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The Green Crescent on Stock Horizons (Part 2)

10 January 2008 - Features - Editor

The Green Crescent on Stock Horizons (Part 1)

You will find an account of the stock market in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is special on many accounts. It is as multi-racial as Manhattan in many senses, but Islam is much more than a private faith in this richly-endowed sub-tropical paradise. The country has many excellent success stories based on Islamic finance. Banking in the Middle East plans to use Sharia teachings, but Malaysia has more than a decade of such practices under its belt. This is a development for all stock market professionals to study, because Islamic banking is in the process of quickly establishing firm shares in the United States and the EU.

Sharia Lessons for Financial Planning

Equal sharing of risks by lenders and borrowers is just one of the tenets of Islamic banking. It is not only contemptuous, but erroneous as well, to dismiss the idea of interest-free funding as a flight of fancy. The sub-prime crisis of 2007 would not take place in an Islamic finance format. Islamic bankers are conscientious: they would not sell loans at premium rates of interest to customers considered to be unworthy of loans, and then sell these bad debts to their business friends! Islamic finance is a form of stock investment, because lenders roll up their sleeves and help clients with realistic business plans and contingency planning.

Sharia does not allow financiers to associate with socially irresponsible business. The United States took until 2007 to discourage some forms of electronic gambling, but Islamic banking has proscribed funding such activities since antiquity. People of all faiths and atheists as well can learn how to combine principles and stock investing through the path of Islam. Integrity is a driving force of Islamic banking: it is therefore more productive than huge severance packets for errant executives from our powerful financial institutions! Could this be why some western banks now offer Islamic banking products?

Please join our forum and tell us what you think of Islamic finance? Has your banker ever taken you for a ride, selling you plastic and then loans you could not afford? Would you like to locate Islamic banking? Write and let us know!


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