By HABHAJAN SINGH
Boutique law firm The Chambers of Shamsul Qamar (CSQLaw) and Islamic finance consulting firm Amanie Advisors Sdn Bhd plan to work with Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) in the field of Islamic banking and finance in Kazakhstan.
Both CSQLaw and Amanie are Malaysian-based outfits that have been involved in the field of Islamic finance.
“We signed an MoU with AIFC to collaborate on a project related to Islamic finance,” CSQLaw senior partner Madzlan Hussain told The Malaysian Reserve.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed during the Kazakh-Malaysian Business Council in Almaty on Oct 30.
AIFC badges itself as a financial hub for Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Middle East, West China, Mongolia and Europe.
At AIFC, the role of Islamic finance is becoming one of the essential elements of the global financial architecture, according to information at its website.
In December 2017, the Kazakhstan body had approved laws aligned with standards from the Kuala Lumpur-based global industry body, the Islamic Financial Services Board.
In its quest to push forward Islamic finance, AIFC said it has worked closely with the Islamic Development Bank and Asian Development Bank to create a favourable legal and regulatory environment, industry master plan, products and tools that will attract Islamic banking, non-banking financial services and capital from Central Asia, the Middle East and South-East Asia.
To promote AIFC as a regional hub for Islamic finance, Kazakhstan has established the Advisory Council on Islamic Finance and plans to launch the Central Shariah Advisory Board.
AIFC said it is also actively advising the Ministry of Finance on the issuance of a debut sovereign sukuk in the region in 2018, which will become an important step for Kazakhstan in promoting and developing the Islamic finance industry.
Amanie, an Islamic finance group powered by Shariah scholar Datuk Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, has been involved in Kazakhstan as early as 2009. Mohd Daud is the current chairman of the Shariah Advisory Council at Bank Negara Malaysia, the Securities Commission Malaysia and the Labuan Financial Services Authority.
On its part, the three-year-old CSQLaw, with offices in Selangor and Kedah, focuses on Islamic financial services and corporate matters.
At the MoU signing ceremony, CSQLaw was represented by managing partner Shamsul Qamar, Madzlan and partner Mohd Shafieuddin, while Amanie was represented by consultant Ahmad Anas Fadzil.
AIFC was represented by its expatriate centre head Nurlan Toimbek and Madina Tukulova from its Islamic finance department.