The rough guide to the Islamic Investment world (in South Africa)
So this is my rough guide to Islamic investments within the South African Universe (it can apply globally, except my examples is all South African based). Hope it is informative and encourages halal investing. Suggestions welcome
Section 1: Investment Universe
Islamic Bank fixed deposits
About: Invest your money for a fixed period (1 month up to 5 years). Get profit when period is completed Pros: Reliable profit , Low financial risk, low Islamic risk : covered by a board of Shariah scholars Cons: Low profit rates.
FNB Islamic Fixed deposit.
Absa Islamic Fixed deposit
Standard Bank Islamic Fixed deposit
About: Collective investment - managed by investment company, protected by SA law, typically invests in equities, sukuks and property Pros: Plenty of choice, Provided by registered Financial Service Providers, Sharia Boards , diversification Cons: Typically High fees, .
Old Mutual Albarakah equity fund
Oasis Cresent Equity Fund
Kagiso Islamic Equity Fund
Many options: only a few examples listed.
About: Collective investment Pros: low fees, Provided by registered Financial Service Providers, Sharia Boards , diversification Cons: only one option in SA, heavily weighted on Resources
NewFunds Sharia top 40 ETF
About: Pick your own stocks off the exchange Pros: High profit potential, Cons: Very Risky, No Islamic oversight (hence need to do your own screening)
Platform: Easy Equities (low fees platform available in SA. NO Leverage/Margin, Remember to buy/sell whole shares only).
Lazy guide to choosing "Sharia stocks" : Get the constituents of islamic unit trusts, invest in those.
NB: Remember to do dividends purification
About: Tried and test property Pros: Stable Asset, Tangible, Straightforward, Zakah benefits, Cons: High capital outlay, expensive legal costs (transfebond registration) , Not very liquid,
Banks for islamic loans:
FNB (Islamic bond)
paid on rental income , not on property value (if intention is to invest)
paid on property value: if intention is to sell property in near term (refurbish/fix and sell, etc).
Interest is Haram. No two ways about it. Luckily we have two banks that can provide Islamic loans (or at least as close as possible)
Custom Wealth Solutions
About: Customized Wealth management and investments Pros: Professional advice, custom solution Cons: Available exclusively to high net worth individuals, Investment advise appears to be fee based
Side note - I do not have any experience/knowledge. Would be great to hear if anyone has any experience here.
Banks such as FNB provide Islamic Private banking, with financial advisors (but they tend to push unit trusts, endowment policies, etc).
Section 2: Definitely not halal
Margin based investing: Margin = interest = haram. Also very risky
Futures contracts: Shorting, going long, all CFD's and futures contracts are impermissible. Because a condition for a halal investment is that the underlying asset must be owned
Forex: Or at least forex based on CFD's and margins. Buying dollars to travel should be perfectly fine.
Stocks/Equities that primarily deal in haram activities: Gambling, pork, etc
Section 3: Grey Areas
Crypto ( Bitcoin ,etc) : In theory these should be more "halal" than fiat currency (what all money in the world is) however there are differences of opinion.
Shares : There are grey areas : Most companies has an element of haram income (interest, etc). Scholars have devised ratios to to filter out "islamic stocks" from haram stocks (30-33% max debt, max 5% haram income, liquid ratios, etc). It is for this reason these stocks requires dividend purification.
However you should be aware of this before venturing into to stocks as you might not be comfortable with that thought (This also affects EFTs, Unit trusts, etc). 3 Easy Equities: Easy equities makes it cheap and easy to own equities. However I would at all times buy/sell only whole shares and not fractional shares. Fractional shares are done as a CFD (a bit different from a forex CFD). You get all the benefits of ownership such as dividends and capital gains on a pro rate basis. But you do not actually own the CFD until you buy enough CFD to get a real whole share. That being said, it is still grey, best to avoid fractional shares entirely 4. Halal Forex Accounts: Somehow these are marketed that way. Here's a link to (Islamic Finance Guru) who has a bit more knowledge on this. (Note: I am not affiliated in any way or get any benefit)
Section 4: Conclusion
I sincerely hope this helps , and encourages to invest in the Islamic world. Any ideas, inputs and suggestions welcome. Disclaimer 1 : Corrections welcome, I am not a learned scholar, this is not financial advice, you bear the responsibility & consequences of your own decisions/investments Disclaimer 2 : At some point FNB Sharia board quit , they subsequently hired a new board. They don't however make it easy to find who is in the board from their website. However the information can be found in news websites.
While reasearching Epstein's known associates, an interesting individual stood out. Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Lady de Rothschild. No intention of this being a Rothschild Conspiracy. If your are uninterested to read the content below, scroll down to Comment to get my summary and take on this information. As always please Fact check this. (HJI) is a bi-partisan, transatlantic movement of business leaders, senior policy makers and academics focused on promoting a more Inclusive Capitalism. The HJI calls for international collaboration from businesses and other organizations to encourage the widest possible adoption of programs that improve capitalism as a driver of wellbeing for society. The HJI grew out of the Task Force project For Inclusive Capitalism, which sought solutions to the effects on society and business as a result of the global financial crisis of 2007 – 2008 and the dislocations caused by capitalism’s practice over the past 30 years. The Taskforce, which was co-chaired by Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company, and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, CEO, El Rothschild, published its inaugural paper Towards a More Inclusive Capitalism in May 2012. The report sets out three pathways for business action that lie at the heart of the HJI’s mandate:
Education for employment: addressing the gap between employer needs and employee skills
Nurture start-ups and SMEs: mentoring small businesses and improving access to credit for them
Reform management and governance for the long term: replacing today’s focus on short term performance
The HJI exists to highlight and support businesses and other organizations working to promote the broadest possible adoption of best practices in these and other areas related to Inclusive Capitalism. The HJI believes there is an urgent and compelling demand for business to act to address the greatest systemic issues facing capitalism today. The HJI also believes that business is best positioned to lead innovations in areas that need them the most.
Scoop Jackson was convinced that there's no place for partisanship in foreign and defense policy. He used to say, 'In matters of national security, the best politics is no politics.' His sense of bipartisanship was not only natural and complete; it was courageous. He wanted to be President, but I think he must have known that his outspoken ideas on the security of the Nation would deprive him of the chance to be his party's nominee in 1972 and '76. Still, he would not cut his convictions to fit the prevailing style. I'm deeply proud, as he would have been, to have Jackson Democrats serve in my administration. I'm proud that some of them have found a home here.
Jackson was known as a hawkish Democrat. He was often criticized for his support for the Vietnam War and his close ties to the defense industries of his state. His proposal of Fort Lawton as a site for an anti-ballistic missile system was strongly opposed by local residents, and Jackson was forced to modify his position on the location of the site several times, but continued to support ABM development. American Indian rights activists who protested Jackson's plan to give Fort Lawton to Seattle, instead of returning it to local tribes, staged a sit-in. In the eventual compromise, most of Fort Lawton became Discovery Park), with 20 acres (8.1 ha) leased to United Indians of All Tribes, who opened the Daybreak Star Cultural Center there in 1977. Opponents derided him as "the Senator from Boeing" and a "whore for Boeing" because of his consistent support for additional military spending on weapons systems and accusations of wrongful contributions from the company; in 1965, 80% of Boeing's contracts were military. Jackson and Magnuson's campaigning for an expensive government supersonic transport plane project eventually failed. After his death, critics pointed to Jackson's support for Japanese American internment camps during World War II as a reason to protest the placement of his bust at the University of Washington.Jackson was both an enthusiastic defender of the evacuation and a staunch proponent of the campaign to keep the Japanese-Americans from returning to the Pacific Coast after the war.
Jackson Papers controversy
Senator Jackson's documents were donated to the University of Washington shortly after his death in 1983, and have been archived there ever since.When the materials were donated in 1983, university staff removed all information considered classified at the time.Additional materials were added to the collection until 1995. At some point, library staff discovered a classified document in the collection and sent it to the government for declassification. In response, in the summer of 2004, a man who identified himself as an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) called the University of Washington asking to inspect Senator Jackson's archived documents housed there. He found a document labelled as classified and showed this to a librarian. In February 2005, 22 years after Jackson's death, a five-person team including staff of the CIA, Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Information Security Oversight Office came to library to review all of Jackson's papers to remove anything still considered classified, or reclassified since then. The Department of Energy found nothing of concern, but the CIA blanked lines in about 20 papers and pulled 8 documents out of collection. As of 2018, some files in the collection are available only to those regarded by the library as "serious researchers", who must first sign a release not to divulge some of the information contained in the files.
