Islamic Finance

11/02/2010

Introduction to Islamic Finance (Part II): Structural Considerations

Part I of this essay, “Introduction to Islamic Finance (Part I): Context and Concepts,” discussed certain fundamental concepts, principles, and elements of modern Islamic finance. The following part, Part II, introduces, in generic forms, some of the transactional structures most frequently encountered in modern Islamic finance. Each of these forms, and others, will be discussed in greater detail in the half‐day session on Islamic finance being offered by the author and the NYSSA on November 23, 2010.

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10/20/2010

Introduction to Islamic Finance (Part I): Context and Concepts

Globally, Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing areas of finance, however measured. So says the popular press. Practitioners concur. The foundation for such assertions, like much that is “known” about Islamic finance, is anecdotally based. Hard numbers are elusive and probably nonexistent.

The dramatic rate of growth of modern Islamic finance, since its birth in the mid‐1990s, is clear. Lawyers, accountants, bankers, and investment firms now proclaim long experience with Islamic finance, enhancing the pool of anecdotal evidence. The publicity, the perception of growth, the simultaneous influx of oil wealth into traditionally Muslim countries, the formation of financial centers, and the rapid regional expansions all work to further expand both interest in and assertions of experience.

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03/17/2010

Islamic Finance Poised For Recovery

eFinancialGlobal financial recovery is boosting the near-term outlook for Islamic banking and investment, a niche whose rapid growth took a breather last year. That bodes well both for experienced Islamic-finance professionals and conventional bankers who seek to broaden their skills and client base.

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Islamic Finance: A Student's Review of the New NYSSA Course

Michael McMillen’s recent course on Islamic Finance was more than just an introduction to this niche market of structured finance—it was a colorful exploration of Islamic history and culture, which included a memorable overview of the anatomy of camels. Despite the lack of industry news coverage in the U.S. as compared to Europe and Asia Pacific, I was amazed to learn that there have been hundreds of Islamic financings done in the U.S. In fact, as McMillen pointed out, the U.S. is the easiest place in the world to structure such transactions and while it is still a niche market, demand for these products continues to grow.

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