The second day of the IFSB Summit 2017 saw thought leaders and key players of the Islamic financial services industry deliberate on the way forward for the Islamic finance industry in terms of strengthening value proposition while lowering transaction complexities through greater standardisation.
The panellists were overwhelmingly of the view that the Islamic finance industry needs to embrace recent technological advances to improve its offerings, reduce transaction costs, and increase financial access to wider segments of society.
A session called ‘Islamic Capital Markets: Towards Greater Harmonisation in Cross Border Activities was chaired by the Asian Development Bank’s Ashraf Mohammed, assistant general counsel and practice leader – Islamic finance.
Dr. Obaid Al Zaabi, acting CEO, Securities and Commodities Authority, UAE, stressed the need for achieving harmonisation in not only ICM regulations and legal frameworks, but also in widely acceptable global Shari’ah standards governing ICM products. He was concerned about higher fee structures of Sukuk compared to conventional bonds and saw regulatory and Shari’ah standardisation as a way to mitigate this challenge.