By Angela Mndolwa and Shah Jahan Khandokar, Norton Rose Fulbright
Huge natural gas discoveries in East Africa, attracting global interest and investment in recent years, have given rise to complex and politically sensitive boundary disputes in the region, most recently within the United Republic of Tanzania between the mainland and semi-autonomous Zanzibar.
Despite a strong desire to reap the rewards from oil and gas within its boundaries, investors in the region are hoping that the two governments of Tanzania will realise that it is better to share revenue than risk deterring investment. Read more
By Dr Abdul Halim
The last decade has been transformative for Islamic banking. While the practices involved in Sharia-compliant finance have been around for over a thousand years, it is only recently that the wider world has opened up and Islamic finance has ‘gone global’.
Last year, non-Muslim majority countries as diverse as South Africa, the UK, Hong Kong and Luxembourg issued debut Islamic bonds, or ‘sukuks’, while Goldman Sachs issued $500m worth of shariah-compliant bonds. Already a $2.1tn industry, it is estimated that the Islamic economy has further potential to reach a value of $6.7tn, with Islamic banking and the sukuk market accounting for 95 per cent of the industry’s assets worldwide.
With the industry going from strength to strength, it is incumbent upon us, as Islamic financiers, to consider how the industry can evolve to provide a wider range of products and services, while remaining true to a central pillar of Islamic finance, and Islam itself: charitable giving. Read more
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By Riccardo Puliti of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
With energy security once again a paramount geopolitical concern, the rich energy resources of the Caspian are coming into focus.
In its newly published Energy Union Package, outlining the industry’s biggest shake-up in half a century, the European Union is looking hard at the Caspian region as a diversified source to meet the bloc’s energy requirements. Read more