Dubai, UAE, October 16, 2014 -- FAAIF CEO Camille Paldi says the potential for Islamic finance, sukuk, and takaful is huge in the United States. FAAIF CEO Camille Paldi conducts two Islamic Finance, Banking, and Sukuk workshops in New Orleans and New York, USA in association with Al Huda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics and University of New Orleans.
FAAIF CEO Camille Paldi says that the USA participants were enthusiastic about learning Islamic finance concepts despite negative imagery in the media. Paldi explains that in general, educated Americans are excited to learn about new alternative financial structures and investment opportunities. Even though the media may attempt to negatively influence the opinion of the public about Islamic finance, Paldi finds the American public to be curious and enthusiastic about exploring alternative financial systems. Paldi says that once it is explained that structures such as sukuk can bring in millions in funds for American businesses and government, people want to know more about it. In addition, Paldi states that after explaining how this type of financing is based on principles also found in Christianity and Judaism, people become even more open to these new financial concepts. Furthermore, according to Paldi, after discussing how this type of finance is asset-backed and helps generate positive results for the small to medium businessman or woman and the economy in general, people become attentive and start asking questions. When discussing the debt trap which encapsulates the lives of many Americans, which is caused by usury and interest-based financing, Paldi says that people become even more enthusiastic about structures, which do not involve interest. Overall, Paldi finds the public excited to learn about these new concepts despite the negative image portrayed in the media.
FAAIF CEO explains that there is a large potential for the USA in tapping into the sukuk market. In 2012 and 2013, the world saw $190 Billion in sukuk issuances. Why should the US miss out on this global financing phenomenon? The US has seen three major sukuk issuances including the East Cameron Gas Sukuk in Louisiana, which was the first ever musharakah sukuk in America backed by oil and gas assets maturing in 2006 and the General Electric Sukuk, which is an ijarah sukuk backed by aircraft leases due for maturity in November, 2014. Most recently in September 2014, Goldman Sachs, the fifth largest bank in the US, sold a $500 million sukuk, which had an order book of around $1.5 billion reflecting heavy demand from cash rich Gulf states hungry for Shari’ah compliant assets in the US. There is clearly a large potential for sukuk in the United States as a capital raising instrument for both American firms and the US government. In fact, both the state of New York and the state of Illinois have initiated state bills in their legislatures enabling sukuk transactions. The time is ripe for the USA to enter the global billion dollar sukuk and Islamic finance market. Intelligent American businessmen and women are highly interested in this product as an alternative bond to raise capital for their firms and diversify investment portfolios, attracting new investors such as GCC nationals and Shariáh compliant investors.
Paldi explains that there is currently a large and increasing amount of Islamic finance business being conducted through New York, which may evolve into a North American hub for Islamic finance. Paldi says that all of the major US banks and Law firms are becoming involved in this industry on some level, however, she explains that this business has not reached mainstream America as of yet. There may be a narrow-minded segment in American society attempting to stop any form of Islamic finance in America, however, to the detriment of the well-being of the US economy. In order to facilitate Islamic finance business and sukuk issuances in the USA, each state can take steps to initiate sukuk and Islamic finance legislation and encourage Islamic finance business in the USA as did New York and Illinois. Paldi says that there is also a large opportunity for the USA to develop an Islamic finance bankruptcy court for the world’s sukuk defaults, bringing in millions in revenue for US law firms and legal community. Zubair Mughal, CEO of Al Huda says that Islamic Banking and Finance is welcome in the USA and that he plans to continue to promote his partnership with FAAIF in producing a future USA roadshow on Islamic Banking, Finance, Sukuk, and Takaful. FAAIF CEO is available for consultation at [email protected]
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FAAIF Limited is a legal and management consultancy firm servicing clients in Islamic banking, finance, and takaful. FAAIF Events is an events production and management company.
Camille Paldi, CEO
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