Global Islamic finance to mark steep growth

Updated 28 June 2012
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Global Islamic finance to mark steep growth

The global Islamic finance and banking sector is pegged at $1 trillion with an estimated growth rate that is four times higher than conventional financial services, according to organizers of the upcoming International Islamic Finance Conference 2012.
In a news announcement the event management team at Emerald Insight suggested that the demand for the Shariah-managed industry is largely market driven with a noticeably high number of institutions entering the arena introducing new products to market.
They noted that the sector is undergoing a dramatic change with its one-time easily identifiable early entrants of the 70's increasingly joined by new dedicated players, alongside Shariah-specific, specially-branded product offerings from the general banking sector.
A spokesperson for Emerald Insight noted that recent estimates predict a year-on-year growth rate of 25 percent, which would see the global industry valued at $5 trillion in 2016. They said that this indicates a need for an increased understanding of both the sector and the robust strategies needed to support such growth where the increased competition is in danger of blurring of lines between products and services.
One of the region's leading economists, Henry Azzam is slated to open the conference at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 14 this year.
Azzam, a financial services expert with more than thirty years regional experience, is currently adviser to Deutsche Bank AG and chairman of the board at NASDAQ Dubai. He will be joined by banking and investment specialists to consider the opportunities and challenges that face the sector, including its regulatory and supervisory set-up.
He will kick-start the three-day event that will also make a special review of the impact of the recent political and socio-economic developments within the region and their likely impact on the global Islamic financial sector, including mutual funds, securities and derivatives, as well as regular banking services. Other speakers include former Central Bank Gov. and first Gov. of the Palestinian Monetary Authority Professor Fouad Beseiso and M. Kabir Hassan, associate Professor and associate chair of the faculty of finance, University of New Orleans.

 


Hyundai teams up with VW’s Audi to boost hydrogen cars

Updated 6 min 25 sec ago
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Hyundai teams up with VW’s Audi to boost hydrogen cars

LONDON: Hyundai agreed a deal with Audi on Wednesday to collaborate on hydrogen car technology, hoping to boost an energy segment that has lagged behind battery electric vehicles.
The South Korean firm wants to increase the uptake of hydrogen cars, which are propelled by electricity generated by fuel cells but have been held back by a lack of infrastructure and the push for battery electric vehicles by the likes of Tesla.
The pair will be able to access each other’s intellectual property and share components, including any new parts developed by Audi, which is responsible for hydrogen fuel cell technology in the Volkswagen Group, the world’s biggest car seller.
Hyundai hopes that the move will create greater demand for vehicles such as its ix35 model and bring down costs to make the technology profitable.
“We want to provide to our component suppliers more chance and we want to have competition between component suppliers,” Sae Hoon Kim, the head of Hyundai’s R&D fuel cell group, told Reuters in an interview in London.
“We also want to make them to have competition with other suppliers, and that competition will bring down the cost.”
Carmakers such as Toyota have touted the benefits of hydrogen vehicles, which take less time to refuel than the recharge times of battery electric cars, but are expensive and suffer from a lack of refueling stations.
Many carmakers are focusing on battery electric vehicles, which can take between half an hour and half a day to recharge, but are increasingly able to use a growing network of charging points.
Auto firms are teaming up to share the cost of developing greener technologies to replace combustion engines as regulators around the world crack down on emissions. GM and Honda have a partnership to jointly develop electric vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells that are expected to go on sale in 2020, while BMW is working with Toyota.
Kim said that a toughening of European Union carbon emission limits in 2025 would create a need for more hydrogen cars.
Hyundai sold 200 such models last year and expects to sell thousands this year, but Kim said profitability was still far off.
“100,000 or 300,000 vehicles per year per company, when that comes, I think we can make money,” he said.