U.S. legal win could help Islamic finance counter sharia concerns

By Reuters Staff
January 18, 2011

bankislamA U.S. court decision to dismiss a case alleging that AIG’s (AIG.N) sharia-compliant businesses promoted religious doctrine looks likely to boost confidence in the industry and lift sales of Islamic products in the longer term.

Top Islamic finance scholars oppose bid to improve corporate governance

By Reuters Staff
December 2, 2010

islamic bankTwo of the Gulf’s top Islamic finance scholars spoke out against efforts to reduce the number of boards they and their peers are allowed to sit on, challenging industry attempts to improve corporate governance. Bankers in the emerging $1 trillion Islamic finance industry say the concentration of hundreds of board positions in the hands of a few sharia scholars leads to conflicts of interest and hampers appropriate supervision.

Islamic finance in Gulf needs regulation boost

By Reuters Staff
November 10, 2010

karachi marketFrom Australia to South Africa, governments are scrambling to change the law to accommodate the $1 trillion Islamic finance industry, whose avoidance of toxic debt has looked increasingly attractive since the global crisis. But in the Gulf Arab region, birthplace of Islam and cradle of Islamic finance, governments have taken a more passive approach, which experts say is slowing the industry’s growth.

Islamic finance outsources scholars’ supervision to grow

By Reuters Staff
November 3, 2010

finance ammanBankers in Islamic finance are increasingly outsourcing sharia supervision due to a lack of scholars in the industry, but critics say this is making the sector even less transparent and slowing its development.

Short of talent, Islamic finance taps women scholars

By Reuters Staff
November 3, 2010

malaysia islamic finance (Photo: Islamic Financial Centre booth at Malaysia’s Central Bank – High Level Conference 2009 in Kuala Lumpur February 10, 2009/Zainal Abd Halim)

When Malaysian Aida Othman signed up for the new law programme at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur, she did not expect to become one the few women with their hands on the levers of the world’s $1 trillion Islamic finance sector.

Islamic finance relies on too few of its scholars

By Reuters Staff
October 6, 2010

saudi traderThe Islamic finance industry is not short of qualified sharia scholars to meet growing demand, but it relies too heavily on a handful of them, limiting growth potential and raising regulatory concerns, experts say.

Islamic finance seems overwhelmed by tighter supervision of sharia advisers

September 29, 2010

islamic bankIslamic finance is toughening supervision of its powerful religious advisers as shareholders worldwide demand increasing accountability from directors, but key reforms may do little to boost independence and transparency.

Islamic finance seeks young scholars to lead growth, improve products

By Reuters Staff
June 1, 2010

islamic bankWith Islamic finance a $1 trillion industry globally and expected by ratings agency Moody’s to reach $5 trillion in time, students of sharia have more opportunities than ever before to take their skills beyond the mosque doors and into the boardroom.

Islamic finance has image problem in Christian-majority African states

By Reuters Staff
May 6, 2010
kenya shillings

A currency dealer counts Kenya shillings in Nairobi on October 23, 2008/Antony Njuguna

from Global Investing:

Has sukuk missed the boat?

February 18, 2010

Boat leaving jettyThe Islamic finance industry waited in vain for a sukuk issue from a Western sovereign in 2009. Will 2010 be any different?