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UK keen to collaborate with Malaysia on Islamic finance
"Speaking on behalf of the British government, we are very excited to continue working with Malaysia, which is not only a pioneer but also the reigning leader in Islamic finance," said Deputy British High Commissioner, Paul Rennie.
"In fact, we are (keen) to work with Malaysia (to) explore the Islamic finance industry further,” he said.
Rennie had earlier officiated the one-day inaugural Islamic Finance Innofest 2016 (IFInnoFest), which aims to highlight alternative Islamic finance solutions for some of the current issues and challenges faced within the industry.
"The competition that we face now in the areas of finance, be it Islamic or conventional, are not from governments, but from online media and the things that are springing up around us," said Rennie.
"What we see as disruptions are just us not keeping up with how the world is going, which is to be quick enough to both explore and innovate new ideas," Rennie added.
He went on to say that there is a great capital trap between borders, especially within the microfinance segment, which could be ironed out with greater collaboration.
"There is still so much to do and I hope that continuous collaboration between all stakeholders will help enable smoother capital flows for the benefit of all, economically and individually," said Rennie.
The United Kingdom had in June 2014 became the first non-Muslim country to launch a sovereign Sukuk, which signals its recognition and acceptance of the potential of Islamic finance in global markets.
“The issuance of Britain’s first sovereign Sukuk delivers on the government’s commitment to become the western hub of Islamic finance and is part of our long term economic plan to make Britain the undisputed centre of the global financial system," said Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, at the launch of the issuance, then.
"We have seen very strong demand for the Sukuk, resulting in a price that delivers good value for money for the taxpayer. I hope that the success of this government’s issuance will encourage further private sector issuances of Sukuk in the UK,” said Rennie.
Local financial giant, CIMB Investment Bank Bhd acted as the Joint Lead Manager and Bookrunner for the £200 million Sukuk offering by HM Treasury UK Sovereign Sukuk PLC, a special purpose vehicle wholly-owned by Her Majesty’s Treasury.
The Sukuk was priced on June 25, 2014 at 2.036 per cent, representing a spread of 0 basis points (bps) relative to the yield on the 1¾ per cent Treasury Gilt 2019 and the price is set at £100.
The deal was significantly oversubscribed by more than 10 times, attracting interest in excess of over £2 billion.
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