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1,200 delegates to discuss Islamic finance growth

Manama, December 8, 2012

More than 1,200 industry leaders from over 50 countries will come together to discuss new growth strategies for Islamic finance at the 19th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2012), set to take place on December 9 in Bahrain.

The event which is to be held at the Gulf Hotel, under the theme ‘Islamic Finance: Adapting to the New Dynamics of Global Finance’, will take place under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister and supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Khalid Hamad Abdul-Rahman Hamad, executive director, banking supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain, said: “The banking sector will witness considerable local and international regulatory changes, and the people who are in charge of managing banks need to adapt to these new realities.”

“The World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) will be a high profile platform to examine these realities and focus on these constraints. I hope that the discussions that will take place during the 19th Annual WIBC between leaders of the banking sector will enhance the industry.”

Speaking to the media ahead of the event, David McLean, chief executive of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), said: “The global Islamic financial services industry continues to experience double digit growth, with recent estimates indicating that global Shari’ah-compliant assets now stand between $1.1 – 1.3 trillion.”

“The range of products and services offered has also widened from primarily retail banking products to more sophisticated capital market instruments catering to a global audience. With the dynamic nature of the industry, Islamic finance is set to further grow by tapping its potential in new high-growth markets and is set to play a key role in financing the development of economies in both emerging and developed markets.”

“Islamic finance has achieved a recognisable position within the global financial landscape as an industry that can make significant contributions to promoting financial inclusion, and economic growth and development,” McLean added. “As the global Islamic finance industry is transitioning to its next stage of development, it is essential that the industry further adapts to the new dynamics of global finance in order to achieve sustainable growth.”

“Continuing on its successful high growth trajectory, the Islamic finance industry is now poised for its next phase of global expansion,” said Abdul-Kareem Abu Al-Nasr, CEO of the National Commercial Bank.

“As a unique form of financial intermediation, Islamic finance incorporates several elements that guide the process of the mobilisation and allocation of funds to generate productive economic activity and inclusive development thereby becoming an important avenue for international fund raising and investment activities, generating significant cross-border flows.”

“As Islamic finance extends its reach to serve the global community and becomes an integral part of the global financial system, it will need to better synchronise with the new dynamics of the post-crisis global financial landscape.”

“The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has been supporting the World Islamic Banking Conference for many years now and we see this event as one of those important global gatherings which undoubtedly plays a key role in facilitating dialogue among the international industry leaders on shaping the future of the industry. We are once again delighted to be partnering with WIBC 2012 and we look forward to the critical discussions at this year’s event,” he said.

The conference will begin with a series of pre-conference summits. The pragmatically focused pre-conference executive briefing sessions, led by experienced and respected industry experts, will place a range of complex themes in a practical framework, enabling a deeper understanding of the critical issues facing the Islamic finance industry.

The main WIBC 2012 conference, which begins on December 10, will be inaugurated by Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

The inaugural address will be followed by a special opening keynote address by Khaled Mohammed Al-Aboodi, CEO and general manager of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), Saudi Arabia.

The session, focusing on capacity building to support the international development of Islamic finance, will discuss key initiatives that will enhance the supervisory architecture facilitating harmonisation, cross-border linkages and the international development of Islamic finance – and, crucially, its benefits to the real economy in key markets.

A major highlight of WIBC 2012 will be the high profile industry leaders’ power debate led by internationally respected CEOs and decision-makers from the key players in the industry.

Led by Andrew Barstow, partner, Mena Financial Services, Ernst and Young, the session will analyse the new growth strategies for Islamic finance and address the challenges of driving operational transformation to achieve sustainable profitable growth in the Islamic banking and finance industry.

The power debate featuring Adnan Ahmed Yousif, board member and president & chief executive of Al Baraka Banking Group; Toby O’Connor, CEO of the Islamic Bank of Asia; Suliman Azzabin, chief executive of Al Rajhi Bank; Salah Jaidah, chairman of Islamic Finance of Deutsche Bank AG; and Asad Aziz Ahmed, managing director of Gulf African Bank; will also analyse the critical success factors that will propel the Islamic finance industry to its next level of growth.

WIBC 2012 will also feature a special guest address on the potential for Islamic finance in Maghreb countries. The address will be delivered by Jaloul Ayed, Former Minister of Finance of The Republic of Tunisia on December 11.

As a part of the World comes to WIBC Initiative, a leading panel of international experts will converge at the country focus roundtable to address how well-positioned Islamic banks can explore international opportunities in the most dynamically evolving high-growth markets for Islamic finance.

The country focus roundtable along with the WIBC country pavilions will explore exciting opportunities in key jurisdictions including Bahrain, Qatar, Luxembourg, US, the United Kingdom, Bermuda and Mauritius.

WIBC 2012 will also feature for the first time an exclusive US country interface which will be inaugurated by Thomas Krajeski, United States Ambassador to Bahrain and Houda Nonoo, Bahrain Ambassador to the United States; in addition to the UK country interface which will be inaugurated by HMA Iain Lindsay OBE, British Ambassador to Bahrain.

David C Chavern, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the US Chamber of Commerce will also deliver a keynote speech at the event.

“Against the backdrop of unprecedented developments, and despite a host of challenges that lie ahead, the US Chamber of Commerce and American businesses remain optimistic about the future prospects for Bahrain and the broader Middle East region,” Chavern said.

“As markets continue to integrate globally and emerging markets become larger players on the world stage of international finance, the Chamber will continue to advocate for free and fair trade and open access to US markets.”

“This includes enhancing the abilities of American companies through modernising US export controls and encouraging the globalisation of our capital markets. The World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) provides an important platform for international leaders and experts to develop their ideas and explore opportunities that can benefit businesses and nations around the world," he said.

The 2012/13 edition of the World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report, developed in collaboration with Ernst & Young, will also be launched on-site at the conference in a specially convened plenary session on December 10.

Ashar Nazim, partner, Global Islamic Banking Excellence Center at Ernst & Young, said: “The global Islamic finance industry is in a transitory phase at the moment, trying to sustain profitability while continuing to grow market share.”

“We believe that Islamic finance has an important opportunity to drive its competitiveness as it expands to emerging and populous economies. The WIBC 2012 is an appropriate platform for Ernst & Young to share our knowledge of the Islamic Banking industry. We will be analysing new growth strategies and addressing the challenges of driving new sustainable and profitable growth.” – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Islamic Finance | Manama |

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