Mohammad Damak

#Governance structures of Islamic finance needs fine tuning

According to rating agency Standard & Poor’s, due to the fast growth of the Islamic finance industry a robust Sharia governance structure is very important. While the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) have already made strides in this area, S&P believes the current governance framework shows room for improvement. S&P's Global Head of Islamic Finance Mohammad Damak said the industry would benefit from increased disclosure, as well as clear standardised Sharia principles and interpretation. Analysts say as Islamic finance industry expands, enhanced Sharia governance framework could address risks related to conflicts of interest. Only a handful of Islamic banks disclose their profit and loss sharing formulas, profit equalisation reserves, or investment risk reserves. Actions requested by internal auditors are typically not disclosed to the public. So far only the authorities in Oman and Pakistan have asked Islamic banks to submit themselves to an external Sharia audit.

#Islamic institutions and yield seekers push up #sukuk demand

On the demand side, the institutional demand for high quality liquid assets are expected to keep sukuk demand high. As we get closer to the deadline of Basel III implementation, the lack of liquidity management instruments in Islamic finance is pushing this issue to the forefront.
Among the global economic developments, one positive driver for sukuk issuance could be the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing that might prompt some European investors to take positions on higher-yielding but riskier emerging-markets assets such as sukuk. Negative interest rates in Europe and Japan also are likely to attract investor of Gulf sukuk issues.
In 2015, the market saw $11.3 bn (17% to the total) in sukuk issuance for liquidity management purposes. The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corp. alone issued $6.4 bn and is actively working on providing solutions to the market. Other stakeholders such as sovereign and central banks are now conscious of the role they have to play. In 2015, the market also saw another $4.9 bn issued in form of capital-boosting sukuk by financial institutions in the GCC and Malaysia.

Syndicate content