Equity finance means the owner, own funds and finance. Usually small scale business such as partnerships and sole proprietorships are operated by their owner trough their own finance. Joint stock companies operate on the basis of equity shares, but their management is different from share holders and investors.
Merits of Equity Finance:
Following are the merits of equity finance:
(i) Permanent in Nature: Equity finance is permanent in nature. There is no need to repay it unless liquidation occur. Shares once sold remain in the market. If any share holder wants to sell those shares he can do so in the stock exchange where company is listed. However, this will not pose any liquidity problem for the company.
(ii) Solvency: Equity finance increases the solvency of the business. It also helps in increasing the financial standing. In times of need the share capital can be increased by inviting offers from the general public to subscribe for new shares. This will enable the company to successfully face the financial crisis.
(iii) Credit Worthiness: High equity finance increases credit worthiness. A business in which equity finance has high proportion can easily take loan from banks. In contrast to those companies which are under serious debt burden, no longer remain attractive for investors. Higher proportion of equity finance means that less money will be needed for payment of interest on loans and financial expenses, so much of the profit will be distributed among share holders.
(iv) No Interest: No interest is paid to any outsider in case of equity finance. This increases the net income of the business which can be used to expand the scale of operations.
(v) Motivation: As in equity finance all the profit remain with the owner, so it gives him motivation to work more hard. The sense of inspiration and care is greater in a business which is financed by owner’s own money. This keeps the businessman conscious and active to seek opportunities and earn profit.
(vi) No Danger of Insolvency: As there is no borrowed capital so no repayment have to be made in any strict lime schedule. This makes the entrepreneur free from financial worries and there is no danger of insolvency.
(vii) Liquidation: In case of winding up or liquidation there is no outsiders charge on the assets of the business. All the assets remain with the owner.
(viii) Increasing Capital: Joint Stock companies can increases both the issued and authorized capital after fulfilling certain legal requirements. So in times of need finance can be raised by selling extra shares.
(ix) Macro Level Advantages: Equity finance produces many social and macro level advantages. First it reduces the elements of interest in the economy. This makes people Tree of financial worries and panic. Secondly the growth of joint stock companies allows a great number of people to share in its profit without taking active part in its management. Thus people can use their savings to earn monetary rewards over a long time.
Demerits of Equity Finance:
Following are the demerits of equity finance:
(i) Decrease in Working Capital: If majority of funds of business are invested in fixed assets then business may feel shortage of working capital. This problem is common in small scale businesses. The owner has a fixed amount of capital to start with and major proportion of it is consumed by fixed assets. So less is left to meet current expenses of the business. In large scale business, financial mismanagement can also lead to similar problems.
(ii) Difficulties in Making Regular Payments: In case of equity finance the businessman may feel problems in making payments of regular and recurring nature. Sales revenues sometimes may fall due to seasonal factors. If sufficient funds are not available then there would be difficulties in meeting short term liabilities.
(iii) Higher Taxes: As no interest has to be paid to any outsider so taxable income of the business is greater. This results in higher incidence of taxes. Further there is double taxation in certain cases. In case of joint stock company the whole income is taxed prior to any appropriation. When dividends are paid then they are again taxed from the income of recipients.
(iv) Limited Expansion: Due to equity finance the businessman is not able to increase the scale of operations. Expansion of the business needs huge finance for establishing new plant and capturing more markets. Small scales businesses also do not have any professional guidance available to them to extend their market. There is a general tendency that owners try to keep their business in such a limit so that they can keep affective control over it. As business is financed by the owner himself so he is very much obsessed with chances of fraud and embezzlement. These factors hinder the expansion of business.
(v) Lack of Research and Development: In a business which is run solely on equity finance, there is lack of research and development. Research activities take a long time and huge finance is needed to reach a new product or design. These research activities are no doubt costly but eventually when their outcome is launched in market, huge revenues are gained. But problem arises that if owner uses his own capital to finance such long term research projects then he will be facing problem in meeting short term liabilities. This factor discourages investment in research projects in a business financed by equity.
(vi) Delay in Replacement: Businesses that run on equity finance, face problems at the time of modernization or replacement of the capital equipments when it wears out. The owner tries to use the current equipments as long as possible. Sometimes he may even ignore the deteriorating quality of the production and keeps on running old equipment.
High street banks are often the benchmark for clients looking to borrow money. This is true of personal mortgages, loans and no less so for funding building projects. Most would agree that they provide the cheapest rates and all builders and developers are looking for the cheapest construction finance.
The problem is that for most clients the high street are simply not an option at the moment, and from news I have had, nor will they be for the foreseeable future. I have dealt with clients who should be able to obtain bank funding, having clean credit, a good track record and years of experience in the sector. They are still being declined for various reasons, such as the loan amount is too low, the type of build is not what the bank wants, they have other loans that would need to be repaid first – the list goes on.
However, just because your current bank will not give you construction finance does not mean that there are no options available to you. It does mean though that you should not judge quotes we, or others give you, on the basis that the rate of interest or fees might be more than you are used to or were expecting.
