Tuesday, August 13, 2013

80pc convergence rate in Islamic finance issues

THERE is already an 80 per cent convergence rate of Islamic finance issues worldwide, a tremendous achievement for an industry that is still considered to be at its infancy stage. "While 20 per cent of these issues are still outstanding and some of these are very fundamental, the direction towards convergence is there," said Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz yesterday. She said the development of Islamic finance needs to be communicated effectively to create greater awareness among the consumers. She added that as Islamic finance moves forward into the future, the issue of harmonisation of syariah interpretation across different jurisdictions must slowly be ironed out. Zeti said while Islamic finance has been well-embraced by non-Muslims in Malaysia, the same cannnot be said in other emerging countries that are keen to develop the industry. This is where communication between regulators and industry players is essential, she said at a discussion session on the prospects of Islamic finance that she chaired at the 10th International Financial Services Board (IFSB) Summit. The session panelists comprised the United Arab Emirates central bank governor Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi, former Pakistan central bank governor Ishrat Husain and International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp chief executive officer Professor Rifaat Karim. Zeti noted that two international wires, namely Reuters and Bloomberg have listed on their pages the various Islamic fatwas and rulings together with the explanations, which would facilitate more awareness for Islamic finance issues. "When it comes to awareness and communication, I believe that in Malaysia, when we really wanted to make it better known and create awareness on Islamic finance, the industry came forward and acted together and it has been very successful," she said. She pointed out that between 50 and 70 per cent of the Islamic banks' clients in the country are non-Muslims while more non-Islamic corporations are raising funds through the sukuk market now. http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/etiz/Article/

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