Towards a Post-Covid Global Financial System

Cover of Towards a Post-Covid Global Financial System

Lessons in Social Responsibility from Islamic Finance

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Synopsis

Table of contents

(18 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xxiii
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Part 1 Resilience of Islamic Financial System in the Midst of the Pandemic

Abstract

This chapter explores the impact of the pandemic on Islamic commercial finance and Islamic social finance in a comprehensive manner. The chapter reveals that COVID-19 has provided more opportunities to Islamic social finance than Islamic commercial finance. The beauty of Islamic finance in this regard is reflected as the perception that Islamic finance does not achieve its objective as being a social finance is proved to be false as Islamic finance not only promotes profit maximization, but it has also the potential to achieve social objectives. Islamic commercial finance developments could be slower, but it is anticipated that Islamic social modes of financing will be used widely even by multilateral agencies to assist the communities who need help in this pandemic. The most important lesson one could learn from this pandemic in relation to Islamic finance is that Islamic finance is truly different from conventional finance and as such, it needs a unique legal, regulatory and governance framework to display the true potential of it.

Abstract

COVID-19 is a pandemic that is a black swan event that has disrupted the economic activities in the whole world. Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest international organization that unites Muslims to collectively protect their interest by having a global platform to voice out their concerns. This is an exploratory research of which the objective is to understand the implication of this pandemic on OIC countries to suggest ways in which pandemic related economic challenges facing these countries could be resolved. This research identifies four key economic challenges faced by the OIC countries: challenges in adapting to new normal in in re-starting the economic activities; issues in formulating effective plans for economic recovery; increase in poverty, unemployment and inequality in societies; and disruption to global economy chains. To overcome these economic challenges identified, fives recommendations are proposed via which OIC could play the leading role in ensuring that OIC countries could leverage each other to rebound the respective economies in the shortest possible time. The recommendations proposed are made not to gain short term benefits; but they are proposed considering the long-term benefits it will give to the economies of member countries of OIC. The recommendations proposed are: creating a fintech ecosystem for financial services and introducing OIC electronic commerce market; formulating strategies to implement shared prosperity via effective implementation of Islamic social finance; adopting Blue Ocean Strategy; promoting Islamic economic principles; and implementing circular economy concept. It is anticipated that through this research the economic challenges faced by Muslim countries due to the pandemic can be understood and the recommendations proposed could be utilized by the government and policymakers of the respective countries to resolve the challenges identified.

Abstract

The chapter aims to investigate the link between COVID-19 and Islamic finance, investigating how Islamic countries respond to the impact of the pandemic and how Islamic banks have responded in consideration of their financial statements. The study proposes a novel perspective based on thematic analysis of blogs and newspapers to validate the relevant literature. Moreover, the documentary analysis will allow researchers to investigate Islamic banks' financial statements. We find that Islamic countries have used extraordinary Sukuk issuances both at government and cross-border level. Moreover, traditional instruments such as the Zakat have been converted for even more social uses. Concerning the literature, we find that there have been temporary tax suspensions and commodity supply measures to deal with the pandemic crisis's uncertainty. Finally, financial statements analysis reveals prudent behaviour with decreases in profits aimed at increasing risk provisions. The results provide theoretical evidence to researchers and practical evidence to policymakers, public policy investors and citizens.

Abstract

The majority of economic crises impact the wealth of people which in turn affect their financial capacity to purchase residential properties. However, the home financing method may also have an impact on the behaviour of house prices. This chapter intends to test argued resilience of Islamic finance to situations of financial crisis by using an Islamic home financing product called Enhanced Musharakah Mutanaqisah (EMM) which was proposed by Asadov and Ibrahim (2018) as an example and compare its performance to conventional mortgage. Two different models of home financing, conventional and EMM based ones are developed with the former reflecting basic features of conventional mortgage and the latter using rental rates and house price indices for product pricing. Both models are compared using aggregate data for the US housing market for the past 30 years in order to demonstrate the resilience of the EMM model. The findings of the study show that EMM is more flexible in terms of reflecting real situations in both the housing market and aggregate economy as compared to the conventional model. Its pricing is more accommodating particularly during times of economic downturns, and it can potentially provide the solution to numerous mortgage defaults arising from such conditions. Despite the proposed models being tested using data only from the United States, the analysis can be generalized for other countries as well. The implementation of the EMM model, as an example of Shariah-based Islamic financial product, is expected to bring fairness and justice in the relationship between financial institutions and its clients. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt of simulating a Musharakah Mutanaqisah based home financing using both actual rental rates and house prices for product pricing.

