Securities Commission Malaysia

Responsible finance: #Malaysia leads the way with new guidelines

The Securities Commission Malaysia recently issued its 'Guidelines on Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) Funds' to promote the growth of such funds in Malaysia. Often termed as ethical investments, SRI investments not only provide benefits to society, but also encourage corporate practices that embrace environmental stewardship, consumer protection, human rights and diversity. The new guidelines, which enable market funds to be designated as SRI funds, will widen the range of SRI products. According to the new guidelines, the policies and strategies of SRI funds must adopt one or more sustainability considerations such as the UN Global Compact Principles, the Sustainable Development Goals and other environmental, social or governance factors. The Guidelines also introduce additional disclosure and reporting requirements to encourage more transparency.

Nominations open for Royal #Award for Islamic Finance

The Royal Award for Islamic Finance is on a global search for an exceptional individual in the field of Islamic finance. The biennial award is spearheaded by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia. It recognises Islamic finance visionaries who contribute significantly to the growth of Islamic finance. The award recipient is selected by an independent seven-member international jury chaired by Tun Musa Hitam. The most recent recipient of the Royal Award for Islamic Finance in 2016 was Prof Datuk Dr Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim. He was instrumental in founding the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB). The closing date for nominations is March 31, 2018, and interested persons can submit their nominations online.

Wanted – Islamic financial specialists

Rapid growth in Islamic finance in recent years is pushing up demand for more experts in the field, with the Financial Accreditation Agency (FAA) identifying five key areas in which specialists are urgently needed.
However, programmes offered by local universities now are too generic and provide only a broad-based education on Islamic finance, noted FAA chief executive Dr Amat Taap Mashor in an interview with The Edge Financial Daily.
The industry and its future growth, at the very least, require experts that are specialised in compliance, risk management, governance, audit and the syariah principles guiding all these areas of expertise, he said.
“What is needed now are specialised areas of studies. Currently, if someone wants to specialise in risk management for Islamic finance, the [local] universities might offer only one class on risk management. How is the student supposed to develop the depth of knowledge needed [in] Islamic finance?
“Without a depth of knowledge in syariah principles, how can you design a syariah-compliant product?” asked Amat.

ISRA and SC launch joint publication on "Islamic Capital Markets: principles and practices"

The International Shari'ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) and the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) have launched a joint publication on "Islamic Capital Markets: Principles and Practices." The textbook serves as a vital source of reference to academicians, students and practitioners on the key principles underlying the Islamic capital market operations and its practices. It covers a variety of topics related to Islamic capital markets, including Shari'ah, regulatory and corporate governance frameworks, risk management, accounting and taxation, sukuk, the equity market, unit trust funds, ETFs, REITs, private equity and venture capital, derivatives and structured products. As the co-publisher and co-sponsor of the textbook, the SC is confident that the textbook will enhance the skills of the Islamic capital market talent pool.

SC, OCIS host Islamic finance roundtable

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) co-hosted the 5th annual Roundtable on Islamic Finance in Kuala Lumpur on March 22 and 23. The roundtable, themed ’Harnessing Waqf Into a Bankable Social Financing and Investment Asset Class’ discussed the development of waqf and how it can contribute towards broadening the Islamic finance industry globally. Industry practitioners and scholars from around the world gathered to discuss challenges and potential of waqf in the philanthropic spheres, including issues of legislation, governance and professionalism, and capital. The global effort to harness Waqf into a bankable social financing and investment asset class is also in line with the SC’s strategy to identify new growth segments to further internationalise Malaysia.

Saudi Arabia, Malaysia discuss Islamic finance

A Malaysia International Finance Centre (MIFC) delegation, headed by Raja Nazrin Shah, crown prince of Perak, visited Saudi Arabia recently to promote Islamic finance relations. The 33-member delegation included representatives of 17 Islamic banks and 12 Islamic fund management companies and some asset management firms, aside from Takaful operators, and legal and other professional services firms.
With the sukuk market acquiring going global dimensions market education and knowledge, especially of Islamic Capital Markets (ICM), becomes a necessity. This is met by the Islamic Markets Programme (IMP), which is held annually by the Securities Industry Development Corporation (SIDC), the training and development arm of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).

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