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SEC Sri Lanka Approves Accredited Shariah Scholars for Islamic Capital Market Products Certification

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) has approved a list of Accredited Shariah Scholars as “Supplementary Service Providers”. These scholars are authorized to certify the Shariah compliance of Islamic Capital Market Products intended for listing on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in accordance with the Listing Rules. The SEC considers this as an essential step in view of products that require Shariah compatibility and to satisfy the needs of Islamic investors.

Recognizing the growing demand for Shariah Compliant Debt Securities such as Sukuk, both domestically and internationally, the SEC took a proactive step by approving an enabling regulatory framework to introduce such products on the Colombo Stock Exchange. The Accredited Shariah Scholars and compliance certification process approved by the SEC will provide credibility to the products listed on the Exchange.

The SEC published an advertisement calling for applications from Shariah Scholars with the requisite academic / professional qualifications, work experience and other eligibility criteria and through a rigorous selection process has approved the following six persons as Accredited Shariah Scholars to serve as Supplementary Service Providers under the provisions of the SEC Act:

  1. Ibrahim Saad Yousif Abd Elaziz (based in United Arab Emirates)
  2. Shafique Ahmed Jakhura (based in South Africa)
  3. Muhammad Murshid Merza Mulaffar (based in Sri Lanka)
  4. Dr. Aishath Muneeza (based in Malaysia)
  5. Mohammed Siraj Najubudeen (based in Saudi Arabia)
  6. Dr. Suleiman Dalhatu Sani (based in Saudi Arabia)

As outlined in the published Guidelines and SEC’s directive to the CSE, issuers of Islamic capital market products seeking a listing on the CSE are required to obtain a Shariah compliance certification from any three of the Accredited Shariah Scholars. The Guidelines define the duties of a Shariah Scholar, qualifications and experience required, submission of reports and record maintenance, governance standards, conflict of interest management, and fit & proper criteria.

The SEC believes that selecting Shariah Scholars based on a set of clearly defined eligibility criteria and setting minimum standards will help establish a better Shariah compliance governance process and build market credibility for both local and international investors.

The SEC will review and update the list of Accredited Shariah Scholars periodically. 

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