Shifts in Trade and Capital Flows Present Significant Growth Opportunities for Islamic Financiers

H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain inaugurates the 20th Anniversary Special Edition of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2013). His Highness Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain attends the opening ceremony.

Shifts in Trade and Capital Flows Present Significant Growth Opportunities for Islamic Financiers

Shifts in Trade and Capital Flows Present Significant Growth Opportunities for Islamic Financiers

The main WIBC conference was officially inaugurated today with an opening keynote address by H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain. This was immediately followed by a special keynote address by H.E. Dr. Mohammad Y. Al-Hashel, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait.

The opening keynote session provided key regulatory perspectives on improving the stability, competitiveness and long term success of the Islamic finance industry and discussed key initiatives to make the Islamic banking and finance sector more robust and resilient across all stages of the global economic cycle. His Highness Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, along with the Cabinet ministers attended the opening ceremony of WIBC 2013.

H.E. Saeed Abdul Jalil Al Fahim, Chairman of the Board, International Investment Bank Bahrain also delivered a special address on ‘business in the Middle East and the role of Islamic finance’.

The CEO and Industry Leaders’ Power Debate was led by Ashar Nazim, Partner, Head of Global Islamic Banking Center, EY, featuring Moinuddin Malim, Chief Executive Officer, Mashreq Al Islami; Wasim Saifi, Global Head of Islamic Banking and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Saadiq Bhd; Toby O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Bank of Asia; and Steve Troop, Group Chief Executive Officer of Barwa Bank.

WIBC 2013 also featured for the first time an exclusive Canada Country Interface which was inaugurated by H.E. Thomas MacDonald, (non-resident) Ambassador of Canada to Bahrain, Embassy of Canada to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A special UK Country Interface session was also held along the sidelines of the conference which discussed new initiatives driving Islamic finance in the UK. The session was inaugurated by HMA Iain Lindsay OBE, British Ambassador to Bahrain.

The 2013/14 special anniversary edition of the World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2013/14 was also launched at a specially convened session at the conference. Developed in collaboration with EY, the Report titled “The Transition Begins” was presented by Ashar Nazim, Partner, Head of Global Islamic Banking Centre, EY.

Adnan Ahmed Yousif, President and Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group commented, “Islamic finance is enjoying tremendous progress as one of the fastest growing asset classes in the world. The industry continues to expand in many emerging markets and introduce new standards that should further help develop products and attract investors. The industry’s global appeal continues to grow and attract remarkable attention, including from non-core markets in the UK, Europe, Asia and North America.

In order to for Islamic banks to expand their geographic footprint further over the coming years, they must be able to compete more effectively and tackle a number of key challenges facing the industry, including delivering cost efficiencies, building a greater talent pool, enhancing corporate governance; delivering innovative products that meet genuine market needs; and ensuring risk management systems are up to par. For the Islamic finance industry to build a solid foundation for the next phase of international growth, the industry must undergo transformation in a number of key areas.

“The World Islamic Banking Conference, over the last 2 decades, has established itself as a key global forum for in-depth discussions on the facets of the continued global growth in Islamic finance. The 20th Anniversary World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2013) is a key platform for industry leaders to put a spotlight on the challenges, innovations, latest developments and technological solutions essential for the further growth of the global Islamic banking and finance sector.”

WIBC 2013 continues on 5 December and will feature an exclusive interactive dialogue with H.E. Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman and Founder of Dallah Al Baraka Group; and a special guest address on the future of banking regulation and its implications for Islamic financial institutions by Sir Howard Davies, Former Chairman, Financial Services Authority; Former Deputy Governor, Bank of England and Professor, Sciences Po, Paris.

http://www.cpifinancial.net/news/post/24607/shifts-in-trade-and-capital-flows-present-significant-growth-opportunities-for-islamic-financiers

The 3rd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit Set to Begin on the 5th of June in Singapore

More than 450 key players and thought leaders in the international Islamic finance industry will be gathering on the 5th and 6th of June 2012 at the Grand Hyatt in Singapore for the 3rd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit, which is convened with the support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Speaking ahead of the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit, said that “Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing segments in the global financial sector, growing at an estimated 15-20% per annum. The Ernst & Young World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2011, which was launched at the 18th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference in Bahrain last November, noted that Islamic banking assets with commercial banks globally will reach US$1.1 trillion in 2012, representing a significant jump of 33% from their 2010 level of US$826 billion.”

