Zamir Iqbal

GCC financial regulators encouraged to promote use of sukuk to fund infrastructure

The value of sukuk being issued in the GCC has been falling, but there is still opportunity in the market, Zamir Iqbal, lead financial sector specialist at the World Bank said. The potential lies in the huge infrastructure financing, but a proper legal and tax environment for the structuring of the sukuk and the SPV laws must be established. There’s already excess liquidity in the market, and banks are looking for high-quality, highly-rated sukuk, Iqbal noted. The International Monetary Fund said in November that the GCC region was suffering from a lack of availability of Sharia'a compliant financial instruments, or tradable assets, leading to excess liquidity and to an uneven playing field for Islamic banks.

Emerging markets must enable Islamic finance: World Bank

Emerging markets must create the valid legal conditions and a “level playing field” to gain access to Islamic finance at the international level, Zamir Iqbal, the head of the World Bank Global Islamic Finance Development Center, has told Anadolu Agency.

“Islamic finance uses the techniques of securitization. This means that a good enabling environment for structured finance is needed”, Iqbal said, while speaking at a G-20 forum on Islamic finance in Istanbul.

Securitization, or structured finance, is the process of taking assets that produce income and using them to create security. In Islamic finance, all securities are linked to income-producing assets.

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