Spanish Pundit (II)

abril 25, 2008

Los productos bancarios "halal" llegan a España

Filed under: economy,empresas,España,finanzas,Islam,Islamism,Islamismo,Spain — Nora @ 3:23 pm
El Confidencial Digital: De todo el artículo quiero destacar lo siguiente:

La responsable del Instituto Halal recuerda que llevan trabajando en este asunto con BanCaja –entidad resultante del acuerdo entre Correos y el Deutsche Bank en España- durante “más de año y medio” y que, actualmente “siguen ello”, haciendo frente a los últimos obstáculos que encuentran para la puesta en marcha de este tipo de servicio bancario. No obstante, Arroyo se muestra optimista cuando asegura en declaraciones a ECD que “antes del verano seguro” que estarán disponibles en España este tipo de productos.

Las cajas de ahorros ofrecen un modelo jurídico más afín a la banca islámica que el que tienen los bancos. La alternativa que barajan en el Instituto Halal es la de reunir a un grupo de inversores y a una entidad financiera en concreto y lanzar una línea de negocio dedicada íntegramente a este sector. Cabe destacar que BanCorreo no ha sido la única entidad interesada en esta nueva línea de negocio.

La Caixa, Banesto o el Banco Santander también habrían mostrado su interés en determinados productos de banca islámica, generalmente en la cuenta de ahorros Halal (el primer producto bancario adaptado a la ley islámica: una cuenta corriente a interés cero que estará homologada por la Junta Islámica).

Y es que poderoso caballero es Don Dinero…

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I’m translating this article for English-speaking readers:

The arrival at Spanish market of the Islamic banking way has already been given an arrival day. Before this summer, all the people who would like to hire Halal-guaranteed financial products, that is, those who respect the Sharia law’s legal obligations in these matters, would be able to. The main characteristic of the Islamic banking rules is that it does not produce interests or ribaa, because this is forbidden in the Coran, as a form of usury.

It has been already confirmed to El Confidencial Digital by the director of the Halal Institute of the Islamic Council, Isabel Arroyo. It is a business which is already moving between €300,000 and 500,000 millions around the world.

The responsible of the Halal Institute remembers that they have been working in this business with BanCaja -the entity born after an agreement between Spanish Post Service and German Deutsche Bank in Spain- during more than “a year and a half” and that, nowadays, they are continuing with the negotiations, just confronting the last obstacles they are finding to inagurate this kind of banking services. Anyway, arroyo is optimistic and assures, in statements to ECD that “before this summer” this new type of products will be available in Spain.

The savings’ banks offer a much similar juridical system to the Islamic banking system than the Western banking one. The alternative which the Halal Institute is considering is to unite several investors and a concrete financial entity and launch a business line entirely dedicated to this sector. We must underline that BanCorreo has not been the only interested entity in this new business line.

La CaiXa, Banesto o el Banco Santander have also shown their interest in some products of the Islamic banking system, generally the Halal savings account (the first banking product adapted to Islamic law: a current account with zero interests which will be homologued by the Islamic Council), according to the Director of the organization in charge of these certifications. Nevertheless, authorised sources from Santander have denied this statement: “we have not these products, nor we are going to have them”. They warn: “these are rumours which are spread repeteadly over the years”, because their offers are limited to products which fulfill the Spanish legislation: they do not offer any service directed to the believers of any religion in particular.

The Islamic banking system consists of an offer of financial services which fulfills the obligations of the Islamic law included in the Sharia, and which forbids, among other things, the usury and the charge of interests. The entities which are rule by this code, cannot charge interests on loans or give interests to the clients of bank accounts. But this does not mean the capital is not paid or the services are free. Arroyo says that considering the consumer, there is no comparative grievance”, as there is only an agreement between the entity and the client, to respect the principles of the latter. “There is no need to be a Muslim”, she adds.

The client or the investor does not receive any interest, but has a right to a percentage of the benefits and to take part in a possible loss. Islam recognises individual property and is not opposed to the compensation of the capital as a productive factor, or to give the proprietors a part of the generated added value. They don’t have a right to a fixed percentage or, in other words, “money should be generated by other activity, not by other money”, Arroyo adds.

For example, she explains: “we don’t like the concept of overdraft as it is” in reference to loans, as it will imply the existence of interests. To make possible the existence of credit lines, Islamic banking system offers the Ijara, that is a form of leasing used as a substitute of the personal credits to consuming. For examplo, the bank buys a good with the compromise of renting it to a client, who will use it while at the same time, will pay a monthly rent to the bank, who is still the proprietor. When the period to pay it is ended, the good’s property goes to the client.

Another equivalent to the personal credits is the murabaha. In this case, the bank buys a good with the compromise or reselling it to the client, who will pay the cost of the good, plus a benefit to the bank paid in several terms.

Related news:
The UK Governement support for Halal finance is outlined in the Budget -Eurabia in action @ Shariah Finance Watch.
How to live a life being Halal – Muslim Matters discusses how to buy or not to buy a car or a house @ Shariah Finance Watch.
Globalists behind Sharia Banking @ Euro-Med.

