Friday, August 29, 2014

Tadarruj bangunkan kewangan Islam

DR ASYRAF WAJDI DUSUKI - KETIKA menulis artikel minggu ini, penulis berada di Sudan atas jemputan memberikan syarahan mengenai pengalaman Malaysia dalam membangunkan sistem kewangan Islam. Ini merupakan kali pertama penulis menjejakkan kaki ke bumi Sudan. Sememangnya peluang ini amat penulis nanti-nantikan untuk melihat sendiri bagaimana perbezaan pembangunan ekonomi dan kewangan Islam di antara Sudan dan Malaysia - dua negara terawal memperkenalkan Sistem Perbankan Islam bebas riba dan unsur-unsur lain yang diharamkan syariah sekitar awal 1980an. Sejarah awal perbankan Islam di Sudan menyaksikan negara di bawah pimpinan Presiden Jaafar an-Numeiri telah melakukan proses Islamisasi secara revolusi. Ini dilaksanakan seawal 1984 dengan arahan Presiden Numeiri yang didukung gerakan Ikhwan al-Muslimun untuk mengubah seluruh sistem ekonomi dan institusi-institusi perbankannya kepada sistem Islam. Namun pergolakan politik yang berterusan termasuklah perubahan kerajaan melalui beberapa siri rampasan kuasa (coup d’etat) telah mengekang pembangunan perbankan Islam secara berkesan. Faktor mengekang lain termasuklah tekanan antarabangsa seperti daripada Bank Dunia yang pada waktu itu amat skeptikal terhadap pengembangan perbankan Islam yang ditanggapi suatu sistem amat asing. Mengikut kajian penulis, model pembangunan Kewangan Islam yang berasaskan revolusi seperti di Sudan, Pakistan dan Iran gagal atas banyak faktor. Selain aspek ketidakstabilan politik, isu lebih mendasar adalah kerana konsep perbankan Islam pada waktu itu masih terlalu asing dan belum banyak penyelidikan terperinci dilakukan. Kegagalan pendekatan revolusi dalam membangunkan sistem kewangan Islam ini juga amat terkait dengan faktor kekurangan modal insan berkemahiran dan infrastruktur yang sesuai berbanding sistem kewangan konvensional yang sudah lama bertapak sejak ratusan tahun. Berbanding Sudan yang mengambil pendekatan revolusi dengan cuba melakukan Islamisasi total ke atas seluruh sistem ekonominya, termasuklah menukar institusi-institusi perbankan konvensional kepada perbankan Islam sepenuhnya, Malaysia mengambil pendekatan berbeza secara evolusi. Malaysia bermula dengan penggubalan Akta Bank Islam 1983 dengan memberi peluang sebuah bank Islam beroperasi, di samping bank-bank konvensional sedia ada. Seterusnya lesen perbankan Islam dikembangkan kepada seluruh bank-bank tempatan lain melalui pendekatan ‘tingkap’ atau Islamic window 10 tahun selepas kejayaan Bank Islam pertama. Bukan itu sahaja, Malaysia turut membangunkan pasaran modal Islam, takaful dan pelbagai infrastruktur lain yang dapat menggalakkan kepesatan pembangunan sistem kewangan Islam paling komprehensif. Malaysia kini bukan sahaja menjadi pusat kewangan dan perbankan Islam yang disegani seantero dunia, bahkan turut menjadi model rujukan kepada kebanyakan negara-negara Islam lain yang turut aktif mengembangkan pelbagai produk dan institusi berasaskan prinsip syarak. Antara faktor terpenting yang mendasari kejayaan negara ini ialah komitmen kerajaan mengambil kira pendekatan secara bertahap dalam pelaksanaan syariat Islam. Pendekatan bertahap atau diistilahkan syarak sebagai tadarruj ini amat menepati kaedah dan ciri-ciri perubahan dikehendaki Islam. Menurut Dr Yusuf Al-Qardawi dalam bukunya Al-Khoshoish Al-Ammah Lil Islam, yang dimaksudkan dengan tadarruj ialah suatu pendekatan secara bertahap atau beransur-ansur dalam memastikan perlaksanaan hukum syarak dijalankan secara berkesan dan sempurna. Pendekatan ILAHI ini turut mengambil kira tabii manusiawi dan konteks realiti semasa dalam pelaksanaan syariat Islam. Dalam hubungan ini mungkin ada baiknya untuk ditelusuri strategi al-Quran yang mempersiapkan masyarakat Arab yang begitu kental terbudaya dengan pengamalan riba itu, akhirnya meninggalkan amalan tersebut dengan rela. Apa yang jelas, al-Quran tidak terus melarang dan menghukum. Sebaliknya al-Quran mendidik mereka dengan terlebih dahulu menyedarkan mereka tentang keburukan riba (Ar-Rum:39) dan menyamakan amalan tersebut dengan nilai-nilai zalim amalan Yahudi (An-Nisa’:160-161). Kemudian melarang mereka bermuamalah dengan mengenakan faedah atau caj tambahan (Ali-Imran:130) dan akhirnya barulah diharamkan sama sekali secara konklusif (Al-Baqarah:275-281). Ketika itu mereka telah cukup bersedia sehingga dengan rela membuang saki-baki riba yang masih ada pada mereka. Begitulah salah satu contoh pensyariatan hukum ALLAH yang jelas mempertimbangkan proses perubahan secara bertahap agar kesannya lebih berkekalan dan menyeluruh. (sumber: http://www.sinarharian.com.my/kolumnis/dr-asyraf-wajdi-dusuki/tadarruj-bangunkan-kewangan-islam-1.39236)

