Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Review: Islamic Capital Markets

By Habhajan Singh

Malaysia has certainly made a mark in some aspects in Islamic capital markets (ICMs). Talk about sukuk, for example, and Malaysia is right at the top.

Now, a Malaysian-based institution has come up with a commendable work that will complement the ICM world.

International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) has put together a team to produce the 758-page book entitled Islamic Capital Markets — Principles and Practices.

One glance and you would want to have the book on your desk, especially if you are involved in ICM. It is beautifully put together.

The ICM, as the book rightly points out, is an integral and greater part of the Islamic financial market, which compliments the whole system of Islamic finance. Aside from sukuk, some key ICM products include Shariah-compliant securities, Islamic unit trusts, Islamic real estate investment trusts (Islamic REITs) and Islamic exchange-traded funds (Islamic ETFs).

To dig deep into them, ISRA had banded an impressive galaxy of experts.

The book is the end product of some 60 writers and reviewers.

Many of them are familiar names in the industry. Kudos to the preparers.

You have the likes of Prof Dr Abbas Mirakhor, the holder of Islamic finance chair at the Malaysian-based International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF).

He had served 24 years at the International Monetary Fund, serving as its executive director before retiring in 2008, before joining INCEIF.

You also have people deeply engaged in the sector. Lawyer Madzlan Mohamad Hussain and banker Rafe Haneef are just two of the fine examples.

Madzlan is a partner and head of ZICO law firm’s Islamic financial services practice.

Rafe Haneef is the CEO at HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd.

The texbook combines both the conceptual framework which is based on Shariah principles and the various practices of the ICM operations discussed through exhibits
and case studies.

The 15 chapters cover five major parts: ICM overview, Shariah framework for ICM, general framework, ICM components and finally issues, challenges and future challenges.

Each chapter clearly outlines the learning outcomes. This is a handy guide as to what to expect. Each chapter also ends with a neat summary, a brief explanation of the key terms and concepts, a set of references, suggested further readings, multiple choice questions and a review of questions and problems. That would be handy for students, especially.

The book, co-published with the Securities Commission Malaysia, has a pleasing layout.

The book is certainly a neat, colourful and comprehensive work. It is a must-have item for anyone and everyone even remotely involved in the ICM world.

Original article entitled 'A Must-Have Item For Those Involved In ICM' appeared in The Malaysian Reserve (13 July 2015)