Abstract

An Islamic social finance ecosystem has its specific instruments in terms of funding and investment that are in line with Shariah (Islamic law) principles. These include waqf (Islamic endowment), zakat (compulsory alms), ṣadaqah (donation), qarḍ ḥasan (benevolent loan) and others. In this context, the Islamic financial institutions can be considered as Islamic social finance institutions since it has the elements of Islamic social finance concepts. The uniqueness of these two types of institutions is that they operate with the absence of riba, maysir, gharar and thus the requirement of Shariah governance comes into existence. The practice of Shariah governance in Islamic financial institutions needs to be extensively examined by using a comprehensive measurement. Therefore, this chapter attempts to discuss on the needs of Shariah Governance Practices Index (SGPi) as a comprehensive measurement to measure the Shariah governance practices. In conclusion, it is proposed to have a comprehensive index to measure the Shariah governance practices which consider few components of Shariah governance such as the board of directors, the management, Shariah Committee and Shariah compliance functions.

Part 2 Pandemic Transformation of Zakat and Waqf Management Practices

Abstract

Zakat is an effective Islamic social financial tool that could be used to eliminate global poverty. The pandemic has turned back the world's poverty clock and as such, more work is required to bring equitable and shared prosperity to the world. International organizations that serve humanity could be used as intermediaries of zakat to reach out to those categories of legal recipients of zakat who are most deserved of such assistance, but who are unidentified and unreachable by the zakat organizations. This is with the ultimate objective of enhancing the effectivity of zakat as a social finance tool. However, using international organizations as zakat intermediaries is not a straightforward issue and limited literature are available on the matter to understand the contemporary practice and challenges in this regard. As such, using a qualitative research approach, this chapter sheds light on the issues revolving around the internationalization of zakat by looking at the existing practice of it by identifying the challenges in doing so. This chapter proposes a way to resolve the existing issues in internationalization of zakat by leveraging on blockchain technology where a proposition is made to introduce a crypto zakat platform. This chapter also reveals that in contemporary times, there are three ways in which international organizations have been involved as zakat intermediaries: by creating a zakat fund for specific purpose; by receiving zakat money to be distributed to transform the societies in countries other than where the zakat was collected; and by creating partnership with zakat organizations to use zakat money in the respective country in which zakat was collected. It is anticipated that soon the stakeholders of zakat would join hands with international organizations to effectively manage zakat to alleviate poverty in the world exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic.

Abstract

Health is considered as a nucleus to the life of a nation. Absence of it can create disharmony to an individual and society at large. Recent phenomena of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak which has penetrated into the lives of masses has caused major chaos and adverse effect to the health and wellbeing of people globally. No doubt that absence of health may create a magnetic wave to attract abundance of funds for the purpose of mitigating or dealing not only with such pandemic, but for other types of diseases that emerged as well. This is partially because wealth and health have an interrelationship that is hard to separate. This chapter primarily aims to discuss on how Islamic ethical wealth, i.e., waqf has the potential to influence the good health and wellbeing of people. Specifically, this chapter aims to provide a new model of waqf instrument to realize the concept of Islamic ethical wealth. The concept of fairness and justice in Islamic ethical wealth is used in this chapter. Such concept is crucial in distributing wealth and resources for the betterment of health and wellbeing of the masses. This chapter provides solution and suggestion to uphold the primary ethics in wealth through waqf system.

Abstract

‘Stans’ is an ancient Persian word meaning land, country or nation. This chapter begins with a review of the historical basis of zakat management in Islamic practice and provides a brief historical account and status of zakat practices in select countries in Central Asia. The section thereafter focuses on benchmark international zakat management models before providing recommendations for the development of an effective zakat management model within Central Asia. The economic shocks resulting from the pandemic have forced many in the region into situational poverty. If left unchecked, this may easily regress into chronic poverty, undoing the significant growth that these countries have experienced over the last decade. Existing social programmes have limited the impact of economic loss. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, they have an opportunity to revive this history and once again empower their nations with Islamic social finance instruments. Effective zakat management models in Indonesia and Kuwait, for example, provide different dimensions to social impact. The Indonesian model of BAZNAS provides the most comprehensive methodology for governance, risk management and replication. BAZNAS′ strategy for digitalization and collaboration suggests a strong model for development within Central Asia. Through an effective zakat model, it is expected that Central Asian nations will be better protected against economic disruptions and provide a safety net for vulnerable communities in the region. These conclusions and recommendations in this chapter are limited to the information available in the literature. Further study is required through primary research to understand better what the challenges are in zakat modelling. Locals may also be surveyed to determine their levels of zakat knowledge and their concerns for institutional zakat collection and disbursement.

