GBCorp backs key banking conference
Manama, March 21, 2009
The upcoming GCC Banking Conference, organised by the Central Bank of Bahrain, will focus on the GCC legislative regulatory industry and provide participants the opportunity to discuss with regulators and legislators the most significant issues and its impact on regional markets.
Global Banking Corporation (GBCorp) one of the key sponsors of the conference, believes that the event will provide the basis for greater interaction between the monetary and banking sectors of the economies as well as offer more flexibility for the GCC banking sector.
The two day conference is being held under the patronage of Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, in cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretariat General, from March 24 to 25 in the Kingdom.
The theme of the event is 'A New Era in International Banking Practices: Implications for the GCC Markets'.
Drawing attention to the key challenges facing the banking industry, Ahmed Al Khan, Head of Investment banking at GBCorp, said: "The challenges facing the industry are those that arise from the present economic scenario, in addition to the requirement for better regulatory principles and compliance measures."
"The key factors are to address the root causes of the crisis facing the industry and to develop measures to prevent such crisis happening in the future," he opined.
"Bahrain as the financial hub of the region has one of the best regulatory environments. The Central Bank of Bahrain has made it mandatory for all banks in Bahrain to comply with Basel II norms this year and I am sure implementing Basel II will demonstrate greater transparency, enhance viability and definitely add value towards improving corporate governance in Bahrain Banks," he pointed out.
The core aim of Basel II is to help banks create a balanced portfolio and also regulate their exposure in key focus sectors. However, it is important to understand that as with any regulatory standard, Basel II implementation would also have to address a lot of genuine concerns in terms of Islamic Banking.
"In fact, a major challenge for Islamic Banks is how certain products should be treated under Basel II. Under Sharia law, banks cannot engage in transactions that could be deemed speculative, pay interest and involve contractual uncertainty."
"So these are areas that need to be addressed and clear guidelines issued on how the concepts outlined in the Basel II framework fit in with Islamic law," Al Khan pointed out.
The discussions on legislative governance in the banking industry will have a direct impact on the dealings of the banks and on their performance. A gathering of financial experts and bank governors will help us achieve a clearer vision for the direction of the GCC banking industry and its future outlook.
The banking conference will be attended by all the governors of the GCC Central Banks and Monetary Agencies, Heads of GCC Capital Markets, senior bankers from the region, as well representatives of the world's leading international financial institutions.
The event will be divided into five plenary sessions and will conclude with a regional Governors meeting on the final day of the conference to determine required action and implementation.
“We are proud to be associated with the supporters to Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) initiative, and continue supporting the development of the financial sector.
GBCorp will also draw on this opportunity to meet with potential Investors, bankers, asset managers and other professionals from the industry to further develop on unique competitive advantage and our ability to source transactions not only in the GCC but also in Mena and South Asia.
The GCC Banking Conference is an excellent forum for us to network with industry leaders and key decision makers on such issues as well,” Al Khan added.-TradeArabia News Service<