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febrero 4, 2008

Yahoo!, Google y Microsoft: ese triángulo… empresarial

Filed under: blogosphere,economy,empresas,internet — Nora @ 8:29 am
La compra de Yahoo! por parte de Microsoft no ha sentado nada bien a Google que ha pedido que los reguladores del mercado vigilen escrupulosamente la medida que podía convertir a Microsoft en un monopolio:

In a blog, Google said the tie-up could unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors’ email and instant messaging services.

It said Microsoft had previously sought “to establish proprietary monopolies”.

Pero Microsoft le ha respondido que Google no es pequeño tampoco, que acapara el 75% del mercado.

Enrique Dans:

Ante la carta de David Drummond, de Google, poniendo de manifiesto la amenaza que la operación Microsoft-Yahoo! supone para el futuro de la web y sus principios fundamentales, Brad Smith, de Microsoft, ha contestado afirmando que

“Microsoft is committed to openness, innovation, and the protection of privacy on the Internet”

Y muchas otras cosas sí, pero eso no. Lo siento, pero eso me resulta un insulto a la inteligencia del lector. Microsoft es la empresa permanentemente empeñada en redefinir los estándares a su antojo, en controlarlos, en evitar el acceso de otros, en utilizar la fuerza de su monopolio para eliminar competencia… ¿Cuántos juicios llevamos ya en este sentido? Microsoft es una empresa comprometida con la destrucción de la apertura, y con la compra de los ideales a golpe de talonario siempre que ha podido para evitar responder ante los tribunales de defensa de la competencia.

De Google podremos decir muchas cosas, y algunas de ellas muy inquietantes, pero por el momento no tiene el precedente siniestro de lo que Microsoft ha hecho con el mercado del PC.

Hmm, tan comprometida con la apertura que si compras un PC, te dan el Windows, sí o sí, salvo que pidas expresamente un Dell con Linux. O sea que NO.

Mientras los empleados de Yahoo! no están muy contentos porque piensan que se les acaba su cultura del “amor a la diversión” si al final son absorbidos por Microsoft: Yahoos fear loss of fun-loving culture | Tech News on ZDNet:

“Yahoo employees fretted on Friday that their fun-loving culture, summed up by early company ads featuring a cowboy yodel, could get quashed by the comparatively stodgy software behemoth that wants to gobble it up.

On a crisp, sunny morning just hours after Microsoft announced a $44.6 billion bid for the Internet company, ‘Yahoos’ at its Silicon Valley campus milled about with coffee cups outside the low-rise buildings.

One engineer taking a cigarette break in the grassy plaza in Sunnyvale, Calif., said Microsoft’s move raised difficult questions for Yahoos. The woman, who was in her late 30s, would not give her name due to corporate rules against unauthorized contacts with reporters.

Everyone sees Microsoft as the big octopus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea that wants to swallow everybody up,’ she said.”

Todo el mundo ve a Microsoft como el gran pulpo de 20.000 leguas de viaje submarino que quiere tragarse a todo el mundo.

Pero no hay que desesperar: Google, que no está nada interesado en que Microsoft le quite parte del pastel, ya ha ofrecido un acuerdo a Yahoo!:

In an unusually aggressive effort to prevent Microsoft from moving forward with its $44.6 billion hostile bid for Yahoo, Google emerged over the weekend with plans to play the role of spoiler.

Publicly, Google came out against the deal, contending in a statement that the pairing, proposed by Microsoft on Friday in the form of a hostile offer, would pose threats to competition that need to be examined by policy makers around the world.

Privately, Google, seeing the potential deal as a direct attack, went much further. Its chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, placed a call to Yahoo’s chief, Jerry Yang, offering the company’s help in fending off Microsoft, possibly in the form of a partnership between the companies, people briefed on the call said.

Google’s lobbyists in Washington have also begun plotting how it might present a case against the transaction to lawmakers, people briefed on the company’s plans said. Google could benefit by simply prolonging a regulatory review until after the next president takes office.

Por de pronto, el servicio musical de Yahoo! va a ser gestionado por Viacom y Rhapsody America..

En ZDNet News se preguntan si Microsoft no se habrá precipitado y habrá elegido mal la compañía:

We all know what this is about, web search. Buying Yahoo doesn’t solve the problem. It’s a poor number two to Google in search, and a turnaround is needed for it to become a challenger.

Rather than looking at this as a game of buying market share, perhaps Microsoft should examine what this really is — a system integration challenge.

Google doesn’t just win because of its search algorithms. Search for this story in Google News today, or a week from now, and you’ll know that’s true.

Google wins because it delivers instant answers for less than its rivals. Google wins because it has dark fiber, low-cost server farms, parallel processing, and mirrored databases.

Todos sabemos que esto simplemente por los buscadores. Pero Yahoo! es sólo un pobre nº 2 al lado de Google. Y Google gana no por sus algoritmos de búsqueda. Gana porque da respuestas inmediatas por menos que sus rivales. Por su fibra negra, por las granjas de servidores de bajo coste, procesamiento paralelo y bases de datos clónicas.

Veremos cómo acaba este triángulo… empresarial…

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