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The Rise in Islamic Sukuk Opens Up New Opportunities

An HSBC Report mentions that the increase of Islamic Sukuk worldwide creates new opportunities due to the increasing influence of the investors that search for Shari'a compliant transactions and saving methods. The Malaysian HSBC branch said that greatly increased interest in Sukuk is evident in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries with powerful economies, as well as a number of bull markets including Turkey and Malaysia. The bank added that those looking to acquire finance and to reach liquidity sources in countries rich in oil in the Middle East and Southeastern Asia are increasingly searching for Islamic Shari'a based financing tools.


Qualitative Leap for Enhancing Islamic Finance in Turkey

The Turkish Government announced the appointment of a new chairman to the agency that supervises the organizing of its banking sector business. It selected one of the most efficient workers in Islamic Finance Sector for the new position. Thus, Mohammed Ali Akbin is appointed as the head of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) which supervises the work of the banking system in the country after the resignation of the former chairman, Mukim Öztekin, for Health reasons. The semi-official Turkish Anatolia Agency reported Akbin's statement that his appointment comes in a context described as the process of building "New Turkey". He also added that the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency is going to set the policies which are "compliant with the government directions". He commented that the agency will be more "powerful and connected with all aspects of banking business" under his supervision. The appointment of Akbin was a surprise especially as the banking sector is still subject to the wider control of conventional banks including İş Bankası, Ziraat Bankası, Garanti, Akbank, and Türkiye Halk Bankası. While despite the growth of Islamic banks, their market share does not currently exceed 5%. Turkey plans to turn into an Islamic finance centre. It desires to expand the size of its Islamic banks so that their assets multiply to reach 100 billion dollars by 2023.


China Is Looking Forward to Islamic Finance

The Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah announced that it works with an arm of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to search for business opportunities. This is an indication of China's increasing interest with Islamic finance. The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector of Islamic Development Bank will cooperate with the Ijara unit in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest bank in China in terms of assets. Both banks aim at developing Islamic activities in the 52 member states of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector. The activities include Shari'a compliant Ijara contracts and liquidity management. The foundation stated that the two parties will seek to present finance for combining Private sector projects. Although more than 20 million Muslims live in China, there is no significant activity in Islamic finance in the country. In addition, some Chinese companies believe that Islamic finance is a tool to expand their transactions, to invest in the Muslim majority markets that witness a rapid growth such as The Gulf Region and South-eastern Asia and to utilize the capital in these regions. Last April, two Qatari banks and the Southwest Chinese Financial Brokerage signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a company to arrange Islamic finance transactions. China AVIC Capital stated that it would present consultation to Ningxia Hui government which is a majority Muslim population autonomous region in respect of an international issuance of 1.5 billion dollars of tools such as Islamic bonds (Sukuk), and five-year dollar-denominated bonds.