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10 August 2011

Islamic funds and investments market expands its global footprint

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Bahrain: More than 400 key players, regulators and thought leaders in the global Islamic funds and investments industry are set to gather in the Kingdom of Bahrain on the 26th and 27th of September 2011 for the 7th Annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2011).

Held in strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Bahrain, the 7th Annual WIFFMC 2011 will set the stage for critical discussions that will focus on "achieving international scale and creating a vibrant Islamic financial market and re-invigorating the Islamic investments industry."

Announcing the launch of the event, David McLean, Managing Director of the World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference noted that "following the return of investor confidence to global markets, the Islamic funds and investments industry has gained substantial momentum at an international level. The recent acceleration seen in the Islamic funds and investments industry is set to grow further as governments and institutions in the high-growth Asian and Middle Eastern markets continue to seek Shari'ah-compliant instruments as an attractive alternative for raising capital for infrastructure development and investment projects and also for diversifying their investment portfolio."

He also said that "with global Sukuk issues this year projected to surpass even the record high level of issuances achieved in 2007, it is critical for the industry to undergo structural transformations and respond to an investor-driven world to tap into the next wave of opportunities."

"WIFFCM 2011 will focus on developing forward-thinking strategies that will get the industry back on the high-growth track, achieve critical mass, and tap into the highly positive global fundamentals which promise significant potential for Islamic investments", he added.

Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker
The 7th Annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2011) is set to begin on the 26th of September 2011 with an opening keynote address by Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker, Executive Director - Financial Institutions Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain which will be followed by keynote addresses by Germain Birgen, Chairman - LFF Islamic Finance Task Force, Chairman - ALFI Islamic Finance & ME Working Group, Managing Director - Global Head HSBC Amanah Securities Services - HSBC Securities Services (Luxembourg) S.A. and Gary Palmer, Chief Executive, Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA). The session will discuss key regulatory initiatives to strengthen the Islamic investments industry and will also assess the growth opportunities for Islamic funds in dynamic new jurisdictions.

Commenting on his participation at the event, Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker, Executive Director - Financial Institutions Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain said that "with the Islamic investments market having grown to become an increasingly substantial segment within the global financial system and having gained substantial interest and momentum in the post-crisis economic landscape, it is essential that the strong foundations laid out for the industry is now tapped into growing the industry to its next phase of development to achieve the international scale and critical mass. With the strong and robust regulatory frameworks adopted by the Central Bank of Bahrain, Bahrain will continue to be one the leading financial centres in the region and a global leader in Islamic finance."

"We are once again delighted to host the annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference and we believe that events like these are essential to enrich the ongoing dialogue and debate on the Islamic investments industry", he added.

WIFFMC 2011 will also feature the exclusive on-site launch of the Ernst & Young Islamic Funds & Investments Discussion Paper 2011. Now in its fifth year, the Ernst & Young Islamic Funds & Investments Report has rapidly established itself as an invaluable reference resource for leading players in the Islamic funds and financial markets. This year's discussion paper will provide the impetus for an interactive review of the market, the players, and the challenges, and will offer fresh perspectives on renewed strategies as leading players seek to further align their business models with the expanding internationalization of the industry.

The Islamic Investments Institution of the Year Award will also be announced at WIFFMC 2011. The award recognizes an institution that has significantly contributed to the development of the Shari'ah-compliant investments industry either through the development of innovative products and services that have substantially advanced the regional and global Shari'ah-compliant investments industry and/or outstanding financial performance resulting from excellence in its operations.

(Courtesy: AMEInfo.com)

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