The Islamic capital market achieved significant milestones last year with landmark issuance and listing of US dollar denominated sukuk, Bank Negara said.
Despite the downturn in the global economy and heightened risk environment, the Islamic capital market in 2009 saw the landmark issuance of the US$1.5 billion Emas Dollar Sukuk and US$3 billion Emas Dollar Bond by Petronas.
The Emas Dollar Sukuk was listed concurrently on Bursa Malaysia, the Labuan International Finance Exchange and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
Due to an overwhelming response and growing confidence of investors in sukuk issuances, the papers were oversubscribed by 6.28 times, the central bank said in its Financial Stability and Payment Systems 2009 Report released on Wednesday.
Bank Negara said the listing of the GE Capital Sukuk amounting to US$500 million on Bursa Malaysia also elevated its status as the world's top exchange in terms of value of sukuk programme listings in 2009.
"These developments in the sukuk market reinforced Malaysia's position as the centre for sukuk origination and an international Islamic finance centre," it added.
According to the central bank, to further advance Malaysia as an international Islamic financial centre, the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre's (MIFC) promotional activities focused on increasing foreign participation in the Malaysian Islamic financial system, including from established financial centres in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
It said a new long-term brand, Shaping Islamic Finance Together, was introduced to position Malaysia as the intellectual epicentre for Islamic financial activities.
Shaping Islamic Finance Together is Malaysia's brand proposition to global talent, leading players, investors and issuers to shape the future of Islamic finance together through the MIFC initiative by leveraging on and benefiting from the country's more than 30 years experience in the sector.
Meanwhile, consumers of financial services have an important role in exerting market discipline on financial institutions while contributing towards the development of an efficient and competitive financial sector, Bank Negara stated.
It said a key pillar of the Bank's developmental initiatives is to promote fair and equitable market practices by financial institutions and raise the level of financial capability of consumers through consumer education and awareness programmes.
During the year, Bank Negara enhanced its surveillance over market practices of licensed financial institutions.
Thematic examinations focusing on the imposition of fees and charges, credit card promotions, selling of investment-linked and structured products were conducted, it said.
source : BERNAMA