Category: Islamic Finance

Inaugural Meeting for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamic Finance

There will be an inaugural meeting for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamic Finance held on Tuesday 4th February in the Grimond Room in Portcullis House at 4pm.

At the meeting, the office bearers will be elected and a brief plan for the Group’s activities in the coming year will be put forward.

The purpose of the APPGIF is to give the Islamic finance industry a voice in Parliament; to address issues as they arise such as Sukuk issuances, inclusivity, regulation and taxation whilst positioning the UK as the European hub of Islamic financial services, and also to play a wider role in promoting ethical finance. The Group is a robust body and has enjoyed cross-party support and in addition there are over 90 stakeholders.

Please note this meeting is to reconstitute the Group after the formation of the new Parliament and is for Parliamentarians only.

Lord Sheikh’s Visit to Tajikistan

Lord Sheikh visited Tajikistan between 16th to 21st September 2019 at the invitation of His Excellency Mr Masud Khalifazoda the Ambassador of Tajikistan to the United Kingdom. Lord Sheikh had the pleasure of staying at the residence of His Excellency Mr Matthew Lawson the British Ambassador to Tajikistan during his visit.

The purpose of the visit was to find out more about the current situation in Tajikistan and to strengthen political, trade, educational and cultural ties between the UK and Tajikistan. It was primarily a fact-finding mission and Lord Sheikh had the intention of observing and exploring the social and economic factors in the country. He wanted to meet and talk to people, ascertain the situation and make representations to government departments.

To read Lord Sheikh’s summary report from his visit to Tajikistan, please click on the following link: 2020-01-06 – Report – Lord Sheikh Tajikistan Visit 16-21 September. This report was sent to all the relevant persons in the UK, Tajikistan and other countries.

During his visit, Lord Sheikh had a full schedule of engagements. His engagements included the following:

Meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Muzaffar Huseynzoda.

Meeting with the Rector of Tajik Technical University Mr Haydar Odinazoda.

 

The Main Directorate of the State Fire Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan together with the British Embassy in Dushanbe, FireAid, Staffordshire Emergency Services Humanitarian Aid, Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport and the Young Generation of Tajikistan NGO hosted a joint ceremony to officially hand over two fire engines and fire appliances to Tajikistan’s State Fire Service.

Lord Sheikh attended and spoke at the ceremony alongside the Head of the State Fire Service of MIA Major-General Nozimjon Ibrohimzoda, British Ambassador His Excellency Matthew Lawson and the representatives of other partner organisations. During his speech, Lord Sheikh noted the importance of building up the resilience of Tajik firefighters and rescuers so that they could effectively respond to fire cases and traffic accidents in Tajikistan.

Since 2015, with the help of the Fire Aid project, the State Fire Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan have received 6 fire engines, 1 ambulance car and a specialized vehicle for carrying out road accident operations.

 

Lord Sheikh and His Excellency Matthew Lawson spoke at the plenary session of the International GCRF Conference “Tajikistan and Cultural Diplomacy in Central Asia and Eurasia”.  Lord Sheikh highlighted the importance of education for building prosperity in the country. Responding to the questions from the audience, His Excellency Matthew Lawson noted that helping Tajikistan build its resilience is the cornerstone of UK Government’s mission in Tajikistan.

Lord Sheikh’s meeting with Mr Numon Abdugafforzoda, the Chairman of The Committee for Tourism Development under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.

 

Lord Sheikh’s meeting with Mr Kozidavlat Koimdodov, AKDN Representative in Tajikistan.

 

Lord Sheikh’s meeting with the representatives of the Sughd Free Economic Zone (FEZ). Established in 2008 in a highly favorable location, the Sughd FEZ offers 320 hectares of land and a number of incentives for enterprises.

 

During his visit to the Sughd region, Lord Sheikh participated in the official opening of the 14th UNICEF Tajikistan’s Adolescent Innovation Lab.

 

Lord Sheikh was pleased to meet with active social entrepreneurs in Khujand to listen to their success stories.

 

 

 

 

 

LSE Executive LLM Alumni Islamic Finance Event

Lord Sheikh attended and spoke at the LSE Executive LLM Alumni Islamic Finance Event held on 4 September 2019. The title of the  Executive LLM Talks was: How did Islamic finance prosper under English Law?

