Baiza Bain had the opportunity to attend the recent World Islamic Economic Forum.
“It was a surreal experience as I had the opportunity to interact with a number of international delegates on areas that are outside my realm of Islamic finance. The various conversations I had certainly allowed me to have a different perspective on my area of practice. It made me realise that there are many ways in which Islamic finance could evolve to keep up with the rapidly changing times.
So, in what way has Islamic finance tried to keep up with the times? I remember having a conversation with an old friend who highlighted a unique initiative that is currently being worked on. This initiative was actually announced under Budget 2015. Called the Investment Account Platform (IAP), its aim is to diversify the roles that are currently being played by the Islamic financial institutions by way of adding on the responsibility of being an investment intermediary.
Foreign issuance of sukuk in Malaysia is anticipated to increase by 25%-30% next year from 10%-15% currently owing to the global economic calamities and eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
Amanie Advisors Sdn Bhd director Baiza Bain noted that the sukuk issue would be US dollar and ringgit denominated issues mainly from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Europe.
Asian Islamic Investment Management Sdn Bhd CEO and executive director Akmal Hassan has a positive outlook regarding the fact that the Government's pump priming activities would ignore impact from the tough external environment and this would augur well for the local economy and Islamic investment.