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Bahrain cbank to issue Basel draft rules

Manama, October 24, 2013

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) will be issuing the first draft of rules on Basel III standards by early next month, a top regulatory official has said.

CBB executive director for banking supervision Khalid Hamad said some banks were already realigning and readjusting the capital components as required and he expected all banks to be ready to implement the new norms by the end of the first quarter next year, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a Sharia Auditor Conference organised by the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain yesterday.

Basel III is a global, voluntary regulatory standard on bank capital adequacy, stress testing and market liquidity risk.

Hamad said the development of Sharia audit standards, procedures and professionals was critical to the continuing growth of Islamic banking.

While two standards of Sharia audit or review created by Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions were already in place, the industry need was for more, he added.

This was not just in terms of more detailed definitions and procedures but also in terms of scope, he said.

A suggestion has been made to have an association of Sharia reviewers.

"The Waqf Fund, under the ambit of the CBB, is proposing that a committee of all stakeholders be set up which would take up the issue," he said.

The committee is expected to use the deliberations of the conference to further discussions on the role of Sharia reviewers function and to come up with detailed requirements in terms of standards, procedures and qualifications.

On the performance of Islamic banks in the kingdom, Hamad said investment accounts held by banks had seen good growth in the period from January to August and the momentum is expected to be sustained in the rest of the year.

"The assets of Islamic banks have seen an increase of $725 million as of August when compared with the level at the start of the year. The increase in unrestricted investment accounts was $911m during the same period," he added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Central Bank |

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