Islamic finance not immune to financial meltdown

Shahriman Shariff from Citi Islamic Malaysia talks about the impact of the credit crunch and the creation of Islamic best practices.

The world’s money markets may be down but financial activity is not totally out. In Malaysia, an emerging Islamic finance hub in Asia, the issuance of Islamic bonds, or sukuks, has continued i2008, although at a much slower pace than last year.

In the first nine months of the year, the total issuance volumes of sukuks in Malaysia totalled M$8 billion ($2.2 billion), according to a report by Malaysian rating agency RAM in November. The agency predicts total issuance for the year will reach M$30 billion, down from M$213 billion in 2007.

Against this backdrop, Shahriman Shariff, Citi Islamic Malaysia’s regional head of Islamic structuring, sat down with FinanceAsia to discuss Citi’s Islamic activities and the impact of the credit crunch on Islamic finance overall.

How has the credit crunch affected Islamic finance?
The economics, whether it’s Islamic or conventional finance, are still the same. If people

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