"Des waerelds doen en doolen, is maar een mallemoolen,"

"Des waerelds doen en doolen, is maar een mallemoolen," engraving from Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid, 1720.

"The actions and designs of the world go round as if in a mill." South Sea bubble financial crisis.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Islamic finance watch

A good explanation of what a sukuk is provided by the Economist

A sukuk is structured to avoid the Islamic prohibition on interest payments. It manages this by paying bondholders with the cashflows generated by specific assets, which are put into a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) as part of the deal. Many seem to have thought that the bonds were “asset-backed”, giving them a claim on the assets in the event of a default. Most sukuk, however, are “asset-based”, handing investors ownership of the cashflows but not of the assets themselves. “Many sukuk holders have a perception that they hold a security that is collateralised,” says Anouar Hassoune of Moody’s, a rating agency. “In 90% of cases, that is incorrect.”

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