Tirad Al Mahmoud
Top finance firms vie for ADIB-Reuters awards
Dubai, October 21, 2013
The Ethical Finance and Innovation Challenge and Awards, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Thomson Reuters, have attracted over 100 entries, ranging from a sharia-compliant fund supplying schools with cheap, clean energy to a new way to hedge financial risk.
The awards, which address issues of ethics in finance and innovation in Islamic banking and offer prizes of up to $100,000, drew interest from individuals and institutions in 55 countries, with interest highest in the UAE, Pakistan, Malaysia, the UK and the US.
It rewards ideas or initiatives in financial services that deliver a sustainable positive impact on society or the environment. The winners will be announced in late November at the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai.
Many entries sought to find viable commercial solutions to pressing social needs, balancing the delivery of attractive investor returns with providing an affordable product or service.
One sharia-compliant fund is looking to supply cheap geothermal power to schools and community organisations, while another fund seeks to provide housing at below-market rent to low-income families. Both are structured to generate high enough returns to attract investors.
In the “Islamic finance industry development” category, entrants put forward suggestions for structuring hedging tools, working capital and cash flow finance, while one entry sought to completely remodel financing through a new relationship between banks and their customers.
“It fills me with hope that many people are searching for a new economic model, which gives investors the incentive to supply capital, while serving the broad interests of society – improving lives, and our environment,” remarked ADIB chief executive Tirad Al Mahmoud.
“We want to encourage innovation to accelerate the development of sustainable financial solutions that make a positive difference in the world. The entries to the awards show that answers are out there, and we now need to start to put them into action,” he noted.
At the show, a Lifetime Achievement Award will also be granted to an individual who has made a significant contribution and impact in the ethical practice of financial services.
And an Islamic Finance Industry Development Award is open to entrants with innovative ideas in the areas of working capital finance, liquidity management, and profit-sharing investment and financing products.
Nominees are being shortlisted by an advisory board, which includes financial experts and Islamic scholars. The names for the three award categories will be announced soon and the winners will be revealed at the Global Islamic Economy Summit hosted by Thomson Reuters.
The summit, which will be held in Dubai on November 25 and 26, will initiate critical dialogue on the development of the integrated sectors of the Islamic Economy, covering Islamic financial services, halal manufacturing and related lifestyle sectors.-TradeArabia News Service