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Why Islamic finance is thriving despite global market storms

The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the global economy, with countries fighting record inflation levels with soaring interest rates across the board. For example, inflation in the United States recently went as high as 9.1%: a figure that has not been seen in over 40 years. Similar numbers are being witnessed globally in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and others.

Despite the adverse developments in the western world, the Islamic finance industry has not only weathered the storm exceptionally well. Despite the global recession, Islamic finance continues to expand at an impressive rate, registering double-digit growth of 10.6% in the height of the pandemic.

That said, even though the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of certain Islamic nations countries is expected to be lower than in the past, studies claim that the sector will continue to grow at a steady rate of 10 to 12% over the next two years.

So what are the reasons for this growth, and how is the Islamic finance sector projected to develop in 2023?
As mentioned earlier, even though the value of Islamic finance assets stagnated throughout 2020, it is estimated that they will continue growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% over the next five-year stretch, reaching a cumulative valuation of US$3.5 trillion by 2024.

The reason for the continued growth is that the principles of Islamic finance are becoming increasingly attractive to people worldwide. For example, Islamic finance prohibits the charging of interest and instead focuses on equitable profit and loss-sharing arrangements, promoting communal harmony and brotherhood.

Additionally, Islamic finance continues to benefit from increased and high-quality regulation as well as the rising popularity of socially responsible investments, or ESG, among other key aspects, including:

Commitment to transparency: Islamic finance is based on the principles of fairness, transparency and ethical conduct.

Protection of economic stability: As Islamic finance prohibits speculation and encourages investments in real assets, it can help spur economic stability and reduce the risk of financial crises.

Encouragement of social responsibility: Islamic finance strongly emphasizes social responsibility and charitable giving. This way, it helps promote the development of underprivileged communities and support social welfare programs.

Market growth: The Islamic finance industry is expected to grow in the coming years, presenting an opportunity for investors and businesses to tap into this market and benefit from its expansion.

Lastly, the Islamic finance sector is valued at US$2.3 trillion, serving the needs of nearly a quarter of the world’s population. Experts believe that the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region can help expand the industry’s dominance further, especially as a growing forum of investors and householders in these regions continue to turn to Sharia-based finance tools.

For example, the total number of Sukuk issuances — Islamic bonds designed to produce returns for investors while staying in line with Islamic law — has witnessed steady growth recently. To elaborate, data shows that Sukuk offerings will grow at a CAGR of nearly 7% over the next few years, eventually climbing to a cumulative valuation of US$257 billion by 2026, which is more than 30% higher from its 2021 levels of about US$196 billion.

While Sukuk finance will grow in the near-to-mid term, ample statistical data suggests that the Takaful market will experience a lot of growth, expanding at a base rate of 5%-10%. In essence, Takaful is an Islamic insurance scheme that requires participants to put their money in a consolidated pool to obtain certain guarantees against loss or damage.

Not only that, it is estimated that the Islamic fund industry will experience an increasing amount of consumer interest, especially as investors worldwide continue to understand its benefits when it comes to delivering higher yields compared to traditional financial instruments.

That said, Islamic finance still needs to unlock untapped opportunities such as halal blockchains and sharia-compliant cryptocurrencies, to increase its scope of utilization and adoption. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has the potential to help the Islamic finance industry in a number of ways, such as.

Increased accountability: Blockchain technology allows the creation of transparent and immutable digital ledgers, helping increase the transparency and accountability of financial transactions.

Improved efficiency: Blockchain and cryptocurrency technology can help streamline financial transactions and reduce the need for intermediaries, thus improving the overall working efficiency of Sharia-based finance systems.

Enhanced security: These technologies offer enhanced security for financial transactions, helping reduce the risk of fraud and other financial crimes, protecting assets, and preserving trust.

Greater accessibility: They can make financial services more accessible to a wider range of users, including those who may not have access to traditional financial institutions, thus promoting financial inclusion and supporting the growth of Islamic finance.

Opportunities for innovation: Blockchain and cryptocurrency technology are still relatively new and are rapidly evolving. It presents opportunities for innovators in the Islamic finance industry to develop new products and services that take advantage of these technologies.
As the world continues to move in a more decentralized direction, it will be interesting to see how the Islamic world forges ahead with its plan of creating a unified legal, financial and regulatory framework. In this regard, experts believe that blockchain can help since it stands to not only uphold the values and principles of Sharia law but also present a new paradigm of digital financing opportunities for the global Muslim community.

South Korea plans to scrap a number of regulations in the local stock market within this year to make investment easier for foreign investors, its financial regulator said on Tuesday, in an effort to bring in more money into the market. The Financial Services Commission said in a statement there was a huge discrepancy between the regulations currently in place and the global standards and that «(it) will boldly improve regulations that have hindered global investors from investing in our market.»

