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Azhar Mohamad and Aghilasse Kashi

Abstract

The two main problems faced by the Islamic finance industry in Muslim countries are that the markets are fragmented, which gives rise to different governing standards, and that the markets’ growth is very much region-centric. In this article, using a qualitative approach, we identify the obstacles facing the industry in its quest to unify the differences and implement a uniform standard. We argue that if Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry is to become a leader in the global Islamic finance industry, a key policy must be to reduce the gaps in Islamic finance practices between countries by adopting unified standards. Unifying standards could enable Muslim countries to accrue greater benefits from the globalisation of the Islamic financial sector and attract more foreign direct investment and portfolio equity flows. It could also enable greater integration of Islamic financial markets, increase diversification opportunities and expand the set of available financial instruments.