Salt Shakers I-List – Jenny Stokes – 12th February 2010

Some time ago I read that there was some investigation occurring into the provision of Islamic finance in Australia.
 
Today, the Trade Minister, Simon Crean, launched a booklet published by the Australian government called Islamic Finance.

It has been produced by Austrade (part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade).
 
The media release says “The booklet Islamic Finance provides a detailed explanation of the opportunities that booming Shariah-compliant investment and banking offers Australia’s financial services sector.”
 
In the booklet, the ‘opportunities’ for the expansion of Islamic finance in Australia are explored – including attracting more international banks and Islamic banks to Australia to provide the finance, Australian banks providing shariah-compliant finance, funds managers doing Islamic finance etc etc…. (Page 6)

The booklet then looks at a wide range of trade areas in Australia and ways they could ‘benefit’ from or use shariah or Islamic finance!

Also held today was the launch of Westpac’s Special Interbank Placement for Islamic institutions to enable shariah-compliant finance.

The booklet Islamic Finance is available online at Austrade.

See the 40 page booklet Islamic Finance  – or link on the front of the Austrade website (right side) http://www.austrade.gov.au/

This is a really important development in Australia – please read the material – and the booklet – carefully!
In assessing what Islamic finance really is, I was explaining to someone that for a general loan, it meant that the client actually paid a higher price for, say, a house purchased – and then paid back the higher amount to the bank – but it isn’t called ‘interest’.

The booklet explains ONE of the Islamic finance services like this (a number are listed on P 8):
Murabaha: A form of asset financing where an Islamic Finance Institution (IFI) purchases an asset and then sells it to its client at a higher price (ie mark-up sale) with deferred payment terms. The interest that would ordinarily be paid by the client in a conventional loan – and which would constitute the bank’s profit — is replaced by the difference between the purchase price and the sale price; Mmmm!

Who wrote the booklet? The booklet says “The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) wishes to acknowledge the substantial input to this report made by John Masters and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Austrade sought comments from a peer review group that consisted of relevant government agencies and industry associations and from Islamic finance experts.”

Sources:

Simon Crean’s Media Release:

Landmark Islamic finance publication

12 February 2010 – Media release
Trade Minister Simon Crean today launched the Australian Government’s first-ever comprehensive publication on Islamic finance. 

The booklet Islamic Finance provides a detailed explanation of the opportunities that booming Shariah-compliant investment and banking offers Australia’s financial services sector. 

Australia is well positioned to service almost 1 billion Muslims who live in the Asia-Pacific region and to tap into petrodollar liquidity. 

“Islamic financing is a crucial plank in the Government’s strategy to make Australia a financial hub in the Asia Pacific region,” Mr Crean said.

“There is huge potential in Islamic financing which is estimated to be worth more than A$1 trillion (US$822 billion) and has grown at 10 per cent per annum for the past decade.”

“Islamic financing is a booming sector and Australia should be part of the action.”

Islamic finance is based on the principles of Islamic law — or the Shariah — which prohibits the earning of interest. Instead, there is a focus on profit sharing based on the buying and selling of tangible assets such as property.

Coinciding with today’s launch of Austrade’s Islamic Finance publication is the launch of Westpac’s Special Interbank Placement for Islamic institutions, which is a welcome development.

Westpac will offer a short term wholesale investment structure for Islamic institutions based on the buying and selling of commodities.

Mr Crean said there were many opportunities for Islamic financing in Asia, which is the fastest growing region in the world. “The continued growth in major Asian economies will create a need for resources-related services and infrastructure, which are ideal assets for forms of Islamic financing,” he said.

Key opportunities for the Islamic finance industry include:
•attracting Islamic banks to establish operations in Australia;
•Australian-based banks providing Shariah-compliant investment and financing products across the Asia Pacific and Gulf regions;
•Shariah-compliant managed funds; and
•attracting investment in Australian assets and business from overseas Shariah investors

In 2008, Mr Crean visited Malaysia where he discussed Islamic finance and later ensured Islamic finance was considered in the industry-led review, Australia as a Financial Centre. Also known as the Johnson Review, this study made important recommendations on Islamic financial services for the removal of regulatory barriers and parity of tax treatment. The review is currently being considered by the Government.
Some 365,000 Muslims live in Australia and would use Islamic financial services if they were more accessible.

The report is available at www.austrade.gov.au

Media Reports:

Crean pushes for Islamic banking

Special Broadcasting Service – ‎2 hours ago‎

Mr Crean is launching a study outlining opportunities for the financial services sector to tap into Islamic investment and banking markets.

 

Westpac to embrace Islamic finance market

Business Spectator – ‎9 hours ago‎

Trade Minister Simon Crean is today set to launch a study outlining opportunities for Australia’s financial services sector to increase involvement in

 

Westpac To Offer Islamic Finance Product – Australia Trade Minister Wall Street Journal

 

Westpac dips into Islamic finance

Sydney Morning Herald – Eric Johnston - 12 Feb 2010.

Westpac is poised to bolster its exposure to the fast-growing Islamic finance market by offering a commodity-trading facility aimed at overseas investors

 

Westpac To Offer Islamic Finance Product – Australia Trade Minister

Wall Street Journal – ‎15 hours ago‎

The minister was commenting while unveiling a booklet entitled Islamic Finance prepared by the government’s Australian Trade Commission, or Austrade,

 

UAE bolsters Islamic Financial products to Australia thru second leg of Trade …

Al-Bawaba – ‎Feb 9, 2010‎

EDC’s first successful Islamic Financial Trade Mission to Australia has brought changes in Australia’s financial services sector particularly in the State

Jenny Stokes
Research Director
Salt Shakers
03 9800 2855
0413 084 146
www.saltshakers.org.au
 


8 Responses to “Islamic Finance for Australia!”

  1. 1 Fayre

    The Labor Party is now proposing we borrow money from the middle east. That is what they intend. That is why they do what ever is required to appease them while not caring one iota what happens to Christians, particularly children such as mine.

