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Opalesque launches Islamic Finance Intelligence as industry faces great debates in a number of fronts

Opalesque has published the first issue of Opalesque Islamic Finance Intelligence, a free, monthly publication designed with a practitioner approach focusing on precise and relevant content for investors, product manufacturers, and fund managers of this truly global community.

Singapore, June 23rd 2009 -- Opalesque Islamic Finance Intelligence (OIFI) has been jointly developed by Opalesque and Amsar Partners, an independent Islamic finance consultancy, which brings together a multi-disciplinary team that includes Bernardo Vizcaino, CAIA, Managing Director; Nikan Firoozye, Ph.D., Director of Shariah Structuring; and Khalil Jarrar, J.D., Director of Jurisprudence. They combine highly regarded financial, academic and research backgrounds with a global industry network.

The publication (19 pages of intelligence) can be downloaded here: http://www.opalesque.com/OIFI/OIFIJune09.pdf.
New readers can register here http://www.opalesque.com/index.php?act=registration and select from a menue of eleven specialized publications.

Islamic Finance is facing uncharted territory

Opalesque Islamic Finance Intelligence arrives at a time when Islamic finance is facing uncharted territory - several efforts are under way to jump-start convergence/unification of standards, crystallize demand for time/cost effectiveness, improve liquidity in its secondary markets, as well as the promulgation of industry best practices. In addition, the industry faces great debates a even more fronts – from market gaps, distribution networks, risk & compliance concerns, to structural question marks.

The range of topics is vast - Islamic finance products now extend to all asset classes (from exchange traded funds to private equity vehicles), the industry is ever-evolving in its core markets (the GCC and Southeast Asia) and product cross-pollination with conventional fund houses is an emerging trend. The maiden edition of OIFI further provides an overview of Islamic contract law - detailed by Khalil Jarrar. The Editors also debate over the outputs of the transaction: practitioners share their thoughts in the Discussion Forum on the use of conventional benchmarks (i.e. LIBOR) by Islamic banks, whilst Toby Birch of Birch Assets Ltd scrutinizes the industry pitfalls in the Allocator Interview.
Up to 20% growth per annum
Market awareness on Islamic Finance has skyrocketed in recent years - experts once touted the existence of 60 Islamic equity funds whereas the industry now boasts a universe of well over 700 Shariah compliant investment products. Growth projections usually land between 15 to 20 percent per annum, yet some of the largest Muslim countries (i.e. Indonesia, Egypt and India) remain untapped. A comprehensive product range is unheard of (in stark contrast to the conventional world), yet this bestows the industry with endless prospects. Opalesque sheds light on these by analyzing Islamic fund of funds in the Industry Tables section.
CONTENT in detail:
Introduction: A Primer on Islamic finance Featured Resource: Islamic Finance Resources blog and online community
Featured Structure: Tawarruq: Shariah Risk or Banking Conundrum? Nikan Firoozye, Ph.D.
Manager Interview: Brint Firth, Javelin Investment Management
Portfolio Interview: Four Frustrations of an Islamic Financier: Toby Birch, Birch Assets
Opinion Column: Enforcing Islamic Contracts (Lex Islamicus) in English Courts: Khalil Jarrar, J.D.
Discussion Board: The Use of LIBOR by Islamic Banks
Industry Snapshot: Islamic Fund of Funds, a Rare Breed Bernardo Vizcaino, CAIA
Opalesque Islamic Finance Intelligence is a free subscription - new readers can register here:
http://www.opalesque.com/index.php?act=registration and select from a menue of eleven specialized publications. (Note that while most Opalesque publications are free, readers can also subscribe to three premium/paid publications).
Opalesque also offers a free DAILY Islamic Finance Briefing, which you can order at the link above as well.

About Opalesque:

In 2003, with the publication of its daily Alternative Market Briefing, Opalesque successfully launched an information revolution in the hedge fund media space: "Opalesque changed the world by bringing transparency where there was opacity and by delivering an accurate professional reporting service." - Nigel Blanchard, Culross. This hybrid financial news service, which combines proprietary industry news stories and filtered third party reports, has been credited by many industry insiders with delivering precise, accurate, and vital information to a notoriously guarded audience.

Each week, the eleven Opalesque publications are read by more than 610,000 industry professionals in over 130 countries. Opalesque is the only daily hedge fund publisher which is actually read by the elite managers themselves (http://www.opalesque.com/op_testimonials.html).

For more information, please go to http://www.opalesque.com

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