Posts tagged ‘Middle East’

August 23, 2014

Irish jihadi fighters – police investigate group using Ireland as base

As Britain scrambles to assess its counter-terrorism security following the horrific beheading of Irish American journalist James Foley by an ISIS militant with a British accent, Ireland is also weighing the threat homegrown jihadists may pose.

Irish authorities confirmed yesterday that they are closely watching the movements of nearly 30 Irish Muslims who have been traveling from Ireland to Iraq and other conflict zones in recent months.

Three of those who were under surveillance are believed to have been killed, including a 16-year-old boy.

The remainder are also being monitored by international security agencies, the Irish Independent reports, as suspicions emerge that potential jihadists with Irish papers have been using Ireland as a base between tours of fighting in the Middle East.

Continue reading at Irish Central

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November 20, 2012

Ireland’s growing reputation as a hub for Islamic finance operations

Source: The Daily Business Post

Islamic finance company Amanie Advisors is to set-up an operation in Dublin, IDA Ireland has said.

Amanie was established in Kuala Lumpur in 2005 and provides its clients with advice on the Islamic capital markets, structured finance and fundraising solutions.

From its Dublin office the company will also give advice on product structuring that complies with Islam’s Sharia law as well as Sharia supervisory and monitoring services, annual Sharia reviews and Sharia screening for equities.

Amanie said it chose Ireland for this investment due to its growing reputation as a hub for Islamic finance operations.

There are around $1 billion (€800 million) of Sharia-compliant funds in Ireland while around 20 per cent of all Sharia funds outside the Middle East are now based in Ireland, IDA Ireland said. It is the IDA’s first investment win from a Malaysian company.

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May 4, 2012

Ireland emerging as epicenter for Islamic finance in West

Source: Irish Times

Despite the fact that Ireland still has a relatively small Muslim population – at about 50,000 according to the 2011 census – Ireland has nonetheless emerged as a major global centre for Islamic finance.

Earlier this year Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government was “determined to ensure that the IFSC is a centre of excellence for Islamic finance”.

About 20 per cent of all Sharia funds located outside of the Middle East are now based in Ireland, while the industry here services about €2.5 billion worth of funds. In 2010, the Government published extensive tax legislation in the Finance Act to facilitate a wide variety of Islamic finance, such as debt capital markets, securitisation and investment funds. Moreover, Ireland has double tax treaties in place with 67 countries including Turkey, Malaysia, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait.

More recently, it has positioned itself in the debt space, with Goldman Sachs listing a $2 billion sukuk on the Irish Stock Exchange late last year. The Sharia-compliant bond acts as a trustee and seller of “murabaha” trust certificates. Murabaha is a contract whereby the seller must disclose its profit to the buyer.

But despite the hype, Islamic finance still remains a small segment of the overall international financial services market in Ireland, given that the total funds industry is worth about €2 trillion. “It’s a reasonable number but is growing,” notes Quinn.