Prof. Dr. Obiyathulla Ismath Bacha
Qualification:Doctor of Business Administration (specialization in Finance) Boston University, USA. (1993)
Fields/Area of Specialization:Finance and Accounting
Prof. Dr Obiyathulla Ismath Bacha achieved his Bachelor of Social Science from the University Science Malaysia, a Master of Business Administration, a Masters in Economics and his Doctor of Business Administration in Finance from Boston University. He is currently a professor of Finance at INCEIF. Previously he has held several key positions at the International Islamic University of Malaysia. He was also an assistant professor in finance at Boston University, he taught at both MBA and undergraduate levels. He is also an active Shariah advisor to institutions such as Five Pillars and Sabana REIT. Prof. Dr. Obiyathulla is also the Vice President of the Malaysian Economic Association and a member of the Malaysian Finance Association.

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Showing results 1 to 20 of 97
  • too_small_succeed_versus_too_big_fail_marjan_obiya_mansur.pdf.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: Naseri, Marjan; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath; Mohammed Masih, Abul Mansur (2020)

  • Even though large banks could imply large risks and heightened vulnerability for a country's macroeconomy, the presence of many small banks with similar behavior such as Islamic banks could also cause systemic risks. This article makes an initial attempt to investigate the impact of bank size on banking performance. Our study spans 12 emerging countries with dual banking systems and applies two-step dynamic system GMM estimator. The results show that size really does matter in the banking industry, and its impact on performance tends to be non-linear with a trade-off between profitability and efficiency. Comparing conventional with Islamic banks, we find that bank size has almost the ...

  • item.jpg
  • Chapter in Book


  • Authors: Mokhtar, Maznita; Abdul Kareem, Mohamed Ariff; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2020)

  • There is wide consensus that the ultimate objective of government policies is to improve the quality of people's lives. The reality, however, is that the impact of government policies tends to be measured rather in terms of GDP growth as proxy for progress. The debate about growth vs. development is not new as the distinction between these concepts was recognized since the 1970s. GDP growth has often been understood in terms of improvement in the quality of life. However, further research is indicating that inequality affects sustainable growth (Berg and Ostry 2011), which in turn reduces the ability to improve the quality of life. This is the case of many OECD nations where household...

  • item.jpg
  • Chapter in Book


  • Authors: Akin, Tarik; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath; Mirakhor, Abbas; Iqbal, Zamir (2020)

  • Increasing inequalities is one of the defining social, economic, and political challenges of the post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC) era. Apart from the negative social, public finance, and short-run growth effects of high inequality, the compelling evidence indicates that inequality is an important cause for the financial crises (Kumhof, Ranciere, and Winant 2015; Rajan 2010; de Haan and Sturm 2016; Turner 2016) and low long-term economic growth (World Economic Forum 2017; OECD 2015; IMF 2017). The inequality problem and its visible repercussions on economic growth and financial crises have spurred interest in the economics of inequality.

  • item.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: Seho, Mirzet; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath; Smolo, Edib (2020)

  • In theory, the cornerstones of Islamic finance are interest avoidance and risk-sharing. In practice, however, Islamic banks seem to be lacking both, particularly the latter. We investigate the interest rate impact on Islamic banks' three most-widely used types of financing instruments - i.e. sale-based, lease-based and risk-sharing-by employing the system GMM estimators on a unique panel data set of 77 Islamic banks from 13 countries over the period 2003-2017. We find that sale- and lease-based financing instruments are negatively correlated with the interest rate and that their exposure is amplified in more developed Islamic banking jurisdictions. Risk-sharing instruments, however, a...

  • capital_structure_Shariah_compliance_firms_Malaysian_evidence_obiyathulla et al.pdf.jpg
  • Chapter in Book


  • Authors: Abdul Halim, Asyraf; Abd Sukor, Mohd Edil; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • In the literature of corporate finance, there exists alongside others, an age long inquiry into the behaviour and determinants of corporate capital structure. The study into capital structure behaviour was pioneered by Modigliani and Miller (1958, 1963) and which is still widely research today. Despite years of research, much are still unknown to us, which determinants are reliable explanator of capital structure variations across firms and time. In 1984, Stewart C. Myers officially introduced the "Capital Structure Puzzle" in his American Finance Association Presidential Speech. The capital structure puzzle at its heart asks the question of how do firms decide and manage their capita...