Pre-Markets in Green to Start a Fresh Week
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Global equity markets surged on Monday as easing recession fears and hopes of a less aggressive Federal Reserve buoyed sentiment, while the likelihood of more jumbo interest rate hikes in Europe pushed the euro to a nine-month peak against the dollar. Gains in chipmakers boosted beaten-down U.S. tech stocks as the market priced in a 95.8% probability of the Fed raising rates by 25 basis points to a range of 4.50% to 4.75% on Feb. 1. Easing fears of a recession also helped lift equities, as they did in the euro zone, despite expectations the European Central Bank will hike rates by 50 basis points both on Feb. 2 and in March, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

Genesis Global Holdco LLC, the holding company of troubled cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global Capital, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after being pummeled by two of 2022’s biggest industry collapses. Former SEC Enforcement Branch Chief and Bragança Law Managing Partner Lisa Bragança discusses what to expect from its first bankruptcy hearing and whether Genesis’ trading business is free of liability as the company’s trading arm continues to move money around on blockchains, according to Nansen. Genesis and CoinDesk are both owned by Digital Currency Group (DCG).

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Despite only starting production on the vehicle three months ago, Lightyear is restructuring to focus on building a more affordable model, the Lightyear 2 for around €40,000, reports Electrek. The Lightyear 0 was always intended as a technology demonstrator to be produced in limited quantities. In a press release, Lightyear said it has had to overcome «many challenges» in order to make its vehicles a reality.

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The Bruins surprised 10-year-old Tanner Dikan of Topsfield with a one-day contract. WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche reports.

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Shares of fintech company Upstart (NASDAQ: UPST) were rallying today, up 6.9% as of 2:53 p.m. EST. As interest rates rose quickly last year, investors became hyper-focused on company profitability. Today, the Columbus Inno, a business journal in Ohio, confirmed that Upstart had laid off about 70 employees at its Columbus office late last year.

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Tattoo Artist, Entrepreneur, and Oil Painter Kirby van Beek Makes a Mark in the Industry

Kirby van Beek, a talented tattoo artist, entrepreneur, and oil painter, has emerged as a prominent figure in the world of tattooing, showcasing his expertise in black and grey realism. Known for his distinctive designs and captivating portraits with a dark twist, Kirby has established himself as a highly regarded artist, earning recognition both locally and internationally.

Kirby’s journey as a tattoo artist began at the age of 18 when he taught himself the art form while simultaneously pursuing his education in forensic science. During this time, he displayed unparalleled dedication, working at a morgue during the week and honing his tattooing skills during weekends and spare hours. Kirby’s passion for tattooing led him to work at various tattoo studios in the Netherlands, solidifying his experience and expertise in the field.

About Kirby van Beek:

Kirby van Beek is a talented tattoo artist, entrepreneur, and oil painter based in [City]. Renowned for his expertise in black and grey realism, Kirby’s distinctive designs and captivating portraits with a dark twist have earned him a prominent position in the industry. With a passion for tattooing and oil painting, Kirby aspires to become a globally recognized artist, leaving a lasting impact on the world of art.

«The things I love most about tattooing is meeting different clients and getting to know them on a personal level during a long tattoo session,» says Kirby. «There is nothing more rewarding than tattooing individuals who appreciate my art so much that they choose to wear it on their skin for life.»

Specializing in realistic black and grey tattoos, portrait tattoos, and horror tattoos, Kirby’s work has garnered attention both nationally and internationally. His talents have been showcased at several tattoo conventions abroad, and his captivating designs have been featured in prominent tattoo magazines. Additionally, he has been recognized by esteemed publications such as LINDA magazine in the Netherlands and the local newspaper BN de Stem. Furthermore, Kirby’s exceptional skills led him to participate as a tattoo artist in the Dutch version of MTV’s Just Tattoo of Us.

Looking ahead, Kirby aspires to become a world-renowned tattoo artist and oil painter, with a particular focus on portrait tattoos and dark horror tattoos.

His ultimate goal is to reach clients and famous individuals around the globe, sharing his unique artistry and leaving an indelible mark on the industry. In the future, Kirby envisions opening an art show to showcase his diverse body of work.

To learn more about Kirby van Beek and explore his captivating portfolio, visit his official Instagram page (@kirbyvanbeek) or his website www.the-continental.nl.

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DJ Khenya Takes Center Stage at Blue Marlin Ibiza, Spreading Joy and Connection

The music of DJ Khenya pulsates with rhythm and emotion. A rich mélange of sun-kissed sounds that blend percussive beats with indie and deep house. The artist’s journey to Ibiza has laid the foundation for a musical expression that communicates joy and connectivity. Taking the reins at Blue Marlin Ibiza, Khenya’s vibrations will inspire dance floor dreamers to move and let go.

