Daily Personal Finance Insights – Rise of Islamic Finance

Daily Personal Finance Insights – Rise of Islamic Finance
04 March 2013

New Dubai firm to manage awqaf

Dubai takes founding position in NoorAwqaf to establish financial services to Islamic foundations and push its global centre for Islamic economy and finance aspirations. Awqaf are believed to control tens of billions of dollars worth of assets around the Muslim world, where people contribute a portion of their wealth, in cash or other forms, to charitable projects such as mosques and schools.

NoorAwqaf will be owned 60% by Noor Investment Group and 40% by the Dubai government's Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF)

Foreign Investors move into Islamic Finance

Islamic sukuk, or bonds, have long been popular with investors in the Middle East. Now they are being discovered in Europe and the United States. When the Dubai government issued a $500 million, 10-year sovereign Islamic bond, last month, 38% of it was snapped up by Western investors, according to research by Standard & Poor’s.

National Bonds see increase in number of bondholders but decrease in profits

National Bonds (NBC) said it saw an increase in the number of bondholders by 5.78% compared to 2011, the total number of registered bondholders was 690,000 in 2012. Mohammed Qasim Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of NBC said: "The rise in the number of bondholders is a clear indicator that both individuals and families are paying more attention to their future financial wellbeing. We anticipate a quantum leap in the attitude to savings among the communities we target.”

However, the profit rate announced was up to 1.5% for 2012, lower than the 2% it had announced for 2011. 

Dubai property being flipped again

Reports indicate that property speculators are back in Dubai, aiming to make their fortunes by buying apartments and villas for cash, then selling them within months, weeks or even days.

Mario Volpi, head of residential sales and leasing at property consultancy Cluttons in Dubai and is a regular on the DubaiEye property show was heard saying: "Many investors who are queuing up for these properties are looking to make a quick buck by flipping them. We need a rule that perhaps stops selling of property for two years after purchase. Or perhaps some sort of a tax on such sales."

Will this flipping lead to a bubble?

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Head of Behavioral Finance
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