The Henry Jackson Society
The society was founded on 11 March 2005 by academics and students at Cambridge, including Brendan Simms, Alan Mendoza, Gideon Mailer, James Rogers and Matthew Jamison. It organises meetings with speakers in the House of Commons. The society claims that it advocates an interventionist) foreign-policy that promotes human rights and reduces suffering, by both non-military and military methods, when appropriate. In 2006, the society worked to raise the profile of the Ahwazi Arabs of Iran, who it claims are currently being oppressed by the Iranian government. After originating within the University of Cambridge, the organisation is now based in London. In April 2011 the entire staff of another London think-tank, the Centre for Social Cohesion (which has since been dissolved), joined the Henry Jackson Society. The organisation is a registered charity in England and Wales and earns financial backing from private donations and grant-making organisations which support its work. The income of the society increased significantly from 2009 to 2014, from £98,000 to £1.6 million per year. In 2017 Hannah Stuart, one of the society's Research Fellows, released Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offences and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015), which profiled every individual convicted under terrorism legislation in the UK between those dates with an Islamist connection.
Structure and projects
The Society has produced a breadth of research reports and papers. These have mostly focused on Islamist extremist activity in the UK, crackdowns on human rights and democracy elsewhere, and various facets of foreign policy and defence.Its current workstreams include:
Asia Studies Centre. This Centre seeks to provide "an in-depth understanding of the structural shifts, regional complexities and historic tensions that exist alongside the tremendous economic and social growth that traditionally characterise the 'rise of Asia'."Publications include a paper on the possible outcomes of the negotiations with North Korea,and the need to safeguard critical national infrastructure in the West from vulnerabilities which may be built in by China.
Global Britain Programme. Focuses on "the need for an open, confident and expansive British geostrategic policy in the twenty-first century – drawing on the United Kingdom’s unique strengths not only as an advocate for liberalism and national democracy, but also as a custodian of both the European and international orders." This centre has published papers on what the European Union 'owes' the United Kingdom, as well as advocated for increased military spending by NATO members.
Russia & Eurasia Studies Centre. Researches domestic and foreign policy issues in Russia and the former Soviet states. In 2018 the Conservative) MP Bob Seely published a paper through this Centre which sought to define 'Contemporary Russian Conflict', and in which he accused the government of Vladimir Putin of pursuing KGB-style tactics.
Centre for the New Middle East. Established following the Arab Spring, the Society describes this Centre as "dedicated to monitoring political, ideological, and military and security developments across the Middle East and providing informed assessments of their wide-ranging implications". The Centre has released reports highly critical of Iran.
Centre on Radicalisation & Terrorism. Focuses on the threat to the United Kingdom and elsewhere by Islamist terrorism. Reports have ranged from analyses of the UK charitable sector to the way in which criminals utilise the darknet.
Student Rights. Created in 2009 "as a reaction to increasing political extremism and marginalisation of vulnerable students on campus". This project has tracked what it describes as "extreme" speakers on British university campuses.
In September 2018, the Society announced the creation of a new Centre for Social and Political Risk. This Centre will "identify, diagnose and propose solutions to threats to governance in liberal Western democracies", focusing on social cohesion and integration; freedom of speech and political correctness; demographic change; and other issues.
The think tank has been described by the media as having right-wing and neoconservative leanings, though it positions itself as non-partisan.In 2014, Nafeez Ahmed, an executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development, said that the Henry Jackson Society courts corporate, political power to advance a distinctly illiberal oil and gas agenda in the Middle East. In 2009 the society became the secretariat of two all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs), for Transatlantic and International Security, chaired by Gisela Stuart, and for Homeland Security, chaired by Bernard Jenkin. A transparency requirement upon non-profit organisations acting as secretariat at that time was that they must reveal, on request, any corporate donors who gave £5,000 or more to the organisation over the past year or cease acting as a secretariat organisation. In 2014, following a query, the society refused to disclose this information and resigned its position as secretariat of the APPGs concerned in order to comply with the Rules. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, upheld a complaint against these APPGs on the grounds data had not been provided, but noted the society had already resigned its position and that the consequence of this non-provision therefore "appears to have taken effect" as the Rules intended. The case was therefore closed with no further action taken and the APPGs themselves dissolved with the dissolution of Parliament in March 2015. The APPG Rules were subsequently changed in March 2015 so that only those non-profit organisations providing services to APPGs of more than £12,500 in value needed to declare their corporate donors. In July 2014 the Henry Jackson Society was sued by Lady de Rothschild over funds of a "caring capitalism" summit. Lady de Rothschild claims that she has financed the summit and that HJS and its executive director Alan Mendoza are holding £137,000 of “surplus funds” from the conference that should be returned to the couple’s investment company EL Rothschild. Think tank discussions on the Middle East and Islam have led some media organisations to criticise a perceived anti-Muslim agenda. Marko Attila Hoare, a former senior member, cited related reasons for leaving the think tank and Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy was urged, in 2015, to sever his links with the society. According to the report published in 2015, "a right-wing politics is apparent not only in the ideas that the Henry Jackson Society promotes, but also emerges distinctly on examination of its funders." In 2017, the Henry Jackson Society was accused of running an anti-China propaganda campaign after the Japanese embassy gave them a monthly fee of 10,000 pounds.The campaign was said to be aimed at planting Japan's concerns about China in British newspapers. Co-founder Matthew Jamison wrote in 2017 that he was ashamed of his involvement, having never imagined the Henry Jackson Society "would become a far-right, deeply anti-Muslim racist [...] propaganda outfit to smear other cultures, religions and ethnic groups." "The HJS for many years has relentlessly demonised Muslims and Islam." In January 2019, Nikita Malik of the Henry Jackson Society provided The Daily Telegraph with information they claimed showed a Muslim scout leader was linked to Islamic extremists and Holocaust deniers.In January 2020 The Daily Telegraph issued a retraction and formal apology saying that: "the articles said that Ahammed Hussain had links to extremist Muslim Groups that promoted terrorism and anti-Semitism, and could have suggested that he supported those views and encouraged their dissemination. We now accept that this was wrong and that Mr Hussain has never supported or promoted terrorism, or been anti-Semitic.We acted in good faith on information received but we now accept that the article is defamatory of Mr Hussain and false, and apologise for the distress caused to him in publishing it. We have agreed to pay him damages and costs." The initial signatories of the statement of principles included:
This has been a rabbit hole and only half the story regarding Lady Forester. Then only link between Lady Forester and Jeffrey Epstein is In 1995, financier Lynn Forester discussed "Jeffrey Epstein and currency stabilization" with Clinton. Epstein, according to his own accounts, was heavily involved in the foreign exchange market and traded large amounts of currency in the unregulated forex market. I will post another story Lady Forester and the coalition for Inclusive Capitalism.
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-Pakistan to host ‘AdAsia – Asian Advertising Congress’ this year In a logo unveiling ceremony held at Faletti’s Hotel Lahore, on Sunday, it was revealed that AdAsia 2019 —Asian Advertising Congress is going to be held in Pakistan this year. AdAsia is the largest and most prestigious advertising congress in Asia, organized bi-annually by the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA). The AdAsia 2019 Congress will be held in Lahore at the Lahore International Expo Centre from December 3 to 5. The theme for the Congress is ‘Celebrasian: Celebration of Advertising and Creativity in Asia’. -IDB to lend Pakistan oil worth $4.5 bn The spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance on Saturday claimed that the Saudi-backed Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will lend Pakistan oil worth $4.5 billion. “The IsDB will lend Pakistan oil worth $4.5 billion over three years. The oil will be lent in three installments of $1.5 billion each every year,” the spokesperson added. The Ministry of Finance spokesperson further said that in the first phase they have received oil worth $100 million and oil worth $270 million will be lent in the second phase. “We are also in talks with the IsDB regarding lending of liquefied natural gas (LNG),” the spokesperson added. -Economic revival: PTI government relief package earns Rs 125 billion immediately The federal government’s relief package for the stock market in the ‘Mini-budget’ on January 23 has brought positive impact. KSE-100 index settled at 40,254 points with a rise of 958 points within one week. The business-friendly concessions including abolition of the advance tax of 0.02pc on share trading under Presumptive Tax Regime and super tax in the mini-budget have been welcomed by the stockbrokers and industrialists altogether. -69 women constables complete elite commando training in K-P Over 7,000 personnel of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police, including 69 women constables, have successfully completed a grueling Elite Commando Training Course. As per a statement issued by K-P police’s public relations, the police personnel completed training in 15 basic courses conducted at different training centres. Most policemen, including the women constables, voluntarily opted for the tough four-month long course. The communique also said another batch of women commandos is currently being trained and shall soon be elevated to the rank of elite commandos. -Karachi police chief makes surprise visits, suspends four police officials In a surprise move, Additional Inspector General Police Dr Amir Shaikh on Saturday visited different areas of the city, disguising himself as a common citizen to witness the performance the police force. A police spokesperson said that the Karachi police