Sunday, March 26, 2006

Malaysia set to be hub for Islamic finance education
By Zaidi Isham
March 25 2006

MALAYSIA, which aspires to become an Islamic finance, banking, takaful (insurance) and halal hub, has added another sector under the list - Islamic finance education.
Bank Negara has launched the country's first International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (Inceif) aimed at attracting the world's best minds to beef up their knowledge in Islamic finance.For now, the temporary campus will be at Menara Tun Razak Kuala Lumpur until a new site is identified by the central bank.Bank Negara Malaysia has also set up a RM500 million endowment fund to ensure Inceif's operations and services are benchmarked against the world's best standards.Bank Negara assistant governor Datuk Mohd Razif Abdul Kadir said Inceif is Malaysia's way of offering to the world Islamic finance education."We want to start competing with other hubs in Islamic finance education such as Hong Kong, New York and several West Asian countries," Mohd Razif told the press in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.To date 500 students, of which half are foreigners, have made plans to enrol in Inceif for the certified Islamic finance professional certificates.Successful graduates can expect to become exemplary professionals and will be much sought after in the global employment market in Islamic financial services industry.Duration of its education programmes and courses range between one and nine years and are mostly aimed at working professionals with emphasis on electronic or e-learning.Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz is also Inceif chairman and council members include Royal Professor Ungku A. Aziz, Islamic Financial Services Board secretary general Professor Dr Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim and Ambank Group chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim.

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