Islamic Finance Must Address Challenges To Thrive: International Monetary Fund

2015-04-07 04:10:31 | Al Muslim News
Islamic Finance Must Address Challenges To Thrive: International Monetary Fund


The Islamic finance system faces several key challenges if it is to unlock its huge potential and develop safely, the International Monetary Fund said.
The ethical-based fast-growing sector, which bans speculation, still lacks regulatory and supervisory frameworks catering to its unique risks, the IMF said in a statement.
Islamic finance — the provision of financial services in accordance with sharia law — has so far been governed mostly by frameworks developed for conventional finance, ARY news reported. Cross-border operations of Islamic financial institutions have expanded considerably without regulatory harmonisation, the IMF said.
“These developments indicate a need for increased regulatory clarity and harmonisation, closer cooperation between Islamic and conventional financial standard-setters, and further enhancement of tools for effective supervision,†it said.
According the report, The industry is still largely nascent, lacking economies of scale and operating in an environment where legal and tax rules, financial infrastructure and access to financial safety nets and central bank liquidity are either absent or do not take its special characteristics into account, the IMF said.
Islamic finance bans interest, products with excessive uncertainty, gambling, short sales and financing prohibited activities considered harmful to society.
The industry is also based on shared profit and loss, which minimizes risk for banks and avoids dealing in debt and derivatives such as foreign exchange forwards and futures, the IMF said. The sector has doubled in size over the past four years and is now worth more than $2 trillion (1.76 trillion euros) as demand for its products rises rapidly.
Around 40 million of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are clients of the Islamic finance industry, which has surged in popularity since its niche market days of the early 1970s.
But it continues to represent less than two percent of global conventional banking assets of $140 trillion, it said.
Although Islamic regulatory bodies have established standards, different interpretations of religious texts and weak implementation mean they lack harmonisation.
The IMF said Islamic finance has the potential to contribute to the global economy, promising to foster greater financial inclusion, especially of large under-served Muslim populations.
Its emphasis on asset-backed financing and risk-sharing mean it could support small and medium-sized businesses, as well as investment in public infrastructure, said the IMF, also noting the importance of Sukuk, or Islamic bonds.
Islamic finance’s risk-sharing features and prohibition of speculation suggest that it may, in principle, pose less systemic risk than conventional finance, it said.
It may help promote macroeconomic and financial stability, the IMF said.
The principles of risk-sharing and asset-based financing can help promote better risk management by both financial institutions and their customers, as well as discourage credit booms.
The IMF said the challenges facing Islamic finance may not only be impeding its development, but could also encourage complex practices and products that carry heightened risks.
Also affecting the industry are slow innovation and a scarcity of sharia scholars with financial expertise, the IMF said.


Tags: #

Latest News

What to Next

Israel reopens Al Aqsa mosque, but Palestinians refuse to enter

JERUSALEM: Israel reopened an ultra-sensitive holy site on Sunday closed after an attack that killed two policemen, but Muslim worshippers were refusi... More

At Least 60 dead in 'US-Air strike' in Syria's al-Mayadeen

A suspected US-led coalition air raid on an ISIL-run prison in eastern Syria has killed at least 57 people, according to a monitoring group.  ... More

Kuwait launches online platform to educate migrant workers

Kuwait: Kuwait has launched an online platform in five languages Arabic, English, Hindi, Filipino and Urdu to educate foreigner workers on their legal... More

India forces martyr two more Kashmiri youth in IoK

SRINAGAR: Indian security forces, in their recent act of state act of terrorism, martyred 2 additional geographic areai youth in Kupwara district of o... More

Saudi Arabia Suddenly Has a New Crown Prince

King Salman removed his nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef, as crown prince. And he appointed his son to take on the position instead.... More

Turkey awards Pakistan Arm Chief Gen Bajwa Legion of Merit for his services

ANKARA: Chief of the military staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived here on Tuesday on an officer visit. The COAS visited the solon burial ch... More

Israel starts work on new settlement amid US peace push

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin announced the start of work Tuesday on a new settlement in the occupied West Bank as US envoys prepared to ... More

Syria army, opposition confirm nationwide truce

Syria's army said Thursday it would halt all military operations from midnight, under a deal brokered by Russia and Turkey, with the opposition Na... More

FBI obtains warrant to examine Clinton emails

WASHINGTON: Federal investigators have secured a warrant to examine newly discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton's private server, a source ... More

Russian Strikes 81 Killed in Syria

Eighty-one people were killed Wednesday when Russian warplanes struck rebel-held parts of Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo, according to a lo... More