The Ceylinco group tied up Monday with Malaysia’s Centre for Islamic Finance to set up a faculty for Islamic financial studies in Sri Lanka.
The Ceylinco Sussex Business School will roll out a Certified Islamic Finance Program locally, to meet a growing demand for trained professionals in Islamic finance, expected to exceed 5000 over the next four years.
The faculty has just been set up within Ceylinco’s business school, together with Malaysia’s International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF).
Set up by the Central Bank of Malaysia, INCEIF is backed by a 500 million Ringgit fund by the Bank, top officials from the Malaysian Centre said Monday.
The initial certificate program will provide an insight into Islamic Shariah law, economics, ethics, financial management and regulations and wealth management as well as case studies, Agil Natt, Chief Executive Officer of INCEIF said in Colombo.
“As the final part of the Certified Islamic Finance Program (CIFP), students will be awarded internship programmes in a financial institution locally or abroad.”
Islamic finance operates on principles laid down in Islam’s Shariah law, which prohibits interest, which is characteristic of other commercial banking operations.
Broadly, under Islamic finance, banks invest depositor money in projects that are run according to Shariah laws, with profits shared with the investor.
“There are over 300 Islamic financial institutions in over 60 countries with total assets exceeding 400 billion dollars,” M R Abdul Kadir, Deputy Governor Bank Negara Malaysia said in Colombo.
Sri Lanka’s Islamic finance sector is worth approximately five billion rupees, while total Muslim assets in the country are estimated at around 100 billion rupees.
The market for Islamic financial products is dominated by Amana Investments, with others such as Muslim Commercial Bank, Ceylinco Profit Sharing, People’s Leasing Company and First Global Investments, also operating.