ADIF to establish Kazakhstan as an Islamic financial hub


20/05/2015 09:27 AST

The Association for Development of Islamic Finance (ADIF) today announced the signing of memorandum on cooperation with Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB). ADIF solely supported by National Bank of Republic of Kazakhstan (NBRK), is responsible for promoting, enhancing and maintaining the Islamic financial sector and cooperation with investors from GCC and South East Asia.

The agreement was signed at the 12th IFSB Summit which took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Speaking at the Summit, Chairman of the Presidium, Zaratkazy Nurpiisov said, given the magnitude of Muslim population, enormous oil reserves, rich minerals and metal explorations the country has considerable advantages for Islamic finance.

According to Zaratkazy, “the expected implementation of the state driven financial policy will reflect positively on the Islamic industrial development of Kazakhstan and we expect the industry to continue to enjoy upward momentum with compounded average growth especially as more and more institutions from the GCC take interest in the country.” On the assignment of SRB, he added, “They have a proven track record of offering Shari’a Advisory services around the world and we believe they will successfully implement their institutional experience, capabilities and product structuring expertise within Kazakhstan," said Zaratkazy.

“Kazakhstan is a strategically important market in Central Asia, and we look forward to working with SRB and secure more commitments from local institutions as we plan to attract and promote Islamic financial products in the country,” said Timur Rustemov, Member of Presidium, ADIF. “We strongly believe that Kazakh’s robust market, strong economic growth, defined regulatory system will provide a favorable environment for the growth of the Islamic financial asset class.”

SRB was established in 2004, and since then, SRB has continued to build and expand its presence globally. It offers the market global expertise in Shari’a consultation solutions, Certification (fatwa) programs, product development, and financial equity screening. Their engagement with ADIF is expected to allow major financial institutions help launch Shari’a compliant products with various levels of delegation and responsibility. For example, some banks may want to continue to run their conventional business, but may want to launch selected Islamic funds. In this instance, the bank can outsource the Shari’a compliance management of its fund from certification to periodical Shari’a Audit to SRB that will then manage them on their behalf.

Speaking on the new assignment at the Summit, Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO and Founder of SRB said “We are thrilled at ADIF’s decision to include our company as there Shari’a Advisors, and for the value they place upon SRB’s ability to support the continued growth of the Islamic industry in Kazakhstani economy.” “We have built a solid foundation over the past decade serving the Islamic financial market in US, UK, Asia and the GCC. And we are firmly committed to building a lasting partnerships with ADIF, providing them and interested banks in the country innovative product development expertise and Shari’a advisory services on a range of banking, insurance, asset management and financial issues.”

The dynamics of global business are rapidly changing, and institutions from multiple industries are deploying Shari’a compliant modalities to expand their footprints. As Islamic markets worldwide are becoming knowledge-intensive, Kazakhstan will also need to evolve to become the most preferred destination for Shari’a compliant services. Banking on its rich manpower and skilled talent, Kazakhstan will need to develop knowledge process Islamic financial services and thus strengthen its position in the global Islamic financial industry.

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