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Malaysia’s Islamic Capital Market Leads The Way    
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By Kathleen Tan, theedgedaily.com

KUALA LUMPUR: The Securities Commission of Malaysia (SC) has emerged as the “best regulator for Islamic funds” at the inaugural Master of Islamic Funds Awards held in Dubai yesterday, acknowledging its pioneering efforts and leadership in the development and promotion of a comprehensive Islamic capital market.

“We are honoured by this award. It is an important recognition of our efforts to develop the Islamic investment management industry and the Malaysian Islamic financial market,” said SC chairman Datuk Zarinah Anwar in a statement here.

The international award endorsed the government’s initiative to position Malaysia as a global Islamic financial hub that specialised in the origination, distribution and trading of Islamic funds and wealth management. Co-winning the award was the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

DFSA signed a mutual recognition agreement with the SC in March 2007, opening the gateway for cross border distribution and marketing of Islamic funds between Malaysia and Dubai International Financial Centre — a first of its kind between two Islamic markets. The award was organised by Terrapin Pte Ltd, a global business media company that, among other things, specialises in producing global funds conference series.

“Malaysia has one of the most of the most innovative and comprehensive Islamic capital markets in the world, offering global investors a strong and attractive value proposition. With a diversified range of products and services, significant size and scale, and end-to-end syariah compliance, Malaysia is poised to be Asia’s gateway for Islamic investments,” she said.

Zarinah added that the country’s lead position in the Islamic capital market was reinforced by its facilitative regulatory framework for investment products and services. “Our track record in pioneering and commercialising new products, the depth and breadth of our markets and our robust regulatory framework will enable us to strengthen our linkages with other markets, and build bridges between currently fragmented pools of liquidity, allowing us to propel our Islamic capital market to the next phase of development,” she said.

Malaysia’s list of “world firsts” include the first global sovereign sukuk of US$600 million (RM2.03 billion), the first rated Islamic residential mortgage-backed securities, the first exchangeable sukuk of US$750 million and the first Islamic REIT.

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