Stock markets move lower on housing data, financial worries
- Losses on North American stock markets intensified by mid-morning Thursday as more dismal housing sector news added to more financial sector worries, high oil prices and a steadily weakening U.S. dollar.
Toronto's S&P/TSX composite index was off 99.25 points to 13,504.07 following a gain of 126 1/2 points Wednesday when energy stocks benefited from a $5-a-barrel surge in the price of oil.
The TSX energy sector was 0.9 per cent lower as the April crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped 36 cents to US$104.16 a barrel, after going as high as US$105.97 earlier in the session. Major oil company EnCana Corp. (TSX:ECA) stepped back 89 cents to C$75.88. Read moreFull Story
#1 Mar 7, 2008
PUT BLAME ON FINANCIAL GIANTS WHO GIVE INTEREST FREE MORTGAGES & LOANS TO TERRORISTS!
What is happening in this country when our financial institutions are sucking up to terrorist money like they did with HITLER AND THE BOLSHEIVEKS?
Follow the money to DUBAI and the Middle East.That's who is controlling this country!
US Financial Institutions catering to terrorists in the mideast.
They call it "Islamic Banking" and they don't charge interest on loans to muslins/islamics!
Yet American's are losing their homes due to high mortgage interest!
This appeared on Business week website.
From Jakarta to Jeddah, 265 Islamic banks and other financial institutions are now operating in some 40 countries, with total assets that top $262 billion, according to organizers of the International Islamic Finance Forum, a semi-annual industry conference. That pot of money, the investment of which adheres to the Koran's prohibition against receiving or paying interest, has been steadily building since 1994, when Malaysia created the world's first Islamic interbank money market. Now Islamic banking has broadened its appeal well beyond the confines of faithful Muslims. Indeed, nearly one-quarter of all Islamic banking business in Malaysia is being transacted by non-Muslims.
Islamic finance was long the preserve of specialty banks that handled shariah-compliant products exclusively, such as Malaysia's top-ranked Bank Islam and Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp.
But Western banks, no longer content to leave the market to Islamic lenders, are competing for a slice of the business. Two years ago, Citigroup (C ) began providing Islamic mortgages in Malaysia and has begun training staffers in Indonesia and Pakistan to offer them there. It also provides Islamic mortgages in Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates. HSBC operates Islamic banking services all over the Arab world, and they now make up about 10% of its business in Malaysia. UBS, the world's top player in wealth management, set up a stand-alone Islamic private bank last year in Dubai to cater to its wealthiest Middle Eastern clients. And no wonder. Assets held by Muslims, led by Gulf Arabs, in all banks -- Islamic and otherwise -- are estimated at $1.5 trillion and are growing 15% a year, in large part because of high oil prices.
Behind the rapid growth in shariah-compliant investments are the development of new regulations and standards for Islamic financial services in the past few years. There's also much more awareness of Islamic financial alternatives in the Muslim world than ever before, thanks to stepped-up marketing by banks. Some Western lenders are even rolling out Islamic financial products in their home markets. Lloyds TSB Bank PLC (LYG ), Britain's fourth-largest, recently introduced Islamic mortgage products to cater to Britain's 2.5 million Muslims. "The biggest explosion [in growth] right now is in Islamic consumer banking and investment products," says Mohsin Nathani, Citigroup's Bahrain-based global head of Islamic banking.
What all Islamic financial products share is the absence of interest -- either assessed or paid. Instead, the investments are set up as leasing arrangements or investments in which money is turned over to third-party trustees who share profits with Islamic depositors.
All major US Financial institutions are involved-Citibank, Merril Lynch, Goldman Sachs and more...
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