The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) is planning to introduce central supervision of the Islamic finance sector to ensure consistent standards across the market.
This move follows practices in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and others in the GCC.
Further details are still to be announced, especially the date of the launch of a centralised supervisory body, and how it will operate. This is of importance particularly for international financial institutions seeking to carry out Shariah-compliant business with Qatari banks and financial institutions, reported Gulf Times.
The QCB said in its 2018 Financial Stability Review that measures were in place to establish a centralised Shariah supervisory body and create Shariah standards to govern Islamic banking products and transactions. This would harmonise standards and also help overcome arguments over non-standard financial product structures.
Data for the Islamic finance sector show that Qatar's four Islamic banks — Qatar Islamic Bank, Al Rayan Bank, Barwa Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank — had total assets of $96.14bn at the end of last year.
Policyholders' assets held by Qatar takaful companies grew by 14% to QAR2.1bn ($577m) at the end of 2018. Takaful contributions in 2018 reached QAR1.2bn, representing growth of 2.3% compared to the previous year The Islamic insurance sector in Qatar reported achieved profits of QAR46m in 2018.