Abstract

Using the notion of sustainable impactful strategies for waqf management, this study examines the governance and best practices on idle waqf management by the Malaysian States Islamic Religious Councils (SIRCs) in selected states like Penang, Perak and Kuala Lumpur. The waqf management of the SIRCs is also assessed based on the model framework countries such as Singapore, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The findings of this chapter indicate that ineffective administration and management on waqf have hindered its development and expansion in Malaysia. Also, an effective and robust governance framework based on Shariah could and should be implemented to ensure that waqf in Malaysia are managed effectively to gain socio-economic sustainability of Muslim communities. The findings of this chapter will fill the research gap on good governance and best practices in waqf administration and management as a way forward for Malaysia by providing a way forward for SIRCs and policymakers in Malaysia, to enhance the performance of waqf entity using selected other countries as model framework of good governance and best practices. Furthermore, an emphasis on good governance and best practices is important to attract waqf donors. It is imperative to note that to date, there is no qualitative study that compare the impact of good governance and best practices on the management of waqf by selected SIRCs in Penang, Perak and Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, Kuwait and UAE as model framework countries.

Abstract

COVID-19 pandemic has impacted global human lives, killing millions and attacking the real economy to its core. United Nations has called for global solidarity to overcome this unprecedented disaster. Having said that, zakat has been utilized to respond to this ongoing suffering in Muslim countries. This chapter explore zakat utilization for COVID-19 under the shariah perspective and discuss the role of zakat to respond to the pandemic in Muslim countries. A qualitative methodology including conceptual and content analysis is applied to conduct this study. The findings show that most sharia scholars agreed to utilize zakat for the COVID-19 pandemic and endorse advance zakat payment. Moreover, zakat has been disbursed mainly to fulfil basic needs, support emergency health services, sustain education activities, recover economic impact and maintain dakwah programme. The global zakat institutions have also started up the international initiative to respond to this pandemic. This study contributes to the academia on showing how zakat is a conceivable and reliable instrument to give immediate response to this pandemic in Muslim countries. The best practices found in this study are worthy for zakat institutions to continue their programme under this pandemic and be resilient for the next global scale of disasters.

Part 3 Case Studies of Islamic Finance and Pandemic Innovations

Abstract

COVID-19 pandemic was a health crisis that plunged the world into economic turmoil due to its resultant national lockdowns across economies which brought business and market activities to a standstill. In order to adapt to ensuing restrictions owing to the pandemic, forge ahead in a new way of living, work and interactions with one another (new normal), digitizing business and market operations is considered a necessary option. Sukuk is an essential Islamic capital market product whose operations involve multiple parties/intermediaries alongside some technical financial, administrative and legal/shariah processes. On this note, this chapter aims to study and examine the need for digitizing and automating sukuk operations and related activities to pave way for innovation, development and better continuity of sukuk market. In conducting the study, a review of literature approach is employed where relevant works on sukuk and fintech were examined. Using content analysis, the chapter explored digitization of sukuk in the Islamic capital market via fintech and blockchain and associated benefits, including peculiar challenges therein. An interview was also conducted to better understand the Wethaq case study. The chapter reveals that digitizing sukuk issuance adds value to sukuk and remedies certain inadequacies associated with sukuk transactions; can increase transparency of underlying sukuk assets and cash flows and can reduce costs due to lesser number of intermediaries. Digitization is the future of sukuk issuance and will promote sukuk well through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Abstract

