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Durham University

Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance

Awards and recognition

Researchers recognised for pioneering Islamic Finance products

A Shariah-compliant crowd financing platform and a profit-sharing Mudaraba principled commercial banking product have been developed by Islamic Finance scholars at Durham University Business School and are now in use across the Islamic banking sector, with the innovations recently attracting a double win at the Global Islamic Economy Summit.

PhD student Shaher Abbas won the inaugural Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge Award, including a $100,000 cash prize. His winning product has received Shariah approval from the Shariah Supervisory Board of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and provides a solution for financing working capital and providing overdraft facilities to corporate clients. Based on the Islamic financial principle of Mudaraba (profit sharing), the product structure includes an innovative set of controls to minimize the risks related to Mudaraba while remaining compliant with AAOIFI Shariah Standards.

Visiting fellow at the School’s Islamic Finance programme, Dr Shehab Marzban, won the Ethical Finance Initiative Award and $50,000 for creating Shekra, a Shariah-compliant crowd financing platform, which acts as a unique network for investors wanting to finance start-ups. The Award recognised his talent for formulating an ethical and initiative solution.

Durham’s Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance was created in 2011. Durham University has been a leading centre for research and education in Islamic economics and finance for twenty-five years. The centre’s Islamic Finance PhD community is one of the largest in the world with more than 60 students registered and the centre attracts speakers of international repute at its summer school, such as Mahmoud Mohieldin, Managing Director, World Bank, who spoke at last year’s event.

These awards recognise both the great commitment of our researchers and their ability to deliver practical financial solutions. Both these unique products are likely to have a very positive impact on the international Islamic finance landscape.

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