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Australian government quietly changed tax laws to accommodate Sharia law


Cashed-up Middle Eastern investors will be able to bid for major road, rail and port projects after the Turnbull government quietly changed tax laws in the budget to accommodate Sharia law.

The Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry, bankers and tax experts said the changes may prove one of the most significant moves in last week’s budget with a host of state infrastructure assets up for grabs including Victoria’s $6 billion Port of Melbourne and NSW’s remaining $10 billion electricity assets.

Half of the world’s top 10 sovereign wealth funds worth $US2.4 trillion were created from oil wealth – 20 times the firepower of Australia’s Future Fund – and countries like the United Kingdom have already moved to welcome a pool of funds estimated to reach $US3.7 trillion by 2020.

Islamic financing transactions are not treated as a loan for tax purposes in Australia but are subject to CGT or trading stock rules and can incur GST or stamp duty. The budget changes would place Shariah compliant deals on the same tax footing as other global funds.

Half of the world’s top ten sovereign wealth funds were created from oil wealth

“We’ve seen a lot of interest from Islamic investors who wanted to invest in Australia but they’ve had to borrow from Islamic banks offshore. This was often expensive and complex,” said associate director of Islamic Capital Markets at National Australia Bank, Dr Imran Lum.


NAB said they had closed four transactions for Islamic investors since August last year under their Wakala-based funding platform and these budget changes would open the door to a new pool of investors from South East Asia and the Gulf Co-operation Countries (GCC).

“These proposed amendments will only facilitate more of these types of investment, not only in commercial property but also in agriculture and infrastructure assets,” he said.

“As a result of similar amendments, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Luxembourg among others have benefited from increased foreign investment from Islamic investors from the GCC,” Dr Lum said.

NSW chair of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mohamed Hage said the appetite for Australian assets from their $US2.4 trillion sovereign wealth sector is booming.

“These growing and strong trade links are amongst the fastest growing regions in the world,” he said. “The key industry sectors such as agricultural, infrastructure, property and mineral resources would continue to attract pension funds from across Asia, the Middle East and the wider institutional market.”


The budget changes build on a 2011 Board of Taxation report released on budget night which calls for Australia’s taxation laws not to inhibit the expansion of Islamic finance.

It coincides with the announcement of an international agreement and new legal structures in the budget for a so-called Asia Region Funds Passport which funds managers hope will spark an “export boom” to Asia.

“The government will remove key barriers to the use of asset backed financing arrangements imposed by Australia’s current tax laws … this measure will improve access to more diverse sources of capital in Australia. Asset backed financing arrangements can be used to support infrastructure investment,” the government said in the seemingly benign budget announcement.

Corporate partner at Norton Rose Dale Rayner said their experience working on Shariah compliant financing structures throughout the world showed an appetite to invest in airports, hydro-power stations, toll roads and port infrastructure.

“The announcement may open the door to Islamic financing in Australia, thereby allowing Australian borrowers to access a new financial market to fund projects, especially infrastructure projects,” he said.
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5 thoughts on “Australian government quietly changed tax laws to accommodate Sharia law

  1. Bankrupt Wealth Funds with fake money.
    Type it up on the computer screen’s spread sheet & therefore it exists.
    Isn’t this called cooking the books ?
    Arab oil wealth is little more than dregs – it is all pretend monies.

  2. 1. Australia has a filthy reputation out there in the big bad world ….. Who would do business with Australia’s corrupt elite … no one.
    2. The system does not work – who wants a world that is controlled by a few – not many and there are more of the “manies” than the few old & frail & infirm geriatrics who want to rule the world.
    Did you see the great old man Paul Keating & the equally decrepid Bob Hawke at the Labor election do – both 90% dead.
    They both wear incontinance nappies out.

  3. George Soros, The Billionaire Financier George is a mere stooge for the establishment – so why would the give him billions – he is only window dressing.
    The Great George Soros has had a hand at fiddling with Donald Trumps election campaign & while he was at it, he threw mega millions around.
    Why do they lie ?
    To keep up appearances of power & strength … with the likes of the decrepid, hords of the aged & infirm og body & mind.
    Go figure.

  4. “cashed up Middle Eastern Investors”

    You mean the US & ISRAELI & UK Investors hiding under those black robes pretending to be cashed up Middle Eastern Match Makers.
    The deals done by Saudi Arabia / UAE are in fact picked & stitched up by the US & ISRAEL on their behalf.
    Go figure who really owns Saudi Arabia / the UAE.

  5. You don’t really believe that The House of Saud is anything more than a TOLERASTED facare, do you.
    For appearances sake.
    The alternative would be to wipe them off the face of the earth.

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