Finance & Capital Market

1,000 Islamic finance experts to take part in Bahrain forum

More than 1,000 Islamic banking and finance global industry leaders, policy makers, innovators and stakeholders will converge for a three-day forum in Bahrain in December.
Held under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain and the strategic partnership of the Central Bank of Bahrain, the 26th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) will run from December 2 to 4 at the Gulf Hotel.
The largest and most prestigious gathering of Islamic banking and finance leaders is the flagship offering of Middle East Global Advisors (MEGA).
The forum will focus on the theme of “Mega trends in banking & finance” in line with its steady vision to serve as a compass for the global Islamic finance and banking industry.
Ehsan Abbas, chairman, Middle East Global Advisors, said: “For over a quarter of a century, WIBC has been the definitive platform for C-level executives to discuss strategies to navigate the myriad complexities and subtle nuances of the global economy – and given the uncertain economic environment that we find ourselves in, these discussions will prove even more critical to better understand the shifting economic, demographical, technological and regulatory landscape. 2019 marks the 26th edition of the World Islamic Banking Conference – a testament to its continued significance as an indisputable compass for the industry to gather and share critical insights going forward. The conference this year will promote standardization and harmonization the Islamic Finance standards, value-creation via M&A and consolidation, sizing up the Sukuk market and 360-degree solutions to industry challenges.”
Khalid Hamad Abdul-Rahman Hamad, executive director banking supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain, said: “The Central Bank of Bahrain is pleased to be a strategic partner for the 26th edition of the World Islamic Banking Conference. Every year at the WIBC we have addressed the most pressing issues facing the Islamic banking industry. This year’s edition will focus on harmonization of Islamic finance standards, the digital transformation, sustainable finance and M&A and consolidation in the GCC region. 
“There will be a special session on where the industry is headed with respect to the objectives of Shari’ah. International experts will present their assessment of the global economic outlook and highlight the opportunities for Islamic finance presented by the Belt & Road Initiative of China. As in earlier years, WIBC will also host a CEOs’ power table to discuss what keeps the CEOs awake at night. The format adopted for most sessions is panel discussion with allocated time for answering questions from the audience. The conference will also provide an excellent networking opportunity to individuals and a platform for companies to exhibit their services and solutions. We look forward to welcoming people from the region and outside to the conference in Bahrain.”
WIBC has annually reaffirmed its reputation in generating breakthrough thought leadership. Godwin Emefiele, governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, will deliver the keynote address at the 26th WIBC that will be followed by an on-stage interview with Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, governor, Central Bank of Bahrain. Other confirmed speakers at WIBC include: Yasmeen Al Sharaf, head, Fintech Unit, Central Bank of Bahrain; Hassan Jarrar, chief executive officer, Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB); Nitish Bhojnagarwala, vice president - senior credit officer, Financial Institutions Group, Moody’s Investors Services Middle East Limited; Bashar Al Natoor, global head Islamic Finance, Fitch Ratings; Mustafa Adil, head of Islamic Finance, Refinitiv and Omar Mustafa Ansari, secretary general, Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial  Institutions (AAOIFI), among others. 
Industry leaders will also be recognised for their excellence through the WIBC Performance Awards 2019, the nominees of which will be announced weeks before the December event, and the winners at the Gala Dinner on December 3. This year’s performance awards will see a special award conferred on “Islamic Banker of the Year”. 
Confirmed partners at WIBC 2019 so far include: Ithmaar Bank, Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB), Bank ABC Islamic, Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB), Al Baraka Banking Group, Moody’s Investors Service, The Perth Mint, Eiger Trading, DDCAP Group, Fitch Ratings & Keypoint. - TradeArabia News Service