Russian banks lobby central bank to draft Islamic finance law

DUBAI/MOSCOW: A lobby group for Russian banks has written to Moscow's central bank seeking measures to promote Islamic finance at a time when the banking sector is facing a squeeze on foreign financing due to economic sanctions imposed over the Ukraine crisis. The Association of Russian Banks (ARB) said in a letter sent to the central bank late last week that promoting Islamic finance could give a boost to the economy and draw significant investment from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, regions where Islamic finance is flourishing. Its appeal has risen as Russia's $2 trillion economy teeters on the brink of recession with several top Russian banks effectively shut out of Western capital markets due to Western sanctions over Moscow's perceived backing for a pro-Russian separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine. Central among the lobby group's concerns is the absence of Russian legislation regulating Islamic finance. This means banks are unable to offer clients certain Islamic financial instruments that comply with sharia (Islamic law), as well as a lack of Islamic banks and the expertise needed to run them. "It's not spelled out anywhere in Russian legal documents what an Islamic financial institution, or sukuk (Islamic bonds) or a mudaraba (a common Islamic financial contract) are," read the letter, published on the ARB website. "To solve this problem, we suggest adopting a special federal law." Elsewhere in the letter, the ARB suggests setting up a working group with input from Russia's Islamic clerics to draft the necessary legal amendments and creating a central bank department to supervise Islamic financial institutions. Russia's central bank declined to comment when asked how it would respond to the ARB initiatives. PROMISING MARKET? Russia's Islamic banking sector is still in its infancy, despite some 20 million Muslims living in the country, but experts say the market has potential. In September 2011, AK BARS Bank, based in Russia's mainly Muslim Tatarstan republic, obtained a $60 million, one-year loan using the Islamic murabaha structure - the first international Islamic deal arranged for a Russian institution. In its second such deal, AK BARS Bank secured $100 million from a syndicate of 11 banks in January. Aznan Hasan, a sharia scholar and former member of Malaysia's Central Sharia Advisory Council at the central bank, said overseas Islamic banks were ready to invest in Russia if officials were to adapt local legislation. "I think we have enough capability to do this. Russia and Central Asia are very good areas for Islamic finance," Hasan said. "Malaysian banks are willing to consider going into Russia, but there needs to be the initiative to change the regulatory framework and the government needs to be willing to accommodate these banks." Such investors could provide a much-needed source of additional financing given that many foreign banks are now loath to lend to Russian corporates for fear of falling foul of U.S. and European Union sanctions. Commercial banks were estimated to hold Islamic banking assets worth over $1.7 trillion in 2013, according to a study by Ernst & Young, roughly a third of which came from Gulf-based Islamic banks. Russia's banking sector had about 60 trillion roubles ($1.7 trillion) worth of assets as of the end of June, according to data from Fitch Ratings. Should Russia's central bank respond positively to the ARB's lobbying effort, it could draw on the experience of former Soviet republics Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, all of which are drafting new laws to regulate Islamic banking. Behnam Gurbanzada, director of Islamic banking at International Bank of Azerbaijan, called Russia a "promising" platform to further the development of Islamic finance. "It is obvious there is a lack of capital in Russia at the present time," he said. "The Russian economy needs investment and stable financing sources. Islamic banking is an alternative source of funding for Russia." (1 US dollar = 36.0199 Russian rouble)- Reuters (Source: http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2014/08/15/Russian-banks-lobby-central-bank-to-draft-Islamic-finance-law/)