chief suspended four police officials, including two ASIs over violation of duty rules and harassing public. He said that the police officials were found harassing people instead of controlling traffic at MT Khan Road in Sultanabad. The officials were from Jackson and Sultanabad police stations, said the spokesperson and added that the police chief had directed SP Traffic city and DSP to submit report over the issue. In-charges of Jackson and Sultanabad police stations along with record keepers were also summoned by the AIG Dr Amir Shaikh, said the spokesperson. -In a historical move, Pakistan elected as Vice Chair of Asia Pacific Ministerial Forum Pakistan was elected as the vice chair at the third UN Environment’s Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific that was held in Singapore from January 23 till January 25. The newswas revealed in a tweet by Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam. He said Pakistan got elected to the position owing to the country’s ‘sincere and dedicated’ environment preservation endeavours. -Pakistan Army achieves historic milestone on Pakistan Afghanistan border fencing Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor Sunday said work on about 900 kilometer fence along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border had been completed. Briefing a team of journalists and anchor-persons at Ghulam Khan, a bordering village in North Waziristan Agency,he said the work on erection of about 1200 km chunk, the most sensitive portion out of the total 2600 km long border with the neighbouring country, had commenced last year. Zero Point is the entry and exit point of Pakistan from Afghanistan where a formal border post was constructed last year Major Gen Asif Ghafoor said the project would cost about Rs 70 billion, which also included the cost of gadgets and surveillance equipment to keep strict vigil on the illicit movement from across the border. He said the fence had amply helped check the movement of terrorists from across the border and it would further assist after completion of the project which was expected to culminate next year. The visit of media-persons was conducted for the first time in the country's history as no such activity could have happened as all the area had been “no go area” for the civilians or even by the security forces themselves. -Foreign Media representatives visit North Waziristan, stunned with Pakistan Army successes against terrorism Local and foreign media representatives on Sunday visited Peshawar, Miranshah, and Ghulam Khan Border terminals along with Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor for the first time after military operations. It was the first direct interaction of the media with local people, who while standing in Miranshah Bazar, talked to reporters about improved peace situation and administrative issues in the area. They lauded Pakistan Army for its efforts in restoring peace and development. -Pakistan Cement Exports register significant rise in first half of FY 2018 - 19 The export of cement from the country witnessed increase of 32.4 percent during first half of current fiscal year as compared to same period of last year. The export of the commodity increased to $157 million in July-December (2018-19) against the export worth of $118.586 million in sameperiod of last year, a latest data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said. In term of quantity, the cement export recorded 55.52 percent increase to 3.671 million Metric Ton (MT) during the period under review as compared to export of 2.36 million MT cement during same period of previous year. On year-on-year basis, the cement export jumped by 78.02 percent to $25.89 million in December 2018 from $14.54 million of cement export during December 2017, the data revealed. The overall export of goods during first half of current fiscal year recorded an increase of 2.19 percent to $11.216 billion against the exports of $10.976 billion recorded during same period of last year. -KP Tourism. Potential stuns audience at International Tourism Fair in Europe A large number of visitors, tourists and investors thronged the stall of Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) at the tourism trade fair at Feria de Madrid, Spain, and showed keen interest in the KP’s tourism potential. The TCKP team highlighted salient features of the cultural and tourist resorts through video documentaries, pictures, brochures and posters. The visitors were informed that 70 percent of tourist resorts were located in KP and the foreign tourists can now visit any place without any restriction and obtaining Non-Objection Certificate. The KP participation in fair encouraged the international tour operators to bring cultural and mountaineering expeditions to the province, which will highlight Pakistan as one of the best tourist destinations for international tourists. -Foundation stone laid for $200 million knowledge city in Pakistan, first ever in County's history Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday inaugurated the first academic block of the NAMAL Knowledge City. The vision behind Namal Knowledge City is to create a hub of knowledge exchange and research in Mianwali. The Knowledge City will include academic blocks, a knowledge center, a sports complex, sports grounds, a hospital, technology parks, business centers, shopping malls, a dairy farm, a resort, software houses, hotels, a primary school, and a housing colony for the faculty. A total of US$ 200 million will be spent on the construction of the Knowledge City which will be built on the concept of a zero carbon foot print and completed by the year 2027. It will have a population of 11,000 with construction spread over 4 million square feet. It will accommodate 7,000 students with 600 faculty members. -E Rozgar Programme launched, Click for Registration The Punjab IT Board and Ministry of Youth Affairs has jointly launched a three-month free E-Rozgar Training Programe for the youth, aimed at imparting vocational training to the jobless, enabling them to earn their livelihood honourably. In this regard, the admission has started for enrollment in these technical courses and the last date for the on-line registration is the 9th of the next month. The requisites of getting admission include that the applicant should have an NCIC, his minimum age 16, maximum age 35 and should be jobless. -Pakistan China ink deal worth billions of dollars today: Report A Chinese company will invest billion of dollars in mineral exploration and processing projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A Memorandum of Understanding in this regard has been signed in China today. According to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Mineral Development Dr. Amjad Ali, the Chinese company will setup mineral industrial park in Rashakai Special Economic Zone. -Pakistan's NESPAK completes 3,900 mega projects in Pakistan and across 37 countries of World worth Rs 19,000 billions National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) has successfully completed 3,900 development projects within Pakistan and 37 in other countries with an accumulative cost of Rs 19,000 billion since its establishment, 45 years ago. NESPAK Managing Director Dr. Tahir Masood told media here Saturday that foreign countries where NESPAK has extended engineering consultancy services were mostly located in the Middle East, Far East, Central Asia and Africa. In this way, he added, NESPAK had placed the country on the export map of the world and was committed to provide multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy services with the highest level of professionalism and dedication. -Government launches Dominted Bank bond PTI government is launching yet another economic initiative for overseas Pakistanis to attract billions of dollars for balance of payment and enhancing reserves. PTI government is launching dollar-denominated diaspora bond named Pakistan Banao Certificate (PBC) on January 31st. The diaspora bond is being launched to take advantage of international savings of overseas Pakistani’s and bolstering its foreign exchange reserves. According to details shared by the Finance Minister Asad Umar , the certificates would be of two types, one of three years offering 6.25% return and the other with five-year maturity offering 6.75% return. Mr Umar said four banks had been selected to complete the transactions. -Rupee hits seven-week high at 138.78 Pakistani currency has recovered to a seven-week high at Rs138.78 against the US dollar in inter-bank market on Friday, according to the State Bank of Pakistan, after the country successfully mitigated the risk of default following receipt of $2 billion from friendly countries. Simultaneously, the rupee revived to a four-week high at retail market to 139 against the greenback on Saturday, according to a forex website. “The $2 billion inflows from the UAE and Saudi Arabia (on Thursday and Friday) has partially eased the panic at currency markets,” said a banker on condition of anonymity. -PM Imran discusses major proposals to revive PIA As Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) struggles to rein in mounting losses, Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed major proposals presented at a high-level meeting to turn around the financially troubled national flag carrier. The prime minister chaired the meeting at the PM Office earlier this month, which was attended by top cabinet members, civil bureaucracy and military officers. The premier directed the authorities to arrange additional guarantees of Rs15 billion as interim relief for PIA. A proposal was endorsed to freeze PIA’s outstanding dues, amounting to over Rs80 billion, which were payable to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) along with late payment surcharge, according to minutes of the meeting available with The Express Tribune. -World Bank releases $58m for house financing The World Bank has disbursed $58 million for house financing in Pakistan and the federal cabinet has approved the transfer of the fund to Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company (PMRC). “It ($58 million – Rs7.8 billion) is a World Bank credit line for PMRC,” PMRC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mudassir Hussain Khan told The Express Tribune. “The cabinet has approved the transfer of the fund. It will take around a week to 10 days before the money reaches PMRC account.” -Talks between Pakistan, China for FTA to begin next month Federal Secretary for Trade, Younus Dagha has said that the talks between Pakistan and China for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will commence next month. Talking to a delegation of the Trade Development Authority’s officials in Lahore, he expressed optimism that the new trade agreement with China will help thrive national economy and would be in the best interests of both the friendly countries. “The trade deficit of Pakistan has decreased by five per cent during the incumbent government and our exports are increasing day by day.” He said the expansion of the trade volume with India depends on the decisions of the governments of both the countries. He informed that trade with Afghanistan is also improving. -Amended finance bill to reduce cost of doing business: PEW The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the recently amended finance bill will reduce the cost of doing business which in turn, will reduce the prices of many items. The move will support businesses and help exporters regain