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  • 1.

    Policies
    In general terms, what policy has your jurisdiction adopted towards Islamic finance? Are Islamic finance products regulated differently from conventional instruments? What has been the legislative approach?

  • 2.

    Market development
    How well established is Islamic finance in your jurisdiction? Are Islamic windows permitted in your jurisdiction?

  • 3.

    Legislation
    What is the main legislation relevant to Islamic banking, capital markets and insurance?

  • 4.

    Principal authorities
    Which are the principal authorities charged with the oversight of banking, capital markets and insurance products?

  • 5.

    Guidance
    Identify any notable guidance, policy statements or regulations issued by the regulators or other authorities specifically relevant to Islamic finance.

  • 6.

    Central authority
    Is there a central authority responsible for ensuring that transactions or products are shariah-compliant? Are IFIs required to set up shariah supervisory boards? May third parties, related parties or fund sponsors provide supervisory board services or must the board be internal?

  • 7.

    Board approval
    Do members of an institution’s shariah supervisory board require regulatory approval? Are there any other requirements for supervisory board members?

  • 8.

    Authorisation
    What are the requirements for Islamic banks to be authorised to carry out business in your jurisdiction?

  • 9.

    Foreign involvement
    May foreign institutions offer Islamic banking and capital markets services in your jurisdiction? Under what conditions?

  • 10.

    Takaful and retakaful operators
    What are the requirements for takaful and retakaful operators to gain admission to do business in your jurisdiction?

  • 11.

    Foreign operators
    How can foreign takaful operators become admitted? Can foreign takaful or retakaful operators carry out business in your jurisdiction as non-admitted insurers? Is fronting a possibility?

  • 12.

    Disclosure and reporting
    Are there any specific disclosure or reporting requirements for takaful, sukuk and Islamic funds?

  • 13.

    Sanctions and remedies
    What are the sanctions and remedies available when products have been falsely marketed as shariah-compliant?

  • 14.

    Jurisdiction in disputes
    Which courts, tribunals or other bodies have jurisdiction to hear Islamic finance disputes?

  • 15.

    Accommodation of concepts
    Mudarabah - profit sharing partnership separating responsibility for capital investment and management.

  • 16.


    Murabahah - cost plus profit agreement.

  • 17.


    Musharakah - profit sharing joint venture partnership agreement.

  • 18.


    Ijarah - lease to own agreement.

  • 19.


    Wadiah - safekeeping agreement.

  • 20.

    Securities structuring
    Sukuk - Islamic securities. Have sukuk or other Islamic securities been structured and issued in your jurisdiction to comply with Islamic principles, such as the prohibition of interest?

  • 21.

    Legal position
    What is the legal position of sukuk holders in an insolvency or a restructuring? Are sukuk instruments viewed as equity or debt instruments? Have there been any court decisions or legislation declaring whether sukuk holders are deemed to own the underlying assets?

  • 22.

    Insurance
    Takaful - Islamic insurance. Are there any conventional cooperative or mutual insurance vehicles that are, or could be adapted to be, shariah-compliant?

  • 23.


    Which lines of insurance are currently covered in the takaful market? Is takaful typically ceded to conventional reinsurers or is retakaful common in practice?

  • 24.

    Regulatory obstacles
    What are the principal regulatory obstacles facing the Islamic finance industry in your jurisdiction?

  • 25.

    Shariah law
    In what circumstances may shariah law become the governing law for a contract or a dispute? Have there been any recent notable cases on jurisdictional issues, the applicability of shariah or the conflict of shariah and local law relevant to the finance sector?

  • 26.

    Institutional takeover
    Are there any special considerations for the takeover of an Islamic financial institution, outside the requirements of the general merger control regime?

  • 27.

    Other notable features
    Are there any notable features of the Islamic finance regime and markets for Islamic finance products in your jurisdiction not covered above?

  • Updates and trends

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with approximately 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and transactional matters. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London and Brussels, and is internationally recognised for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity.

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