MENSA COUNTRIES TO GO GOLD BACKED
What they trade the most is currency.
Islamic gold standard to debut in December; price jump expected
By Arno Maierbrugger/Gulf Times Correspondent /Bangkok
Tuesday، 22 November 2016 09:10 PM
The long-awaited new Shariah Gold Standard is now set to be launched
before the end of 2016 and expected to become the next big catalyst to
push the precious metal to new highs – some analysts say even up to
$3,000 an ounce in the medium-term, more than 2.5-fold of where the
price currently stands.
Islamic scholars at the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for
Islamic Financial Institutions in Bahrain are reportedly in the final
phase of creating an acceptable standard for Muslims to trade in gold,
a regulation set to become effective next month that will allow
Muslims to trade physical gold and gold-related financial instruments.
The council is working with London-based World Gold Council on all
technical and ethical issues.
The basic challenge to create a Shariah Gold Standard is that gold has
been treated mostly as a currency in Islamic finance, limiting its use
to spot transactions. Under Shariah law, gold is one of six items
(ribawi items, the others being barley, dates, salt, silver and
wheat), which are forbidden from being held onto with the intention of
trading at a later date for an expected higher value. This means that,
until now, Muslims could not trade gold for a profit, neither use
gold-related investment vehicles such as gold index funds, futures and
even mining stocks.
Muslims have always been allowed to own gold jewellery, though, but
consumer demand for gold in the Middle East region has actually fallen
in recent years.
This is highly likely to change quickly. The key of the new Shariah
Gold Standard is that gold is no longer seen as a currency, but as a
commodity, and any transaction would be allowed under this
circumstance as long as it is backed by real gold as an asset.
The standard now also delivers a consensus on gold trading in financial
instruments such as exchange traded funds or futures, which are halal
as long as physical gold is delivered at the end of a transaction,
ending the confusion and hesitation that was always part of gold deals
in Islamic finance. It provides guidance from a Shariah perspective on
the usage of gold in financial and investment transactions for Islamic
financial institutions and participants.
According to the World Gold Council, the new standard will also serve
as an internationally recognised consensus on regular gold savings
plans, gold certificates and gold mining equities.
“The Shariah Gold Standard will highly likely bring a boost to the
gold market and spur a new wave of product innovation in Islamic
finance,” says World Gold Council CEO Aram Shishmanian, pointing out
that until now, money managers within Islamic financial markets were
limited to a few Shariah-compliant assets such as equities, real
estate and sukuk as there were virtually no official Shariah-compliant
gold products on the market.
Thus, gold investments will now allow Islamic investors to diversify
their assets more broadly, stabilising the Islamic financial market in
Once the Shariah Gold Standard is introduced, many market observers
expect the gold price to take off since an additional 1.6bn Muslims,
dozens of central banks and hundreds of Arab ultra-high-net worth
individuals will be eligible to invest in gold.
In addition, Muslim countries with weak currencies such as Malaysia,
Indonesia and Pakistan, are expected to build up gold reserves to
flatten exchange rate volatilities. Younger middle-class Muslims, who
are looking for greater financial sophistication, might find it in
Shariah-compliant gold options such as compliant gold exchange traded
According to a Standard & Poor’s estimate, up to a whopping $3tn could
flood into the gold market after the Shariah Gold Standard is
introduced, propelling Islamic assets globally to $5tn by 2020.