Islamic finance to be probed at key forum

MANAMA: The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the World Bank are co-hosting a key conference in Bahrain.

The two-day AAOIFI-World Bank Annual Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance will be held from Sunday at the Crowne Plaza.

It is being held under the auspices of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

The forum will discuss challenges in applying conventional international accounting standards, challenges in implementing Basel III capital adequacy standard, distribution of Islamic insurance surplus, potential of Islamic finance to promote international trade, and potential of real estate investment trusts in Islamic finance.

“AAOIFI is proud to organise the high-level annual conference which has become a key source of knowledge and information for central banks and regulatory authorities, Sharia scholars and finance industry professionals,” said AAOIFI secretary general Dr Mohammed Nedal Alchaar.

He added that the active involvement of the World Bank in organising the conference provided a clear indication on the growing importance of the Islamic finance industry and further confirmation of Bahrain’s position as a leading international Islamic finance centre.

The conference will be followed on Tuesday by an interactive workshop by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).

SWIFT is the organisation that provides an international platform for more than 9,000 member institutions, including Islamic financial institutions, in 209 countries to exchange standardised financial messages.

The workshop is on automation and standardised transaction processing for Islamic finance to highlight the ISO 15022 Murabaha messaging solution and discuss other potential messaging requirements for Islamic finance.

The major partner for the conference is National Commercial Bank.

The conference is also supported by Albaraka Banking Group, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Ernst & Young, Ithmaar Bank, Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance and International Turnkey Solutions.