Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

1st UK sukuk to herald new phase? Inshallah…

If  it was not the holy month of  Ramadan, I would confidently predict plenty of  Halal cork-popping in UK Islamic finance circles today, following news of the first company in Europe — International Innovative Technologies (ITT) –  to raise $10 million through a sukuk deal. 

This has been a labour of love… rumours and counter-rumours about which company, government or institution would do the honours have abounded since the UK shelved its plans for a 2 billion pound short-note sukuk programme at the end of 2008.  The UK may not be the only theatre of action in Europe – Luxembourg’s sukuk is rumoured to be on its way and France is equally open about its ambitions.

Whether ITT, which manufactures  industrial mills, is ushering in a new era for Islamic finance involving Western issuers and market participants is hard to say.  If it does,  it will not quite be the revolution that other mills triggered 200 years ago, but enough for an evolution – Inshallah!

Short-sellers move in on the banks

The short-sellers are targeting bank stocks again.

Ok, it certainly isn’t on the scale seen in 2008, when hedge funds made small fortunes from the demise of Northern Rock and the like.

But it is interesting to note that after what could be termed a wave of good news — most banks passing the stress tests, a bumper earnings season and the easing of Basel III rules — some managers remain sceptical.

CQS upbeat on credit

It’s not often that the bigger hedge fund firms share their market positioning, especially at a time when funds are struggling to find decent investment ideas.

So it’s interesting to see CQS, which runs $7.5 bln, offering its views on credit markets.