  • farewell_goldilocks_economy_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • In 2018, the global economy began with much promise. The prior year had seen fairly strong and synchronised growth across the US, Western Europe and industrialised Asia. Stock markets rose to reect this steady stable growth. The S&P 500 had one of its most consistent and strongest runs in the 10-month period leading to October 2018. The broad-based index reached its historic peak in late September. Since then, from October, both the global economy and stock markets appeared to have gone through a series of jolts. Risk and volatility appear to have returned with a vengeance. The last quarter (4Q) of 2018 was tumultuous from an economic viewpoint. Why the sudden turn of fortune? For one...

  • strategy_rejuvenate_Islamic_finance_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • The Islamic banking and finance (IBF) sector appears to be at a crossroads. Over the last three decades, growth has been impressive, with total assets estimated at about US$2 trillion (RM8.32 trillion). Looking back, this impressive early growth appears to have been the low hanging fruit. Rapid growth came from filling an existing latent demand. Geographically speaking, even this early growth has been uneven. Growth had been most impressive in countries such as Malaysia and Bahrain, but slower in larger nations such as Turkey, Indonesia and even Saudi Arabia, where it has only recently begun to make an impact. In much of the Arab world, countries like Egypt, Tunisia and the like, IBF ...

  • infantile_equity_markets_drag_development_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • If well-developed equity markets can contribute hugely to national growth, underdeveloped ones impose a huge cost on national competitiveness through higher required risk premiums and higher equity costs to firms. The high cost of equity has the added disadvantage of incentivising firms to leverage their capital structure with debt. Thus, the common phenomenon of developing countries with infantile stock markets and highly leveraged economies. Retarded stock markets offer perverse incentives, both to managers of firms and shareholders. So, how do the equity markets of the Islamic world stack up? To address this, we examined the performance of the Muslim world's top eight stock markets...

  • debt_exchange_rate_vulnerability_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • Muslim-majority nations like Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt and even Malaysia have seen their currencies depreciate and come under pressure in the recent past. Turkey and Egypt have had to increase domestic interest rates substantially to ease the exchange rate pressure. Indonesia, too, had to raise rates, albeit of a much lower magnitude. The choice of an exchange rate policy - whether pegged, free floating or managed - depends on the trade-off preference. Fixed or pegged exchange rates offer stability, but this has to be traded off against the lack of independence in monetary policymaking. A freely floating currency has the advantage of providing full flexibility in policymaking, but has ...

  • debt_debt_even_Shariah-compliant_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • In a book aptly titled 'This Time Is Different', Rogoff and Reinhart, two prominent economists, show that every single financial crisis over the last 800 years has had a single root cause - excessive debt. It appears that what begins as borrowing for the funding of development infrastructure can, as it builds, lead to a spiralling of debt and financial crisis. There is a circular and reciprocal relationship between debt, leverage, vulnerability and financial distress. This applies to all borrowers, governments, corporations or other entities.

  • Issues_in_Islamic_equities_mansur_et_al.pdf.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: Mohammed Masih, Abul Mansur; Mustaffa Kamil, Nazrol Kamil; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2018)

  • This article reviews the current literature on Islamic equities. Our survey indicates that the bulk of articles is quantitative or empirical in nature, with a notable dearth of theoretical works. Among the common research themes explored by these articles are comparative performances of Islamic equities visa-vis their conventional counterparts, comparisons of Islamic portfolios with SRI funds, and empirically articulating portfolio diversification benefits associated with Islamic equities. In addition, numerous articles discuss idiosyncrasies of Shari'ah compliant stocks and portfolios under subthemes such as volatility, risk factors, and performance attributes. This survey also inclu...

