London will remain the “pre-eminent location” to build out Islamic finance expertise, Baroness Fairhead told the Islamic Insurance Association of London’s annual conference. Carl Court / Getty
London will remain the “pre-eminent location” to build out Islamic finance expertise, Baroness Fairhead told the Islamic Insurance Association of London’s annual conference. Carl Court / Getty

Britain 'perfectly placed' to gain from Islamic finance boom, minister says



Britain is “perfectly placed” to capitalise on the rapid growth of Islamic finance, a UK trade minister told a conference of industry experts in London.

Rona Fairhead, the former BBC Trust chair who was recently appointed to the Department of International Trade, said Britain is already leading the Western world in Islamic finance, with over 20 banks offering specific services in the sector — more than double the number in the US.

As the market continues to grow, London will remain the “pre-eminent location” to build out that expertise, Baroness Fairhead told the Islamic Insurance Association of London’s annual conference.

“There is no better place outside of the Muslim world to access Islamic finance and insurance,” she said. “The level of our support, government and industry support, for this burgeoning sector exceeds the comparisons elsewhere.

“We have in place an incredibly strong foundation, boasting expertise, experience and innovation in Islamic finance.”

She added: “My message here today is that we in government are here to assist.”

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The UK government’s eagerness to safeguard the sector’s growth is understandable at a time when London is fighting to retain its status as Europe’s financial capital.

A recent report by financial lobby group TheCityUK found that globally, the market for services in the Islamic finance sector increased by 7.5 per cent in 2015 to a record $2 trillion worldwide.

While that figure is impressive, it only makes up 1 per cent of global financial assets. At the same time, Muslims make up 25 per cent of the world's population. "It does not take a genius to conclude that this sector has extreme latent potential," Baroness Fairhead said. "Indeed, the sector is forecast to grow by almost 20 per cent next year."

As a result, there are “clear and significant opportunities for investment and further expansion”, she said.

There are now over 100,000 Islamic finance customers in the UK, she said. Britain hosted the World Islamic Economic Forum in 2013, making it the first non-Muslim country to do so. It was also the first Western nation to issue a sovereign sukuk. “Now the London Stock Exchange is the global hub of these bonds, with 65 issues to date totalling in excess of over $48 billion,” she added.

The UK financial regulator also recently authorised the first Sharia compliant fintech company — property investment firm Yielders. “And more are set to follow,” Baroness Fairhead said.

London also is one of the few global jurisdictions where Sharia-compliant firms and products are covered by a single, secular regulatory framework.

All of this, she said, explains why the UK is “perfectly placed to lead the growth in this sector”.

Baroness Fairhead praised the work of the Islamic Insurance Association of London since it was launched in 2015, saying it “illustrates that this city is leading rather than following: reinforcing the UK is the Western hub of Islamic finance through innovation and industry”.

She added: “Whilst London leads the way in Europe in the provision of Islamic financial services, we now have an opportunity to be at the vanguard of insurance provision too.”

On Brexit, the minister acknowledged the uncertain climate for businesses in the UK as they await the outcome of divorce talks with the European Union. But she assured the audience that the government is determined to secure barrier free access to the European single market, as well as a “time limited implementation period” to give businesses time to adapt after the official date of Brexit, in March 2019.

“I am confident that London will remain the premier financial centre of the world, with the financial services sector continuing to drive forward our economy,” she said.

“London is the most dynamic financial city in the word and for those in this room who are ready to take hold of this exciting growing market, I believe the rewards will be significant.”

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Fixtures and results:

Wed, Aug 29:

  • Malaysia bt Hong Kong by 3 wickets
  • Oman bt Nepal by 7 wickets
  • UAE bt Singapore by 215 runs

Thu, Aug 30: 

  • UAE bt Nepal by 78 runs
  • Hong Kong bt Singapore by 5 wickets
  • Oman bt Malaysia by 2 wickets

Sat, Sep 1: UAE v Hong Kong; Oman v Singapore; Malaysia v Nepal

Sun, Sep 2: Hong Kong v Oman; Malaysia v UAE; Nepal v Singapore

Tue, Sep 4: Malaysia v Singapore; UAE v Oman; Nepal v Hong Kong

Thu, Sep 6: Final

The struggle is on for active managers

David Einhorn closed out 2018 with his biggest annual loss ever for the 22-year-old Greenlight Capital.