The 3rd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit Set to Begin on the 5th of June in Singapore

He also said that “with various countries now intensifying efforts to develop their respective Islamic financial markets, greater collaboration among these jurisdictions will facilitate cross-border initiatives to strengthen the industry architecture and framework, which will in turn support the further expansion in international product and service offerings.”

A similar view was expressed by Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director / Chief Executive Officer,CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad, who said that “key markets in Asia and the Middle East are now witnessing rapid growth and expansion – and economies in rapid transition need responsive banking and capital markets. Islamic bankers must understand the evolving needs of its end-users, build new capabilities and develop new products and services to support the needs of both mature and new markets. This requires strong integration and economic inter-linkages between the key markets for Islamic finance. Regulatory reforms, governance standards and tax structures need to keep pace with the rapid internationalization of Islamic finance thus enabling greater scope for large-scale cross-border transactions.”

“The annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit is one of those unique platforms which aim to foster greater connectivity between Asia and the Middle East thus providing an opportunity for key industry players in these high-growth markets to develop the capacity to structure large-scale multi-currency and cross-border Shari’ah-compliant transactions. We are once again delighted to be supporting this important event”, he added.

The two day event is set to begin on the 5th of June with an inaugural address by H.E. Ravi Menon, Governor of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The inaugural address will be immediately followed by an opening keynote session featuring H.E. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, President of the Islamic Development Bank; and H.E. Dr. Halim Alamsyah, Deputy Governor, Bank Indonesia.

Commenting on his participation at the event, H.E. Ravi Menon, Governor of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, observed that “WIBC: Asia has become an important bridge connecting Asia and the Middle East to the growing participants of Islamic finance. Since its launch in 2010, the event has grown in both size and stature. It is a unique gathering for the industry to discuss trends, share experiences and explore opportunities to tap the full potential of Islamic finance.”

A key highlight of WIBC Asia 2012 will be the high profile Power Debate session led by internationally respected CEOs and industry leaders. Moderated by Haslinda Amin of Bloomberg Television, this session will analyze the expanding role of Islamic finance as a conduit for trade and capital flows between Asia and the Middle East and will also discuss how Islamic financial institutions can better develop the capacity to structure large-scale multi-currency and cross border transactions. The Power Debate session will feature Toby O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, The Islamic Bank of Asia; Hussain AlQemzi; Chief Executive Officer, Noor Islamic Bank and Group Chief Executive Officer, Noor Investment Group; Muzaffar Hisham, Chief Executive Officer, Maybank Islamic Berhad; Dato’ Jamelah Jamaluddin, Chief Executive Officer, Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad (KFH Malaysia); Syed Abdul Aziz Jailani Bin Syed Kechik, Chief Executive Officer, OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad; Shamsun Anwar Hussain, Director – Consumer Banking, CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad; and Wasim Saifi, Global Head, Standard Chartered Saadiq, Consumer Banking.

Confirming his participation at the event, Muzaffar Hisham, Chief Executive Officer of Maybank Islamic Berhad said that “the World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit is an excellent platform for industry experts to share the insights, knowledge and expertise of the industry. It is an honor and privileged for Maybank Islamic to be part of WIBC: Asia for the 3rd consecutive year, with the strong support from Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in its commitment for the benefit of the industry within the region.”

