03 April 2008 — DFSA Launches Islamic Finance Initiative with Hong Kong
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”) today announced a joint regulatory initiative with the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (“SFC”) to enhance access to Islamic financial products in Hong Kong and the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”). This initiative was announced in the context of a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) between the two regulators in Hong Kong.
The MoU outlines a commitment to enhance mutual co-operation towards promoting and developing their respective Islamic capital market segments, in particular to working together on facilitating the distribution of Islamic funds in the DIFC and Hong Kong.
The SFC has also agreed to play a part in the DFSA’s graduate training program (its Tomorrow’s Regulatory Leaders (“TRL”) program) by offering short-term placements to UAE nationals employed by the DFSA.
The MoU was signed by the Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr.David Knott, and the Chief Executive of the SFC, Mr. Martin Wheatley, in the presence of the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, the Honourable John Tsang Chun-Wah, the Chairman of the DFSA, Mr. Abdullah Saleh and the Chairman of the SFC, Mr. Eddy Fong. The signing coincided with a number of meetings and engagements of the DFSA Board with senior members of government, regulatory agencies and the financial services industry in Beijing and Hong Kong.
Commenting on this initiative, Mr.David Knott, Chief Executive of the DFSA said:
“The DFSA admires the part played by the SFC in supporting Hong Kong as one of the world’s leading financial centres and appreciates the SFC’s commitment to sharing its experience with the DFSA’s Emirati graduates. For its part, the DIFC enjoys a reputation as a centre for excellence for Islamic Finance in the Middle East and, with its tailor made regulatory system for Islamic Finance, the DFSA looks forward to working closely with the SFC to promote and develop this sector.”
“Both agencies will undertake detailed work to reconcile as far as possible the regulatory approach that each jurisdiction takes to Islamic Finance so that cross- border transactions can be implemented with optimum efficiency and minimum replicated cost. Hong Kong is already a ‘recognised jurisdiction’ for conventional funds under the DIFC’s funds management laws but this project intends to make it easier for funds managers and issuers to offer Islamic financial products between Hong Kong and the DIFC.”
Mr.Knott added, “This new MoU with the SFC of Hong Kong will prove to be among the most important entered into by the DFSA. It cements the close ties that already exist between us and paves the way for future initiatives that will benefit both Hong Kong and Dubai. The support expressed for this relationship this afternoon by Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, the Honourable John Tsang Chun-Wah, reflects the importance that he places on this special regulatory relationship, and is much appreciated by the DFSA.”