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13 November 2012

Islamic finance forum lined up

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Manama: The global Islamic finance industry has witnessed phenomenal growth over the past decade, with the estimated asset size now more than $1 trillion.

The annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), which over the last 19 years has established its pre-eminent position as the world's largest and most significant annual gathering of global Islamic finance industry leaders, is set to be held from December 9 to 11 in Bahrain under the official support of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

"The last several years has seen the international dimension of Islamic finance gain tremendous significance, as the industry continues to demonstrate its competitiveness and build scale in an increasingly globalised playing field," said conference organiser Mega Events managing director David McLean.

"The Islamic banking sector is undoubtedly well-placed to play a vital role in facilitating cross-border financial flows particularly between the emerging economies which, in turn, will further increase the international participation in Islamic financial markets."

WIBC 2012 will be held under the theme 'Islamic Finance: Adapting to the New Dynamics of Global Finance.' It will be a key enabling platform for industry players to innovate the next generation of Islamic finance solutions that will meet the increasingly complex needs of corporate borrowers, consumers, issuers and investors; and create conditions that will build a more globally harmonised footprint for their institution - that, if achieved, will propel the Islamic finance industry to the next level of success."

The World Comes to WIBC Initiative has also been expanded this year and will feature official delegations representing jurisdictions for Islamic finance including Bahrain, Qatar, Luxembourg, the US, UK, Bermuda and Mauritius.

"Due to its substantial growth and reliability, Islamic finance has now become a global phenomenon with a number of non-Muslim countries also showing keen interest in this dynamic industry," said Al Hilal Bank group chief executive Jamil Berror.

"While conventional banking and finance industry recuperates from the effects of the global financial crisis, there is now an excellent opportunity for Islamic finance to prove its competitiveness and enhance its profile in the global financial landscape.
"This calls for a stronger industry architecture that would allow for the most efficient functioning of the industry not only within national economies but also across borders.

The WIBC with its very high-profile international participation, sets the perfect stage for such discussions. We are delighted to be supporting this unique global gathering."

(Courtesy: Gulf Daily News)

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