For the first time in Asia, WIBC: Asia 2012 will also feature an exclusive pre-conference industry briefing led by the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Markets (IIFM) on the 4th of June. Speaking ahead of the session, Ijal Alvi, Chief Executive Officer of IIFM said that “with a proven track record as a leading global standardization body for the Islamic Capital and Money Market segment of Islamic Financial Services Industry, the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) is keen to further strengthen its close relationship with the World Islamic Banking Conference based on several years of working together in the development and progress of Islamic Finance. The IIFM pre-conference briefing has been a part of the annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Global Summit in Bahrain for more than 5 years now and we are extremely delighted to further strengthen this partnership and host the pre-conference briefing for the first time in Singapore at the World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit, which is held under the official support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

He also said that “Islamic banking and finance industry has seen tremendous growth internationally and this indeed reflects its ability to be competitive and respond to the complex needs of businesses internationally. As the industry’s geographic footprint expands, it is becoming increasingly vital to develop more products and appropriate global frameworks in order to overcome the challenges faced by Islamic finance globally. Hence, the 3rd Annual WIBC Asia Summit plays a crucial role in exchanging views and ideas across geographies and we are delighted to work closely with this prestigious event which brings together the world’s most experienced Islamic bankers and expertise from the two key centers for Islamic finance i.e. the Asia and the Middle East”.

The pre-conference industry briefing will be inaugurated by Tai Boon Leong, Executive Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

URL: http://www.zawya.com/story/ZAWYA20120530103206/The-3rd-Annual-World-Islamic-Banking-Conference:-Asia-Summit-Set-to-Begin-on-the-5th-of-June-in-Singapore/

World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia to open 5 June

Asia 2012 will gather more than 450 industry leaders for discussions on strengthening international connectivity and capturing cross-border opportunities in the Islamic finance industry.

Ahead of the event, Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director / Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad, said, “Key markets in Asia and the Middle East are now witnessing rapid growth and expansion – and economies in rapid transition need responsive banking and capital markets. Islamic bankers must understand the evolving needs of its end-users build new capabilities and develop new products and services to support the needs of both mature and new markets. This requires strong integration and economic inter-linkages between the key markets for Islamic finance. Regulatory reforms, governance standards and tax structures need to keep pace with the rapid internationalization of Islamic finance thus enabling greater scope for large-scale cross-border transactions.


World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia to open 5 June

“The annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit is one of those unique platforms which aim to foster greater connectivity between Asia and the Middle East thus providing an opportunity for key industry players in these high-growth markets to develop the capacity to structure large-scale multi-currency and cross-border Shari’ah-compliant transactions. We are once again delighted to be supporting this important event.”

The two day event is set to begin on the 5 June with an inaugural address by H.E. Ravi Menon, Governor of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The inaugural address will be immediately followed by an opening keynote session featuring H.E. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, Development Bank; and H.E. Dr. Halim Alamsyah, Deputy Governor, Bank Indonesia.

H.E. Ravi Menon, Governor of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said, “WIBC: Asia has become an important bridge connecting Asia and the Middle East to the growing participants of Islamic finance.  Since its launch in 2010, the event has grown in both size and stature. It is a unique gathering for the industry to discuss trends, share experiences and explore opportunities to tap the full potential of Islamic finance.”

URL: http://www.cpifinancial.net/news/post/14223/world-islamic-banking-conference-asia-to-open-5-june

Key global support for Islamic finance forum

MANAMA: Financial organisations from Bermuda and Luxembourg will be making their first appearance at this year’s World Islamic Banking Conference.

And there will be a return of representation from Singapore as well as a strong turnout from Malaysia.

“This year’s event will be at least as strong as last year’s with forums being hosted by both the UK and, for the first time, France, reflecting the growing importance of Islamic finance in Europe,” said event organiser David McLean.

“We have yet again received massive international support for this event which shows that Bahrain remains the global centre of Islamic finance and the turnout reflects the importance of the event even at a time of some local problems and a crisis in the European markets.