New era of Islamic banking in the offing

A PROPOSED three-way merger in Malaysia will create the world’s first Islamic bank that will have enough clout to challenge the dominance of conventional, often Western, banks in the industry and influence the way Islamic finance deals are made. The Islamic units of market leaders such as HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc have long used their parents’ vast networks to win leading roles in global deals. Most of such deals involve designing and distributing Islamic bonds, or sukuk, a fast-growing segment in the sector. By contrast, local banks in the Islamic world lack the scale and reach to entice corporate and sovereign issuers from Europe and Asia. Many of them are owned by wealthy families or the state, and fear of losing control has limited mergers and consolidation in a still highly fragmented industry. In comes Malaysia, whose government is keen to make leaders out of the country’s banks in global Islamic finance. Last week, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, RHB Capital Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd secured regulatory approval to begin their merger talks. Their amalgamation would yield a stand-alone Islamic bank that is separate from the conventional banking operation of the enlarged bank. This Islamic bank will have a cross-border presence sizeable enough to win big mandates, as well as a Malaysian model of Islamic finance that is regarded by many investors to be simpler and less confusing, analysts say. “The next meaningful stage for Islamic banking is a bank with connectivity across key markets and separate markets,” says Abdul Rauf Rashid, country managing partner for EY Malaysia. “Putting together and creating this large entity is a start, but the next step is integrating them into one powerful unit that can go out and build the market.” The merger would include the creation of a so-called mega Islamic bank. Malaysia’s central bank defines such an entity as having a minimum US$1bil in paid-up capital. A successful merger may pave the way for other Malaysian banks to follow suit as they expand globally. That would help internationalise the Malaysian model of Islamic finance, analysts say. Malaysia also has the capacity to standardise industry practices, which vary due to different interpretations of Islamic law, they say. Malaysia has a centralised, top-down approach to creating syariah-compliant products. Other countries have allowed syariah boards of individual Islamic banks to decide whether their products and activities obey religious principles. The latter approach sometimes leads to disagreement over the design of a product and even confusion among investors, analysts say. Some investors have decided to stick with the big conventional banks such as Standard Chartered. The banks have their own Islamic scholars and the financial clout to lead in the structuring of Islamic finance deals. “When we have mega banks, and trim down to fewer players, it will be easier to harmonise things. Bearing in mind that it will go global, we are positioning Malaysia as the leader for Islamic banking,” said Johan Lee, partner at Kuala Lumpur-based law firm J. Lee & Associates. No longer a concept The mega Islamic bank concept has been discussed in the industry for years. Previous efforts have failed to take off partly because of scant interest from the private sector. Most banks in the Middle East are retail-oriented or lack the financial expertise to compete with large multinationals. Al Rajhi Bank – Saudi Arabia’s largest listed lender and the world’s biggest Islamic bank – has never issued a sukuk and is only now developing its investment banking business. Smaller Islamic banks in the region such as Qatar Islamic Bank and Al Baraka Banking Group are hardly in the league of Western banks when it comes to Islamic finance. But change is in the air, with Islamic finance now holding a greater share of the banking sector in Asia and the Middle East – a third in the case of Qatar. Growing economic links among these regions are also renewing a push to standardise the rules of Islamic finance and banking. Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Market – an industry body that creates specifications for Islamic finance contracts – is now developing its first-ever contract template for sukuk. The sukuk market is forecast to grow 14% to US$130bil in issuance in 2014 compared with last year, a Thomson Reuters study shows. Efforts by Malaysia to sell its version of sukuk financing will face a number of obstacles, particularly in dollar-denominated issuances. Most dollar-denominated sukuk are issued across a myriad of markets, must be approved by scholars in each institution wishing to buy them, and are thinly traded. This segment is also dominated by Western banks and is attracting a growing number of Gulf-based lenders, all eager to capitalise on the expected rush of global issuance. Hong Kong and Luxembourg are among the governments aiming to issue sukuk later this year. Size could help the proposed Malaysian mega Islamic bank win a larger share of such business, and more crucially, lead in the design of those deals. “They will still have to adapt to each country’s culture of doing things… we just need to focus on the products that work for multiple markets,” said Mohamed Ridza, partner at Kuala Lumpur-based law firm Mohamed Ridza & Co. The question is whether a full-fledged Islamic bank of that size can survive without support from a conventional bank as its parent. “Being larger does not necessarily lead to greater efficiency, better profitability or improved bank credit fundamentals,” said Simon Chen, Singapore-based banking and Islamic finance analyst at Moody’s. — Reuters (Source: http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2014/07/19/New-era-of-Islamic-banking-in-the-offing-Proposed-3way-merger-in-Msia-to-alter-old-ways-of-I/)

