THE positive progress of the Islamic capital market in Brunei was recently highlighted during a keynote address at the Brunei Darussalam Islamic Capital Market (BICAM) Conference 2018.
The two-day BICAM Conference 2018 was hosted by the Centre for Islamic Banking, Finance and Management (CIBFM) and its event partner, the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) at The Rizqun International Hotel on October 22-23.
The keynote address was delivered on October 22 by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, who is also the Deputy Chairman of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) Board of Directors.
As was reported following the event’s first day, during the keynote address it was shared that Syariah-compliant assets in Brunei Darussalam have shown remarkable growth in the second quarter of this year compared to two years ago, increasing 82 per cent.
“The sovereign Sukuk market also continues to grow with the continuous support of the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. The total amount of issuances has reached BND12.3 billion so far, growing by more than 10 per cent annually on average for the past five years,” he said.
It was also shared that Islamic funds distributed to domestic investors have held steady ground, totalling around BND100 million since 2017.
The minister added that a major milestone in the Islamic capital market is the construction of the new AMBD building which will be funded through the issuance of Sukuk Ijarah Mausufah Fi Zimmah, the first infrastructure project in Brunei to utilise Sukuk financing.
The minister gave a forecast on the Islamic capital market in Brunei Darussalam in five years’ time, saying, “The market is still young, but five years from now, I hope to see a deep capital market that drives sustainable economic development through the efficient mobilisation of funds, leading to a thriving private sector and job creation.
“To get there, we will need a vibrant network of talented individuals pushing the envelope; a close public-private partnership; market players who can serve all of society’s needs from the individual and the small business, to the conglomerate and the government; institutional investors that play a more proactive role to contribute back to the society; and an increase in product diversity and innovation.
“But more importantly, I envisage our capital market, and Islamic capital market specifically, to become a platform for Socially Responsible Investments (SRI) and Green Finance, in order to support the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
Additionally, the minister expressed his delight that the Islamic Financial Services Industry Stability Report 2018 included Brunei Darussalam as one of four countries with an excess of 50 per cent Islamic banking share in the domestic market, adding that he hopes that Brunei’s Islamic capital market will also experience similar developments.
It was also reported that Managing Director of AMBD and the Chairman of CIBFM Yusof bin Haji Abdul Rahman said the main objective of the BICAM Conference 2018 was to provide a platform for speakers, panellists and participants to share knowledge, experience and perspectives on the topic of ‘Islamic Capital Market: Its Role in Catalysing Economic Growth’ and to deliberate further on key issues touching on transformative regulations, cross-border integration and digital disruptors.
Among the featured topics were ‘Capital Market and Islamic Finance: Synergies and Opportunities’, ‘Role of Islamic Finance in ASEAN Capital Market Integration’ and ‘Green Investments – Increasing Global Competition in the Sustainable Business’.
The event also saw a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between CIBFM and INCEIF to formalise the cooperation between the two organisations in the advancement of Islamic finance development and training through joint collaboration, training programmes and knowledge-sharing.
The BICAM Conference marks the first collaboration under the MoU, as one of many events organised by the CIBFM to promote and develop Islamic finance in Brunei Darussalam.