Monday, July 17, 2017

HIKMAH's 1 Dirham to be Launched on 29 July 2017

( Suggested Design - NOT FINALISED )

Interested to own a Special Edition 1 HIKMAH Dirham?
Please refer to QCdirham blog HERE

Some Background (in Malay language) on Dirham HIKMAH:-

1# HIKMAH Melayu blog:- HERE (3rd January 2017)
2# HIKMAH Melayu blog:- HERE
3# Mata Wang Sunnah blog:- HERE (16th June 2017)
4# GOLD Dinar & Silver Dirham blog:- HERE (17th June 2017)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Islamic Finance Media Practitioner - NEW Site, Launched

In response to increase demand for media coverage and/or media services for Islamic Finance and leveraging on my and QIBLAH Consulting alliances with media companies in and out of Malaysia, 
I've decided to launch a separate site for IF Media matters.

The new site will be used for Media Announcements, Press Conferences and related IF Media matters. The separation will ensure that this blog ( ) remains as the prime source for my views on Islamic Finance matters.

Services provided are amongst others:-
Media Advisory
Press Conferences
Press Releases
Promotional Activities
Media Training

Syukran and Thank You to ALL STAKEHOLDERS for the vote of confidence for coming on board and utilising my services.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

" SHARIAH MINDS in ISLAMIC FINANCE " Book by Mohd Daud Bakar Launched

 ( Dato' Dr. Mohd. Daud Bakar giving an insight into the book )

( Sultan Nazrin launching the Book. Dep.Minister at PM's attendance)

( The Author and I )

Attended the maiden book launch of  "Shariah Minds in Islamic Finance" written by an old friend since the mid-90s i.e. Dato' Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar. The book is a must read for all those in the Islamic Banking and Finance industry.

The book was launched by HRH Sultan Nazrin at the Royale Chulan in KL today. The Malay version of the book is also available titled "Minda Shariah Kewangan Islam". My appreciation to Dr.Daud and the Amanie Group for the signed complimentary copy of the book for my review.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

IFSB Announces the Second Release of Prudential and Structural Islamic Financial Indicators (PSIFIs) for 16 Member Countries


The IFSB Announces the Second Release
of Prudential and Structural Islamic Financial Indicators (PSIFIs) for 16 Member Countries

Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
Wednesday, 25th November 2015

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is pleased to announce the second dissemination of its Prudential and Structural Islamic Financial Indicators (PSIFIs) from 16 member countries. The PSIFI data, which aims to provide data on the financial soundness and growth of the Islamic banking systems in participating IFSB member jurisdictions, covers the quarterly data from December 2013 to December 2014.

Secretary-General of the IFSB, Mr Jaseem Ahmed stated that “The support of multilateral organisations – such as the IMF, ADB and IDB – have greatly assisted the progress on this project. It is our aim to continue to expand the scope of the PSIFI to include the participation of new jurisdictions, as well as expansion of data to the Islamic capital market and Takaful sectors of the industry”.

The first set of data was released on 27 April 2015 covering the period as of December 2013. The second release adds the indicators for the four quarters of 2014, with necessary adjustments and revisions to the earlier data set. It thus provides more complete data than the earlier release as many member jurisdictions have improved their data collection and consolidation framework for Islamic banking industry in line with the requirements of PSIFIs project.

The Task Force on PSIFIs – which includes representatives from 16 member jurisdictions as well as international organisations such as the IMF – updated some indicators after the first release to enhance their clarity and consistency across jurisdictions. In the new release, a number of jurisdictions have also started reporting of the data on macroprudential indicators such as assets held by domestic systemically important banks, leverage ratio, as well as liquidity coverage ratio (LCR).

The countries participating in this project are: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkey. The IFSB is now collecting data for the first two quarters of 2015 which will be targeted for dissemination in Q1 of 2016.

“In the context of the heightened awareness of vulnerability of all financial systems to a range of risks, the PSIFI provide a new tool for monitoring the soundness and stability of Islamic finance”, said the Secretary-General of the IFSB, Mr. Jaseem Ahmed. In particular, he noted that, “The focus on core issues of capital adequacy, asset quality, liquidity and leverage will assist in evaluating consistency in the adoption of global and IFSB recent standards on risk based capital, liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) and the net stable funding ratio (NSFR)”.

The PSIFI Database (full set of data with metadata) is available on the PSIFIs portal at the IFSB website

Friday, November 20, 2015

Financial Safety Nets - Shariah Scholars and Industry Stakeholders Discuss.



Shariah Scholars and Industry Stakeholders 
Discuss Issues on Financial Safety Nets 
at the IFSB-ISRA Shariah Roundtable

Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA 
Thursday, 19th November 2015

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) have successfully organised a Shariah Roundtable themed, ‘Financial Safety Nets: Striking a Balance between Shariah Requirements and the Soundness of the Islamic Financial System’. The Roundtable was held on 5 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Roundtable aimed to provide a platform to Shariah scholars, legal practitioners, regulators and market players for having in-depth deliberations on key aspects of financial safety nets such as Lender of the Last Resort (LOLR) and Deposit Insurance Schemes from the Shariah perspective.

