Persian Gulf government spending will help drive what may be a record year for Islamic bond sales,Fitch Ratings said, echoing HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) forecasts.
Sales will probably match the 2012 high, the rating company said in a note last week even amid the slowest start to issuance since 2010. Mohammed Dawood, global head of sukuk financing at HSBC, said last month that sales will rebound from a decline last year. Borrowers sold $133 million of syndicated sukuk to Jan. 19, the least since $47 million in the same period four years ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
A fund management venture set up in Dubai this month is taking aim at one of the great backwaters of the Middle Eastern economy: Islamic endowments, which control tens of billions of dollars of assets around the region.
The endowments, known as awqaf, receive donations from Muslims to operate specific social projects, such as mosques, schools and welfare schemes. The system goes back more than a thousand years, to soon after the birth of Islam.
There has been much discussion during the on-going financial crisis, on how to initiate a sustained recovery and the consensus shown by the mainstream commentators has been through returning to sustained economic growth.
Such is the focus in the capitalist order towards growth, that any program or strategy that is not able to demonstrate how compounding levels of growth can be achieved is not given credibility and hence many, such as the Turkish economics professor Timur Kuran, have written extensively showing how the Shariah has rules which limit the ability of economies to grow and hence are an impractical alternative to the current order.
While the US relationship with the Islamic world has suffered from the recent inflammatory anti-Islamic film, values-based finance has emerged as an unlikely, yet significant point of connection. Its potential lies at the intersection of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) in the West and Islamic Finance in the East. Both are on the rise.
Islamic banks are failing to cater for clients' wealth management and estate planning needs, pushing them to rely largely on traditional asset managers, said a report published by Bank Sarasin this week.
Until very recently there were no dedicated Islamic wealth management services, the report said, and the few that have emerged offer restricted services and products that fail to completely satisfy Islamic investors' needs.