Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)

Bank Negara: Islamic finance will focus on quality growth

#Malaysia is second only to Saudi Arabia in terms of Islamic banking in the world. Of the US$71 billion Syariah-compliant asset funds managed, 33% are in Malaysia. The country’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) continues to raise awareness of Malaysia as an international Islamic financial centre. According to BNM assistant governor Marzunisham Omar, the next area of focus is quality growth. The 16 Islamic banks and 11 takaful operators are seeing value-returns by embarking on initiatives through Value-Based Intermediation (VBI). VBI is a business strategy by Islamic financial institutions, driven by a desire to create value rather than focus on short-term objectives. VBI is a business strategy of the institution to drive growth and sustain growth. It is a collaborative effort by the central bank together with Islamic banking institutions. Today nine Islamic banks are already involved and the central bank is working to develop a value-based scorecard to measure the success of banking institutions.

BNM to measure VBI adoption in Islamic FIs

Bank Negara #Malaysia is developing a scorecard with Islamic banking players that will measure the adoption of value-based intermediation (VBI) initiative. According to deputy governor Abdul Rasheed Abdul Ghaffour, the VBI marks the next step to realise the full potential of Islamic finance. The VBI Community of Practictioners (COP) includes nine Islamic banking institutions, Bank Islam, Bank Muamalat, CIMB Islamic, Agrobank, HSBC Amanah, Maybank Islamic, AmBank Islamic, Alliance Islamic and Standard Chartered Saadiq. While VBI shares similarities with ethical finance, ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) and SRI (sustainable, responsible, impact investing), the distinguishing factor is the Syariah aspect. Business propositions from new sectors such as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would benefit from financial applications based on potential value creation and not just their credit scores.

Do more to boost Islamic #trade finance

As the World Trade Organisation (WTO) reaffirmed commitment to its Aid for Trade initiative, the outlook for global trade over the next two years is indeed mixed. WTO is forecasting that global trade will expand by 2.4% this year and between 2.1 to 4% next year, reflecting the continued uncertainty of the global economy. In Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Muhammed Ibrahim wants Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry to boost trade finance to increase largely untapped business opportunities using technological capture. BNM is keen for Syariah-compliant trade financing to support 10% of total trade in the next three years. Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry has assets under management totalling RM742 billion. BNM wants the industry to leverage this pole position and to account for 40% of total financing in Malaysia by 2020.

#Takaful Ikhlas to introduce online platform by year-end

Takaful Ikhlas aims to introduce its online platform for basic term life insurance to encourage youths to obtain insurance coverage. Senior Vice-President, Wan Rosli Shaharuddin Wan Yaacob is optimistic the online platform will attract youths as they will be able to compare the products' features, policies, as well as pricing via the platform. He said Malaysians below 35 years old currently constituted the largest group in the country who have yet to be covered by any insurance company. According to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Financial Stability and Payments Report 2016, Malaysia's overall insurance penetration remained flat, within the range of 54% to 56% over the last five years. The central bank had earlier set the penetration rate target at 75% by 2020. It specifies that standalone protection products must be available through direct channels from Jan 1, 2017, followed by critical illness and medical and health insurance/takaful products by Jan 1, 2018.

Allianz gets nod to start talks to buy HSBC Amanah #Takaful

Allianz Malaysia has received the green light to begin stalks to acquire HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia). According to Allianz, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has no objection in principle for Allianz to commence negotiations with HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings, JAB Capital and the Employees Provident Fund Board on the proposed acquisition. This is subject to all parties concluding the negotiations within six months from BNM's written approval. Pursuant to the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013, parties concerned are required to obtain the prior written approval from BNM or the Minister of Finance on the recommendation of BNM, before entering into any agreement to effect the proposed acquisition.

Re-energising Islamic finance talent

The central bank of #Malaysia plans to undertake an in-depth review of important organisations to re-energise the Islamic finance talent development landscape. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said over the years, the central bank had established specialised institutions to enrich the talent ecosystem. These include the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, International Shari’ah Research Academy (ISRA), Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM), the Chartered Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals and the Association of Shariah Advisors in Islamic Finance Malaysia. Ibrahim noted that the new Educator’s Manual on Shariah Standards on Murabahah has several benefits for universities and stakeholders. One benefit is strategising talent deployment, while another area is the reconfiguration of academic programme to nurture talent with enhanced employability.

Bank Negara Launches Educator's Manual On Shariah Standards

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) launched the Educator's Manual on Shariah standards and operational requirements in accordance with the Murabahah principle. BNM Governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said the manual serves as an important material towards enhancing the quality of Islamic finance education. The manual was developed by BNM together with the International Shari'ah Research Academy for lslamic Finance (ISRA) and the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM). A panel of 20 experts in various fields contributed to its content.

#Malaysia’s central bank closes its investigation after 1MDB pays fine

Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), announced it has closed its investigations into 1MDB after the investment firm paid a fine for non-compliance with local financial regulations. The Finance Ministry insisted that there was no misappropriation but only administrative weakness in the firm. However, 1MDB will be barred from borrowing public funds. Malaysia’s Deputy Finance Minister, Johari Abdul Ghani, said 1MDB will be dissolved once it pays off its debts. The firm currently has debts totalling RM50 billion ($16 billion) as of January, as opposed to assets of RM53 billion.

AmFamily Takaful Berhad Commences Family Takaful Business

AmFamily Takaful Berhad is determined to contribute towards the growth and development of the Islamic finance industry. AmTakaful is registered as a takaful operator by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to continue family takaful business beginning with 9 January 2012.
Combining the expertise of its shareholders and Shariah principles and values, AmTakaful will be presenting a wide range of family takaful solutions to meet the evolving lifestyle needs of all Malaysians.

IILM To Issue First Sukuk In 6 Months, Says Zeti

The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) is assumed to launch its first sukuk in the next six months, as it will contribute to better liquidity management. The statement was given by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Zeti akhtar Aziz.
IILM has the purpose to enhance the availability of liquid Shariah-based Islamic financial market instruments. This is a crucial step in promoting more efficient cross-border liquidity management for Islamic financial institutions to sustain increased cross-border flows.

New INCEIF chief outlines three key objectives

Daud Vicary Abdullah is the ew president and chief executive officer of the International Center for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), the Islamic finance education arm of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). He requested a much closer alignment between the global Islamic finance industry and the providers of human capital development.
Vicary added that he is worried about global standards in Islamic finance and strongly believes that the development of standards in many areas, are vital to the continuing growth of the industry.

Plan To Issue Mega Islamic Bank Licences Still In Progress

Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) plan to issue up to two mega Islamic bank licences is still on progress. The right investors must be found.
Datuk Mohd Razif Abdul Kadir, the deputy governor, said BNM hoped to issue the licences this year.

BNM consults market on Shariah parameter for Istisna contracts

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) published last week the draft of its latest Shariah consultation on Islamic financial products, the "Concept Paper of Shariah Parameter Reference 5: Istisna Contract (SPR5)". SPR5 is aimed at becoming the true source of reference on the nature and features of the Istisna contract for the Islamic financial services industry and to facilitate the consistent implementation of the contract in the Malaysian financial market.

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