MUSLIMS LIVING in Britain will this week for the first time ever be able to invest their money in an Islam-friendly pension fund after HSBC announced it will become the first bank to offer a fund which complies with Islamic law.
The Times says the HSBC Life Amanah Pension Fund will not hold shares in any companies that are unacceptable to Muslims. This includes investment in breweries and distilleries, casinos, publishers of pornography, producers of pork products, tobacco and conventional financial services.
The fund has been approved by an independent panel of Islamic scholars, said Julian Lyne, the head of institutional pooled funds at HSBC Asset Management.
WHILE THIS week may look bright for Britain's two million Muslims, house owners could be bracing themselves for a dramatic property crash if the predictions made a City fund manager come through, reports FT.
The manager, who in the late 90s was given the nickname "Dr Doom" when he prematurely predicted the end of the dotcom bubble, believes the "silly" house price growth of recent years would "all end in tears".
He forecasts a 30% drop in London house prices in real terms over the next five years and said "a national decline of the same order would not surprise".
He told FT: "Everyone is hoping for a soft landing but no, we don't have soft landings in things like this, ever. You show me a market with a parabolic rise followed by a soft landing - it doesn't happen. The only way you could stop that is by government interference but this market is just too far gone for that."
IN THE meantime, the insurer Legal & General has began searching for a replacement for its chief executive David Prosser who will be retiring in the beginning of 2006, says the Daily Telegraph.
The company is understood to have identified three main canditates from within the group - finance director Andrew Palmer, investments director Tim Breedon, and director of UK operations Robin Phipps - to take over the high position.
Prosser, who has been chief executive at L&G for 12 years, is widely regarded as the most respected boss of a British life assurer, says the paper.IFAonline
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