“That is a reflection of the role of Bahrain as the global hub for this industry.

“Indeed the success of Bahrain’s recent $750 million sukuk issue against a background of very difficult global market conditions and its ability to raise this at a reasonable price in the current economic climate emphasises the fact that Bahrain is very much back in business,” he added.

He said that one of the key issues that would be debated at the conference was the need to increase scale in the Islamic finance industry.

“That is a huge challenge for the industry. We do not have global giants like Standard Chartered and HSBC but we need to move forward in terms of scale so that we can have proper cross border Islamic finance with standardised regulation.

“Governments across the industry, led by Bahrain are working on this,” he added.

Rating agencies were well represented at the pre-conference workshops yesterday.

There were three presentations from the rating agencies, one each from the Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA), Malaysia Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC) and JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) of Pakistan.

IIRA introduced its latest offering under the name of Fiduciary Ratings at a workshop that attracted more then 200 delegates.

The first rating to be conducted under this methodology was that of Burj Bank Limited in Pakistan, in McLeanwhich Islamic Corporation for Development of the Private Sector has a significant shareholding.

Rather than adapting conventional thinking to accommodate Islamic finance, the methodology rethinks the risks in Islamic institutions, and is centred on the belief that in an Islamic finance institution (IFI) the quality of business being done is as important as the manner in which it is being done.

As a result, a comprehensive system, integrating the principles of governance and the ability of an institution to safeguard the investment of its key stakeholders, has emerged with a special focus on Sharia governance.

At the same time the methodology covers the ability of the institution to meet liabilities, simultaneously catering to all types of investors and all needs of any stakeholder in an IFI.

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=318175

 

World Islamic Banking Conference

Manama, Nov 4 (ONA) — The Kingdom of Bahrain will host on November 21st the 18th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference 2011 under the title of “Competing for Global Growth” and lasts for three days.

The World Islamic Banking Conference, Which will be held this year, reflects the impact of the geographic expansion of the Islamic finance and the increased presence of the Islamic financial institutions that provide great opportunities for the global trade and investment flows which come in line with the Islamic provisions.

The conference will focus on stressing the strategies for management of globalization challenges and enhancing the joint cooperation to ensure providing powerful International capabilities for the banking services and Islamic finance sector.

http://www.omannews.gov.om/ona/english/newsDetails_inc.jsp?newsID=61628

Islamic finance gaining growth

DUBAI — The Islamic finance industry is gaining growth with each passing day due to its rising demand, and the Middle East has been playing a key role in developing the sukuk market, a top banker said.

“The Islamic finance industry has a long way ahead and it needs to address the concepts such as financial planning and estate and succession planning rather than just products and services,” Fares Mourad, managing director and head of Islamic finance of Switzerland’s Bank Sarasin & Co Ltd, told Khaleej Times in an interview.

He said one of the issues slowing the industry’s growth globally is the scarcity of professionals. “Only Indonesia alone needs annually 200,000 qualified Islamic bankers for the coming five years. This shortage is witnessed in every country in which the industry is active and has not only an effect on its growth but also on the scope and quality of the services provided,” Mourad said. Excerpts from the interview:

How do you see the future of Islamic finance? Do you think the Middle East can play a lead role in developing the sukuk market?

The Middle East is the birth place of Islamic finance and ever since the area has contributed to the development of this field. New products and services are emerging every day, supported not only by innovation but also by the ever-growing demand. The drivers behind the birth and growth of the industry are not only intact but also gaining growth.

What are the plans of Bank Sarasin-Alpen to promote Islamic finance in the Middle East?

We are offering Islamic finance through from a conceptual angle, and are not focusing on a specific range of products or services. To illustrate this, Bank Sarasin in Switzerland is the first bank which combined its long standing knowledge in private banking since 1841 with Islamic finance and thus offering a full range of Islamic private banking spanning from estate and succession planning to liquidity management, structured products, portfolio management and provide leverage if and when needed. In short, we are like a shopping mall were an investor can find all his needs in relation to Islamic private banking without having to cross the street to acquire a service not found in one bank but with another. As a further illustration, we are the first to address the issue of Islamic financial planning and estate and succession planning — these are concepts and issues not related to products but to needs and requirements of every investor.

