Sunday, August 23, 2009

SC discussion on Islamic structured products

The Securities Commission (SC) held the third International Islamic Capital Market Forum last week as part of its efforts to promote the understanding of Islamic structured products as well as to address related regulatory and market issues.
Islamic finance experts and scholars discussed various aspects relating to Islamic structured products, including how hedging tools can be incorporated into the Shariah-compliant portfolio, it said in a statement.
In some markets, it said basic instruments have been packaged into structured products with specific investment goals and risk profiles. Investment opportunities traditionally available to institutions and high net worth individuals are being made available to the general investing public. In her keynote address, SC chairman Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar cautioned that these products raise important investor protection concerns. As structured products become more sophisticated, so is the inherent risk attached to these instruments. Investors have thus been subjected to losses for being ill-informed.
More than 270 senior industry officials, issuers, investors and regulators from Malaysia and other countries attended the forum. Panelists included UAE's EIS Asset Management head of business development Haroon Ahmad, Singapore-based Amsar Partners LLP managing director Bernardo Vizcaino, Etiqa Takaful Bhd CEO Mohd Tarmidzi Ahmad Nordin, Maybank Islamic Bank Bhd acting CEO Ibrahim Hassan and SC managing director Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh. (The Malaysian Reserve, Aug 3, 2009, p32)

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