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This paper aims to examine the reasons behind the low level of Sharia-related disclosures, particularly Sharia-compliant companies, to gain an understanding on how these…
This paper aims to examine the reasons behind the low level of Sharia-related disclosures, particularly Sharia-compliant companies, to gain an understanding on how these companies disclose Sharia-related information in their annual reports, and how professional users of these reports search for such disclosures.
The study is an exploratory research based on structured interviews with individuals involved in the preparation of annual reports of Sharia-compliant companies and professional users of annual reports.
Most Sharia-compliant companies and professional users interviewed agree that the most relevant Sharia-related information is most commonly understood as the information found in the financial statement and its notes (accounting-related disclosures). Their responses indicate that there is a disjoint between the conventional disclosure practices on corporate social responsibility items and the Sharia-related information.
The idea of full disclosure needs to be further understood from the perspectives of Sharia. This study provides insights into the types of Sharia-related information that are important for disclosure. Future research should focus on examining a larger number of companies and interviewing more professional users from different jurisdictions to generate more knowledge about the nature of Sharia information and its disclosure.
Users of the Sharia screening methods, especially regulators, such as the Securities Commission Malaysia should encourage the disclosure of the required aspects of Sharia in the annual reports of Sharia-compliant companies, as professional users are interested in this type of information.
This study offers insights into the reasons behind low Sharia disclosures in annual reports of Sharia-compliant companies.
This paper aims to examine the challenges of applying Shariah law in the equity market by engaging in narratives with Shariah screeners and advisors on how they conduct…
This paper aims to examine the challenges of applying Shariah law in the equity market by engaging in narratives with Shariah screeners and advisors on how they conduct their screening responsibilities despite the low levels of Islamic-related disclosure made by companies in their annual reports. The Shariah screening processes in three countries with different Islamic equity markets – Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom – are examined.
The authors interview 19 Shariah screeners and advisors in three different Islamic equity markets – Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.
Overall, the findings in this study show that despite the differences in the regulatory environment, companies still make Islamic-related disclosures on a voluntary basis. However, the lack of Islamic-related disclosures presents various challenges for Shariah screeners, particularly when identifying the operations that constitute the main activity of the company in screening for prohibited activities.
Shariah screeners can play an important role in increasing the level of understanding and perhaps increasing Islamic-related disclosures in annual reports by establishing a set of effective guidelines or practices for Shariah screeners to use when screening companies for their Shariah-compliant status.
The paper identifies a gap in the Shariah screening literature and voluntary Islamic disclosures literature. By identifying this gap, the paper highlights the challenges Shariah screeners and advisors face because of the low level of Islamic-related disclosures.