Cameron to unveil Islamic bond plan
Prime Minister David Cameron is set to announce that the UK will become the
first non-Muslim country to issue an Islamic bond.
At the World Islamic Economic Forum (WEIF) in London, he will also announce plans for a new Islamic index on the London Stock Exchange.
It is intended to attract more Islamic investors by making it clearer which companies match their criteria.
Under Islamic rules no interest on business dealings can be charged.
Transactions must also be based on a real trade or business activities and they must not involve anything forbidden under Sharia law, such as gambling or alcohol.
Mr. Cameron believes that Islamic finance is a good opportunity for the UK’s financial services industry as Islamic investments have soared by 150% in the past seven years and are expected to be worth £1.3 trillion next year.
“I don’t just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world, I want London to stand alongside Dubai as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world,” he is expected to tell delegates of the WEIF.
“There are some countries which naturally look inwards, pull up the drawbridge and refuse to recognise that the way the world is changing affects their future success. But Britain will not make that mistake,” he will add.
The Treasury hopes to launch an Islamic bond – called a sukuk – worth £200m as early as next year. It will be structured to bring in a fixed return from a tangible asset or service, and without charging interest, in accordance with Islamic financial principles.
SOURCE BY BBC