ground in the international market as the government has reduced and abolished several taxes to lift economic activities, it said. The government will lose almost seven billion rupees in revenue but it will gain more in the shape of foreign exchange, said PEW President Dr. Murtaza Mughal. He said the recommendations will be applicable from the next fiscal term but it has already elevated business sentiments as many leading business groups are planning to boost investments. -Economic reforms help PSX gain 958 points in week The benchmark KSE-100 index accelerated by 958 points in the outgoing week and settled at 40,265 points, providing a weekly return of 2.44pc, owing to improved sentiment on account of the economic reforms package announced by the government. The Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 was broadly focused on improving ease of doing business, incentivizing export-oriented/industrial sectors and elimination of domestic growth hampering impediments. A key demand from the stock market to abolish the advance tax of 0.02pc was accepted, while the government also allowed capital losses to be carried forward for three years, thereby impacting the investor sentiment positively. -Govt to announce medium-term economic framework in coming week: Hammad Azhar The Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar on Friday said the government will announce a medium-term economic framework in the coming week. The forthcoming medium-term economic framework will bring measures that will enhance exports and investments, said Azhar while speaking at a seminar on “Economic Reforms: Way forward”, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), reports an English daily. He shared the government is moving towards execution a direct taxation regime whilst gradually restricting indirect taxes. Mr Azhar underlined that the supplementary budget which was announced on Wednesday didn’t target fiscal and monetary measures but was an economic reforms package to resuscitate and enhance growth and investment. -Economic reforms package to help boost exports, trade and investment State Minister for Revenue Hamad Azhar on Friday said that economic reforms package announced by the PTI government will help in boosting exports, trade and investment. Talking to a private news channel, he said the economic reforms package will prove to be helpful in overcoming the trade and fiscal deficit. Mr Azhar said due to effective economic policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, the international investors are desirous of investment in Pakistan. The government is taking many steps for the revival and betterment of the economy, he added. -Tale as old as time: Labyrinth of tunnels discovered under Lahore Fort A labyrinth of underground tunnels, as well as hidden basements, has been discovered under Lahore Fort. Immortalised in short stories, these passages have always been hidden from the naked eye. However, during excavation, the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has discovered two underground tunnels and an arsenal which are currently under restoration. A symbol of the opulence of the Mughals, Lahore Fort has kept many a secret for hundreds of years; secrets which are now slowly being revealed. During excavation and restoration work, WCLA recently discovered a passage of underground tunnels which run underneath the fortress. This has caused tourists, hungry for information on the underground tunnels, to throng to the citadel and present their own theories on how the passages were used. -Indonesia, Pakistan ties poised for a quantum leap, says envoy Counsellor and head of cultural section Embassy of Republic of Indonesia Deny Tri Basuki has said Indonesia and Pakistan share strong socio-cultural and religious bond rooted in history. Pakistan and Indonesia stand proudly together as two of the largest Muslim populated countries and emerging economies of creative and talented people. He expressed these views on the occasion of a business gathering organised by tourism ministry of Indonesia in collaboration with the Indonesian embassy. A large number of stakeholders hailing from the travel and aviation industry of Pakistan attended the event. -Japanese aircraft take part in pre Aman-19 exercise The Pakistan Navy is hosting the 6th series of AMAN-19 – a Multinational Maritime Exercise – in February 2019 in Karachi, and two Japanese Naval P3C aircrafts of Deployed Maritime Force for Anti-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE) visited the PNS Mehran in Karachi for the pre-AMAN-19 exercise. According to a press statement issued by the navy’s Director General Public Relations (DGPR) on Saturday, the Japanese aircrew participated in various events including search and rescue (SAR) and counter piracy (CP) exercises along with the navy aircrew. The Japanese contingent also visited maritime and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) museums to learn about the historic achievements of the two forces. -‘Chinese, Russian firms keen to invest in PSM’ Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood revealed that three Chinese and three Russian firms have shown interest in investing in Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). Addressing a ceremony held for the inauguration of International Steels Limited’s new plant, he said that the committee tasked with revival of PSM has drafted its recommendations and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) will make a decision by March. -China has given Pakistan additional access to its market: Dawood Prime Minister’s Adviser for Trade and Industry Abdul Razzak Dawood on Saturday said the government is working to hammer out national industrial and tariff policies, ARY News reported. Dawood while talking to industrialists in Karachi, said that China has granted Pakistan an additional access to its market. “We are working to slash unnecessary imports and increase exports”. He said unnecessary items will be removed from shelves of super markets and precious foreign exchange will not be spent on such imports. The adviser said the government has taken effective steps to facilitate business in mini budget, which will be approved in next seven day. -Pakistani Teacher Shortlisted for Cambridge’s Most Dedicated Teacher Award Cambridge University Press has shortlisted a Pakistani teacher, Ahmed Saya, for the ‘Most Dedicated Teacher’ award. Ahmed Saya, an A-level teacher from Karachi, is one of the six brilliant minds around the world to be shortlisted for the prize. The competition included entries of 3500+ teachers from over 140 countries for the prestigious award. Cambridge’s official Twitter handle said it was a tough call, but they shortlisted six teachers for this year’s Dedicated Teacher Awards. -Swiss Investor to Open A Chain of Luxury Hotels in Pakistan Swiss International Hotels & Resorts is mulling to open a chain of its luxury hotels in different cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The President and CEO of Swiss International Hotels & Resorts, Henri (Hans) WR Kennedie informed this to Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan during a meeting on Friday. During the meeting, Henri told CM Khan that they were already working on a plan to establish luxury hospitalities in various parts of the province.
-Pakistan to be out of FATF's grey list by September, promises Central Bank Islamabad will strictly implement the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in order to get out of the money laundering grey list released by the Paris-based body, a senior official of Pakistan's Central Bank said on Wednesday. FATF had previously placed Pakistan on its watch list of countries that need to do more in relation to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. "The FATF challenge has be to be addressed. Pakistan has mandated upon itself to enforce the FATF plan in letter and spirit. Whatever the requirements about the FATF plan are, they will be imposed and Pakistan will be out of grey list by September 2019. FATF is a risk but we are addressing it in the right letter and spirt," said Syed Irfan Ali, executive director for Banking Policy and Regulation Group at the State Bank of Pakistan. -NAB finds 'proof of massive money laundering' against Sharif family The Sharif family’s troubles seem set to worsen as reports suggest the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has found evidence of massive money laundering through which Shehbaz Sharif and his family members accumulated assets in the United Kingdom. According to sources privy to NAB’s investigation, the illegally accumulated assets are worth Rs85 billion to Rs100 billion and were bought during Shehbaz’s tenure as Punjab chief minister. They said the evidence found was irrefutable and showed striking similarities with the money laundering and fake accounts case against former president Asif Ali Zardari and other Pakistan Peoples Party leaders. -US debunks Indian claims of shooting down PAF F-16 Indian claims of shooting down a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 on February 27 were debunked by US officials as all aircraft are accounted for. Pakistan invited US officials to physically count the F-16 planes after the incident. Some of the aircraft were not immediately available for inspection due to the conflict, so it took US personnel several weeks to account for all of the jets, one of the officials said. The report stated that two US defence officials with direct knowledge of the matter said US personnel had done a count of Pakistan’s F-16s and found none missing. -Finance minister rules out further rupee devaluation Finance Minister Asad Umar on Friday ruled out the need for further devaluation of the Pakistani rupee as the currency stands at equilibrium. “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made no demand for rupee devaluation,” Umar clarified categorically while addressing at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) through online video conference. “Today, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has clarified the rupee is standing at equilibrium,” he said. Dismissing reports of further devaluation, he added: “Stop circulating rumors that Asam Umar has said rupee would depreciate to 160 or 180.” -o For the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) in Lahore, Christian children have the right to study the Bible, Hindu children have the right to study the Bhagavat Gita and Buddhist children have the right to study the Vedas. Together with the People’s Commission for Minorities Rights (PCMR), the CSJ held a conference on 29 March in which they adopted a resolution entitled ‘Right to education without discrimination’ demanding the right of minorities to teach their own religion in schools, as guaranteed by Article 22 of the Pakistani Constitution. Currently, only Islam is taught in schools. -China’s BeiDou Navigation System Will be Able to Replace GPS in Pakistan Soon Pakistani military reliance on the US-owned Global Positioning System (GPS) will be reduced after the use of China’s Beidou satellite navigation system which is projected to achieve global coverage by 2020. This was the crux of background discussions between former military officials and telecom experts. Beidou is the world’s fourth space-based navigation system, following GPS by the United States, GLONASS by Russia and Galileo by the European Union. According to experts, the satellite-based system plays a vital role in the modern world, especially during wartime. -PM Imran Khan