Islamic finance 'gradually building momentum'
Dubai, April 12, 2011
The Islamic finance sector is gradually building momentum across the globe and will likely lead the re-emergence of global financial industry over the next five years, said experts at a Dubai summit.
Speaking at the first annual Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference (MEIFIC 2011) which opened at Dusit Thani Dubai on Tuesday, the experts said despite the global economic slowdown, the Islamic financial industry had crossed its $1 trillion mark.
With an increasing appetite for Shari'ah-compliant alternatives in banking sector among the investment community, corporate end users, consumers and intermediaries, Islamic finance has witnessed dramatic growth during the past few years, they added.
According to them, the Islamic finance industry is rapidly resuming its growth path and increasingly gaining attention in various jurisdictions across the globe in the post-crisis global financial landscape.
The summit is being held under the theme “Successfully Adapting to New Market Realities for Islamic Finance in the Middle East.”
The high-profile speakers at the two-day event include Hussain AlQemzi, CEO of Noor Islamic Bank and Group chief executive, Noor Investment Group and Dr Saleh Malaikah, chairman, Rusd Investment Bank.
Adressing the gathering, Hussain AlQemzi said, "the Shari’a compliant finance and investments sector is gradually building momentum and popularity around the world, and is expected to lead the re-emergence of the overall global financial industry over the next five years."
The conference, he said, served as a unique platform for the industry leaders to discuss the post-crisis era.
In his address, Dr Malaikah said the continued growth of Islamic finance further strengthens its role as an increasingly important component of the global financial system in the post-crisis landscape.
"As a long-term industry player, Rusd Investment Bank is committed to upholding our position as a leading world-class Shari’ah compliant investment bank that delivers optimum results to our stakeholders.”
“We are excited about the new opportunities presented in the Middle East for Islamic finance and investment and we see this event was an ideal platform to tap into such exciting opportunities”, he added.
The keynote address was followed by a special opening plenary session featuring key figures such as Ahmed Khizer Khan, chief operating officer, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the private sector (ICD), Member of Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB); Richard Thomas, CEO, Gatehouse Bank; Geert Bossuyt, CEO, Dar Al Istithmar and Dr Ali Al Amari, senior director, Supervision and Authorisation & AML, Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority.
The experts analyzed and evaluated the current state and the future prospects for Islamic finance in the Middle East.
The session emphasized the key strategies that the leading players must implement in order to succeed in the Middle East Islamic finance market.
Addressing the gathering, Bossuyt pointed out that the investor appetite had started to increase again but with a reduced appetite for risk in all its forms.
The key for the industry, he said, was to be able to adapt strategies and structures to meet the change in investor appetite and diversify income.
Dr Al Amari called upon regulators, supervisors, international regulatory bodies and business leaders to have strong co-operation in providing roles and guidelines that should help in understanding Islamic finance and Islamic products.
"Enhancing transparency and information sharing and minimizing regulatory arbitrage is the next step in working towards acceptable Islamic financial standards that will lead to harmonizing Islamic regulatory system, Shari’ah Fatwa and Islamic products," he remarked.
David McLean, managing director of Mega events, said MEIFIC, in its very first year has established itself as a pre-eminent platform for leaders in the Islamic finance and investments industry in the region to engage in discussions that provides new and deeper insights into what the future holds for the regional Islamic finance markets.”-TradeArabia News Service