Short course on IF for regulators from Kyrgyz Republic

14 July 2016 – Kuala Lumpur: INCEIF today successfully concluded a 4-day programme on “Sukuk, Equities and Takaful as Tools of Economic Development” for officials from the State Service For Financial Regulations & Supervision, Kyrgyz Republic.

The participants got a brief insight into the workings of Islamic finance during the four days from INCEIF’s three Subject Matter Experts.

On Day One, INCEIF Deputy Director, Centre of Research and Publications, Assoc Prof Dr Ahcene Lahsasna tackled issues on the composition of Islamic finance, concept of Shariah, Fiqh and Islamic Law and concept of  Usul Fiqh (Islamic  jurisprudence) under the Shariah for Islamic Finance topic.  Dr Ahcene also shared with the participants his industry experience as a registered Shariah Advisor at Bank Negara Malaysia and Securities Commission Malaysia. He also serves as Shariah Board member of Maybank Islamic, Etiqa Takaful and RGA Re-Takaful. 

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Day Two saw INCEIF Professor of Finance Prof Dr Obiyathulla Ismath Bacha sharing the knowledge on Islamic capital market  & Sukuk by giving an overview of capital market, detailing the role and function of capital markets. He also touched on the underlying Shariah principle and philosophy of an Islamic capital market as well as a topic on differences among Sukuk by contracts. Professor Obiyathulla began his working career as a Credit Officer at Maybank. Subsequent to completing his doctoral studies, he was appointed an Assistant Professor of Finance at Boston University, where he taught at both the MBA and undergraduate levels and won the Allen E. Beckwith Award for Excellence in Teaching. Internationally, he has conducted training programmes in Islamic capital markets at the University of Luxembourg, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Waseda University and Lahore University of Management Sciences. 

IMG_4721Group photo of participants from Kyrgyz Republic.

Dean of School of Professional Studies, Mr Ezamshah Ismail, took Day Three to introduce participants to Islamic equities market & Takaful. During the day, he shared with participants an overview of the stock screening methodologies and other equity market instruments. His session also touched on development of Takaful, Takaful business models and Takaful regulations & current issues relating to Takaful. Mr Ezamshah is currently a director at The Malaysian Rating

Corporation Bhd and a Shariah Supervisory Board Member of RGA Global Reinsurance Company Limited (Labuan Branch) for its re-takaful business. He has wide experiences in the insurance and Takaful industry. Previously, he served as CEO of Hong Leong Tokio Marine Takaful Bhd and Commerce Life Assurance Bhd.

On the last day, during a site visit, participants had a first-hand look at the operations of two regulatory bodies which play a significant role in the development of Islamic finance in Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia and Securities Commission Malaysia.

A recent study finds that there is an overwhelming demand for Islamic finance among smaller business in the Kyrgyz Republic. A report by IFC, a member of The World Bank Group, revealed that 80 percent of micro, small, and medium enterprises are interested in Shariah-compliant financing, a market that could be worth up to US$456 million for lenders. Despite that potential, the study – Islamic Banking and Finance: Opportunities across MSMEs in the Kyrgyz Republic – found that Islamic finance was not widely available because of a lack of awareness and the high cost of structuring transactions. That is something Kyrgyz officials are working to change.

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