Islamic finance set sights on standard for gold-based products

The Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) said last week that it had taken up the development of a standard for gold, a project which was launched last year by the World Gold Council (WGC), a London-based market development body. The WGC published an exposure draft in November which analysts believe could accelerate the timetable for the creation of a final standard. Such drafts have traditionally taken AAOIFI scholars two years to develop internally. The WGC's draft outlines several uses for gold such as investment accounts, derivative contracts, security collateral, exchange-traded funds and Islamic bonds, said Natalie Dempster, WGC managing director of central banks and public policy.