Two finance experts from Masraf Al Rayan, the Gulf-based Islamic Investment and Commercial Bank, spoke at the 3rd Annual World Capital Markets and Islamic Funds Conference occuring in Bahrain from May 26-28.
Links between the Gulf Cooperation Council states and Asia have increased the demand for Shari'ah-compliant products. Islamic financial products could also serve as a catalyst to further deepening trade flows between East and west. Intra-Muslim-majority country links to promote education, the growth of human capital and increased availability of capital could increase entrepreneurship and development in majority Muslim countries.
Growth of the Islamic finance industry in Malaysia will be vertical compared to the growth in the number of firms in the Gulf Region, says KFH (Malaysia) Bhd chief economist Baljeet Kaur Grewal.
Greater innovation needed to continue the excitement generated by Islamic finance into the future, says Bahrain Islamic Bank chairman Khalid Abdulla Al Bassam.
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) plans to issue $1 billion in Islamic bonds (sukuk) according to Bishar Barzawi. No information of what use the funds would be for except 'general corporate purposes' and no details on the structure of the sukuk issuance which are typically backed by assets in most sukuk issues.
The Bank of Nova Scotia and the Toronto-Dominion Bank, the second and third largest banks by market capitalization in Canada plan to reconsider whether to begin offering Shari'ah-compliant financial products to attract business from Muslim customers who belive conventional products violate the prohibition of riba.
Malaysia's state owned holding company Khazanah Nasional Bhd may issue a Shari'ah-compliant exchangeable bond later this year. The company issued one last year convertable into shares of Telekom Malaysia.