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Citing reasons not unlike the rationale for the European UnionÆs introduction of the euro near the turn of the millennium in 1999, Gulf leaders believe a common currency in the region will promote intra-regional trade, remove transactional risk and lower individual currency risks.
On the other side of the coin, however, punters say most Gulf countries already enjoy stable currency regimes. The debate is an old one, they say, and it dates back to the early years following the European UnionÆs move to introduce the euro. However, they believe there will be little to gain from a common currency, as member countries will likely lose power over their monetary policy setting, and that the introduction will likely first start by painful reforms in harmonising the member statesÆ financial infrastructure.
Islamic asset management remains in a nascent stage to this day. By uniting forces in the creation of a common monetary institution and currency, the sector is expected to grow in leaps and bounds over the coming decade. Estimates for growth vary widely across the states, with a lack of data gathering over the years making projections ad-hoc.
Investors in the region are closely monitoring the impact of the talks on the regionÆs equity and fixed income markets. In particular, the talks are adding uncertainty to the regionÆs sukuk market, which has already been affected by poor sentiment and rumours of a potential bailout of the Dubai sovereign by the UAE sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi.
The sukuk market is witnessing stronger volatility after local Islamic scholars have spoken out against wide-spread incompliance of such products to the sharia laws. Sharia laws forbid Muslims from profiting from maysir (speculation), gharar (uncertainty) and riba (interest). These three qualities are considered to be haram (forbidden) in the Islamic region.
As a pioneer in the Australian super space, CSC continues to focus on core objectives while taking calculated risks in an uncertain macro-economic environment.
The Asset Management Awards seek to recognise outstanding achievements among Asia Pacific-based fund and asset managers. Entries are open from now until March 4, 6pm HKT.
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