Ensuring quality workforce in Islamic finance

By RUPA DAMODARANKUALA - ISLAMIC financial institutions have been urged to secure talents with innovative mindsets, as early as the students’ admission into unversities, so that quality talents can be developed to support new growth areas in the sector. In making the call, Bank Negara Malaysia deputy governor Datuk Muhammad Ibra-him said the ability to produce the right kind of talent will be the key determinant in charting the future of Islamic finance. “It is paramount for Islamic financial institutions to secure talents with innovative mindsets. The search has to begin as early as the admission of students into universities,” he said in his keynote address at the Islamic Finance Education: Global Roundtable Discourse, here, yesterday. “Quality over quantity is key to ensure we hit the primary target set for human capital development. When you are out of quality, you are out of business. But if we are committed to drive this together, the talent in Islamic finance will be the centre of excellence.” Muhammad also proposed for academic entry requirements to be set high so as to gather a strong pool of brainpower suited to the needs of the market. “When Islamic finance is equip-ped with striking intellectual capacity, it heightens the credibility of the industry and safeguards its prominence.” The local financial sector is anticipated to require a workforce of about 200,000 until 2020. As at end-2013, Islamic financial institutions employ about 17,621 employees, which constitute around 11 per cent of the total workforce in the financial sector. (Source: http://www.nst.com.my/node/25364)

Ekosistem digital untuk pasaran halal global

Adi Satria - Apps adalah software yang digunakan untuk komputer, internet, telefon pintar atau peralatan elektronik lain yang kian popular hari ini. Apps yang digunakan untuk telefon pintar dan tab adalah lebih natural dan mesra pengguna. Maka kian ramai entiti perniagaan daripada industri kecil dan sederhana (IKS), korporat, pihak berkuasa, media malah individu sendiri tidak dapat lari mengguna apps untuk urus niaga dan urusan harian terutama pembinaan jenama produk dan perkhidmatan masing-masing. Pasaran halal global sedang pesat berkembang dan mencecah lebih kurang AS$300 trillion (RM949 trilion) dan 1.8 billion pengguna Muslim global. Menurut data daripada Perbadanan Pembangunan Industri Halal (HDC), hampir 70 peratus IKS Malaysia yang berdaftar dengan HDC mempunyai jumlah perniagaan tidak melebihi RM1 juta setahun. Kekangan besar terhadap perkembangan mereka adalah bajet untuk strategi komunikasi pemasaran bagi menguar-uarkan jenama mereka. Selain itu, kesukaran memasuki pasaran di pasar raya tempatan yang didominasi oleh syarikat gergasi dan multinasional. Kaedah komunikasi pemasaran digital mampu digunakan untuk mengatasi kos media tradisional yang tinggi. Platfom online, media sosial dan apps adalah kombinasi mantap yang juga bercirikan interaktiviti antara bisnes ke bisnes dan bisnes ke pengguna. Namun ia memerlukan pemahaman yang baharu berkenaan kaedah, strategi dan taktik untuk mencapai objektif pemasaran, sasaran jualan dan pasaran serta pengguna. Objektif Malaysia untuk mencapai status hab halal global ialah kerana ia mempunyai kelebihan daripada negara-negara Islam lain dari segi perdagangan, logistik, perbankan dan pensijilan halal di mana Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) diiktiraf sebagai badan pensijilan halal yang berwibawa. IKS di Malaysia mampu menggunakan kelebihan ini untuk meneroka dan menguasai pasaran halal bukan sahaja di negara-negara Islam malah di negara-negara bukan Islam yang kian mengiktiraf produk dan perkhidmatan yang mempunyai sijil halal. Pengeluar kini mengakui bahawa sijil halal sesuatu yang wajib untuk bersaing dalam pasaran global. Umpamanya pada November 2011, E-Halal Track dan Trace RFID telah dilancarkan di Guangzhou, China yang mampu mempromosikan halal Malaysia di China. Mekanisma secara digital ini dapat meyakinkan pengguna tentang kedudukan produk halal dari segi keselamatan, kebersihan dan kesihatan dalam proses pengeluaran produk tersebut. Penggunaan apps juga akan memudahkan pengguna untuk mendapatkan maklumat dan pengesahan dengan lebih cepat dan cekap. Pembangunan satu ekosistem digital bagi industri halal di Malaysia adalah perlu sekiranya ia ingin menjadi pemimpin unggul di pasaran halal dunia. Laman sesawang yang ada tidak mampu untuk memenuhi permintaan dan keperluan daripada para pengguna dan usahawan global hari ini. Selain platform online yang canggih, platform mobile melalui apps berdasarkan android, iOS atau Microsoft kian penting dan perlu dibangunkan. Ekosistem digital ini juga boleh menyiarkan berita, maklumat terkini, penyebaran dakwah dan juga hiburan untuk menarik pengguna dan peniaga global kepada apps tersebut. Program-program yang diterbitkan disesuaikan untuk pengiklan melalui kaedah penonjolan produk atau 'product placement' di dalam program tersebut. Platform ini akan membolehkan peniaga yang mendaftar dengan HDC melakukan interaksi terus dengan pelanggan sedia ada atau yang berpotensi kerana apps ini mesra pengguna dan dapat melakukan transaksi jual-beli secara mobile. Inilah kaedah perdagangan yang terkini di era digital ini yang mampu memberi pulangan tinggi kepada pelaburan mereka. PENULIS adalah bekas Pengurus Besar Periklanan Kumpulan Utusan. Kini Konsultan Komunikasi Pemasaran Lensa Films dan Jurulatih Kanan ClickAcademy Asia. E-mail: adi@ClickAcademyAsia.com. Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Ekonomi/20140823/ek_04/Ekosistem-digital-untuk-pasaran-halal-global#ixzz3Bm9Y4NsH © Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

