Although Malaysia is a leader in Islamic finance research, very few of the research papers published have translated into feasible innovations, until recently. To help push the sector forward and bring the research and ideas to fruition, International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, with the support of Bank Negara Malaysia, the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia and the Malaysian Takaful Association, recently held the Islamic Finance InnoFest 2016. For this festival, INCEIF accepted idea submissions from all over the world, including Japan, Australia and Pakistan, to promote inclusiveness.
“We believe that to really push for innovation, we cannot be stuck in a silo. That is why it is not limited to only Malaysians,” says Associate Professor Dr Baharom Abdul Hamid, director at INCEIF’s Centre of Research and Publication and InnoFest chairman.
Malaysia is tightening rules for the $307 billion of stocks now deemed in compliance with Shariah law as it seeks to attract more investment from overseas Muslims. The Securities Commission will require companies to limit debt and cash that don’t conform to Koranic principles to less than 33 percent of total assets to qualify for Shariah listing, from no provision previously. The regulator will publish a revised list of equities next month from the current 801 that comply with religious tenets. The new regulations put the nation on a par with the conditions needed for inclusion in the Dow Jones Islamic Market World Index, which has a market capitalization of $14.9 trillion.