15 August 2006 — DFSA announces major Islamic Finance initiative with Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 15, 2006: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) today announced the commencement of a joint project with the Securities Commission, Malaysia (SC) designed to remove regulatory barriers to Islamic Finance transactions between the DIFC and Malaysia.

The project was announced as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the two regulators in Kuala Lumpur.

The MOU was signed by Dato' Zarinah Anwar, Chairman of the SC and Mr. David Knott, Chief Executive of the DFSA, at a ceremony attended by the Malaysian Minister of Finance, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

This project will involve detailed work to reconcile as far as possible the regulatory approach that each jurisdiction takes to Islamic Finance and other products, so that cross border transactions can be implemented with optimum efficiency and minimum replicated cost.

Commenting on this initiative, David Knott, Chief Executive of the DFSA said: "The DFSA strongly admires the successful part played by the SC in assisting Malaysia to become the leading jurisdiction in Asia for originating Islamic Finance transactions. We share a similar vision for the DIFC which already has in place a tailor-made regulatory system for Islamic Finance.

Knott added: "By working closely with the SC we will identify ways to streamline the regulatory standards between our jurisdictions, thereby making it easier for funds managers and issuers to operate between Asia and the Middle East. This will include considering the eligibility of Malaysia as a ''recognized jurisdiction'' under our funds management laws.

The DIFC has all the characteristics required to develop as a thriving centre of excellence in Islamic Finance. Today's agreement between the DFSA and the SC is an important contribution towards that objective and to the internationalization of this sector."

In relation to the MOU Mr. Knott added: "This new MOU with Malaysia will prove to be one of 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 Malaysia and the UAE. The support expressed for this relationship this morning by Malaysia's Minister of Finance, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, reflects the importance that he places on this special regulatory relationship, and is much appreciated by the DFSA."