State-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) plans to sell Islamic bonds for the first time by May, a year after saying it would sell $100 million of the bonds in the first quarter of 2007. The sale would be the first backed by a state in the Group of Eight industrialised nations that includes the United States, Russia and Germany. Japan is the world's second-largest economy. Tadashi Maeda, JBIC's director general of energy and natural resources, said "Without due attention to Islamic finance, Tokyo cannot be a fully fledged international market ... we recognize that Islamic finance is rising and it is becoming very important in world markets." ... Tokyo has hosted several Islamic finance conferences. In September, the Bank of Japan said it joined the Islamic Financial Services Board, an international body for setting Islamic finance standards, as an observer member. Last year, Japan appointed a board to advise on Islamic law, or sharia.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007