Monday, October 02, 2006

First Islamic commodity-linked product

"Rush to tap into Islamic market", Financial Times, October 2, 2006
"Complex route to ensure that financial products receive scholars' approval", Financial Times, October 2, 2006

The Financial Times published two articles in its online edition that relate two Islamic finance. The first one describes the first commodity price-linked, Shari'ah-compliant product, launched by UBS. It also discusses the enormous growth in sukuk, as well as the growing (but small) secondary markets for sukuk. The second article discusses the problems with ensuring that products are Shari'ah-compliant. As has been discussed in numerous places, one of the main issues raised is the lack of harmonization of Shari'ah standards across the world, particularly between the Middle East and Malaysia. As the article points out, "Malaysian scholars, for example, are more willing than their Gulf counterparts, to accept derivatives and hedging." The other difficulty with Islamic financial instruments is that they must be approved each time they are used, not just when products different from established products are introduced.

No comments: