Friday, January 21, 2011
BNP’s Dalmau Discusses Challenges in Islamic Product Innovation
Rafael Dalmau, head of Shariah- compliant portfolio management at BNP Paribas in Singapore, discusses product innovation in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg questions.
On the drive for new products:
“The Islamic banking and financial sectors continue to evolve and part of that growth path involves the need to create new products. It is not always a lack of investment alternatives that motivate institutions to offer structured products. Many times, it is simply the need to keep pace with the demands of a more sophisticated client. Many of the traditional and basic definitions of Islamic financial transactions can be viewed already as structured products under conventional rules.
On setting standards for derivatives:
“The need to achieve global standards is not as urgent as thought of a few years ago. That is not to say, that it would not be useful and practical. There are still many challenges ahead of us before we can standardize Islamic derivatives. We, the market, need to define what it really means to have a derivatives market and whether or not, these transactions comply both in letter and spirit with Shariah principles.
“All market participants need to make clear what are the objectives behind the creation of Islamic derivative transactions? Are they going to be used simply to leverage or speculate on other Islamic markets, or are they going to be used for purposes of risk management? They can be abused as we saw in the recent times in the conventional markets.”
On the role of Islamic scholars:
“The scholars are going to be, and should be, the main drivers in the evolution of the Islamic derivatives markets. If there is ever an Islamic derivatives market that may allow more efficient risk management, it is likely to help in the growth of the Islamic capital markets. We are still far away from that point.”
Courtesy by: Bloomberg