From the stage at Blue Marlin Ibiza, DJ Khenya has shared experiences alongside some of the most influential names in the music industry. When asked about the impact of these experiences, the artist responded humbly: «The truth is I feel lucky. I have total admiration for them as they are a source of inspiration for me.»

The energy at Blue Marlin Ibiza is unlike any other, according to DJ Khenya. He describes the place as «a life experience,» synonymous with summer and with all the ingredients to feel in a state of bliss when you’re there. He thanks the team for being like a family to him and for everything they’ve done.

This summer, DJ Khenya will take his audience on a journey filled with unforgettable emotions. He comments, «My goal is to transmit uplifting and unforgettable sensations. My audience is what sets my heart on fire, and I want them to feel my desire to make them dance.»

The path that led DJ Khenya to become a DJ began in Havacia, Cuba, where he grew up in an environment where rhythm, dance, and poetry are like the air we breathe. With son and salsa running through his veins, his first experience at an electronic music party in the early 2000s marked a shift in his life. Khenya recalls hearing ‘The Underground’ by Celeda and says, «It was a different Cuba, and I loved it. I think from that moment, something changed inside me. A seed had been planted, and life would take me in that direction.»

Having traveled the world and now based in Ibiza, DJ Khenya reflects on how these experiences have shaped his identity as an artist. He comments, «Traveling the world is a privilege that every human being should have, especially an artist because when you have these experiences, you can understand different ways of life and the musicality of each place. Creativity is born from that knowledge, and I still have a lot to learn in that sense.»

This summer, DJ Khenya promises to take Blue Marlin Ibiza to new heights with his unique music and his desire to make everyone dance. The experience is guaranteed to be a celebration of life, joy, and connection through music.

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Oliver Rouz: Weaving Ink and Inspiration into a Legacy

Born on February 13th, 1988, Oliver Rouz’s path to success is one marked by determination, passion, and the pursuit of creative endeavors. From a young age, Oliver exhibited a profound love for various forms of creativity, which ultimately led him to become one of the country’s most celebrated tattoo artists.

During his school years, Oliver’s artistic talent set him apart. His favorite cartoon characters became his canvas as he tirelessly recreated them in his own style. However, drawing was merely a pastime during his teenage years, a source of pleasure until music took center stage in his life.

In 2005, Oliver formed the «Fairy Tale Jelissa Rose» band, a pivotal moment that expanded his horizons. Immersed in the music community, he developed a newfound fascination with tattoos and ink artistry, spurred by the band’s association with the tattoo culture.

A serendipitous encounter with Artem at the «Quick Silver» shop in Moscow in 2010 marked a turning point. Artem’s influence led Oliver to consider a life-altering decision. By 2012, Oliver, now ignited by a passion for tattoos, made a bold move to another city, all while nurturing his tattoo aspirations.

Artem’s transformation into a tattoo artist himself inspired Oliver further. As fate would have it, an opportunity arose in 2012 for them to collaborate and open their tattoo studio in Moscow. This venture required Oliver’s dedicated efforts, alongside his commitment to saving funds to fuel their creative endeavor.

Oliver’s tattooing prowess flourished within a year, prompting a return to his hometown to establish several home-like studios. Yet, he recognized that true growth beckoned him back to Moscow. Thus, in 2017, he joined Good Hands Tattoo, laying the foundation for his continued ascent.

Oliver’s indomitable spirit and devotion to his craft bore fruit, as evidenced by his stint at Black Point studio, born out of a collective dream. His trajectory exemplifies the power of dedication, leading him to become a recognized tattoo luminary within the nation.

Oliver’s journey, however, extends beyond tattooing. From his early affinity for music, highlighted by the formation of his punk rock band at 14, to his involvement in the music industry and flirtation with global recognition, his story embodies the resilience required to navigate creative industries.

A pivotal moment arrived in 2021 when Oliver, undeterred by previous setbacks, chose to channel his creative energy into designing game art. Leaving behind a stable job, he invested his savings of around $5,000 to embark on a transformative journey. Guided by Hexeth’s interview and tutorials, Oliver delved into the realm of game design.

Fueled by dedication and a newfound purpose, Oliver’s creative expression culminated in designing elements for popular games like CS:GO and RUST. Through unwavering commitment and rigorous self-education, he harnessed the potential of his artistic flair.

Today, Oliver Rouz’s name resonates as a testament to the potential of human determination. His path from a young artist with a penchant for creation to a revered tattoo and game artist serves as an inspiration to countless dreamers. Oliver’s legacy continues to evolve, as he pushes the boundaries of his craft and inspires others to chase their passions unrelentingly.

For more information and to view Oliver’s work, visit his Instagram profile: @oliverrouz.

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