By Rushdi Siddiqui, Special to Gulf News
The Islamic world profiled modalities of capitalism in the 8th and 9th centuries, but today’s Muslim countries’ Islamic financial hubs are missing something vital — addressing ‘have nots’ (micro-finance), and deploying the funds of ‘haves’ into Islamic venture capital (VC) funds.
Our focus is on the latter: interplay between risk capital and innovative ideas for strategic localised benefit. The Chairman of Malaysia‘s Securities Commission, Zarinah Anwar, stated in a keynote speech in 2007, “…how can Malaysia distinguish itself in the emerging market venture capital pool? Our belief is that Islamic VC provides that distinguishing factor.’
Yes, VC is labour intensive requiring specialised skills, entails active risk capital as part of portfolio, and a long term play, much like Sukuk in held-to-maturity portfolio.
Islamic finance should now take a page from US President Barack Obama’s recent successful summit