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IIR - Financial Products for Muslims Capture the Market

09-05-2008 04:31 PM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: IIR Deutschland GmbH

1st IIR "Islamic Finance & Real Estate Forum"
on 4th and 5th November 2008 at the Hotel Hessischer Hof, Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt, August 2008. If Germany wants to profit from the growing demand for Islamic financial products, both politics and financial management are challenged. The structure of financial products which comply with the Islamic law (Sharia) has to be different from those common in Germany. This requires target group-specific concepts on the one hand and new legal constraints on the other (FAZ, 23rd July 2008). "Islamic banking, stigmatised as a marginal issue only a couple of years ago, has become increasingly popular - not only in predominantly Arabic regions, but also in non-Islamic countries," said Zaid el-Mogaddedi, Managing Director of the Institute for Islamic Banking & Finance (IFIBAF). According to the IFIBAF, the estimated global potential of Sharia-compliant financial products amounts to approximately four trillion US dollars (Kreditwesen 15/2008).

Strategies for Sharia-compliant financial products
Together with Alberto G. Brugnoni, President and Founding Member of the Associazione per lo Sviluppo di Strumenti Alternativi e di Innovazione Finanziaria (ASSAIF), el-Mogaddedi is chairman of the 1st IIR "Islamic Finance & Real Estate Forum", which will take place in Frankfurt , Germany, on 4th and 5th November. More than 20 economic experts from Europe and Asia will illustrate the chances and risks of Islamic finance for the banking and real estate business. Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari, Professor at the Saudi-Arabian King Abdul Aziz University, and Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, President and CEO of the International Institute of Islamic Finance (IIIF) in Kuala Lumpur, are among the speakers. Both are Sharia Board Members of the Islamic Bank of Asia in Singapore. The programme for the event is available in the internet at: http://www.iir.de/islamic-finance-forum/dn-press.

Background: Islamic finance
The term "Islamic Finance" means bank and real estate products which comply with the Islamic law. The Islamic economics is in accordance with the Sharia. This code includes all rules and bans which represent the "right view of life" for Muslims (Kreditwesen 15/2008). The Sharia prohibits banks to charge interests as well as to invest in specific business sectors and speculative transactions. The Near East, North Africa as well as Indonesia, India and Malaysia are considered as the largest markets for Sharia-compliant financial products (FAZ, 23rd July 2008). Especially Asian countries have become targets of real estate investment funds (Der Immobilien-Brief, 22nd August 2008) although these markets can also pose high risks (Der Immobilien-Brief, 25th August 2008). "Due to experience in Indonesia and Malaysia, it can be assumed that not only Muslims are interested in Sharia-compliant investments, but also other target groups," stated IFIBAF Director Jalalle Chahboune. 20 percent of the world population (1.6 billion people) are Muslims. There are 14 million Muslims living in the EU and 3.4 million in Germany, which amounts to 47 percent of the migrants there. There are 300 Islamic financial institutions in 65 predominantly Islamic and Western countries (Kreditwesen 15/2008). London is the leading Islamic financial place in Europe.

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Contact:
Carsten M. Stammen
Press Relations Officer
IIR Deutschland GmbH
A company of the Informa Group
Westhafenplatz 1
D-60327 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 (0) 69 / 244 327-3390
carsten.stammen@informa.com

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