Over 70 delegates from nine jurisdictions among the IFSB members and non-member organisations – representatives from market players, regulatory bodies, and international agencies – Shariah scholars as well as academia attended this Roundtable.

Mr. Jaseem Ahmed, the Secretary-General of the IFSB, in his Opening Address, highlighted that financial safety nets feature as a key component of an integrated financial stability framework, the importance of which was highlighted during the global financial crisis. He emphasised that safety net mechanisms such as lender of last resort facilities and deposit insurance schemes should be compatible with Shariah principles. To offer these schemes in a wider set of jurisdictions, it would be important for Shariah scholars to lead the discussion along with regulators, market players and legal practitioners in order to identify the major obstacles, issues and challenges in introducing such facilities on Shariah- compliant basis. Mr Jaseem also informed the audience that Shariah scholars play a pertinent role in the work of the IFSB – their role is embedded in the due process of preparing the IFSB standards and guiding principles – where the members of the Shariah Board of the Islamic Development Bank vet thoroughly and review the IFSB draft document prior to submission to the IFSB Council for issuance. The Shariah community also has the opportunity to provide feedback during the document’s public consultation phase.

Professor Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin, Executive Director of ISRA, in his Opening Address, highlighted the need for a more collaborative approach between the various stakeholders that would help to develop synergies and support the growth of Islamic financial services industry on a sound footing. He also stressed that Shariah is the backbone of this industry, as it is the key distinguishing factor that makes Islamic finance distinct from the conventional finance. Finally, he reiterated the importance of following the broader principles of Shariah to devise instruments for financial safety nets and other products for consumers.

The Opening Session was followed by a presentation on the IFSB’s key activities and strategic focus by Dr Sherif Ayoub, Assistant Secretary-General of the IFSB, who enlightened participants on the key role Shariah scholars play in reviewing and providing feedback on the draft prudential standards during various stages of the development process.

The session on LOLR was preceded by a presentation entitled, Strengthening the Financial Safety Net: The Role of Shariah-compliant Lender-of-Last-Resort Facilities as an Emergency Financing Mechanism by Mr. Jamshaid Anwar Chattha, Chief Financial Analyst, Financial Stability Office/Supervision Sector, Central Bank of Kuwait. Mr. Jamshaid provided an overview of the concept of financial safety nets and highlighted the operational and Shariah issues faced by central banks in the provision of an LOLR facility to Islamic banks. He also shared with the audience the experience of Central Bank of Kuwait in providing Shariah-compliant LOLR facilities.

The first session of the Roundtable, themed, Lender of Last Resort Facilities – Structuring Shariah-Compliant Instruments and Mechanisms was chaired by Professor Dr. Ashraf Md Hashim, CEO, ISRA Consultancy. The speakers for this session were two members of the ISRA Council of Scholars, Sheikh Professor Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari, and Sheikh Dr. Oni Sahrani who presented their papers on the session theme. Sheikh Mohamed Elgari highlighted key characteristics of an effective LOLR mechanism and provided his critique on the currently practiced Shariah-compliant LOLR structures. He then proposed two modified mechanisms; the first one based on the idea of daily Mudarabah contracts, in which an Islamic bank would act as a working partner (Mudarib) and the Central Bank would act as the capital provider. The second alternative proposed by him relied on the use of modified repurchase agreements. Sheikh Sahrani elaborated on the importance of LOLR facilities for Islamic banks and overall stability of the Islamic financial system. He also proposed various alternative structures to meet the objectives of LOLR, such as financing through Mudarabah, sale with a promise of repurchase, establishing a joint fund for the purpose of liquidity management, providing interest-free loans by the central bank and the issuance of investment Sukuk.
The two discussants who participated in this session were Mr. Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, President of the Chartered Institute of Islamic Finance Professional (CIIF), Former CEO of CIMB Islamic, Malaysia and Professor Dr. Engku Rabiah Adawiyah Engku Ali, Professor, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). Mr. Badlisyah pointed out the importance of using the right approach when communicating the Shariah requirements to the central banks, and the need to find the best way to implement and execute the Shariah-compliant LOLR facilities in an effective manner. On the other hand, Professor Engku Rabiah commented on the proposed mechanism of daily Mudarabah contracts by highlighting some of the possible Shariah issues that could arise in relation to its implementation and observed that a Wakalah structure can also be used as an alternative in which the central bank will act as the principal and the Islamic bank will act as an agent. Moreover, she shared with the audience some Shariah issues in undertaking the repo agreements.
The afternoon session started with a presentation from Mr. Syed Faiq Najeeb, Member of the Secretariat, Technical & Research, IFSB, themed Strengthening the Financial Safety Net: The Role and Mechanisms of Shariah-compliant Deposit Insurance Schemes. Drawing from the IFSB survey and draft paper on this subject, he deliberated on the importance of developing deposit insurance schemes on Shariah-compliant basis, which are considered an indispensable component of financial stability regimes in the post crisis world. He also highlighted the current Shariah-compliant models of deposit insurance schemes that are being implemented in different jurisdictions and the operational and Shariah challenges that need to be considered in the implementation of these schemes.

