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Digitalisation and Financial Technology in Islamic Finance

In this issue, the newsletter highlights on digitalisation and financial technology (fintech), which could further spur growth of the Islamic finance industry and strengthen its resilience in the current environment. As part of the efforts in providing enabling ecosystem for the Islamic fintech, the Malaysian regulatory authorities and their Shariah Advisory Councils (SAC) have taken several regulatory initiatives such as issuing policy document, drafting regulatory framework and statements related to digitalisation and Islamic fintech. As an example, the SAC of Bank Negara Malaysia recently issued a ruling on electronic money (e-money), which is now a permissible payment instrument provided that the e-money is structured based on appropriate Shariah contract(s) to preserve the rights and obligations of the contracting parties. For more information on the ruling, kindly download the infographic below.

The second part of the newsletter features the recent developments and achievements of Malaysian Islamic finance industry players. These include introduction of new digital solutions and sustainability innovations for customers, as well as collaborative efforts with national initiatives to contribute to the development of Islamic economy as a whole. The newsletter also shares information on the upcoming webinars organised by reputable organisers for the readers to participate and gain knowledge from Malaysian and international experts in Islamic finance. 

Eid Adha Mubarak
The MIFC Team
Download infographic

SC's SAC permits trading of digital assets

The Securities Commission (SC)'s Shariah Advisory Council (SAC) has resolved that in principle, it is permissible to invest and trade in digital currencies and tokens on registered digital asset exchanges.
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Press Release

BNM issues policy document on e-KYC

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) issued a policy document on Electronic Know-Your-Customer (e-KYC). The policy document aims to accelerate and streamline practices of industry players in their adoption of e-KYC technology, the online process of identifying and verifying individual customers which is in line with BNM’s efforts to facilitate greater digital offerings of financial services.
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Press Release

SC seeks feedback on regulatory framework for digital asset wallet providers

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) is seeking industry feedback on the regulatory framework for digital asset wallet providers, which will complement the existing frameworks for Digital Asset Exchange and Initial Exchange Offering. Feedback on the framework for digital asset wallet providers must be provided to SC by 14 August 2020.
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MDEC and IFN publish Islamic fintech and digital inclusion report

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and IFN released the Islamic Fintech & Digital Financial Inclusion Report. The report includes input from senior decision-makers and leaders from the Islamic finance industry, including the government, regulators and fintech community which were shared during the ‘Islamic Fintech Dialogue 2020: Driving Financial Inclusion through Islamic Fintech’.
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Covid-19 offers opportunity for transformative developments

Lockdown measures have demonstrated how the capacity of a company or a bank to shift its business online is critical for its continuity. For Islamic banks, higher digitalisation and fintech collaboration could help strengthen resilience in a more volatile environment and open new avenues for growth.
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RM500 million Prihatin sukuk for Malaysians to help rebuild economy

The government is raising RM500 million sukuk issuance to Malaysians by September this year.  The RM500 million Prihatin sukuk provides opportunity for the rakyat and businesses to support the country's post-recovery efforts.The sukuk, which will be issued by the Ministry of Finance, is part of the RM35 billion Economic Recovery Plan (ERP).
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Press Release

The IFSB issues statements on regulatory measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) issued two statements addressing the implications of Covid-19 on certain elements of Islamic banking and Islamic capital markets. The statement on Islamic banking aims to clarify the treatment of payment moratoriums, the expected credit loss approach and profit-sharing investment accounts while the Islamic capital markets statement is focused on investor protection, and highlights areas for greater regulatory vigilance and appropriate regulatory responses.
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Press Release

AGEB issues statement in view of Covid-19 pandemic

The AAOIFI Governance and Ethics Board (AGEB) issued a statement on "Application of AAOIFI governance, ethics and auditing standards in view of the impact of Covid-19 pandemic" to provide clarifications and interpretations of the relevant standards, as well as to allow deferment of the effective date of certain AAOIFI governance, ethics and auditing standards.
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Recent developments of Malaysian Islamic finance industry players
CIMB Bank Berhad and CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad have introduced two digital-first solutions for customers, namely the online-to-branch account opening process for individual banking customers and Biz Financing Portal for small and medium enterprises. 
Standard Chartered Saadiq partners with HDC to catalyse growth of halal industry in Malaysia and beyond
Standard Chartered Saadiq and Halal Development Corp Bhd (HDC) have inked a memorandum of understanding to enable local halal businesses to expand beyond Malaysia.
Matrade and CIMB team up to help SMEs build export resilience
The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd are teaming up to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in building export resilience and attain new growth.
HSBC Amanah first international bank in Malaysia to be a part of UNGC
HSBC Amanah is now an official member and the only international bank in Malaysia to be a member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), via its local chapter, the Global Compact Malaysia (GCMY).  
RHB Islamic launches first recycled debit card
RHB Islamic Bank becomes the first bank in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region to introduce an eco-friendly recycled plastic debit card, through its collaboration with WWF-Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.
Bank Islam unveils new Islamic fixed income fund
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd unveiled a new wholesale Islamic fixed income fund, BIMB Shariah IncomePlus Fund which aims to provide sophisticated investors with a low risk investment portfolio offering regular monthly income distribution.
Upcoming Webinars
More info
Other upcoming Islamic finance webinars

Launch of Fintech Booster
Date: 4 August 2020 (10 am)

Managing credit risk in Islamic finance
Date: 4 August 2020 (10 am)

Islamic financial system: Principles & operations
Date: 6 August 2020 (2.30 pm)

Islamic treasury
Date: 17 August 2020 (2.30 pm)

Islamic fintech & digital banking
Date: 24 August 2020 (10 am)

Legal documentation for Istisna' financing
Date: 27 August 2020 (2.30 pm)

Click here for more information on upcoming webinars
Islamic Finance Dashboard
Global News on Islamic Finance
  1. QFTH open to include Islamic fintechs, SMEs in first wave of IAP
  2. Saudi Arabia grants fintech sukuk platform Wethaq experimental permit
  3. Indonesian Islamic fintech introduces haj savings feature targeted at millennials
  4. First step taken towards developing Islamic finance in Uzbekistan
  5. Islamic Development Bank Group launches USD2.3 billion Covid-19 package
  6. New IRTI Report Highlights the Potential of Islamic Social Finance in the Maghreb
  7. Global Sukuk Market: A Window of Opportunity is Opening
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