On the 24th February 2016 the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation hosted a panel discussion named “Challenges and prospects of partnership/shared finance in Russia”. The event was organized by the Russian Association of Experts in Islamic Finance (RAEIF) with the support of the Financial University.
The event was attended by the RAEIF members, representatives of government authorities, interested participants from Moscow, Kazan, Ufa, Grozny. The agenda consisted of 3 questions.
The first one was about coordinating the efforts of different groups on partnership/shared finance under different state institutions of Russia and involvement of the RAEIF experts. Currently there are 3 groups of this kind: working group under the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (the event was attended by the State Secretary, Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia, Alexandr Torshin), the Expert Council under the Committee on Financial Markets of the State Duma of Russia (the event was attended by the deputy Chairman of the Committee, Dmitri Saveliev), and the working group under the Federation Council of the Russian Federation (the event was attended by the working group members). However, nowadays there is no common approach to the formation of a legislative base for Islamic financial institutions. There are proposals regarding a draft bill for setting up a special non-banking company that would be able to carry out all major operations related to Islamic finance, as well as proposals regarding comprehensive changes in the financial legislation, which would make it possible to conclude Islamic financial contracts in banking, non-banking and insurance fields. The RAEIF experts expressed their readiness to cooperate with working groups on the matters related to the draft bills and other documents concerning partnership finance, and to provide expert opinions. It was also noted that it would be more reasonable to focus on solving existing problems that the Islamic financial market’s participants have to face. As Bulat Mulyukov, the Chairman of the Centre of Islamic Economy and Finance Development (CIEFD), emphasized, these participants didn’t wait for their problems to be solved, but started working within the existing limitations. The Amal Financial House, where he works as a shariah expert, demonstrates growing demand for the Islamic investment and financial products even without mass advertising.
The deputy D. Saveliev, in response to the question of B. Chokayev, a discussion participant, expressed his stance on the end goal of the draft bills regarding selective changes in legislation that he had introduced to the State Duma. Since the last year 8 draft bills have been submitted.
The second question concerned the Russian translation of the Standards of the Accounting and Auditing Organizations for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), whose Editorial Board includes some RAEIF members. The RAEIF executive secretary, Madina Kalimullina, told about main approaches to the standards’ translation and noted that, while translating Arabic terms denoting certain Islamic financial operations, they would use Russian terms in case they are similar in every way. If there are no equivalents, or the term usage is different (in terms of the compliance of the deal’s main components with the shariah), words with Arabic roots will be used.
The third question was devoted to the events scheduled for 2016-2017. The discussion participants introduced their suggestions on the programs and projects to be implemented in the nearest future. Prof. I. Yarygina, a RAEIF member, suggested developing training programs in the area of Islamic finance and encouraging new research projects. Another RAEIF member, A. Zhuravlev, found it important to examine possible risks for banking system stability due to introducing legislative changes meant to create favorable conditions for Islamic finance, and to find ways to minimize such risks. I. Voroshilova, a RAEIF member, suggested compiling a common dictionary of Islamic financial terms. There were other proposals, each of which was mentioned in the meeting records.