|Financial Islam - Islamic Finance||
The South Korean government will again push forward a bill to introduce sukuk, or Islamic bonds, a senior finance ministry official said on Thursday, after lawmakers rejected the proposal in December. "We will give one more try to get a special tax bill for Islamic bond issuance passed in parliament in February," the official told reporters, declining to be identified until an official announcement is made.
Japan will alter regulations to give foreign investors tax breaks on sharia bond dividends, the latest country to pursue Islamic finance to woo investors demanding sharia-compliant assets.
Islamic bond dividends received by foreign investors may be declared tax-free as early as end-2011.
The reported failure of the strategy and finance committee of the South Korean National Assembly chaired by Kang Ghil Boo in December to approve a finance bill introduced by the Ministry of Finance which would have given tax neutrality to alternative financial products such as sukuk (Islamic securities) is a wake-up call for the global Islamic finance industry.
Lee Yul-hee, the head of the Islamic finance team at Korea Investment & Securities, a local securities firm, has to fumble for the right words whenever Muslim investors ask when they will be able to buy Islamic bonds issued by Korean companies. Have the promised regulatory changes been made yet?