announces unprecedented 10 years development package for tribal districts Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced a ten-year special development package for tribal districts. Addressing a big public meeting at Jamrud, Khyber district this evening, he said one hundred billion rupees will be spent on the development of tribal areas each year. He said health, education and sports facilities in tribal areas will be enhanced. -SBP’s Forex Reserves Cross the $10 Billion Mark The foreign exchange reserves of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) have crossed the $10 billion mark by March-end. During the week that ended on 29 March 2019, SBP received inflows of RMB 15 billion (equivalent to US$2.2 billion) as proceeds of the loan obtained by the government of Pakistan from China. After taking into account outflows relating to external debt and other official payments, SBP reserves increased by $1.931 billion during the week. -Benami Properties: FBR takes an unprecedented step Federal Board of Revenue has established three Benami Zones at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad for enforcement of Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 2017. In a press release issued today (Thursday), it was said after examination of available information FBR Benami Zones Karachi and Lahore have issued show cause notices in six cases of Companies holding shares and immovable properties as Benamidar. -Ministry of Finance proposed to amend Foreign Exchange Regulations Act in Pakistan Ministry of Finance has proposed to amend the Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1947 to prevent illegal foreign exchange transactions. Under the proposal, the previous act will be updated with an amendment act to empower the State Bank of Pakistan to regulate foreign exchange regime in the country more effectively. It said proposed amendment has been approved by the Federal Cabinet and transmitted to Parliament for enactment. The measure is a part of government's efforts to enhance the transparency of financial transactions. -KP government launches 'Pink Bus Service' exclusively for women Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government launched on Thursday ‘Pink Bus Service’ exclusively for women in Mardan. A spokesman of the project told our Peshawar correspondent that a total of seven Pink Buses will ply in Mardan. There are fifteen bus stops each facilitated with the solar panels. -Pakistan makes a new offer to Iran, FTA in works Pakistan has invited Iran for talks on a free trade agreement (FTA). Pakistan has proposed that talks could be held on April 23-24 in Pakistan. The report added that lack of direct banking channel between the two countries is the main hurdle in finalizing the free trade agreement. -Govt Mulling to Withdraw 10% FED on 1,700cc Vehicles: Abdul Razaq The government is considering to withdraw its decision of imposing 10% federal excise duty (FED) on cars with engine capacities exceeding 1,700cc. The Senate’s Standing Committee on Industries and Production, on Wednesday, was informed that the 10 percent FED imposed on locally manufactured cars and SUVs, having engine capacity exceeding 1,700cc, would be withdrawn soon. -Govt to Crackdown Against High Medicine Prices & Launch An Online Price Portal The federal government has ordered a crackdown against pharmaceutical companies that are illegally increasing medicine prices. Minister for National Health Services (NHS), Aamer Mehmood Kiani, ordered an operation against such firms on Wednesday. “Though the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) deals with the matter, as a government representative, I consider myself responsible for providing relief to the masses and answerable to them. I am personally looking into the matter and would not tolerate an illegal and unauthorized increase in the prices of medicines,” the minister said. -Pakistan’s First Environment Friendly Food Festival to Start on 5th April To discourage single-use plastics and promote sustainable food consumption, WWF-Pakistan is organizing the country’s first environmental-friendly food festival in Karachi. The festival, ReFest, aims to reduce food waste and raise awareness about eating food in a responsible way as well as adopting sustainable practices in our daily lives such as reduced use of single-use plastics. The theme of the festival is to spread awareness about the cause and enjoy the festivals responsibly, as per WWF, festivals were one of the reasons of over-littering due to massive use of single-use plastic in food festivals. The idea is to promote a sense of responsibility among citizens about how we can enjoy and be responsible at the same time. -Gilgit is Getting a Dedicated Tourism Police Division Gilgit-Baltistan Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sanaullah Abbasi said that a special tourism force will be formed in the region to ensure the safety of national and foreign tourists. He also told that the GB government will deploy 700 personnel for the protection of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor route. The special tourism force called, “Tourism Police Division” will be set up on the model of Malaysia and Thailand. -PM takes part in Hyderabad University’s Groundbreaking Ceremony. The project is projected to complete within 3 years, with over Rs. 2 billion as the estimated cost. The land for building the university has been marked in Kohsar. A bill will be passed from the National Assembly for the construction of the university. The name of the university has been decided as “Federal Urdu University Hyderabad”. -Facebook Launches Its Innovation Lab Platform in Pakistan Facebook and Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology along with the National Technology Fund (IGNITE) launched the first Facebook Innovation Lab located in the National Incubation Centre (NIC) at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). The launch event, held on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, was attended by several thought leaders from across the world who came together and debated on issues such as women and technology; the impact that VR has on social good and impactful ways to harness technology for social good. -UN Adopts Pakistan Sponsored Resolution Against Islamophobia The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday strongly condemning acts of violence and terrorism against religious minorities.mThe resolution, titled ‘Combating terrorism and other acts of violence based on religion or belief’ was moved by Turkey and co-sponsored by Pakistan. Through this, the UNGA condemned the atrocious terrorist attack targeting Muslims during Friday prayers in two mosques at Christchurch, New Zealand this month, while offering deepest condolences to the victim families.The UN assembly called for the protection and promotion of freedom of religion and belief while developing a domestic environment of religious tolerance, respect, and peace. -Government announces changes for new budget With the new budget coming up, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government announced on Tuesday its first tax amnesty scheme on hidden domestic and offshore assets – in an attempt to boost the sinking tax revenue. Besides, the government announced that it would stop the unchecked outflow of dollars through foreign currency accounts, declaring its intention to amend laws to link the outflows for investment with the approval of the authorities. “An asset declaration scheme will be announced before the budget,” Finance Minister Asad Umar told journalists. -First ever Pakistani international tourism corner opens in Europe Pakistan has opened its first International Information Tourist Corner in Belgium to offer Europeans Pakistan’s unique culture, stunning scenic view of its northern areas and the traditional lifestyle of mountain people. Launched jointly in collaboration with the Embassy of Pakistan in Brussels and Tribes, a Dutch Company established in Brussels, the tourist corner is the first-ever initiative by the Pakistani mission in Belgium to promote tourism in Pakistan -Asad Umar hints at withdrawing tax exemptions for elite Finance Minister Asad Umar on Tuesday hinted at withdrawing tax exemptions being availed by the elite and also announced a drastic reduction in the number of withholding taxes from the next budget including the tax on banking transactions being paid by non-filers of tax returns. The minister expressed these views at the launching ceremony of a book, ‘Growth and Inequality in Pakistan – Agenda for Reforms’. The book has been written by Dr Hafiz A Pasha whom Umar described as Pakistan’s number one economist. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – a German institute – has financed the book under the theme of ‘Economy of Tomorrow’. The book discusses almost every important aspect of Pakistan’s economy and carries a detailed chapter on elite capture of the state. -PM Imran Khan to perform ground breaking of two Naya Pakistan Housing Programme sites Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to perform the ground-breaking ceremony of two housing projects in Islamabad and Quetta later this month. Both projects are part of PM Khan’s ambition of Naya Pakistan Housing Program (NPHP) under which he promised to deliver 500,000 low-cost residential units to the underprivileged faction of the society. -PM Khan announces economic corridor between KP Khyber and Afghanistan PM Imran Khan has announced formation of economic corridor between KP Khyber and Afghanistan for improving trade and economic activities in the region. PM Khan announced that he has issued directives for the Torkham border with Afghanistan to be kept open 24/7 in order to facilitate business and trade for locals. -First woman principal appointed at K-P police training centre A police training centre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) Mansehra has appointed a woman principal – a first for the province. Sonia Shamroz, an MBA in human resource management and an 18-grade officer, termed her appointment to the billet as a matter of great pride for her family and herself. -Pakistan expected to get significant export orders at Istanbul fair Pakistan Consul General in Istanbul Bilal Khan Pasha has said that the auto industry of Pakistan, especially the manufacturers of auto and tractor parts, tyres and tubes, has the potential to make inroads into the Turkish market. “Turkish automakers and Pakistani engineering companies are negotiating to form joint ventures; in the next phase small and medium enterprises of the two countries will enter into partnerships,” Pasha said while talking to The Express Tribune on the sidelines of the Automechanica exhibition, which kicked off in Istanbul on Thursday. “This year, Pakistani companies manufacturing auto and tractor parts as well as tyre tubes are expected to get significant export orders at Automechanica, which will help increase non-traditional goods export from Pakistan to Turkey,” the consul general said. -PM Imran urges lawmakers to share meal with homeless at govt shelters Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday urged lawmakers to visit the homeless at government shelters and “share a meal with the people using them”. The premier asserted that this practice will sensitise public representatives to issues faced by the bottom tier Pakistani society. “In the coming months I will personally monitor effectiveness of our poverty alleviation jihad,” the prime minister went on to add in a tweet.