  • item.jpg
  • PhD


  • Authors: Vaqar, Momin Ebaad (2018)

  • Infrastructure is the backbone of modem economies; an adequate and efficient public infrastructure is essential for nations to achieve their economic growth objectives. Although the need and role of infrastructure are well recognized, little attention has been paid to the risks and pitfalls of the current infrastructure financing structures. The enormous infrastructure deficit and the increasing instances of debt restructurings, infrastructure project failures and expensive government bailouts, present enough reason for a deeper thought and action towards making infrastructure financing more robust. Through the thesis, the researcher sheds light on the problems related to such forms o...

  • Determinants_of_capital_structure_ramazan_mansur_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: Yildirim, Ramazan; Mohammed Masih, Abul Mansur; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2018)

  • Many Muslim individual and institutional investors seek to invest only in stocks that are compliant with the Shari'ah (i.e. Islamic law). Among others, Dow Jones addressed this demand and has developed their proprietary screening methodologies to identify Shari'ah compliant firms (SC). One key factor that distinguishes SC firms from their non-compliant peers (SNC) is that the former is not allowed to cross the leverage threshold of 33%. Due to the restrictions imposed on them, it is expected that SC firms exhibit different capital structure compared to the SNC firms. The purpose of this initial comparative study is to analyze the most reliable debt determinants identified in the liter...

  • empirical_evidence_risk_shifting_bonds_debt-based_sukuk_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: Hamzah, Siti Raihana; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath; Mirakhor, Abbas; Abdul Kader Malim, Nurhafiza (2018)

  • The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent of risk shifting behavior in bonds and sukuk. The examination is significant, as economists and scholars identify risk shifting as the primary cause of the global financial crisis. Yet, the dangers of this debt-financing feature are largely ignored - one needs to only witness the record growth of global debt even after the global financial crisis. To identify the signs of risk shifting existence in the corporations, this paper compares each corporation's operating risk before and after issuing debt. Operating risk or risk of a firm's activities is measured using the volatility of the operating earnings or coefficient variation of earn...

  • item.jpg
  • PhD


  • Authors: Abdullah, Ahmad Monir (2018)

  • Financially distressed companies always bring about enormous financial and economic losses to many stakeholders, such as management, stockholders, employees and customers together with a substantial social and economic cost to the country. Therefore, a distress prediction model that can predict the event and identify the determinants in advance would serve to reduce such losses by providing a pre-warning signal to stakeholders. Preventive actions can then be taken by stakeholders if they can obtain early warning signal of probable failure that will lead to the efficient allocation of available resources to reduce losses. For these reasons, identifying the financial distress determinan...

  • does_low_leverage_minimize_impact_financial_shocks_Obiya et al.pdf.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: el Alaoui, AbdelKader Ouatik; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath; Mohammed Masih, Abul Mansur; Asutay, Mehmet (2018)

  • This study embodies a preliminary endeavour at analysing the impact of leverage on portfolio behaviour, with specific reference to return and volatility, in the European stock markets, using the debt ratio as one of the important benchmarks for Islamic stock screening. Given the focus of Islamic stock screening on the debt ratio, we use data from 320 firms for eight European countries which were classified according to their level of debt and size. For this, the portfolio optimisation based Mean-Variance Efficient Frontier (MVEF), the Sharpe Ratio and the Capital Market Line (CML) were employed. Our findings tend to demonstrate that, under shocks, high leverage worsens the portfolio r...

  • item.jpg
  • PhD


  • Authors: Mohd Hussan, Subithabhanu (2018)

  • One of the objectives of the implementation of the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 (IFSA) is to promote greater risk-sharing in the Islamic financial industry. Accordingly, IFSA has distinguished the two major sources of funding for an Islamic banking institution, i.e. deposits and investment accounts. However, more than five years into the implementation, the Act is deemed to have failed in terms of upholding its risk-sharing values, where change could only be observed in the statutory position of investment account. This dissertation aims to motivate Islamic banks to move away from continuing risk-transfer practices, by proposing a risk-sharing investment account model (includin...

