Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. (Creative Commons)
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Islamic finance regulators are working to reduce the role of scholars, blaming delays and excessive fees for stifling growth in the industry.A well-respected expert can charge between $500 and $1,000 an hour in the Middle East, according to two scholars, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.Islamic finance institutions require rulings from scholars, known as fatwa, before they can market any securities or funds in an industry whose assets are set to double to $3.4 trillion by 2018, according to Ernst & Young LLP. As the $1.7 trillion Shariah finance industry gained greater global prominence, the pay of scholars has increased accordingly.The number of hours an Islamic expert has to spend on a sukuk issue depends on the complexity of the structure and a standard transaction would involve about 20 hours of work, said one of the scholars who declined to be identified.
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