Opportunities In Islamic Finance Grow

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Opportunities In Islamic Finance Grow

Opportunities In Islamic Finance Grow by Mark Mobius, Franklin Templeton Investments

I am convinced that opportunities exist in Islamic, or Shariah-compliant, investment products to address the investment needs of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslim citizens. I recently attended a conference on Islamic investment that Franklin Templeton organized in Dubai, where H.R.H. Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan and Royal Patron for Malaysia’s Islamic Finance Initiative, delivered the keynote speech. He reflected on the progress made by Islamic finance in recent years, and the challenges that remain. I believe the presence at our conference of such a distinguished and respected member of the Islamic financial community reflects well on the efforts both of our team in Malaysia (a key center for Islamic finance) and those within our wider organization.

The presence of the Royal Patron for Malaysia’s Islamic Finance Initiative at our conference in Dubai was no accident, as Malaysia and Dubai are among the strongest proponents of Shariah finance globally. Both countries have been active in developing institutional structures opening the way to the international development of Shariah-compliant products, including both Shariah equities and Sukuk, commonly referred to as Islamic bonds. Malaysian authorities, in particular, have been proactive in encouraging the development of a wider range of Shariah-compliant financial products, while Dub