Lord Sheikh made remarks on the UK being the European hub of Islamic Finance, development of Islamic Finance in last decade and consonance of Islamic Finance with UK system in light of approach in UK Parliament so far.

The event was attended by LSE Executive Master of Laws alumni and students, other executive groups in LSE and professional contacts of Executive LLM LSE alumni.

 

The Gatehouse Bank Islamic Finance Consumer Report 2019

Lord Sheikh hosted the launch of Gatehouse Bank’s Islamic Finance Consumer Report 2019 in the House of Lords’ Archbishop’s Room. The report looks at Muslim awareness, usage and perceptions in Islamic Finance in the UK.

The event was very well attended with a number of All-Party Parliamentary Group members and stakeholders, as well as Islamic finance industry representatives and members of the Muslim community.

Ansar Finance 25th Anniversary Celebratory Dinner

Lord Sheikh was welcomed as a Guest of Honour and Father of the Day by Ansar Finance for their 25th Anniversary Celebratory Dinner.

At the dinner, Lord Sheikh spoke on the value of Islamic Finance in the UK, addressing its importance and relevance in the current British climate.

Ansar Finance works to alleviate poverty and financial hardship.

in his speech, Lord Sheikh noted Ansar’s achievements include the following:

  • They have granted charitable loans in excess of £3.5 million.
  • From 2000 to 2008 they have provided a housing scheme with an investment of approximately £2.3 million.
  • Have helped people in saving over £1 Million in Riba’ payments.
  • They have supported many local causes through their charitable fund.
  • The activities of Ansar Finance have been highly praised by Islamic academic scholars as they are truly authentic and comply with Islamic principles.

Lord Sheikh was also very pleased to note that Ansar is relaunching the housing project and hosting a shariah-compliant credit union that supports student finance and savings.

 

EU Islamic Finance and Banking Summit

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Lord Sheikh made the keynote speech and presented awards at the EU Islamic Finance and Banking Summit Awards held at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel. In his speech he mentioned the importance of London as an international finance centre of great importance and the fact that it is also vital in the expansion of Islamic finance in Europe. He also mentioned the fact that Islamic investments worldwide are now worth over $1.8 trillion and forecasted to grow to $2.5 trillion.

Lord Sheikh is the Co-Chair of the All Party Group for Islamic Finance and Diversity in Financial Matters and promotes London as a centre of excellence as the leading Western hub for Islamic finance.

Islamic Finance Event in the House of Lords with the Archbishop of Canterbury

Lord Sheikh hosted and chaired a meeting in the House of Lords on ethical finance. The guest speakers included the Archbishop of Canterbury Welby and HH Judge Sir Gavyn Arthur. The event was also attended by a cross-section of leaders of various communities.

Lord Sheikh stressed the importance of more opportunities being made available for investments on an ethical basis which do produce favourable results and also have benefits for the community.

Conservative Party Conference 2012 – Fringe Meeting on Islamic Finance

Lord Sheikh, as a Vice Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group on Islamic Finance, chaired and spoke at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference on the subject of Islamic finance. Lord Sheikh mentioned that the United Kingdom is 8th in the Bankers League with Shariah compliant assets in excess of 18 billion dollars which is highest amongst all Western countries.

International Takaful Summit 2012

Lord Sheikh made the welcoming remarks at the International Takaful Summit 2012 which was held at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel.

In his speech he mentioned the importance of London in the international Islamic Finance market, particularly in regards to training and education. Lord Sheikh also spoke about the key role that Islamic Finance and Takaful can play in these times of economic difficulties. He emphasised that Islamic finance, with its principles, can play a key role in advocating a more responsible, fair, transparent and socially aware financial system that works for the people.

Lord Sheikh went on to mention his connection with Malaysia, which is an important player in the global Islamic finance market and acknowledged His Excellency the Malaysian High Commissioner who was also in attendance.

Lord Sheikh also briefly spoke at the International Takaful Summit Awards dinner held that same night and presented the awards to the winners for the fifth year running.

The two- day Conference was ended by a dinner held in the Great Hall of the historic Chartered Insurance Institute  building. It was a fitting venue for the dinner as the CII has a module on Takaful in its examinations.