Sharia Review Bureau wins licence
Manama, September 24, 2007
The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has granted a licence to the Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB).
SRB is a provider of independent services related to Shari’a review and compliance.
SRB, which will operate under the ‘Ancillary Service’ licence category, is the first entity of its kind to be licensed by the CBB. Established in 2005, it is a member of the Accounting & Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), the Bahrain-based standard-setting body for the global Islamic finance industry.
SRB’s core service, aimed at Islamic financial institutions and businesses, includes review and analysis of corporate activities and transactions to ensure their conformity to Islamic regulations based on the related fatwas, thus enabling the institution or organisation to adhere to Islamic principles.
The main shareholders of SRB include well-known Shari’a scholar and member of the Islamic Fiqh Academy, Dr Mohammed Ali El Gari, who is chairman of SRB. Dr El Gari, who is director of the Centre for Research in Islamic Economics at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, also sits on the Shari’a supervisory boards of a number of Islamic financial institutions. Other shareholders are prominent bankers from the region.
“The CBB is delighted with the addition of SRB to Bahrain’s growing community of Islamic finance professionals and institutions,” said Ahmed Abdul Aziz Al Bassam, director, Licensing & Policy, at the CBB.
“The granting of the licence to SRB also confirms the importance the CBB attaches to sound advancement of the Islamic finance industry, by ensuring not only an appropriate regulatory framework but also the provision of comprehensive infrastructure to support the growth of the industry.”
Organisations such as the SRB also add to the range and scope of support services available in Bahrain for the Islamic finance industry, said Al Bassam.
Yasir Dahlawi, chief executive officer of the SRB, said the firm is a specialised entity, which provides external Shari’a review services to Islamic financial institutions.
“We aim to provide high quality opinions that are practical and compatible with the principles of the Islamic Shari’a,” he said.
SRB also provides a ‘stock market indicator’ of publicly traded companies which meet Islamic investment criteria; portfolio assessment to identify and segregate gains realized through sources not compliant with Shari’a; training on Islamic principles and their proper applications; and Shari’a advisory services. – TradeArabia News Service