Advice for Annuity Buyers and Annuity Sellers

Australias nsw revives islamic finance push


´╗┐May 13 The government of the Australian state of New South Wales, home to the country's financial capital Sydney, will send a group to Dubai this week to discuss ways to develop the Islamic finance industry, officials said. The delegation, led by New South Wales premier Barry O'Farrell and including financial services professionals, will explore regulatory and legal issues at a roundtable discussion with the Dubai Export Development Corp on Tuesday."The event will discuss business opportunities in New South Wales, with particular attention given to Islamic finance," an Australian government official, who declined to be named under briefing rules, told Reuters. The delegation will also visit Abu Dhabi and Lebanon. With proximity to southeast Asia, where Islamic finance is growing rapidly, Australia could play a role in the industry, officials believe. But efforts to pass the necessary legislation at a federal level have been slow, so the state government wants to get involved."The state government is very interested and trying to be proactive in getting Middle East and local players together to work out a deal," said Salim Farrar, senior lecturer at the University of Sydney Law School. Passing legislation governing Islamic finance will require a series of politically charged debates, Farrar said.

But support is building in the business community, said Talal Yassine, managing director at Sydney-based Crescent Wealth. "Clearly there is going to be a push to get Islamic finance up in Australia."TAX

Australia faces a challenge shared by other jurisdictions new to Islamic finance: taxation. Certain Islamic finance structures, particularly sukuk or Islamic bonds, can attract double or even triple tax duties because they require multiple transfers of title of the underlying asset. Obtaining tax amendments to alleviate this appears difficult to push through the minority government of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard."At the federal level developments are going nowhere fast," said Matthew Stutsel, national head of taxation for consultants KPMG in Sydney.

The Australian Board of Taxation released a discussion paper in October 2010 which prompted consultation meetings and submissions. The final review was delivered to the government's assistant treasurer last June. But no further action has been taken, and the public release of the report "is a matter for the Government to decide", a Board of Taxation statement said. The government's attention has been focused on mining and carbon tax initiatives, and an attempt to deliver a budget surplus; extending tax breaks in other areas might not sit well with voters. Elections are due in 2013. But while federal-level discussions have been difficult, New South Wales is interested in Islamic finance partly because of the need to fund state projects such as upgrading railway networks and refinancing public utilities. Islamic investors operate large pools of investment funds in southeast Asia and the Gulf. Attracting investment into infrastructure and other sectors is an important part of the state government's efforts to position Sydney as a leading international financial centre, the Australian official said. Stutsel said work was being done within the state government on infrastructure proposals. "The issue is largely going to be withholding tax on sukuk, where we would be looking to leverage a tax law change," he said. Tax incentives might, for example, be offered for Islamic investors in public-private partnerships. Typically, 10 to 15 percent of New South Wales infrastructure has been delivered using , according to a government report. Granting special tax treatment for such projects cold avoid the need for a full tax amendment.

If You Want To Make Money Avoid Debt


Everybody starting in life should avoid running into debt.

There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt. It is a slavish position to get ill, yet we find many a young man, hardly out of his "teens," running in debt.

He meets a chum and says, "Look at this: I have got trusted for a new suit of clothes."

He seems to look upon the clothes as so much given to him; well, it frequently is so, but, if he succeeds in paying and then gets trusted again, he is adopting a habit which will keep him in poverty through life.

Debt robs a man of his self-respect, and makes him almost despise himself.

Grunting and groaning and working for what he has eaten up or worn out, and now when he is called upon to pay up, he has nothing to show for his money; this is properly termed "working for a dead horse."

I do not speak of merchants buying and selling on credit, or of those who buy on credit in order to turn the purchase to a profit. The old Quaker said to his farmer son, "John, never get trusted; but if thee gets trusted for anything, let it be for 'manure,' because that will help thee pay it back again."

Mr. Beecher advised young men to get in debt if they could to a small amount in the purchase of land, in the country districts. "If a young man," he says, "will only get in debt for some land and then get married, these two things will keep him straight, or nothing will".

This may be safe to a limited extent, but getting in debt for what you eat and drink and wear is to be avoided. Some families have a foolish habit of getting credit at "the stores," and thus frequently purchase many things which might have been dispensed with.

It is all very well to say; "I have got trusted for sixty days, and if I don't have the money the creditor will think nothing about it." There is no class of people in the world, who have such good memories as creditors. When the sixty days run out, you will have to pay.

If you do not pay, you will break your promise, and probably resort to a falsehood. You may make some excuse or get in debt elsewhere to pay it, but that only involves you the deeper.

A good-looking, lazy young fellow, was the apprentice boy, Horatio. His employer said, "Horatio, did you ever see a snail?" "I - think - I - have," he drawled out. "You must have met him then, for I am sure you never overtook one," said the "boss." Your creditor will meet you or overtake you and say, "Now, my young friend, you agreed to pay me; you have not done it, you must give me your note."

You give the note on interest and it commences working against you; "it is a dead horse." The creditor goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning better off than when he retired to bed, because his interest has increased during the night, but you grow poorer while you are sleeping, for the interest is accumulating against you.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master. When you have it mastering you; when interest is constantly piling up against you, it will keep you down in the worst kind of slavery.

But let money work for you, and you have the most devoted servant in the world. It is no "eye-servant."There is nothing animate or inanimate that will work so faithfully as money when placed at interest, well secured. It works night and day, and in wet or dry weather.

In the former "blue-law State of Connecticut", where the old Puritans had laws so rigid that it was said, "they fined a man for kissing his wife on Sunday". Yet these rich old Puritans would have thousands of dollars at interest, and on Saturday night would be worth a certain amount; on Sunday they would go to church and perform all the duties of a Christian.

On waking up on Monday morning, they would find themselves considerably richer than the Saturday night previous, simply because their money placed at interest had worked faithfully for them all day Sunday, according to law!

Do not let it work against you; if you do there is no chance for success in life so far as money is concerned. John Randolph, the eccentric Virginian, once exclaimed in Congress, "Mr. Speaker, I have discovered the philosopher's stone: pay as you go."This is, indeed, nearer to the philosopher's stone than any alchemist has ever yet arrived.