ISLAMABAD - The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three centres of excellence in Islamic finance, i.e., LUMS, IBA and IMS at the SECP head office on Friday for the promotion and development of Islamic capital markets.

The SECP has taken many initiatives for capacity building and awareness creation in Islamic finance and has arranged a number of sessions in collaboration with leading universities and professional institutions. Considering the need for development of Islamic finance and to collaborate with leading centres of excellence in Islamic finance (CEIF) for their common goal, the SECP entered into an MOU whereby the parties agreed to make joint and collaborative efforts for the development of a vibrant Islamic capital market.

The three CEIFs agreed to extend their efforts by joining forces with the SECP to achieve growth and development of Islamic capital market and shaping the future of Islamic financial services through creating awareness among the public, training for stakeholders and capacity building of Islamic financial institutions.

The MOU covers the areas of mutual collaboration in developing programs for training and education in Islamic finance, facilitating exchange of resources, relevant academic information, events calendar, materials and technical expertise necessary for the development of training and education in Islamic finance; to undertake joint research and development in priority areas of Islamic capital markets, and whenever appropriate, to publish, promote or disseminate works of research, develop content and reference material for practitioners and users of Islamic financial products and services; and to organize, conferences, workshops, symposiums, training programs, seminars or other events and to support activities held by each party relating to research and development, training and education in Islamic finance and Islamic capital markets.

Islamic finance has witnessed a tremendous growth in the last few years. Being the apex regulator of capital market, the SECP has taken a number of initiatives for the promotion of Islamic finance. It endeavors to achieve the highest standards in Islamic finance in building resilient and sustainable financial systems. On November 2, 2018, the SECP notified its landmark Shariah Governance Regulations, 2018, a holistic Shariah governance framework for Shariah-compliant companies and securities. To bring harmonization and standardization in the business practices of Islamic financial institutions, the SECP has been continually adopting more and more Shariah standards of AAOIFI and implemented standards of Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).