  • sukuk_innovation_needs_go_further_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2018)

  • Sukuk, which is probably Islamic finance's most popular product, has of late gone through a fair bit of innovation. As opposed to their earlier structures which were nothing but Shariah-compliant straight debt, some of today's sukuk come with a variety of features. Broadly speaking, there are two broad thrusts in the innovation that have taken place. First, the use of embedded options for better risk management/proling. Second, innovation seeking to overcome limitations like the need for physical underlying assets. Though options - especially the exchange-traded variety - are still anathema to a majority of the fuqaha (Shariah scholars) fraternity, their use within sukuk structures ap...

  • shariah_stock_screening_optimal_capital_structure_need_rethink_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2018)

  • The capital structure decision is a highly important one for corporations. Capital structure refers to the combination of debt and equity (and other hybrids) that a company uses to fund itself. Going by finance theory, each corporation has its optimal capital structure. This optimal mix of debt and equity maximises the firm's market value by minimising its weighted average cost of capital. As debt is always cheaper than equity and has a tax shelter advantage, a firm's cost of capital reduces as it uses more debt in lieu of equity. However, risk increases as the proportion of debt increases. It is this trade-off between risk and return/value that gives rise to a minimal point for cost ...

  • capital_flows_regulatory_arbitrage_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2018)

  • Events earlier in the year in Australia show the extent to which cross-border capital flows can arbitrage regulatory hurdles. It appears that in an effort to rein in a burgeoning housing bubble, the Australian central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has placed caps on bank lending to real estate developers. The policy, aimed largely at curbing purchases of Australian homes by foreigners through domestic borrowing, initially was effective. In addition to foreign speculators, domestic housing developers too were hit hard. Such regulation would have essentially taken the wind out of a domestic housing bubble, had it not been for foreign hedge funds and private equity. Given fre...

Prof. Dr. Obiyathulla Ismath Bacha
author picture
Qualification: Doctor of Business Administration (specialization in Finance) Boston University, USA. (1993)
Fields/Area of Specialization: Finance and Accounting
Prof. Dr Obiyathulla Ismath Bacha achieved his Bachelor of Social Science from the University Science Malaysia, a Master of Business Administration, a Masters in Economics and his Doctor of Business Administration in Finance from Boston University. He is currently a professor of Finance at INCEIF. Previously he has held several key positions at the International Islamic University of Malaysia. He was also an assistant professor in finance at Boston University, he taught at both MBA and undergraduate levels. He is also an active Shariah advisor to institutions such as Five Pillars and Sabana REIT. Prof. Dr. Obiyathulla is also the Vice President of the Malaysian Economic Association and a member of the Malaysian Finance Association.
Showing results 1 to 20 of 97
  • too_small_succeed_versus_too_big_fail_marjan_obiya_mansur.pdf.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: Naseri, Marjan; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath; Mohammed Masih, Abul Mansur (2020)

  • Even though large banks could imply large risks and heightened vulnerability for a country's macroeconomy, the presence of many small banks with similar behavior such as Islamic banks could also cause systemic risks. This article makes an initial attempt to investigate the impact of bank size on banking performance. Our study spans 12 emerging countries with dual banking systems and applies two-step dynamic system GMM estimator. The results show that size really does matter in the banking industry, and its impact on performance tends to be non-linear with a trade-off between profitability and efficiency. Comparing conventional with Islamic banks, we find that bank size has almost the ...

  • item.jpg
  • Chapter in Book


  • Authors: Mokhtar, Maznita; Abdul Kareem, Mohamed Ariff; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2020)

  • There is wide consensus that the ultimate objective of government policies is to improve the quality of people's lives. The reality, however, is that the impact of government policies tends to be measured rather in terms of GDP growth as proxy for progress. The debate about growth vs. development is not new as the distinction between these concepts was recognized since the 1970s. GDP growth has often been understood in terms of improvement in the quality of life. However, further research is indicating that inequality affects sustainable growth (Berg and Ostry 2011), which in turn reduces the ability to improve the quality of life. This is the case of many OECD nations where household...

