العدد الحالي: تشرين 1/اكتوبر 2018       اختر عدد :
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كلمة المجلس العام

Abdelilah BELATIK

Secretary General of CIBAFI

Welcome to the 67th edition of the Global Islamic Economics Magazine (GIEM). As always, it is our pleasure to keep you updated with the current updates and prospects on the global Islamic financial services industry (IFSI). The GIEM serves as a platform for CIBAFI to keep its stakeholders informed about its activities and key initiatives.

As part of its first Strategic Objective of Policy, Regulatory Advocacy, CIBAFI submitted its comments to the Accounting & Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) on its Exposure Draft (ED) Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) No. 34: “Financial Reporting for Sukuk-holders”. In its submission to AAOIFI, CIBAFI noted that the title of the ED may mislead into thinking that the ED is about financial reporting by sukuk-holders i.e. how investors in sukuk should account for their investments in their accounts. CIBAFI also noted that the ED classifies sukuk structures as “business sukuk” and “asset sukuk”. The explanations in the ED about this classification are notably short and it would be very difficult to assign many of the sukuk practically in issue to one category or the other. Another important matter is related to the adoption of the proposed standard as a part of most national frameworks. ED-34 states that the originator of the sukuk should make the disclosures as part of its own accounting. However, the originators of sukuk are not, in general, financial services firms, and would therefore not be required to use AAOIFI standards in those jurisdictions, which apply them to their Islamic financial institutions (IFIs). 

Detailed comments submitted to AAOIFI on (FAS) No. 34 are available on CIBAFI website www.cibafi.org.

As part of its second Strategic Objective of Research and Publications, CIBAFI presented its seventh Briefing under the title of “Rebranding as an expansion strategy for Islamic financial institutions”. This briefing considers the role of branding as one of the key factors in establishing the image of the Islamic finance industry and how it can help a bank build its reputation. The briefing discusses why branding plays a key role in impacting customers, and examines how Islamic banks can balance modern banking practices with the ethos of Islamic finance. The briefing highlights the importance of the strong branding of Islamic banks, which will not only facilitate understanding of the underlying Shariah banking principles, but will also tackle mis-conceptions about Islamic banking as a business model by communicating the right message about its value proposition. The briefing also discusses strategies for expanding the reach of Islamic banks to all types of customers.

In alignment with its second Strategic Objective of Research and Publications, CIBAFI and The World Bank launched their first joint publication titled “Corporate Governance Practices in Islamic Banks-2017” on 5th December 2017. CIBAFI and The World Bank have been working closely together to develop the Islamic finance industry under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in July 2015. The first joint study report breaks new ground in the field of corporate governance for Islamic banks. The study focused mainly on six themes within corporate governance: Board of Directors; Board Committees; Internal Control and External Audit; Risk Governance; Shariah Governance; and Transparency and Disclosure. Within each of these six themes, six additional individual items were identified for evaluation. Based on these themes and items, a Corporate Governance Index (CGI) was compiled using information from 77 Islamic Banks around the world. The findings and conclusions of the study are easily accessible and have clear implications for the day-to-day governance of Islamic banks.

In alignment with its third strategic objective of Awareness and Information Sharing, CIBAFI is pleased to have its 2018 edition of the Global Forum to be held in Turkey. The third Global Forum with the theme of “The New Face of Financial Services: Disruptions, Opportunities and the New Normals”, will be held on 2 – 3 May 2018 under the patronage of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency of Turkey (BRSA). CIBAFI’s Global Forum aims to bring stakeholders of change onto a platform to discuss ground breaking disruptions, which are setting a new normal for the global Islamic financial services industry. Top industry stakeholders from within and outside of the Islamic finance industry, multilateral development institutions, international and national regulatory bodies, policy-makers, leading technocrats, among others will discuss disruptions, opportunities and key emerging issues affecting the Islamic financial sector today. 

In 2017, CIBAFI successfully achieved all of its strategic goals and objectives as they were laid down in the Strategic Plan 2015 – 2018. With over 16 years of being an umbrella of Islamic financial institutions, CIBAFI will continue to embark on various initiatives in the years ahead.

CIBAFI would like to take this opportunity to thank its various stakeholders including CIBAFI’s Board of Directors for their support and encouragement to CIBAFI over more than one-and-a-half decade.

In spite of all the disruptions and breakthroughs in the Islamic finance industry, in addition to unrest and socio-political conditions in some jurisdictions, CIBAFI remains optimistic about the direction and the development of the industry. We hope that both professional and personal lives find peace and safety as we face a new set of challenges and opportunities in the upcoming year. Stay tuned!