French Islamic finance in focus at key forum

MANAMA: The 18th annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2011) will feature a key session on “Islamic Finance New Developments in France – Growth and Opportunities”.

The forum will be held from November 21 to 23 at the Gulf Hotel.The session, hosted by Invest in France Agency, will feature critical discussions on the development of Islamic finance in France.

It will also analyse and evaluate the tax and legal framework in France and will also assess real case feedback for structuring Islamic ethical compliant equities and funds.

“Islamic finance benefits from strong support in France,” said Invest in France Agency chairman and chief executive David Appia.

“In building an appropriate and friendly environment, French authorities have contributed to make France an open country to Islamic finance.

“France has made a series of legal and tax adjustments into its financial system to integrate transactions and concepts that comply with Sharia principles, ensuring their tax neutrality with respect to conventional finance,” he said.

“The regulatory body, the French Financial Market Authority, has defined a working framework for managing Sharia-compliant funds, some of which are already being distributed in France.

“Islamic investors can benefit from a leading easy-to-access finance industry through the Paris Stock Exchange.

“Paris Europlace, the Paris financial markets organisation, has signed an agreement with the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions, which enacts legal, financial and accounting standards for Islamic finance in France.

“France promises a successful future for Islamic finance,” he said.

“In a market conducive to development and with the ambition to build long-term relationships between France and the Middle East, Invest in France Agency is convinced of the importance of taking part in WIBC 2011, an opportunity of sharing experiences and paving the way to a sustainable growth,” he added.