The purpose of this review is to summarize existing literature on the causes and impacts of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic on people and businesses, and to propose a conceptual framework for the global economic recovery. The study used existing most recent empirical literature from available for exploring of the magnitude causes and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people and business and summarized the way of the world economic system. The review study uncovered that people and businesses are suffering from vulnerability scenarios that have causes and effects on current macroeconomic and microeconomic indicators. In addition, microeconomic indicators have affected in the categories of unemployed who are soaring, lowering incomes, increasing health spending, household spending, low productivity, mental stress, decreased consumption, social imbalance, collapsing commodity prices and so on. Nevertheless, macroeconomic indicators have affected in the categories of the global financial crisis, supply and demand, capital market volatility, disruption of fiscal policy, monetary policy, aviation industry, international tourism and hospitality, world trade, and high unemployment. The present study concluded that all government and non-government agencies have to play a major and mature role not only in developing of right policies and laws but also in ensuring practices and coordination as well as increase public and business awareness accordingly. The study summarized strategic and policy guideline for the recovery of the global economy by strengthening the health care system, commodity market volatility fix-up, financial market restructuring, resumption of manufacturing and economic activity, special care for micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises, mitigate the unemployment problem, recovery package for tourism, hospitality and aviation sector, strengthening the global supply chain network, impacts on global immigration and remittance issues and develop sustainable development framework accordingly for recovery of the world economy.

Abstract

Islamic social finance assists in achieving social good and economic justice in societies by closing the gap between rich and poor in a Shariah compliant framework. COVID-19 pandemic has created the opportunity to experience the untapped potential of Islamic social finance in many of the countries. This chapter sheds light on the use of Islamic social finance in Iran in the midst of the pandemic with the objective of sharing some Shariah compliant financial solutions for reducing undesirable consequences of the COVID-19. Iran is a country that has a unique Islamic financial system. Currently, it is the country where constitutionally and statutorily practices only shariah-compliant financing activities. This chapter reveals that tradability of justice shares, introduction of Shariah-compliant crowdfunding platforms, provision of Islamic microfinance vehicles in the form of Al-Qard Al-Hassan loans, payment facilities to factories damaged by COVID-19, low-profit rate Murabaha facilities for housing sector are some Shariah-compliant social finance products which were provided in Iran in the midst of the pandemic to provide financial solutions to fulfil the need of the society in a convenient and effective manner.

Abstract

This chapter looks at the approaches taken by Malaysian Islamic banks and the central Shariah body in assisting the financial consumers going through the COVID-19 pandemic economic distress in consequence of the Movement Control Order and the socially responsible investing (SRI) opportunity Malaysian government put up through the Sukuk Prihatin in order to rebuild the economy. It is found that through shariah principles of ta'awun (mutual assistance), Islamic finance, and with numerous Islamic jurisprudential approaches under the shariah could provide better solutions to overcome the economic hardship experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper showcases the approaches taken in Malaysia relying on the Islamic finance landscape in overcoming the financial hardship suffered by the financial consumers due to COVID-19 pandemic and in rebuilding the economic through a unique mutual assist opportunity.

Abstract

This study examines whether the current virus pandemic (COVID-19) has any significant negative effect on returns series of selected stock markets in the developed, Asian and GCC countries. For this purpose, the EGARCH (1, 1) model and the News Impact Curve (NIC) are applied to examine the persistence of symmetric volatility, leverage-effect and inducing volatility by preceding bad or good news. The findings suggest that the volatility is persistent in all stock markets, but it is under unity for many stock markets, which means the volatility will persist for the short term in most cases. Furthermore, the findings of asymmetric volatility analysis indicate the presence of leverage-effect over the study period in all the selected stock markets except Japan, Indonesia and Hong Kong. However, NIC plots provide evidence that the negative shock (news) of the COVID-19 outbreak would put forward a higher volatility on all selected stock market returns in the near future, except for the stock markets in Thailand, Japan and Singapore, where the shocks (positive) suggest a higher subsequent period of conditional variance compared to the current shocks (negative) of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, understanding the volatility structure of stock market returns is imperative for policy guidance among the policymakers and potential investors. For policymakers, as the volatility caused by the COVID-19 outbreak is persistent for the short term, this may encourage governments and central banks to implement effective measures to stimulate fiscal and monetary policies to counter the distraction caused by the pandemic, support the economic activities and cushion the local firms from the pandemic effect. For investors, the findings suggest that long-term investment decision should be taken to invest in all stock markets that are negatively affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to achieve capital gain in the future, while short-term investment decisions may be undertaken to take advantage from the short-term market volatility.

Index

Pages 291-297
Content available
Cover of Towards a Post-Covid Global Financial System
DOI
10.1108/9781800716254
Publication date
2022-01-20
Editors
ISBN
978-1-80071-626-1
eISBN
978-1-80071-625-4