SC introduces Shariah Screening Assessment Toolkit for unlisted MSMEs

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According to executive chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has introduced the Shariah Screening Assessment Toolkit (Toolkit) for unlisted micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The toolkit is a major initiative by the commission to provide guidance in screening the Shariah status of unlisted MSMEs as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the ecosystem for Shariah-compliant fundraising activities. The toolkit will primarily benefit equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer financing platform operators, as well as Shariah advisers. It is anticipated that the introduction of the toolkit will encourage more Shariah-compliant offerings on alternative market-based fundraising platforms. It will also result in more diversified Islamic investing across asset classes and economic sectors, and enable end-to-end Shariah compliance among MSMEs in the halal sector. He mentioned this in his keynote address at the virtual SC-Halal Development Corporation (HDC) Forum 2021. The toolkit includes a series of questions based on the Shariah screening methodology for MSMEs, endorsed by the SC’s Shariah Advisory Council (SAC). The MSMEs are the backbone of the Malaysian economy, contributing close to 40% of gross domestic product (GDP). MSMEs were one of the hardest-hit segments in the global response to the pandemic. He said that considering the critical role they play in our economy, we must spare no effort to ensure that our MSMEs are able to pull themselves out of the current quagmire to flourish again. The halal economy could play a critical role in their growth and success. Hence appropriate and effective measures must be put in place to support a comprehensive end-to-end Shariah-compliant ecosystem for emerging businesses in the halal economy. Meanwhile, given that Malaysia’s halal economy is projected to grow to US$113.2 billion (about RM477.82 billion now) in 2030, better funding access will certainly assist halal industry players to capitalise on opportunities for expansion. In the long term, market-based funding obligations will also provide MSMEs the necessary discipline to better manage their cash flow and finances. 

Bank Pembangunan Malaysia offers five financing schemes worth RM5.6b, targeting key strategic sectors 

According to Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd (BPMB) Chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, the bank remains committed to supporting the country’s economic recovery in line with its developmental mandate and is offering five financing schemes totalling RM5.6 billion, targeting key strategic sectors. The financing schemes, in addition to its general corporate banking facilities, are offered at preferential financing rates to targeted sectors, including digitalisation, sustainability, maritime and logistics, tourism and public transportation. It welcomes viable projects and businesses in these eligible sectors to submit their applications. So far these schemes, previously announced by the government, have seen a total of RM2.4 billion being approved for utilisation, leaving RM3.2 billion still available for deployment. The Covid-19 pandemic had hit businesses and industries hard and as a development finance institution, BPMB plays a catalytic role to help businesses and the economy recover. It is in unprecedented times like this that BPMB has to step up with countercyclical lending by looking at business viability over longer horizons and providing viable companies support over this extreme but temporary downturn. Since inception, BPMB had been a strong partner to businesses in support of the development of Malaysia’s economy and improving the lives of the rakyat, guided by its vision and mission statement as Malaysia’s leading developmental partner. The bank is reinforcing its focus, given the crucial needs of the country at the moment. 

Eye On The Markets 

This week, on Friday (6Aug), the Ringgit opened 4.2175 against the USD from 4.2255 on Monday (2Aug). Meanwhile, the Ringgit was 3.1198 to the Sing Dollar on Friday (6Aug). On Monday (2Aug), the FBM KLCI opened at 1497.39. As at Friday (6Aug) 10:00am, the FBM KLCI is down 1.72 points for the week at 1495.67 Over in US, the overnight Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 271.58 points (+0.78%) to 35,064.25 whilst the NASDAQ added 114.60 points (+0.78%) to 14,895.10.  

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