Off high street lenders are NEVER going to offer building finance as cheap as the big banks. They are specialists filling a gap in the market, and to be frank, they know that your options are limited. Lenders such as this are mostly funded by investors who want to see a return on their money and the lender themselves need to charge a margin to stay in business. The market has set the rates that others are prepared to pay and so you have a stark choice – pay the higher rates or do not borrow the money. For those that are cash rich there is no issue but for the majority that want to leverage their capital it is the difference between building or not building.
Of course, paying more for the construction finance means less profit for you, the developer, but it does mean you are making more profit than not doing any work at all. If you cannot get a project funded at a high street rate then the rates you have in mind or might want to pay are not applicable for comparison. A bank may have given you funds at 1.5% above base in the past but that is irrelevant now. The past is not today.
The fact that building finance is available is good news but now is as crucial a time as ever to use a broker with experience and knowledge of the market. Making the wrong choice could cost you thousands in unnecessary fees and interest.
Going through the internet looking for lenders directly is possible, of course. But how long will that take you? Hours or days? How do you know they will be the best fit for your project? Will they give you all the information you need day 1?
Working with an experienced broker can make the process much easier as they will have a real understanding of how each lender works, the process they go through and what costs you can expect, before you get too far into an application.
So, construction finance is out there but for your own sanity don’t automatically compare it to what you are used to and what you think should be available.
I have been in the finance industry for over 10 years and can help you find the right finance package for your project. We have links with the lenders that are active in the market and can assess your project very quickly, often within a single phone call.
Two million Muslims in the UK face an ethical dilemma if they want a mortgage or a loan. Conventional mortgages and loans all require the payment of interest and “riba” as interest is called under Islamic law, is forbidden by the Koran.
British financial institutions are increasingly catering for Muslims’ specialist needs through a number of alternative arrangements that respects the teachings of the Koran. Here are just two of them:
Ijara with diminishing Musharaka – the mortgage alternative.
Ijara with diminishing Musharaka is an Islamic alternative to a conventional UK mortgage and has been adopted by several British banks and building societies.
In essence, Musharaka means partnership. Under this Islamic financial concept, the bank buys the house and legally becomes its owner. Then throughout the pre-agreed period, say 25 years, a monthly payment is made. Each monthly payment includes a charge for rent and a charge that buys a small proportion of the house itself. It’s form of variable shared equity plan with the proportion of the house being owned by the purchaser, steadily increasing as payments are made. Once the final payment has been made, the house is owned outright. Ijara
Here you tell the bank or financial institution what you want, for example a car, and they buy it. In return for a monthly payment that covers the cost of the bank’s capital, the bank then allows you to use the asset for an agreed period. In reality, it’s a form of leasing
Islamic finance is not widely available in the UK – so where can find it? Here are three suggestions:
Over the last few years Lloyds TSB has introduced Islamic products to 33 of its branches. Their spokesperson says, “It’s important for our customers to see that we are following the right procedures. We have a panel of four Islamic scholars who over-see the products. They offer guidance on Islamic law and audit the products”.
Another high street bank, HSBC, is developing a special range of Islamic products under the Amanah brand name. This range includes home finance plans, home insurance, commercial finance, and various current accounts and pensions. Hussam Sultan, the Amanah product manager says, “As a bank, we are not here to moralise or tell our customers that Amanah finance is the way to please Allah. We’re just here to provide them with a choice”.
The Islamic Bank of Britain has three branches in London, two in Birmingham and one each in Leicester and Manchester. They’re the only British bank specifically providing for Muslim customers and claim to be halal throughout their operations. All their financial products are approved by their Sharia’a Supervisory Committee – all Muslim scholars who are experts in all aspects of Islamic finance.
For your interest we show below, definitions of some words used widely in connection with Islamic finance.
A Glossary of selected Islamic words used in finance.
Amanah: Means trustworthiness, with associated aspects of faithfulness and honesty. As a central supplementary meaning, amanah also describes a business deal where one party keeps another’s funds or property in trust. This actually the most widely used and understood application of the term, having a long history of use in Islamic commercial law. It can also be used to describe different financial activities such as deposit taking, custody or goods on consignment.
Arbun: Means a down payment. It’s a non-refundable deposit paid to the seller by the buyer upon agreeing a sale contract together with an undertaking that the sale contract will be completed during a prearranged period.
Gharar: This means uncertainty. It’s one of three essential prohibitions in Islamic finance (the others being riba and maysir). Gharar is a sophisticated concept that encompasses certain types of uncertainty or contingency in a contract. The prohibition on gharar is often used as the grounds for criticism of conventional financial practices such as speculation, derivatives and short selling contracts.
Islamic financial services / Islamic banking / Islamic finance : Means financial services that meet the specific requirements of Islamic law or Shariah. Whilst designed to meet specific Muslim religious requirements, Islamic banking is not restricted to Muslims. Both the customers and the service providers can be non-Muslim as well as Muslim.
