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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Malaysia: Sunway gets approval for RM2b sukuk programme

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — Sunway Treasury Sukuk Sdn Bhd has received authorisation from the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to establish an Islamic commercial paper/medium term note (MTN) programme of up to RM2 billion. 

Sunway Treasury Sukuk, a special purpose vehicle, is wholly-owned by Sunway Treasury Sdn Bhd, which in turn is wholly-owned by Sunway Bhd.
Pursuant to the sukuk programme, Sunway Treasury could issue Islamic commercial papers and/or Islamic MTN under the Shariah principle of Mudharabah.
“The sukuk programme shall have a tenure of up to seven years from the date of the first issuance and proceeds shall be utilised to finance investment activities, capital expenditure, working capital requirements and repay future borrowings,” Sunway said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia.
The company would also utilise RM30,000 to fund the Trustee’s Reimbursement Account as required under the SC’s Trust Deed Guidelines.
(Malay mail Online / 22 August 2014)
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Pakistan: UIC permitted to launch Takaful operations

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has allowed United Insurance Company (UIC) to launch Takaful operations.
The notification issued by SECP in this regard said that UIC has been granted permission to launch Window Takaful operations in respect of general Takaful products, according to a statement issued by UIC here Tuesday.
Takaful is a type of insurance system devised to comply with the Shariah laws, in which money is pooled and invested. Commenting on this development, United International Group Chairman Mian Shahid – of which UIC is a member company – lauded SECP for permitting conventional insurance companies to launch Takaful which is the Islamic alternative to mainstream insurance products.
“This decision of the government will help broaden the insurance base as the public concern on the insurance being incompatible with Shariah was barring growth of this sector,” he added.
Shahid informed that after official authorisation UIC will venture into untapped areas and increase insurance penetration which is less than one percent of GDP.
Takaful has emerged as a Shariah-compliant tool for satisfying risk mitigation needs of the tens of millions of Muslims across the world. The western financial crises have developed interest of the masses in the non-Muslim nations to study and subscribe to Islamic financial products.
Earlier, only dedicated Takaful companies were allowed to underwrite Takaful products but now the conventional companies can begin to underwrite Takaful products after obtaining authorisation as “Window Takaful Operator” under the Takaful Rules 2012.

(The Express Tribune / 20 August 2014)
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Malaysia: Islamic finance needs more talent, says DPM

THE growing number of local public and private universities offering Islamic finance and muamalat programmes is an encouraging sign as the rapid growth of the industry can only be sustained with a continuous supply of talents.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said with student enrolment in Islamic finance programmes rising each year, there is a growing need to recruit highly qualified lecturers and trainers to develop talents at universities and colleges as they will lay the foundation of Islamic finance education.
“This will ensure a brighter future for our financial industry, as it will be the main beneficiaries of well-trained graduates,” said Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister, when launching the International Council of Islamic Finance Educators (ICIFE), here, yesterday.
He credited Bank Negara Malaysia, Securities Commission Malaysia, syariah scholars and 
the Islamic financial industry for elevating the country’s Islamic finance marketplace to the current level of sophistication.

He pointed out that the Malaysian Islamic banking sector has continued to outperform the conventional banking sector with average annual asset growth rate of 18.6 per cent from 2008 to 2012, against 9.3 per cent growth in the same period for the conventional banking segment.
On a global level, Malaysian Islamic banking assets, including development finance institutions (DFIs), has a 13 per cent share of the total global Islamic banking assets, behind Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Regionally, Malaysian Islamic banking assets make up more than 85 per cent of total in Southeast Asia’s Islamic banking industry, Muhyiddin said.
He said Malaysia also remains at the forefront in sukuk bonds, also known as Islamic debt issuance.
Sukuk has been the preferred financing structure for infrastructure projects and investments in key sectors such as utilities, healthcare, transportation and education, both locally and abroad.
He said it is a fact that one of the challenges faced by Islamic finance worldwide is the inadequate supply of talents and professionals who are equipped with both syariah and product knowledge.
“In this respect, we acknowledge the role played by Bank Negara Malaysia in setting up institutions such as Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM), The Global University of Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Asian Institute of Finance (AIF) and International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) to train and provide financial industry executives and managers with the knowledge on Islamic finance and syariah best practices.
“The Malaysian Securities Commission, along with the Securities Industry Development Corporation (SIDC), have also stepped forward in developing talents through their Islamic capital market graduate training scheme,” Muhyiddin added.

The ICIFE was set up by a taskforce comprising Bank Negara, International Islamic University of Malaysia, Education and Higher Learning Ministry, INCEIF and the Asian Institute of Finance AIF.
(Business Times / 22 August 2014)
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