Shariah-compliant Structures for a Deposit Insurance Scheme was the theme of the second session. The chairperson of the session was Sheikh Dr. Nizam Mohammad Salih Yaquby, a member of ISRA Council of Scholars. The speakers for this session were Sheikh Professor Dr. Ali Muhyi al-Din Ali al-Quradaghi, Research Fellow, ISRA and Associate Professor Dr. Said Bouheraoua, Senior Researcher, ISRA and Editor-in-chief, ISRA International Journal of Islamic Finance who presented the paper of Sheikh Dr. Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah, a member of ISRA Council of Scholars. Sheikh al-Quradaghi gave a description of the three types of deposits which require protection – the current, saving and investment accounts. He emphasised that insuring current and saving accounts is similar to the insurance of debts. Therefore, it is permissible as long as the underlying concept being used is that of Takaful. As for the protection of investment accounts, the speaker noted that the capital of such accounts can be insured on the basis of Takaful by relying on two mechanisms. The first mechanism centers on the idea of a group of Islamic banks negotiating with the Takaful companies to receive the best possible Takaful coverage for the protection of the capital of their investment account holders. A second option is for the Islamic banks to establish a fund to cover any losses suffered by the investment account holders of any of the participating banks. Dr. Bouheraoua started by detailing the forms of Shariah-compliant capital protection schemes and proceeded to discuss in detail the key components and modalities of a Shariah-compliant deposit insurance scheme. He also touched upon some examples of Shariah-compliant deposit insurance schemes being implemented in several jurisdictions. 
Three discussants participated in this session, which included Mr. Mohd. Sobri Mansor, Senior Manager, Malaysia Deposit Insurance Corporation, Dr. Hurriyah El Islamy, Group Co-Head, Shariah & Governance, CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd and Mr. Madzlan Mohamad Hussain, Partner & Head, Islamic Financial Services Practice, Zaid Ibrahim & Co. Mr. Mohd. Sobri pointed out that the purpose of a deposit insurance scheme is to protect the depositors and promote stability of a financial system, which necessitate the availability of such schemes to Islamic banks on a Shariah-compliant basis. This will provide a level-playing field to the Islamic banks and promote the sustained growth of the Islamic banking industry. He emphasised the importance of highlighting Shariah non-compliance elements present in conventional deposit insurance, which would clarify the need for offering Shariah-compliant mechanisms of deposit insurance. He added that it is also important to assess how the design features of a Shariah-compliant deposit insurance scheme (SCDIS) can conform to the criteria of an effective deposit insurance scheme. Dr. Hurriyah focused on legal challenges in offering SCDIS in various jurisdictions. She also elaborated on the insurability of various types of deposits that need protection and how they can be protected in a Shariah-compliant manner. Finally, Mr. Madzlan noted that the deposit insurance schemes for Islamic banks must not only be Shariah-compliant, they must also be legally effective by having the legal mandate and legal authority for it to be effective. He also drew the attention of the audience to the benefits of learning from the experiences of other countries in relation to the issue of deposit insurance.
The Roundtable ended with the affirmation that continued debate and engagement among various stakeholders of the industry on the issue of establishing Shariah-compliant LOLR and deposit insurance mechanisms will support the provision of these schemes in more jurisdictions, which would contribute to the strength and resilience of the Islamic finance industry.

The IFSB and ISRA plan to jointly publish a set of proceedings (in both Arabic and English languages) on the deliberations of the Roundtable for wider dissemination to the stakeholders in 2016. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Halal Hub for South Africa's KWZ-Natal Province?

( Economic Data comparison between South Africa v. KWZ Province )

The KwaZulu Natal province made a country-province presentation on the side-lines of the 11th WIEF 2015. Among the opportunities available is the setting-up of a halal hub in South Africa.

I am however a wee bit disappointed by the lack of specifics on the halal hub during the presentation though a flash drive was handed to the attendees.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

11th WIEF 2015 - "Building Resilience for EQUITABLE Growth", Attending/Attended.

11th WIEF website HERE
Previous WIEF event attended, Read HERE

I can't recall but this year's WIEF is not my first rodeo, as the saying goes.
Compared to previous experience, I would say its seen better days. The presence (or lack of it) of Presidents and Prime Ministers on the opening day itself is a good indicator.