In conjunction with the Global Islamic Finance Forum 2014 (GIFF 2014), INCEIF today held two back-to-back thought leadership sessions.

The first session is the “INCEIF: In Conversation” where INCEIF Professor of Comparative Economics History Prof Dr Murat Cizakca explained the concept of Esham to a 250-strong audience.

In his presentation titled “Esham: The next big thing in Islamic Finance”, Prof Murat who is a noted expert on Ottoman economy shared INCEIF’ findings on how Esham could be updated for modern day application.

Esham was first introduced in the 18th century by the Ottoman government. By utilising Esham as an instrument of public borrowing, the government borrowed money from the public to finance a huge war indemnity. Esham’s unique characteristic which also made it an attractive investment tool to those seeking Shariah compliant product is the fact that although it yielded fixed income to its investors, it also conformed to Shariah law particularly being free of riba.

Prof Murat said the updated version of Esham could be utilised by Islamic governments to finance development projects and do so in conformity with the Islamic law. Moreover, since Esham provides its investor with fixed income, it would be an ideal saving instrument for the rising middle classes everywhere in the Islamic world. Therefore, Muslims who want to another option currently offered by Islamic banks could find in Esham a welcome new alternative way of saving for their old age and children.

Following his presentation, Prof Murat was joined by ISRA Executive Director Prof Dr Mohamad Akram Laldin and First Holder INCEIF Chair of Islamic Finance Prof Dr Abbas Mirakhor in a panel discussion on Esham from the Shariah and commercial aspects.

(From left) Prof. Murat Cizakca, Prof Abbas Mirakhor and Prof Mohamad Akram Laldin.

The second session was the INCEIF Masterclass themed “Critical links of a global marketplace”.  Speakers for the masterclass were:

  1. Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz, CEO, Hong Leong Islamic Bank, “Building an international Islamic liquidity platform”
  2. Dr Amat Taap Manshor, CEO, Finance Accreditation Agency, “Islamic Finance education & professional training: Quality issues & challenges”
  3. Simon Gray, Independent Regulatory Consultant, “The need for emerging markets to have effective regulations in place”
  4. Prof. Nora Ann Colton, Deputy Vice Chancellor, University East London, “Developing the next generation of Islamic Finance experts: East and West”.

Apart from the thought leadership sessions, INCEIF also announced an upcoming joint executive programme with The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). A MoU was inked between INCEIF and the UK-based CIARB at a signing ceremony which was witnessed by Acting British High Commissioner Paul Rennie. Both parties would collaborate to deliver courses on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Islamic finance and banking.

(From left) Daud Vicary Abdullah, Raja Teh Maimunah, Simon Gray, Dr. Amat Taap Manshor and Prof. Nora Ann Colton.

INCEIF President & CEO Mr Daud Vicary Abdullah signed on behalf of INCEIF while CIArb was represented by Chair of CIArb’s Education and Membership Committee and a member of CIArb’s Board of Management Prof Rashda Rana FCIArb.

The collaboration between INCEIF and CIArb is focused on expanding the range of dispute resolution options available in Islamic finance. With the rise of the global Islamic financial services industry, this partnership is timely in facilitating the resolution of future commercial opportunities.

The biannual GIFF 2014, entering its fourth year, was held from 2 Sep to 4 Sep at Sasana Kijang Bank Negara Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.




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