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Islamic Banking and Finance

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Glass defiantly half full for Islamic finance

LONDON While conventional finance in Western Europe and North America is wracked with turmoil and many market participants filled with gloom, in the world of Islamic finance there is a refreshing burst of optimism.

U.S. Islamic finance market underserved

NEW YORK Ask about Islamic finance in the United States and the answer, even from a government regulator, is often another question: "Do you mean terror financing?"

Islamic banking - too Islamic for some?

MANAMA Islamic finance has surged as more of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims demand services that comply with their beliefs, but the religious link may also be a barrier to growth in non-Muslim and even secular-leaning Islamic states. | Video

Key Islamic banking contract under fire

MANAMA The Islamic finance industry is seeking alternatives to a key contract -- commodity murabaha -- as scholars and bankers grow more vocal in their concerns the deal that once powered the industry is increasingly unsuitable.

S&P sees boom in Islamic stock investing

LONDON Standard & Poor's is seeing huge demand for sharia-compliant versions of its main equity indexes, a testimony to growing interest in stock investing from wealthy Muslims, a senior official told Reuters.

Maturing Islamic finance lures millionaires: HSBC

By Douwe Miedema, European Wealth Management Correspondent

China Sharia REIT eyes $250 mln

LONDON An Arab Emirates-linked fund is raising $250 million from Middle East investors for what would be the first Sharia-compliant property trust based entirely on shopping malls in China.

Iran says Gulf shields its banks from U.S. pressure

MANAMA U.S. allies such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are helping shield Iran's banking system from Washington's "financial terrorism", the governor of Iran's central bank said on Tuesday.

Greed and fear hold back Gulf Islamic bonds: LMC

MANAMA Greed and fear linked to the subprime debt crisis are holding back Gulf Arab Islamic bond sales, even though issuers have little to do with the bad loans that triggered the crisis, a Gulf bond arranger said.

Sukuk market to hit $100 bln in 2008: E&Y

LONDON The issuance of global Islamic bonds, or sukuk, is likely to double to $100 billion this year, thanks to higher take-up of Sharia-compliant financial products among Middle East investors, said Ernst & Young.

Infrastructure funds shrug off subprime

MANAMA Funding for infrastructure projects has scarcely been affected by the global credit crunch, which has dried up the flow of cash into everything from takeovers to bonds, two Islamic investment banks said.


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