  • item.jpg
  • Chapter in Book


  • Authors: Akin, Tarik; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath; Mirakhor, Abbas; Iqbal, Zamir (2020)

  • Increasing inequalities is one of the defining social, economic, and political challenges of the post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC) era. Apart from the negative social, public finance, and short-run growth effects of high inequality, the compelling evidence indicates that inequality is an important cause for the financial crises (Kumhof, Ranciere, and Winant 2015; Rajan 2010; de Haan and Sturm 2016; Turner 2016) and low long-term economic growth (World Economic Forum 2017; OECD 2015; IMF 2017). The inequality problem and its visible repercussions on economic growth and financial crises have spurred interest in the economics of inequality.

  • item.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: Seho, Mirzet; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath; Smolo, Edib (2020)

  • In theory, the cornerstones of Islamic finance are interest avoidance and risk-sharing. In practice, however, Islamic banks seem to be lacking both, particularly the latter. We investigate the interest rate impact on Islamic banks' three most-widely used types of financing instruments - i.e. sale-based, lease-based and risk-sharing-by employing the system GMM estimators on a unique panel data set of 77 Islamic banks from 13 countries over the period 2003-2017. We find that sale- and lease-based financing instruments are negatively correlated with the interest rate and that their exposure is amplified in more developed Islamic banking jurisdictions. Risk-sharing instruments, however, a...

  • capital_structure_Shariah_compliance_firms_Malaysian_evidence_obiyathulla et al.pdf.jpg
  • Chapter in Book


  • Authors: Abdul Halim, Asyraf; Abd Sukor, Mohd Edil; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • In the literature of corporate finance, there exists alongside others, an age long inquiry into the behaviour and determinants of corporate capital structure. The study into capital structure behaviour was pioneered by Modigliani and Miller (1958, 1963) and which is still widely research today. Despite years of research, much are still unknown to us, which determinants are reliable explanator of capital structure variations across firms and time. In 1984, Stewart C. Myers officially introduced the "Capital Structure Puzzle" in his American Finance Association Presidential Speech. The capital structure puzzle at its heart asks the question of how do firms decide and manage their capita...

  • farewell_goldilocks_economy_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • In 2018, the global economy began with much promise. The prior year had seen fairly strong and synchronised growth across the US, Western Europe and industrialised Asia. Stock markets rose to reect this steady stable growth. The S&P 500 had one of its most consistent and strongest runs in the 10-month period leading to October 2018. The broad-based index reached its historic peak in late September. Since then, from October, both the global economy and stock markets appeared to have gone through a series of jolts. Risk and volatility appear to have returned with a vengeance. The last quarter (4Q) of 2018 was tumultuous from an economic viewpoint. Why the sudden turn of fortune? For one...

  • strategy_rejuvenate_Islamic_finance_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • The Islamic banking and finance (IBF) sector appears to be at a crossroads. Over the last three decades, growth has been impressive, with total assets estimated at about US$2 trillion (RM8.32 trillion). Looking back, this impressive early growth appears to have been the low hanging fruit. Rapid growth came from filling an existing latent demand. Geographically speaking, even this early growth has been uneven. Growth had been most impressive in countries such as Malaysia and Bahrain, but slower in larger nations such as Turkey, Indonesia and even Saudi Arabia, where it has only recently begun to make an impact. In much of the Arab world, countries like Egypt, Tunisia and the like, IBF ...

  • infantile_equity_markets_drag_development_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • If well-developed equity markets can contribute hugely to national growth, underdeveloped ones impose a huge cost on national competitiveness through higher required risk premiums and higher equity costs to firms. The high cost of equity has the added disadvantage of incentivising firms to leverage their capital structure with debt. Thus, the common phenomenon of developing countries with infantile stock markets and highly leveraged economies. Retarded stock markets offer perverse incentives, both to managers of firms and shareholders. So, how do the equity markets of the Islamic world stack up? To address this, we examined the performance of the Muslim world's top eight stock markets...

