The operations in the general business environment are very dynamic by nature. There is no doubt that the financial markets as well as the commodity markets need to structure their business operations, so as to meet the changing business environment demands as well as the expectations (United States. Congress. Senate. 2004). The main challenge for the main market players is to consistently be at pace with the business environment developments, so as to have in place effective as well as timely establishments of operation standards and regulations. A number of international initiatives have focused on the state of operations of the commodity market in the Islamic market. This has been done so as to establish standards as well as benchmarks, which are set to strengthen the world commodity market. The research study intends to contribute to the need for establishing a regulator commodity market, especially in the Saudi Arabia financial market (The Economist 2006).
The Islamic commodity market is one of the major aspects in the world commodity market, which has achieved tremendous growth in the recent past. This is to the extent of being a substantial component within the global commodity market, and has thus gained a lot of interest as the crucial component of the world financial market (Europa Publications Staff, 2002). The increasing demands as well as awareness for establishing investment portfolios to be in line with the shariah principles at the global market, have acted as stimulators towards establishing the Islamic commodity market as the world’s most attractive industry. This is an indicator of the growth of the wealth base as well as the potential of the investors, who could either be Muslim or non Muslim, to find ways and invest in commodities which meet their needs and expectations (El-Gamal, 2006).
The research questions to be answered in this research study provide a basis, for establishing the importance of establishing a form of regulator commodity market in the financial market of Saudi Arabia. The aspect which is being focused on in this research study is the reasons as to why a regulator form of commodity market should be established, especially in Saudi Arabia. The research questions will therefore act as a guide to activities of the research study (Henry and Wilson, 2004).
Core research question
The main aim of the research study is to assess the need for establishing a regulator form of commodity market in the land of Saudi Arabia, and the effects on the business transactions which take place in the Islamic market (Henry and Wilson, 2004).
The other research questions that need to be covered in this research study include:
1. What are some of the factors which influence the conduction of business transactions in the Islamic market?
2. What are the likely effects of establishing a regulator form of commodity market in the .land of Saudi Arabia?
3. Who are the major players in the Islamic market and what role do they play in the business transactions?
4. To what extent are the major players likely to influence the operations of the Islamic commodity market?
5. What potential effects does regulation of the Islamic commodity market have on the Islamic finance and the general business transactions?
The main intention of this research study is to establish, the importance of establishing a regulator in the Islamic commodity market especially in the suggested location Saudi Arabia. The importance of the regulator is assessed in terms of the effects to the Islamic financial market, as well as the general business transactions. The research study is intended at providing a sound bases upon which conclusive research findings can be made, as to the need for regulating the commodities market. Both the secondary and primary data will be analysed to assess the current state of operations of the Islamic commodities market, and the need for a regulator. Therefore, data will highlight the importance of establishing the current state of operations in the Islamic commodity market, and finally, for the research study to meet its intended research objectives (Taylor & Francis Group and Dean, 2004).
2.0 Literature review
Islamic commodity market
The establishment of a distinct Islamic commodity market, whereby a number of investments as well as financing activities are established in accordance to the requirements of the Shariah principles, can be described as the outcome of the continued growth of the Islamic financial sector. There have been demands to address the issues of liquidity of the Islamic banks like Altauaruq and Almurabha among others, as well as the takaful operators in the various Islamic countries. There have also been efforts to establish a regulatory framework for the Islamic commodity market, and make clear the Shariah principles on the commodities which should are allowed to be involved in the business transactions at the commodity market (Davis and Azizian, 2006).
In general, the Shariah principles that govern the conduction of business transactions at the commodities market states that the non legal transactions are those activities, which involves the use of interest and the commodities that have a certain level of uncertainties attached to them. Gambling is also prohibited as well as food and drinks among many other immoral activities (International Monetary Fund, 2006).
In the commodities market, an effective legal and supervisory as well as a regulatory framework establishes the essential ground for the operations of a modern commodity market. For the dynamic market like the Islamic commodity market, it is crucial that a conducive form of regulatory framework be established. This is to appropriately control the activities of the Islamic commodity market. A number of participants are allowed to address, any of the influences which affect the effective business operations of the market, as well as the innovations or even hinder the participation in the Islamic commodities market (Henry and Wilson, 2004).
Considering the levels and number of business activities being carried out at this market, an analysis is being made to determine the need for having a regulator in place within this conventional market. The first hypothesis which can be established in this research study is whether, the establishment of the Islamic commodity market will make any positive influence on the levels of Islamic finance, as the other regulatory frameworks have managed to influence the other Islamic finance markets (Fadzli, 2003). To that extent, the second hypothesis is to assess the extent to which, the regulator of the Islamic commodity market will not make any improvements. Considering that the operations at the Islamic commodities market involve both legal and non legal business transactions, the third hypothesis is made in relation to whether the establishment of the regulator will cut down the levels of occurrence of the illegal business transactions. The fourth hypothesis in that respect is that, the establishment of the regulator will not cut down the level of the illegal business transactions at the Islamic commodity market. By justifying the above mentioned hypotheses, the research study will have established the importance of having a regulator in the Islamic commodity market, and in this case the proposed regulator is Saudi Arabia (Al-Rifai, 2003).
3.0 Research design and methodology
To establish the need for having a regulator Islamic commodity market, especially in the land of Saudi Arabia, the research sample for this research study will be administered with questionnaires. The targeted respondents are the to the top management officers of the major commodity markets and financial institutions in the Islamic commodity market. The sample population shall be 50 companies in the Islamic commodity market. The sample population has been chosen so as to avoid the feasibility problems, associated with the research studies. Qualitative as well as quantitative data will be collected. Quantitative data shall be collected from the primary sources, which shall be analysed by the use of statistical techniques, compiled and presented using tools like graphs and charts among other techniques. Qualitative data shall be collected by the use of open ended questions in the questionnaires, which will be subjective in nature as they will represent the personal opinions of the targeted respondents. The qualitative data will support the quantitative data, in areas where the quantitative data will be having deviations from the factors under consideration (Al-Rifai, 2003).
The survey questionnaires shall be administered, considering the fact that they are easy and simple to use on the part of the researcher and the respondents. The research objectives and questions shall all be encompassed in the information in the research questionnaires. The qualitative approach will involve the answering of questions which relate to the nature of operations of the commodity market markets, with the intention of establishing the need for having a regulator in the commodity market. Thus the survey study has the potential of highlighting the operations of the commodity market, and the mechanisms involved which demands for regulatory measures to be carried out (Henry and Wilson, 2004).
In order to meet the identified research questions and objectives, the researcher will use the relevant literature resources. These sources will include books, Journals and the other relevant publications in the areas of Islamic commodity market and regulations. The knowledge as well as the research information which will be encompassed and assessed for validity of the research findings, will include resources from online libraries like EBSCO, Amazon, Blackwell publications, the emerald journals and the other sources like Questia (Henry and Wilson, 2004).
Access to the study population
One of the challenges that the researcher anticipates to encounter in carrying out the research study is the accessing the targeted respondents. So as to meet this challenge, the below strategies have been devised, so as to have access to the respondents to obtain the crucial information for the research study. The researcher will obtain permission letters, which will be approved by the research department at the university. This letters will then be supplied to the top management officers seeking for permission to include them in the research study, and to use their companies as a sample of the research population. In addition to that, the researcher will assure the respondents that the information obtained from the research study shall be used for academic purposes only, and not for any other purposes unless permission is sought from them (Al-Rifai, 2003).