My dear colleagues, No doubt many of you have read, listened or watched the news and social media coverage on the speculation of me vacating the Governor’s position. In fact, you were probably queried and asked by numerous family and friends on the validity of these reports. This morning, I thought it is important that I speak to you candidly on this matter. When I took office in May 2016, I vowed to execute the responsibility of the office of the Governor with the highest level of professionalism, integrity and honour. Over the past few weeks, there have been serious questions raised if I have fallen short of this standard and put at risk public confidence in the Bank. As a central bank, we are only as effective as the trust and confidence that the people of Malaysia and its leaders place in us. I am prepared to relinquish my post if I no longer have the strong trust and support of the public. I cannot in good conscience continue if it affects the Bank’s image and reputation. We are judged by the decisions we make, like for example the recent purchase of Lot 41, acquired at RM850 per square foot, which has attracted wide public interest. The perception is that the purchase of the land was made to intentionally aid and abet the misappropriation of public funds pertaining to the corruption and scandal surrounding 1MDB. This is totally untrue. Bank Negara Malaysia will never be party to any such activities that would betray the public trust in us. We abhor any semblance of corruption and abuse of power. Skeptical as many may be, the Bank did not know nor did we have any control over the proceeds of the land purchase that would be used to settle 1MDB’s obligations. It is simply unthinkable for us to be associated with such a controversial entity mired with accusations of fraud and mismanagement. It is not in our nature to do such things. We even took enforcement action against them earlier. The 1MDB scandal has cost the country dearly and as a Malaysian myself, I am deeply angered, distressed and outraged. This is indeed a matter of significant public focus and I can understand why any association with the scandal, unintended or otherwise, is invariably met with a strong sense of public outrage. My priority now is for the Bank to move forward and continue to focus on delivering its mandates to serve the Malaysian people. My dear colleagues, The purchase of Lot 41 land was not the first time we have done such a transaction. As many of you would know, we have over the years, acquired several pieces of land throughout the country to enable the discharge of our mandates. Our own headquarters presently were built on three separate land acquisitions made in the 1950s and 1980s. The Bukit Perdana land, acquired in 2013 at the price of RM1,235 per square foot was also based on an independent professional valuer, upon which the ongoing construction of the Asian School of Business and the Financial Industry Training Centre are being done, are also the nearest examples. We have also always wanted to create greater synergies between our numerous affiliated institutions and ensure talent development for the financial sector workforce. With this objective in mind, we indicated our interest as early as September of 2016. We initiated the purchase of the land a year later when we knew that there was an emergent interest by the Government then to sell this land. We believe that it was an excellent opportunity to secure an asset on fair terms that will be central to sustain our future long-term growth. We have a vision for a Financial Education Hub that will also host among others, a global Islamic finance university, a Shariah academy and research centre, a financial services library, innovation labs, a cybersecurity operations centre and an integrated security command centre. We ensured that everything was done in the right manner, with proper governance and accountability, including compliance with all relevant laws. Internally, we deliberated this at a number of Board meetings. We even recommended to the Government for the sale to be best done by way of a public tender which we would be glad to participate competitively in along with any other interests. We also chose to publish a press release in January 2018 to inform the public of the purchase in our effort to be transparent. Coming out fresh from the experience of a Royal Commission of Inquiry on forex losses of thirty-years past, the Bank was careful to make sure everything is above board. We knew that we need to pass the test of public scrutiny in everything we do to maintain our reputation and confidence of the public. For more than 34 years, I have always strived to serve, to do my best in the interest of the country, its values and its people. The office of the Governor is a heavy responsibility with great capacity for good. It is also a privilege, as it entails working with possibly the best talents Malaysia has to offer. Malaysia is at a critical juncture in our history, it is important for us to stand united as an institution in rising to the occasion. The Malaysian people expect nothing less than our full dedication and commitment. This institution is bigger than any individual, and I truly believe our best days are ahead of us. Let us draw courage, lessons and strength from this. Thank you. Regards, Muhammad bin Ibrahim Governor
"Satoshi Nakamoto" the mysterious creator of Bitcoin is no other than the CIA
Bitcoin has surged to all time highs, Who created Bitcoin, and why? The creator of Bitcoin is officially a name, “Satoshi Nakamoto” – very few people believe that it was a single male from Japan. In the early days of Bitcoin development this name is associated with original key-creation and communications on message boards, and then the project was officially handed over to others at which point this Satoshi character never appeared again (Although from time to time someone will come forward saying they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and then have their posts deleted). Bitcoin could very well be the ‘one world currency’ that conspiracy theorists have been talking about for some time. It’s a kill five birds with one stone solution – not only is Bitcoin an ideal one world currency, it allows law enforcement a perfect record of all transactions on the network. It states very clearly on bitcoin.org (the official site) in big letters “Bitcoin is not anonymous” : Some effort is required to protect your privacy with Bitcoin. All Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the network, which means anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. However, the identity of the user behind an address remains unknown until information is revealed during a purchase or in other circumstances. This is one reason why Bitcoin addresses should only be used once. Another advantage of Bitcoin is the problem of Quantitative Easing – the Fed (and thus, nearly all central banks in the world) have painted themselves in a corner, metaphorically speaking. QE ‘solved’ the credit crisis, but QE itself does not have a solution. Currently all currencies are in a race to zero – competing with who can print more money faster. Central Bankers who are in systemic analysis, their economic advisors, know this. They know that the Fiat money system is doomed, all what you can read online is true (just sensationalized) – it’s a debt based system based on nothing. That system was created, originally in the early 1900’s and refined during Breton Woods followed by the Nixon shock (This is all explained well in Splitting Pennies). In the early 1900’s – there was no internet! It is a very archaic system that needs to be replaced, by something modern, electronic, based on encryption. Bitcoin! It’s a currency based on ‘bits’ – but most importantly, Bitcoin is not the ‘one world currency’ per se, but laying the framework for larger cryptocurrency projects. In the case of central banks, who control the global monetary system, that would manifest in ‘Settlement Coin’ : Two resources available almost exclusively to central banks could soon be opened up to additional users as a result of a new digital currency project designed by a little-known startup and Swiss bank UBS. One of those resources is the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system used by central banks (it’s typically reserved for high-value transactions that need to be settled instantly), and the other is central bank-issued cash. Using the Utility Settlement Coin (USC) unveiled today, the five-member consortium that has sprung up around the project aims to help central banks open-up access to these tools to more customers. If successful, USC has the potential to create entirely new business models built on instant settling and easy cash transfers. In interview, Robert Sams, founder of London-based Clearmatics, said his firm initially worked with UBS to build the network, and that BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, ICAP and Santander are only just the first of many future members. the NSA/CIA often works for big corporate clients, just as it has become a cliche that the Iraq war was about big oil, the lesser known hand in global politics is the banking sector. In other words, Bitcoin may have very well been ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a banker, group of banks, or financial services firm. But the NSA (as we surmise) was the company that got the job done. And probably, if it was in fact ‘suggested’ or ‘sponsored’ by a private bank, they would have been waiting in the wings to develop their own Bitcoin related systems or as in the above “Settlement Coin.” So the NSA made Bitcoin – so what? The FX markets currently represent the exchange between ‘major’ and ‘minor’ currencies. In the future, why not too they will include ‘cryptocurrencies’ – we’re already seeing the BTC/EUR pair popup on obscure brokers. When BTC/USD and BTC/EUR are available at major FX banks and brokers, we can say – from a global FX perspective, that Bitcoin has ‘arrived.’ Many of us remember the days when the synthetic “Euro” currency was a new artificial creation that was being adopted, although the Euro project is thousands of degrees larger than the Bitcoin project. But unlike the Euro, Bitcoin is being adopted at a near exponential rate by demand (Many merchants resisted the switch to Euros claiming it was eating into their profit margins and they were right!). And to answer the question as to why Elite E Services is not actively involved in Bitcoin the answer is that previously, you can’t trade Bitcoin. Now we’re starting to see obscure brokers offering BTC/EUR but the liquidity is sparse and spreads are wacky – that will all change. When we can trade BTC/USD just like EUUSD you can bet that EES and a host of other algorithmic FX traders will be all over it! It will be an interesting trade for sure, especially with all the volatility, the cross ‘pairs’ – and new cryptocurrencies. For the record, for brokers- there’s not much difference adding a new symbol (currency pair) in MT4 they just need liquidity, which has been difficult to find. So there’s really nothing revolutionary about Bitcoin, it’s just a logical use of technology in finance considering a plethora of problems faced by any central bank who creates currency. And there are some interesting caveats to Bitcoin as compared to major currencies; Bitcoin is a closed system (there are finite Bitcoin) – this alone could make such currencies ‘anti-inflationary’ and at the least, hold their value (the value of the USD continues to deteriorate slowly over time as new M3 introduced into the system.) But we need to pay Here’s some interesting theories about who or whom is Satoshi: A corporate conglomerate Some researchers proposed that the name ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ was derived from a combination of tech companies consisting of Samsung, Toshiba, Nakayama, and Motorola. The notion that the name was a pseudonym is clearly true and it is doubtful they reside in Japan given the numerous forum posts with a distinctly English dialect. Craig Steven Wright This Australian entrepreneur claims to be the Bitcoin creator and provided proof. But soon after, his offices were raided by the tax authorities on ‘an unrelated matter’ Soon after these stories were published, authorities in Australia raided the home of Mr Wright. The Australian Taxation Office said the raid was linked to a long-running investigation into tax payments rather than Bitcoin. Questioned about this raid, Mr Wright said he was cooperating fully with the ATO. “We have lawyers negotiating with them