Malaysia is on track to become a leading global Islamic finance hub with an Islamic capital market worth almost 2 trillion ringgit (US$484.25 billion), or over 60% of its overall capital market last year, according to Deputy Finance Minister Amiruddin Hamzah.
He says Malaysia has made much progress in Islamic finance in recent years, including being the first country to issue green sukuk or Islamic bonds.
Mr. Amiruddin says Malaysia’s Islamic capital market was valued at 1.88 trillion ringgit at the end of 2018, accounting for 60.65% of the total capital market, which was worth 3.1 trillion ringgit. That was up from 1.59 trillion ringgit, or a 57.61% share in 2014, when the total capital market was valued at 2.76 trillion ringgit.
“The Thomson Reuters’ Islamic Finance Development Report 2018 showed that Malaysia remains a leader among 56 countries for Islamic finance institutions,” he told lawmakers in the Malaysian Parliament on April 22. His remarks are contained in the Hansard published on the parliamentary website.
Mr. Amiruddin notes that many Malaysian banks have been appointed as arrangers and managers for sovereign sukuk issuance in a number of countries, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Turkey and the UK, which he says is testimony that the country is seen as a leading Islamic finance player globally.
He also says that although the Malaysian Islamic finance industry has grown significantly in recent years, it’s important to increase the talent pool to strengthen the industry.
According to Mr. Amiruddin, the Kuala Lumpur-based International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance offers bachelor’s and doctorate programmes that can provide the expertise needed to raise the sector to an international level.