Carpe dim sum: Hong Kong’s sukuk opportunity as gateway to China

Hong Kong is a latecomer to the sukuk markets and if the government issues its announced $500 million to $1 billion sukuk this year, it will also have been a long time coming since Hong Kong first announced its ambitions for its participation in sukuk markets. Despite the delays, it will be a significant development and could provide a market for many issuers who have not participated in sukuk markets.

The Hong Kong government has been forthcoming about its strengths and weaknesses in building a sukuk market as a result of its cooperation with Malaysia to learn the ‘how-to’s of the sukuk markets. The Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Peter Pang explained that Hong Kong has focused its collaboration with Malaysia to “deepen co-operation with Malaysia in the development of Islamic finance”. The Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia Dato’ Muhammad bin Ibrahim added that Malaysia would offer its “expertise in structuring, managing and distribution of sukuk [and] advice on legal and sharia matters”. 


Gateway to China (more…)

World Cup inflation

World Cup fever is hitting Brazil this June as more than half a million global soccer fans flock to the country for the month long event. Brazil is expecting the event to boost its economy by creating thousands of jobs.  The flip side is that Brazilian inflation may also rise a bit. Check out this video to see how you can use Thomson Reuters Eikon to track Brazil’s inflation worries.

Read more on the Thomson Reuters Eikon blog.

Pushing the speed limit

Our 2013 Annual Review brings our company story to life by showcasing how we support today’s decision makers by providing global information platforms that are faster, simpler and more connected. You can access the full-report here or check out the complete series of blog posts.

The latest release of the Thomson Reuters Eikon desktop delivers the financial information, exclusive news and intuitive analytics that our customers worldwide have come to expect – along with an array of new capabilities, including a unique application for social media analysis. Eikon users can now track activity in real time across Twitter and StockTwits (a social network for the financial community) by analyzing the sentiment behind the tweets.

To stay fully connected to the world, traders and investment professionals no longer have to rely on their smartphones instead of their terminals to access Twitter. From the intuitive Eikon desktop, they can click on a stock or commodity symbol and immediately see a corresponding social media feed, including up-to-the-minute analysis of the prevailing mood. They can also follow relevant news stories and gauge sentiment in that channel, too – using an innovative Eikon capability based on Thomson Reuters News Analytics, one of the industry’s most advanced services for selecting and systematically analyzing editorial content.

Of course, people who follow fast-moving markets tend to be on the move themselves. So among the more than 400 enhancements and additional features built into Eikon over the past year is a mobile capability that extends users’ intelligent desktops to their tablets and smartphones as well. Whether searching for fast, relevant information or crunching the data using integrated analysis tools, financial professionals can stay on top of breaking news and emerging trends wherever they happen to be – in a world that doesn’t wait for stragglers to catch up. As one customer told us when the latest release of Eikon was launched in February 2014: “Everything before this feels prehistoric.”

Explore the complete interactive review, or check out the individual chapters: (more…)

Executive summary – A survey on public awareness about Takaful concepts and principles in Bahrain

Takaful has been growing considerably in the last decade with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29% from 2005-2009 globally. Apart from Malaysia, the GCC region is one of the main contributors to this growth.

Among the GCC countries, Bahrain is seen as an important market for takaful with CAGR of 40% during 2001-2010. In addition, the market share of takaful in the Kingdom increased significantly from only 3% in 2001 to 18% in terms of gross contributions in 2010.

One possible explanation to this growth is the increase in public awareness about takaful in Bahrain. Public awareness is an important factor to increase market share for Islamic finance overall and Takaful is no different. Bahrain’s insurance regulator and other stakeholders have put in a lot of effort to enhance public awareness on the benefits of insurance and takaful; national efforts include the establishment of the Bahrain Insurance Association (BIA), Insurance Learning Center (ILC) and Gulf Insurance Institute (GII). (more…)

Mutual fund smackdown – graphic of the day

Based on data from Lipper, the momentum stock revolt has led to a rough month for mutual funds. Today’s graphic shows the average month-to-date performance of different fund categories so far in April.

mutual funds

Q1 Thomson Reuters TRust Index – Financial institutions in the Americas show upbeat start to 2014

TRust Index

The latest results of our proprietary TRust Index show that first-quarter 2014 trust sentiment in the Top 50 Global Financial institutions as a whole remained steady, but modestly negative.  However, institutions from the Americas started the year well, ending with the first positive trust score of any region since the Index was launched a year ago.

Tracking trust through news sentiment reveals that the 18 Americas institutions in the TRust Index crossed into positive territory to end the first quarter with a trust score of 2 percent (compared with -1.85 percent Q4 2013), due in part to the performance of Canadian banks.

“During the financial crisis, and since, Canada has been noteworthy for the policies and discipline that allowed the country to better weather the storm and its financial institutions to more quickly recover,” said David Craig, president, Financial & Risk, Thomson Reuters. “It is no surprise therefore to see Canadian banks leading the Americas region into positive sentiment as we measure trust in the Top 50 Global Financials for the 5th consecutive quarter of the TRust Index.”

This compares to a Q1 score of -1 percent for the Top 50 Global institutions as a whole (-1.75 percent Q4) and  -2 percent for both Europe (-1.25 percent Q4) and Asia (-1.5 percent Q4).  In Asia, decreasing trust was partially attributable to tightening credit conditions in China, whilst European financial institutions experienced a decline in trust due to continuing investigations around interest rate fixing, rigging of exchange rates and tax fraud.

Other findings of this quarter’s TRust Index include: (more…)

Attracting talent, innovating Eikon: EikonHack 2014

Our first ever student Hackathon was held in London in March. A 24-hour coding competition, the EikonHack tasked 35 students with building a news discovery app for a mobile device using Thomson Reuters Eikon technology and Reuters news.

Read more about the event on the Thomson Reuters Eikon Blog.

Companies crunching Big Data are winning a competitive advantage

big data

By Tim Baker, CFA, Thomson Reuters

Too much information

A growing number of companies are using the tools and disciplines of Big Data to transform their businesses and markets. Its application in the consumer sector is becoming well known, but it is also playing a crucial role in financial services.

There are many definitions of Big Data but most will agree that it refers to the enormous expansion in the volume, velocity and variety of information available about people and their habits. Much of this data is created as people go about their business online – their digital footprint. When crunched and combined with other kinds of information it can provide marketable insights which were previously unthinkable. A simple example is the use by online supermarkets of analytical tools to recommend to shoppers new products that they might be interested in but were unaware of. (more…)

Thomson Reuters Eikon Interactive Map

Interactive Map on Thomson Reuters Eikon is the most direct way to monitor and analyze the key factors that affect the supply chain and impact prices. Maps give you current views of assets, weather and vessels, while fast download to spreadsheets enables you to build and monitor comprehensive pictures of regional flows.

The merits of rotating scholars on Shari’a Boards of Islamic Financial Institutions

By Muhammad Musa

The Shari’a board of Islamic financial institutions (IFI) is the engine which powers the industry towards achieving maqasid al-Shari’a, – the overarching Shari’a objectives of procuring and increasing benefits while eliminating harms – and adds a layer of corporate governance. The institutionalisation of the Shari’a board is the primary differentiator between conventional and Islamic finance.

The Shari’a board ought to be independent, objective and honest. Its mandate is to objectively oversee the firm’s compliance with the tenets of Shari’a, to independently guide it and to honestly endorse its products, services and operations. Several design attempts or Shari’a board models have emerged over the years. Most could best be described as “works in progress”. Malaysia and Pakistan have their own models, which differ from the ones in Bahrain and Oman. There are merits and drawbacks to each.

Merits of Oman’s rotational system (more…)