    Can you imagine what lengths they would go to if they had an Islamic child being bullied and forced to do things for Gothics?
    Their is an election in the air so they are making much of a poor girl bullied to death in the work place but let mine go through hell and two suicide attempts without caring at all.

    Australia is now in the throws of being sold out to the Chinese and Arabs to keep a small minority happy. If we are not careful we will follow Greece, Portugal Spain not to mention Britain who cannot even pay pensions to their Royal Mail employees. It comes about by borrowing copious amounts of money. DEBT DEBT AND MORE DEBT IS A WAY TO PUT US IN THE HANDS OF THE devil.

    Please think on what the churches have allowed when they compromised us.
    Regards Fayre

  2. 2 Kenneth

    Dear Jason, As I have already written to you, people in the churches are voting ALP, because they support ALP Policy of Abortion on Demand. Whereas Liberal voters are Pro Life. So Judgment will come upon Australia because ALP voters have ignored The Word of Warning. MPs in ALP are not real true Ecclesia Christians, so they will have the agony of pain visited on them in Eternity as they would not be in ALP if they did belong to our LORD. Rudd has many broken promises as the younger generation on ABC knows now when they were on ABC asking him questions. Jesus Christ is Coming Soon. Kenneth

  3. 3 Fayre

    This is one reason we do all we can to please Islamic people, we are mostly unknowingly in this country signing away everything we have and once it is gone we are at the mercy of the lender. I am sure this is one of the worst things we could possibly do as a nation after bringing too many people here with all their God’s. It is a tragedy and sadly people will break their necks to be part of it.
    What can we say beyond using the ‘Word of God’ against it. His Word tells us not to borrow but in the general need for anything at all whether it be useful or just more trash to add to what we as a nation have already spent our inheritance on, the trap is laid.
    Christians should avoid it at all cost and be very wary of a government that is so anxious for us to go further into debt. We already owe more per head than the Americans and that is some debt. It is in the order of $54,000 or more per person. We have borrowed $1.3-1.5 trillion or 50%more than we owed in the last five years. We owe more now than we earn on GDP it is frightening to say the least.

    This government must be stopped from encouraging such waste and sending us further into this entanglement from which there is no way out.

    Regards Fayre

  4. 4 Gaye

    Once we allow this we will be controlled by them, just as we are now controlled by the world banks.. this is a dangerous step, it needs constant massive prayer.. this would have to be one of the most dangerous moves for us that we have had for along time…
    Gaye

  5. 5 Phil _ Sydney

    Evening All

    My Question to the Government is who will monitoring money flows in and out of Australia and where the money ends up?

    If a terrorist Organisation wants to transfer money thru an Islamic Bank with a Branch based in Australia to terrorists based in Australia it will be very easy under this new Open Door Labor Policy.

    Can we rely on the Federal Police or ASIC to monitor every account that is opened and every transfer from overseas.

    I strongly doubt it. They have no hope.

    They will be well behind the potential crime.

    NOTE WELLThe weapons and explosives that the five convicted terrors purchased have yet to be found. They are somewhere hidden in Australia.

    This is another stupid decision by a Labor Government that is completely ignorant of what is happening across the world.

    It is well known that some Saudi groups and Iran already sponsor terrorists across the World. This Policy will enable free entry of funds that can be used for terror in Australia.

    Truly a Foolish decision Simon Crean

    It staggers me how incredibly stupid this Government is.

    Phil
    Sydney

  6. 6 Coral

    Dear Danny and Jason,

    Thank you for serving this great Australia.

    Thought you may be interested in the following which presents data on Islamic Finance around the globe and Australian prostects. The stats are very interesting. As this involves Sharia Law and of course all its implications it is of concern to, I would say most Australians, especially as they may not understand the fine print. And the article was sent with the heading “Rudd welcomes Sharia Law into Australia. The Federal Government’s Austrade is actively pursuing more investment within Australia from Islamic sources. http://media.mytalk.com.au/4bc/podcasts/islamic.pdf

    Kind Regards, Coral

  7. 7 Concerned Christian

    Further to the email concerning Islamic Finance for Australia (via Salt Shakers) please find below, a link to the world patent no. WO/2006/068837 for: Controlling a Computer System enabling Sharia-Compliant Financing

    http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?wo=2006068837&IA=US2005044279&DISPLAY=STATUS

    The diagram shown in the patent, clearly illustrates how this works – asset based (e.g. properties, carbon tax). When you read the actual fuller typed desciption, within the patent section, it’s conntected with lease finance and not a loans ie. removal of interest to ensure compliance with Sharia law. It evens uses the words “prophetic teaching” in the fuller description. This can apply to properties, investments, valuations, tax, insurance, funds creation/transactions and electronic funds transfer.

    If Australia goes down this route of Islamic finance, then computer technology is already in place to handle this type of finance i.e. not paying interest as such. No wonder Islamic finance is growing – especially in Indonesia – world’s largest Islamic country.

    Just on a separate point. In relation to the Copenhagen Treaty involving many countries having to pay the UN, a carbon tax (asset based), for “climate change” – which is subject to legislative changes in each country, – could this possibly be interpreted as a form of “Jizya”? Anyone else considered this carbon tax as “jizya” in disguise?

    YIC,

    Concerned Christian

  8. 8 Paul

    An interesting spin on all of this, (and I’m one of Islam’s greatest critics), is that under such an evil religion, usury is actually outlawed. Why isn’t ths the case in the “Christian” West?

    Something to ponder on, and consider the evils we have allowed to take root in our banking system.

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