The firm’s main hedge fund fell 9 per cent in December, extending this year’s decline to 34 percent, according to an investor update viewed by Bloomberg.

Greenlight posted some of the industry’s best returns in its early years, but has stumbled since losing more than 20 per cent in 2015.

Other value-investing managers have also struggled, as a decade of historically low interest rates and the rise of passive investing and quant trading pushed growth stocks past their inexpensive brethren. Three Bays Capital and SPO Partners & Co., which sought to make wagers on undervalued stocks, closed in 2018. Mr Einhorn has repeatedly expressed his frustration with the poor performance this year, while remaining steadfast in his commitment to value investing.

Greenlight, which posted gains only in May and October, underperformed both the broader market and its peers in 2018. The S&P 500 Index dropped 4.4 per cent, including dividends, while the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index, an early indicator of industry performance, fell 7 per cent through December. 28.

At the start of the year, Greenlight managed $6.3 billion in assets, according to a regulatory filing. By May, the firm was down to $5.5bn. 

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
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COMPANY PROFILE

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SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
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RESULTS

5pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (Dirt) 1,400m
Winner: Yas Xmnsor, Sean Kirrane (jockey), Khalifa Al Neyadi (trainer)

5.30pm: Falaj Hazza – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Arim W’Rsan, Dane O’Neill, Jaci Wickham

6pm: Al Basrah – Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,800m
Winner: Kalifano De Ghazal, Abdul Aziz Al Balushi, Helal Al Alawi

6.30pm: Oud Al Touba – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,800m
Winner: Pharitz Oubai, Sean Kirrane, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

7pm: Sieh bin Amaar – Conditions (PA) Dh80,000 (D) 1,800m
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7.30pm: Jebel Hafeet – Conditions (PA) Dh85,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: AF Ramz, Sean Kirrane, Khalifa Al Neyadi

8pm: Al Saad – Handicap (TB) Dh70,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Sea Skimmer, Gabriele Malune, Kareem Ramadan

SPEC SHEET: NOTHING PHONE (2)

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In the box: Nothing Phone (2), USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price (UAE): Dh2,499 (12GB/256GB) / Dh2,799 (12GB/512GB)

Match info

UAE v Bolivia, Friday, 6.25pm, Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium, Dubai

MATCH INFO

Azerbaijan 0

Wales 2 (Moore 10', Wilson 34')

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, which can lead to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.

There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.

Hepatitis C is mostly transmitted through exposure to infective blood. This can occur through blood transfusions, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injecting drugs. Sexual transmission is also possible, but is much less common.

People infected with hepatitis C experience few or no symptoms, meaning they can live with the virus for years without being diagnosed. This delay in treatment can increase the risk of significant liver damage.

There are an estimated 170 million carriers of Hepatitis C around the world.

The virus causes approximately 399,000 fatalities each year worldwide, according to WHO.

 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Civil War

Director: Alex Garland 

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, Wagner Moura, Nick Offerman

Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Day 4, Dubai Test: At a glance

Moment of the day Lahiru Gamage appeared to have been hard done by when he had his dismissal of Sami Aslam chalked off for a no-ball. Replays suggested he had not overstepped. No matter. Two balls later, the exact same combination – Gamage the bowler and Kusal Mendis at second slip – combined again to send Aslam back.

Stat of the day Haris Sohail took three wickets for one run in the only over he bowled, to end the Sri Lanka second innings in a hurry. That was as many as he had managed in total in his 10-year, 58-match first-class career to date. It was also the first time a bowler had taken three wickets having bowled just one over in an innings in Tests.

The verdict Just 119 more and with five wickets remaining seems like a perfectly attainable target for Pakistan. Factor in the fact the pitch is worn, is turning prodigiously, and that Sri Lanka’s seam bowlers have also been finding the strip to their liking, it is apparent the task is still a tough one. Still, though, thanks to Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed, it is possible.


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