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Regular version of the site
Master 2019/2020

Economics and Finance in Near and Middle East

Category 'Best Course for Career Development'
Category 'Best Course for Broadening Horizons and Diversity of Knowledge and Skills'
Category 'Best Course for New Knowledge and Skills'
Type: Elective course (Business and Politics in Modern Asia)
Area of studies: Asian and African Studies
Delivered by: Department of Finance
When: 2 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: offline
Instructors: Ivan D. Kotliarov
Master’s programme: Business and Politics in Modern Asia
Language: English
ECTS credits: 5
Contact hours: 40

Course Syllabus


The main idea of the lectures is to introduce basic concepts and problems/ solutions of business institution in Near and Middle West. The seminars are devoted to deeper focus on these questions with the help of cases discussion, problems solving, presentations, and tests. Prerequisites: One of the following requirements should be met: - Knowledge of the history and culture of Asian (at the bachelor’s level, Oriental Studies); - Knowledge of principles of Western financial institutions (at the bachelor’s level, Economics, Management, Finance).
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The goal of the course is to get students acquainted with specific features of Asian traditional financial institutions and the models of their interactions with “classic” (Western) financial institutions.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Understands the difference between Western and Islamic economic institutions. Knows the history of traditional institutions. Can explain the reason for emergence of Islamic economic institutions
  • Understands the foundations of Islamic economic model. Knows the principles of Sharia regulation of economic activities
  • Knows main Islamic debt products. Understand the Takaful model of insurance. Knows the nature of sukuk
  • Knows the trends of development of Islamic economy
  • Knows the Israel's economic model. Understand basic principles of Judaic economics. Knows the role of economic institutions in the revival of Israel
  • Knows the models of coexistence of traditional and Western financial and economic institutions. Knows the social role of traditional institutions. Understands the nature of legal hypocrisy
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Economy and Finance in Near and Middle East: general overview
    - Economy and finance in Near East: traditions and modernity. - Nature of traditional financial institutions in Near East. Main types of traditional financial institutions in Near East. - Main differences between financial institutions in Near East and Western financial model. - Traditional financial institutions in Near East: are they really traditional? - Ethical character of traditional financial institutions. - Are financial institutions in Asia a reaction against Western financial model? - Why did traditional financial institutions in Near East emerge?
  • Principles of the Islamic economical system
    - Ideological, ethical and legal foundations of the Islamic economical system. - What is forbidden in Islamic economy? Gharar. Ribah. Zakat. Forbidden investments. - Functions of money in the Islamic financial system. - Financial products and Sharia’h principles. - Taxes in Islam. Religious, social, ethical and economical functions of zakat. - Historical evolution of Islamic finance. - Islamic and Christian financial prescriptions: there are more similar features than differences.
  • Islamic financial institutions
    - Islamic bank deposits. Islamic credits. Common features of Islamic and modern Western financial products. - Specific features of Islamic model of insurance (takaful). Functions of Islamic insurance. - Informal Islamic financial institutions. Hawala as an alternative way of money transfer: basic principles. Advantages and disadvantages from the point of view of customers and society. Practical use of Hawala. - Basics of Islamic debt finance. - Islamic bonds (sukuk). Main features of sukuk. - Main types of Islamic debt products. Murabaha. Mudarabah. Musharaka. Decreasing Musharaka. Ijara. Wakala. Kard hasan. Salam. Istisna.
  • Development of Islamic economy
    - Islamic finance in Islamic countries beyond Near East. Main centers of the Islamic finance. - Advantages and disadvantages of the Islamic financial system. - Is financial integration of Islamic countries possible?
  • Economic Models in Israel
    Economy of Israel – Western, modern and Judaic elements. - Principles of Judaic economy. - Gemach. Prozbul. Sabbatical. Yovel. - Place of Judaic economy in the modern world. - Modern elements – cooperatives (kibbutzim) and their role in revival of Israel.
  • Models of coexistence of Western and traditional financial institutions
    - Islamic finance in non-Islamic countries. - The place of Islamic finance in the global financial system. - Models of coexistence within one financial company. - Models of coexistence within one country. Formal and informal models of coexistence. Traditionalized Western models: legal hypocrisy. - Are traditional financial institutions more effective from the social point of view? - Prospects of development of traditional financial institutions in modern world
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Essays
  • non-blocking In-class activities
  • non-blocking Final presentation
  • non-blocking Group presentation
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.25 * Essays + 0.3 * Final presentation + 0.25 * Group presentation + 0.2 * In-class activities


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Kettell, B. (2010). Frequently Asked Questions in Islamic Finance. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=342655

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Andreas G.F. Hoepner, Hussain G. Rammal, & Michael Rezec. (2011). Islamic mutual funds’ financial performance and international investment style: evidence from 20 countries. The European Journal of Finance, (9–10), 829. https://doi.org/10.1080/1351847X.2010.538521
  • Godlewski, C. J., Turk-Ariss, R., & Weill, L. (2013). Sukuk vs. conventional bonds: A stock market perspective. Journal of Comparative Economics, (3), 745. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.eee.jcecon.v41y2013i3p745.761
  • Graeber, D. (2012). Debt: The First 5000 Years. Charter, 83(3), 73. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=bsu&AN=74699749
  • Islamic vs. conventional banking: Business model, efficiency and stability. (2013). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbankfin.2012.09.016
  • Lewer, J. J., & Van den Berg, H. (2007). Religion and International Trade: Does the Sharing of a Religious Culture Facilitate the Formation of Trade Networks? American Journal of Economics & Sociology, 66(4), 765–794. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1536-7150.2007.00539.x
  • Naz, I., Shah, S. M. A., & Kutan, A. M. (2017). Do managers of sharia-compliant firms have distinctive financial styles? Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, (C), 174. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.eee.intfin.v46y2017icp174.187
  • Pejman Abedifar, Shahid Ebrahim, Philip Molyneux, & Amine Tarazi. (2015). Islamic Banking and Finance: Recent Empirical Literature and Directions for Future Research. Post-Print. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.p.hal.journl.hal.01144032