over how much I have to pay,” he said. Other potential creators Nick Szabo, and many others, have been suggested as potential Satoshi – but all have denied it: The New Yorker published a piece pointing at two possible Satoshis, one of whom seemed particularly plausible: a cryptography graduate student from Trinity College, Dublin, who had gone on to work in currency-trading software for a bank and published a paper on peer-to-peer technology. The other was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, Vili Lehdonvirta. Both made denials. Fast Company highlighted an encryption patent application filed by three researchers – Charles Bry, Neal King and Vladimir Oksman – and a circumstantial link involving textual analysis of it and the Satoshi paper which found the phrase “…computationally impractical to reverse” in both. Again, it was flatly denied. THE WINNER: It was the NSA The NSA has the capability, the motive, and the operational capacity – they have teams of cryptographers, the biggest fastest supercomputers in the world, and they see the need. Whether instructed by their friends at the Fed, in cooperation with their owners (i.e. Illuminati banking families), or as part of a DARPA project – is not clear and will never be known (unless a whistleblower comes forward). In fact, the NSA employs some of the best mathematicians and cryptographers in the world. Few know about their work because it’s a secret, and this isn’t the kind of job you leave to start your own cryptography company. But the real smoking Gun, aside from the huge amount of circumstantial evidence and lack of a credible alternative, is the 1996 paper authored by NSA “HOW TO MAKE A MINT: THE CRYPTOGRAPHY OF ANONYMOUS ELECTRONIC CASH” The NSA was one of the first organizations to describe a Bitcoin-like system. About twelve years before Satoshi Nakamotopublished his legendary white paper to the Metzdowd.com cryptography mailing list, a group of NSA information security researchers published a paper entitled How to Make a Mint: the Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash in two prominent places, the first being an MIT mailing list and the second being much more prominent, The American Law Review The paper outlines a system very much like Bitcoin in which secure financial transactions are possible through the use of a decentralized network the researchers refer informally to as a Bank. They list four things as indispensable in their proposed network: privacy, user identification (protection against impersonation), message integrity (protection against tampering/substitution of transaction information – that is, protection against double-spending), and nonrepudiation (protection against later denial of a transaction – a blockchain!). It is evident that SHA-256, the algorithm Satoshi used to secure Bitcoin, was not available because it came about in 2001. However, SHA-1 would have been available to them, having been published in 1993. Why would the NSA want to do this? One simple reason: Control. As we explain in Splitting Pennies – Understanding Forex – the primary means the US dominates the world is through economic policy, although backed by bombs. And the critical support of the US Dollar is primarily, the military. The connection between the military and the US Dollar system is intertwined inextricably. There are thousands of great examples only one of them being how Iraq switched to the Euro right before the Army’s invasion. In October 2000 Iraq insisted on dumping the US dollar – ‘the currency of the enemy’ – for the more multilateral euro. The changeover was announced on almost exactly the same day that the euro reached its lowest ebb, buying just $0.82, and the G7 Finance Ministers were forced to bail out the currency. On Friday the euro had reached $1.08, up 30 per cent from that time. Almost all of Iraq’s oil exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme have been paid in euros since 2001. Around 26 billion euros (£17.4bn) has been paid for 3.3 billion barrels of oil into an escrow account in New York. The Iraqi account, held at BNP Paribas, has also been earning a higher rate of interest in euros than it would have in dollars. The point here is there are a lot of different types of control. The NSA monitors and collects literally all electronic communications; internet, phone calls, everything. They listen in even to encrypted voice calls with high powered microphones, devices like cellphones equipped with recording devices (See original “Clipper” chip). It’s very difficult to communicate on planet Earth in private, without the NSA listening. So it is only logical that they would also want complete control of the financial system, including records of all electronic transactions, which Bitcoin provides. Could there be an ‘additional’ security layer baked into the Blockchain that is undetectable, that allows the NSA to see more information about transactions, such as network location data? It wouldn’t be so far fetched, considering their past work, such as Xerox copy machines that kept a record of all copies made (this is going back to the 70’s, now it’s common). Of course security experts will point to the fact that this layer remains invisible, but if this does exist – of course it would be hidden. More to the point about the success of Bitcoin – its design is very solid, robust, manageable – this is not the work of a student. Of course logically, the NSA employs individuals, and ultimately it is the work of mathematicians, programmers, and cryptographers – but if we deduce the most likely group capable, willing, and motivated to embark on such a project, the NSA is the most likely suspect. Universities, on the other hand, didn’t product white papers like this from 1996. Another question is that if it was the NSA, why didn’t they go through more trouble concealing their identity? I mean, the internet is rife with theories that it was in fact the NSA/CIA and “Satoshi Nakamoto” means in Japanese “Central Intelligence” – well there are a few answers for this, but to be congruent with our argument, it fits their profile. Where could this ‘hidden layer’ be? Many think it could be in the public SHA-256, developed by NSA (which ironically, was the encryption algorithm of choice for Bitcoin – they could have chosen hundreds of others, which arguably are more secure): Claims that the NSA created Bitcoin have actually been flung around for years. People have questioned why it uses the SHA-256 hash function, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The fact that the NSA is tied to SHA-256 leads some to assume it’s created a backdoor to the hash function that no one has ever identified, which allows it to spy on Bitcoin users. “If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network,” cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said in a previous interview. Then there’s the question of “Satoshi Nakamoto” – if it was in fact the NSA, why not just claim ownership of it? Why all the cloak and dagger? And most importantly, if Satoshi Nakamoto is a real person, and not a group that wants to remain secret – WHY NOT come forward and claim your nearly $3 Billion worth of Bitcoin (based on current prices). Did the NSA create Satoshi Nakamoto? The CIA Project, a group dedicated to unearthing all of the government’s secret projects and making them public, hasreleased a video claiming Bitcoin is actually the brainchild of the US National Security Agency. The video entitled CIA Project Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin a CIA or NSA project? claims that there is a lot of compelling evidences that proves that the NSA is behind Bitcoin. One of the main pieces of evidence has to do with the name of the mysterious man, woman or group behind the creation of Bitcoin, “Satoshi Nakamoto”. According to the CIA Project, Satoshi Nakamoto means “Central Intelligence” in Japanese. Doing a quick web search, you’ll find out that Satoshi is usually a name given for baby boys which means “clear thinking, quick witted, wise,” while Nakamoto is a Japanese surname which means ‘central origin’ or ‘(one who lives) in the middle’ as people with this surname are found mostly in the Ryukyu islands which is strongly associated with the Ry?ky? Kingdom, a highly centralized kingdom that originated from the Okinawa Islands. So combining Nakamoto and Satoshi can be loosely interpreted as “Central Intelligence”. Is it so really hard to believe? This is from an organization that until the Snowden leaks, secretly recorded nearly all internet traffic on the network level by splicing fiber optic cables. They even have a deep-sea splicing mission that will cut undersea cables and install intercept devices. Making Bitcoin wouldn’t even be a big priority at NSA. Certainly, anonymity is one of the biggest myths about Bitcoin. In fact, there has never been a more easily traceable method of payment. Every single transaction is recorded and retained permanently in the public “blockchain”. The idea that the NSA would create an anarchic, peer-to-peer crypto-currency in the hope that it would be adopted for nefarious industries and become easy to track would have been a lot more difficult to believe before the recent leaks by Edward Snowden and the revelation that billions of phone calls had been intercepted by the US security services. We are now in a world where we now know that the NSA was tracking the pornography habits of Islamic “radicalisers” in order to discredit them and making deals with some of the world’s largest internet firms to insert backdoors into their systems. And we’re not the only ones who believe this, in Russia they ‘know’ this to be true without sifting through all the evidence. Nonetheless, Svintsov’s remarks count as some of the more extreme to emanate from the discussion. Svintsov told Russian broadcast news agency REGNUM:“All these cryptocurrencies [were] created by US intelligence agencies just to finance terrorism and revolutions.”Svintsov reportedly went on to explain how cryptocurrencies have started to become a payment method for consumer spending, and cited reports that terrorist organisations are seeking to use the technology for illicit means. Let’s elaborate on what is ‘control’ as far as the NSA is concerned. Bitcoin is like the prime mover. All future cryptocurrencies, no matter how snazzy or functional – will never have the same original keys as Bitcoin. It created a self-sustained, self-feeding bubble – and all that followed. It enabled law enforcement to collect a host of criminals on a network called “Silk Road” and who knows what other operations that happened behind the scenes. Because of pesky ‘domestic’ laws, the NSA doesn’t control the internet in foreign countries. But by providing a ‘cool’ currency as a tool, they can collect information from around the globe and like Facebook, users provide this information voluntarily. It’s the same strategy they use like putting the listening device in the chips at the manufacturing level, which saves them the trouble of wiretapping, electronic eavesdropping, and other risky methods that can fail or be blocked. It’s impossible to stop a cellphone from listening to you, for example (well not 100%, but you have to physically rewire the device). Bitcoin is the same strategy on a financial level – by using Bitcoin you’re giving up your private transactional information. By itself, it would not identify you per se (as the blockchain is ‘anonymous’ but the transactions are there in the public register, so combined with other information, which the NSA has a LOT OF – they can triangulate their information more precisely. That’s one problem solved with Bitcoin – another being the economic problem of QE (although with a Bitcoin market cap of $44 Billion, that’s just another day at the Fed buying MBS) – and finally, it squashes the idea of sovereignty although in a very, very, very subtle way. You see, a country IS a currency. Until now, currency has always been tied to national sovereignty (although the Fed is private, USA only has one currency, the US Dollar, which is exclusively American). Bitcoin is a super-national currency, or really – the world’s first one world currency. Of course, this is all great praise for the DOD which seems to have a 50 year plan – but after tens of trillions spent we’d hope that they’d be able to do something better than catching terrorists (which mostly are artificial terrorists)
I think this is the sector that that has the biggest opportunities for the first half of 2016. There are some interesting events unfolding and I'm trying to figure out how to get positioned.
