Citigroup launches Islamic finance products in Singapore

Citigroup in Singapore has launched commodity murabaha investments denominated in the US dollar, euro, pound sterling and Singapore dollar, the first such products launched in the city state since the Monetary Authority of Singapore approved the sale of murabaha investment products in June.

Murabaha is a contract between a bank and an investor for the sale of goods at a price, plus a profit margin agreed beforehand.

The bank also introduced the Islamic equivalent of interest rate swaps, foreign exchange forwards and cross-currency swaps for Singapore and Asia-Pacific.

These new products are aimed at onshore and offshore Islamic institutions, and at institutions engaged in Islamic offerings who want to manage funds in a sharia-compliant manner. Citigroup got sharia approval from scholars in the Middle East and Asia, achieving sharia harmonisation and trans-jurisdictional legal acceptability.

In the Middle East, commodity murabaha investments are common investment and financing products, which constitute about 70% of Islamic short- and medium-term money-market transactions in the Middle East market.

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