia is said to be looking to ramp up Islamic finance in the country as a means of attracting the Muslim dollar. Reports suggest that the first Islamic bank in the Russian Federation could be born under the auspices of Jeddah’s Islamic Development Bank. The bank could be located in Tatarstan, the Muslim majority republic of the Federation.