  • debt_exchange_rate_vulnerability_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • Muslim-majority nations like Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt and even Malaysia have seen their currencies depreciate and come under pressure in the recent past. Turkey and Egypt have had to increase domestic interest rates substantially to ease the exchange rate pressure. Indonesia, too, had to raise rates, albeit of a much lower magnitude. The choice of an exchange rate policy - whether pegged, free floating or managed - depends on the trade-off preference. Fixed or pegged exchange rates offer stability, but this has to be traded off against the lack of independence in monetary policymaking. A freely floating currency has the advantage of providing full flexibility in policymaking, but has ...

  • debt_debt_even_Shariah-compliant_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2019)

  • In a book aptly titled 'This Time Is Different', Rogoff and Reinhart, two prominent economists, show that every single financial crisis over the last 800 years has had a single root cause - excessive debt. It appears that what begins as borrowing for the funding of development infrastructure can, as it builds, lead to a spiralling of debt and financial crisis. There is a circular and reciprocal relationship between debt, leverage, vulnerability and financial distress. This applies to all borrowers, governments, corporations or other entities.

  • Issues_in_Islamic_equities_mansur_et_al.pdf.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: Mohammed Masih, Abul Mansur; Mustaffa Kamil, Nazrol Kamil; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2018)

  • This article reviews the current literature on Islamic equities. Our survey indicates that the bulk of articles is quantitative or empirical in nature, with a notable dearth of theoretical works. Among the common research themes explored by these articles are comparative performances of Islamic equities visa-vis their conventional counterparts, comparisons of Islamic portfolios with SRI funds, and empirically articulating portfolio diversification benefits associated with Islamic equities. In addition, numerous articles discuss idiosyncrasies of Shari'ah compliant stocks and portfolios under subthemes such as volatility, risk factors, and performance attributes. This survey also inclu...

  • item.jpg
  • PhD


  • Authors: Vaqar, Momin Ebaad (2018)

  • Infrastructure is the backbone of modem economies; an adequate and efficient public infrastructure is essential for nations to achieve their economic growth objectives. Although the need and role of infrastructure are well recognized, little attention has been paid to the risks and pitfalls of the current infrastructure financing structures. The enormous infrastructure deficit and the increasing instances of debt restructurings, infrastructure project failures and expensive government bailouts, present enough reason for a deeper thought and action towards making infrastructure financing more robust. Through the thesis, the researcher sheds light on the problems related to such forms o...

  • Determinants_of_capital_structure_ramazan_mansur_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: Yildirim, Ramazan; Mohammed Masih, Abul Mansur; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2018)

  • Many Muslim individual and institutional investors seek to invest only in stocks that are compliant with the Shari'ah (i.e. Islamic law). Among others, Dow Jones addressed this demand and has developed their proprietary screening methodologies to identify Shari'ah compliant firms (SC). One key factor that distinguishes SC firms from their non-compliant peers (SNC) is that the former is not allowed to cross the leverage threshold of 33%. Due to the restrictions imposed on them, it is expected that SC firms exhibit different capital structure compared to the SNC firms. The purpose of this initial comparative study is to analyze the most reliable debt determinants identified in the liter...

  • empirical_evidence_risk_shifting_bonds_debt-based_sukuk_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: Hamzah, Siti Raihana; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath; Mirakhor, Abbas; Abdul Kader Malim, Nurhafiza (2018)

  • The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent of risk shifting behavior in bonds and sukuk. The examination is significant, as economists and scholars identify risk shifting as the primary cause of the global financial crisis. Yet, the dangers of this debt-financing feature are largely ignored - one needs to only witness the record growth of global debt even after the global financial crisis. To identify the signs of risk shifting existence in the corporations, this paper compares each corporation's operating risk before and after issuing debt. Operating risk or risk of a firm's activities is measured using the volatility of the operating earnings or coefficient variation of earn...

