Risk management, derivatives and Shariah compliance

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Despite the impressive growth of Islamic Banking and Finance (IBF), a number of weaknesses remain. The most important of this is perhaps the lack of shariah compliant risk management tools. While the risk sharing philosophy of Islamic Finance requires the acceptance of risk to justify returns, the shariah also requires adherents to avoid unnecessary risk-maysir. The requirement to avoid maysir is in essence a call for the prudent management of risk. Contemporary risk management revolves around financial engineering, the building blocks of which are financial derivatives. Despite the proven efficacy of derivatives in the management of risk in the conventional space, shariah scholars appear to be suspicious and uneasy with their use in IBF. Some have imposed outright prohibition of their use. This paper re-examines the issue of contemporary derivative instruments and shariah compliance. The shariah compatibility of derivatives is shown in a number of ways. First, by way of qualitative evaluation of whether derivatives can be made to comply with the key prohibitions of the sharia. Second, by way of comparing the payoff profiles of derivatives with risk sharing finance and Bai Salam contracts. Finally, the equivalence between shariah compliant derivatives like the IPRS and Islamic FX Currency Forwards with conventional ones is presented.
Shariah , Risk management , Derivatives
Bacha, O. I. (2012, December 18-20). Risk management, derivatives and Shariah compliance. In Proceedings of the 20th National Symposium on Mathematical Sciences. Paper presented at 20th National Symposium on Mathematical Sciences, Putrajaya, Malaysia (pp. 17-28). Melville, New York: AIP Publishing.
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