Islamic finance refers to the means by which corporations in the Muslim world, including banks and other lending institutions, raise capital in accordance with Sharia, or Islamic law. It also refers to the types of investments that are permissible under this form of law.
Islamic banking is banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of sharia (Islamic law) and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. As such, a more correct term for Islamic banking is sharia compliant finance.
Sharia prohibits acceptance of specific interest or fees for loans of money (known as riba, or usury), whether the payment is fixed or floating. Investment in businesses that provide goods or services considered contrary to Islamic principles (e.g. pork or alcohol) is also haram (“sinful and prohibited”). Although these prohibitions have been applied historically in varying degrees in Muslim countries/communities to prevent anti-Islamic practices, only in the late 20th century were a number of Islamic banks formed to apply these principles to private or semi-private commercial institutions within the Muslim community.
Azem & Partners has extensive experience in the structuring, development, documentation and negotiation of complex Islamic finance transactions. We provide Islamic finance advice to clients in the Middle East, Europe and Asia for conventional and Islamic commercial banks, development finance institutions, corporates, investment funds and sovereigns.
Our knowledge of Islamic financing structures and strong relationships with investment bankers and Sharia scholars place us in an excellent position to address and resolve the issues that arise in integrating Islamic finance facilities into the overall structures of large international multi-sourced project financings.
We also have expertise in Sharia-compliant asset, acquisition and real estate finance.