Pemahaman konsep wakaf masih rendah

KUALA LUMPUR 26 Ogos - Tahap pemahaman konsep wakaf masih rendah termasuk dalam kalangan pemikir dan pakar ekonomi Islam walaupun konsep itu telah wujud beratus-ratus tahun dahulu. Pengarah Bank Pembangunan Islam (IDB) bahagian Asia Tenggara, Kunrat Wirasubrata berkata, orang ramai lebih mengaitkan konsep wakaf ini untuk tujuan pembinaan sekolah agama, masjid dan tanah perkuburan semata-mata. Beliau berkata, disebabkan hal itu tanah wakaf kurang dibangunkan dan menyebabkan pertumbuhan ekonomi dan sosial melalui tanah wakaf tidak dirasai. "Misalnya pada 2010 tanah wakaf di Malaysia berkeluasan 11,511 hektar, namun kurang daripada satu peratus tanah itu dibangunkan. "Tanah wakaf boleh juga digunakan untuk membangunkan hospital atau pelbagai aktiviti ekonomi. Malah, bukan Islam juga boleh mendapat faedah daripada sebarang aktiviti yang dijalankan. Konsep itu bukan untuk membiayai aktiviti berkaitan agama sahaja," katanya pada sidang akhbar bagi mempromosikan Forum Ekonomi Islam Sedunia (WIEF) ke-10 di sini hari ini. Utusan Malaysia sebelum ini melaporkan Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Wakaf, Zakat dan Haji, Datuk Anan C. Mohd., sebagai berkata, sehingga hari ini pihaknya telah membangunkan 11,091 hektar tanah wakaf dengan nilai pasaran RM1.18 bilion.Tambah Kunrat, konsep wakaf akan diberi tumpuan semasa berlangsungnya WIEF di Dubai pada Oktober ini, dan berharap cabang ekonomi Islam itu akan diberi perhatian sepertimana cabang-cabang ekonomi yang lain. Belia berkata, wakaf tunai yang semakin diterima juga dilihat sebagai kaedah terbaharu yang boleh mempopularkan lagi konsep wakaf. Tambahnya, IDB sendiri telah memperkenalkan Dana Pelaburan Hartanah menggunakan konsep wakaf dengan sumbangan daripada ahli-ahli IDB terdiri daripada institusi perbankan dari pelbagai negara Islam termasuk Malaysia melalui Amanah Raya Bhd. Antara projek-projek hartanah yang telah dibangunkan melalui dana tersebut ialah Pusat Warisan Muslim British di Manchester, England dan Pusat Amanah dan Pendidikan Islam di Jerman. Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Korporat/20140827/ko_03/Pemahaman-konsep-wakaf-masih-rendah#ixzz3Bm8zdWv4 © Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd