An Islamic Perspective on Capital Markets and “Islamic” Securities in Malaysia

Financial systems channel funds in an economy from the surplus economic units lacking appropriate investment opportunities to the deficit economic units with such opportunities. The surplus units seeking returns by employing their funds in productive activities and the deficit units interested in exploiting their investment opportunities contact one another through a network of financial markets a~d institutions in the economy. The participants make financial contracts in ways which satisfy their requirements regarding liquidity, denomination, maturities, and risk diversification [Anwar (1987), pp. 296-297]. In this way, the financial markets contribute to a higher production, efficiency, and economic welfare of everyone in the society [Mishkin (1989), p. 45]. In recent years, the appetite for investment in the markets of developing countries has increased manyfold [Hussain (1994), p. 2]. A good many of such developing markets are in Islamic countries such as Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Malaysia. Well-developed Islamic financial markets would contribute towards economic development by attracting capital inflows and checking capital flight from the Islamic nations.