  • item.jpg
  • PhD


  • Authors: Abdullah, Ahmad Monir (2018)

  • Financially distressed companies always bring about enormous financial and economic losses to many stakeholders, such as management, stockholders, employees and customers together with a substantial social and economic cost to the country. Therefore, a distress prediction model that can predict the event and identify the determinants in advance would serve to reduce such losses by providing a pre-warning signal to stakeholders. Preventive actions can then be taken by stakeholders if they can obtain early warning signal of probable failure that will lead to the efficient allocation of available resources to reduce losses. For these reasons, identifying the financial distress determinan...

  • does_low_leverage_minimize_impact_financial_shocks_Obiya et al.pdf.jpg
  • Journal Article


  • Authors: el Alaoui, AbdelKader Ouatik; Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath; Mohammed Masih, Abul Mansur; Asutay, Mehmet (2018)

  • This study embodies a preliminary endeavour at analysing the impact of leverage on portfolio behaviour, with specific reference to return and volatility, in the European stock markets, using the debt ratio as one of the important benchmarks for Islamic stock screening. Given the focus of Islamic stock screening on the debt ratio, we use data from 320 firms for eight European countries which were classified according to their level of debt and size. For this, the portfolio optimisation based Mean-Variance Efficient Frontier (MVEF), the Sharpe Ratio and the Capital Market Line (CML) were employed. Our findings tend to demonstrate that, under shocks, high leverage worsens the portfolio r...

  • item.jpg
  • PhD


  • Authors: Mohd Hussan, Subithabhanu (2018)

  • One of the objectives of the implementation of the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 (IFSA) is to promote greater risk-sharing in the Islamic financial industry. Accordingly, IFSA has distinguished the two major sources of funding for an Islamic banking institution, i.e. deposits and investment accounts. However, more than five years into the implementation, the Act is deemed to have failed in terms of upholding its risk-sharing values, where change could only be observed in the statutory position of investment account. This dissertation aims to motivate Islamic banks to move away from continuing risk-transfer practices, by proposing a risk-sharing investment account model (includin...

  • sukuk_innovation_needs_go_further_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2018)

  • Sukuk, which is probably Islamic finance's most popular product, has of late gone through a fair bit of innovation. As opposed to their earlier structures which were nothing but Shariah-compliant straight debt, some of today's sukuk come with a variety of features. Broadly speaking, there are two broad thrusts in the innovation that have taken place. First, the use of embedded options for better risk management/proling. Second, innovation seeking to overcome limitations like the need for physical underlying assets. Though options - especially the exchange-traded variety - are still anathema to a majority of the fuqaha (Shariah scholars) fraternity, their use within sukuk structures ap...

  • shariah_stock_screening_optimal_capital_structure_need_rethink_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2018)

  • The capital structure decision is a highly important one for corporations. Capital structure refers to the combination of debt and equity (and other hybrids) that a company uses to fund itself. Going by finance theory, each corporation has its optimal capital structure. This optimal mix of debt and equity maximises the firm's market value by minimising its weighted average cost of capital. As debt is always cheaper than equity and has a tax shelter advantage, a firm's cost of capital reduces as it uses more debt in lieu of equity. However, risk increases as the proportion of debt increases. It is this trade-off between risk and return/value that gives rise to a minimal point for cost ...

  • capital_flows_regulatory_arbitrage_obiyathulla.pdf.jpg
  • Newspaper Article


  • Authors: Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath (2018)

  • Events earlier in the year in Australia show the extent to which cross-border capital flows can arbitrage regulatory hurdles. It appears that in an effort to rein in a burgeoning housing bubble, the Australian central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has placed caps on bank lending to real estate developers. The policy, aimed largely at curbing purchases of Australian homes by foreigners through domestic borrowing, initially was effective. In addition to foreign speculators, domestic housing developers too were hit hard. Such regulation would have essentially taken the wind out of a domestic housing bubble, had it not been for foreign hedge funds and private equity. Given fre...