Posted Date: October 02, 2018

Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC) was announced as the Best Islamic Rating Agency at the eighth Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) on September 29, 2018. Award winners from around the world were recognised for their contributions to the development of Islamic banking and finance at the award ceremony which took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia. The event was attended by heads of state and government, ministers, ambassadors and members of the Islamic finance fraternity.

Speaking after the awards, MARC’s Corporate Services Head and Executive Vice President Ahmad Feizal Sulaiman Khan said the rating agency was proud to be a fourth-time recipient of the Best Islamic Rating Agency award and to be recognised alongside many admired and respected institutions. Reiterating the importance of credit rating agency ratings as important benchmarks for credit risk, he remarked that timely independent credit opinions were an “essential enabler” of improved market efficiency which in turn contributes to deeper and more liquid markets. “We are very grateful for this prestigious award; it speaks of MARC’s single-minded devotion to its responsibilities as a key information intermediary in an evolving marketplace”, he said.

In commenting on the prospects for Islamic finance, Ahmad Feizal added, “In our view, the fertile and growing market for Islamic finance globally presents significant opportunities for industry participants in Malaysia to expand their footprint and influence”. He noted that Islamic finance’s Shariah-based foundations were becoming increasingly recognised as offering an alternative route to a sustainable and inclusive financial ecosystem. Notably, this coincides with the rise in the uptake of sustainable, responsible or ethical investing by institutional investors. Globally, the growth of environmental, social and governance (ESG) assets and funds have accelerated since 2015 and show no signs of slowing down.

Malaysia is poised to take a lead in the region in driving sukuk-responsible investing, according to Ahmad Feizal. “Malaysia is already making strong headway in pioneering the issuance of green sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) Sukuk,” he said. The country’s supportive regulatory framework has been instrumental in the growth of Islamic finance and its position as a major hub for Islamic finance and key global venue for the issuance of sukuk, as is Malaysia’s established strengths in financial innovation. MARC is actively engaged in supporting the development of Islamic finance in Malaysia. The rating agency assigns and maintains credit and investment manager ratings on sukuk and Islamic financial institutions. It also hosts training programmes for Islamic finance professionals and participates in Islamic finance knowledge-sharing forums.

Ahmad Feizal Sulaiman Khan, +603-2717 2911/ feizal@marc.com.my; 
Jack Yap Ngee Heong, +603-2717 2915/ ngeeheong@marc.com.my