Ijara: Means an Islamic leasing agreement. Ijarah permits the financial institution to earn a profit by charging leasing rentals instead of lending money and earning interest. The ijarah concept is extended to hire and purchase agreements by Ijarah wa iqtinah.
Maysir: Means gambling. It’s another of three fundamental prohibitions in Islamic finance (the other two being riba and gharar). The prohibition of maysir is often used as the basis for criticism of standard financial practices such as conventional insurance, speculation and derivative contracts.
Mudarabah: A Mudarabah is a form of Investment partnership. Here, capital is provided by the investor (the Rab ul Mal) to another party (the Mudarib) in order to undertake a business or investment activity. Profits are then shared according to pre-arranged proportions but any loss on the investment is born exclusively by the investor and the mudarib then loses the expected income share.
Mudarib: The mudarib is the investment manager or entrepreneur in a mudarabah (see above). It is this managers responsibility to invest the investor’s money in a project or portfolio in exchange for a share of the profits. A mudarabah is essentially similar to a diversified pool of assets held in a conventional Discretionary Managed Investment Portfolio.
Murabaha: means purchase and resale. As opposed to lending money, the capital provider purchases the required asset or product (for which a loan would otherwise have been taken out) from a third party. The asset is then resold at a higher price to the capital user. By paying this higher price by instalments, the capital user effectively gets credit without paying interest. (Also see tawarruq the opposite of murabaha.)
Musharaka: This means profit and loss sharing. It’s a partnership where the profits are shared in pre-arranged proportions and any losses are shared in proportion to each partners’ capital or investment. In Musharakah, all the partners to the commercial undertaking contribute funds and have the right, but without the obligation, to exercise executive powers in that undertaking. It’s a similar concept to a conventional partnership and the holding of voting stock in a limited company. Musharakah is regarded as the purest form of Islamic financing.
Riba: This means interest. The legal concept extends beyond interest, but in simple terms, riba covers any return of money on money. It does not matter whether the interest is floating or floating, simple or compounded, or what the rate is. Riba is strictly prohibited under Islamic law..
Shariah: This is the Islamic law as disclosed in the Quran and through the example of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). A Shariah product must meet all the requirements of Islamic law. To facilitate this, a Shariah board is usually appointed. This board or committee is usually comprised of Islamic scholars available to the organisation for guidance and supervision for the development of Shariah compliant products.
Shariah adviser: Means an independent professional, usually a classically trained Islamic legal scholar, appointed to advise an Islamic financial organisation on the compliance of its products and services with Islamic law, the Shariah. While some organisations consult individual Shariah advisers, most establish a committee of Shariah advisers (often known as a Shariah committee or Shariah board).
Shariah compliant: Means the activity that ensures that the requirements of the Shariah, or Islamic law are observed. The term is often used in the Islamic banking industry as a synonym for “Islamic”- for example, Shariah compliant financing or Shariah compliant investment.
Sukuk: This has similar characteristics to a conventional bond. The difference is that that they are asset backed and a sukuk represents the proportionate beneficial ownership in the underlying asset. The asset is then leased to the client to yield the profit on the sukuk.
Takaful: This is Islamic insurance. Takaful plans are designed to avoid the characteristics of conventional insurance (i.e. interest and gambling) that are so problematical for Muslims. They structure the arrangement as a charitable collective pool of funds based on the comcept of mutual assistance.
Tawarruq: When used in personal finance, a customer with a cash requirement buys something on credit on a deferred payment basis. That customer then immediately resells the item for cash to a third party. The customer thereby obtains cash without taking an interest-based loan. Tawarruq is the opposite to murabahah.
Children are sent to school for the purpose of learning and developing talents and skills that will prepare them for future life in the real world. While it is true that they are taught grammar, math, Biology, languages, and skills like baking and other practical arts, they are usually found lacking in the subject of personal finance.
To manage your own personal finances is basic and essential when you want to become self-reliant and when you want to put your life in order and start a home of your own. To have the fundamental understanding of personal finance means that you are better prepared to face life ahead of you. It is very common, for instance, how young couples get on with their lives together with high hopes for the future, only to be met with disappointment and soon find themselves entangled in debt. This situation is just a result of not learning the essentials of personal finance.
Without gaining these basic skills soon enough, they may find themselves sinking deeper into debt. Then they start to lose whatever assets they had acquired, their homes, and possibly threaten their relationships. Not knowing what would happen if you spend more than you earn, or why is it important to save even just a small portion of your earning, or why is it necessary to be cautious when using credit, is a sure reason for falling into the mire of debt. If you try to handle your own household without basic learning, the future would be bleak and failure is not far ahead.
This is the reason why young people in high school should be taught these primary tenets. They need to acquire these skills early on in order to be ready when they are on their own, whether in going to the university, in having a job, or even living at home.
Now, therefore, is the perfect time for them to learn how to live within a budget, to not spend more than what they earn, and to save, before they face real life and have regrets later on. The worst thing they can do for themselves to build up a ton of debt, have bad credit and not be able to make those important life purchases down the road, like a home or a car.