View Rate : 129 #            News Code : TTime- 155586        Print Date : Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tehran hosts Int’l Conference on Islamic Finance
Tehran Times Economic Desk

TEHRAN — Sharif University of Technology, west of Tehran, played host to the International Conference on Islamic Finance Proceeding Monday.

Attended by a host of domestic and foreign officials and experts, the get-together aimed to explore avenues to use huge financial resources of Muslim states, to introduce policies on Islamic finance, to hold training courses for managers, and to share achievements and experiences of industrial organizations.

The conference kicked off with the welcome speech of Sharif University of Technology Chancellor Saeid Sohrabpur.

Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri, secretary general of World Assembly for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought (WAPIST), boasted that Islamic banking was initiated by Iran and Shia, however regretting that the plan sank into oblivion and Iran should have been the torchbearer.

The cleric named the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) as the first finance institute that was set up within the Islamic principles in Saudi Arabia in 1975, adding some 290 Islamic banks and finance institutes are now working at four corners of the world.

“Jurisprudents and economists play key roles in promotion of Islamic economics,” underlined the WAPIST head, adding theologians need to explore Islamic tenets and dictums, with experts putting the religious scholars’ research into practice.

Seyyed Hamid Purmohammadi, deputy minister of economic affairs and finance for banking and insurance affairs, for his part, said Iran was the first country that passed riba-free (usury-free) banking law in 1983 and established Islamic banking system.

He, however, cast a doubt on the law-abiding, ruing if the Islamic banking law had been enforced desirably, Iran would have overtaken other states like Bahrain.

“Hong Kong has voiced its determination to turn into an Islamic finance hub,” recalled the official.

Hong Kong’s chief executive said on Oct. 10 the city would look to emulate Malaysia and Singapore as a center for Islamic finance, in an effort to grab a slice of the thriving market.

Bank of Industry and Mine governor said the roots of Islamic financing should be traced at the advent of Islam.

Mehdi Razavi termed modern methods as necessary for financing, assuring that efforts without modern management will be futile.

Hossein Purzandi, Tehran Municipality’s financial and administrative affairs head, elaborated on ways to attract foreign funds for development projects.

Sami Ibrahim Al-Swailem, the senior research advisor in IRTI, IDB, Monzer Kahf, a professor of Islamic banking and finance in the U.S., Shamim Ahmad Siddiqui, a professor of University of Brunei, Darussalam, and Zohra Jabeen, an advisor of Institute of Management Sciences of Peshawar, Pakistan, delivered speech and offered articles.

The conference will be followed by two workshops entitled “Hedging in Islamic Finance” and “Sukuk: Principles, Structure & Performance” today and tomorrow


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