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Posted August 25 , 2010
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Finance

Centennial College launches Islamic finance course

TORONTO - Toronto's Centennial College is offering a groundbreaking course in Islamic finance for the first time this fall. The UK-based Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment has accredited the college as its first Canadian training provider delivering the Institute's Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) - the first international benchmark in the area of Islamic finance.

Islamic Finance and Investment is an online college course that teaches the fundamentals of Islamic banking. The course content draws from the sources of Islamic Law, including the Quran and Hadith.

"We're absolutely delighted to bring this course to Toronto," says David Johnson, Dean of Centennial's School of Business. "There is tremendous interest in Islamic finance within the Canadian banking community. It's a concept that has become very popular globally beyond the borders of Islamic nations."

Among other stipulations, Islamic banking does not recognize the charging of interest, and instead requires transactions to be based on strict collateral. Loan products such as home mortgages can comply with Islamic principles by being structured like lease-to-own arrangements or other means that require a repayment structure in lieu of interest.

"Islam does not allow one to make money from lending money but certainly allows the person to conduct business for profit. It promotes the concept of risk and reward sharing," says Rehan Saeed, a Centennial instructor and a member of the Islamic Finance Advisory Board. "The economic outcome of a transaction from an interest-bearing loan or a simple trade-based transaction can be exactly the same, but the underlying mechanics are different."

"There is no doubt that Canada, and Toronto in particular, are engaged fully with the increasing role for Islamic finance," says Ruth Martin, Managing Director of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. "We are very pleased that the IFQ will contribute to the development of the skill base in this dynamic field."

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment is the largest professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry in the UK and in a growing number of global financial centres. Evolved from the London Stock Exchange, it has more than 40,000 members in 89 countries. In the past year it has set almost 40,000 exams in 49 nations, covering a range of vocational qualifications.

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