Do you have a plan to promote sukuks or Islamic finance in the region?

Sukuks are a domain of investment banking and as such we are only active in this area as an advisor and would facilitate investors’ requirements to invest in sukuks. Having said that, and as a general elaboration to your questions, while sukuks and the various structures through which they have been created, offer a wide range of flexibility and innovation alike, the area still provides a fertile ground for more innovation in which investors and issuers requirements are addressed.

How do you analyse Islamic equity and indices performance over the last year to illustrate that diversification remains key for investment without compromising Islamic principles?

 

For the last years and even prior to the financial crises, Islamic equities outperformed conventional equities. Through the application of Shariah screening, investor would not only tend to invest in companies focusing on their core activity to generate profit and have a solid balance sheet, but would also address issues related to environment and social responsibility. Thus the investments tend to be sustainable as well. This combination of the various elements has made some conventional investors also follow the Shariah guidelines in their investments. Market development has shown that such investments (and applying the modern portfolio theory to them) have indeed been blessed.

What are the main challenges for Islamic finance? How do you address the challenges facing Islamic mutual funds to achieve growth and performance?

Islamic finance is still in its infancy. However it has to be stated and be clear to everyone, that the industry has achieved a lot. Since the time about 50 years ago when the first Islamic bank was established, the industry offers many products and services spanning from cash management, portfolio management, structured products…etc. Despite this, the industry has a long way ahead and it needs to address new concepts such as financial planning and estate and succession planning rather than just products and services. Besides, the industry needs to address issues related to sustainability, environment investments, and social responsibility.

Managing the Islamic wealth cycle through the entire process of wealth acquisition, preservation and distribution is a key challenge. What can you say about this?

I am delighted you posed the question. We see the challenge and we are dedicated to assist our valuable clients in the process. This prompted us to organise the Islamic wealth management forum last month with a focus on Islamic financial planning. In short a full day is dedicated to show how this issue is addressed from various angles; we have grouped bankers, scholars, lawyers and consultants to speak at this event. With knowledge you can assess your current situation correctly, draft a plan and monitor its realisation and be aware of any changes or amendments need to be done while implementing and heading towards your targets. This process reduces many challenges to the levels of obstacles.

Do you think the shortage of professionals leads to low-quality asset management and lack of transparency in banking?

One of the issues slowing the industry’s growth globally is the scarcity of professionals. Recently this issue was raised loudly by the Indonesian Minister of Economy who stated at the Islamic banking conference in Singapore that Indonesia alone needs annually 200,000 qualified Islamic bankers for the coming five years. This shortage is witnessed in every country in which the industry is active and has not only an effect on its growth but also on the scope and quality of the services provided.

Oman charts strategy to become part of expanding Islamic finance industry

By A Staff Reporter – MUSCAT — The Islamic finance industry is pegged to grow at 15-20 per cent per year. 63 per cent of Islamic finance institutions are in the Middle East, controlling more than 50 per cent of Islamic banking assets. These statistics were discussed at the recently concluded first ever Oman Islamic Banking Conference.

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“Oman’s move to Islamic finance comes at just the right time as ethical finance gains a foothold around the world. The speakers illuminated a number of key aspects of the industry and question time after each presentation was lively as delegates delved deeper into the topic.

We are proud to be supporting the Omani banking industry in this important endeavour,” said Ihab Sahili, Regional Director for International Turnkey Systems, who hosted the conference.
Speakers from prominent Islamic financial institutions around the region and high-level delegates from Omani financial institutions and banks gathered to discuss regional best practices and map out a strategy for the nation to become a part of the rapidly growing Islamic finance industry. Continue reading