Iran surrendered its nuclear material to lift the sanctions on it going into the oil trade. The moment the are lifted they're expected to add 500k bpd to world supply with the majority heading to China/India (link)
Russia is building oil rigs for Iran in the Persian Gulf (link) and delivering weapons systems to them (link)
Russia and Iran agreed to conduct their trade using the Ruble & Rial instead of the dollapetrodollar system... this hasn't typical gone well for those attempting to ditch this system but I don't know how it will play out. Maybe a FOREX play... (link)
The US lifted the export ban on oil with the first tanker setting sail yesterday. $COP was the first one there selling the oil to Vitol with another being filled at the moment. $COP also pulled out of Russia selling its portion of a large plant they operated there. The ban was originally put in place in the 70's to combat the fuel shortage/gas lines at the time. (link)
Russia named the US among threats to its national security (link)
A gigantic portion of the Russian GDP depends on oil/gas exports (link)
Russia is bombing the snot out of ISIS oil trucks but I can't find a reliable figure on the quantity this represents (link)
My guess is all parties involved need to continuing to drill baby drill
I'm thinking a good play would be $EPD as they have the pipeline system for shipping WTI to the coast for shipping. The bad news is it's a MLP which makes taxes a bitch. It does pay a hefty dividend as a passthrough but again it's a bitch during tax time. It's taking a beating this year and is at a good buying level. Another option could be $ETE which should also far more upside but again, it's an MLP. $KMI may be the better option as a former MLP now traded like a normal corp. I've got a friend who is an analyst who says stay away from $KMI but fuck him. The shale producers are in a tough spot but it leaves an opportunity for some consolidation in the sector with the good ones being acquired. High debt, low availably of credit and low oil prices are bad news for these guys. Shale producers need $40-$50 a barrel to pay the high-yield bonds they used for financing. $COP may be a good pickup given the news above as well. Step 1: Collect the information Step2: ??? <--- We are here Step 3: Profit Open forum time, where do you think the best opportunities are in the sector moving forward? As is tradition EDIT: We've also had contango going on in oil the the majority of the year, something has to give. Signs seem to point to lower which make some think it'll go higher... Oil price is based on supply/demand & market sentiment... a few headlines here and there could set prices on the rebound
"The youngest French leader since the Emperor Napoleon walked through the courtyards of the Louvre in central Paris alone, to the sound of Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy,' the European anthem on Sunday night to speak to thousands of his supporters."
"president-elect admitted, was facing an 'immense task,' in reinforcing European unity, fixing the economy and ensuring the country's security in the face of terror threats."
" source close to Macron told the Reuters news agency he had spoken with Chancellor Merkel on Sunday night and said he would travel to Berlin "very quickly." Merkel's spokesman said she had telephoned Macron to congratulate him on his victory..."
"Merkel 'looked forward to working together with the new president on the basis of trust in the spirit of the traditional German-French friendship,' her spokesman Steffen Seibert said."
"Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, told Macron: "I am delighted that the ideas you defended of a strong and progressive Europe, which protects all its citizens, will be those that you will carry into your presidency"."
"Trump also tweeted his congratulations on Macron's 'big win', saying he looked forward to working with him."
"He plans to blend a big reduction in public spending and a relaxation of labour laws with greater investment in training."
"projected abstention rate on Sunday of around 25 percent, the highest this century, and by estimates that around 9 percent of those who did vote cast blank or spoiled ballots.
* Many of those will have been supporters of the far-left maverick Jean-Luc Melenchon, whose high-spending, anti-EU, anti-globalisation platform had many similarities with Le Pen's."
"France's biggest labour union, the CFDT |Website, welcomed Macron's victory but said that the National Front's score was still worryingly high."
"Le Pen will now have to work to try to convert her presidential result into parliamentary seats, in a two-round system that has in the past encouraged voters to vote tactically to keep her out."
"her (Le Pen) deputy Florian Philippot distanced the movement even further from him by saying the new, reconstituted party would not be called 'National Front'."
" Le Pen said she had called Macron to wish him 'success' in tackling the 'huge challenges' he faces."
"The euro rose against the dollar in Asian trade and other financial markets are expected to react positively to the news."
"Macron will now face huge challenges as he attempts to enact his domestic agenda of cutting state spending, easing labour laws, boosting education in deprived areas and extending new protections to the self-employed."
"Hundreds of thousands of emails and documents stolen from his campaign were dumped online on Friday and then spread by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, leading the candidate to call it an attempt at 'democratic destabilisation.' "
"Transfers of power...No date has been set for Macron’s swearing-in, but it must be before May 14, which is Francois Hollande’s last day as president."
"first step is to name a prime minister, who then must go to work selecting a cabinet. Macron says he already has a candidate in mind, so his announcement could come almost immediately."
" How could Macron’s party win Parliament? Most likely it would need to partner up with another party, which would very much shape Macron’s governing agenda. His policies would look different if he’s forced into a coalition with the Socialists or with the center-right Republicans."
"Macron’s team successfully managed to skirt several attempts to derail his campaign - by hacking its communications and distributing purportedly leaked documents - that were reminiscent of the hacking of Democratic Party communications during Hillary Clinton’s U.S. election campaign."
"shows no sign of wishing to change France’s traditional alliances or reshape its military and peacekeeping roles in the Middle East and Africa."
"He has promised a France that would stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin but that also would seek to work with the Russian leader on what he says will be one of his top priorities: fighting the Islamic State "
"France has been in a state of emergency since then and 50,000 security forces safeguarded Sunday's vote."
"Without a legislative majority for his fledgling En Marche! party, Mr Macron, a self-styled independent, may become a prisoner of traditional parties"
"Without a majority, he will have a less-convincing mandate for the pro-business measures, labour market reforms and overhaul of the state that form the core of his economic programme."
"...French society is in despair about high unemployment, stagnant living standards, blighted suburbs and racial and religious tensions"
"Berlin has heard promises of far-reaching change before from newly elected French presidents. But if Germany is not to assist Mr Macron with support for pro-growth investment policies and less dogma about public finances, who in Paris will the Germans ever help?"
"The euro went above $1.10 - the first time it has done so since the US election result - after opening at $1.09 and the single currency also surged against the pound, hitting 84.9p from an opening level of 84.7p." 1 euro = 11.12 Venezuelan Bolívar
With Islamic forex trading accounts, your profit or loss depends entirely on the movement of currencies. In addition, the Halal accounts have minimal risks because Islamic finance prohibits excessive risk. Any interest based fee is waived in Islamic forex accounts. What is an Islamic Forex Account and how to trade in accordance with Islamic Finance? Für Händler islamischen Glaubens werden keine Swap-Gebühren auf den islamischen Handelskonten von FP Markets gutgeschrieben oder von diesem abgebucht (für ausgewählte Produkte) Islamische Konten, die auch als Swap-freie Konten bezeichnet werden, eignen sich ideal für muslimische Kunden, da sie dem ... Islamic Forex trading Account needs to conform to Islamic finance principles. The regular Forex accounts charge interests (Riba), which is against the religious beliefs of Islam. For this reason, several Forex Brokers offer their clients to select the ISLAMIC FOREX ACCOUNT while opening an account for Forex trading. However, all Islamic Forex Brokers are not the same. Their terms of Islamic ... To cater to the massive global demand for Islamic finance where interest is not part of the broker’s business model, IC Markets offer Islamic trading accounts with a swap-free option. Islamic, swap-free accounts at IC Markets, ensure that instead of paying interest, clients are billed a flat rate financing charge. Whether you’re trading forex, commodities or indices markets, you can be ... Forex trading generally involves what Islamic finance terms as ‘ribā al-nasī’a’, defined as “[interest] in a money-to-money exchange provided exchange is delayed or deferred and additional charge is incurred with such deferment.”[ii] Thus, a nasī’a transaction can arise with respect to foreign exchange trading. Islamic Finance. What Islam says about online forex trading: a fresh look with more industry perspective. June 1, 2018 . Ibrahim Khan. I have been meaning to explore further the retail foreign exchange (or forex) market following my initial thoughts on the topic here and here. In brief, my view still remains the same – from a Shari’ perspective it is one to probably still give a miss at ... Islamic Finance: Forex Riba. On the side of the ban on paying or receiving interest where things are getting a bit more difficult. As a standard practice, when an investor holds open positions after the close of the trading session, the broker charges a swap commission, which corresponds to an interest rate. This interest rate is linked to the fact that the broker grants you an indirect loan ...
Ruling of Forex trading in Islam - Sheikh Assimalhakeem ...
Islamic Finance - FOREX Trading: Halal or Haram by Sheikh Hacene Chebbani - Duration: 1:10:59. IISC Multimedia 180,841 views. 1:10:59. Tadawul Chair Sarah Al-Suhaimi on the Future of Middle East ... Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Practical Islamic Finance 51,974 views 16:50 381$ Investment, No Loss World most secret and Profitable Strategy Tani Forex trading in Hindi - Duration: 25:55.