Experts discuss Islamic taxation at Doha meet

Doha: Taxation of Shariah-compliant financial products and transactions was the main topic examined by a distinguished group of experts meeting in Doha.

Experts discuss Islamic taxation at Doha meet

Experts discuss Islamic taxation at Doha meet

Among the subjects discussed were the Qatar Financial Centre Authority ‘s ( QFC Authority ) taxation of Islamic transactions research project and how Islamic finance transactions are structured in practice.

The seminar, which took place at the W Hotel Doha, was held under the auspices of the GCC branch of the International Fiscal Association (IFA). It is the second successive year in which the QFC Authority has hosted a meeting of the branch in Doha.

The seminar started with a presentation by Mohammed Desin, a partner at Ernst & Young, who looked at the growth potential for Islamic finance in the region, and provided a clear explanation of why Shariah-compliant products were important.
The keynote speaker, Mohammed Amin an Islamic finance consultant, discussed the research he conducted earlier in the year on the cross-border taxation of Islamic finance in the MENA region which was sponsored and supported by the QFC Authority . The impetus behind the research, for which Malaysia and the UK were comparators, was to suggest tax policies for countries wishing to develop a supportive tax regime for Islamic finance.

Amin observed: “There’s very little legislation for Islamic finance. Countries are at very different stages of development. For example, of the countries which responded to our study enquiries, only Turkey and the Qatar Financial Centre have specific rules for Sukuk.”
Another speaker, Moshin Iqbal from Latham and Watkins, described in detail some real transactions in the GCC region, and identified pitfalls for the unwary investor. He commented: “A comprehensive legal structure is essential in any jurisdiction to ensure that Sharia’ah finance is successful.”

Ian Anderson, CFO and Director of Tax, QFC Authority chaired the meeting, which was attended by tax experts across the GCC, lawyers, accountants, bankers and representatives from the Ministry of Finance.

Anderson said: “Islamic finance is growing rapidly in many parts of the world, not least in the Gulf. Improving the understanding of taxation of Islamic finance is therefore increasingly important – and our seminar took significant steps in that direction. It has been a privilege to host an important IFA meeting in Doha for the second consecutive year. As a leading financial centre offering a very attractive environment for Islamic finance, the QFC Authority has a deep interest in the taxation of Islamic finance. We will continue to support research and encourage debate to help advance knowledge in this area.”

© The Peninsula 2013

Barwa Bank net income up 60% in third quarter 2013

Doha – 16 November, 2013: Barwa Bank , Qatar’s fastest growing Shari’ah compliant banking service provider has announced its financial results for the period ended September 30, 2013.

Net income was QAR 442 mn for the 9 months period ended September 30, 2013, up from QAR 279 mn in the same period of last year, a 60% improvement, year-on-year.

Total income increased by 26% to QAR1.1bn for the 9 months of 2013 compared with QAR 855 mn same period in 2012, with earnings per share rising to QAR 1.49 compared with 94 dirhams for the same period last year.

H.E. Sheikh Mohamad bin Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman, Barwa Bank Group commented, “The good financial performance for the 9 months of the year is very encouraging and further builds on the earnings momentum we achieved last year. We look forward to further growth, our continuing contribution to the development of the Qatari economy and Shari’ah compliant financial services, as well as creating value for our customers and shareholders.”

Highlights of the nine month period have been major business wins associated with significant infrastructural projects as well as the highly selective expansion of the Barwa Bank branch network and extended working hours in some branches, offering additional convenience for the Bank’s growing retail customer base.

In the Islamic Capital Markets, Barwa Bank continued to expand its activities in this strategic growth sector. During 2013, Barwa Bank has acted as Joint Lead Manager for Albaraka Turk Bank’s US$200m Tier 2 Sukuk and as Co-Lead Manager for the Government of Dubai, Emirates Airlines and Dubai Islamic Bank sukuk issuances.
The growth in net income and earnings per share comes as a result of the prudent risk management and the well-defined business model at the heart of the bank’s growth strategy.

Steve Troop, CEO, Barwa Bank added, “By identifying and focusing on strategic growth sectors, crafting niche propositions for our customers and keeping a close eye on costs, we continue to achieve good financial results and value for our shareholders. We will continue to improve and enhance this business model to achieve better results in the months and years ahead”.