Germany’s first interest-free Islamic bank opens in Frankfurt

#AceFinanceNews – GERMANY: July.01: Germany’s first interest-free Islamic bank opens in Frankfurt
July 01, 2015 21:32

Reuters / Osman Orsal

Germany has opened its first Islamic bank representing a full range of banking services in accordance with the laws of Sharia. The Frankfurt-based bank, called KT Bank AG, is owned by Kuveyt Turk, the largest Islamic banking institution in Turkey.

KT Bank has also opened its affiliates in Mannheim and Berlin and plans to reach Cologne, Hamburg and Munich in the near future.

The Sharia law Islamic banks prohibit bank from charging interest on loans, as well as to take part in investments, especially those considered haram, like gambling, weapons, prostitution and alcohol.

Thus, Islamic banks do not provide customers with a mortgage; instead they buy a house and resell it at a higher price that already includes interest. Given the fact that the bank pays the tax twice – with the purchase and sale of the house – deals become much more expensive compared to those from conventional banks.

Among 4.5 million Muslims residing in Germany, 21 percent are ready to use the services of an Islamic bank, said the head of Kuveyt Turk Bank Kemal Ozan referring to a poll carried out by his company. However, Kuveyt Turk noted that it focuses not only on the Muslims living in Germany, but expects to approach the entire German market.

In 2010, Kuveyt Turk opened a small office in Mannheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg. In 2012 it appealed to the German authorities for a full banking license.

Istanbul-based Kuveyt Turk is one of the largest banks in Turkey and is part of Kuwait Finance House, which is mostly owned by Kuwaiti investors.

Islamic banks have already proved quite successful in the markets of England and France. UK houses five Islamic banks and the Islamic Bank of Britain reported a 55 percent increase in deposits of non-Muslims over 2014. The bank associates these figures with the Barclays’ rate rigging scandal.

The UK has also become the first non-Muslim country to issue sukuk – an Islamic bond equivalent similar to a participation certificate. This type of bond is also utilized in Hong Kong, Luxembourg and South Africa.

Germany’s first interest-free Islamic bank opens in Frankfurt


Ace Worldwide News Group

Article: MasterCard will approve purchases by scanning your face

#AceFinanceNews – Featured:July.01:
MasterCard will approve purchases by scanning your face


Ace Worldwide News Group

:LONDON: Report backs third Heathrow runway against noise objections

#AceFinanceNews – BRITAIN:July.01: The Airports Commission has backed a third Heathrow runway, saying it will add £147bn in economic growth and 70,000 jobs by 2050.

It would also connect Britain to over 40 new destinations around the world.

Sir Howard Davies’s report said that the new runway should come with severe restrictions to reduce the environmental and noise effects.

Night flights would be banned and the government would make a Parliamentary pledge not to build a fourth runway.

An aviation noise levy would fund insulation for homes and schools and a legal commitment would be made on air quality.

‘Clear and unanimous’

Sir Howard said that a second runway at Gatwick was a “credible” option but was less able to provide connections to long-haul destinations and would create lower levels of economic growth.
A third option for extending the present runways at Heathrow was rejected.

Sir Howard said that the recommendation for a new runway to the north of the present airport was “clear and unanimous”.

“The best answer is to expand Heathrow’s capacity through a new north-west runway,” Sir Howard said.
“Heathrow is best placed to provide the type of capacity which is most urgently required: long haul destinations to new markets.

“It provides the greatest benefits for business passengers and the broader economy.

“Adding capacity at Heathrow also provides an opportunity to change the airport’s relationship with its local communities.

“To make expansion possible the Commission recommends a comprehensive package of measures including a ban on night flights and a new noise levy to fund a far stronger and more generous set of compensation and mitigation schemes.”

Noise levels

The Commission admits that expanding Heathrow would mean many more people affected by noise compared to expanding Gatwick.

But it claims that quieter aircraft and home insulation would mean that overall noise levels would fall for people living near the airport by 2030.

Nearly 800 homes would have to be demolished to build the new runway which would cost £17.6bn to deliver.
Road and rail links around the airport would also have to be substantially changed, which could cost up to £5bn.
A second runway at Gatwick would cost just over £7bn.

The Commission believes that both schemes would be funded by private finance.

Environmental groups, resident organisations and a number of prominent politicians including the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, have said they will campaign vigorously against any expansion of Heathrow.
In 2009, David Cameron pledged that there would be no new runway at Heathrow.

The government has said that it will give its official response to the Commission in the autumn and it is estimated that, if given the go-ahead, any new runway would take more than a decade to build.

Report backs third Heathrow runway_80201000_breaking_image_large-3.pngThe Airports Commission backs a third Heathrow runway, saying it will add £147bn in economic growth and 70,000 jobs by 2050


Ace Worldwide News Group

MARKETS: Battle of currency markets begin as Asia battles Euro over Greek fallout

#AceMarketsNews – July.01: SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares made guarded gains on Wednesday as investors gave a resigned shrug to news Greece had become the first developed economy to default on a loan with the International Monetary Fund.

While an unwelcome milestone for Athens, it came as no surprise to markets after weeks of debt-talk brinkmanship and the euro faded just a fraction to $1.1140.

Brokers were also calling for modestly firmer openings for London, Paris and Frankfurt.

“There is so much uncertainty, speculation, truth and partial truth that many markets are in stasis; waiting to see which way this goes,” said Emma Lawson, senior currency strategist at National Australia Bank.

Calming after two days of wild swings, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan bounced 0.6 percent. Malaysian shares rallied 1.8 percent after Fitch unexpectedly raised the country’s outlook to “stable”.

Japan’s Nikkei added 0.4 percent, a second day of modest gains as it stabilises after Monday’s steep fall.

There was unexpectedly upbeat news from the Bank of Japan’s latest survey of manufacturers which improved in the three months to June, supporting the bank’s view that growth is gathering momentum.

The data was mixed from China where surveys showed sluggish factory activity but a pick up in service sector, a sign the transition to a more consumer-led economy remained on track.

Chinese shares got off to another erratic start, first diving before crawling back to flat through the session. The CSI300 index was last up 0.1 percent, while the Shanghai Composite eased 0.1 percent.

Both indices had jumped on Tuesday as Beijing’s efforts to stem recent selling seemed to gain traction. A combination of cuts in interest rates, allowing local government pension funds to buy stocks and talk of behind-the-scenes “window guidance” to institutional investors, have helped calm a skittish market.

On Wall Street, the Dow had edged up 0.1 percent on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq 0.6 percent.

There was little immediate reaction when the International Monetary Fund confirmed Greece had missed a payment on its debt, perhaps taking it a step closer to an exit from the euro.

The IMF said Greece had asked for a last-minute repayment extension earlier on Tuesday, which the IMF’s board would consider “in due course.”

European finance ministers will confer later on Wednesday over Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ request for a new two-year loan to pay debts that amount to nearly 30 billion euros.

Investors still cling to hopes that a deal will be done at some stage to keep Greece in the euro, keeping currency markets relatively range bound. The U.S. dollar index was up 0.08 percent at 95.568, having bounced from Tuesday’s low of 94.847.

Against the yen, the dollar stood at 122.57, up from a five-week low of 121.93 plumbed on Tuesday.

In commodities, oil fell back after bouncing strongly on Tuesday to end the second quarter with hefty gains. Brent was quoted down 65 cents at $62.94 a barrel, while U.S. crude eased 84 cents to $58.64.

(Editing by Edwina Gibbs & Shri Navaratnam)

Asia shares gain as euro shoulders Greek burden


Ace Worldwide News Group